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"e;A well-written, thoroughly researched story of a popular and beautiful empress, who, while self-indulgent, sought a life of privacy and peace, and showed sympathy and charity toward the poor."e; - Kirkus ReviewsIn 1898 Luigi Lucheni fatally stabbed Elisabeth, Empress of Austria, on Lake Geneva as she prepared to board a steamer from the Mont Blanc pier. Her life had been one of both profound sadness and inspiring perseverance; and in its course she set the style for the royal rebels who would follow her, particularly the late Diana, Princess of Wales. While still a child, Elisabeth was married to the Hapsburg prince Franz Josef, heir to the Austrian Empire. She gave him three children; one of whom, Crown Prince Rudolf, would later commit suicide at Mayerling. Finding the atmosphere of the Austro-Hungarian court stifling, the increasingly erratic empress traveled incessantly. Abandoning her husband to the attentions of the Viennese comic actress Katharina Schratt, Elisabeth went on errands of mercy to the docks and slums of London and Liverpool, Barcelona and Naples, Smyrna and Marseilles. She was the despair of local police, who could not protect her, even though she wore disguises. She supported independence movements in Ireland, where she hunted superbly alongside her close companion, the English cavalryman "e;Bay"e; Middleton; and also in Hungary, an integral part of her husband's deteriorating empire. When Lucheni assassinated the empress, he killed the most alluring royal figure of the Victorian age. But fame was her real executioner. Her celebrity had led to her death. Elisabeth had been driven into loneliness until she had lost all sense of reality, pursuing a desperate liberty that a confined marriage would never allow her.
The political use of terror has always been with us, whether in the murderous seizing of power by the ancients, through the outlawed campaigns of guerrillas, or via the state sanctioned terror of war. From Homer to Al Qaeda, terrorism has flourished in one form or another, bloodily shaping our history. Andrew Sinclair's unique book brilliantly explores the methods and thinking behind terrorism and shows how the nature of terror has not changed since the days of the Assassins and the Mongol hordes. Meticulously researched and beautifully written, An Anatomy of Terror dissects the uses of atrocity from the Roman destruction of Carthage to the suicide attacks on the World Trade Center. Bold, incisive and compelling, An Anatomy Of Terror is an essential history for our times.
Rosslyn Chapel and Castle near Edinburgh have long exerted a powerful magnetism and mystery for people all over the world. This book follows the story of Rosslyn over two and a half millennia, exploring the many myths and misinterpretations that have grown up around this extraordinary place.
The scene is Cambridge in the early 1960s. Ben Birt, an intellectual Brando from a grammar school, sees the University through proud, bawdy and anarchic eyes. Classless but deeply class-conscious. Brought up on Shakespeare and the classics, much influenced by contemporary French and American, he talks a vivid new language. Ben, above all, is alive. He does: and does not apologize for what he does. He gives to life without giving in; and takes from life without being taken in. He ends up on his own, beginning to see Cambridge has more to offer than a three years' muckabout in a festering fen. 'Very clever indeed . . . This portrait of la vie de boheme universitaire should raise squeals of outraged delight . . . all along the line from Belgravia to Budleigh Salterton.' Daily Telegraph
The prohibition of liquor in the United States from 1920 to 1933 created the myth of the flapper and gangster. Andrew Sinclair's account was the first comprehensive study and it shows how this extraordinary experiment was the product of the age-old conflict of country against city, of the God-fearing farmer against the corrupt urban rich and the new immigrants with their imported religions and beer. Prohibition represented the last attempt of rural America to stem the tide of history that was transforming the country from an agricultural to an industrial nations. It stood for tradition and the old American way of life. Its defeat was tragedy as well as a comedy. The lessons of such an attempt at social control are relevant to all societies, old and new. 'This is a definitive biography of an era; a social history, comprehensive, detailed, documented, and well written.' Arthur Weinberg, Chicago Tribune 'Here is a work of real social history, at once scholarly and entertaining, thoughtful, penetrating and analytical.' John A. Garraty, The New Leader
'I would rather have been in London under siege between 1940 and 1945 than anywhere else,' John Lehmann said, 'except perhaps Troy in the time that Homer celebrated.' Paradoxically perhaps the 1940s was a decade of cultural efflorescence. Writing, painting, theatre, cinema and dancing all thrived: Henry Moore, Francis Bacon, T. S. Eliot, George Orwell and Laurence Olivier all produced some of their best work in this period. In this sweeping and important book, Andrew Sinclair recreates the world of the 1940s with its encounters and characters, its conflicts and its discoveries, its hopes and its disillusions. It was a world of pubs and clubs, where scarce drink could be found and the war forgot. It was the time of the short piece, the poem, the story and the sketch. Anyone who knew anyone in the loose coterie of Fitzrovia could have anything published. Everything printed was read by a nation avid for learning and waiting for action. War Like a Wasp recreates a feverish and democratic time using the words of the period. In his original and witty account of the decade, Andrew Sinclair has made sure nobody will ever think of the 1940s in the same way again. 'Soho and the disease writers caught there, Sohoitis, are the main enthusiasm of War Like a Wasp. They make Sinclair's book a keen Remembrance of Times Pissed - Dylan Thomas brawling, brawling, getting the DTs, Dan Davin slugging or about to be slugged, the unsubsidised editor Tambimuttu (known to some as Tuttifrutti) cadging drinks and poems, louche painters clustered about Nina Hamnett's dying Parisian flame, huge Anna Wickham biting people in the head, all the rough traders, brief encounters and lost girls.' Valentine Cunningham, the Observer 'He has a talent for creating memorable phrases. He calls Dylan Thomas 'the poet with lips like Michelin tyres'. He describes the aftermath of a bombing raid in prose that is uncommonly vivid. He makes you see and smell the terrible damage.' Michael Sheldon, Washington Post
The Breaking of Bumbo was first published fifty years ago when the author was twenty-two. It was an immense success and caused something of stir. To quote from the original blurb, 'Bumbo Bailey is a coward and a bit of a hero; a martyr, an egoist, a clown, a debs' delight and a Suez mutineer; a non-conformist Old Etonian Guardee . Partly his own victim, and partly the victim of his own small world, he is Made, and has his Season; and is Broken. Bumbo pursues his career from Caterham to an Officers' Training School; from the Officers' Training School to Wellington Barracks; and from Wellington Barracks to any number of wildly assorted parties. He learns a lot about Sex and Love and Discipline - and a little about himself; in the end he behaves very oddly indeed; and faces, in his own way, the consequences.' This however is more than a period piece, the social milieu it describes may have vanished, but the novel's satirical brio lifts it above its immediate provenance; it continues to read freshly. 'This bitter, ironical and very clever first novel paints a devastating portrait of an upper-class misfit, half clown, half Hamlet . . .' Evening Standard 'Gruesomely funny . . . a violent virility that is infectious' Tatler
Man and Horse is a magisterial history of the mounted warrior and the relationship with his steed. Andrew Sinclair takes as his inspiration Walter Prescott Webb's seminal work, The Great Plains. The horse until very recently has been the decisive factor in determining military success. Great exponents of the art of equestrian warfare include, Alexander the Great, Hannibal, King Arthur, Saladin, the Knights of the Templar, the Reivers of the Scottish Borders, the Mongols, North American Indians, the Confederate forces during the American Civil War and the Boers. Sinclair also explores the uses of the horse by highwaymen and figures such as Ned Kelly. Andrew Sinclair brilliantly shows that the art of warfare from horseback with its culture of mobility has always been at conflict with the urban domesticated culture. This tension has created much of the great art and culture of humankind. This is a hugely ambitious and exhilarating book that cannot fail to enthral and stimulate.
The Reivers' Trail runs from the Irish to the North Sea, through Cumbria, Dumfries, Borders and Northumberland. The Borders of England and Scotland, also called the 'Debatable Land', were controlled for four centuries by the reiver clans, who learned their battle tactics from the Romans and King Arthur. A semi-nomadic cattle culture, the reivers were seen as a problem by both the Scottish and English crowns as they were loyal not to a country but to their own intertwined family connections. Robbery and blackmail were everyday professions, raiding, arson, kidnapping, murder and extortion an accepted part of the social system. Their raids and forays were a way of life and a means of survival and they were the finest light cavalry of the times. Andrew Sinclair is spearheading an international project to create a reivers' trail for the modern traveller and has delved deep into the history and legend of the reivers. In The Reivers' Trail , he recounts the extraordinary and turbulent history of this beautiful old frontier, with its glorious landscape and the wonderful roll call of Border clans: Maxwell, Johnstone, Graham, Armstrong, Elliot, Kerr, and Hume.
In Christian tradition, the Grail is anything that has held the body and blood of Christ; usually the cup Jesus used at the Last Supper or the vessel used by Joseph of Arimathea to hold the blood shed by Jesus on the cross. From the medieval Grail romances of such poets as Wolfram von Eschenbach and the later Welsh legends of King Arthur to the energetic adventures of Indiana Jones and the recent researches of Dan Brown's Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon, the quest for the Grail has been a potent parable for the search for the ultimate truth. It has inspired a whole culture of chivalry, with knights and adventurers vying for its possession. The Grail: The Quest for a Legend draws on a wide variety of traditions and disciplines, using literary and artistic sources to explore the imaginative richness of the Grail. Andrew Sinclair's richly illustrated book digs deep into the legends to find the origins of our fascination with the Grail and explores the extraordinary legacy and geography of the quest, through Europe to the Near East and across the Atlantic.
The changing role and status of women in America from colonial times to the present, and the American woman's unrelenting struggle for complete equality with men are the major themes of this work. The works of leading feminists, suffragists, abolitionists, unionists, and temperance workers are explored.