The Kama Sutra of Vatsyayana
Written by the Hindu philosopher Vatsyayana around 300 CE, the Kama Sutra is popularly known as a sex manual but is actually a moral treatise on the achievement of sensual and aesthetic pleasure, one of Hinduism’s four goals of life. The text was first translated and published in the West in 1883 by the explorer and linguist, Sir Richard Burton. This edition presents his candid translation, illustrated with classical Indian miniatures.
The Alan Turing Codebreaker's Puzzle Book
This collection of unusual puzzles challenges the reader not only to find solutions but, in the spirit of computing pioneer Alan Turing’s methodology, to tease out the rules of the puzzles themselves. The puzzles, which mainly involve words and letters, increase in difficulty as the book progresses, but cryptic titles and numerous optional hints (listed in a separate section) lead codebreakers step by step to solutions catalogued at the back.
The Story of Chemistry
From the Periodic Table to Nanotechnology
Early civilizations created chemical transformations by mixing materials and heating them to make metal and pottery, but chemistry only emerged as a science in the 17th century when a more rigorous scientific approach began to be applied to the ancient art of alchemy. This illustrated introduction discusses the key discoveries and principal actors in the history of chemistry from the observations of Aristotle to modern chemical industries.
The Essence of Vedanta
‘Vedanta’, writes Brian Hodgkinson, ‘hinges upon this truly remarkable idea, that everything, without any exception whatsoever, is the one spirit’. In this book he first discusses the ancient historical and literary origins of Vedanta, then turns to the central tenets of Vedic philosophy and their social dimension.
The Essence of the Gnostics
Bernard Simon looks at elements of Gnosticism that are common to ancient pagan and occult religions; he compares its teachings with the Judeo-Christian faiths, and in particular with the writings of Paul; and considers the spiritual and cosmic principles and iconography that have endured to the present day.
The Essence of Sufism
John Baldock begins this introduction with chapters on the life of the Prophet Mohammad, the Qur’an, the principal tenets of Islam and the emergence of Sufism, before discussing the Sufis themselves, their literature, and the path of transformation and fulfilment that frees the individual from the dictates of ego.
Hitler in Cartoons
Lampooning the Evil Madness of a Dictator
German cartoonists mocked Hitler when he came to prominence in the 1920s, but such satire was not possible once the Nazis were in power and the job was left to foreign illustrators. This book follows the career of the Führer through a collection of political cartoons, demonstrating how artists such as Herb Block, EH Shepard and Ding Darling were able to show Hitler as he was – in contrast to the German propaganda image of god-like superman.
The Story of Physics
From Natural Philosophy to the Enigma of Dark Matter
Physics is the science that ties together all others, aiming to explain the nature of the universe from the smallest subatomic particles to vast galaxies and the nature of space-time. Profiling the most important figures in the history of science and covering topics such as light and optics, energy and the Big Bang, this well-illustrated book traces the development of physics from the natural philosophers of the ancient world to cutting-edge experiments in quantum mechanics.
The Real Lives of Europe's Most Infamous Rulers
In an age when monarchies are little more than tourist pageantry, it is easy to forget that sovereigns once wielded absolute power. This book examines the reigns of more than 70 European autocrats, from Caligula to Nicholas II via 'Bloody Mary' and Ivan the Terrible. All were to some degree mad, bad or dangerous to live under, but the stronger connection is that they failed to fulfil the extravagant hopes placed in them.
The 20th Century in Cartoons
A History in Pictures
The 20th century saw massive social and technological change, two world wars, and empires won and lost. Throughout these epochal events, cartoonists cast an irreverent eye on human folly. Selected by the award-winning cartoonist Tony Husband, the 230 satirical and at times savage images in this book chart the events of the century, decade by decade, from the Boer War to the fall of the Iron Curtain, and the suffragette movement to the Poll Tax.
The Story of Mathematics
From Creating the Pyramids to Exploring Infinity
In this very accessible and well-illustrated book, Anne Rooney traces humankind's greatest mathematical achievements, starting with innumerate cave-dwellers, then profiling the great mathematicians from Euclid to Bertrand Russell and David Hilbert, and explaining key developments such as solid geometry, calculus and statistical mathematics, up to 'the death of numbers' with set theory and fuzzy logic.
Dante's Divine Comedy
Dante's great poem, the first book written in Italian, begins with his descent through nine circles of Hell to the lake of ice where Lucifer is trapped for all eternity. In this edition of Longfellow's verse translation, the Inferno's 34 cantos are each preceded by a brief introduction and illustrated with a selection of artists' representations of the Last Judgement, the landscape of Hell and scenes from Dante's infernal voyage of self-discovery.
Cartoons of World War II
In the battle for hearts and minds during the Second World War, cartoonists had a vital role to play. All nations are represented in this book and it is fascinating to see how each side's artists handled the war, aiming their bullets with the precision of frontline snipers. Selected and with notes by cartoonist Tony Husband, the cartoons follow the progress of the war and include work by Kukryniksy, David Low, Sennep, Philip Zec, Pont, EH Shepard and Bernard Partridge.
Around the World in 80 Mazes
Starting 'on top of the world' amid icebergs and igloos, this colourful puzzle book covers the continents, oceans and cities of the world, finding mazes everywhere. You can pick your way along the struts and girders of the Eiffel Tower, climb the Great Pyramid or navigate your way out of the Bermuda Triangle - and if you get completely lost, the answers are at the back. Age 8+