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.
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 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.
A Curious History
Euclid, Fibonacci, Fermat and Gauss are some of the distinguished mathematicians featured in this illustrated introduction to the history of mathematics, which ranges from prehistoric arithmetic through Renaissance accountancy to modern-day chaos theory. Key concepts, including geometry, algebra, trigonometry and calculus are discussed in non-technical, accessible language, with minimal use of symbols, jargon or complex techniques.
Sisters to the King
The Tumultuous Lives of Henry VIII's Sisters – Margaret of Scotland and Mary of France
Much has been written about the six wives of Henry VIII, but less attention has been paid to his two sisters. This groundbreaking volume restores these two women to their rightful place at the crux of European history. The book describes how Margaret became Queen of Scotland at 13, how her younger sister Mary was married to the ageing king of France, and how both, defying convention, chose their second husbands for love.
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 Ultimate Guide to The Building Blocks of Our Universe
From hydrogen to ununoctium, this accessible guide explores the properties of each element in the periodic table, explaining their chemical behaviours – how their atoms interact with atoms of other elements – and their worldly uses, from light bulbs and mobile phones to dental fillings and space suits. The introduction explains the chemistry and physics of nuclei, electrons and chemical bonds and provides the groundwork for understanding the entries and their data.
The History of the Crossword
The World's Most Famous Word Puzzle
The crossword puzzle dates from 1913, when the first ‘Word-Cross’ appeared in New York World. The rest of the story is told here by a master of the modern cryptic puzzle, John Halpern, aka Paul (The Guardian), Mudd (The Financial Times), Anon (The Times) and Dada (The Telegraph). He also describes different types of crossword, profiles the great setters, giving examples of their creations, and provides guidance on setting and solving crosswords.
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.
Magna Carta and All That
A Guide to the Magna Carta and Life in England in 1215
With its limits on royal authority, the ‘Great Charter’ granted by King John at Runnymede is considered one of the most important documents in English constitutional history. Green explains the political power struggles behind Magna Carta, introduces the people and places most associated with it and describes the organization of English society, from peasants to barons, in the 13th century. He also provides a full translation of the charter’s 63 clauses.
The Tragedy of a Pre-Raphaelite Supermodel
A tall, slim redhead, lacking curves, Lizzie was the antithesis of mid-19th-century beauty. Spotted working as a milliner’s assistant, she became a muse for the Pre-Raphaelites and – immortalized in Millais’s Ophelia – one of the most famous faces of her day. This biography takes us from her humble beginnings through her marriage to Rossetti and on to her ultimate tragic end, examining her own poetic and artistic abilities along the way.
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.
The Little Red Engine and the Rocket
Engineers are building a rocket and the Little Red Engine transports workers to the launchpad, but not everyone in Taddlecombe is happy. First published in 1956, this entertaining story touches on gravity, architectural tools, and resistance to new technology. Age 4+
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; it describes age-old traditions that are fast becoming things of the past.
The Last Horsemen
A Year at Sillywrea, Britain's Only Horse-Powered Farm
First published in 2001, this study of a disappearing way of life took place over three years, on the last farm in Britain still reliant on horse power rather than machinery. Sillywrea Farm has belonged to the same family for over 150 years, and the book follows two of the family’s recent farmers and their five Clydesdale horses through four seasons, ploughing, haymaking and training a young foal.
The Return of Sherlock Holmes
The Case Notes
Conan Doyle's original anthology The Return of Sherlock Holmes contained 13 mysteries, and nine of them appear in this casebook in abridged form. As well as Watson's text, there are vital notes and pieces of evidence gathered by Holmes in the course of his investigations: marriage certificates, letters, newspaper clippings, maps and the handwritten will of Jonas Oldacre from 'The Adventure of the Norwood Builder'. Fifteen of these items are secured in special evidence bags for ease of removal and study. Slipcased.
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.)
Treasures of British History
The Nation's Story Told Through its 50 Most Important Documents
Beginning with the Vindolanda tablets, written by occupying Romans around 90 CE, this treasury tells the story of Britain through 50 of its most important documents. As well as milestones in political and military history, such as Churchill’s ‘Finest Hour’ speech, the book covers the arts, literature, science and industry with entries such as Stephenson’s steam-engine patent and Mary Quant’s miniskirt design. Accompanying the informative and illustrated accounts of each document, the book includes ten facsimiles in ‘memorabilia’ envelopes. Slipcased.
Great Inventors and Their Creations
The technology of the mysterious Antikythera mechanism, attributed by many to Archimedes, is an astonishing tribute to the genius of its creator, working two thousand years ago. With extensive illustrations, this book explores 28 inventors and their world-changing innovations, from antiquity to the present day, and contains 10 removable facsimile documents including the design drawing for Babbage's Analytical Engine and the original patent document for Karl Benz's motor car. Published in association with the Science Museum, London.
Explorer of the Mind
The Illustrated Biography of Sigmund Freud
The founding father of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud transformed the way we understand ourselves. Produced in collaboration with the Freud Museum in London, this handsome, slip-cased biography charts the development of his ideas, his relations with his patients and pupils, his disagreements with colleagues, his practice in Vienna and his exile from the Nazis in London, and assesses his legacy. Period photographs and 15 removable facsimile documents immerse the reader in his life and times.
One of the leading directors of the American New Wave, Francis Ford Coppola (b.1939) came to prominence with The Godfather in 1972 and The Conversation (1974), and consolidated that success with a string of films in the 1970s culminating in Apocalypse Now (1979). Acclaimed for its objectivity, Cowie's portrait of the director examines the influences that shaped his ground-breaking films and the creative and financial turmoil involved in their production.
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.