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A companion volume to the highly successful Field Guide to the Battlefields of South Africa, this features the pivotal sieges that characterised the Cape Frontier, Anglo-Zulu, Basotho and Anglo-Boer wars in one volume.
Accounts of 17 sieges over the last two centuries explore in detail the historical context in which they occurred, the day-to-day military actions that sustained the investments and the conditions both soldiers and civilians faced while defending their territory against a hostile force. The siege descriptions are animated by maps and a variety of information boxes and human-interest stories, gleaned from diaries, letters and eye-witness accounts, while longer features focus on the practical aspects of siege warfare, such as artillery, medicine, food, and the psychological effects of besiegement. The book also provides practical information for visitors who wish to explore these historical sites.
A fascinating read that will appeal to anyone interested in the volatile history of the country – armchair historians and travellers alike.
'A riveting and illuminating tour of how nations deal with crises - which might hopefully help humanity as a whole deal with our present global crisis' Yuval Noah Harari, author of Sapiens In his landmark international bestsellers Guns, Germs and Steel and Collapse, Jared Diamond transformed our understanding of what makes civilizations rise and fall. Now, at a time when crises are erupting around the world, he reveals what makes certain nations resilient in the face of tremendous upheaval. In a riveting journey into the recent past, he traces how six countries have survived defining catastrophes - from the forced opening of Japan to the Soviet invasion of Finland to Chile's brutal Pinochet regime - through selective change, a coping mechanism more commonly associated with personal trauma. He identifies unique patterns in the way that these distinctive modern nations - all countries in which he has lived - have recovered from these upheavals. Looking ahead to the gravest threats we face in the future, he investigates the risk that the United States, and the world, are squandering their natural advantages and are on a devastating path towards catastrophe. Is this fate inevitable? Or can we still learn from the lessons of the past? Adding a psychological dimension to the in-depth history, geography, biology, and anthropology that mark all of Diamond's books, Upheaval reveals the factors that influence how both nations and individuals can respond to enormous challenges. The result is a book epic in scope, but also his most personal yet.
In his landmark international bestsellers Guns, Germs and Steel and Collapse, Jared Diamond transformed our understanding of what makes civilizations rise and fall. Now in the third book in this monumental trilogy, he reveals how successful nations recover from crisis. Diamond shows us how seven countries have survived defining upheavals in the recent past - from the forced opening up of Japan and the Soviet invasion of Finland to the Pinochet regime in Chile - through selective change, a process of painful self-appraisal and adaptation more commonly associated with personal trauma. Looking ahead to the future, he investigates whether the United States, and the world, are squandering their natural advantages and are on a devastating path towards catastrophe. Is this fate inevitable? Or can we still learn from the lessons of the past? Exhibiting the awe-inspiring grasp of history, geography, economics and anthropology that marks all Diamond's work, Upheaval reveals how both nations and individuals can become more resilient. The result is a book epic in scope, but also his most personal yet.
Best-selling and Pulitzer Prize winning historian Rick Atkinson's new book is a masterly history of the American War of Independence. With its start-to-finish battle narratives, the book captures the experience of the war and the profound emotional depths on display from the beginning. History at its most compelling. In June 1773, King George III attended a grand celebration of his reign over the greatest, richest empire since ancient Rome. Less than two years later, Britain's bright future turned dark: after a series of provocations, the king's soldiers took up arms against his rebellious colonies in America. The war would last eight years, and though at least one in ten of the Americans who fought for independence would die for that cause, the prize was valuable beyond measure: freedom from oppression and the creation of a new republic. Rick Atkinson, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning An Army at Dawn and two other superb books about the Second World War has long been admired for his unparalleled ability to write deeply researched, stunningly vivid narrative history. In this new book, he tells the story of the first twenty-one months of America's violent effort to forge a new nation. From the battles at Lexington and Concord in spring 1775 to those at Trenton and Princeton in winter 1776-77, American militiamen and then the ragged Continental Army take on the world's most formidable fighting force and struggle to avoid annihilation. It is a gripping saga alive with astonishing characters: Henry Knox, the former bookseller with an uncanny understanding of artillery; Nathanael Greene, the blue-eyed bumpkin who becomes one of America's greatest battle captains; Benjamin Franklin, the self-made man who proves himself the nation's wiliest diplomat; George Washington, the commander in chief who learns the difficult art of leadership when the war seems all but lost. Full of riveting details and untold stories, The British Are Coming is a tale of heroes and knaves, of sacrifice and blunder, of redemption and profound suffering. Rick Atkinson has given stirring new life to the first act of America's creation drama.
SHORTLISTED FOR THE 2018 BAILLIE GIFFORD PRIZE A Financial Times Book of the Year A Sunday Times Book of the Year ________________________________________ 'Entertaining and well-paced... Platt's compelling book is a sobering read that should focus the minds of those who like to talk of the achievements of the Victorian age without thinking about how those were achieved, or how they were funded.' Peter Frankopan, Spectator ________________________________________ In 1839 Britain embarked on the first of its wars with China, sealing the fate of the most prosperous and powerful empire in Asia, if not the world. Motivated by drug profiteering and free-trade interests, the Opium War helped shaped the China we know today, sparking the eventual fall of the Qing dynasty and the rise of nationalism and communism in the twentieth century. Imperial Twilight is a riveting and revealing account of the end of China's Golden Age and the origins of one of the most unjust wars in history.
Days after the assassination of his prime minister in the middle of Rome in November 1848, Pope Pius IX found himself a virtual prisoner in his own palace. The wave of revolution that had swept through Europe now seemed poised to put an end to the popes' thousand-year reign over the Papal States, if not indeed to the papacy itself. Disguising himself as a simple parish priest, Pius escaped through a back door. Climbing inside the Bavarian ambassador's carriage, he embarked on a journey into a fateful exile. Only two years earlier Pius's election had triggered a wave of optimism across Italy. After the repressive reign of the dour Pope Gregory XVI, Italians saw the youthful, benevolent new pope as the man who would at last bring the Papal States into modern times and help create a new, unified Italian nation. But Pius found himself caught between a desire to please his subjects and a fear-stoked by the cardinals-that heeding the people's pleas would destroy the church. The resulting drama-with a colorful cast of characters, from Louis Napoleon and his rabble-rousing cousin Charles Bonaparte to Garibaldi, Tocqueville, and Metternich-was rife with treachery, tragedy, and international power politics. David Kertzer is one of the world's foremost experts on the history of Italy and the Vatican, and has a rare ability to bring history vividly to life. With a combination of gripping, cinematic storytelling, and keen historical analysis rooted in an unprecedented richness of archival sources, The Pope Who Would Be King sheds fascinating new light on the end of rule by divine right in the west and the emergence of modern Europe.
Pulitzer Prize-winning historian David McCullough rediscovers an important and dramatic chapter in the American story-the settling of the Northwest Territory by dauntless pioneers who overcame incredible hardships to build a community based on ideals that would come to define our country. As part of the Treaty of Paris, in which Great Britain recognized the new United States of America, Britain ceded the land that comprised the immense Northwest Territory, a wilderness empire northwest of the Ohio River containing the future states of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, and Wisconsin. A Massachusetts minister named Manasseh Cutler was instrumental in opening this vast territory to veterans of the Revolutionary War and their families for settlement. Included in the Northwest Ordinance were three remarkable conditions: freedom of religion, free universal education, and most importantly, the prohibition of slavery. In 1788 the first band of pioneers set out from New England for the Northwest Territory under the leadership of Revolutionary War veteran General Rufus Putnam. They settled in what is now Marietta on the banks of the Ohio River. McCullough tells the story through five major characters: Cutler and Putnam; Cutler's son Ephraim; and two other men, one a carpenter turned architect, and the other a physician who became a prominent pioneer in American science. They and their families created a town in a primeval wilderness, while coping with such frontier realities as floods, fires, wolves and bears, no roads or bridges, no guarantees of any sort, all the while negotiating a contentious and sometimes hostile relationship with the native people. Like so many of McCullough's subjects, they let no obstacle deter or defeat them. Drawn in great part from a rare and all-but-unknown collection of diaries and letters by the key figures, The Pioneers is a uniquely American story of people whose ambition and courage led them to remarkable accomplishments. This is a revelatory and quintessentially American story, written with David McCullough's signature narrative energy.
The surprising, deliciously dramatic, and ultimately heartbreaking story of King George III's radical pursuit of happiness in his private life with Queen Charlotte and their 15 children
In the U.S., Britain's George III, the protagonist of "A Royal Experiment," is known as the king from whom Americans won their independence and as "the mad king," but in Janice Hadlow's groundbreaking and entertaining new biography, he is another character altogether--compelling and relatable.
He was the first of Britain's three Hanoverian kings to be born in England, the first to identify as native of the nation he ruled. But this was far from the only difference between him and his predecessors. Neither of the previous Georges was faithful to his wife, nor to his mistresses. Both hated their own sons. And, overall, their children were angry, jealous, and disaffected schemers, whose palace shenanigans kick off Hadlow's juicy narrative and also made their lives unhappy ones.
Pained by his childhood amid this cruel and feuding family, George came to the throne aspiring to be a new kind of king--a force for moral good. And to be that new kind of king, he had to be a new kind of man. Against his irresistibly awful family background--of brutal royal intrigue, infidelity, and betrayal--George fervently pursued a radical domestic dream: he would have a faithful marriage and raise loving, educated, and resilient children.
The struggle of King George--along with his wife, Queen Charlotte, and their 15 children--to pursue a passion for family will surprise history buffs and delight a broad swath of biography readers and royal watchers.
The inspiration behind the powerful new film starring Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Tom Wilkinson and Emily Watson, this is the story of Dido Belle, whose adoption by an aristocratic family challenged the conventions of 18th century England. In one of the most famous portraits in the world, a pretty girl walks through the grounds of Kenwood House, a vision of aristocratic refinement. But the eye is drawn to the beautiful woman on her right. Pointing at her own cheek, she playfully acknowledges her remarkable position in eighteenth-century society. For Dido Belle was the illegitimate, mixed-race daughter of a Royal Navy captain and a slave woman, adopted by the Earl of Mansfield. As Lord Chief Justice of England he would preside over the notorious Zong case - the drowning of 142 slaves by an unscrupulous shipping company. His ruling provided the legal underpinning to the abolition of slavery in Britain. From the privileged yet unequal lives of Dido and her cousin Elizabeth, to the horrific treatment of African slaves, Paula Byrne - the bestselling author of `The Real Jane Austen' - vividly narrates the story of a family that defied convention, the legal trial that exposed the cruelties of slavery and the woman who challenged notions of race at the highest rank.
Part of the ALL-NEW LADYBIRD EXPERT SERIES - Why was the Battle of the Nile so decisive in the French Revolutionary Wars? - Why did the French believe they were unassailable? - And why did Nelson and the British win? TRACK the revolutionary roots and dramatic turning points of the British Royal Navy's glorious victory over the French naval expedition to Egypt. From Napoleon's rise to prominence to Nelson's celebrated tactical leadership, discover how this significant battle changed the face of the French Revolutionary Wars. THE BATTLE THAT CHANGED THE BALANCE OF POWER IN EUROPE Written by historian, archaeologist, and broadcaster Sam Willis, Nelson: Battle of the Nile is a thrilling and accessible account of the naval battle that established Nelson's fame.
Prize-winning biographer Leo Damrosch tells the story of “the Club,” a group of extraordinary writers, artists, and thinkers who gathered weekly at a London tavern
In 1763, the painter Joshua Reynolds proposed to his friend Samuel Johnson that they invite a few friends to join them every Friday at the Turk’s Head Tavern in London to dine, drink, and talk until midnight. Eventually the group came to include among its members Edmund Burke, Adam Smith, Edward Gibbon, and James Boswell. It was known simply as “the Club.”
In this captivating book, Leo Damrosch brings alive a brilliant, competitive, and eccentric cast of characters. With the friendship of the “odd couple” Samuel Johnson and James Boswell at the heart of his narrative, Damrosch conjures up the precarious, exciting, and often brutal world of late eighteenth-century Britain. This is the story of an extraordinary group of people whose ideas helped to shape their age, and our own.
In this compelling history of the men and ideas that radically changed the course of world history, Lawrence James investigates how, within a hundred years, Europeans persuaded and coerced Africa into becoming a subordinate part of the modern world. The continent was a magnet for the high-minded, the philanthropic, the unscrupulous and the insane. Visionary pro-consuls rub shoulders with missionaries, explorers, soldiers, adventurers, engineers, big-game hunters, entrepreneurs and physicians. Eminent historian Lawrence James narrates how between 1830 and 1945, Britain, France, Belgium, Germany, Portugal and Italy exported their languages, laws, culture, religions, scientific and technical knowledge and economic systems to Africa. The colonial powers imposed administrations designed to bring stability and peace to a continent that seemed to lack both. The justification for emancipation from slavery (and occupation) was the common assumption that the late nineteenth-century Europe was the summit of civilization. This magnificent history also pauses to ask: what did not happen and why?
What was mothering like in the past? When acclaimed historian Sarah Knott became pregnant, she asked herself this question. But accounts of motherhood are hard to find. For centuries, historians have concerned themselves with wars, politics and revolutions, not the everyday details of carrying and caring for a baby. Much to do with becoming a mother, past or present, is lost or forgotten. Using the arc of her own experience, from miscarriage to the birth and early babyhood of her two children, Sarah Knott explores the ever-changing habits and experiences of motherhood across the ages. Drawing on a disparate collection of fascinating material - interrupted letters, hastily written diary entries, a line from a court record or a figure in a painting - Mother vividly brings to life the lost stories of ordinary women. From the labour pains felt by a South Carolina field slave to the triumphant smile of a royal mistress pregnant with a king's first son; from a 1950s suburban housewife to a working-class East Ender taking her baby to the factory; from a pioneer with eight children to a 1970s feminist debating whether to have any; these remarkable tales of mothering create a moving depiction of an endlessly various human experience. 'Timely and fascinating' Amanda Foreman, bestselling author of Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire 'Heartfelt and original' Sunday Times 'I wept over Sarah Knott's Mother... The emotive power of Knott's social history flows from her excellence as a writer and storyteller' Spectator 'A stunning book. It is riveting from beginning to end' Diane Atkinson, author of Rise Up Women!: The Remarkable Lives of the Suffragettes 'A remarkable history - exploratory, pointillist, and intensely personal - of what it is, and has been, to be a mother.' Helen Castor, BBC presenter and author of She-Wolves: The Women Who Ruled England Before Elizabeth 'Mother is a moving and enlightening meditation on the most elemental, yet ceaselessly varied, of all human bonds.' Fara Dabhoiwala, author of The Origins of Sex
'An incredible story crackling with royal passion, envy, ambition and betrayal ... A tour de force' Lucy Worsley Sarah Churchill, Duchess of Marlborough, was as glamorous as she was controversial. Politically influential and independently powerful, she was an intimate, and then a blackmailer, of Queen Anne, accusing her of keeping lesbian favourites - including Sarah's own cousin Abigail Masham. Ophelia Field's masterly biography brings Sarah Churchill's own voice, passionate and intelligent, back to life. Here is an unforgettable portrait of a woman who cared intensely about how we would remember her - perfect for fans interested in the history behind the award-winning film starring Rachel Weisz with Olivia Colman and Emma Stone.
Handelsryk in die Ooste is die tweede deel van ’n vyfdelige reeks oor vroeŽ blanke vestiging aan die Kaap.
In diť deel beskryf Karel Schoeman die totstandkoming en bestuur van die Verenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie (VOC) se uitgebreide handelsnetwerk in die gebied van die Indiese Oseaan gedurende die sewentiende eeu. Vir die meeste Suid-Afrikaanse lesers wat maar min kennis van die VOC het, bied hierdie boek besonder baie insigte en word die stigting van die klein verversingspos aan die Kaap die Goeie Hoop in 1652 in konteks geplaas. Dit gee byvoorbeeld aandag aan die groot intra-Asiatiese handelsnetwerk wat selfs voor die koms van die Portugese en Spaanse ontdekkingsreisigers in die gebied bestaan het, aan die wedywering tussen die seevarende moondhede Portugal, Nederland, Engeland en Frankryk om vastrapplek in verskillende Oosterse lande te kry en aan die soms bloedige stryd om monopolieŽ in die handel met kosbare produkte soos speserye, tekstiel en porselein te verkry.
’n Aantal hoofstukke word gewy aan Batavia, die VOC se administratiewe hoofstad: Vanuit die VOC-kantore is die retoervlote gekoŲrdineer; hiervandaan is verkenningstogte na die binneland onderneem; het die amptenary en ryk handelaars ’n swierige lewenstyl ontwikkel en het kosbare Oosterse meubels en tapyte modieus geword. Ten slotte word ook aandag aan die verskynsel van slawerny en die invloed wat dit gehad het op die koloniale lewe, ook aan die Kaap.
Published in the 200th Anniversary year of the Battle of Waterloo a witty look at how the French still think they won, by Stephen Clarke, author of 1000 Years of Annoying the French and A Year in the Merde. Two centuries after the Battle of Waterloo, the French are still in denial. If Napoleon lost on 18 June 1815 (and that's a big 'if'), then whoever rules the universe got it wrong. As soon as the cannons stopped firing, French historians began re-writing history. The Duke of Wellington was beaten, they say, and then the Prussians jumped into the boxing ring, breaking all the rules of battle. In essence, the French cannot bear the idea that Napoleon, their greatest-ever national hero, was in any way a loser. Especially not against the traditional enemy - les Anglais. Stephen Clarke has studied the French version of Waterloo, as told by battle veterans, novelists, historians - right up to today's politicians, and he has uncovered a story of pain, patriotism and sheer perversion ...
Kolonie aan die Kaap is die derde van vyf boeke oor vroeŽ blanke vestiging aan die Kaap.
In diť deel vestig Karel Schoeman die aandag op die eerste blanke intrekkers. Die VOC (Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie), het in 1651 besluit om in Tafelbaai ’n verversingspos te stig ten behoewe van die Kompanjie se skeepvaart tussen Nederland en die Ooste en dis met hierdie doel dat kommandeur Jan van Riebeeck in Desember van daardie jaar met sy vlootjie van vyf skepe na die Kaap uitgeseil het.
Die eerste hoofstuk gee aandag aan Van Riebeeck se lewe en loopbaan tot en met hierdie datum en in die tweede hoofstuk word die werksaamhede rondom die vestiging van die verversingspos aan die hand van Van Riebeeck se dagboeke en briewe en die geskrifte van vroeŽ besoekers beskryf. Die omstandighede van die pioniersgroepie wat uitvoering aan Van Riebeeck se opdragte en ambisieuse planne moes gee, word in hoofstuk 3 bespreek. Aanvanklik moes alle lewensmiddele, gereedskap, saad, plantjies en selfs perde uit die Ooste ingevoer word. ’n Fort, wat skuiling en beskerming teen wilde diere en vyandige Khoi-stamme moes gee, is in 1666 voltooi. Hoe die verskillende sosiale groeperinge soos die hoŽ amptenare, die ambagsmanne, soldate en slawe in diť Fort gewerk, geleef en soms ook gesterf het, die onthale, kerk- en gebedsdienste en militÍre parades kom in hoofstuk 4 aan die bod.
’n Klein klompie hoŽ Kompanjiesamptenare was deel van die Kaapse nedersetting, maar dit was hoofsaaklik uit die groter groep werksvolk, soldate en matrose dat die latere vryburgers afkomstig was. Die uiters moeilike omstandighede, teenslae en mislukkings van die aanvanklike groepie van nege, maar ook die enkele suksesverhale, word in hoofstuk 7 bespreek. Die boek sluit af met ’n oorsig oor Van Riebeeck se latere loopbaan in die Ooste en sy oorlye in 1677.
"Herman's book tells an exciting story with gusto. Entertaining and illuminating."
Arthur Herman argues that Scotland's turbulent history, from William Wallace to the Presbyterian Lords of the Covenant, laid the foundations for 'the Scottish miracle'. Within one hundred years, the nation that began the eighteenth century dominated by the harsh and repressive Scottish Kirk had evolved into Europe's most literate society, producing an idea of modernity that has shaped much of civilisation as we know it. He follows the lives and work of thinkers such as Adam Smith and David Hume, writers such as Burns and Boswell, as well as architects, technicians and inventors, and traces their legacy into the twentieth century. Written with wit, erudition and clarity, 'The Scottish Enlightenment' claims the Scot's rightful place in the history of the western world.
"Stimulating. A work which deserves to be bought by any interested reader."
"A sparkling book. Herman argues his case with an impressive accumulation of evidence."
"Herman carries his thesis off with brio."
When slavery was a routine part of life in America's South, a secret network of activists and escape routes enabled slaves to make their way to freedom in what is now Canada. The 'underground railroad' has become part of folklore, but one part of the story is only now coming to light. In New York, a city whose banks, business and politics were deeply enmeshed in the slave economy, three men played a remarkable part, at huge personal risk. In Gateway to Freedom, Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Eric Foner tells the story of Sydney Howard Gay, an abolitionist newspaper editor; Louis Napoleon, furniture polisher; and Charles B. Ray, a black minister. Between 1830 and 1860, with the secret help of black dockworkers, the network led by these three men helped no fewer than 3,000 fugitives to liberty. The previously unexamined records compiled by Gay offer a portrait of fugitive slaves who passed through New York City - where they originated, how they escaped, who helped them in both North and South, and how they were forwarded to freedom in Canada.
'Davies's absorbing study serves up just enough sensationalism - and eccentricity - along with its serious inquiry' SUNDAY TIMES '[A] revealing account of the jail's 164-year history' DAILY TELEGRAPH, 5* review 'Insightful and thought-provoking and makes for a ripping good read' JEREMY CORBYN 'A much-needed and balanced history' OBSERVER 'Davies explores how society has dealt with disobedient women - from suffragettes to refugees to women seeking abortions - for decades, and how they've failed to silence those who won't go down without a fight' STYLIST Society has never known what to do with its rebellious women. Those who defied expectations about feminine behaviour have long been considered dangerous and unnatural, and ever since the Victorian era they have been removed from public view, locked up and often forgotten about. Many of these women ended up at HM Prison Holloway, the self-proclaimed 'terror to evil-doers' which, until its closure in 2016, was western Europe's largest women's prison. First built in 1852 as a House of Correction, Holloway's women have come from all corners of the UK - whether a patriot from Scotland, a suffragette from Huddersfield, or a spy from the Isle of Wight - and from all walks of life - socialites and prostitutes, sporting stars and nightclub queens, refugees and freedom fighters. They were imprisoned for treason and murder, for begging, performing abortions and stealing clothing coupons, for masquerading as men, running brothels and attempting suicide. In Bad Girls, Caitlin Davies tells their stories and shows how women have been treated in our justice system over more than a century, what crimes - real or imagined - they committed, who found them guilty and why. It is a story of victimization and resistance; of oppression and bravery. From the women who escaped the hangman's noose - and those who didn't - to those who escaped Holloway altogether, Bad Girls is a fascinating look at how disobedient and defiant women changed not only the prison service, but the course of history.
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