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.
By Peter Stanford
In this fascinating historical and cultural biography, writer and broadcaster Peter Stanford deconstructs that most vilified of Bible characters: Judas Iscariot, who famously betrayed Jesus with a kiss. Beginning with the gospel accounts, Peter explores two thousand years of cultural and theological history to investigate how the very name Judas came to be synonymous with betrayal and, ultimately, human evil. But as Peter points out, there has long been a counter-current of thought that suggests that Judas might in fact have been victim of a terrible injustice: central to Jesus' mission was his death and resurrection, and for there to have been a death, there had to be a betrayal. This thankless role fell to Judas; should we in fact be grateful to him for his role in the divine drama of salvation? 'You'll have to decide,' as Bob Dylan sang in the sixties, 'Whether Judas Iscariot had God on his side'.An essential but doomed character in the Passion narrative, and thus the entire story of Christianity, Judas and the betrayal he symbolises continue to play out in much larger cultural histories, speaking as he does to our deepest fears about friendship, betrayal and the problem of evil. Judas: the ultimate traitor, or the ultimate scapegoat? This is a compelling portrait of Christianity's most troubling and mysterious character.
Journeys Through England in Particular: On Foot
By Sue Clifford And Angela King, Sue Clifford, Angela King
Drawn from the critically acclaimed England In Particular, this delightful book pairs with Journeys Through England in Particular: Coasting to form a new series celebrating English local distinctiveness - ideal for travellers, holiday-makers and armchair browsers.England In Particular, first published in 2006, is a celebration of the distinctive details that cumulatively make England - its buildings, landscapes, people and wildlife. It was the culmination of more than twenty years' work by Sue Clifford and Angela King, who founded the charity Common Ground with Roger Deakin. These small hardbacks will appeal to anyone curious about the particularities of the landscape, from Allotments to Arcades, Fingerposts to Footbridges, Stepping Stones to Stiles. They are edited thematically to create the perfect pocket-sized books for taking with you to the countryside or coast, and will prove good companions wherever you are in England.
James May's Magnificent Machines
By James May, Phil Dolling
Our world has been transformed beyond recognition, particularly in the twentieth century, and so were our lives and our aspirations. Throughout JAMES MAY'S MAGNIFICENT MACHINES James May, co-presenter of The Grand Tour, explores the iconic themes of the past hundred years: flight, space travel, television, mechanised war, medicine, computers, electronic music, skyscrapers, electronic espionage and much more. But he also reveals the hidden story behind why some inventions like the Zeppelin, the hovercraft or the Theremin struggled to make their mark. He examines the tipping points - when technologies such as the car or the internet became unstoppable - and gets up close to the nuts and bolt of remarkable inventions. Packed with surprising statistics and intriguing facts, this is the ideal book for anyone who wants to know how stuff works and why some stuff didn't make it.
Jewels: A Secret History
By Victoria Finlay
Throughout history the desire for jewels has made and destroyed individual, families and even empires. Today, despite our ability to manufacture synthetics, gemstones still hold their appeal. Victoria Finlay investigates why in her extraordinary journey to uncover the hidden world of precious stones.The starting point is a sapphire given to her by her parents that was harvested, not by a miner as she had imagined but by men in muddy loincloths trawling a warm stream in Sri Lanka. The extraordinary travels in JEWELS: A SECRET HISTORY take her cycling along the Baltic Amber Route, down the emerald mines of Afghanistan.As we learn from a ruby trader in Burma, the more precious a jewel, the greater the human cost of acquiring it, and JEWELS: A SECRET HISTORY also explores the human histories of gemstones. Along the way we learn from Victoria, a qualified gemologist, how to grade a pearl, what New Age 'crystal therapy' is about, and why one of the rarest sapphires in the world is orange.Victoria Finlay's unique blending of travelogue and narrative history ensures that this book, the first for the general reader, will be as unforgettable as the stones themselves.