The Definitive Compendium
Highlighting the rich diversity of the English language, this dictionary defines thousands of phrases that are commonly used but whose origins may have been lost or altered over the years – ‘knock on wood’, for example, stems from the belief that tapping on a tree trunk would summon a guardian spirit. Less common phrases, such as kew-kaw (upside down) are explained, and literal translations are given for phrases borrowed from other languages.
The Private World of Georgette Heyer
Georgette Heyer (1902–74) was the internationally bestselling author of Regency romance, but never gave interviews and kept her personal life intensely private. ‘You will find me,’ she said, ‘in my work.’ Drawing on unprecedented access to her correspondence and family archives, this biography reveals a formidable woman of Russian descent, with an impeccable sense of style, outspoken views, and a dislike of paying income tax that brought her into conflict with the Inland Revenue.
A Place Called Armageddon
For 1,000 years Constantinople had ruled its Byzantine empire; now Mehmet’s 100,000-strong army of Turks is at the gates and the city’s survival lies in the hands of one tortured and long-exiled man – Gregoras. CC Humphreys’s novel tells the story of one of history’s greatest battles.
The Ultimate Book of Impostors
Over 100 True Stories of the Greatest Phonies and Frauds
Kidnappers, murderers and conmen, pretenders to the throne and even an ex-Postmaster General (the infamous John Stonehouse)... Ian Graham presents a collection of impostors who were mostly up to no good, but some had good reason to pretend to be somebody else – warehouseman Marvin Hewitt stole a scientist's identity in order to teach physics, and ME Clifton James became Montgomery's double to fool Nazi intelligence officers.
Elizabeth and the Prince of Spain
In the third of her Elizabethan novels, Margaret Irwin (1889–1967) introduces Philip, Mary Tudor's unwilling bridegroom, who is intrigued by young Princess Elizabeth. As sister to the queen, Elizabeth must walk the razor-thin line between Mary's jealousy and Philip's ardour.
The Curse of Anne Boleyn
Twenty years have passed since Jean Rombaud kept his promise to the woman he executed; he wanted to forget his days as an executioner, but he can't shake off the dark legacy of Anne Boleyn's six-fingered hand. Humphreys's thriller is the sequel to The French Executioner.
The Girl Who Would Be Queen
A classic of historical fiction, Young Bess was first published in 1944 and made into a film starring Jean Simmons in 1953. It tells the story of the young Princess Elizabeth, declared a bastard and banished from her father's court, yet facing even greater challenges after Henry VIII's death.