Intensively researched, lovingly compiled, more accessible than ever, whatever your subject of interest - this is where you’ll find it.
The second tie-in to ITV drama Victoria unveils the complex, passionate relationship of Victoria and Albert.
Having recently read Yvonne Ward’s Censoring Queen Victoria I was somewhat prepared for A N Wilson’s revelatory biography of the woman he calls “one of the most passionate, expressive, humorous and unconventional women who ever lived...” If you are used to thinking of Queen Victoria as a stiff, expressionless figurehead of a woman then be prepared to think again, here Queen Victoria’s life is revealed in stunning detail in this masterly biography that brings new light not just to the Queen but to C19 Britain. ~ Sue Baker Like for Like Reading. Censoring Queen Victoria by Yvonne M Ward. Queen Victoria: A Personal History by Christopher Hibbert.
September 2014 Non-Fiction Book of the Month. Having recently read Yvonne Ward’s Censoring Queen Victoria (recommended below) I was somewhat prepared for A N Wilson’s revelatory biography of the woman he calls “one of the most passionate, expressive, humorous and unconventional women who ever lived...” If you are used to thinking of Queen Victoria as a stiff, expressionless figurehead of a woman then be prepared to think again, here Queen Victoria’s life is revealed in stunning detail in this masterly biography that brings new light not just to the Queen but to C19 Britain. Like for Like Reading Censoring Queen Victoria, Yvonne M Ward Queen Victoria: A Personal History, Christopher Hibbert
April 2012 Guest Editor Paul Torday on Vanished Kingdoms... I found this book about states and kingdoms that have had their day in the sun, and then vanished, compelling and very relevant. Norman Davies writes about lost nation states such as Burgundy and Aragon and even the USSR. I was fascinated to read about Alt Clud, the kingdom on the Clyde whose main fortress was on Dumbarton Rock. It was a British kingdom that survived for seven centuries and is now almost quite forgotten except by historians. The United Kingdom is entering its fourth century….will it manage a fifth?
The development of the US Navy's dreadnought battleships was a pivotal part of America's evolution into a true world power. By the beginning of World War I, the United States possessed the world's third largest navy, with ten dreadnoughts in service and four more under construction. By the end of World War II, the US Navy was the undoubted global superpower, despite initial crippling losses to its battlefleet at Pearl Harbor. Richly illustrated with archive photographs as well as a full cutaway of the world's only surviving dreadnought, this comprehensive and detailed title covers the technical characteristics and combat record of the US dreadnoughts throughout their long careers.
This is the true history and mythology of Tutankhamen. Ninety years ago, Howard Carter discovered Tutankhamen's mummy lying, surrounded by grave goods, in a virtually intact tomb in the Valley of the Kings. Egyptology would never be the same again. Tutankhamen's Curse approaches the story of the lost king, and his development into a cultural icon, with fresh eyes. Stripping away the layers of modern myths that threaten to obscure the king, it uses the evidence from his tomb to reconstruct a family and a history for Tutankhamen. Tutankhamen's Curse is designed to appeal to the widest of readerships, from general reader and lovers of history to students of Egyptology and archaeology.
This book is a precise and fiercely honest projection of what we know about climate change into the future of one small corner of the planet: the islands of Britain and Ireland. Kohn looks closely at six landscapes and one city to show how our world will have altered over the course of the century. These islands will, compared with the parched Mediterranean lands, let alone a devastated Africa, be fairly benign places to live. But we will have paid a terrible price for our relative good fortune. Our parks will be arid brown fields; private automobile use unheard of; water will be severely rationed; significant stretches of our beloved coastline will have been sacrificed to the sea. Some of our flora and fauna will have vanished; and, exotic animals and pests will flourish. Vast numbers of marginalised human migrants will be here. Surveillance and restriction of our movements will be taken for granted. Walking in what is left of 'nature' will be nearly impossible. Terrible summer fires in our upland areas will be commonplace. This is a report from the near future that we cannot afford to ignore.
Born in London to a Turkish mother and British father, Alev Scott moved to Istanbul to discover what it means to be Turkish in a country going through rapid political and social change, with an extraordinary past still linked to Mustafa Kemal Ataturk and an ever more surprising present under the leadership of Recep Tayyip Erdogan. From the European buzz of modern-day Constantinople to the Arabic-speaking towns of the south-east, Turkish Awakening investigates mass migration, urbanisation and economics in a country moving swiftly towards a new position on the world stage. This is the story of discovering a complex country from the outside-in, a candid account of overturned preconceptions and fresh understanding. Relating wide-ranging interviews and colourful personal experience, the author charts the evolving course of a country bursting with surprises - none more dramatic than the unexpected political protests of 2013 in Taksim Square, which have brought to light the emerging demands of a newly awakened Turkish people. Mass migration, urbanisation and a growing awareness of human rights have changed the social, economic and physical landscapes of a powerful country, and the 2013 protests were just one indication of the changes afoot in today's Turkey.
Maybe it was a grandparent, or a teacher or a colleague. Someone older, patient and wise, who understood you when you were young and searching, and gave you sound advice to help you make your way through it. For Mitch Albom, that person was Morrie Schwartz, his college professor from nearly twenty years ago. Maybe, like Mitch, you lost track of this mentor as you made your way, and the insights faded. Wouldn't you like to see that person again, ask the bigger questions that still haunt you? Mitch Albom had that second chance. He rediscovered Morrie in the last months of the older man's life. Knowing he was dying of ALS - or motor neurone disease - MItch visited Morrie in his study every Tuesday, just as they used to back in college. Their rekindled relationship turned into one final 'class': lessons in how to live. TUESDAYS WITH MORRIE is a magical chronicle of their time together, through which Mitch shares Morrie's lasting gift with the world.
The second volume of Peter Ackroyd's masterful history of England: the Tudors. Rich in detail and atmosphere and told in vivid prose, Tudors recounts the transformation of England from a settled Catholic country to a Protestant superpower. Like for Like ReadingThe Last Days of Henry VIII: Conspiracy, Treason and Heresy at the Court of the Dying Tyrant, Robert HutchinsonWinter King: The Dawn of Tudor England, Thomas Penn
It is the story of Henry VIII's cataclysmic break with Rome, and his relentless pursuit of both the perfect wife and the perfect heir; of how the brief reign of the teenage king, Edward VI, gave way to the violent reimposition of Catholicism and the stench of bonfires under 'Bloody Mary'. It tells, too, of the long reign of Elizabeth I, which, though marked by civil strife, plots against the queen and even an invasion force, finally brought stability. Above all, however, it is the story of the English Reformation and the making of the Anglican Church. At the beginning of the sixteenth century, England was still largely feudal and looked to Rome for direction; at its end, it was a country where good governance was the duty of the state, not the church, and where men and women began to look to themselves for answers rather than to those who ruled them.
The acclaimed history of the rise of the Nazis based on fascinating first-hand accounts. One of the Daily Telegraph's Best Books of 2017; A Guardian `Readers' Choice' Best Book of 2017; Without the benefit of hindsight, how do you interpret what's right in front of your eyes?; Based on fascinating firsthand accounts, this illuminating book asks what it was like to travel in the Third Reich during the interwar era. Was it possible to know what was really going on? Was it possible for a visiting outsider “to grasp the essence of National Socialism”? The accounts of a multitude of travellers are surveyed - ordinary tourists, academics and athletes, alongside royalty, celebrities and creative types like Samuel Beckett, Francis Bacon, Virginia Woolf and Vita Sackville-West. Their experiences and responses are recounted in all their intriguing variation - bewilderment, obliviousness, internal outrage, scholarly outrage. I found the chapter on African American academic and Germanophile Professor William Edward Burghardt Du Bois particularly engrossing. Du Bois visited Germany in 1936 seeking to study race prejudice, but the organisation that commissioned his trip instead permitted him to investigate education and industry. He returned to report the “vindictive cruelty” of the “campaign against the Jews” and, while he experienced no “personal insult or discrimination” himself, he posited the view that matters might be different “if there were any number of Negroes in Germany”. Spritely in tone, and finely researched, this is an engaging must-read for those with an interest in German history, and in social history per se. It might also serve as a cautionary tale to pay closer attention to the world around us.
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.