Maud Allan and the Myth of the Femme Fatale
In 1918 the dancer Maud Allan brought a libel case against Noel Billing MP for claiming in print that she was a lesbian. Drawing on a wealth of archival material, Wendy Buonaventura explores Allan’s controversial career, and examines the way the case embodied early 20th-century attitudes to ‘dangerous’ women, whose independence, freedom from convention, and erotic allure were seen as a threat to the fabric of society, and even a cause of the First World War.
Green Lord of the Wild Wood
As well as the 'historical' Robin ?– a simple human hero ?– John Matthews explores the various manifestations of Robin in folklore and legend, and relates the 'merry men' myths to mummers and morris dancers. From ancient lore, ballads, poems and masques, Robin emerges as a semi-divine embodiment of the mysterious, all-pervading life-force of the land: a Green Man, whose spirit lives on in the stories of his exploits. The book concludes with a substantial collection of Robin Hood ballads.
The Prince Who Beat the Empire
How an Indian Ruler Took on the Might of the East India Company
In 1844 and again in 1853 the Hindustani prince Meer Jafar Ali Khan voyaged to England, to challenge the bosses of the East India Company for their unseemly violation of a treaty, to win back his family’s property and to call for an end to British rule. This account of those events traces the long-forgotten campaign of the man who became one of Victorian England’s best-known figures, won over its political establishment and defeated the world’s most powerful corporation.
Great British Parks
Public parks, created in the rapidly growing towns and cities of the 19th century, are a precious legacy of open spaces, bandstands, boating lakes and meeting places, yet neglect left them in decline by the 1980s and 1990s. Visiting over 50 parks today, this book celebrates 20 years of the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Green Flag Award and the contributions of park staff and volunteers whose efforts to protect, maintain and improve public parks have revitalized these invaluable civic amenities. Slightly off-mint.
Warrior and King
King Arthur, long regarded as the leader of oppressed Britons against invading Saxon hordes, emerges from this fresh analysis as a boastful Irish raider who used his battles to carve out a kingdom in western Britain. Taking an interdisciplinary approach, Carleton combines evidence from archaeology, literature and the study of place names to reconstruct the career of the 6th-century ruler, who he suggests was a pagan warlord, and to propose a new location for the renowned Battle of Badon.
Nelson at Naples
Revolution and Retribution in 1799
One of the most inglorious events of Nelson’s career concerned the fate of the short-lived republic established in Naples by revolutionary France. Drawing on accounts by Nelson himself, Lady Hamilton and others, this book tells how, after being offered safe passage, the republicans were handed over to the besieging Royalists, from whom they received no mercy. It also investigates whether Nelson was personally guilty of this betrayal, or whether the orders came from London.
The Maligned Tudor King
Terry Breverton takes a fresh approach to Henry VII’s life and reign, following the king’s movements and describing his whereabouts, the people he was with and what he was doing to give a personal account of Henry and Elizabeth’s life. This is a more sympathetic portrait of the king than recent studies have offered, emphasizing Henry’s achievement in restoring peace and prosperity after the Wars of the Roses and securing for his son a peaceful succession and a solvent country.
Henry VIII's Closest Friend
The rapid rise of Charles Brandon to become Henry VIII’s most trusted and influential advisor alarmed his contemporaries and has puzzled historians. Reviewing the scant surviving evidence, this biography provides a chronological account of the career of this elusive figure. He held a succession of powerful offices, despite his controversial marriage to the king’s sister, disappointing military campaigns and suspicion that he spied for the French, and retained Henry’s favour to the last. Off-mint.
The Battle Over Oscar Wilde's Legacy
For years after Oscar Wilde’s death, his two closest friends and former lovers, Lord Alfred Douglas and Robert Ross, fought for control of his manuscripts and reputation, and argued over who was to blame for his downfall. Drawing on previously unpublished information, Oscar’s Ghost uncovers a bitter feud that involved stalking, blackmail, witness tampering, lawsuits and prison, and influenced the way we perceive Wilde to this day.
The Strangest, Least Successful and Most Audacious Financial Follies, Plans and Crazes of All Time
This light-hearted look at the financial ideas and policies of economists and politicians down the ages outlines the theories of thinkers and leaders such as Adam Smith, Karl Marx and Margaret Thatcher. Describing various ill-conceived schemes and disasters such as Hugo Chávez’s management of Venezuela, the author is on the side of the free market in his lampooning of economic experts and ideological politicians.
Who Betrayed the Jews?
The Realities of Nazi Persecution in the Holocaust
In The Other Schindlers Agnes Grunwald-Spier wrote of the many unsung individuals who helped the Jews during the Nazi persecution; in this study she uncovers the individuals and groups who betrayed them. Quoting extensively from survivors' accounts, and in sometimes shocking detail, she examines betrayals made for ideology or greed, but also the 'commercial betrayals' by the railway companies who transported Jews and the industries that used forced labour, and the betrayals made in fear and desperation.
From the Mill to Monte Carlo
The Working-Class Englishman who Beat the Monaco Casino and Changed Gambling Forever
Joseph Jagger had worked for many years in the textile trade in Bradford when he made an extraordinarily bold trip to Monte Carlo, armed with borrowed money, a team of accomplices and a scheme to win big on the roulette wheel. This account of his life and historic winning streak describes how he managed to break the bank and walk away with a fortune, worth the modern equivalent of £7.5 million.
Catherine of Aragon
An Intimate Life of Henry VIII's True Wife
Catherine of Aragon has been remembered as a tragic figure, the woman Henry VIII divorced for want of a male heir. Amy Licence takes issue with this portrayal: her study presents neither a victim nor a divorcée, but a highly educated Spanish princess and a great humanist queen who, in the early years of her marriage, was Henry's advisor and his warrior. A portrait of a 'complex, passionate, unbreakable woman', the biography also upholds Catherine's unwavering conviction that her 'divorce' was invalid.
The House of Grey
Friends & Foes of Kings
From the time of William the Conqueror, the Greys were one of England’s most powerful families. Beginning in the reign of Henry IV (1399–1413), when the rivalry between Lord Grey of Ruthyn and Owain Glyndwr led to the Welsh uprising, this history follows their fortunes through the Wars of the Roses, in which Greys fought and died on both sides, to their downfall with the execution in 1554 of the ‘Nine Days Queen’, Lady Jane Grey.
The World Water Speed Record
The Fast and the Forgotten
The pursuit of the speed record on water has proved more difficult than the land equivalent, with several fatalities resulting from attempts and the current mark of 318 mph lasting for 40 years. Including the exploits of Donald and Malcolm Campbell, this history reviews the progress of the record and the vessels that pushed the boundaries, from the muscular speedboats of the 1920s to jet-powered craft such as Bluebird K7 and the 1978 record-breaker, Spirit of Australia.
The Life and Loves of Elizabeth Lamb, Viscountess Melbourne 1751–1818
Elizabeth Lamb – ‘Lady M’ to her friend Lord Byron – was one of the cleverest and most influential political hostesses of late Georgian London. Drawing on diaries, archives and letters – including her extensive correspondence with Byron – this biography reveals how she used her looks, charisma and wealth to socialize with significant figures including Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire, the Whig leader Charles James Fox, the playwright Sheridan and the future George IV, who became her lover. Slightly off-mint.