THE #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER ''Every time Churchill took to the airwaves it was as if he were injecting adrenaline-soaked courage directly into the British people ... Larson tells the story of how that feat was accomplished ... Fresh, fast and deeply moving.'' New York Times A STARTLING, GRIPPING PORTRAIT OF WHAT IT WAS LIKE TO BE ALIVE IN BRITAIN DURING THE BLITZ, AND WHAT IT WAS LIKE TO BE AROUND CHURCHILL. On Winston Churchill''s first day as prime minister, Hitler invaded Holland and Belgium. Poland and Czechoslovakia had already fallen, and the Dunkirk evacuation was just two weeks away. For the next twelve months, the Nazis would wage a relentless bombing campaign, killing 45,000 Britons and destroying two million homes. In The Splendid and the Vile , Erik Larson gives a new and brilliantly cinematic account of how Britain''s most iconic leader set about unifying the nation at its most vulnerable moment, and teaching ''the art of being fearless.'' Drawing on once-secret intelligence reports and diaries, #1 bestselling author Larson takes readers from the shelled streets of London to Churchill''s own chambers, giving a vivid vision of true leadership, when - in the face of unrelenting horror - a leader of eloquence, strategic brilliance and perseverance bound a country, and a family, together.
After the Second World War, new international rules heralded an age of human rights and self-determination. Supported by Britain, these unprecedented changes sought to end the scourge of colonialism. But how committed was Britain? In the 1960s, its colonial instinct ignited once more: a secret decision was taken to offer the US a base at Diego Garcia, one of the islands of the Chagos Archipelago in the Indian Ocean, create a new colony (the ''British Indian Ocean Territory'') and deport the entire local population. One of those inhabitants was Liseby Elyse, twenty years old, newly married, expecting her first child. One suitcase, no pets, the British ordered, expelling her from the only home she had ever known. For four decades the government of Mauritius fought for the return of Chagos, and the past decade Philippe Sands has been intimately involved in the cases. In 2018 Chagos and colonialism finally reached the World Court in The Hague. As Mauritius and the entire African continent challenged British and American lawlessness, fourteen international judges faced a landmark decision: would they rule that Britain illegally detached Chagos from Mauritius? Would they open the door to Liseby Elyse and her fellow Chagossians returning home - or exile them forever? Taking us on a disturbing journey across international law, THE LAST COLONY illuminates the continuing horrors of colonial rule, the devasting impact of Britain''s racist grip on its last colony in Africa, and the struggle for justice in the face of a crime against humanity. It is a tale about the making of modern international law and one woman''s fight for justice, a courtroom drama and a personal journey that ends with a historic ruling.
From the invaders of the dark ages to the aftermath of the coalition, one of Britain's most respected journalists, Simon Jenkins, weaves together a strong narrative with all the most important and interesting dates in a book that characteristically is as stylish as it is authoritative. A Short History of England sheds light on all the key individuals and events, bringing them together in an enlightening and engaging account of the country's birth, rise to global prominence and then partial eclipse.There have been long synoptic histories of England but until now there has been no standard short work covering all significant events, themes and individuals. Now updated to take in the rapid progress of recent events and beautifully illustrated, this magisterial history will be the standard work for years to come.
THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLERbr>br>''The real remedy is education of the kind that Sanghera has embraced- accepting, not ignoring, the past'' Gerard deGroot, The Timesbr>_____________________________________________________br>br>EMPIRE explains why there are millions of Britons living worldwide.br>EMPIRE explains Brexit andthe feeling that we are exceptional. br>EMPIRE explains our distrust of cleverness. br>EMPIRE explains Britain''s particular brand of racism. br>br>Strangely hidden from view, the British Empire remains a subject of both shame and glorification. In his bestselling book, Sathnam Sanghera shows how our imperial past is everywhere: from how we live and think to the foundation of the NHS and even our response to the COVID-19 crisis. br>br>At a time of great division, when we are arguing about what it means to be British, Empireland is a groundbreaking revelation - a much-needed and enlightening portrait of contemporary British society, shining a light on everything that usually gets left unsaid. _______________________________________________________br>br>''Empireland takes a perfectly-judged approach to its contentious but necessary subject'' Jonathan Coebr>br>''I only wish this book has been around when I was at school'' Sadiq Khan, Mayor of Londonbr>br>''This remarkable book shines the brightest of lights into some of the darkest and most misunderstood corners of our shared history'' James O''Brien>
SHORTLISTED FOR THE 2020 BAILLIE GIFFORD PRIZE ''A page-turner with the authority of history'' PHILIPPA GREGORY ''As gripping as a novel. An engaging, unsettling, deeply satisfying read'' SARAH WATERS London, 1938. Alma Fielding, an ordinary young woman, begins to experience supernatural events in her suburban home.
Nandor Fodor - a Jewish-Hungarian refugee and chief ghost hunter for the International Institute for Psychical research - begins to investigate. In doing so he discovers a different and darker type of haunting: trauma, alienation, loss - and the foreshadowing of a nation''s worst fears. As the spectre of Fascism lengthens over Europe, and as Fodor''s obsession with the case deepens, Alma becomes ever more disturbed.
With rigour, daring and insight, the award-winning pioneer of historical narrative non-fiction Kate Summerscale shadows Fodor''s enquiry, delving into long-hidden archives to find the human story behind a very modern haunting.
''An empathetic, meticulous account of a spiritual unravelling; a tribute to the astonishing power of the human mind - but also a properly absorbing, baffling, satisfying detective story'' AIDA EDEMARIAM A PICK OF THE AUTUMN IN THE TIMES , SUNDAY TIMES , OBSERVER AND THE GUARDIAN
The Plantagenet queens of England played a role in some of the most dramatic events in our history. Crusading queens, queens in rebellion against their king, queen seductresses, learned queens, queens in battle, queens who enlivened England with the romantic culture of southern Europe - these determined women often broke through medieval constraints to exercise power and influence, for good and sometimes for ill. Alison Weir''s ground-breaking history of the queens of medieval England now moves into a period of even higher drama, from 1154 to 1291: years of chivalry, dynastic ambition, conflict with the church, baronial wars, and the all-pervading bonds of feudalism. We see events such as the murder of Becket, Magna Carta and the birth of parliaments from a new perspective. Her narrative begins with the formidable Eleanor of Aquitaine, whose marriage to Henry II establishes a dynasty which rules for over three hundred years and creates the most powerful empire in western Christendom - but also sows the seeds for some of the most destructive family conflicts in history and for the collapse, under her son King John, of England''s power in Europe. The lives of Eleanor''s successors were just as remarkable: Berengaria of Navarre, queen of Richard the Lionheart, Isabella of Angouleme, queen of John, and Alienor of Provence, queen of Henry III, and finally Eleanor of Castile, the grasping but beloved wife of Edward I. Through the story of these first five Plantagenet queens, Alison Weir provides an enthralling new perspective on a dramatic period of high romance and sometimes low politics, with determined women at its heart.
''Ian Morris has established himself as a leader in making big history interesting and understandable'' Jared Diamond, author of Guns, Germs and Steel ''Morris succeeds triumphantly at cramming 10,000 years of history into a single book'' Robert Colvile, Times Geography is Destiny tells the history of Britain and its changing relationships with Europe and the wider world, from its physical separation at the end of the Ice Age to the first flickers of a United Kingdom, struggles for the Atlantic, and rise of the Pacific Rim. Applying the latest archaeological evidence, Ian Morris explores how geography, migration, government and new technologies interacted to produce regional inequalities that still affect us today. He charts Britain''s geopolitical fortunes over thousands of years, revealing its transformation from a European satellite into a state at the centre of global power, commerce, and culture. But as power and wealth shift from West to East, does Britain''s future lie with Europe or the wider world?
In The English Jeremy Paxman sets out to find about the English. Not the British overall, not the Scots, not the Irish or Welsh, but the English. Why do they seem so unsure of who they are? Jeremy Paxman is to many the embodiment of Englishness yet even he is sometimes forced to ask: who or what exactly are the English? And in setting about addressing this most vexing of questions, Paxman discovers answers to a few others. Like: Why do the English actually enjoy feeling persecuted? What is behind the English obsession with games? How did they acquire their odd attitudes to sex and to food? Where did they get their extraordinary capacity for hypocrisy? Covering history, attitudes to foreigners, sport, stereotypyes, language and much, much more, The English brims over with stories and anecdotes that provide a fascinating portrait of a nation and its people. 'Intelligent, well-written, informative and funny...A book to chew on, dip into, quote from and exploit in arguments' Andrew Marr, Observer 'Bursting with good things' Daily Telegraph Jeremy Paxman is a journalist, best known for his work presenting Newsnight and University Challenge. His books include Empire , On Royalty , The English and The Political Animal . He lives in Oxfordshire.
Thomas Cromwell is one of the most famous - or notorious - figures in English history. Born in obscurity in Putney, he became a fixer for Cardinal Wolsey in the 1520s and remained intensely loyal to his memory even when Wolsey had fallen for failing to solve Henry VIII's 'Great Matter' - lack of a male heir and efforts to repudiate his wife Katherine of Aragon. Henry too appreciated Cromwell's talent and promoted him to a series of ever greater offices, such that in the 1530s he was effectively running the country for the King. That decade was one of the most momentous in English history: it saw a religious break with the Pope, unprecedented use of parliament, the dissolution of all monasteries, and the coming of the Protestantism which decisively shaped the future of this country. Cromwell was central to all this, but establishing his role with precision, at a distance of nearly 500 years and after the destruction of many of his papers at his own fall, has been notoriously difficult. Diarmaid MacCulloch's biography is much the most complete and persuasive life ever written of this elusive figure, a masterclass in historical detective work, making connections not previously seen. It draws together national and international events, and reveals the channels through which so much of power in early Tudor England flowed. It overturns many received interpretations, for example that Cromwell and Anne Boleyn were allies because of their common religious sympathies, showing how he in fact destroyed her; or that Cromwell was a cynical, 'secular' politician without deep-felt religious commitment. It introduces the many different personalities contributing to these foundational years, all worrying about what MacCulloch calls the 'terrifyingly unpredictable' Henry VIII, and shows how things could easily have turned out differently. MacCulloch's familiarity with the 1520s and 1530s allows readers to feel that they are immersed in all this, that it is going on around them. For a time, the self-made 'ruffian', as he described himself - ruthless, adept in the exercise of power, quietly determined in religious revolution - was master of events. MacCulloch's biography for the first time reveals his true place in the making of modern England and Ireland, for good and ill.
B>'She imagines the experiences of the sisters with empathy and patience ... and ably manages to coax the few sparks of evidence into flames of personality ... Whoop, whoop! If anyone can find me another clutch of rebel princesses, let's get crowd-funding.' Hermione Eyre, Spectator/b>br>b>/b>br>Virginal, chaste, humble, patiently waiting for rescue by brave knights and handsome princes: this idealized - and largely mythical - notion of the medieval noblewoman still lingers. Yet the reality was very different, as Kelcey Wilson-Lee shows in this vibrant account of the five daughters of the great English king, Edward I. The lives of these sisters - Eleanora, Joanna, Margaret, Mary and Elizabeth - ran the full gamut of experiences open to royal women in the Middle Ages. Living as they did in a courtly culture founded on romantic longing and brilliant pageantry, they knew that a princess was to be chaste yet a mother to many children, preferably sons, meek yet able to influence a recalcitrant husband or even command a host of men-at-arms. Edward's daughters were of course expected to cement alliances and secure lands and territory by making great dynastic marriages, or endow religious houses with royal favour. But they also skilfully managed enormous households, navigated choppy diplomatic waters and promoted their family's cause throughout Europe - and had the courage to defy their royal father. They might never wear the crown in their own right, but they were utterly confident of their crucial role in the spectacle of medieval kingship. Drawing on a wide range of contemporary sources, Daughters of Chivalry offers a rich portrait of these spirited Plantagenet women. With their libraries of beautifully illustrated psalters and tales of romance, their rich silks and gleaming jewels, we follow these formidable women throughout their lives and see them - at long last - shine from out of the shadows, revealing what it was to be a princess in the Age of Chivalry.
LONDON: a settlement founded by the Romans, occupied by the Saxons, conquered by the Danes and ruled by the Normans. This changeful place became a medieval maze of alleys and courtyards, later to be chequered with grand estates of Georgian splendour. It swelled with industry and became the centre of the largest empire in history. And having risen from the rubble of the Blitz, it is now one of the greatest cities in the world. From the prehistoric occupants of the Thames Valley to the preoccupied commuters of today, Simon Jenkins brings together the key events, individuals and trends in London's history to create a matchless portrait of the capital. He masterfully explains the battles that determined how London was conceived and built - and especially the perennial conflict between money and power. Based in part on his experiences of and involvement in the events that shaped the post-war city, and with his trademark colour and authority, Jenkins shows above all how London has taken shape over more than two thousand years. Fascinating for locals and visitors alike, this is narrative history at its finest, from the most ardent protector of our heritage. 'A handsome book ... full of the good judgements one might hope for from such a sensible and readable commentator, and they alone are worth perusing for pleasure and food for thought' Michael Wood, New Statesman on A Short History of England 'Any passably cultured inhabitant of the British Isles should ask for, say, three or four copies of this book for Christmas...I can imagine no better companion on a voyage across England' Max Hastings, Daily Telegraph on England's Thousand Best Houses
In 1922, three men - only one of whom had previously heard of ''broadcasting'' - founded the BBC. In doing so, Arthur Burrows, Cecil Lewis, and John Reith set out to accomplish something utterly bold: using what had been a weapon of war - Marconi''s wireless - to remake culture for the good of humanity. From Hollywood stars fainting at the microphone and fibreglass Daleks, to world-altering speeches and history being made on film, the BBC has evolved through massive technological and cultural change while always staying true to its vision of public service. In The BBC: A People''s History , the first one-volume history of the Corporation, professor and historian David Hendy traces the project through one hundred years of its extraordinary history.
The Middle Ages were a time of wonder. They gave us the first universities, the first eyeglasses and the first mechanical clocks as medieval thinkers sought to understand the world around them, from the passing of the seasons to the stars in the sky.In this book, we walk the path of medieval science with a real-life guide, a fourteenth-century monk named John of Westwyk - inventor, astrologer, crusader - who was educated in England''s grandest monastery and exiled to a clifftop priory. Following the traces of his life, we learn to see the natural world through Brother John''s eyes: navigating by the stars, multiplying Roman numerals, curing disease and telling the time with an astrolabe. We travel the length and breadth of England, from Saint Albans to Tynemouth, and venture far beyond the shores of Britain. On our way, we encounter a remarkable cast of characters: the clock-building English abbot with leprosy, the French craftsman-turned-spy and the Persian polymath who founded the world''s most advanced observatory.An enthralling story of the struggles and successes of an ordinary man and an extraordinary time, The Light Ages conjures up a vivid picture of the medieval world as we have never seen it before.>
In this vital re-examination of a shared history, historian and broadcaster David Olusoga tells the rich and revealing story of the long relationship between the British Isles and the people of Africa and the Caribbean. This edition is updated with a new chapter. Drawing on new genealogical research, original records, and expert testimony, Black and British reaches back to Roman Britain, the medieval imagination, Elizabethan ''blackamoors'' and the global slave-trading empire. It shows that the great industrial boom of the nineteenth century was built on American slavery, and that black Britons fought at Trafalgar and in the trenches of both World Wars. Black British history is woven into the cultural and economic histories of the nation. It is not a singular history, but one that belongs to us all. Unflinching, confronting taboos, and revealing hitherto unknown scandals, Olusoga describes how the lives of black and white Britons have been entwined for centuries. Winner of the 2017 PEN Hessell-Tiltman Prize. Winner of the Longman History Today Trustees'' Award. A Waterstones.com History Book of the Year. Longlisted for the Orwell Prize. Shortlisted for the inaugural Jhalak Prize.