A Great and Terrible King
Edward I and the Forging of Britain
Edward I (‘Longshanks’) was a formidable king and his reign (1272–1307) one of the pivotal periods in British history: he defeated Simon de Montford at the Battle of Evesham, conquered Wales and constructed a chain of magnificent castles, he went on Crusade to the Holy Land and expelled the Jews from his own country, and fathered 15 children. In a very accessible chronological narrative, Marc Morris tells the story of Edward, from birth to his final war of conquest against Scotland. Off-mint.
Treachery, Tyranny and the Road to Magna Carta
The youngest son of Henry II, John (1166–1216) became king on the death of his brother, Richard I, in 1199. He inherited a vast and possibly ungovernable dominion, extending across the Angevin empire in France as well as England, Ireland and Wales. In this biography, Morris draws on contemporary sources to describe a tyrannical and murderous reign that saw the loss of the French lands, the rebellion of the English barons and, despite the signing of Magna Carta, civil war.
The True Story of Life Behind the Counter
In the 1960s, over a million women worked in shops, nearly a fifth of the female workforce. The number had grown steadily from the early 19th century as industrialization had drawn people to the cities and created a demand for, and supply of, consumer goods. Originally published to accompany the BBC TV series, this book explores the life of the shopgirl from the strict propriety of Victorian department stores to the boutiques of the 1960s.
England's Lost Colony
In the 1650s, a group of Cavaliers fled Cromwell’s England for the lush coast of Surinam. Here, they established a colony named after its founder, Sir Thomas Willoughby. This absorbing book explores the untold story of the colony’s rise and fall. The rich cast of characters includes Willoughby himself, the playwright Aphra Behn, the indigenous people and their rulers, and the planters and mercenaries who would turn this utopia into a hell of terror and slavery.
State Secrets and the Rebirth of Hillary Clinton
Clinton's defeat in the 2008 Democratic primary brought her to the nadir of her political career; yet six years later, she re-emerged as a formidable stateswoman and the Democrats' presumed frontrunner for presidential nomination. That phoenix-like rise is at the heart of this 2014 study. Based on over 200 interviews with intimates, colleagues, supporters and enemies, it offers a remarkable portrait of the woman who almost became the first female President of the USA.
The Poets' Daughters
Dora Wordsworth and Sara Coleridge
Dora Wordsworth and Sara Coleridge were lifelong friends. They were also the daughters of best friends, William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge, the poetic geniuses who shaped the Romantic age. Drawing on many unpublished sources, this dual biography charts for the first time the lives and friendship of these two remarkable women. Devoting their energies and talents to their fathers' literary reputations, they also wrestled with the darker legacy of fame, including anorexia, drug addiction and depression.
A Green and Pleasant Land
How England's Gardeners Fought the Second World War
As the Second World War began, the government urged the British public to 'Dig for Victory' by growing their own vegetables. This absorbing book charts the ingenuity, thrift, humour and fortitude with which ordinary Britons dug in to keep the nation nourished, as public parks - even Kensington Gardens - were turned over to allotments. Above all, it shows how wartime gardening made a vital contribution to both the diet and the morale of the nation during the fight for freedom.
The Best of Benn
Tony Benn (1925–2014) was not only a prominent, charismatic and principled politician, but also the pre-eminent diarist of his generation. This volume brings together a selection of his journalism, speeches and diary entries to highlight key moments in his career and to illustrate the range of issues on which he campaigned, such as workers' rights and the abolition of the death penalty, as well as his interest in the connections between Christianity and socialism.