France and the French
A Modern History
This narrative history offers a broad overview of the upheavals that shaped France in the 20th century: two world wars and the German occupation, the debacles in Vietnam and Algeria, membership of the European Community, and the student and workers’ uprisings of 1968. The book also focuses on the experience of everyday French life, which it explores through the politics of the workplace, the changing role of women, and the issues of immigration, national identity and social exclusion.
Gustav Mahler (1860–1911) is now celebrated as a great composer, but during his lifetime he was best known for his activities as a conductor. This meticulously researched volume, by one of the world’s foremost Mahler experts, assembles evidence for the dates, locations and programmes of more than 320 concerts in which Mahler participated as conductor or pianist. Many documents are reproduced in facsimile; and an appendix surveys Mahler’s 2,025 opera performances.
Maritime Power and the Struggle for Freedom
Naval Campaigns that Shaped the Modern World 1788–1851
In this follow-up to his much-acclaimed Maritime Supremacy, Padfield continues to trace the role of naval power in world history, here analysing the factors that led Britain to global dominance in the 19th century.
The Book of Martial Power
The Universal Guide to the Combative Arts
Different martial arts emphasise different approaches and each has its own set of techniques, training methods and philosophies. Having studied Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Malaysian and Western traditions, Steven Pearlman has identified the underlying principles that he presents in this book, proposing a set of fundamental physical movements and postures and spiritual or mental attitudes that are applicable and enlightening to martial artists of all styles.
Why Did the Chicken Cross the World?
The Epic Saga of the Bird That Powers Civilization
There are currently more than 20 billion chickens on the planet, constituting humanity’s most important source of protein. But how did a humble fowl rise from the thickets of South Asian jungles to a position of such global supremacy? Reframing how we think about all domesticated animals, this history of our relationship with chickens ranges over four continents to trace their vital role in human cultures and the spread of civilization, from ancient Egyptian processions to the latest flu vaccines.
Columbus and the Quest for Jerusalem
Columbus is history’s most famous mariner, the man who discovered the New World and proved that the Atlantic could be crossed. But his religious motivations are less well-known; in this reappraisal a cultural anthropologist examines Columbus in the context of his times, revealing that he was driven by a fervent desire to finance a crusade which would recapture Jerusalem and usher in Christ’s Second Coming.
Beast Friends Forever
Animal Lovers in Rhyme
From the perfumed courtship tactics of Babette the Skunk to happily married Rose the Grisly, whose snoring keeps her adoring fellow sleep-deprived, but mellow, these tales are often hilarious, but never too risqué. Juana and Anna, although they cruise the bars in search of likely male iguanas, are only looking for true love. This wonderful collection of friends and lovers is illustrated in manic style by Ronald Searle.
The Complete Lyrics
One of the wittiest and most versatile songwriters of the 20th century, Noël Coward's lyrics were first collected into a single volume in 1965, but this highly illustrated version also includes over 200 previously unknown songs, the result of researches into Coward's personal archives. Including numbers from unfinished musicals and an abortive collaboration with Jerome Kern as well as all The Master’s famous songs, the lyrics are accompanied by production photographs, publicity material and excerpts from Coward's own manuscripts.
The distinguished Beckett scholar Gerry Dukes presents a photographic biography of one of the most interesting and challenging writers of the 20th century. Illustrated with family snapshots, formal portraits and many informal photographs taken during rehearsals and performances of his plays, the book traces Beckett’s life from his birth in Dublin in 1919 to his death in Paris, his adopted home, in 1989.
The Life and Crimes of Victorian England's Most Notorious Doctor
In 1856 Dr William Palmer was convicted of poisoning his best friend with strychnine and was suspected of committing at least a dozen other murders. One of the last people to be publicly hanged in Britain, he was described by Charles Dickens as ‘the greatest villain who ever stood trial at the Old Bailey’. But in this fresh examination of the evidence, journalist Stephen Bates considers Palmer’s motivation and asks whether he really was a prolific and ruthless serial killer.
Mary Ann Caws describes her short, lucid biography of Marcel Proust as ‘visually inclined’ – a biography in which the illustrations are as important as the words. Chapters on facets of Proust’s life and work are accompanied by over 100 images, including family photos, reproductions of paintings he admired, photographs of contemporary writers, artists, musicians and dancers, and portraits of the acquaintances and socialites who were the sources for his fictional characters.
The Fry Chronicles
Stephen Fry is firmly established as a massively popular actor, presenter, writer, director and comedian, yet when he arrived at Cambridge as a teenager, he was a convicted fraudster and thief, fantasist and failed suicide. Combining brilliant prose, dazzling wit, scandalous gossip and excruciating honesty, this remarkable autobiography charts his ascent to stardom and his very public setbacks. Fearless, funny and frank, it reveals the aching chasm between his affable public persona and the intensely vulnerable private man.
From Democrats to Kings
The Brutal Dawn of a New World from the Downfall of Athens to the Rise of Alexander The Great
By the end of the 5th century BCE the democratic city-state of Athens, defeated in a long war with Sparta, had lost its empire and been shaken by oligarchic revolution. As the author tracks the brutal power struggles that ensued, he examines how the rulers of Greek cities and the Persian empire responded to this moment of uncertainty – until the young Alexander the Great emerged from decades of turbulence to take control of a huge portion of the known world.
Empire of Secrets
British Intelligence, the Cold War, and the Twilight of Empire
Against the backdrop of the Cold War, Britain viewed the nationalist insurgencies shaking its dwindling colonial possessions as Soviet-backed subversion. Drawing on a wealth of top-secret documents and previously overlooked personal papers, this groundbreaking history charts the crucial but unseen role of MI5 in the violent campaigns waged by British troops in the jungles of Malaya and Kenya and on the streets of Aden, Cyprus and Palestine, uncovering some of the darkest secrets of the dying empire. Off-mint.
In the Footsteps of Abraham
The Holy Land in Hand-Painted Photographs
The birthplace of three great Abrahamic faiths, the Holy Land occupies a unique status in history. In the 1920s Arie Speelman, a Dutch Christian, commissioned the hand-colouring of 1,200 black-and-white slides of the area. This book explains their background and reproduces a magnificent selection of these images, which were bequeathed to Amsterdam's Jewish Historical Museum. They offer a rare glimpse of towns, villages and landscapes before the onset of modernization, as Jesus might have seen them.
How British Aristocrats Staked a Claim to the American West
From the 1830s onwards, a succession of British aristocrats headed for the American West, taking with them their valets, their dogs – and their prejudices. This sparkling account describes the newcomers' experiences as they crossed the country to meet Native Americans, hunt buffalo and build cattle empires. Packed with lively incident and colourful personalities, it also charts their reception by Americans often less than pleased at the return of their former colonial overlords.
A Sacred Landscape
The Search for Ancient Peru
The extraordinary cultures of ancient Peru, from the enigmatic creators of the Nasca Lines to the Inca builders of Machu Picchu, have only begun to be understood in recent years. In this accessible and highly personal guide, Hugh Thomson, who has been at the forefront of some of these discoveries, elegantly intertwines the rise and fall of these great civilizations with a gripping account of his family's relocation to the Urubamba valley in the Inca heartlands.
The Battle for Christendom
The Council of Constance, the East-West Conflict, and the Dawn of Modern Europe
As Turkish armies menaced a much divided Europe, all eyes looked to Germany's patient, charming but ruthless Emperor Sigismund to co-ordinate the resistance. At Christmas 1414 he convened the conference at Constance where Europe's greatest thinkers and most eminent nobles discussed the future of Christendom. This book offers a new view of Constance as a turning-point in history which planted the seeds that were to flourish in later ages: of the Renaissance, Humanism and the Reformation.
Picking up the Reins
America, Britain and the Post-War World
At the end of the Second World War, Europe lay in ruins, with half the continent under Soviet control. Britain, formerly a world superpower, was victorious but battered and exhausted. Only the United States stood between Stalin and global domination. This gripping history reveals how, in the crucial postwar years, a few far-sighted and dynamic individuals such as Harry Truman, George Marshall, Dean Acheson and George Kennan overcame the nation's traditional isolationism to pick up the reins of world power.
A Nation and Not a Rabble
The Irish Revolution 1913–1923
Between 1913 and 1923 Ireland saw the emergence of the Ulster Volunteer Force resisting Irish home rule and, in response, the Irish Volunteers (later the IRA); then the First World War, the rise of Sinn Féin, intense Ulster Unionism and conflict with Britain culminated in the Irish War of Independence. Drawing on recently released archives, witness statements and the testimony of ordinary people, Ferriter's study reveals the gulf between reality and the rhetoric surrounding the politics and violence of that revolutionary period.
Set in Victorian London, where a young artists' model, Eliza Dunlop, meets the illusionist Hector Crumhall, aka Devil Wix, and his companions at the run-down Palmyra Theatre, this is the story of one woman and four men and the dark threads that entangle them. Slightly off-mint and felt-tip mark on lower trimmed edge.
Murder in the First-Class Carriage
The First Victorian Railway Killing
On 9 July 1864, Thomas Briggs boarded the 9.45pm from Fenchurch Street, bound for Chalk Farm. Ten minutes later at Hackney Wick, all that remained of Mr Briggs was a lot of blood, his empty leather bag and ivory-topped cane and somebody else's hat. It was Britain's first railway murder and the public were gripped by this 'terrible drama of real life'. Evoking its Victorian setting, this book is an enthralling retelling of the crime and the hunt for the killer. Previously in Postscript as Mr Briggs's Hat.