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 Africa
From the Origins of the Human Race to the Arab Spring
This concise, readable book reviews the people, events and ideas that have shaped Africa's long history: Islam, the kingdoms of Ghana and Benin, colonialism, slavery, and the struggles of independence and its aftermath. Slightly off-mint.
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.