The history section contains general history reference; histories of obscure and unexpected things; European and world histories; and biographies of various historical figures.
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Sharing a deep attachment to the sagas of Iceland, Richard and Kári travel across Iceland, to the places where the sagas unfolded a thousand years ago. The true stories of the first Viking families who settled on that remote island in the Middle Ages comprise tales of blood feuds, of dangerous women, and people who are compelled to kill the ones they love the most. The sagas are among the greatest stories ever written, and these two men are determined to solve the mysteries of some of these compelling tales.
Winner of the Indies Award for Non-Fiction 2018.
Sentinels of the Sea - A Miscellany of Lighthouses Past
R.G. Grant's engaging and authoritative text chronicles the incredible feats of engineering and endurance that brought lighthouses into being, the advances in lens technology that made the lights so effective, and the everyday routines of the lighthouse keepers and the heroic rescues that some performed.
Packed with extraordinary stories of human endeavour, desperate shipwrecks, builders defying the elements and heroic sea rescues, the book also reveals the isolation and vulnerability of the dedicated lighthouse keepers.
The Lives of Tudor Women
A lively and insightful study of the many roles played by women in the Tudor era, from queens to wet-nurses and countesses to serving maids. The turbulent Tudor age never fails to capture the imagination. But what was it actually like to be a woman during this period? This was a time when death in infancy or during childbirth was rife; when marriage was usually a legal contract, not a matter for love, and the education of women was minimal at best. Yet the Tudor century was also dominated by powerful and characterful women in a way that no era had been before. Elizabeth Norton explores the seven ages of the Tudor woman, from childhood to old age, through the diverging examples of women such as Elizabeth Tudor, Henry VIII's sister who died in infancy; Cecily Burbage, Elizabeth's wet nurse; Mary Howard, widowed but influential at court; Elizabeth Boleyn, mother of a controversial queen; and Elizabeth Barton, a peasant girl who would be lauded as a prophetess.
Beneath Another Sky: A Global Journey into History
Beneath Another Sky is partly a historian's travelogue, partly a highly engaging exploration of events and personalities that have fashioned today's world - and entirely sui generis. Davies's circumnavigation takes him to Baku, the Emirates, India, Malaysia, Mauritius, Tasmania, Tahiti, Texas, Madeira and many places in between. At every stop, he not only describes the current scene but also excavates the layers of accumulated experience that underpin the present. He tramps round ancient temples and weird museums, summarises the complexity of Indian castes, Austronesian languages and Pacific explorations, delves into the fate of indigenous peoples and of a missing Malaysian airliner, reflects on cultural conflict in Cornwall, uncovers the Nazi origins of Frankfurt airport and lectures on imperialism in a desert oasis. 'Everything has its history', he writes, 'including the history of finding one's way or of getting lost.' The personality of the author comes across strongly - wry, romantic, occasionally grumpy, but with an endless curiosity and appetite for knowledge. As always, Norman Davies watches the historical horizon as well as what is close at hand, and brilliantly complicates our view of the past.
East West Street: Non-fiction Book of the Year 2017
THE BRITISH BOOK AWARDS NON-FICTION BOOK OF THE YEAR 2017 SUNDAY TIMES TOP 10 BESTSELLER When he receives an invitation to deliver a lecture in the Ukrainian city of Lviv, international lawyer Philippe Sands begins a journey on the trail of his family's secret history. In doing so, he uncovers an astonishing series of coincidences that lead him halfway across the world, to the origins of international law at the Nuremberg trial. Interweaving the stories of the two Nuremberg prosecutors (Hersch Lauterpacht and Rafael Lemkin) who invented the crimes or genocide and crimes against humanity, the Nazi governor responsible for the murder of thousands in and around Lviv (Hans Frank), and incredible acts of wartime bravery, East West Street is an unforgettable blend of memoir and historical detective story, and a powerful meditation on the way memory, crime and guilt leave scars across generations.
Classic Civilization: A History in Ten Chapters
A masterly account of how the cultures of ancient Greece and Rome came into being, by a prize-winning Cambridge classicist whose writing is as accessible as it is scholarly. A concise and accessible study of the foundations, development and enduring legacy of the cultures of Greece and Rome, centered on ten locations of seminal importance in the development of Classical civilisation. Starting with Troy, where history, myth and cosmology fuse to form the origins of Classical civilisation, Nigel Spivey explores the contrasting politics of Athens and Sparta, the diffusion of classical ideals across the Mediterranean world, Classical science and philosophy, the eastward export of Greek culture with the conquests of Alexander the Great, the power and spread of the Roman imperium, and the long Byzantine twilight of Antiquity.
Genghis Khan was by far the greatest conqueror the world has ever known, whose empire stretched from the Pacific Ocean to central Europe, including all of China, the Middle East and Russia. So how did an illiterate nomad rise to such colossal power, eclipsing Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar and Napoleon? Credited by some with paving the way for the Renaissance, condemned by others for being the most heinous murderer in history, who was Genghis Khan? His actual name was Temujin, and the story of his success is that of the Mongol people- a loose collection of fractious tribes who tended livestock, considered bathing taboo and possessed an unparalleled genius for horseback warfare. United under Genghis, a strategist of astonishing cunning and versatility, they could dominate any sedentary society they chose.
A dazzling biography of the Eternal City - 'A tour of the great city with a great guide: who could do this better?' EVENING STANDARD. For almost a thousand years, Rome held sway as the spiritual and artistic centre of the world. Hughes vividly recreates the ancient Rome of Julius Caesar, Marcus Aurelius, Nero, Caligula, Cicero, Martial and Virgil. With the artistic blossoming of the Renaissance, he casts his unwavering critical eye over the great works of Raphael, Michelangelo and Brunelleschi, shedding new light on the Old Masters. In the seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, when Rome's cultural predominance was assured, artists and tourists from all over Europe converged on the city. Hughes brilliantly analyses the defining works of Caravaggio, Velasquez, Rubens and Bernini. Hughes' Rome is a vibrant, contradictory, spectacular and secretive place; a monument both to human glory and human error. In equal parts loving, iconoclastic, enraged and wise, peopled with colourful figures and rich in unexpected details, Rome is an exhilarating journey through the story of one of the world's most glorious cities.
1599: A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare
How did Shakespeare go from being a talented writer of comedies and histories to become one of the greatest writers of tragedies who ever lived? In this one exhilarating year we follow what he reads and writes, what he saw and who he worked with as he rebuilds the Globe theatre and writes four of his most famous plays - Henry V, Julius Caesar, As You Like It and, most remarkably, Hamlet. James Shapiro illuminates both Shakespeare's staggering achievement and what Elizabethans experienced in the course of 1599: sending off an army to crush an Irish rebellion, weathering an Armada threat from Spain, gambling in a fledgling East India Company, and waiting to see who would succeed their ageing and childless Queen. This book brings the news, intrigue and flavour of the times together with wonderful detail about how Shakespeare worked as a showman, businessman and playwright, to create an exceptionally immediate and gripping account of a fascinating and inspiring moment in history.
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