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The story of the Peterloo massacre, a defining moment in the history of British democracy, told with passion and authority.
'A superb account of one of the defining moments in modern British history' Tristram Hunt.
'Peterloo is one of the greatest scandals of British political history ... Jacqueline Riding tells this tragic story with mesmerising skill' John Bew.
'Fast-paced and full of fascinating detail' Tim Clayton.
On a hot late summer's day, a crowd of 60,000 gathered in St Peter's Field. They came from all over Lancashire – ordinary working-class men, women and children – walking to the sound of hymns and folk songs, wearing their best clothes and holding silk banners aloft. Their mood was happy, their purpose wholly serious: to demand fundamental reform of a corrupt electoral system.
By the end of the day fifteen people, including two women and a child, were dead or dying and 650 injured, hacked down by drunken yeomanry after local magistrates panicked at the size of the crowd. Four years after defeating the 'tyrant' Bonaparte at Waterloo, the British state had turned its forces against its own people as they peaceably exercised their time-honoured liberties. As well as describing the events of 16 August in shattering detail, Jacqueline Riding evokes the febrile state of England in the late 1810s, paints a memorable portrait of the reform movement and its charismatic leaders, and assesses the political legacy of the massacre to the present day.
As fast-paced and powerful as it is rigorously researched, Peterloo: The Story of the Manchester Massacre adds significantly to our understanding of a tragic staging-post on Britain's journey to full democracy.
This is the true story of the Battle of Trafalgar, Britain's most significant sea battle, as seen through the smoke-hazed gunports of the fighting ships. In an atmosphere of choking fumes from cannon and musket fire, amid noise so intense it was almost tangible, the crews of the British, French and Spanish ships did their best to carry out their allotted tasks. For over five hours they were in constant danger from a terrifying array of iron and lead missiles fired from enemy guns, as well as the deadly wooden splinters smashed from the ships' hulls by the cannon-balls. While the men manoeuvred the ships and kept the cannons firing, the women helped the surgeons tend the sick or helped the boys - the 'powder monkeys' - in the hazardous job of carrying gunpowder cartridges from the central magazine to the gun decks. Trafalgar set the seal on British naval supremacy, which became the mainspring for the growth of the British Empire, and in the short term not only prevented Napoleon from invading Britain, but also enabled Britain and its Continental allies to mount the campaign that would eventually defeat the French Emperor: without Trafalgar there would be no Waterloo.
'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.
An account of the traitorous trio who almost toppled the American nation at its birth. Benedict Arnold offered to sell his soldiers, with the key fortress of West Point, and to deliver to the enemy, dead or alive, George Washington. The plot promised to destroy the American battle of freedom.
'This beautifully produced and impressively researched historical account of a celebrated Victorian murder with a literary twist reads like a thriller. I devoured it in one sitting, and was at once enthralled and chilled. Highly recommended!' Alison Weir Early in the morning of 6 May 1840, on an ultra-respectable Mayfair street, a footman answered the door to a panic-stricken maid from a nearby house. Her elderly master, Lord William Russell, was lying in bed with his throat cut so deeply that the head was almost severed. The whole of London, from monarch to street urchins, was gripped by the gory details of the Russell murder, but behind it was another story, a work of fiction, and a fierce debate about censorship and morality. Several of the key literary figures of the day, including Dickens and Thackeray, were drawn into the controversy, and when Lord William's murderer claimed to having been inspired by the season's most sensational novel, it seemed that a great deal more was on trial than anyone could have guessed. Bringing together much previously unpublished material from a wide range of sources, Claire Harman reveals the story of the notorious Russell murder case and its fascinating connections with the writers and literary culture of the day. Gripping and eye-opening, Murder by the Book is the untold true story of a surprisingly literary crime. 'A fascinating portrait of Victorian London' Observer 'A brilliant piece of literary detective work' Evening Standard One of the Guardian's '50 Biggest Books of Autumn 2018'
A short and vivid biography, which deconstructs the Napoleonic myth and reveals the reality of his rule. Written with great wit and panache, this biography also has a serious purpose: to make us face up to the moral bankruptcy of Napoleon?s dictatorship. Johnson tells the whole story: his astonishing gift for figures and calculation, his mastery of cannon; his audacious, hyperactive and aggressive generalship and his simple battle tactics; his complete control of propaganda and the success of the cultural presentation of the Empire; the Code Napoleon; his failure as an international statesman, as Europe grew to hate him; his marshals and ministers; his wives, mistresses, personal style and working methods; the British blockade and the Continental System; the mistakes in Spain and Russia. The escape from Elba, the events leading up to Waterloo and the battle itself, which gets a full treatment, is particularly riveting.
[Previously published as `Went The Day Well'] `Of all the books marking the bicentenary Waterloo, this has to be the best' Spectator `A book to die for' Evening Standard From Samuel Johnson Prize shortlisted author David Crane, this is a breathtaking portrait of the Britain that fought the battle of Waterloo. As Wellington's rain-sodden army retreated towards an obscure valley called Waterloo, the men and women of Britain were still going to the theatre and science lectures, working in the fields and the factories, reading and writing books and sermons, painting their pictures and sitting in front of Lord Elgin's marbles. David Crane's stunning freeze-frame of Britain on this day of momentous change shifts hour by hour between Britain and Belgium. The Britain that fought Waterloo - its radicals and patriots, artisans and aristocrats, prisoners and poets - appears through the smoke of battle and the mythology of Waterloo in this magnificent and original tracing of the endless, overlapping connections between people's lives.
This lively book takes Oklahoma history into the world of Wild West
capitalism. It begins with a useful survey of banking from the
early days of the American republic until commercial patterns
coalesced in the East. It then follows the course of American
expansion westward, tracing the evolution of commerce and banking
in Oklahoma from their genesis to the eve of statehood in 1907.
Less than thirty years after Lewis and Clark completed their epic journey, Prince Maximilian of Wied--a German naturalist--and his entourage set off on their own daring expedition across North America. Accompanying the prince on this 1832-34 voyage was Swiss artist Karl Bodmer, whose drawings and watercolors--designed to illustrate Maximilian's journals--now rank among the great treasures of nineteenth-century American art. This lavishly illustrated book juxtaposes Bodmer's landscape images with modern-day photographs of the same views, allowing readers to see what has changed, and what seems unchanged, since the time Maximilian and Bodmer made their storied trip up the Missouri River.
To discover how the areas Bodmer depicted have changed over time, photographer Robert M. Lindholm and anthropologist W. Raymond Wood made several trips over a period of years, from 1985 to 2002, to locate and record the same sites--all the way from Boston Harbor, where Maximilian and Bodmer began their journey, to Fort McKenzie, in modern-day western Montana. Pairing sixty-seven Bodmer works side by side with Lindholm's photographs of the same sites, this volume uses the comparison of old and new images to reveal alterations through time--and the encroachment of a built environment--across diverse landscapes.
"Karl Bodmer's America""Revisited" is at once a tribute to the artistic achievements of a premier landscape artist and a photographer who followed in his footsteps, and a valuable record of America's ever-changing environment.
This collection of postcards provides a window into a world now lost forever: Paris in its golden age. Leonard Pitt's selection offers a stimulating view of an era in which both Paris and the `carte postale' were in vogue. Pitt's choice of medium introduces the reader to a rich and alive social world, in which, during the early years of the twentieth century, over one million postcards were produced and exchanged a day. Exchanges range from the passing romances of Parisian street-vendors through to the lovesick expat writing to his sweetheart back home: revel and be transported by this exciting mix of landmark and anecdote, the glorious and elegant commingling with the quaint and nostalgic.
A gripping account of both an individual caught on the horns of an excruciating moral dilemma and a continent at a turning point. When Michela Wrong's Kenyan friend John Githongo appeared one cold February morning on the doorstep of her London flat, carrying a small mountain of luggage, it was clear something had gone very wrong in a country regarded until then as one of Africa's few budding success stories. Two years earlier, in the wave of euphoria that followed the election defeat of long-serving President Daniel arap Moi, John had been appointed Kenya's new anti-corruption czar. In choosing this giant of a man, respected as a longstanding anti-corruption crusader, the new government was signalling that it was set on ending the practices that had made Kenya an international by-word for sleaze. Now John was on the run, having realised that the new administration, far from breaking with the past, was using near-identical techniques to pilfer public funds. John's tale, which has all the elements of a political thriller, is the story of how a brave man came to make a lonely decision with huge ramifications. But his story transcends the personal, touching as it does on the cultural, historical and social themes that lie at the heart of the continent's continuing crisis. Tracking this story of an African whistleblower, Michela Wrong seeks answers to the questions that have puzzled outsiders for decades. What is it about African society that makes corruption so hard to eradicate, so sweeping in its scope, so destructive in its impact? Why have so many African presidents found it so easy to reduce all political discussion to the self-serving calculation of which tribe gets to `eat'? And at what stage will Africans start placing the wider interests of their nation ahead of the narrow interests of their tribe?
In Slaves for Hire, John J. Zaborney overturns long-standing beliefs about slave labor in the antebellum South. Previously, scholars viewed slave hiring as an aberration -- a modified form of slavery, involving primarily urban male slaves, that worked to the laborer's advantage and weakened slavery's institutional integrity. In the first in-depth examination of slave hiring in Virginia, Zaborney suggests that this endemic practice bolstered the institution of slavery in the decades leading up to the Civil War, all but assuring Virginia's secession from the Union to protect slavery.
Moving beyond previous analyses, Zaborney examines slave hiring in rural and agricultural settings, along with the renting of women, children, and elderly slaves. His research reveals that, like non-hired-out slaves, these other workers' experiences varied in accordance with sex, location, occupation, economic climate, and crop prices, as well as owners' and renters' convictions and financial circumstances. Hired slaves in Virginia faced a full range of oppression from nearly full autonomy to harsh exploitation.
Whites of all economic, occupational, gender, ethnic, and age groups, including slave owners and non-slave-owners, rented slaves regularly. Additionally, male owners and hirers often transported slaves to those who worked them, and acted as agents for white women who wished to hire out their slaves. Ultimately, widespread white mastery of hired slaves allowed owners with superfluous slaves to offer them for rent locally rather than selling them to the Lower South, establishing the practice as an integral feature of Virginia slavery.
Eighteenth-century London was teeming with humanity, and poverty was never far from politeness. Legend has it that, on his daily commute through this thronging metropolis, Captain Thomas Coram witnessed one of the city's most shocking sights-the widespread abandonment of infant corpses by the roadside. He could have just passed by. Instead, he devised a plan to create a charity that would care for these infants; one that was to have enormous consequences for children born into poverty in Britain over the next two hundred years. Orphans of Empire tells the story of what happened to the thousands of children who were raised at the London Foundling Hospital, Coram's brainchild, which opened in 1741 and grew to become the most famous charity in Georgian England. It provides vivid insights into the lives and fortunes of London's poorest children, from the earliest days of the Foundling Hospital to the mid-Victorian era, when Charles Dickens was moved by his observations of the charity's work to campaign on behalf of orphans. Through the lives of London's foundlings, this book provides readers with a street-level insight into the wider global history of a period of monumental change in British history as the nation grew into the world's leading superpower. Some foundling children were destined for Britain's 'outer Empire' overseas, but many more toiled in the 'inner Empire', labouring in the cotton mills and factories of northern England at the dawn of the new industrial age. Through extensive archival research, Helen Berry uncovers previously untold stories of what happened to former foundlings, including the suffering and small triumphs they experienced as child workers during the upheavals of the Industrial Revolution. Sometimes, using many different fragments of evidence, the voices of the children themselves emerge. Extracts from George King's autobiography, the only surviving first-hand account written by a Foundling Hospital child born in the eighteenth century, published here for the first time, provide touching insights into how he came to terms with his upbringing. Remarkably he played a part in Trafalgar, one of the most iconic battles in British Naval history. His personal courage and resilience in overcoming the disadvantages of his birth form a lasting testimony to the strength of the human spirit.
____________________________________ BBC RADIO 4 BOOK OF THE WEEK THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER ____________________________________ HMS Erebus was one of the great exploring ships, a veteran of groundbreaking expeditions to the ends of the Earth. In 1848, it disappeared in the Arctic, its fate a mystery. In 2014, it was found. This is its story. ____________________________________ `Beyond terrific. I didn't want it to end.' - Bill Bryson ____________________________________ Michael Palin - Monty Python star and television globetrotter - brings the remarkable Erebus back to life, following it from its launch in 1826 to the epic voyages of discovery that led to glory in the Antarctic and to ultimate catastrophe in the Arctic. The ship was filled with fascinating people: the dashing and popular James Clark Ross, who charted much of the `Great Southern Barrier'; the troubled John Franklin, whose chequered career culminated in the Erebus's final, disastrous expedition; and the eager Joseph Dalton Hooker, a brilliant naturalist - when he wasn't shooting the local wildlife dead. Vividly recounting the experiences of the men who first set foot on Antarctica's Victoria Land, and those who, just a few years later, froze to death one by one in the Arctic ice, beyond the reach of desperate rescue missions, Erebus is a wonderfully evocative account of a truly extraordinary adventure, brought to life by a master explorer and storyteller. ____________________________________ `Thoroughly absorbs the reader. . . Carefully researched and well-crafted, it brings the story of a ship vividly to life.' - Sunday Times `This is an incredible book. I couldn't put it down. The Erebus story is the Arctic epic we've all been waiting for.' - Nicholas Crane `Palin is a superb stylist, low-key and conversational, who skillfully incorporates personal experience. He turns up obscure facts, reanimates essential moments, and never shies away from taking controversial positions. This beautifully produced volume - colour plates, outstanding maps - is a landmark achievement.' - Ken McGoogan, author of Fatal Passage `I absolutely loved it: I had to read it at one sitting . . . Fascinating.' - Lorraine Kelly, ITV Lorraine `Magisterial . . . Brings energy, wit and humanity to a story that has never ceased to tantalise people since the 1840s.' - The Times
On 18 April 1947, British forces set off the largest non-nuclear explosion in history. The target was a small island in the North Sea, fifty miles off the German coast, which for generations had stood as a symbol of Anglo-German conflict: Heligoland. A long tradition of rivalry was to come to an end here, in the ruins of Hitler's island fortress. Pressed as to why it was not prepared to give Heligoland back, the British government declared that the island represented everything that was wrong with the Germans: 'If any tradition was worth breaking, and if any sentiment was worth changing, then the German sentiment about Heligoland was such a one'. Drawing on a wide range of archival material, Jan Ruger explores how Britain and Germany have collided and collaborated in this North Sea enclave. For much of the nineteenth century, this was Britain's smallest colony, an inconvenient and notoriously discontented outpost at the edge of Europe. Situated at the fault line between imperial and national histories, the island became a metaphor for Anglo-German rivalry once Germany had acquired it in 1890. Turned into a naval stronghold under the Kaiser and again under Hitler, it was fought over in both world wars. Heavy bombardment by the Allies reduced it to ruins, until the Royal Navy re-took it in May 1945. Returned to West Germany in 1952, it became a showpiece of reconciliation, but one that continues to wear the scars of the twentieth century. Tracing this rich history of contact and conflict from the Napoleonic Wars to the Cold War, Heligoland brings to life a fascinating microcosm of the Anglo-German relationship. For generations this cliff-bound island expressed a German will to bully and battle Britain; and it mirrored a British determination to prevent Germany from establishing hegemony on the Continent. Caught in between were the Heligolanders and those involved with them: spies and smugglers, poets and painters, sailors and soldiers. Far more than just the history of a small island in the North Sea, this is the compelling story of a relationship which has defined modern Europe.
Jane and Cassandra Austen were the closest of sisters from early childhood. Cassandra was the most important person in Jane's life; Jane looked up to and adored her older sister, who was devoted to her in return. As well as sharing the same education, interests, friends and Christian faith, the inseparable sisters supported each other through various emotional crises and family troubles. Most importantly, Cassandra, who was privy to Jane's imaginary world, supported and encouraged her in her writing. The Austen Girls explores the lives of the Austen sisters and traces their relationship throughout Jane's life and literary career, until Jane's premature death at the age of forty-one. It also looks at Cassandra's life after the loss of her sister. `I Jane Austen of the Parish of Chawton do ... give and bequeath to my dearest Sister Cassandra Elizabeth every thing of which I may die possessed, or which may be hereafter due to me... I appoint my said dear Sister the Executrix of this my last Will & Testament.' Jane Austen, 27 April 1817. The bequest included the manuscripts of Jane's unpublished and unfinished novels.
'A wonderfully fresh, vivid and engaging portrait.' Jane Ridley, author of Bertie: A Life of Edward VII 'Has much of the abundant charm of its author.' Spectator 'The glory of this book is in the details.' The Times 'Worsley's command of the material and elegant writing style make this a must-read.' Publisher's Weekly ******************************* Who was Queen Victoria? A little old lady, potato-like in appearance, dressed in everlasting black? She was also a passionate young princess who loved dancing. And there is also a third Victoria, the brilliant queen, one who invented a new role for the monarchy. Victoria found a way of ruling when people were deeply uncomfortable with having a woman on the throne. Her image as a conventional daughter, wife and widow concealed the reality of a talented, instinctive politician. Her actions, if not her words, reveal that she was tearing up the rules on how to be female. But the price of this was deep personal pain. By looking in detail at twenty-four days of her life, through diaries, letters and more, we meet Queen Victoria up-close and personal. Living with her from hour to hour, we can see and celebrate the contradictions that make up British history's most recognisable woman.
The story of Catholic Emancipation begins with the violent Anti-Catholic Gordon Riots in 1780, fuelled by the reduction in Penal Laws against the Roman Catholics harking back to the sixteenth century. Some fifty years later, the passing of the Emancipation Bill was hailed as a 'bloodless revolution'. Had the Irish Catholics been a 'millstone', as described by an English aristocrat, or were they the prime movers? While the English Catholic aristocracy and the Irish peasants and merchants approached the Catholic Question in very different ways, they manifestly shared the same objective. Antonia Fraser brings colour and humour to the vivid drama with its huge cast of characters: George III, who opposed Emancipation on the basis of the Coronation Oath; his son, the indulgent Prince of Wales, who was enamoured with the Catholic Maria Fitzherbert before the voluptuous Lady Conyngham; Wellington and the 'born Tory' Peel vying for leadership; 'roaring' Lord Winchilsea; the heroic Daniel O'Connell. Expertly written and deftly argued, THE KING AND THE CATHOLICS is also a distant mirror of our times, reflecting the political issues arising from religious intolerance.
As heard on BBC Radio 4's Book of the Week. Shortlisted for the Paddy Power Political History Book of the Year Award 2014. In August 1814 the United States' army is defeated in battle by an invading force just outside Washington DC. The US president and his wife have just enough time to pack their belongings and escape from the White House before the enemy enters. The invaders tuck into the dinner they find still sitting on the dining-room table and then set fire to the place. 9/11 was not the first time the heartland of the United States was struck a devastating blow by outsiders. Two centuries earlier, Britain - now America's close friend, then its bitterest enemy - set Washington ablaze before turning its sights to Baltimore. In his compelling narrative style, Peter Snow recounts the fast-changing fortunes of both sides of this extraordinary confrontation, the outcome of which inspired the writing of the 'Star-Spangled Banner', America's national anthem. Using a wealth of material including eyewitness accounts, he also describes the colourful personalities on both sides of these spectacular events: Britain's fiery Admiral Cockburn, the cautious but immensely popular army commander Robert Ross, and sharp-eyed diarists James Scott and George Gleig. On the American side: beleaguered President James Madison, whose young nation is fighting the world's foremost military power, his wife Dolley, a model of courage and determination, military heroes such as Joshua Barney and Sam Smith, and flawed incompetents like Army Chief William Winder and War Secretary John Armstrong. When Britain Burned the White House highlights this unparalleled moment in American history, its far-reaching consequences for both sides and Britain's and America's decision never again to fight each other.
On October 19, 1781, Great Britain's best army surrendered to General George Washington at Yorktown. But the future of the 13 former colonies was far from clear. A 13,000-man British army still occupied New York City, and another 13,000 regulars and armed loyalists were scattered from Canada to Savannah, Georgia. Meanwhile, Congress had declined to a mere 24 members, and the national treasury was empty. The American army had not been paid for years and was on the brink of mutiny.
In Europe, America's only ally, France, teetered on the verge of bankruptcy and was soon reeling from a disastrous naval defeat in the Caribbean. A stubborn George III dismissed Yorktown as a minor defeat and refused to yield an acre of "my dominions" in America. In Paris, Ambassador Benjamin Franklin confronted violent hostility to France among his fellow members of the American peace delegation.
Thomas Fleming moves elegantly between the key players in this riveting drama and shows that the outcome we take for granted was far from certain. With fresh research and masterful storytelling, Fleming breathes new life into this tumultuous but little known period in America's history.
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