By Peter Snow, Ann MacMillan
War Stories is a fascinating account of ordinary men and women swept up in the turbulence of war. These are the stories - many untold until now - of thirty-four individuals who have pushed the boundaries of love, bravery, suffering and terror beyond the imaginable. They span three centuries and five continents. There is the courage of Edward Seagar who survived the Charge of the Light Brigade; the cunning of Krystyna Skarbek, quick-thinking spy and saboteur during the Second World War; the skullduggery of Benedict Arnold, who switched sides in the American War of Independence and the compassion of Magdalene de Lancey who tenderly nursed her dying husband at Waterloo. Told with vivid narrative flair and full of unexpected insights, War Stories moves effortlessly from tales of spies, escapes and innovation to uplifting acts of humanity, celebrating men and women whose wartime experiences are beyond compare.
The Secret Lives of Colour
By Kassia St Clair
'A mind-expanding tour of the world without leaving your paintbox. Every colour has a story, and here are some of the most alluring, alarming, and thought-provoking. Very hard painting the hallway magnolia after this inspiring primer.' Simon GarfieldThe Secret Lives of Colour tells the unusual stories of the 75 most fascinating shades, dyes and hues. From blonde to ginger, the brown that changed the way battles were fought to the white that protected against the plague, Picasso's blue period to the charcoal on the cave walls at Lascaux, acid yellow to kelly green, and from scarlet women to imperial purple, these surprising stories run like a bright thread throughout history. In this book Kassia St Clair has turned her lifelong obsession with colours and where they come from (whether Van Gogh's chrome yellow sunflowers or punk's fluorescent pink) into a unique study of human civilisation. Across fashion and politics, art and war, The Secret Lives of Colour tell the vivid story of our culture.
Complete Middle Egyptian
By Richard Bussmann
Designed for complete beginners, and tested for years with real learners, Complete Middle Egyptian offers a bridge from the textbook to the real world, enabling you to learn the grammar, access inscriptions in documents and monuments and even teaching you how to draw hieroglyphs yourself.Structured around key artefacts and introducing both the original hieroglyphs and transliteration (for easier understanding) this course also features: -16 learning units plus pronunciation section, grammar reference, sign list overview and sign list explanation -Stepped progression - clearly graduated progress through different levels of the language-Authentic materials - language taught through key artefacts and texts-Teaches the key skills - reading and understanding hieroglyphs-Culture insights - learn about the culture, society and politics in ancient Egypt-Self tests and learning activities - see and track your own progressRely on Teach Yourself, trusted by language learners for over 75 years.
By John Julius Norwich
'Never before had the world seen four such giants co-existing. Sometimes friends, more often enemies, always rivals, these four men together held Europe in the hollow of their hands.' Four great princes - Henry VIII of England, Francis I of France, Charles V of Spain and Suleiman the Magnificent - were born within a single decade. Each looms large in his country's history and, in this book, John Julius Norwich broadens the scope and shows how, against the rich background of the Renaissance and destruction of the Reformation, their wary obsession with one another laid the foundations for modern Europe. Individually, each man could hardly have been more different - from the scandals of Henry's six wives to Charles's monasticism - but, together, they dominated the world stage. From the Field of the Cloth of Gold, a pageant of jousting, feasting and general carousing so lavish that it nearly bankrupted both France and England, to Suleiman's celebratory pyramid of 2,000 human heads (including those of seven Hungarian bishops) after the battle of Mohács; from Anne Boleyn's six-fingered hand (a potential sign of witchcraft) that had the pious nervously crossing themselves to the real story of the Maltese falcon, Four Princes is history at its vivid, entertaining best. With a cast list that extends from Leonardo da Vinci to Barbarossa, and from Joanna the Mad to le roi grand-nez, John Julius Norwich offers the perfect guide to the most colourful century the world has ever known and brings the past to unforgettable life.
By Josh Ireland
'An epic tale of love, dishonour, bravery, cowardice, betrayal and high-treason. Beautifully written. A stunning debut' Damien LewisPlayboy. Fascist. Strongman. Thief.Traitors.September 1939. For years now Britain has been rudderless, divided and grievously unequal. Successive governments have floundered as they struggled to cope with economic misery at home and machinations abroad. Many of the country's citizens are seduced by fascism; others are simply left alienated by leaders who seem unwilling or unable to take the decisive action that is so desperately needed.When war breaks out the imperiled nation achieves the unity and purpose that has eluded it for more than a decade. It is a time of heroism and sacrifice in which many thousands of soldiers and civilians give their lives. But some Britons choose a different path, renegades who will fight for the Third Reich until its gruesome collapse in 1945. The Traitors tells the stories of four such men: the chaotic, tragic John Amery; the idealistic but hate-filled William Joyce; the cynical, murderous conman Harold Cole; and Eric Pleasants, an iron-willed pacifist and bodybuilder who wants no part in this war.Drawing on declassified MI5 files, as well as diaries, letters and memoirs, The Traitors is a book about disordered lives in turbulent times; idealism twisted out of shape; of torn consciences and abandoned loyalties; of murder, deceit, temptation and loss. It shows how a man might come to desert his country's cause, and the tragic consequences that treachery brings in its wake.
By Paul Cornish, Kingsley Donaldson
'A WELL-RESEARCHED AND THOUGHT-PROVOKING BOOK' Telegraph'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.
A Nearly Infallible History of the Reformation
By Nick Page
500 years ago, Martin Luther nailed his ideas to a church door - and the Reformation began. Or maybe it was a little more complicated than that. Nick Page brings his skills as an unlicensed historian to bear on this key period in European (and world) history in order to uncover everything you need to know about the Reformation - with a fair few bits you never wanted to know thrown in for good measure.Historians tell us that the Protestant Reformation laid the foundations for the Industrial Revolution, religious freedom, and all sorts of other Good Things. But what actually happened? Who were the winners and the losers, the ogres and the beauty queens of this key moment in church history? (spoiler: there weren't any beauty queens)In-depth research, historical analysis and cutting-edge guesswork combine to scintillating effect in this fast-moving examination of the strange and wonderful whirlwind that was church life in late medieval Europe.'You were predestined to read this.' John Calvin
Crash Bang Wallop
By 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
The Gretna Girls
By Tracey Lawson
Jane Austen at Home
By Lucy Worsley
THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER'This is my kind of history: carefully researched but so vivid that you are convinced Lucy Worsley was actually there at the party - or the parsonage.' Antonia Fraser'A refreshingly unique perspective on Austen and her work and a beautifully nuanced exploration of gender, creativity, and domesticity.' Amanda Foreman'Brilliant and very moving, this book is a fascinating and original exploration of Jane Austen with lots of new material - Worsley brings Austen to life superbly, through her pages she is a flesh and blood woman, intelligent, powerful, contradictory, loving, loved. A magnificent book.' Kate WilliamsOn the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen's death, historian Lucy Worsley leads us into the rooms from which our best-loved novelist quietly changed the world.This new telling of the story of Jane's life shows us how and why she lived as she did, examining the places and spaces that mattered to her. It wasn't all country houses and ballrooms, but a life that was often a painful struggle. Jane famously lived a 'life without incident', but with new research and insights Lucy Worsley reveals a passionate woman who fought for her freedom. A woman who far from being a lonely spinster in fact had at least five marriage prospects, but who in the end refused to settle for anything less than Mr Darcy.
Mr Darley's Arabian
By Christopher McGrath
Shortlisted for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year AwardIn 1704 a bankrupt English merchant sent home the colt he had bought from Bedouin tribesmen near the ruins of Palmyra. Thomas Darley hoped this horse might be the ticket to a new life back in Yorkshire. But he turned out to be far more than that: and although Mr Darley's Arabian never ran a race, 95% of all thoroughbreds in the world today are descended from him. In this book, for the first time, award-winning racing writer Christopher McGrath traces this extraordinary bloodline through twenty-five generations to our greatest modern racehorse, Frankel.The story of racing is about man's relationship with horses, and Mr Darley's Arabian also celebrates the men and women who owned, trained and traded the stallions that extended the dynasty. The great Eclipse, for instance, was bred by the Duke who foiled Bonnie Prince Charlie's invasion (with militia gathered from Wakefield races) and went on to lead the Jockey Club. But he only became a success once bought and raced by a card-sharp and brothel-keeper - the racecourse has always brought high and low life together. McGrath expertly guides us through three centuries of scandals, adventures and fortunes won and lost: our sporting life offers a fascinating view into our history. With a canvas that extends from the diamond mines of South Africa to the trenches of the Great War, and a cast ranging from Smithfield meat salesmen to the inspiration for Mr Toad, and from legendary jockeys to not one, but two disreputable Princes of Wales (and a very unamused Queen Victoria), Mr Darley's Arabian shows us the many faces of the sport of kings.
By Josephine Wilkinson
'An impressive revisionist biography' The TimesLooming out of the encroaching darkness of the February evening was London Bridge, still ornamented with the severed heads of Thomas Culpeper and Francis Dereham; the terrible price they had paid for suspected intimacy with the queen.Katherine now reached the Tower of London, her final destination. Katherine Howard was the fifth wife of Henry VIII and cousin to the executed Anne Boleyn. She first came to court as a young girl of fourteen, but even prior to that her fate had been sealed and she was doomed to die. She was beheaded in 1542 for crimes of adultery and treason, in one of the most sensational scandals of the Tudor age.The traditional story of Henry VIII's fifth queen dwells on her sexual exploits before she married the king, and her execution is seen as her just dessert for having led an abominable life. However, the true story of Katherine Howard could not be more different. Far from being a dark tale of court factionalism and conspiracy, Katherine's story is one of child abuse, family ambition, religious conflict and political and sexual intrigue. It is also a tragic love story. A bright, kind and intelligent young woman, Katherine was fond of clothes and dancing, yet she also had a strong sense of duty and tried to be a good wife to Henry. She handled herself with grace and queenly dignity to the end, even as the barge carrying her on her final journey drew up at the Tower of London, where she was to be executed for high treason.Little more than a child in a man's world, she was the tragic victim of those who held positions of authority over her, and from whose influence she was never able to escape.
By Siân Evans
Queen Bees looks at the lives of six remarkable women who made careers out of being society hostesses, including Lady Astor, who went on to become the first female MP, and Mrs Greville, who cultivated relationships with Edward VII, as well as Lady Londonderry, Lady Cunard, Laura Corrigan and Lady Colefax. Written with wit, verve and heart, Queen Bees is the story of a form of societal revolution, and the extraordinary women who helped it happen.In the aftermath of the First World War, the previously strict hierarchies of the British class system were weakened. For a number of ambitious, spirited women, this was the chance they needed to slip through the cracks and take their place at the top of society as the great hostesses of the time. In an age when the place of women was uncertain, becoming a hostess was not a chore, but a career choice, and though some of the hostesses' backgrounds were surprisingly humble, their aspirations were anything but. During the inter-war years these extraordinary women ruled over London society from their dining tables and salons - entertaining everyone from the Mosleys to the Mitfords, from millionaires to maharajahs, from film stars to royalty - and their influence can still be felt today.