The Pocket Essential Guide to Fiction, Film and TV
Identifying Ellis Peters’ Cadfael books as a starting point for a huge expansion in the writing of historical crime, this review of the genre profiles key writers, novels, TV programmes and films, and includes a number of interviews with authors.
Knight, Martyr, Patron Saint and Dragonslayer
St George is England’s patron saint, yet many other nations, from Hungary to Ethiopia, consider him their own. This compact guide reviews what is known about this early martyr, and traces his battle with the dragon to legendary pre-Christian heroes.
A Short History of India
From the Earliest Civilisations and Myriad Kingdoms, to Today's Economic Powerhouse
Successive empires and invasions have made India one of the world’s most culturally diverse nations. This history charts their rise and fall and looks at how, since independence, the country has undergone rapid change and increased its global influence.
A Short History of Disease
Plagues, Poxes and Civilisations
Over the centuries, disease has claimed more lives than natural disasters and warfare combined. Largely a social history, this book starts in prehistoric times, and moves from the Black Death of the 14th century to more modern conditions such as Ebola and MRSA. Incorporating individual case studies, the text also explores the human struggle to drive all disease to extinction.
A Short History of the Middle East
The Middle East has given rise to three great religions, but also to some of the world's most intractable conflicts. This succinct, accessible history charts its development from ancient Babylon and Egypt to the present day. It examines the impact of the Roman and Persian empires, the rise of Islam, the long years of Ottoman rule, the struggles of the 20th century and the growth of Islamic radicalism.
The First Christian Heretics
The religious schools embraced by the term 'Gnosticism' formed the official church's main rival during the early centuries of Christianity. Introducing key texts such as the Gospel of Thomas, this book outlines Gnostic beliefs - that the world was created by an evil God, that Christ came to teach liberating knowledge and that women are men's equal - and shows how these ideas survived underground to influence modern writers including Blake, Camus and Philip K Dick.