The Sultan and the Queen
The Untold Story of Elizabeth and Islam
Excommunicated in 1570, Queen Elizabeth I found the key markets of Catholic Europe closed to English merchants; instead, she reached out to the Shah of Iran, the King of Morocco and the Ottoman Sultan. This gripping history reveals how English merchants, sailors and diplomats plied their trade with the Muslim world, creating a fashion for the Orient in London that was reflected in the plays of Marlowe and Shakespeare. Off-mint and felt-tip mark on lower trimmed edge.
The Pigeon Tunnel
Stories from My Life
John Le Carré has drawn on his years in British intelligence to create a body of fiction that explores the moral ambiguities of our world. In this long-awaited memoir, he provides vivid, insightful, and often very funny cameos of his con-man father Ronnie, meeting Margaret Thatcher, the casinos of Monte Carlo, New Year’s Eve with Yasser Arafat, watching Alec Guinness preparing for his role as George Smiley, and the aid worker who inspired The Constant Gardener. Off-mint and felt-tip mark on lower trimmed edge.
15 Million Degrees
A Journey to the Centre of the Sun
At the heart of the Sun, a vast nuclear furnace casts out the warmth, light and magnetism which nurtures life on Earth. Supported by data from laboratories, telescopes, probes and thousands of years of naked-eye observations, solar physicist Lucie Green’s authoritative guide to the science of the Sun provides answers to questions posed since the dawn of history: Why does the Sun shine? What is the source of its heat? How long will it shine?
The Forgotten Years
Crowned at 25, Elizabeth I was guided for the first half of her reign by her advisors. Only at 50, with all prospect of marriage behind her, did she begin to wield power in her own right. Drawing on previously untapped archives, this groundbreaking biography provides fresh insight into the mature monarch: at once powerful and vulnerable, beset by conspiracies at home and invasion from abroad, and fiercely determined not merely to reign, but to rule.
The End of Tsarist Russia
The March to World War I & Revolution
Research Professor Dominic Lieven writes from the premise that ‘World War I was the source and origin of most of the catastrophes that subsequently afflicted twentieth-century Russia’. Drawing on unprecedented study of Russian and other foreign archives, this powerful investigation explores the mindset of those who made the decision to go to war, and sheds new light on the origins of a conflict that would determine the course of world history for a century. (Previously published as Towards the Flame.) Slightly off-mint and felt-tip mark on lower trimmed edge.
1386 and the Road to Canterbury
Chaucer was not always the revered creator of The Canterbury Tales. As this meticulously researched history explains, until 1386 he was an obscure civil servant writing elegant verses for an aristocratic coterie in London. That year, a storm of personal, political and financial crises drove him into exile in Kent, where he embarked on a new kind of poetry: a verse narrative that gave voice to ordinary people and ensured his recognition as one of England’s greatest poets.
Surveying the spiritual and intellectual upheaval experienced throughout Europe in the 16th and 17th centuries, this study forms the fifth volume of the Penguin History of Europe. Greengrass traces the eclipse of the older notion of 'Christendom' – the Western European community of belief held together by the Roman Catholic Church – by the divisive challenge to papal authority, by dynastic conflicts that changed the relationship between rulers and ruled, and by geographical and scientific discoveries that undermined the unity of medieval Christendom.
Dancing Fish and Ammonites
Memory and history have been Penelope Lively's terrain throughout a writing career that has spanned five decades. Here she looks back on her wartime childhood, her early love of archaeology and the sweeping social change she has witnessed. From the vantage of old age, she reflects on a lifetime's reading and writing, and contemplates six cherished objects, including fossil ammonites from a Dorset beach and an Egyptian potsherd decorated with leaping fish. (Previously published as Ammonites and Leaping Fish.)
Pinkerton's Great Detective
The Amazing Life and Times of James McParland
Created in 1850, Pinkerton's National Detective Agency used operatives renowned for their skills of subterfuge, infiltration and investigation – and none more so than James McParland, who even featured in a Sherlock Holmes story. This detailed but very readable biography from the author of Nimrod charts the famous cases of this real-life super-sleuth, including his infiltration of the Molly Maguires and his hunt for the Wild Bunch, and sheds new light on Pinkerton's cloak-and-dagger methods.
The Face of Britain
The Nation Through its Portraits
Simon Schama's engrossing stories of encounters between British art and history focus on the challenge of creating the likeness of a remarkable Briton from the 'triangular collision of wills between sitter, artist and public'. He starts with the 'face of power' and Sutherland's portrait of Churchill, and goes on to look at faces of love, fame, the self and the people, discussing over 100 works from the National Portrait Gallery collection, and sitters ranging from Henry VIII to Amy Winehouse.
Perfect Wives in Ideal Homes
The Story of Women in the 1950s
What did it feel like to be a young woman in the 1950s? Virginia Nicholson examines the pressures under which women lived in a post-war culture characterized by sex discrimination, inhibition, conservatism and hierarchy, and in thrall to the ideals of marriage, home and the perfect wife. With the emphasis on real women's experience, she explores topics from coronation fever, through 'how to get your man' manuals, housework and paid employment to the pervasive fear of atomic war. Slightly off-mint.
Jane Austen's England
Drawing on contemporary sources including diaries, letters, newspapers and trial proceedings as well as Jane Austen's own correspondence and writings, Roy and Lesley Adkins have created a wide-ranging and richly detailed social history of English life in the early 19th century that offers new perspectives on the world of the great novelist. Covering everything from childbirth, education and work to the darker side of Georgian society, poverty and crime, the book provides an illuminating companion to Austen's novels.
The Bombers and The Bombed
Allied Air War Over Europe, 1940–1945
Between 1939 and 1945, hundreds of European cities, towns and villages were devastated by aerial bombing; around 600,000 Europeans were killed and more than a million injured. In this first full narrative history of the air war, Overy deals with the whole of Europe, Scandinavia and the USSR; he considers bombing as part of broader strategies; and he looks at the campaigns from two perspectives: what they were meant to achieve and the impact they had in reality on bombed populations.
My Family and Other Rambles
Up until 1999, when a BBC Radio 4 producer asked her to present Ramblings, Clare Balding had galloped everywhere: 'I had no idea there were people who walked for the sake of it'. Hundreds of miles of rambling later, she had grown to love how walking side by side makes people reveal their stories. To explore her own story she embarked on a 'family adventure', walking with them along the 70-mile-long Wayfarer's Walk that passes their home in Hampshire.
How to be a Victorian
The historian and presenter of BBC2's Victorian Farm, Ruth Goodman offers an unusual history of Victorian everyday life. From the noise of a 'knocker-upper' first thing in the morning to the end of the day behind the bedroom door, she draws on diaries and letters, newspapers, adverts and advice manuals to illuminate topics such as health, personal grooming, food, work and school in the lives of ordinary people and reveal the intimate and physical aspects of 19th-century living.
A New History
Thomas Madden's portrait of Venice uses long-buried archival material to trace the history of this unique city from its humble origins as a lagoon refuge to its zenith as a vast maritime empire and Renaissance epicentre, and its rebirth as a modern tourist hub. Featuring the personal stories of doges, merchants and famous figures such as Marco Polo, Casanova and Lord Byron, Madden's Venice is the rich popular history that this city deserves.
The Maid and the Queen
The Secret History of Joan of Arc and Yolande of Aragon
The story of Joan of Arc is well known: hearing voices at the age of 13, she was inspired to lead French resistance to English domination, and was then captured and subjected to trial by inquisition. But did Joan's strength and power derive only from the angels? Goldstone's revisionist account argues that the restoration of France's greatness came about through the intertwined lives of Joan and her forgotten mentor, Yolande of Aragon, 'perhaps the most astute politician of her age'.
The Musician and the Myth
The popular image of Billie Holiday emphasizes the tragedy and notoriety of her life, her experiences of racism, drug addiction and abusive relationships, as much as the distinctive singing voice which conveyed such raw emotion. Drawing on recent academic work and a wealth of material rediscovered during the last decade, this centenary portrait ‘attempts to widen our sense of who Billie Holiday was’ by stripping away the accumulation of myths to reveal her strengths and insecurities, wit and warmth. Felt-tip mark on lower trimmed edge.
Churchill and the King
The Wartime Alliance of Winston Churchill and George VI
Churchill had supported George VI's brother during the abdication crisis, and the king had been on Chamberlain's side - in opposition to Churchill - during the period of appeasement; nevertheless the two men forged a productive alliance during the war years. This analysis of their relationship reveals how the flamboyant politician and the shy, cautious monarch had more in common than was first apparent, and how their co-operation provided stability in the nation's hour of need.
From the Trans-Siberian to the Southwest Chief
Our modern world is built on one indispensable form of transport: the railway. Its gifts are everywhere, in the shape of our cities,coal-fired power, and the food we eat. In this captivating book, the author rides from the birthplace of the locomotive in Britain, crosses Russia on the Trans-Siberian, crests the Andes on a rattling coal train and jams with blues musicians across the USA as he explores the history, geography, cultural resonance and sheer romance of the railroad.
Mozart's music has enthralled listeners for centuries. In this concise biography, the historian Paul Johnson charts the composer's life from the age of three, when he first recognized chords, to the creation of his mature masterpieces Don Giovanni and The Marriage of Figaro. Dispelling popular myths, it explores his relationships with his father, his wife and the royal court of Vienna, and highlights the intelligence, wit, charisma and drive of this extraordinarily gifted man.