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History Books

Intensively researched, lovingly compiled, more accessible than ever, whatever your subject of interest - this is where you’ll find it.

The Prince, the Princess and the Perfect Murder

The Prince, the Princess and the Perfect Murder

Author: Andrew Rose Format: Paperback Release Date: 13/03/2014

The royal family's darkest secret and the establishment cover-up. Half a century before Dodi and Diana, another Prince of Wales would be involved in a deadly love triangle with a fabulously wealthy Egyptian prince. Prince Edward was the future King of England, a destiny he would famously forsake over his love for Wallis Simpson. But two decades prior he was involved in another love affair that threatened to jeopardize the royal family. The story took place in maisons de rendezvous, luxurious chateaux in the French countryside providing hospitality for the British upper classes, the richest food, the finest wines and the most beautiful women, the violent and dangerous Paris demi-monde - where many of the women came from - and the Savoy hotel in London, where a murder was committed. This major royal scandal, superbly covered up by the Royal family, the government and the judiciary has remained secret ever since. This is the story of a passionate and deadly love affair set against the dramatic backdrop of the Great War. Edward was enthralled by the 'crazy physical attraction' of Marguerite Alibert, queen of the Paris demi-monde. When he broke off their hidden relationship, Edward thought that he was free of Marguerite. He was wrong. After the war, as a violent thunderstorm raged outside the luxurious Savoy Hotel in London Marguerite fired three shots from a semi-automatic pistol. Her husband, and Egyptian multimillionaire and playboy, was shot dead at point blank range. Marguerite stood trial for murder at the Old Bailey. As Prince Charming and poster boy of the British Empire, Edward now risked exposure as a degenerate wastrel, partying behind the lines while thousands were blown away on the Western Front. Andrew Rose, using his long experience as a barrister and judge, has uncovered a royal scandal carefully airbrushed from history. Edward never quite escaped from Marguerite who had taught the arts of love to a once and future King. The Prince, the Princess and the Perfect Murder is the product of several years' research, accessing unpublished documents held in the Royal Archives and private collections in England and France.

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Modern Korea

Modern Korea

Author: Andrew Salmon Format: Paperback Release Date: 29/08/2014

The fascinating history of a divided country From nuclear missiles to Samsung smartphones; from assassins to salarymen; from Kim Il-sung to Psy; Modern Korea: All That Matters is the extraordinary story of the flashpoint peninsula that dominates talk in boardrooms and newsrooms. Korea, the author argues, provides two stark benchmarks for national development: Epic success and catastrophic failure. And its final chapter has yet to be written.

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Shadow of the Titanic The Extraordinary Stories of Those Who Survived

Shadow of the Titanic The Extraordinary Stories of Those Who Survived

Author: Andrew Wilson Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/03/2012

In the early hours of 15 April 1912, after the majestic liner Titanic had split apart and the 1,500 men, women and children struggled to stay alive in the freezing Atlantic, the sea was alive with the sound of screaming. Then, as the ship sank to the ocean floor and the passengers slowly died from hypothermia, a deathly silence settled over the sea. Yet the echoes of that night reverberated through the lives of each of the 705 survivors. Shadow of the Titanic tells the extraordinary stories of some of those who survived. Although we think we know the story of the Titanic - the famously unsinkable ship that hit an iceberg on its maiden voyage from Britain to America in April 1912 - little has been written about what happened to the survivors after the tragedy. How did the loss of the ship shape the lives of the people who survived? How did those who were saved feel about those who perished? And how did they remember that terrible night, in effect a disaster that has been likened to the destruction of a small town? Timed to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the sinking, SHADOW OF THE TITANIC will shed new light on this enduringly fascinating story by showing how the disaster continued to shape the lives of a cross-section of passengers who escaped the sinking ship.

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Sophia Princess, Suffragette, Revolutionary

Sophia Princess, Suffragette, Revolutionary

Author: Anita Anand Format: Hardback Release Date: 15/01/2015

In 1876 Sophia Duleep Singh was born into royalty. Her father, Maharajah Duleep Singh, was heir to the Kingdom of the Sikhs, a realm that stretched from the lush Kashmir Valley to the craggy foothills of the Khyber Pass and included the mighty cities of Lahore and Peshawar. It was a territory irresistible to the British, who plundered everything, including the fabled Koh-I-Noor diamond. Exiled to England, the dispossessed Maharajah transformed his estate at Elveden in Suffolk into a Moghul palace, its grounds stocked with leopards, monkeys and exotic birds. Sophia, god-daughter of Queen Victoria, was raised a genteel aristocratic Englishwoman: presented at court, afforded grace-and-favour lodgings at Hampton Court Palace and photographed wearing the latest fashions for the society pages. But when, in secret defiance of the British government, she travelled to India, she returned a revolutionary. Sophia transcended her heritage to devote herself to battling injustice and inequality,a far cry from the life to which she was born. Her causes were the struggle for Indian independence, the fate of the Lascars, the welfare of Indian soldiers in the First World War - and, above all, the fight for female suffrage. She was bold and fearless, attacking politicians, putting herself in the front line and swapping her silks for a nurse's uniform to tend wounded soldiers evacuated from the battlefields. Meticulously researched and passionately written, this enthralling story of the rise of women and the fall of empire introduces an extraordinary individual and her part in the defining moments of recent British and Indian history.

Bad Girls Throughout History 100 Remarkable Women Who Changed the World

Bad Girls Throughout History 100 Remarkable Women Who Changed the World

Author: Ann Shen Format: Hardback Release Date: 01/09/2016

Aphra Behn, first female professional writer. Sojourner Truth, activist and abolitionist. Ada Lovelace, first computer programmer. Marie Curie, first woman to win the Nobel Prize. Joan Jett, godmother of punk. The 100 revolutionary women highlighted in this gorgeously illustrated book were bad in the best sense of the word: they challenged the status quo and changed the rules for all who followed. From pirates to artists, warriors, daredevils, scientists, activists, and spies, the accomplishments of these incredible women vary as much as the eras and places in which they effected change. Featuring bold watercolour portraits and illuminating essays by Ann Shen, Bad Girls Throughout History is a distinctive, gift-worthy tribute.

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Stasiland Stories from Behind the Berlin Wall

Stasiland Stories from Behind the Berlin Wall

Author: Anna Funder Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/09/2011

In 1989, the Berlin Wall fell; shortly afterwards the two Germanies reunited, and East Germany ceased to exist. In a country where the headquarters of the secret police can become a museum literally overnight, and one in 50 East Germans were informing on their countrymen and women, there are a thousand stories just waiting to get out.

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Borderland A Journey Through the History of the Ukraine

Borderland A Journey Through the History of the Ukraine

Author: Anna Reid Format: Paperback Release Date: 30/04/2015

Centre of the first great Slav civilisation in the tenth century, then divided between warring neighbours for a millennium, Ukraine finally won independence with the collapse of the Soviet Union. Tired of their own corrupt governments, Ukrainians mounted two more revolutions, taking to the streets again to demand fair elections and closer ties with Europe. Russia's response, in the spring of 2014, was to reinvade, capturing Crimea and the coalfields of the Russian-speaking Donbass. Threatened by Moscow, misunderstood in the West, Ukraine hangs once more in the balance.

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History is such a broad and universal subject. After all, we’re all living through it and we all have our own. Here’s where you can get new perspectives on past events, discover a subject you’ve never explored or broaden your existing knowledge.

Our resident expert, Sue Baker, has compiled a wide range of great books covering everything from the major wars, or the creation of nations to the life-journeys of world-changing individuals. From social history (Family Britain by David Kynaston) and the World Wars (Swansong 1945 by Walter Kempowski) to the much loved periods of popular fiction authors (The Wars of the Roses by Dan Jones; The Rise of the Tudors: The Family that Changed Britain by Chris Skidmore): From the realities of often romanticised times (The Knight who saved England by Richard Brooks) to the lives of history’s extraordinary people (Cecily Neville: Mother of Kings by Amy Licence). You’ll find a resource here to fascinate on many levels. History without histrionics.