Melvyn Bragg - 12 Books That Changed The World - Hodder & Stoughton

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    • ISBN:9781444718676
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12 Books That Changed The World

How words and wisdom have shaped our lives

By Melvyn Bragg

  • Paperback
  • £12.99

Melvyn Bragg explores a controversial selection of British books and their huge impact on history

When we think of great events in the history of the world, we tend to think of war, revolution, political upheaval or natural catastrophe. But throughout history there have been moments of vital importance that have taken place not on the battlefield, or in the palaces of power, or even in the violence of nature, but between the pages of a book.

In our digitised age of instant information it is easy to underestimate the power of the printed word. In his fascinating new book accompanying the ITV series, Melvyn Bragg presents a vivid reminder of the book as agent of social, political and personal revolution. Twelve Books that Changed the World presents a rich variety of human endeavour and a great diversity of characters. There are also surprises. Here are famous books by Darwin, Newton and Shakespeare - but we also discover the stories behind some less well-known works, such as Marie Stopes' Married Love, the original radical feminist Mary Wollstonecraft's A Vindication of the Rights of Woman - and even the rules to an obscure ball game that became the most popular sport in the world . . .

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  • ISBN: 9780340839829
  • Publication date: 08 Feb 2007
  • Page count: 384
  • Imprint: Sceptre
Bragg writes with passion...and once again, shows his capacity to make science and technology both exciting and accessible. — Independent
'Bragg has established himself over the past decades as a fearlessly dedicated, popular educator . . . a highly and easily readable book.' — John Sutherland, The Sunday Times
'It can charm almost anyone of any age . . . yet again Bragg has displayed his extraordinary and unique gifts as a communicator' — Christena Appleyard, Daily Mail
'This is an inspiring, fascinating and stimulating book with marvellous illustrations' — Niall MacMonagle, Irish Times
Sceptre

Love Without End

Melvyn Bragg
Authors:
Melvyn Bragg

A profoundly thought-provoking, moving novel that breathes fresh life into one of history's most remarkable and enduring love stories. Paris in 1117. Heloise, a brilliant young scholar, is astonished when the famous, radical philosopher, Peter Abelard, consents to be her tutor. But what starts out as a meeting of minds turns into a passionate, dangerous love affair, which incurs terrible retribution. Nine centuries later, Arthur is in Paris to recreate the extraordinary story of Heloise and Abelard in a novel. To his surprise, his daughter visits and agrees to help, challenging his portraits of a couple who seem often inscrutable, sometimes breathtakingly modern. It soon emerges she is on her own mission to discover more about her parents' fractured relationship - and that Arthur's connection to his subject is more emotional than he cares to admit.(P)2019 Hodder & Stoughton Limited

Hodder & Stoughton

Henry VIII and the men who made him

Tracy Borman
Authors:
Tracy Borman

'An outstanding work of historical artistry, a brilliantly woven and pacy story of the men who surrounded, influenced and sometimes plagued Henry VIII.' Alison WeirHenry VIII is well known for his tumultuous relationships with women, and he is often defined by his many marriages. But what do we see if we take a different look? When we see Henry through the men in his life, a new perspective on this famous king emerges...Henry's relationships with the men who surrounded him reveal much about his beliefs, behaviour and character. They show him to be capable of fierce, but seldom abiding loyalty; of raising men only to destroy them later. He loved to be attended and entertained by boisterous young men who shared his passion for sport, but at other times he was more diverted by men of intellect, culture and wit. Often trusting and easily led by his male attendants and advisers during the early years of his reign, he matured into a profoundly suspicious and paranoid king whose favour could be suddenly withdrawn, as many of his later servants found to their cost. His cruelty and ruthlessness would become ever more apparent as his reign progressed, but the tenderness that he displayed towards those he trusted proves that he was never the one-dimensional monster that he is often portrayed as. In this fascinating and often surprising new biography, Tracy Borman reveals Henry's personality in all its multi-faceted, contradictory glory.

John Murray

The Golden Thread

Kassia St Clair
Authors:
Kassia St Clair
Hodder & Stoughton

Death in Ten Minutes

Fern Riddell
Authors:
Fern Riddell
Sceptre

Deeds Not Words

Helen Pankhurst
Authors:
Helen Pankhurst
Hodder & Stoughton

2020

Paul Cornish, Kingsley Donaldson
Authors:
Paul Cornish, Kingsley Donaldson

'A well-researched and thought-provoking book' Telegraph'2020: World of War is an informed piece of strategic speculation and analysis. Its official distribution should start at Number 10 Downing Street, with the book being quickly shared within the UK's national security apparatus, and perhaps usefully in Washington and European capitals, too.' Mungo Melvin, The RUSI Journal'A timely and cogent reminder that history never ends and is about to be made' - Tim Marshall, author of Prisoners of Geography'This informed and expert book examines credible scenarios of what might happen, could happen and hopefully won't happen' - Lord George Robertson, former NATO Secretary General'2020: World of War should be read by our political leaders, policy makers and horizon scanners alike' - General Sir Richard Shirreff'This expert consideration of potential conflicts will be invaluable to us all - not just the policy makers and politicians who will have to deal with those issues' - Jonathan Powell, former Chief of Staff, 10 Downing Street'Knowing the unknown is the first step in making sure what we fear most doesn't happen' - Jonathan Powell, former Chief of Staff, 10 Downing StreetWith the world already struggling to contain conflicts on several continents, with security and defence expenditure under huge pressure, it's time to think the unthinkable and explore what might happen.As former soldiers now working in defence strategy and conflict resolution, Paul Cornish and Kingsley Donaldson are perfectly qualified to guide us through a credible and utterly convincing 20/20 vision of the year 2020, from cyber security to weapons technology, from geopolitics to undercover operations.This book is of global importance, offering both analysis and creative solutions - essential reading both for decision-makers and everyone who simply wants to understand our future.

John Murray

Somme

Martin Gilbert
Authors:
Martin Gilbert
Sceptre

Crash Bang Wallop

Iain Martin
Authors:
Iain Martin

Published to mark the 30th anniversary of the financial revolution known as 'Big Bang', Crash Bang Wallop will tell the gripping story of how the changes introduced in the 1980s in the City of London transformed our world.Attitudes to money and the way we measure value and status were completely reshaped by Big Bang, and it had an extraordinary impact on politics, on style, on technology, on the class system, on questions of public ownership, and on the geography of London. Perhaps more than anything, Big Bang revolutionised the international markets, as the capital became a testing ground for financial globalisation, with huge repercussions for the global economy. The definitive insider's account of this critically important moment in modern history, Crash Bang Wallop will also explore what's next for global finance as it gets ready to undergo yet another revolution. 'Iain Martin tells it brilliantly, mixing fury-inducing narrative with an acute eye for the broader conclusion.' Observer

Sceptre

The Hired Man

Melvyn Bragg
Authors:
Melvyn Bragg

Set in Cumbria and covering the period from 1898 to the early twenties, this is the powerful saga of John Tallentire, first farm labourer, then coal miner, and his wife Emily. John's struggle to break free from the humiliating status of a 'hired man' is the theme of a novel which has been hailed as a classic of its kind - as meticulously detailed as a social document, as evocative as the writings of Hardy and Lawrence.(P)2015 Hodder & Stoughton

Sceptre

A Place in England

Melvyn Bragg
Authors:
Melvyn Bragg

Joseph Tallantire has hope and ambition - like his father before him he is determined to make something of himself and improve his lot. But life is not easy for an uneducated young man in Cumberland before and during World War II, and Joseph's struggle against the odds is the subject of this moving and evocative novel. Suffering hardship and humiliation but eventually achieving a position of some independence, Joseph serves as a tribute to the many like him who lived through one of Britain's periods of greatest social change.(P) 2015 Hodder & Stoughton

Sceptre

Kingdom Come

Melvyn Bragg
Authors:
Melvyn Bragg
Nicholas Brealey Publishing

The Gilded Chalet

Padraig Rooney
Authors:
Padraig Rooney
Sceptre

Now is the Time

Melvyn Bragg
Authors:
Melvyn Bragg

In this gripping novel, Melvyn Bragg brings an extraordinary episode in English history to fresh, urgent life.At the end of May 1381, the fourteen-year-old King of England had reason to be fearful: the plague had returned, the royal coffers were empty and a draconian poll tax was being widely evaded. Yet Richard, bolstered by his powerful, admired mother, felt secure in his God-given right to reign. But within two weeks, the unthinkable happened: a vast force of common people invaded London, led by a former soldier, Walter Tyler, and the radical preacher John Ball, demanding freedom, equality and the complete uprooting of the Church and state. And for three intense, violent days, it looked as if they would sweep all before them.Now is the Time depicts the events of the Peasants' Revolt on both a grand and intimate scale, vividly portraying its central figures and telling an archetypal tale of an epic struggle between the powerful and the apparently powerless.

Hodder & Stoughton

My Grandfather Would Have Shot Me

Jennifer Teege, Nikola Sellmair
Authors:
Jennifer Teege, Nikola Sellmair
Hodder & Stoughton

Stalin's Englishman: The Lives of Guy Burgess

Andrew Lownie
Authors:
Andrew Lownie
Hodder & Stoughton

Archaeology: All That Matters

John Manley
Authors:
John Manley

- When did archaeology begin?- Who were the first antiquarians in early modern Europe?- How did archaeology free human history from biblical creationism?- How did archaeology become a pseudo-scientific discipline?- Who built the first museum? Leading expert Dr John Manley starts by dealing with the processes and techniques used by archaeologists, in the past and today. He then uses the results of famous archaeological studies both to illustrate the power of archaeology, and to show specifically what archaeology has taught us about Roman, Egyptian, ancient, and surprisingly recent, history. In an exciting final chapter, Manley wonders how archaeology may adapt over time, exploring how the archaeologists of the future may examine our own era.Ideal for students or for general reading, this book delivers a thorough and comprehensive introduction to archaeology. All That Matters about archaeology. All That Matters books are a fast way to get right to the heart of key issues.

John Murray

Byron

Fiona MacCarthy
Authors:
Fiona MacCarthy

Fiona MacCarthy makes a breakthrough in interpreting Byron's life and poetry drawing on John Murray's world-famous archive.She brings a fresh eye to his early years: his childhood in Scotland, embattled relations with his mother, the effect of his deformed foot on his development. She traces his early travels in the Mediterranean and the East, throwing light on his relationships with adolescent boys - a hidden subject in earlier biographies.While paying due attention to the compelling tragicomedy of Byron's marriage, his incestuous love for his half-sister Augusta and the clamorous attention of his female fans, she gives a new importance to his close male friendships, in particular that with his publisher John Murray. She tells the full story of their famous disagreement, ending as a rift between them as Byron's poetry became more recklessly controversial.Byron was a celebrity in his own lifetime, becoming a 'superstar' in 1812, after the publication of Childe Harold. The Byron legend grew to unprecedented proportions after his death in the Greek War of Independence at the age of thirty-six. The problem for a biographer is sifting the truth from the sentimental, the self-serving and the spurious. Fiona MacCarthy has overcome this to produce an immaculately researched biography, which is also her refreshing personal view.

Hodder & Stoughton

Agincourt

Ranulph Fiennes
Authors:
Ranulph Fiennes

25 October 2015 was the 600th anniversary of the battle of Agincourt - a hugely resonant event in English (and French) history. Sir Ranulph Fiennes casts new light on this epic event, revealing that three of his own ancestors fought in the battle for Henry V, and at least one for the French. This is a unique perspective on Agincourt from a trained and decorated soldier. Ran reveals the truth behind the myths and legends of the battle. He tells how after the battle Henry V entertained his senior commanders to dinner, where they were waited on by captured French knights. There is the story of Sir Piers Legge of Lyme Hall, who lay wounded in the mud while his mastiff dog fought off the French men-at-arms. Then there is the legend that the French intended to cut off the first and second right hand fingers of every captured archer, to prevent him from using his bow. The archers raised those two fingers to the advancing French as a gesture of defiance. In this gripping study Sir Ranulph Fiennes brings back to life these stories and more, including those of his own ancestors, in a celebration of a historical event integral to English identity.Fiennes, arguably our greatest explorer...has delved deep into history to tell the story of his family's epic journey. - The Times

Hodder & Stoughton

Lucky Johnny

Johnny Sherwood
Authors:
Johnny Sherwood

In 1938 Johnny Sherwood was a young professional footballer on the brink of an England career, touring the world with the all-star British team the Islington Corinthians. By 1942 he was a soldier surrendering to the Japanese at the siege of Singapore. Taken prisoner he was sent to a POW camp deep in the heart of the Thai jungle, where he was starved, beaten, and forced to build the notorious 'railway of death' on the River Kwai. Johnny kept his and his men's spirits up with tales of his footballing past, even organising matches until he and the other prisoners became too weak to play. One day, he even encountered a brutal Japanese guard, and was shocked to recognise him as a Japanese footballer Johnny had played against. Many years after Johnny's death, his grandson Michael discovered an old manuscript hidden in the attic of his mother's house. It was Johnny's own account of his wartime experiences - the story too horrific to reveal in full to his loved ones. In the tradition of bestselling memoirs like The Railway Man, Lucky Johnny is an inspirational tale of survival against the odds.

Sceptre

Grace and Mary

Melvyn Bragg
Authors:
Melvyn Bragg

Reaching from late 19th-century Cumbria to the present, this elegiac novel celebrates two spirited women: Grace, a farm labourer's daughter who fatefully followed her heart, and Mary, the child she was forced to give up. Unsung heroines according to Mary's son who, as his elderly mother's mind begins to fail, lovingly recreates their lives and the vanished country of their pasts, linking three generations in a chain of enduring love, loss and courage.