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From mesolithic Ireland to the peace process, this little book covers all of the main historical and cultural events, places and figures in Irish history. A must for all lovers of Ireland and the Irish. An excellent, concise guide to how Ireland has come to be what it is today. Some key events, people, topics and places include: * Monastic Ireland, Vikings and Normans * The Irish language, the Book of Kells * Patrick, Colm Cille, Brian Boru, Granuaile (Grace O'Malley) * Colonial Ireland, Emigration * Rebellion, Famine and Partition * The Troubles, Good Friday Agreement and Brexit A helpful index is found at the back of the book. Beautifully produced, Collins Little Book of Irish History is a treasure in itself and makes a perfect gift for any Ireland enthusiast.
"They flirted with men, and with death." In The Women Who Lived for Danger, acclaimed historian Marcus Binney recounts the story of ten remarkable women -- some famous, some virtually unknown -- recruited to work behind enemy lines as secret agents during WWII. Part of Winston Churchill's Special Operations Executive, formed in 1940 to "set Europe ablaze," the women of the SOE were trained to handle guns and explosives, work undercover, endure interrogation by the Gestapo, and use complex codes. Once in enemy territory, theirs was the most dangerous war of all, leading an apparently normal civilian life but in constant danger of arrest and execution. Passing themselves off as country wenches by afternoon and chic Parisiennes by night, these women put service to Britain and the Allied forces above all concerns for personal safety -- they organized dropping grounds for arms and explosives destined for the Resistance, helped operate escape lines for airmen who had been shot down over Europe, and provided Allied Command with vital intelligence.
The exploits of those chronicled in The Women Who Lived for Danger form a new chapter of heroism in the history of warfare matched only by their legacy of daring, determination, resourcefulness, and ability to stay cool in the face of extreme danger.
There is Britain before 1965 and Britain after 1965 - and they are not the same thing. 1965 was the year Britain democratised education, it was the year pop culture began to be taken as seriously as high art, the time when comedians and television shows imported the methods of modernism into their work. It was when communications across the Atlantic became instantaneous, the year when, for the first time in a century, British artists took American gallery-goers by storm. In 1965 the Beatles proved that rock and roll could be art, it was when we went car crazy, and craziness was held to be the only sane reaction to an insane society. It was the year feminism went mainstream, the year, did she but know it, that the Thatcher revolution began, the year taboos were talked up - and trashed. It was when racial discrimination was outlawed and the death penalty abolished; it marked the appointment of Roy Jenkins as Home Secretary, who became chief architect in legislating homosexuality, divorce, abortion and censorship. It was the moment that our culture, reeling from what are still the most shocking killings of the century, realised it was a less innocent, less spiritual place than it had been kidding itself. It was the year of consumerist relativism that gave us the country we live in today and the year the idea of a home full of cultural artefacts - books, records, magazines - was born. It was the year when everything changed - and the year that everyone knew it.
"An outstanding biography of the most unusual and controversial king of the 20th century. Highly recommended."--"CHOICE"
"Vivid and atmospheric, but based on solid and scrupulous
research, this is an outstanding account of one of the most
intriguing figures in twentieth-century Balkan history.
Non-specialists will read it with pleasure and fascination, and
even specialists in Albanian history will find much to learn here
from Jason Tomes's marvelously lucid analysis of the politics and
diplomacy of the period."
"Very well researched, critical yet balanced, this is the best
book about Zog to have appeared in any language."
Shortly before 5 p.m. on Saturday, September 1, 1928, Europe gained a new kingdom and its only Muslim king: 32-year-old Zog I of the Albanians. Few foreign journalists were present in the Parliament House in Tirana to hear him swear his oath on the Koran and the Bible, yet the birth of the Kingdom of Albania--a native monarchy, not an alien imposition--did not go unnoticed abroad.
King Zog (1895-1961) was a curiosity, and so he has remained: the most atypical European monarch of the twentieth century, a man entirely without royal connections who created his own kingdom. By contemporaries, he was variously labeled "the last ruler of romance," "an appalling gangster," "the modern Napoleon," "the finest patriot," and "frankly a cad." Even today his reputation is disputed, but Zog is undeniably one of the foremost figures in Albanian history. Though notorious for cut-throat political intrigue, he promised tobring order and progress to a land that had long known little of either. "It was I who made Albania," he claimed.
Zog's reign ended in 1939; Italian Fascists forced him into exile and post-war Stalinists kept him there despite his best efforts to return. In this first full biography, Jason Tomes explores the reality behind the man described in "The Times" as "the bizarre King Zog" and shows him to have been the product of a unique time and place. Tomes invites readers to set aside their assumptions about modern European monarchy and meet a king who fired back at assassins and paid his bills with gold bullion.
Exam Board: Edexcel Level: A-level Subject: History First teaching: September 2015 First exams: Summer 2017 Give your students the best chance of success with this tried and tested series, combining in-depth analysis, engaging narrative and accessibility. Access to History is the most popular, trusted and wide-ranging series for A-level History students. This title: - Supports the content and assessment requirements of the 2015 A-level History specifications - Contains authoritative and engaging content - Includes thought-provoking key debates that examine the opposing views and approaches of historians - Provides exam-style questions and guidance for each relevant specification to help students understand how to apply what they have learnt This title is suitable for a variety of courses including: - Edexcel: Option 31: Rebellion and Disorder under the Tudors, 1485-1603
This was supposed to be the era when democracy came into its own, but instead power and wealth in Britain have slowly been consolidated the hands of a small elite, while the rest of the country struggles financially and switches off politically. We are now ruled by a gang of fat-cats with fingers in every pie who squabble for power among themselves while growing richer. Bored with watching corrupt politicians jockeying for power, ordinary Britons are feeling disconnected from politics and increasingly cynical about the back-scratching relationship between politicians and big business. The New Fewshows us what has led to this point, and asks the critical questions: whyhas Britain become a more unequal society over the past thirty years? Whyhave the banks been bailed out with taxpayers' money, while bankers are still receiving huge bonuses? Why have those responsible not been held accountable for the financial crash? Why has power in Britain become so concentrated in the hands of corrupt politicians who have been exposed cheating their constituents in the expenses scandal? Despite this bleak diagnosis, there are solutions to the rise of the new ruling class in the modern West. The New Few sets out some of the ways in which we can restore our democracy, bringing back real accountability to British business and fairness to our society.
An established introductory textbook that provides students with a full overview of British social policy and social ideas since the late eighteenth century. Derek Fraser's authoritative account is the essential starting point for anyone learning about how and why Britain created the first Welfare State, and its development into the twenty-first century. This is an ideal core text for dedicated modules on the History of British Social Policy or the British Welfare State - or a supplementary text for broader modules on Modern British History or British Political History - which may be offered at all levels of an undergraduate History, Politics or Sociology degree. In addition it is a crucial resource for students who may be studying the history of the British Welfare State for the first time as part of a taught postgraduate degree in British History, Politics or Social Policy.
'Splendid... a clear, well written and highly stimulating account of the flaws in our understanding of Britain's past that bedevilled the great debate over the country's relations with the EU' Literary Review Politicians like to extol 'our island story' as if there is just one island and one story. Island Stories takes a broader view, exploring the history of Britain's identity through the great defining narratives of its past, from rise and decline to engagement in Europe and the legacies of empire. This is a book that resets our perspective on Britain and its place in the world. Traversing the centuries, Reynolds sheds fresh light on topics ranging from the slave trade to the heritage industry, from the 'Channel' to the 'special relationship', from India to the 'English problem'. He examines how other critical turning points have forged our history, including the Act of Union with Scotland and the political mishandling of post-1945 immigration. Island Stories also looks carefully across the Irish Sea, noting - as Brexit has shown again - that Ireland is the 'other island' the English have always been dangerously happy to forget. Island Stories leads us on an exciting journey through history, investigating how Britain's sense of national identity has been shaped and contested, and how that saga has brought us to the era of Brexit. Combining sharp historical analysis with vivid human stories, this is big history with a light touch that will challenge and entertain anyone interested in where Britain has come from and where it is heading.
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.
Tony Brooks was unique. He was barely out of school when recruited in 1941 by the Special Operations Executive (SOE), the wartime secret service established by Churchill to 'set Europe ablaze'. After extensive training he was parachuted into France in July 1942 - being among the first (and youngest) British agents sent to support the nascent French Resistance. Brook's success was primarily due to his exceptional qualities as a secret agent, although he was aided by large and frequent slices of luck. Among much else, he survived brushes with a British traitor and a notorious double agent; the Gestapo's capture of his wireless operator and subsequent attempts to trap Brooks; brief incarceration in a Spanish concentration camp; injuries resulting from a parachute jump into France; and even capture and interrogation by the Gestapo - although his cover story held and he was released. In an age when we so often take our heroes from the worlds of sport, film, television, music, fashion, or just 'celebrity', it is perhaps salutary to be reminded of a young man who ended the war in command of a disparate force of some 10,000 armed resistance fighters, and decorated with two of this country's highest awards for gallantry, the DSO and MC. At the time, he was just twenty-three years old. This remarkable, detailed and intimate account of a clandestine agent's dangerous wartime career combines the historian's expert eye with the narrative colour of remembered events. As a study in courage, it has few, if any, equals.
As nineteenth-century Britain became increasingly urbanized and industrialized, the number of children living in towns grew rapidly. At the same time, Horn considers the increasing divisions within urban society, not only between market towns and major manufacturing and trading centers, but within individual towns, as rich and poor became more segregated.
During the Victorian period, public attitudes toward children and childhood shifted dramatically, often to the detriment of those at the lower end of the social scale--including paupers and juvenile delinquents. Drawing on original research, including anecdotes, first-hand accounts, and a wealth of photographs, The Victorian Town Child describes in detail the changing lives of all classes of Victorian town children, from those of prosperous business and professional families to working-class families, where unemployment and overcrowding were particular problems. Horn also examines the issues of juvenile labor and exploitation, how factory work and education were combined, how crime and punishment were dealt with among children, and the changes in health and infant death rates over the period.
With the rise of women's suffrage, challenges to marriage and divorce laws, and expanding opportunities for education and employment for women, the early years of the twentieth century were a time of social revolution. Examining British novels written in 1890-1914, Jane Eldridge Miller demonstrates how these social, legal, and economic changes rendered the traditional narratives of romantic desire and marital closure inadequate, forcing Edwardian novelists to counter the limitations and ideological implications of those narratives with innovative strategies. The original and provocative novels that resulted depict the experiences of modern women with unprecedented variety, specificity, and frankness. Rebel Women is a major re-evaluation of Edwardian fiction and a significant contribution to literary history and criticism. Miller's is the best account we have, not only of Edwardian women novelists, but of early 20th-century women novelists; the measure of her achievement is that the distinction no longer seems workable. --David Trotter, The London Review of Books
A richly illustrated source book for the study of the Irish famine.
`In this book, you will travel in both space and time, starting in the years around the First World War and moving all the way up to the present day. As you go, you will see just what our pioneering aviators saw as they stared out from their cockpits. And, more than that, you will explore what they were trying to find. Because, from above, Scotland can be many different things, depending on what you choose to look at - and who is doing the looking.' Accompanying the BBC documentary series Scotland from the Sky, this lavishly illustrated book draws on the vast collection of aerial photography held in the archives of Historic Environment Scotland. Historian and series presenter James Crawford opens an extraordinary window into our past to tell the remarkable story of a nation from above - taking readers back in time to show how our great cities have dramatically altered with the ebb and flow of history, while whole communities have vanished in the name of progress. The book shows how aerial imagery can reveal treasures from the ancient past, uncovering secrets buried right beneath our feet. And it demonstrates how the view from above has been at the heart of the postwar transformation of both our countryside and our urban landscapes. This is a fascinating - and little known - story of war, innovation, adventure, cities, landscapes and people. This is the story of Scotland, from the sky.
THE MAKING OF A PRIME MINISTER 'My biography of the year' Michael Crick 'The scariest thing I've read since Silence of the Lambs' Ken Livingstone A brilliant and definitive biography of Boris Johnson, the politician who risked his career to lead the Brexit campaign, won the referendum, and finally became the new prime minister. In Andrew Gimson's acclaimed biography of the most colourful British politician of modern times, we are given a comprehensive portrait of the man. Despite tabloid controversies which led to him being dismissed from Michael Howard's shadow cabinet, Boris bounced back to win two terms as London mayor. It was a remarkable tribute to his huge personal popularity, and he was at the heart of things when London showcased itself during the 2012 Olympics. This updated edition of the book is a comprehensive insight into the dramatic political events of 2016. After Boris decided to join the Brexit campaign, which he led with Michael Gove, against all the predictions he secured a historic vote to leave the EU. Within a few tumultuous and unprecedented days, David Cameron resigned as prime minister, Boris was installed as favourite to succeed him - only for Gove to torpedo his challenge, and seemingly end his career. Yet when Theresa May took charge, she surprised many by appointing Boris as Foreign Secretary. Gimson's superb account not only takes the reader behind the scenes, it vividly brings to life one of the most extraordinary political careers in our history.
From ancient times to the present day, the story of England has been laced with drama, intrigue, courage and passion - a rich and vibrant narrative of heroes and villains, kings and rebels, artists and highwaymen, bishops and scientists. Now, in Great Tales of English History, Robert Lacey captures one hundred of the most pivotal moments: the stories and extraordinary characters who helped shape a nation. This first volume begins in 7150 BC with the life and death of Cheddar Man and ends in 1381with Wat Tyler and the Peasants' Revolt. We meet the Greek navigator Pytheus, whose description of the Celts as prettanike (the 'painted people') yielded the Latin word Britannici. We witness the Roman victory celebrations of AD 43, where a squadron of elephants were paraded through Colchester. And we visit the New Forest, in 1100, and the mysterious shooting of King William Rufus. Packed with insight, humour and fascinating detail, Robert Lacey brings the stories that made England brilliantly to life. From Ethelred the Unready to Richard the Lionheart, the Venerable Bede to the Black Prince, this is, quite simply, history as history should be told.
SEPARATING FACT FROM FICTION 'The most knowledgeable royal biographer on the planet' The Financial Times Hugo Vickers is an acknowledged authority on the British Royal Family. He has commented on royal matters on television and radio since 1973 and worked as historical adviser on a number of films. He is the author of books on the Queen Mother, the Duchess of Windsor, Princess Andrew of Greece (Prince Philip's mother) and Queen Mary - all of whom are featured in the popular Netflix show, The Crown. Now, in this sequel to The Crown: Truth & Fiction Vickers separates fact from fiction in season 3 of this television series. Episode-by-episode analysis dissects the plots, characterisation and historical detail in each storyline. Vickers tells us what really happened and what certainly did not happen. The Crown: Dissected also includes commentaries on seasons 1 and 2.
The Top Ten Sunday Times Bestseller 'Richly entertaining... impressively well-researched' Daily Mail, Biography of the Year 'Incisive... strongly recommend' The Times 'A study in aggressive social climbing [with] quick-moving fluency' Sunday Times 'Painstakingly researched... genuinely enthralling' Observer 'A page-turner which is also a carefully researched work of history' Spectator 'A compelling new biography...superbly researched' Daily Express 'Everything a top-notch biography should be' Budapest Times 'Well-researched, enjoyable, revealing' The Oldie ************************ The intimate story of a unique marriage that spans the heights of glamour and power to infidelity, manipulation and disaster through the heart of the 20th century. DICKIE MOUNTBATTEN: A major figure behind his nephew Philip's marriage to Queen Elizabeth II and instrumental in the Royal Family taking the Mountbatten name, he was Supreme Allied Commander of South East Asia during World War II and the last Viceroy of India. EDWINA MOUNTBATTEN: Once the richest woman in Britain and a playgirl who enjoyed numerous affairs, she emerged from World War II as a magnetic and talented humanitarian worker loved around the world. From British high society to the South of France, from the battlefields of Burma to the Viceroy's House, The Mountbattens is a rich and filmic story of a powerful partnership, revealing the truth behind a carefully curated legend. Was Mountbatten one of the outstanding leaders of his generation, or a man over-promoted because of his royal birth, high-level connections, film-star looks and ruthless self-promotion? What is the true story behind controversies such as the Dieppe Raid and Indian Partition, the love affair between Edwina and Nehru, and Mountbatten's assassination in 1979? Based on over 100 interviews, research from dozens of archives and new information released under Freedom of Information requests, prize-winning historian Andrew Lownie sheds new light on this remarkable couple.
'The best book about the Windsors for decades' Petronella Wyatt The intimate biography of one of the most misunderstood women in British royal history. His charisma and glamour ensured him the status of a rock star prince. Yet Edward gave up the British throne, the British Empire and his position as Emperor of India, to marry his true love, American divorcee Wallis Simpson. So much gossip and innuendo has been levelled at Wallis Simpson that it has become nearly impossible to discern the real woman. Many have wondered why, when Edward could have had anyone he desired, he was smitten with this unusual American woman. As her friend Herman Rogers said to her in 1936 when news of her affair with Edward broke: 'Much of what is being said concerns a woman who does not exist and never did exist.' History is mostly perceived from the perspective of his-story. But what about her story? Anna Pasternak's new book is the first ever to give Wallis a chance and a voice to show that she was a warm, loyal, intelligent woman adored by her friends, who was written off by cunning, influential Establishment men seeking to diminish her and destroy her reputation. As the author argues, far from being the villain of the abdication, she was the victim. Anna Pasternak seeks to understand an unusual, deeply misunderstood woman, and the untenable situation she became embroiled in. Using testimony from their inner circle of friends, she presents a very different Wallis Simpson. With empathy, intimacy and thorough research, this book will make readers view her story as it has never been told before.
'Funny, wise, entertaining and illuminating, this book is one of the best things to come out of the Brexit saga' FINTAN O'TOOLE. 'Read this absorbing book to understand why, since 2016, we have been playing with fire. There is no longer any excuse for ignorance' MISHA GLENNY. Northern Ireland's frontier with the South has been an invisible line since the peace agreement of 1998. Now the battle over the UK's decision to leave the EU risks turning it into a hard border. Yet few people in the rest of Britain (or Ireland) know anything much about this most volatile part of an increasingly disunited Kingdom. This book was written in the feverish summer of 2019, in the aftermath of the 'New' IRA's murder of Lyra McKee, with the fear and anxiety of Brexit looming over a region in which paramilitary forces are still carrying out beatings, and worse, even as the numbers of tourists drawn by the Titanic and Game of Thrones continue to grow. The power-sharing government created by the Good Friday Agreement has not met - a bleak record in a long-running farce - in over 1,000 days. If it wasn't for the wonderful weather you might wonder why anyone stayed there at all. Glenn Patterson brings a lifetime's engagement with Northern Ireland and a brilliant novelist's eye to an informative, darkly entertaining portrait of a fragile country. Welcome to Backstop Land.
Historian and popular BBC TV presenter Ruth Goodman, author of How to Be a Tudor, offers up a history of Renaissance Britain - the offensive language, insulting gestures, insolent behaviour, brawling and scandal of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries - with practical tips on just how to horrify the Tudor neighbours. From royalty to peasantry, every age has its bad eggs, those who break all the rules and rub everyone up the wrong way. But their niggling, anti-social and irritating ways not only tell us about what upset people, but also what mattered to them, how their society functioned and what kind of world they lived in. In this brilliantly nitty-gritty exploration of real life in the Tudor and Stuart age, you will discover: - how to choose the perfect insult, whether it be draggletail, varlet, flap, saucy fellow, strumpet, ninny-hammer or stinkard - why quoting Shakespeare was very poor form - the politics behind men kissing each other on the lips - why flashing the inside of your hat could repulse someone - the best way to mock accents, preachers, soldiers and pretty much everything else besides Ruth Goodman draws upon advice books and manuals, court cases and sermons, drama and imagery to outline bad behaviour from the gauche to the galling, the subtle to the outrageous. It is a celebration of drunkards, scolds, harridans and cross dressers in a time when calling a man a fool could get someone killed, and cursing wasn't just rude, it worked! 'Ruth is the queen of living history - long may she reign!' Lucy Worsley
At the darkest moment of the year, when the nights seem endless and the days very short, comes that most joyful of festivals. Christmas is a truly magical season, bringing families and friends together to share the much-loved customs and traditions that over the centuries have come to surround this heart-warming and deeply symbolic occasion. Each family has their own personal traditions, and ways they celebrate the special day. Yet underneath the tinsel, fairy lights and wrapping paper are many long-standing traditions that we all know and love. Why do we drag a fir tree inside our house and decorate it? How long Santa has been delivering gifts to good children? What would Christmas be like without mince pies? We owe a lot to the Victorians. They transformed the way Britain celebrated Christmas in the 19th century and we continue with their traditions today. In 1848 a British confectioner by the name of Tom Smith came up with the idea of wrapping sweets inside a package that snapped when pulled apart. It was the Victorians that really centred Christmas round the family, with the eating of a Christmas dinner together, giving gifts and playing games. All these things have become central to a British Christmas Day.
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