A Brief History of the Anglo-Saxons
Between the Romans’ departure from Britain and the Norman Conquest, a distinct English identity developed, the legacy of which is still felt today. As Hindley tells the story of Anglo-Saxon England he highlights its cultural glories, such as Beowulf and the Lindisfarne Gospels, and its powerful women, from the war leader Æthelflæd to the abbess Hilda. He also shows how the centralized English bureaucracy helped create Europe’s first true ‘nation’.
A Brief History of 1917
Russia's Year of Revolution
Lenin, Trotsky and Karensky were the ideological driving force behind the Russian Revolution: but were they, as one of Roy Bainton's sources describes them, 'totally evil men'? Or was Lenin, as a Red Army veteran insisted, 'a good man who ran the country on a worker's wages'? Bainton's brief history approaches the revolution from the standpoint of the ordinary mass of Russians, describing both the bravado of the revolutionaries and a people punished repeatedly by circumstance.
A Simple, Five-Step Plan for Restoring Your Digestive Health
Written by a qualified nutritionist, this self-help guide aids the reader in locating the cause of IBS and implementing a five-point plan to eliminate problem substances, and suggests replacement foods that encourage good digestion.
The World Corrupted: From Slavery to Obesity
How did a commodity that was once the prized monopoly of kings become an essential ingredient of everyday life and then the cause of a global health epidemic? James Walvin traces the history of how the demand for sweetness has been met, from early Mediterranean sugar plantations, to the immense human and environmental cost of the Caribbean plantations and the slave system, the industries that followed, and the dawning awareness of the obesity problem.
The Mammoth Book of The World Cup
This World Cup compendium includes a comprehensive run-down of every tournament played from the inaugural competition in 1930 up to the 2014 finals. Additional commentary features insightful notes on the best players, classic matches and tactical developments, and there is informed opinion on everything World Cup-related, from why England failed to qualify in the 1970s to the most overrated players to possess a winner's medal.
A Traveller's Reader
Throughout its history, Madrid has attracted writers, artists and revolutionaries. This traveller’s reader brings the city to life through the letters, diaries, memoirs and novels of Casanova, Napoleon, Dumas, Trotsky, Hemingway, Dalí, Buñuel and many others. Selected by the eminent historian Hugh Thomas, these eyewitness accounts set five centuries of adventures and misadventures, Surrealist pranks and blood-soaked bullfights against the brooding backdrop of the Spanish capital.
Feminist, Pacifist, Traitor?
Emily Hobhouse (1860–1926) left Cornwall in 1895 to follow her instinct to alleviate suffering. In South Africa during the Anglo-Boer War, she worked tirelessly to help women and children in the British concentration camps; during the First World War she campaigned for peace and later set up a feeding programme for German children starving in Leipzig. Drawing on Emily’s memoirs and scrapbooks, Elsabé Brits tells the story of a woman dedicated to helping others, yet branded a traitor.
Enemy to Lifelong Friend
In many ways Winston Churchill and South African statesman Jan Smuts were opposites: one a privileged Englishman with expensive tastes, the other a temperate philosopher of far humbler origins. Yet in matters of state their politics, military judgment and vision of Empire intersected, making possible a friendship which not only endured for almost half a century, but which influenced the outcome of two world wars and the transition from Empire to Commonwealth, as this account of their relationship attests.
The New Science of Out-of-Body Experiences
One night in 1970, Susan Blackmore left her body. Aware of her surroundings – the music, the room, the people – her consciousness began an expansive journey beyond Oxford and out over the ‘astral plane’. Memories of this out-of-body experience (OBE) have driven Blackmore, now a respected psychologist, to explore the nature of OBEs, including their relationship to sleep disorders, dreams, drugs and near-death experiences, and to assess the historical literature and growing scientific research surrounding them. Slightly off-mint.
No Milk Today
From doorstep delivery and money collection to amorous liaisons and dog attacks, this nostalgic social history takes an affectionate look at a great British institution, examines the changes that have taken place over the years, and laments the demise of the industry. Rich with stories and reminiscences, the book documents and celebrates the figure who not only delivered milk but also acted as community worker, handyman and family friend.
A Brief History of the Celts
The intricate artwork and vibrant mythology of the Celts make their culture a source of particular fascination, which continues to be fuelled by new archaeological discoveries. This overview of ancient Europe discusses the Celts' mysterious origins, their complex society and their vigorous survival even after conquest by the Romans. Previously published as The Ancient World of the Celts (1998).
A Brief History of Christianity
Bamber Gascoigne tells the story of the Christian faith, from its origins in the Roman Empire, through the glories of Byzantium and the machinations of Renaissance popes, to the Soviet Union’s hostility to religion. His entertaining narrative sets Christianity in the context of other world religions and explains the forces behind its development over time. Revised edition of The Christians, originally written to accompany Gascoigne’s 1977 television series.
A Brief Guide to Native American Myths and Legends
The world of Native American mythology is inhabited by such fantastical and capricious characters as the shape-shifting trickster Coyote and the mischievous Blue Jay. The seminal study of these sacred tales was written by the Scottish folklorist Lewis Spence in 1914; this updated edition has a new introductory essay, commentary on Native American culture and stories from tribes, not covered by Spence such as the Inuit.
A Brief History of the Private Life of Elizabeth II
Elizabeth II is now the longest-reigning British monarch. Her life has been exhaustively documented, but what of the woman beneath the crown? Who are her friends? How does she feel about the demands of duty? What are her hobbies? Examining her early life, the training she received, and her attitudes to national life, historian Michael Paterson offers a refreshing portrayal of Britain's figurehead.
The Last Tsar
The fate of Tsar Nicholas II and his family has long haunted the public imagination. The autocratic ruler of one-sixth of the earth’s land area, he was responsible for mass imprisonment, pogroms and the shooting of demonstrators; yet photographs show him as a shy, gentle family man. This balanced and sympathetic history outlines the personal and political background that shaped his doomed reign, and could have overwhelmed a far abler ruler.
A Brief Guide to Judaism
Theology, History and Practice
What are the key elements of Jewish theology? How do Jews put belief into practice? Rabbi Brawer outlines the development of the Jewish people and faith, from Abrahamic origins to the eras of diaspora and persecution. He particularly highlights how the ritual and practice that punctuate Jewish existence form a bridge between heaven and earth as they paradoxically call on adherents to transcend the material world while celebrating physical pleasures.
A Brief History of the Amazons
Women Warriors in Myth and History
Ancient Greek myth tells of ferocious female warriors called Amazons who lived near the Black Sea and slaughtered their male children. Could the story reflect a real matriarchal society, or perhaps a women-only religious cult? This book follows the author’s quest for the evidence, not only in ancient texts and artistic depictions but also in archaeological discoveries such as the graves of Iron-Age women buried with arrows, swords and armour.
A Brief History of Medieval Warfare
The Rise and Fall of English Supremacy at Arms: 1344–1485
For much of the 14th and 15th centuries, England was almost continuously at war with its neighbours, and enjoyed an unprecedented degree of military supremacy in the region. Peter Reid's exhaustive account is not simply a catalogue of battles, but interweaves analysis of strategy and weaponry with a dramatic telling of how and why the wars, from Bannockburn to the Wars of the Roses, came about, and how they were fought.
Superstition and Science
Mystics, Sceptics, Truth-Seekers and Charlatans
The period between the European Renaissance and Enlightenment brought monumental scientific discoveries about gravity, the structure of the solar system and the circulation of the blood, but these coexisted with an almost universal belief in horoscopes and magic. In this book a Tudor historian explores how the great thinkers of the age responded to the entanglement of superstition and science, and shows how their work contributed to debate about the relationship between belief and knowledge.
Somewhere in England
American Airmen in the Second World War
In 2012 the Imperial War Museums acquired a remarkable collection of 15,000 photographs showing American servicemen who were stationed at air bases in Britain during the Second World War. This selection presents more than 70 of the images illustrating the GIs’ work and recreations, both at military sites and among local communities. The accompanying text gives brief biographies of those pictured and celebrates the resilience and bravery with which pilots flew deep into enemy territory.
The Mammoth Book of Best New Erotica
Maxim Jakubowski declares ‘Mere titillation is never enough’ as he presents his choice of literary erotica: 41 inventive, provocative, sensual and, above all, intelligent pieces by writers including Stella Duffy, Matt Thorne, Kristina Lloyd and Justine Elyot.Sexually explicit
A Brief History of Life in Victorian Britain
A Social History of Queen Victoria's Reign
Michael Paterson makes the point that the Victorians were not so different from us: 'they had a fixation with new technology, were guilty of gross materialism, yet this was balanced... by a willingness to give charitable aid'. This readable history looks at everyday life – the food, fashion, transport, religion, work and leisure of ordinary Britons – from the 1830s to the end of the century.
A Brief History of Stonehenge: A Complete
History and Archaeology of the World's Most Enigmatic Stone Circle
Britain's leading expert on stone circles here offers a comprehensive introduction to our most enigmatic ancient site. He explains how the stones were transported and their relationship with the surrounding burial sites; he carefully examines the possible astronomical meanings of the stones' alignment; and also debunks many myths and inaccurate mystical notions. Each successive generation has developed its own reading of the stones; Burl offers the most up-to-date assessment.
A Brief History of the Tudor Age
Beginning with the victory of Henry Tudor in 1485 and ending with the death of Queen Elizabeth I in 1603, this is a vivid account of a contradictory age of great cultural achievement and terrible violence. Opulent life at court, voyages of discovery, scholarship and the flowering of English drama are juxtaposed with poverty, the narrow lives of peasants, harsh justice and war. First published as The Tudor Age.
A Brief History of Henry VIII
Reformer and Tyrant
Described by Derek Wilson as 'a magnificent piece of propaganda', Holbein's portrait of Henry VIII depicts a proud, belligerent and powerful monarch. Wilson argues that a realistic understanding of Henry requires 'the rejection of this forceful icon' and, drawing on a lifetime's work on this period, his study provides a fresh assessment of the king's character and his response to the bewildering changes of the Renaissance and Reformation era.
A Brief History of the Normans
The Conquests that Changed the Face of Europe
The history of the Normans began a long time before William the Conqueror arrived in England in 1066. In this absorbing and accessible introduction, Professor Neveux describes the 'extraordinary Norman adventure' that changed the landscape and culture of Europe, from the first Viking raids of the 8th century to the defeat of the Normans in Sicily in the mid 13th century. Translated by Howard Curtis.
A Brief History of the Druids
The Druids have been perceived, and misunderstood, in many different ways – from the barbaric priests making human sacrifices the Romans described, to ancient exponents of 'New Age' philosophy. Peter Beresford Ellis sifts through archaeological, etymological and Greek and Roman written evidence to provide a fully researched account of the Druids, revealing them as the intellectual caste – the doctors, lawyers, ambassadors and advisors – of ancient Celtic society
How to Draw Anything
A How to Book
This encouraging guide includes many tips for budding artists, such as how to look properly, simplify what you see but include key features, get the basic shapes correct, and understand how shading can transform your drawing. There are sections on depicting landscapes, animals, people and cartoons, and each is accompanied by step-by-step illustrations showing how to build up your drawings and create texture, while assignments enable you to measure your progress.
A Brief History of British Sea Power
Before the reign of Elizabeth I, Britons showed little appetite to explore the seas beyond their own shores; but from the 16th century Britain's naval power began to grow steadily. From fifth-century skin boats to the battleships of the Second World War, this maritime history charts how a tradition of seamanship evolved in Britain, and how the exploits of merchant adventurers and naval warriors contributed to achieving a total domination of the seas after 1815.
A Brief History of the Battle of Agincourt
Few victories have been so complete, or achieved against such heavy odds, as that won by Henry V against Charles VI's army at Agincourt on 25 October 1415. In a pitched battle lasting barely three hours, a depleted, exhausted and outnumbered English force of around 5,900 knights and archers routed the French. Hibbert's concise narrative history explores how the English accomplished such a feat of arms. Previously in Postscript as 'Agincourt'.
A Brief History of the Great Moghuls
India's Most Flamboyant Rulers
Bamber Gascoigne's classic book tells of the most fascinating period of Indian history, the 16th and 17th centuries, when the country was ruled by an extraordinarily talented dynasty of emperors. Masters of almost limitless power and incomparable wealth, the 'Great Moghuls', as they were known to European travellers, were passionate about art, science and religion, but also sophisticated administrators who stabilized much of India. First published as The Great Moghuls in 1971.
The Mammoth Book of Erotic Photography
These female nudes and erotic portraits and self-portraits represent some of the best recent work from outstanding photographers. Each of the 74 photographers has worked with his or her favourite model and contributes a brief statement about their work and their muse. Slightly off-mint.
A Brief History of the Knights Templar
The Knights of the Order of the Temple of Solomon are found in fictional literature from the Middle Ages to Sir Walter Scott and beyond, even appearing in computer games. Nicholson separates the surviving historical evidence from speculative associations with Freemasonry, the Holy Grail and space travel: beginning with the Templars' origins during the Crusades she considers their religious life, their service to Europe's kings and their commercial and economic activities, up to the order's dissolution in 1312.