The Map Tour
Hugh Thomson draws on the Royal Geographical Society’s collection of maps to present a richly illustrated study of tourism structured around the journeys of great travel writers and the maps they would have known. Starting with Daniel Defoe and James Boswell’s tours of Britain, the book traces the routes of the Grand Tourists; the 19th-century adventurers, including Mark Twain in Egypt and Isabella Bird in Persia; and ends with Bruce Chatwin in Afghanistan and a tourist’s map of the country from the 1960s.
The Royal Navy
100 Years of Maritime Warfare in the Modern Age
Produced in association with the National Museum of the Royal Navy, this exploration of the service’s campaigns since 1914 also features removable facsimile documents and ephemera including pages from a sketchbook showing the action at the Battle of Jutland, a report from the captain of one of the destroyers involved in the evacuation of Dunkirk and the commanding officer’s ‘design for battle’ notes for the amphibious landing at San Carlos in the Falkland Islands in 1982.
Uprisings that Shaped the Twentieth Century
Throughout the 20th century regular outbursts of revolutionary fervour brought long-standing regimes to an end and reshaped societies around the world. More than 20 such moments are featured here, from the 1911 Xinhai Revolution, which overthrew the Qing Dynasty, to the uprisings that swept eastern Europe during and after the Soviet Union’s collapse. Housed in a sturdy slipcase, the book contains 15 removable facsimile documents, including the proclamation of Tsar Nicholas’s abdication and a revolutionary poster from Cuba.
Egyptology's Greatest Discovery
In 1922, when Howard Carter discovered Tutankhamun’s intact tomb in the Valley of the Kings, the world looked on with a fascination that has lasted ever since. After setting the boy king’s short life in its historical context, this volume tells the story of the expedition, featuring photographs of the tomb’s excavation and a selection of Carter’s detailed drawings and journals, as well as presenting some of the 5,398 well-preserved objects that were found buried with the pharaoh.
The Medieval World
The Illustrated History of the Middle Ages
Arranged thematically, this historical survey begins by tracing the growth of dynasties and empires, from the Carolingians to the Ottomans. Further sections cover warfare and conquest (in particular the Crusades and the Hundred Years War), as well as daily life under the feudal system and developments in religion and culture. Also featured are photographs of medieval maps, artworks and significant documents such as Magna Carta and Joan of Arc’s final letter. Includes material previously published in The Middle Ages.
Martin Freeman: From Slough to Middle Earth
Playing the sweet and vulnerable everyman, Tim, in The Office made Martin Freeman's name but before this breakthrough he had often been cast as edgy outsiders. This biography describes his Hampshire childhood and tracks his career from his acting debut at the Youth Action Theatre to his roles in TV and film, including Sherlock and the Hobbit trilogy, which have made him an international star.
The Illustrated History of Queen Elizabeth II and the Royal House of Windsor
With personal access to world leaders over a period of nearly 70 years, the Queen has witnessed profound political changes as well as experiencing crises in her own family, such as the assassination of Louis Mountbatten and the death of Princess Diana. With historical notes and profiles of leading figures, this photographic biography explores the pageantry and the intrigues of the House of Windsor from the abdication crisis to the Diamond Jubilee.
In Search of Albion
From Cornwall to Cumbria: A Ride Through England's Hidden Soul
In this commentary on modern England, music journalist Colin Irwin travels the country in search of traditional events, festivals and gigs, drinking with eccentrics, singing with strangers, attending a concert in Dartmoor Prison, sedan-chair racing in Lancaster, and Christmas swimming in the Serpentine. Slightly off-mint.
The Centenary of the Crossword
The Story of the World's Most Popular Puzzle
In this celebratory volume, one of the world’s foremost setters explains how crosswords have evolved and grown in popularity since the appearance of the very first ‘Word-Cross’ in 1913. He also presents an international selection of 50 sample puzzles (in addition to Spike Milligan’s one-letter ‘Crossword for Idiots’), provides tips on solving the different types of cryptic clue and profiles some of the greatest setters, editors and champion solvers.
The Military History of China
This history of China’s military conflicts spans from Genghis Khan’s rule to today’s presidency of Xi Jinping, and includes the Sino-French war, the Boxer Rebellion, the occupation of Tibet and the Korean War. Descriptions of each conflict are written as concise short stories.
The inhospitable atmosphere and violent climate on Mars have not prevented numerous space probes and orbiters from visiting the planet over the last 50 years, their data-gathering abilities growing ever more sophisticated. From the successful Mariner and Viking programs of the 1960s and 1970s, to human missions being planned today, Rod Pyle charts the history of Martian exploration, lists the key scientific discoveries made and presents striking images of the Red Planet from space and from the surface.
The Battle of Waterloo
This handsomely illustrated volume tells the story of one of the greatest battles of all time, examining the strengths and weaknesses of the three leaders, Wellington, Napoleon and Marshal Blücher, the nature of their armies and available weaponry, and the controversies surrounding the French defeat. Featuring journals and letters describing troop movements and conditions during the campaign, this account identifies the generals who made mistakes, and questions whether the victory was really Wellington’s alone.
The Tragedy of a Pre-Raphaelite Supermodel
A tall, slim redhead and lacking curves Lizzie was the antithesis of mid 19th-century beauty, yet became a muse for the Pre-Raphaelites and was immortalized in Millais’ Ophelia. This biography recounts her humble beginnings and work as a milliner’s assistant, her marriage to Rossetti and her tragic end. Examination of her poetic and artistic abilities demonstrates the depth of her character.
The Lady Penelope
Passion and Intrigue at the Heart of the Elizabethan Court
A muse to poets and descendant of royalty, the golden-haired Penelope Devereux was celebrated in the court of her godmother, Queen Elizabeth I, for being as quick-witted as she was beautiful. This biography charts Devereux’s political ascendancy in the court, her unhappy marriage to nobleman Robert Rich, her involvement in the rebellion to overthrow Elizabeth, led by her brother, the Earl of Essex, and her doomed love affair with Charles Blount, which ultimately led to her downfall.
1797–1887: A Domestic Biography
Marianne Thornton was Forster’s great aunt, whose bequest enabled him to pursue a writing career. His affectionate account of a life lived entirely in the private sphere sheds fascinating light on middle-class society in late Georgian and Victorian England.
Many of the great operatic singers of the 20th century led lives as extraordinary as the characters they portrayed on stage. In this refreshingly readable survey, acclaimed tenor and BBC presenter Nigel Douglas assesses the lives and careers of 14 great singers, from Enrico Caruso to Kirsten Flagstad, from Lotte Lehmann to Fritz Wunderlich. The book provides anecdotes and recollections from those who knew them, and also recommends the best CDs of their work.
The Last Shepherds
A Vanishing Way of Life on Britain's Traditional Hill Farms
Shepherds were ubiquitous from pre-biblical times, their occupation a way of life – some even had their own language for counting sheep. Today, among other things, fewer sheep and quad bikes contribute to dwindling shepherd numbers. First published in 2004, this account follows three shepherds through their year, witnessing lambing, haymaking, sheep fairs and the training of a puppy to become a working sheepdog, and describes traditions that have disappeared or are under threat.
The Evolution of Aviation
Taking the development of flight from balloons to space rockets and supersonic jets, this book details the major steps along the way, highlighting trailblazers such as Charles Lindbergh and jet-engine pioneer Frank Whittle. A congratulatory telegram from Louis Blériot to Amy Johnson, the log book of a Battle of Britain pilot, the Apollo 11 mission report and the fact sheet given to Concorde passengers are among the archive documents reproduced. (Previously published as The Story of Flight.)
The Treasures of Noël Coward
From the daring playwright of the 1930s and consummate filmmaker of the war years to the witty songwriter and cabaret performer of the 1950s and 1960s, Noël Coward's broad-ranging theatrical career was one of the most interesting and influential of the 20th century. This celebratory volume gives a resumé of his life and achievements and includes a DVD of rare film footage and facsimiles of 21 personal documents including hand-written letters, publicity material, photographs, lyrics and song sheets.