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Neil Oliver is a Scottish archaeologist, historian and broadcaster best known for his distinctive voice and long black hair and as the charismatic presenter of the award-winning documentary series Coast. His 10-part 'bold, pugnacious and authoritative' History of Scotland on BBC2 was a critical success as was the book of the same name that accompanied it.
Who were the first Britons, and what sort of world did they occupy? In A History of Ancient Britain Neil Oliver turns a spotlight on the very beginnings of the story of Britain; on the first people to occupy these islands and their battle for survival. Through what is revealed by the artefacts of the past, Neil Oliver weaves the epic story - half -a-million years of human history up to the departure of the Roman Empire in the Fifth Century AD. It was a period which accounts for more than ninety-nine per cent of humankind's presence on these islands. It is the real story of Britain and of her people. Like for Like Reading Britain BC: Life in Britain and Ireland before the Romans, Francis Pryor The Origins of the British: A Genetic Detective Story, Stephen Oppenheimer
There has been human habitation in Britain, regularly interrupted by Ice Ages, for the best part of a million years. The last retreat of the glaciers 12,000 years ago brought a new and warmer age and with it, one of the greatest tsunamis recorded on Earth which struck the north-east of Britain, devastating the population and flooding the low-lying plains of what is now the North Sea. The resulting island became, in time, home to a diverse range of cultures and peoples who have left behind them some of the most extraordinary and enigmatic monuments in the world.
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.
Neil Oliver returns to historical fiction with an adventure spanning England and Turkey, the Tudors and the Byzantines, with plenty of scrapes to be had along the way.
In fifteenth-century Constantinople, Prince Constantine saves the life of a broken-hearted girl. But the price of his valour is high. John Grant is a young man on the edge of the world. His unique abilities carry him from his home in Scotland to the heart of the Byzantine Empire in search of a girl and the chance to fulfil a death-bed promise. Lena has remained hidden from the men who have been searching for her for many years. When she's hunted down, at last she knows what she must do. With an army amassing beyond the city's ancient walls, the fates of these three will intertwine. As the Siege of Constantinople reaches its climax, each must make a choice between head and heart, duty and destiny.
The Vikings famously took no prisoners, relished cruel retribution, and prided themselves on their blood-thirsty skills as warriors. But their prowess in battle is only a small part of their story, which stretches from their Scandinavian origins to America in the west and as far as Baghdad in the east. As the Vikings did not write their history, we have to discover it for ourselves, and that discovery, as Neil Oliver reveals, tells an extraordinary story of a people who, from the brink of destruction, reached a quarter of the way around the globe and built an empire that lasted nearly 200 years. Drawing on the latest discoveries that have only recently come to light, Neil Oliver goes on the trail of the real Vikings. Where did they emerge from? How did they really live? And just what drove them to embark on such extraordinary voyages of discovery over 1000 years ago? VIKINGS will explore many of these questions for the first time in an epic story of one of the world's great empires of conquest.
The dramatic story of Scotland - by charismatic television historian, Neil Oliver. Scotland is one of the oldest countries in the world with a vivid and diverse past. Yet the stories and figures that dominate Scottish history - tales of failure, submission, thwarted ambition and tragedy - often badly serve this great nation, overshadowing the rich tapestry of her intricate past. Historian Neil Oliver presents a compelling new portrait of Scottish history, peppered with action, high drama and centuries of turbulence that have helped to shape modern Scotland. Along the way, he takes in iconic landmarks and historic architecture; debunks myths surrounding Scotland's famous sons; recalls forgotten battles; charts the growth of patriotism; and explores recent political developments, capturing Scotland's sense of identity and celebrating her place in the wider world.
Stories of heroism, exploration and sacrifice that will inspire boys to be courageous, honorable and open to adventureTales of brave and selfless deeds used to be part of every boy's education. We grew up sharing stories with our fathers, uncles and grandfathers of how great men had lived their lives, met their challenges, reached their goals and faced their deaths. Becoming a man was about comradeship and standing by your friends whatever the circumstances. And it meant that sometimes it was more important to die a hero than live a coward's life.Amazing Tales for Making Men Out of Boys is packed with classic stories of courage and heroism from around the world, including: D-Day and Omaha Beach; the Charge of the Light Brigade; the Battle of Dien Bien Phu; the Siege of the Alamo; the Moonwalkers and Apollo 13; the Flight of the Nez Perces; Josiah Harlan and the Trouble with Afghanistan; the Demons of Camerone; the Battle of Isandlwana; the Yangtze Incident; the Battle of Trafalgar; Shackleton's Boat Journey; Scott of the Antarctic; Thermopylae; the Revolutionary War Naval Battle of John Paul Jones and the Bonhomme Richard.
Discover inspiring stories of heroism, adventure, endurance and survival from throughout history. Captain Robert Falcon Scott didn't start out life as a hero. In fact, as a boy he was considered small, frail and shy. So what was it that turned this ordinary man into a legend? Through his gripping account of how this modest naval officer became Scott of the Antarctic, Neil Oliver vividly relates the awe-inspiring tales of brave men that inspired Britain's greatest hero, including Nelson, Sir John Moore, and the Demons of Camerone. And alongside these epic stories of courage, fortitude and sacrifice, Oliver recounts how the spirit of Scott lives on - from Neil Armstrong and the Apollo 13 mission, to the SAS and the Battle of Mirbat. Young and old alike will enjoy reading these brave stories of men who understood - as Scott always did - that it was more important to die a hero than live a coward's life. ________ 'A joy from start to finish' Sunday Telegraph 'A great book . . . I shall treasure it' Sir Ranulph Fiennes 'A must-have collection' The Times