For the Glory of Rome
A History of Warriors and Warfare
Challenging the common modern distinction between Romans as organized, professional ‘soldiers’ and their opponents as individualistic ‘warriors’, this history of Roman warfare focuses on the part-time legionaries who served only for the duration of a campaign and sought glory in single combat. The author explores these warriors’ deeds, beliefs and mindset, through examples such as the man who fought with a prosthetic iron fist and a centurion who executed his commanding officer for cowardice.
Inventions that Didn't Change the World
It’s no wonder the ‘Combined Umbrella Handle and Railway Carriage Door Key’, or the ‘Continuous Stream Enema Fountain Syringe’, were never made, yet Victorian designers were ever hopeful of relieving life’s burdens. This fascinating collection of 240 illustrations, reproduced from the National Archives, features drawings of gadgets and appliances submitted to officialdom for copyright purposes but never realized as products. Domestic needs and health concerns are among the many aspects of Victorian life revealed by the quirky ingenuity on display.
The King's City
London Under Charles II
After years of civil war, the restoration of Charles II in 1660 heralded the rebirth of London. In this account of the capital and its prominent figures such as Wren, Newton, Halley and Pepys, Don Jordan shows how the city recovered rapidly from plague and fire to become the crucible of commerce, science and culture in which modern Britain was forged.
The King Never Smiles
A Biography of Thailand's Bhumibol Adulyadej
When he died, King Bhumibol (1927–2016) was the world’s longest serving monarch, having reigned since 1946. Seen by his people as the living Buddha, he was hailed as the saviour of democracy after a coup in 1991. Subsequently, criticism of his lucrative links to business and the military was firmly suppressed. Defying the ban on investigating the monarchy, this 2006 biography profiles a shrewd political operator who veiled autocracy beneath an egalitarian public image.
The Monitor, the Merrimack, and the Sea Battle that Changed History
The first clash between ironclad battleships took place off the coast of Virginia during the American Civil War in 1862. The battle provided conclusive proof of the effectiveness of the new technology and proved a major turning point in naval design. This book examines the building of the Confederacy's armoured Merrimack and the Union's race to build a competitive vessel (the Monitor, in whose development Lincoln was personally involved), and assesses the profound legacy of their engagement.
Classic Werewolf Stories
From Leitch Richie’s The Man-Wolf (1831) to Running Wolf (1920) by Algernon Blackwood, this collection of twelve short stories and two poems shows the great literary versatility of the werewolf, with celebrated authors including WB Yeats, Kipling and Saki unable to resist the lure of the lycanthrope.
A Good Face for Radio
Confessions of a Radio Head
As the host of Radio 4's PM for 15 years, Eddie Mair established a unique style, bringing deadpan humour to the programme alongside hard-hitting political interviews and serious news journalism. This collection of his weekly columns, which were published in the Radio Times between 2010 and 2016, reflects his idiosyncratic wit and mischievous tone, lampooning contemporary political events, poking fun at his fellow broadcasters and musing on the quirks of everyday life.
A Life in Pictures
From his ‘lucky, lucky childhood’ growing up in a sweetshop, to experiencing ‘another burst of wonder’ as a grandfather, Michael Foreman tells the story of his life, with pictures from the books he has illustrated. Tracing his career through those story books, Foreman describes his collaborations with writers, especially Michael Morpurgo, who has written the foreword for this charmed ‘life in pictures’.
Our History of the 20th Century
As Told in Diaries, Journals and Letters
From Queen Victoria’s journal entry for 1 January 1900, (‘full of anxiety & fear of what may be before us!’) to MP Oona King’s lament at spending the end of the millennium in a queue, Elborough’s compilation presents personal, contemporary and candid responses to world history as it happened. The book features over 100 diarists and provides one or more writers’ reaction to every major event or trend, whether a world war, the 1975 Europe Referendum or the latest Star Wars movie.
The Secret Life of Puppies
A Dog's-Eye View of its First Year of Life
Blind and deaf at birth, puppies suffer the ‘terrible twos’ at 13 weeks and are awkward teenagers within a year. Illustrated with colour photographs, this companion to the Channel 5 series takes readers through that year in stages, incorporating useful facts, ways to care for your pet and step-by-step training exercises that will help to provide your canine companion with the perfect start in life.
A Secular History of Conversion
From Saul and Augustine of Hippo to Muhammad Ali and George W Bush, why have people throughout history changed their faith? Jacoby considers religious conversion from a secular perspective, challenging the idea that it is a purely spiritual journey. She examines the social and economic framework within which conversion takes place – whether through theocratic coercion, for political advantage or by interreligious marriage – and reflects on the ‘religious marketplace’ of modern America, where changes of faith are especially common. Slightly off-mint and felt-tip mark on lower trimmed edge.
Across the Arctic Ocean
Original Photographs from the Last Great Polar Journey
In 1968, Wally Herbert and three companions set out from Alaska to walk across the North Pole to Spitzbergen. Illustrated with unpublished photographs, his own account of the trek across the frozen Arctic Ocean is supplemented by personal reflections from his daughter Kari, Ranulph Fiennes, Victor Boyarsky and other polar explorers. The result is a record of an epic journey that, as our ice caps melt, is unlikely ever to be repeated.
The World in Motion
The year 1616 brought such notable events as the arrival of a samurai in the Vatican, the Inquisition’s investigation of Galileo, the deaths of Shakespeare and Cervantes, the visit of Matoaka (‘Pocahontas’) to London, and the first stage appearance of Father Christmas. In this illustrated history of the year Christensen interweaves stories from around the world, highlighting themes relating to the global economy, international travel, women’s emerging roles and developments in art and science as the modern age was being born.
Into the Abyss
The Story of the First World War, Volume One
Volume one of this authoritative account of the First World War covers 1914 and 1915, examining the machinations of the belligerent parties, from the Habsburgs and the Serbs to the Hohenzollerns and the Ottoman Turks, in the 34 days leading up to outbreak. Each chapter presents extensive background information on people, places and events, including the French and British military commanders, pre-war London and Paris, the war at sea, and the technology that assured both deadlock and mutual destruction.
The Illustrated History
In this authoritative yet very approachable exploration of the Tudor dynasty and the politics of personal monarchy, Richard Rex presents a series of essays on the five monarchs, their public lives and such details of their private lives as were of intense interest to their subjects. Through these royal profiles, each richly illustrated with reproductions of contemporary paintings, Rex provides a vivid narrative of the Tudor era and its crucial role in the emergence of the English state.
Tales from Gombe
Made famous by the long-term studies conducted by Jane Goodall, the chimpanzees of the Gombe National Park by Lake Tanganyika in Tanzania have revealed previously unknown behaviours, such as the use of tools and meat-eating, and have shown that the apes have complex social relationships and individual personalities. This large-format photographic study captures the chimps over a period of more than ten years and contains notes on the history of the community and the lineages of its prominent dynasties.
Albion's Glorious Ile
The Shyres of England & Wales in IV Volumes
Each of these four volumes begins with verses from Poly-Olbion – a 17th-century poem by Michael Drayton – accompanied by black-and-white maps of the various regions of England, showing geographical features represented by gods, nymphs and faeries. These are colouring books, but not in the contemporary sense: the black-line images should be carefully washed over with watercolours, according to cartographic tradition. Slipcased.
The Most Beautiful Universities in the World
From the ancient Italian and Spanish universities of Bologna and Salamanca, to the ultramodern Rolex Learning Centre, part of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology opened in 2010, the architecture of universities has reflected a striving for cultural and intellectual excellence. In this selection of 23 universities from 15 countries, Guillaume de Laubier presents photographic studies of their facades, libraries, ceremonial halls and teaching buildings, while writer Jean Serroy outlines the history of each institution and its architecture.
Living on Paper
Letters from Iris Murdoch 1934–1995
The philosopher and novelist Iris Murdoch (1919–1999) would spend up to four hours a day on her correspondence, writing to friends, lovers, students, fans and even casual acquaintances. This selection of her letters, edited and introduced by Avril Horner and Anne Rowe, gives a kaleidoscopic portrait of a life lived to capacity and marked by numerous emotional imbroglios and intense friendships with fellow philosopher Philippa Foot and novelist Brigid Brophy, alongside a long and stable marriage to John Bayley.
The Master's Muse
Artists' Cats and Dogs
Matisse’s dogs dance in a circle, Turner’s dog walks with his master into a vortex of fiery light, while Rachel Whiteread’s dog sits mournfully in front of a cast of his kennel. Thinking about what Marc Chagall’s dog might look like prompted Barratt to begin his paintings and prints of dogs and cats, each executed in the style of the animal’s owner. Altogether there are 99 cat or dog portraits, poking gentle fun at artists from Holbein to Tracy Emin.
Epitaphs of The Great War: Passchendaele
Inscriptions on the graves of the First World War dead were limited to 66 characters; a restriction that drove many to create compact, original and profound epitaphs, often relying on quotation or allusion. This book presents 100 headstone inscriptions for the dead of Passchendaele, giving details of the deceased, quoting the biblical or literary passages alluded to and explaining the contemporary meaning of the words, whether plain ‘He did his bit’, or the poetic ‘While the light lasts I shall remember. Georgina’.
Abbotsford to Zion
The Story of Scottish Place Names Around the World
Despite the A–Z of the title, this book takes a thematic approach as it tells the stories behind a selection of Scottish names of far-flung places. Starting with the explorers and pioneers who opened up wilderness lands, from Sir Alexander Mackenzie in Canada to Dundee Island in Antarctica, chapters describe the Scottish traders and migrants to North America, Australia and New Zealand who named places after themselves, their heroes or their homeland.
Thinker, Failure, Soldier, Jailer
An Anthology of Great Lives in 365 Days
With character portraits, anecdotes and tales of the unexpected, and including adventurers and criminals along with the MPs and archbishops, the obituary page of the Telegraph established by Hugh Massingberd in 1986 is now a much-loved institution. Gleaned from those columns, here are obituaries for every day of the year, from the Coronation Street actress Margot Bryant (1 January 1988) to Geoffrey Van-Hay, manager of El Vino, the Fleet Street journalists’ bar (31 December 2009).