On This Day in History
By Dan Snow
On which day was history's shortest war waged and won (in roughly 40 minutes)? How was Napoleon bested by a group of rabbits in 1807? Why did a dispute about beer in an Oxford pub lead to over 100 deaths and 470 years of penance? Why in 1752 did Britain go to bed on 2nd September and wake up on the 14th? How did a women's march in 1917 set off the Russian Revolution?On This Day in History brings to life a key event that happened on each day of the year.From the most important British battle that you've never heard of (20 May 685) to the first meeting of Lennon and McCartney (6 July 1957), and from why Julius Caesar should have been wary of the Ides of March (15 March 44BC) to the day Jeanne de Clisson became a pirate and single-handedly declared war on the King of France (2 August 1343), history is full of unlikely heroes and fascinating turning points.In this book Dan Snow shows us how each day offers a different and unexpected insight into our past. And story by gripping story, this year grows into a vivid, very human history of the world.
The Greats on Leadership
By Jocelyn Davis
The Greats on Leadership is an in-depth tour of the best leadership ideas of the past 25 centuries, drawing out the key leadership insights from classic authors, weaving them together with business examples, the best contemporary research, and tools to help put it all into practice.Among the 20 specific leadership topics included are:Leadership Traps (Shakespeare) Change (Machiavelli) Power (Sophocles) Dilemmas (Madison, Hamilton) Communication (Lincoln, Pericles) Personality Types (Jung) Motivation (Frankl) Judgment (Maupassant, Melville, Austen, Shaw) Character (Churchill, Plutarch, Shelley, Joyce)The Greats on Leadership shows there are no greater lessons to follow than the classics in the search for practical wisdom.
Under the Knife
By Arnold van de Laar
'This is history with a surgeon's touch: deft, incisive and sometimes excruciatingly bloody' The Sunday Times'Utterly eccentric and riveting' Mail on Sunday 'Eye-opening and, frequently, eye-watering . . . a book that invites readers to peer up the bottoms of kings, into the souls of rock stars and down the ear canals of astronauts' The Daily TelegraphHow did a decision made in the operating theatre spark hundreds of conspiracy theories about JFK? How did a backstage joke prove fatal to world-famous escape artist Harry Houdini? How did Queen Victoria change the course of surgical history?Through dark centuries of bloodletting and of amputations without anaesthetic to today's sterile, high-tech operating theatres, surgeon Arnold van de Laar uses his experience and expertise to tell an incisive history of the past, present and future of surgery.From the dark centuries of bloodletting and of amputations without anaesthetic to today's sterile, high-tech operating theatres, Under the Knife is both a rich cultural history, and a modern anatomy class for us all.
Henry VIII and the men who made him
By 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.
By Neil Oliver
There are 37,780 First World War memorials in Britain, listing names from all walks of life - estates, villages, places of work. They stand as landmarks to a defining period in British history - and yet one which is in danger of slipping away from popular memory. NOT FORGOTTEN is a revealing look at the untold stories that lie behind these lists of names - stories of the impact of World War One on British society, the echoes of which can still be felt today. More than a conflict overseas, it was the catalyst for an extraordinary period of rapid and radical change to the social, cultural and political fabric of the nation. Social restrictions on women were revolutionised, from jobs and the vote to new freedoms in dress, behaviour and sexuality. The class system was thrown into disarray, both at home and on the front lines; roles were reversed in family life for a large part of the population, through bereavement, evacuation and children put to work in munitions factories. And as the state took drastic measures to cope with this turmoil, so the foundations were laid for the society in which we live today.
The Power of Love
By Bishop Michael B. Curry
The text of the celebrated 2018 royal wedding sermon, plus four other sermons touching on themes of love, commitment, and social justice, by Bishop Michael CurryTwo billion people watched Bishop Michael Curry deliver his sermon on the redemptive power of love at the royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle (now the Duke and Duchess of Sussex) at Windsor Castle in May 2018. Here, he shares the full text of that sermon, plus an introduction describing the context, along with four of his favourite sermons on the themes of love and social justice. The world met Bishop Curry at the wedding and was moved by his riveting, hopeful, and deceptively simple message: love and acceptance are what we need in these strange times.
Britain by the Book
By Oliver Tearle
What caused Dickens to leap out of bed one night and walk 30 miles from London to Kent?How did a small town on the Welsh borders become the second-hand bookshop capital of the world?Why did a jellyfish persuade Evelyn Waugh to abandon his suicide attempt in North Wales? A multitude of curious questions are answered in Britain by the Book, a fascinating travelogue with a literary theme, taking in unusual writers' haunts and the surprising places that inspired some of our favourite fictional locations. We'll learn why Thomas Hardy was buried twice, how a librarian in Manchester invented the thesaurus as a means of coping with depression, and why Agatha Christie was investigated by MI5 during the Second World War. The map of Britain that emerges is one dotted with interesting literary stories and bookish curiosities.
By Richard MacLean Smith
'A grisly treat' Financial Times on the podcast Based on the 'world's spookiest podcast' of the same name comes Unexplained: a book of ten real-life mysteries which might be best left unexplained. . . The perfect spooky stocking filler for this festive period.******************************* What can a case of demonic possession in 1970's Germany teach us about free will?What might we learn about how we construct reality from the case of a poltergeist in the Fens?And what can a supposed instance of reincarnation in Middlesbrough tell us about how we develop a concept of the self? Taking incidents once thought of as supernatural or paranormal and questioning whether radical ideas in science might provide a new but equally extraordinary explanation, Unexplained asks what real-life unexplained events can reveal of our unique human experience. 'These mysteries are all the creepier for being true' Tatler
The Golden Thread
By Kassia St Clair
** A RADIO 4 BOOK OF THE WEEK **'Fascinating . . . The history of the world through the eye of a needle . . . I recommend this book to anyone' THE SPECTATOR'A charming, absorbing and history that takes us on a journey from the silk roads to sportswear, from ruffs to spacesuits . . . I devoured this quietly feminist book' SUNDAY TIMES'Joyful and beautiful' NATURE'Will make you rethink your relationship with fabric' ELLE DECORATIONAll textiles begin with a twist. From colourful 30,000-year old threads found on the floor of a Georgian cave to what the linen wrappings of Tutankhamun's mummy actually meant; from the Silk Roads to the woollen sails that helped the Vikings reach America 700 years before Columbus; from the lace ruffs that infuriated the puritans to the Indian calicoes and chintzes that powered the Industrial Revolution, our continuing reinvention of cloth tells fascinating stories of human ingenuity. When we talk of lives hanging by a thread, being interwoven, or part of the social fabric, we are part of a tradition that stretches back many thousands of years. Fabric has allowed us to achieve extraordinary things and survive in unlikely places, and this book shows you how -- and why.With a cast that includes Chinese empresses, Richard the Lionheart and Bing Crosby, Kassia St Clair takes us on the run with escaped slaves, climbing the slopes of Everest and moonwalking with astronauts. Running like a bright line through history, The Golden Thread offers an unforgettable adventure through our past, present and future.
The Quest for Queen Mary
By James Pope-Hennessy, Hugo Vickers
* * 'Very funny and astute, it provides a loathly feast for royal-watchers' Hilary Mantel, New Statesman Books of the Year 2018'Almost every page is a gem'A. N. Wilson, Spectator Christmas Books'I wonder if this will be the year's surprise Christmas bestseller? ... Wonderful' Robert Harris* * *When James Pope-Hennessy began his work on Queen Mary's official biography, it opened the door to meetings with royalty, court members and retainers around Europe. The series of candid observations, secrets and indiscretions contained in his notes were to be kept private for 50 years. Now published in full for the first time and edited by the highly admired royal biographer Hugo Vickers, this is a riveting, often hilarious portrait of the eccentric aristocracy of a bygone age. Giving much greater insight into Queen Mary than the official version, and including sharply observed encounters with, among others, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, the Duke of Gloucester, and a young Queen Elizabeth, The Quest for Queen Mary is set to be a classic of royal publishing.
By Giles Milton
'Vivid, graphic and moving' Mail on Sunday Book of the Year'It has a wonderful immediacy and vitality - living history in every sense' Anthony Horowitz'Fantastic' Dan Snow'Compellingly authentic, revelatory and beautifully written. A gripping tour de force' Damien LewisAlmost seventy-five years have passed since D-Day, the day of the greatest seaborne invasion in history. The outcome of the Second World War hung in the balance on that chill June morning. If Allied forces succeeded in gaining a foothold in northern France, the road to victory would be open. But if the Allies could be driven back into the sea, the invasion would be stalled for years, perhaps forever.An epic battle that involved 156,000 men, 7,000 ships and 20,000 armoured vehicles, the desperate struggle that unfolded on 6 June 1944 was, above all, a story of individual heroics - of men who were driven to keep fighting until the German defences were smashed and the precarious beachheads secured. Their authentic human story - Allied, German, French - has never fully been told.Giles Milton's bold new history narrates the day's events through the tales of survivors from all sides: the teenage Allied conscript, the crack German defender, the French resistance fighter. From the military architects at Supreme Headquarters to the young schoolboy in the Wehrmacht's bunkers, D-Day: The Soldiers' Story lays bare the absolute terror of those trapped in the frontline of Operation Overlord. It also gives voice to those hitherto unheard - the French butcher's daughter, the Panzer Commander's wife, the chauffeur to the General Staff.This vast canvas of human bravado reveals 'the longest day' as never before - less as a masterpiece of strategic planning than a day on which thousands of scared young men found themselves staring death in the face. It is drawn in its entirety from the raw, unvarnished experiences of those who were there.
By Max Arthur
Tough, highly adaptable and efficient, the Parachute Regiment has established itself as one of the finest fighting forces in the world. On the occasion of the 75th anniversary of its founding, renowned historian Max Arthur has compiled this enthralling oral history of the modern Parachute Regiment.This unique chronicle is told through the voices of more than a hundred of the soldiers themselves, and of those involved closely with them. Whether in the Falklands, Kosovo, Iraq, Sierra Leone or Afghanistan, the Paras have maintained their reputation for being where the fighting is fiercest and where the odds of survival are often stacked heavily against them.The gripping, visceral first-person narrative makes The Paras stand apart from conventional regimental histories as one of the most remarkable accounts of conflict ever published.
By Ben Coates
The Rhine is one of the world's greatest rivers. Once forming the outer frontier of the Roman Empire, it flows 800 miles from the social democratic playground of the Netherlands, through the industrial and political powerhouses of Germany and France, to the wealthy mountain fortresses of Switzerland and Liechtenstein. For five years, Ben Coates lived alongside a major channel of the river in Rotterdam, crossing it daily, swimming and sailing in its tributaries. In The Rhine, he sets out by bicycle from the Netherlands where it enters the North Sea, following it through Germany, France and Liechtenstein, to its source in the icy Alps. He explores the impact that the Rhine has had on European culture and history and finds out how influences have flowed along and across the river, shaping the people who live alongside it. Blending travelogue and offbeat history, The Rhine tells the fascinating story of how a great river helped shape a continent.