The Final Roundup
Harry ‘Breaker’ Morant was a Somerset-born Australian bushman, drover and versifier, best known for the revenge killings he inflicted on prisoners of war when serving with the British Bushveldt Carbineers regiment during the Boer war. Morant was court marshalled and executed for his crimes – wrongly, many have claimed – yet this fastidiously researched biography argues that, despite the romance surrounding Morant and his chaotic lifestyle, his actions in South Africa were ‘judged in proper and orthodox fashion’.
Three Extraordinary Women: Ida Nettleship, Sophie Brzeska and Fernande Olivier
This book explores the lives and achievements of three unconventional, creative women, and the sacrifices they made for the egotistical artists they loved. Fernande Olivier (1881–1966) was Picasso’s first love and muse; Sophie Brzeska (1873–1925) lived with the sculptor Henri Gaudier-Brzeska, 19 years her junior, until he was killed in the First World War; and Ida Nettleship (1877–1907) bore five children to Augustus John while living in a ménage à trois with him and his mistress.
In the Footsteps of the Six Wives of Henry VIII
This book sheds fresh light on the wives of Henry VIII by exploring the manors, castles and palaces where their lives – and deaths – were played out. Lavishly illustrated with maps, plans and 36 pages of colour plates, it takes the reader from the Alhambra in Spain, childhood home of Katherine of Aragon, to Acton Court, where Henry dined with Anne Boleyn; from Düsseldorf, birthplace of Anne of Cleves, to Hampton Court, scene of Jane Seymour’s triumph and tragedy.
Loyalty Binds Me
Richard III remains one of the most controversial figures in English history. This biography explores the way childhood vicissitudes shaped his world-view: his father was executed and the family exiled, and then his brother Edward seized the throne and made Richard a prince at the age of ten. Returning to primary sources and carefully sifting all the available evidence, Matthew Lewis pares away the myth of a stereotypical villain to present a real man living in dangerous times.
The Rise and Fall of a Kingdom
Negotiating the bias in surviving sources about the kingdom of Mercia – as most written evidence was lost during Viking aggression and other material comes mainly from enemies of the Mercians – Annie Whitehead presents a history of the kingdom of middle England. Beginning with Penda in the 7th century, the book describes the reigns of Aethelbald, Offa the Great, Burgred and Ceolwulf II, Aethelred of Mercia and Lady Aethelflaed, and rulers of the house of Leofric up to the early 11th century.
King Cnut and the Viking Conquest of England
While referred to as 'the Great' in Denmark, Cnut (?995–1035) is mostly remembered in Britain for his legendary attempt to turn back the sea. Bartlett sets out to give this much-neglected king of England and his forgotten conquest their proper place in history. Beginning with the earlier Viking incursions, Bartlett tells the story of the protracted 'time of terror' and the epic conflict between Cnut and Edmund Ironside that culminated in the Danish warrior's victory at Assandun in 1016.
The Count of Scotland Yard
The Controversial Life and Cases of DCS Herbert Hannam
DCS Herbert Hannam was one of the most compelling characters in Scotland Yard and the CID during the post-war period; in this biography of Hannam, Wade describes some of the sensational crimes he investigated in the mid 1950s and the unsolved murder of Emily Pye.
A New History of the Bubonic Plagues of London
From its onset in the 6th century AD, bubonic plague has excited fear and revulsion like no other disease, so hideous are its symptoms and so small the chance of survival. Crowded, insanitary London was badly hit in 1347 and 1665, and plague pits are still being uncovered, for example during Crossrail construction works. This readable history combines documentary sources with the latest scientific evidence to convey the full horror of the plague and the conditions in which it thrived.
How A Group of Scottish Conspirators Unleashed Half A Century of War In Britain
Fife in the 1630s was a hotbed of rebel priests, fire-breathing politicians and unemployed mercenaries, many connected through family. This innovative history shows how a combustible mixture of Covenanters, Catholics, Gibbites, Malignants and a host of other sects ignited not only Scotland’s wars of religion, but conflict in Ireland, and the English Civil War, resulting in more than 600,000 deaths. The book concludes with a gazetteer of the buildings, ruins, monuments and battlefields of Scottish wars from 1639 to 1689.
The Mythology of the 'Princes in the Tower'
Were the sons of Edward IV – the boy king Edward V and his younger brother, Richard, Duke of York – genuinely held against their will in the Tower of London; and were they murdered there? Bones found in the Tower were interred in Westminster Abbey in 1674, and their burial urn was opened in 1933. Now, drawing on genetic science, John Ashdown-Hill re-examines the case of the two princes, questioning the orthodox view and stripping away the myths that surround their fate.
To Free the Romanovs
Royal Kinship and Betrayal in Europe 1917–1919
When Russia erupted in revolution, some members of the imperial family managed to flee abroad, but for the tsar, the tsarina and their children, months of imprisonment ended in brutal death. Why, when they were so closely related to all the ruling houses of Europe, were they not helped to escape? This searching history examines the responses of their royal cousins in Britain, Germany, Norway and Denmark, and asks whether enough was done to save the Romanovs.
Into the Abyss
The Story of the First World War, Volume One
Volume one of this authoritative account of the First World War covers 1914 and 1915, examining the machinations of the belligerent parties, from the Habsburgs and the Serbs to the Hohenzollerns and the Ottoman Turks, in the 34 days leading up to outbreak. Each chapter presents extensive background information on people, places and events, including the French and British military commanders, pre-war London and Paris, the war at sea, and the technology that assured both deadlock and mutual destruction.
After the Conquest
The Divided Realm 1066–1135
As he lay dying in Rouen in 1087, William the Conqueror bequeathed to his sons Robert, William and Henry the Dukedom of Normandy, the throne of England and £5,000 respectively. Twenty years of violence and treachery were to follow William’s death until the youngest son, ‘the lion of justice’ according to medieval chroniclers, succeeded his brother William Rufus as Henry I. Teresa Cole traces the turbulent history of the three brothers, from their births to the death of Henry in 1135.
South West Wales Through the Lens of Harry Squibbs
Volume One: South Cardiganshire
Harry Squibbs was a photographer in South West Wales, producing postcard views and community portraits during the early 20th century. This book describes Harry’s life and work as well as presenting over 130 of his photographs.
The Seymours of Wolf Hall
A Tudor Family Story
Originating in France, the Seymour family accompanied William the Conqueror to England and served the crown for generations; but came to prominence in the Tudor era. Jane was Henry VIII's third queen and mother to Edward VI, and her brothers Edward and Thomas rose to high office, only to end their lives at the executioner's block. The two brothers are the main focus in Loades's study of the rise and fall of the family and their ancestral home at Wolfhall, Wiltshire. Slightly off-mint.
The Second Anglo-Sikh War
This follow-up to The First Anglo-Sikh War chronicles the the fall of the Sikh Empire and the annexation of the Punjab by the British East India Company, a victory that would provide the British Army with a reliable source of soldiers for a century. Singh’s compelling narrative, supported by transcripts of significant treaties and proclamations, places the many sieges and battles, from Multan and Chillianwala to the decisive Gujrat, in the context of a fast-changing political and military landscape.
The Railway Conquest of the World
By 1910, railway pioneers worldwide had laid over half a million miles of track, tunnelling through the Alps, crossing Andean peaks and linking Moscow with the Pacific coast. Talbot’s classic account of the romantic age of railway building celebrates the innovation, hardship and sheer determination of surveyors, engineers and workers in building the world’s great iron roads, including the American First Transcontinental Railroad, the never completed ‘Cape to Cairo’ Trans-African railway, and the Ffestiniog ‘toy’ railway in Wales.
An Illustrated Introduction to the Regency
The Regency, which lasted from 1811 to 1820, was more than a political period – it was a style, a fashion, a state of mind. Illustrated in colour, this compact introduction charts the era’s extraordinary outpouring of creativity: the writing of Austen, Byron and Shelley, the paintings of Turner and Constable, the architecture of Nash and Soane, and the sartorial elegance of Beau Brummell.
Women in Medieval England
Arguing that the Normans’ imposition of a feudal system significantly reduced women’s rights and status, Telford uses a range of evidence from legal records to chart the struggles of ordinary women against the hypocritical sexual politics of medieval England. She considers such subjects as the pressure on young women to marry and bear children, the difficulty of legally ending an unhappy marriage, the special challenges faced by widows and the law’s attitudes to prostitution. Foreword by John Ashdown-Hill.
The Shadow Emperor
A Biography of Napoléon III
Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte (1808–1873) was a man driven by the desire to surpass his famous uncle, but his reign was marred by scandal and ended in humiliating defeat. Drawing on years of research, this definitive biography reassesses the achievements and failures of a ruler whose political, cultural and economic influence on France was immense, describing how he expanded the French empire, revolutionized banking and finance, developed the railway network, and oversaw the creation of the first department stores.
Great British Gardeners
From Early Plantsmen to Chelsea Medal Winners
The British have always been a nation of gardeners, and their distinctive creations have been admired and emulated across the globe. This book traces the history of British gardening over 450 years through the stories of 26 key figures, from early plant hunters such as the Tradescants, though the celebrated 18th-century landscape gardeners Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown and Humphry Repton to 20th-century pioneers such as Gertrude Jekyll and Vita Sackville-West. A 32-page section of colour plates showcases their achievements.
63 Survivors Tell Their Extraordinary Stories
‘There came the terrible cry: Lower the boats. Women and children first!’ Survivors’ accounts of the Titanic disaster have captivated readers and moviegoers for a century. What was it like for a woman to say goodbye to her husband? For a mother to leave her teenage sons? This most comprehensive collection yet assembled includes many unpublished or long-forgotten testimonies, and the often overlooked evidence of women and third-class passengers, with an authoritative editorial commentary.
The Tudor King Who Never Was
Had the first-born son of Henry VII lived into adulthood, the crown would not have passed to his younger brother: Arthur Tudor, rather than Henry VIII, would have ruled and England’s subsequent history would have been quite different. This study of Arthur (1486-1502) describes the life of a prince royally matched to Catherine of Aragon, groomed and destined for the throne; and it shows how, when Arthur died, Henry inherited his brother’s wife, but not his careful preparation for kingship.
The Race to Stop Hitler's Atomic Bomb
When a Cambridge professor found wiring beneath the floor of his house, he had little idea of the building’s astonishing past. In April 1945, Farm Hall was used to house ten of Germany’s top nuclear scientists captured during the collapse of the Reich. This gripping narrative probes a murky world of espionage to tell how their conversations, bugged by MI6, revealed the extent of the Nazis’ nuclear ambitions, and investigates whether they were kidnapped to thwart not Hitler, but Stalin.
The Future of Violence: Robots and Germs, Hackers and Drones
Confronting the New Age of Threat
We have been alerted to the threat of cyberterrorism and nerve-agent attacks by hostile states, but the power to wield robotic technology, the internet or biological agents as weapons is increasingly accessible to individuals and small groups as well as national governments. This thoughtful study explores how this possibility has created an entirely new security landscape, assesses how these new threats might be developed as technology advances further, and also discusses possible approaches to dealing with them.
The Beauty of Her Age
A Tale of Sex, Scandal and Money in Victorian England
Yolande Duvernay was born in poverty in Paris in 1812. Under the control of her mother, she became a celebrated ballerina and mistress of a series of wealthy men. This intriguing tale of sex, money and power tells how she persuaded Stephens Lyne Stephens, the richest commoner in England, to marry her. When he died, leaving her an annual income worth £6 million in today’s terms, his will was challenged in the Court of Chancery. But Yolande wasn’t beaten yet…
Even during his own lifetime, Julius Caesar was a legendary figure, not least because his own writings were carefully designed to enhance his image. Complementing Southern’s other engaging biographies of late-Republican figures, this new account of Caesar’s life and death sheds light on the man behind the legend through careful examination of contemporary sources. The book reveals how he surmounted each difficulty with ‘a combination of determination, quick thinking, opportunism and, more often than not, a certain amount of luck’.
The Castle at War in Medieval England and Wales
Although there are many books on castles, few place them within the context of military history in general. Dan Spencer fills that gap by exploring the central role played by castles in the conflicts, civil wars and rebellions of the Middle Ages. As well as discussing dramatic events such as the sieges of Rochester and Kenilworth, he traces how castle architecture and military technology changed between the coming of the Normans and the death of Henry VIII.
The Special Operations Executive's French Section and Free French Women Agents
Odette Sansom, one of the best-known female agents of Britain’s Special Operations Executive (SOE), was recruited when she responded to a request for photographs of the French coast. The snaps she sent included notes that showed her knowledge of France, alerting the department to her potential as a spy. Drawing on recently declassified documents, memoirs and mission reports, this book profiles 38 women sent out by the French section of the SOE between 1942 and 1944, detailing their recruitment, training and active service.
Richard the Lionheart
The Crusader King of England
‘A king of England, but not an English king’: in this study of Richard I, Bartlett is careful not to judge the Lionheart’s twelfth-century kingship from a modern perspective. He emphasizes the importance of the Angevin dynasty, Richard’s immediate family relationships, particularly with his mother, the formidable Eleanor of Aquitaine, and his brother John, and he sets the King’s crusading experience in perspective in a careful re-evaluation of one of medieval Europe’s great personalities.
La Reine Blanche
Mary Tudor, A Life in Letters
The youngest surviving daughter of Henry VII and Elizabeth of York, Mary Tudor was married to the French king Louis XII, 34 years her senior, when she was just 18. Drawing on state papers and letters by Mary and others, this sympathetic biography tells how, when she found herself a widow just three months later, the intelligent, strong-willed young woman shaped her own destiny, married for love, and defied her overbearing brother, Henry VIII.
‘I Was Transformed’
Frederick Douglass: An American Slave in Victorian Britain
In the summer of 1845, Frederick Douglass, a young slave catapulted to fame by his bestselling autobiography, arrived in Liverpool for a two-year tour of Britain and Ireland. Drawing on a wide range of sources on both sides of the Atlantic, this absorbing history explores the ‘liberating sojourn’ that bought Douglass’s freedom, paid for by British supporters. It charts his return to the USA as an international celebrity, and his later life through the Civil War and its aftermath.
Animals and Roman Society
Ancient Romans often treated animals in ways that we consider cruel, but in many respects their attitudes were similar to our own. Ferris proposes ‘a way to understand Roman culture through analysing the society’s relationship with animals’. Using literary, visual and archaeological evidence, he shows how animals were kept for farm work and as household pets; how they were slaughtered for food, as sacrifices and as public entertainment; and how Romans presented animals in mythology and as attributes of deities.
Gun Button to Fire
A Hurricane Pilot's Dramatic Story of the Battle of Britain
In an amazing account, largely based on his own and others’ letters written during the Second World War and the memories they conjured, Wing Commander Tom Neil tells his own story when, as a 19-year-old fighter pilot, he was one of ‘the Few’ who fought the Battle of Britain during the eight months between May and December 1940. First published in 1987, the book now incorporates new material, an epilogue and 102 monochrome photographs.
From the murder of sweet Fanny Adams in 1867 to that of Florence Dennis – shot in the head and left in a ditch in 1894 – Jan Bondeson has scoured the archives of the Victorian Illustrated Police News (IPN) to give accounts of 56 murders, with background details of the victims and the fates of the killers. Each case features at least one illustration – often depictions of the crime scene and the scaffold – from the pages of the IPN.