Warfare, Raiding and Defence in Early Medieval Britain
Based largely on Dr Grigg’s study of the 100 or more early medieval dykes across Britain, this book argues that these earthworks were defensive, built to combat raiders, and that small-scale raiding characterized warfare in the period from c.400 CE to c.850 CE, when Viking raids became invasion attempts. Following his detailed investigation of early medieval raiding and the functions of the dykes, Grigg presents an illustrated, descriptive listing of the earthworks, with OS grid references.
Twenty Battles That Shaped Medieval Europe
Georgios Theotokis uses 20 decisive battles to tell the story of Europe from the defeat of the Western Roman armies near the river Frigidus in 394 CE to the confrontation between Ottoman and Christian forces at Varna (1444), which sealed the fate of the Byzantine Empire. He sets out each engagement’s historical background and describes the composition and equipment of the opposing sides before analysing their strategy and battle-tactics.
Elgar, Vaughan Williams, Britten and the English Musical Renaissance
The 20th century brought a spectacular revival in English music, initiated by Elgar’s Enigma Variations. In these linked essays Alldritt tells the story of the period through the work of the three composers who each supported the renewal in their own generation. He focuses on their music’s deeply engaged response to the conflicts, political changes and psychological impact of a violent and destructive age.
At the Field's Edge
Adrian Bell and the English Countryside
Adrian Bell (1901–80) abandoned a London career to become a farmer in Suffolk, going on to publish 25 books and many articles about rural life. This study explores his views on industrial farming, the separation of country and city, the impact of consumerism and the decline of rural communities – ideas, it argues, of increasing relevance in today’s environmental crisis.
Angevin Dynasties of Europe 900–1500
Lords of the Greatest Part of the World
The Angevins were ubiquitous in medieval Europe, producing kings in Jerusalem, Sicily, Hungary and Poland as well as the Plantagenets who ruled England for over three centuries. Anderson describes the emergence of these lords of Anjou from the disorder of the 10th century, before considering their interactions with other ruling houses and their pivotal role in the Hundred Years War.
The Forgotten Suffragettes
The long struggle for women's suffrage involved thousands of campaigners and activists from every walk of life. While some protested peacefully, others, exasperated with the government's indifference to their demands, burned down football stadiums or refused to pay their taxes. This compendium tells the stories of 48 lesser-known figures in the movement including the arsonist Edith Rigby, the Irish nationalist Mary Hayden and the Communist Ellen Wilkinson.
A Player's Guide to Chamber Music
Aimed at amateur players, for whom much of the chamber repertoire was written, this guide covers music by 50 significant composers, from the 17th century (Purcell and Corelli) to the 20th (including Britten and Shostakovich). Information is provided on each work’s instrumentation, duration and technical difficulty, together with comments on special points of interest. Pieces particularly suitable for inexperienced players are identified; an appendix suggests less familiar composers whose music will also be of interest. Slightly off-mint.
The Mythical Battle
‘The Battle of Hastings, 1066, remains a key date in British collective memory’, but Ashley Hern goes on to ask: ‘what do we actually know of the battle itself?’ He returns to primary sources to re-examine the evidence for issues such as the site, King Harold’s death and William’s claim to the English throne; and discusses how the ‘facts’ were portrayed by contemporary writers, and how our understanding of Hastings has been shaped by the myths, interpretations and concerns of later generations.
Used for 40,000 years, and prized for its beauty and versatility, ivory is a material that humans have been prepared to kill for. This comprehensive study begins by looking at conservation, and the range of animals – from mastodon to sperm whale – from which ivory has been derived. The author goes on to examine ivory as a material, describes techniques for identifying and caring for existing ivory pieces, and finally charts its world history, from prehistoric times to the present day.
Tyranny and The Lash
Prisoners and Punishment in British History
Medieval people gave little thought to prisoners or to the conditions in which they were kept, but by Victorian times troubling questions were being asked about the purpose and effectiveness of incarceration. Wade traces the evolving nature, use and management of British prisons over the centuries, asks whether changes in practices such as hard labour and solitary confinement have made the prison system more humane and investigates how social changes led to new definitions of criminality.
The Natural Beauty of Cornwall
The author, a local resident, takes us on a tour across this most varied and attractive county. Concentrating mainly on the third of Cornwall that is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, his elegant prose delves into geology, history, the rich cultural heritage and, of course, the stunning scenery. Numerous photographs complement the narrative in this personal but informative guide.
Live Long, Live Strong
Taking a holistic approach to staving off many of the health problems associated with ageing, former Royal Marine Commando Patrick Dale explains the benefits that regular exercise and eating well can have on both physical and mental ability. Exercises designed to retain or even improve muscle strength, cardiovascular health, mobility, co-ordination and balance are followed by comprehensive advice on nutrition, and ideas to help keep grey matter alert. Slightly off-mint.