A riveting account of ancient Rome's imperial bodyguard, the select band of soldiers who wielded the power to make-or destroy-the emperors they served Founded by Augustus around 27 B.C., the elite Praetorian Guard was tasked with the protection of the emperor and his family. As the centuries unfolded, however, Praetorian soldiers served not only as protectors and enforcers but also as powerful political players. Fiercely loyal to some emperors, they vied with others and ruthlessly toppled those ..
A brief and original prehistory of the worldPrehistory covers human existence before written records, i.e. most of human existence. But it also refers to the discipline through which we scrutinize prehistoric times. PREHISTORY begins by looking at the discovery of a remote human past and the subsequent dramatic growth of the study of prehistory: early archaeology; geology; Darwin's ideas of evolution; cave paintings; fossil discoveries of human ancestors; museums and collections; radiocarbon dat..
'The Penguin History of Europe series ... is one of contemporary publishing's great projects' New StatesmanThe Pursuit of Glory brings to life one of the most extraordinary periods in European history - from the battered, introvert continent after the Thirty Years War to the dynamic one that experienced the French Revolution and the wars of Napoleon. Tim Blanning depicts the lives of ordinary people and the dominant personalities of the age (Louis XIV, Frederick the Great, Napoleon), and explore..
Winner of the 2017 American Publishers Awards for Professional & Scholarly Excellence (PROSE) in the European & World History category. Winner of the 2017 American Publishers Awards for Professional & Scholarly Excellence (PROSE) in the Excellence in Humanities category. Winner of the 2017 R.R. Hawkins Award given by the American Publishers Awards for Professional & Scholarly Excellence (PROSE). A lively, expansive history of the Protestant and Catholic Reformations and the momen..
Across 100 lives, this book explores the dazzling diversity of human experience during the RenaissanceLike every era, the Renaissance brims with stories. In this book Robert Davis and Beth Lindsmith highlight dozens of notable lives from between 1400 and 1600. Some names are famous – Leonardo, Luther, Lorenzo de’ Medici and Machiavelli all feature – but many others will be new to general readers. They include the aristocratic matriarch Alessandra Strozzi, who sneaked around Florence to spy on po..
'A vivid and humane study of the Plantagenets' diabolical and devious first family - a real joy to read.' Dan Jones, author of The PlantagenetsIn The Restless Kings Nick Barratt presents the tumultuous struggle for supremacy between the first Plantagenet king, Henry II, and his four sons. This conflict tore apart the most powerful family in Western Europe and shaped the future of both Britain and France, with a significance which still resonates today.Exploring the personalities and crises facin..
'Without a revolutionary theory there can be no revolutionary movement.' Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, leader of the Bolshevik Revolution and founder of the USSR, was profoundly aware of the power of words. As a zealous orator and prolific writer, he used his words to launch a soaring critique of imperialist society and to theorize the development of the world's first socialist state. Much of his writing was translated into English in order to further the Socialist cause. This book is a compilation of ..
This is a story studded with extraordinary achievements and historic moments, from the building of the pyramids and the conquest of Nubia, through Akhenaten's religious revolution, the power and beauty of Nefertiti, the glory of Tutankhamun's burial chamber, and the ruthlessness of Ramesses, to Alexander the Great's invasion, and Cleopatra's fatal entanglement with Rome. As the world's first nation-state, the history of Ancient Egypt is above all the story of the attempt to unite a disparate rea..
'Forget almost everything you thought you knew about Britain ... You will not find a better informed history' David Goodhart, Evening Standard'A striking new perspective on our past' Piers Brendon, Literary ReviewFrom the acclaimed author of Britain's War Machine and The Shock of the Old, a bold reassessment of Britain's twentieth century.It is usual to see the United Kingdom as an island of continuity in an otherwise convulsed and unstable Europe; its political history a smooth sequence of admi..
A SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER'Brilliant ... a historical masterpiece' The Times Literary SupplementFrom one of Britain's most distinguished historians and the bestselling author of Hitler, this is the definitive history of a divided Europe, from the aftermath of the Second World War to the present.After the overwhelming horrors of the first half of the 20th century, described by Ian Kershaw in his previous book as having gone 'to Hell and back', the years from 1950 to 2017 brought peace and relative..
Roman Britain is vividly portrayed in this fascinating and authentically detailed story about a year in the life of an ordinary woman and her family. The year is AD 133. Hadrian is Emperor of Rome and all its vast empire, including Britannia. The greater part of that island has long been under imperial rule and the Roman legions control most of the land, quelling uprisings and building new forts and towns. Around the fortress of Eboracum (now known as York), a bustling garrison settlement is dev..
Drawing on an array of ancient sources, and covering topics of interest to readers with little prior background in Roman history as well as those already familiar with the great civilization, Brian Campbell provides a fascinating and wide-ranging introduction to the world of ancient Rome. "A lucid survey of Roman history."-Adam Kirsch, New Yorker "One of the great joys of Campbell's unfailingly readable account is the readiness with which it returns to the Roman record, drawing on ancient source..
The sweeping story of the city of Rome, told through twenty-two moments that shaped its history. ***A Times History Book of the Year***The sweeping story of the city of Rome, told through twenty-two moments that shaped its history.***A Times History Book of the Year***'Vivid, pacey ... Superb' The Times. 'Grand narrative underpinned by serious reading' Guardian. 'Confident, elegant ... Admirably ambitious' Daily Mail.From Romulus and Remus to the films of Fellini, Rome has always exerted a hold ..
In Iceland, the age of the Vikings is also known as the Saga Age. A unique body of medieval literature, the Sagas rank with the world’s great literary treasures – as epic as Homer, as deep in tragedy as Sophocles, as engagingly human as Shakespeare. Set around the turn of the last millennium, these stories depict with an astonishingly modern realism the lives and deeds of the Norse men and women who first settled in Iceland and of their descendants, who ventured farther west to Greenland and, ul..
Saladin remains one of the most iconic figures of his age. As the man who united the Arabs and saved Islam from Christian crusaders in the 12th century, he is the Islamic world’s preeminent hero. Ruthless in defence of his faith, brilliant in leadership, he also possessed qualities that won admiration from his Christian foes. He knew the limits of violence, showing such tolerance and generosity that many Europeans, appalled at the brutality of their own people, saw him as the exemplar of their o..
The history of a bewilderingly exotic city, rarely written about: five hundred years of clashing cultures and peoples, from the glories of Suleiman the Magnificent to its nadir under Nazi occupation.Salonica is the point where the wonders and horrors of the Orient and Europe have met over the centuries.Written with a Pepysian sense of the texture of daily life in the city through the ages, and with breathtakingly detailed historical research, Salonica evokes the sights, smells, habits, songs and..
From the secret SAS archives, and acclaimed author Ben Macintyre: the first ever authorized history of the SAS'Impeccably researched, superbly told - by far the best book on the SAS in World War II' - Antony BeevorIn the summer of 1941, at the height of the war in the Western Desert, a bored and eccentric young officer, David Stirling, came up with a plan that was radical and entirely against the rules: a small undercover unit that would inflict mayhem behind enemy lines.Despite intense oppositi..
In Sex in the World of Myth, David Leeming argues that sex is as important in myths as it is in our lives. Myths are our cultural dreams, and sex is pervasive in all mythologies because it has obsessed and confused us like nothing else - what's more, sexual myths, like all myths, can serve many purposes. The reproductive acts of the ancient Greek goddess Gaia perhaps reflect a pre-Olympian matriarchal social system. The tales of the unbridled sexual deeds of the Polynesian Maui, and many others,..
A gripping eyewitness account of a major 20th-century military conflict by the UK's most popular writer on geopoliticsThe shattering of Yugoslavia in the 1990s showed that, after nearly 50 years of peace, war could return to Europe. It came to its bloody conclusion in Kosovo in 1999.Tim Marshall, then diplomatic editor at Sky News, was on the ground covering the Kosovo War. This is his illuminating account of how events unfolded, a thrilling journalistic memoir drawing on personal experience, ey..
'This brilliant book is a bombshell! Jane Seymour the shy mouse type? Think again!' Kate Williams
Alison Weir, historian and author of the Sunday Times bestsellers Katherine of Aragon: The True Queen and Anne Boleyn: A King's Obsession, draws an enthralling portrait of Jane Seymour, Henry VIII's third queen, as you've never seen her before. Essential reading for fans of Philippa Gregory and Elizabeth Chadwick.
'This six-book series looks likely to become a landmark in historical fiction' T..
In the 1950s the space race between the USA and the USSR was well and truly on, and was for both a matter of pride and propaganda. But before man ventured into the cosmos, his four-legged friends would pave the way for space exploration.
The first canine cosmonaut was Laika, meaning barker. The little stray could never have anticipated that she would one day float 200 miles above the Moscow streets. She would be canonized as a proletarian hero, appearing on stamps, postcards and souvenirs. Her ..
'A spectacular treasury of treats. Page after page of utter joy: I can t tear my eyes away' - Derren BrownIn The Spectacle of Illusion, professional magician-turned experimental psychologist Dr. Matthew L. Tompkins investigates the arts of deception as practised and popularised by mesmerists, magicians and psychics since the early 18th century. Organised thematically within a broadly chronological trajectory, this compelling book explores how illusions perpetuated by magicians and fraudulent mys..
*The No.1 Sunday Times Bestseller* *Shortlisted for the 2018 Baillie Gifford Prize*'THE BEST TRUE SPY STORY I HAVE EVER READ' JOHN LE CARRÉA thrilling Cold War story about a KGB double agent, by one of Britain's greatest historians - now with a new afterwordOn a warm July evening in 1985, a middle-aged man stood on the pavement of a busy avenue in the heart of Moscow, holding a plastic carrier bag. In his grey suit and tie, he looked like any other Soviet citizen. The bag alone was mildly conspi..
The first full history of the Nazi Stormtroopers whose muscle brought Hitler to power, with revelations concerning their longevity and their contributions to the Holocaust Germany's Stormtroopers engaged in a vicious siege of violence that propelled the National Socialists to power in the 1930s. Known also as the SA or Brownshirts, these "ordinary" men waged a loosely structured campaign of intimidation and savagery across the nation from the 1920s to the "Night of the Long Knives" in 1934, when..
Suleiman the Magnificent, most glorious of the Ottoman sultans, kept Europe atremble for nearly half a century. In a few years he led his army as far as the gates of Vienna, made himself master of the Mediterranean and established his court in Baghdad. Faced with this redoubtable champion, who regarded it as his duty to extend the boundaries of Islam father and farther, the Christian world could not agree to unite against him. 'The Shadow of God on Earth', but also an expert politician and all-p..
From Tristram Hunt, award-winning author of The Frock-Coated Communist and leading UK politician, Ten Cities that Made an Empire presents a new approach to Britain's imperial past through the cities that epitomised itSince the return of Hong Kong to China in 1997 and the end days of Empire, Britain's colonial past has been the subject of passionate debate. Tristram Hunt goes beyond the now familiar arguments about Empire being good or bad and adopts a fresh approach to Britain's empire and its l..
How did Christianity become the dominant religion in the West?In the early first century, a small group of peasants from the backwaters of the Roman Empire proclaimed that an executed enemy of the state was God’s messiah. Less than four hundred years later it had become the official religion of Rome with some thirty million followers.It could so easily have been a forgotten sect of Judaism.Through meticulous research, Bart Ehrman, an expert on Christian history, texts and traditions, explores th..
From the prize-winning screenwriter of The Theory of Everything and Darkest Hour, The Two Popes is a fascinating, revealing and gripping tale of two very different men whose destinies converge with each other - they both live in the Vatican - and the wider world.On 28 February 2013, a 600-year-old tradition was shattered: the conservative Pope Benedict XVI made a startling announcement. He would resign. Reeling from the news, the College of Cardinals rushed to Rome to congregate in the Sistine C..
'This book is a smasher. The opening movements are possibly the hottest non-fiction I have ever read. The fall of Robert Mugabe was orchestrated from Johannesburg? Douglas Rogers has to be kidding. But he isn't.' - Rian MalanTwo Weeks in November is the thrilling, surreal, unbelievable and often very funny true story of four would-be enemies - a high ranking politician, an exiled human rights lawyer, a dangerous spy and a low-key white businessman turned political fixer - who team up to help uns..
The most acute, informed, and up-to-date account available today of Ukraine and its people, now in its fourth edition. "An interesting and provocative read, which will, one hopes, contribute to the Western understanding of what Ukraine is and why it matters."-Volodymyr Kulyk, Harvard Ukrainian Studies "A spirited and eminently learned investigation of who Ukranians say that they are, how they came to be so, and how others view them. . . . If you re add only one book of Ukraine, this should proba..
A both controversial and comprehensive historical analysis of how the British Empire worked, from Wolfson Prize-winning author and historian John DarwinThe British Empire shaped the world in countless ways: repopulating continents, carving out nations, imposing its own language, technology and values. For perhaps two centuries its expansion and final collapse were the single largest determinant of historical events, and it remains surrounded by myth, misconception and controversy today.John Darw..
**The New York Times Bestseller** **The book of the landmark documentary, The Vietnam War, by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick**The definitive work on the Vietnam War, the conflict that came to define a generation, told from all sides by those who were there.More than forty years after the Vietnam War ended, its legacy continues to fascinate, horrify and inform us. As the first war to be fought in front of TV cameras and beamed around the world, it has been immortalised on film and on the page, and for..
A new narrative history of the Viking Age, interwoven with exploration of the physical remains and landscapes that the Vikings fashioned and walked: their rune-stones and ship burials, settlements and battlefields.To many, the word ‘Viking’ brings to mind red scenes of rape and pillage, of marauders from beyond the sea rampaging around the British coastline in the last gloomy centuries before the Norman Conquest. It is true that Britain in the Viking Age was a turbulent, violent place. The kings..
The first authorized copy of this mysterious, much-speculated-upon, one-of-a-kind, centuries-old puzzle. The Voynich Manuscript is produced from new photographs of the entire original and accompanied by expert essays that invite anyone to understand and explore the enigma. Many call the fifteenth-century codex, commonly known as the "Voynich Manuscript," the world's most mysterious book. Written in an unknown script by an unknown author, the manuscript has no clearer purpose now than when it was..
For thousands of years, humans have built walls and assaulted them, admired walls and reviled them. Great Walls have appeared on nearly every continent, accompanying the rise of cities, nations, and empires.In Walls, David Frye uncovers a story that is more than just bricks and stone: he reveals the startling link between what we build and how we live, who we are and how we came to be. It is nothing less than the story of civilization.Haunting and brilliant. Author: Tom HollandThese are good sto..
War is one of the greatest human evils. It has ruined livelihoods, provoked unspeakable atrocities and left countless millions dead. It has caused economic chaos and widespread deprivation. And the misery it causes poisons foreign policy for future generations.
But, argues bestselling historian Ian Morris, in the very long term, war has in fact been a good thing. In his trademark style combining inter-disciplinary insights, scientific methods and fascinating stories, Morris shows that, parado..
THE REAL GAME OF THRONES... The Wars of the Roses were a prolonged brawl over an inheritance by a deeply dysfunctional extended family. The inheritance in question was the throne of England; the story is one of unbridled ambition and murderous treachery.From the 1450s, when the mentally unstable Henry VI struggled to control the violent feuding of his magnates, through the rise and fall of Richard of York, to the chaos and bloodshed of the 1470s which followed Edward IV's accession and his secre..
A compelling account of Christianity's Jewish beginnings, from one of the world's leading scholars of ancient religion How did a group of charismatic, apocalyptic Jewish missionaries, working to prepare their world for the impending realization of God's promises to Israel, end up inaugurating a movement that would grow into the gentile church? Committed to Jesus's prophecy-"The Kingdom of God is at hand!"-they were, in their own eyes, history's last generation. But in history's eyes, they became..
Why have societies all across the world feared witchcraft? This book delves deeply into its context, beliefs, and origins in Europe's history The witch came to prominence-and often a painful death-in early modern Europe, yet her origins are much more geographically diverse and historically deep. In this landmark book, Ronald Hutton traces witchcraft from the ancient world to the early-modern stake. This book sets the notorious European witch trials in the widest and deepest possible perspective ..
The mass of available data about World War II has never been as large as it is now, yet it has become increasingly complicated to interpret it in a meaningful way. Packed with cleverly designed graphics, charts and diagrams, World War II: Infographics offers a new approach by telling the story of the conflict visually.Encompassing the conflict from its roots to its aftermath, more than 50 themes are treated in great detail, ranging from the rise of the Far Right in pre-war Europe and mass mobili..
INCLUDES NEW MATERIALWRITTEN IN HISTORY celebrates the great letters of world history, creative culture and personal life. Acclaimed historian Simon Sebag Montefiore selects over one hundred letters from ancient times to the twenty-first century: some are noble and inspiring, some despicable and unsettling; some are exquisite works of literature, others brutal, coarse and frankly outrageous; many are erotic, others heartbreaking. The writers vary from Elizabeth I, Rameses the Great and Leonard C..
'Vital reading' STYLIST'...hooting with laughter - what a swashbuckler that Hannah Jewell is' MARINA HYDE'Because 100 Nasty Women is so easy to read and witty, I didn't expect it to be the life changing, important book that I'm discovering it to be' PHILIPPA PERRY'A fantastic addition to your feminist library and historical knowledge.' ANN SHEN, author of Bad Girls Throughout History* * * * * *100 fascinating and brilliantly written stories about history's bravest, baddest but little known 'nast..
Two hundred million years ago the earth consisted of a single vast continent, Pangea, surrounded by a great planetary sea. Continental drift tore apart Pangaea, and for millennia the hemispheres were separate, evolving almost entirely different suites of plants and animals. Columbus's arrival in the Americas brought together these long-separate worlds. Many historians believe that this collision of ecosystems and cultures - the Columbian Exchange - was the most consequential event in human histo..
A brilliant, colourful narrative history of a pivotal year in European history
In 1848, Europe was engulfed in a firestorm of revolution. The streets of cities from Paris to Bucharest and from Berlin to Palermo were barricaded and flooded by armed insurgents proclaiming political liberties and national freedom. The conservative order which had held sway since the fall of Napoleon in 1815 crumbled beneath the revolutionary assault.
This book narrates the breathtaking events which overtook E..
1914-1918, David Stevenson's history of the First World War, has been acclaimed as the definitive one-volume account of the conflictIn the summer of 1914 Europe exploded into a frenzy of mass violence. The war that followed had global repercussions, destroying four empires and costing millions of lives. Even the victorious countries were scarred for a generation, and we still today remain within the conflict's shadow. In this major analysis David Stevenson re-examines the causes, course and impa..
1917 was a year of calamitous events, and one of pivotal importance in the development of the First World War. In 1917: War, Peace, and Revolution, leading historian of World War One, David Stevenson, examines this crucial year in context and illuminates the century that followed. He shows how in this one year the war was transformed, but also what drove the conflict onwards and how it continued to escalate.
Two developments in particular―the Russian Revolution and American intervention―had wor..
‘Taylor has done us a great service in making the personal stories of what it was actually like to live through the most crucial year of the twentieth century vivid, compelling and salutary.’ - Roland Philipps, author of A Spy Named Orphan: The Enigma of Donald Maclean
In the autumn of 1938, Europe believed in the promise of peace. Still reeling from the ravages of the Great War, its people were desperate to rebuild their lives in a newly safe and stable era. But only a year later, the fateful ..
‘Jeremy Black skilfully sketches social, cultural and political trends’ – Christina Hardyment, Times audiobook of the week
‘A remarkable mixture of cold history, wide culture and personal experience’
Ciro Paoletti, Secretary General of the Italian Commission of Military History
Despite the Roman Empire’s famous 500-year reign over Europe, parts of Africa and the Middle East, Italy does not have the same long national history as states such as France or England. Divided for much of its history,..
Despite being relatively brief, this very readable history covers environmental, political, social, economic, cultural and artistic elements, and is very open to regional variations and to the extent that the history of the peninsula and of its political groupings was far from inevitable. Its tone is accessible, supported by boxes providing supplemental information, and is perfect for travellers to Spain...
This fully updated edition is recognised as the most comprehensive history of the Knights Templar
Much has been written about the Knights Templar in recent years. A leading specialist in the history of this legendary medieval order now writes a full account of the Knights of the Order of the Temple of Solomon, to give them their full title, bringing the latest findings to a general audience. Putting many of the myths finally to rest, Nicholson recounts a new history of these storm troopers of..
A wonderfully concise and readable, yet comprehensive, history of the Mediterranean Sea, the perfect companion for any visitor -- or indeed, anyone compelled to stay at home.
'The grand object of travelling is to see the shores of the Mediterranean.'
Samuel Johnson, 1776
The Mediterranean has always been a leading stage for world history; it is also visited each year by tens of millions of tourists, both local and international. Jeremy Black provides an account in which the experience of trave..