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Books > Humanities > History > British & Irish history

AQA A-level History: The Tudors: England 1485-1603 (Paperback): David Ferriby, Angela Anderson, Tony Imperato AQA A-level History: The Tudors: England 1485-1603 (Paperback)
David Ferriby, Angela Anderson, Tony Imperato
R926 Discovery Miles 9 260 Ships in 10 - 15 working days

Exam Board: AQA Level: AS/A-level Subject: History First Teaching: September 2015 First Exam: June 2016 AQA approved Enhance and expand your students' knowledge and understanding of their AQA breadth study through expert narrative, progressive skills development and bespoke essays from leading historians on key debates. - Builds students' understanding of the events and issues of the period with authoritative, well-researched narrative that covers the specification content - Introduces the key concepts of change, continuity, cause and consequence, encouraging students to make comparisons across time as they advance through the course - Improves students' skills in tackling interpretation questions and essay writing by providing clear guidance and practice activities - Boosts students' interpretative skills and interest in history through extended reading opportunities consisting of specially commissioned essays from practising historians on relevant debates - Cements understanding of the broad issues underpinning the period with overviews of the key questions, end-of-chapter summaries and diagrams that double up as handy revision aids The Tudors: England 1485-1603 A revised edition of Access to History: An Introduction to Tudor England 1485-1603, this title explores the consolidation of the Tudor Dynasty under Henry VII and Henry VIII, the years of instability and religious turmoil in the mid-Tudor period and the period of relative stability during Elizabeth I's reign. It considers breadth issues of change, continuity, cause and consequence in this period through examining key questions on themes such as power, religion, opposition, relations with foreign powers and the impact of key individuals.

The Runic Inscriptions of the Isle of Man (Paperback): Michael Barnes The Runic Inscriptions of the Isle of Man (Paperback)
Michael Barnes
R590 R498 Discovery Miles 4 980 Save R92 (16%) Ships in 10 - 15 working days
The Industrial Revolution: A Very Short Introduction (Paperback): Robert C. Allen The Industrial Revolution: A Very Short Introduction (Paperback)
Robert C. Allen
R248 R197 Discovery Miles 1 970 Save R51 (21%) Ships in 10 - 15 working days

The 'Industrial Revolution' was a pivotal point in British history that occurred between the mid-eighteenth and mid-nineteenth centuries and led to far reaching transformations of society. With the advent of revolutionary manufacturing technology productivity boomed. Machines were used to spin and weave cloth, steam engines were used to provide reliable power, and industry was fed by the construction of the first railways, a great network of arteries feeding the factories. Cities grew as people shifted from agriculture to industry and commerce. Hand in hand with the growth of cities came rising levels of pollution and disease. Many people lost their jobs to the new machinery, whilst working conditions in the factories were grim and pay was low. As the middle classes prospered, social unrest ran through the working classes, and the exploitation of workers led to the growth of trade unions and protest movements. In this Very Short Introduction, Robert C. Allen analyzes the key features of the Industrial Revolution in Britain, and the spread of industrialization to other countries. He considers the factors that combined to enable industrialization at this time, including Britain's position as a global commercial empire, and discusses the changes in technology and business organization, and their impact on different social classes and groups. Introducing the 'winners' and the 'losers' of the Industrial Revolution, he looks at how the changes were reflected in evolving government policies, and what contribution these made to the economic transformation. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Medievalism - The Middle Ages in Modern England (Paperback): Michael Alexander Medievalism - The Middle Ages in Modern England (Paperback)
Michael Alexander
R424 Discovery Miles 4 240 Ships in 10 - 15 working days

Now reissued in an updated paperback edition, this groundbreaking account of the Medieval Revival movement examines the ways in which the style of the medieval period was re-established in post-Enlightenment England-from Walpole and Scott, Pugin, Ruskin, and Tennyson to Pound, Tolkien, and Rowling. "Medievalism . . . takes a panoramic view of the 'recovery' of the Medieval in English literature, visual arts and culture. . . . Ambitious, sweeping, sometimes idiosyncratic, but always interesting."-Rosemary Ashton, Times Literary Supplement "Deeply researched and stylishly written, Medievalism is an unalloyed delight that will instruct and amuse a wide readership."-Edward Short, Books & Culture

Early Medieval Monetary History - Studies in Memory of Mark Blackburn (Hardcover, Festschrift): Martin Allen Early Medieval Monetary History - Studies in Memory of Mark Blackburn (Hardcover, Festschrift)
Martin Allen; Edited by Rory Naismith
R3,276 Discovery Miles 32 760 Ships in 10 - 15 working days

Mark Blackburn was one of the leading scholars of the numismatics and monetary history of the British Isles and Scandinavia during the early medieval period. He published more than 200 books and articles on the subject, and was instrumental in building bridges between numismatics and associated disciplines, in fostering international communication and cooperation, and in establishing initiatives to record new coin finds. This memorial volume of essays commemorates Mark Blackburn's considerable achievement and impact on the field, builds on his research and evaluates a vibrant period in the study of early medieval monetary history. Containing a broad range of high-quality research from both established figures and younger scholars, the essays in this volume maintain a tight focus on Europe in the early Middle Ages (6th-12th centuries), reflecting Mark's primary research interests. In geographical terms the scope of the volume stretches from Spain to the Baltic, with a concentration of papers on the British Isles. As well as a fitting tribute to remarkable scholar, the essays in this collection constitute a major body of research which will be of long-term value to anyone with an interest in the history of early medieval Europe.

Double Lives - A History of Working Motherhood (Hardcover): Helen McCarthy Double Lives - A History of Working Motherhood (Hardcover)
Helen McCarthy
R748 R599 Discovery Miles 5 990 Save R149 (20%) Ships in 7 - 11 working days

A groundbreaking history of mothers who worked for pay that will change the way we think about gender, work and equality in modern Britain. In Britain today, three-quarters of mothers are in employment and paid work is an unremarkable feature of women's lives after childbirth. Yet a century ago, working mothers were in the minority, excluded altogether from many occupations, whilst their wage-earning was widely perceived as a social ill. In Double Lives, Helen McCarthy accounts for this remarkable transformation, whose consequences have been momentous for Britain's society and economy. Drawing upon a wealth of sources, McCarthy ranges from the smoking chimney-stacks of nineteenth-century Manchester to the shimmering skyscrapers of present-day Canary Wharf. She recovers the everyday worlds of working mothers and traces how women's desires for financial independence and lives beyond home and family were slowly recognised. McCarthy reveals the deep and complicated past of a phenomenon so often assumed to be a product of contemporary lifestyles and aspirations. This groundbreaking history forces us not only to re-evaluate the past, but to ask anew how current attitudes towards mothers in the workplace have developed and how far we have to go. Through vivid and powerful storytelling, Double Lives offers a social and cultural history for our times.

Access to History: Britain 1783-1885 (Paperback): Benjamin Armstrong Access to History: Britain 1783-1885 (Paperback)
Benjamin Armstrong
R644 Discovery Miles 6 440 Ships in 10 - 15 working days

Exam board: AQA; Pearson Edexcel; OCR Level: AS/A-level Subject: History First teaching: September 2015 First exams: Summer 2016 (AS); Summer 2017 (A-level) Put your trust in the textbook series that has given thousands of A-level History students deeper knowledge and better grades for over 30 years. Updated to meet the demands of today's A-level specifications, this new generation of Access to History titles includes accurate exam guidance based on examiners' reports, free online activity worksheets and contextual information that underpins students' understanding of the period. - Develop strong historical knowledge: in-depth analysis of each topic is both authoritative and accessible - Build historical skills and understanding: downloadable activity worksheets can be used independently by students or edited by teachers for classwork and homework - Learn, remember and connect important events and people: an introduction to the period, summary diagrams, timelines and links to additional online resources support lessons, revision and coursework - Achieve exam success: practical advice matched to the requirements of your A-level specification incorporates the lessons learnt from previous exams - Engage with sources, interpretations and the latest historical research: students will evaluate a rich collection of visual and written materials, plus key debates that examine the views of different historians

On This Day in History (Paperback): Dan Snow On This Day in History (Paperback)
Dan Snow 1
R240 R192 Discovery Miles 1 920 Save R48 (20%) Ships in 5 - 10 working days

On which day was history's shortest war waged and won (in roughly 40 minutes)? How was Napoleon bested by a group of rabbits in 1807? Why did a dispute about beer in an Oxford pub lead to over 100 deaths and 470 years of penance? Why in 1752 did Britain go to bed on 2nd September and wake up on the 14th? How did a women's march in 1917 set off the Russian Revolution? On This Day in History brings to life a key event that happened on each day of the year. From the most important British battle that you've never heard of (20 May 685) to the first meeting of Lennon and McCartney (6 July 1957), and from why Julius Caesar should have been wary of the Ides of March (15 March 44BC) to the day Jeanne de Clisson became a pirate and single-handedly declared war on the King of France (2 August 1343), history is full of unlikely heroes and fascinating turning points. In this book Dan Snow shows us how each day offers a different and unexpected insight into our past. And story by gripping story, this year grows into a vivid, very human history of the world.

History Of The Life Of Richard (Hardcover): James History Of The Life Of Richard (Hardcover)
R8,871 Discovery Miles 88 710 Ships in 10 - 15 working days

The rise and fall of the feudal system comprises one of the most important periods of human history. During this time, magnificent upheavals occurred: an organised system of oppression gave way to rational liberty, bloody wars resulted in the refinement of society, and wanton aggression produced limitations of power. No life seems more illustrative of the peculiarities of these times than that of King Richard I. In this work, the author examines the life of Richard and its relation to the feudalistic and chivalrous societies in which he lived.

Living on the Home Front (Paperback): Megan Westley Living on the Home Front (Paperback)
Megan Westley
R280 R243 Discovery Miles 2 430 Save R37 (13%) Ships in 10 - 15 working days

During the Second World War millions of men left their homes and families to fight for their country. Meanwhile, those waving a tearful goodbye had to carry on. They dug their allotments, measured out their bath water, and presented their ration coupons for food and clothing. Through bombings and blackouts, the people of Britain did whatever they could to aid the war effort. In this detailed and well-researched book, we learn what life was really like on the Home Front during the Second World War. Megan Westley enhances her account with her own experiences of 'living on the Home Front'. Over the last year, she has thrown herself into wartime cooking and rationing, espoused the mottos 'Dig for Victory' and 'make do and mend', sacrificed television and even recreated an air raid. As well as providing a readable, intimate picture of day-today life during the Second World War, Living on the Home Front is full of authentic wartime recipes for the reader to try, and offers tips on everything from growing your own vegetables to mending clothes.

I Hope I Don't Intrude - Privacy and its Dilemmas in Nineteenth-Century Britain (Hardcover): David Vincent I Hope I Don't Intrude - Privacy and its Dilemmas in Nineteenth-Century Britain (Hardcover)
David Vincent
R710 R539 Discovery Miles 5 390 Save R171 (24%) Ships in 10 - 15 working days

'I Hope I Don't Intrude' takes its title from the catch-phrase of the eponymous hero of the 1825 play Paul Pry, which was an immense success on the London stage and then rapidly in New York and around the English-speaking world. It tackles the complex, multi-faceted subject of privacy in nineteenth-century Britain by examining the way in which the tropes, language, and imagery of the play entered public discourse about privacy in the rest of the century. The volume is not just an account of a play, or of late Georgian and Victorian theatre. Rather it is a history of privacy, showing how the play resonated through Victorian society and revealed its concerns over personal and state secrecy, celebrity, gossip and scandal, postal espionage, virtual privacy, the idea of intimacy, and the evolution of public and private spheres. After 1825 the overly inquisitive figure of Paul Pry appeared everywhere - in songs, stories, and newspapers, and on everything from buttons and Staffordshire pottery to pubs, ships, and stagecoaches - and 'Paul-Prying' rapidly entered the language. 'I Hope I Don't Intrude' is an innovative kind of social history, using rich archival research to trace this cultural artefact through every aspect of its consumer context, and using its meanings to interrogate the largely hidden history of privacy in a period of major transformations in the role of the home, mass communication (particularly the new letter post, which delivered private messages through a public service), and the state. In vivid and entertaining detail, including many illustrations, David Vincent presents the most thorough account yet attempted of a recreational event in an era which saw a decisive shift in consumer markets. His study casts fresh light on the perennial tensions between curiosity and intrusion that were captured in Paul Pry and his catchphrase. Giving a new account of the communications revolution of the period, it re-evaluates the role of the state and the market in creating a new regime of privacy. And its critique of the concept and practice of surveillance looks forward to twenty-first-century concerns about the invasion of privacy through new technologies.

Britain's Secret War (Hardcover, New): Michael Smith Britain's Secret War (Hardcover, New)
Michael Smith
R880 R559 Discovery Miles 5 590 Save R321 (36%) Ships in 10 - 15 working days

Britain's Secret War tells the astonishing story of how Britain's spies, boffins and special operations teams helped to win the Second World War. The work of the Bletchley Park codebreakers in breaking the German Enigma cipher is estimated to have cut the length of the war by around two years, saving countless lives, while the Double Cross system, in which German secret agents were "turned" by the British to feed their Nazi agent-runners with false information, ensured the success of the D-Day landings. The Secret War not only reveals new details about these remarkable operations but also tells the real story of how MI6 turned the disaster of lost networks across Europe into triumph. The stories range from extraordinary courage to the bizarre with even astrologers and a stage magician brought in to help get intelligence and allied aircrew out of Nazi-occupied Europe. Intelligence historian Michael Smith describes the work of all the participants in the Secret War, revealing a host of new heroes, and heroines, along the way.

The People's Galleries - Art Museums and Exhibitions in Britain, 1800?1914 (Hardcover): Giles Waterfield The People's Galleries - Art Museums and Exhibitions in Britain, 1800?1914 (Hardcover)
Giles Waterfield
R1,324 R1,223 Discovery Miles 12 230 Save R101 (8%) Ships in 10 - 15 working days

This innovative history of British art museums begins in the early 19th century. The National Gallery and the South Kensington Museum (now the Victoria and Albert Museum) in London may have been at the center of activity, but museums in cities such as Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, and Nottingham were immensely popular and attracted enthusiastic audiences. The People's Galleries traces the rise of art museums in Britain through World War I, focusing on the phenomenon of municipal galleries. This richly illustrated book argues that these regional museums represented a new type of institution: an art gallery for a working-class audience, appropriate for the rapidly expanding cities and shaped by liberal ideals. As their broad appeal weakened with the new century, they adapted and became more conventional. Using a wide range of sources, the book studies the patrons and the publics, the collecting policies, the temporary exhibitions, and the architecture of these institutions, as well as the complex range of reasons for their foundation.

Victorian Farm 2nd Edition (Hardcover, 2nd edition): Alex Langlands, Peter Ginn Victorian Farm 2nd Edition (Hardcover, 2nd edition)
Alex Langlands, Peter Ginn
R744 R529 Discovery Miles 5 290 Save R215 (29%) Ships in 10 - 15 working days

No electricity, no gas, no flushing toilet, and no tractor Could you survive a year on a Victorian farm? In this fascinating time-traveling experiment a team of historians spend a year recreating farm life in 1885. Accompanying the television series, this book follows the team as they try to run a farm using only materials and resources that would have been available to them in the Victorian era. This was a crucial period in the history of Britain--rapid industrialization had radically changed life in the cites but rural communities used a mixture of centuries-old and pioneering modern practices. Packed with informative text and photographs from the farm year, this book reveals exactly what the Victorians ate and wore and how they managed their animals, farmed the land, and organized their lives. Providing a real insight into life on a Victorian farm, this series is also a fascinating reminder of how history comes full circle. The organic diet of 1885, use of natural products for cleaning and healthcare, and interests in crafts and gardening are of increasing relevance today as we look for a more responsible way of living over 120 years later.

The Picts - A History (Paperback, New edition): Tim Clarkson The Picts - A History (Paperback, New edition)
Tim Clarkson
R283 R216 Discovery Miles 2 160 Save R67 (24%) Ships in 10 - 15 working days

The Picts were an ancient nation who ruled most of northern and eastern Scotland during the Dark Ages. Despite their historicalimportance, they remain shrouded in myth and misconception. Absorbed by the kingdom of the Scots in the ninth century, they lost their unique identity, their language and their vibrant artistic culture. Amongst their few surviving traces are standing stones decorated with incredible skill and covered with enigmatic symbols - vivid memorials of a powerful and gifted people who bequeathed no chronicles to tell their story, no sagas to describe the deed of their kings and heroes. In this book Tim Clarkson pieces together the evidence to tell the story of this mysterious people from their emergence in Roman times to their eventual disappearance.

Queen Caroline - Cultural Politics at the Early Eighteenth-Century Court (Hardcover): Joanna Marschner Queen Caroline - Cultural Politics at the Early Eighteenth-Century Court (Hardcover)
Joanna Marschner
R1,153 R1,068 Discovery Miles 10 680 Save R85 (7%) Ships in 10 - 15 working days

As the wife of King George II, Caroline of Ansbach became queen of England in 1727. Known for her intelligence and strong character, Queen Caroline wielded considerable political power until her death in 1737. She was enthusiastic and energetic in her cultural patronage, engaging in projects that touched on the arts, architecture, gardens, literature, science, and natural philosophy. This meticulously researched volume will survey Caroline's significant contributions to the arts and culture and the ways in which she used her patronage to strengthen the royal family's connections between the recently installed House of Hanover and English society. She established an extensive library at St. James's Palace, and her renowned "salons" attracted many of the great thinkers of the day; Voltaire wrote of her, "I must say that despite all her titles and crowns, this princess was born to encourage the arts and the well-being of mankind."

The Twelve Apostles - Michael Collins, the Squad, and Ireland's Fight for Freedom (Hardcover): Tim Pat Coogan The Twelve Apostles - Michael Collins, the Squad, and Ireland's Fight for Freedom (Hardcover)
Tim Pat Coogan
R596 R478 Discovery Miles 4 780 Save R118 (20%) Ships in 7 - 11 working days
Our Land at War - A Portrait of Rural Britain 1939-45 (Paperback): Duff Hart-Davis Our Land at War - A Portrait of Rural Britain 1939-45 (Paperback)
Duff Hart-Davis 1
R320 R248 Discovery Miles 2 480 Save R72 (22%) Ships in 10 - 15 working days

A rich account of the impact of the Second World War on the lives of people living in the farms and villages of Britain. On the outbreak of war, the countryside was invaded by service personnel and evacuee children by the thousand; land was taken arbitrarily for airfields, training grounds and firing ranges, and whole communities were evicted. Prisoner-of-war camps brought captured enemy soldiers to close quarters, and as horses gave way to tractors and combines farmers were burdened with aggressive new restrictions on what they could and could not grow. Land Girls and Lumber Jills worked in fields and forests. Food - or the lack of it - was a major preoccupation and rationing strictly enforced. And although rabbits were poached, apples scrumped and mushrooms gathered, there was still not enough to eat. Drawing from diaries, letters, books, official records and interviews, Duff Hart Davis revisits rural Britain to describe how ordinary people survived the war years. He tells of houses turned over to military use such as Bletchley and RAF Medmenham as well as those that became schools, notably Chatsworth in Derbyshire. Combining both hardship and farce, the book examines the profound changes war brought to Britain's countryside: from the Home Guard, struggling with the provision of ludicrous equipment, to the role of the XII Corps Observation Unit. whose task was to enlarge rabbit warrens and badger setts into bunkers for harassing the enemy in the event of a German invasion; to the unexpected tenderness shown by many to German and Italian prisoners-of-war at work on the land. Fascinating, sad and at times hilarious, this warm-hearted book tells great stories - and casts new light on Britain during the war.

Wales - History of a Nation (Paperback, UK ed.): David Ross Wales - History of a Nation (Paperback, UK ed.)
David Ross
R245 Discovery Miles 2 450 Ships in 10 - 15 working days

This popular book about the history of Wales is now in its third edition. The book provides a good, clear history of Wales from Celtic origins to joining the Union, and an account of its social, political and industrial development to the modern age. It is an ideal guide for the student as well as the visitor to Wales, or those looking for a succinct history of the Welsh people.

The Pirate Queen - Queen Elizabeth I, Her Pirate Adventurers, and the Dawn of Empire (Paperback): Susan Ronald The Pirate Queen - Queen Elizabeth I, Her Pirate Adventurers, and the Dawn of Empire (Paperback)
Susan Ronald 1
R377 R223 Discovery Miles 2 230 Save R154 (41%) Ships in 10 - 15 working days

Elizabeth I was originally dubbed 'the pirate queen' by Philip II of Spain and acknowledged as such by the pope. Extravagant, whimsical, hot-tempered, sexually enticing and the epitome of power, Elizabeth I has never ceased to amaze, entertain, and educate through the centuries. Yet very little has been written, and no books have been dedicated to, Elizabeth I for the financial magician that she was. She played the helpless woman in a man's world to great effect and beleaguered Protestant queen in a predominantly Catholic Europe, using her wiles to exploit every political and social opportunity at hand.Yet her many accomplishments would have never been possible without her daring merchants, gifted rapscallion adventurers, astronomer philosophers, and stalwart Privy Councilors like William Cecil, Francis Walsingham, and Nicholas Bacon. All these men contributed their vast genius, power, greed, and expertise to the rise of England and the foundations of the British Empire. Her foundation of empire was built on a carefully choreographed strategic plan where privateering - piracy to us today - was the expedient method she and her advisors selected to turn her rogue state into the greatest empire the world has ever seen.

The Domestic Accounts of Merton College, Oxford, 1482-94 (Hardcover): J. M. Fletcher, C. a. Upton The Domestic Accounts of Merton College, Oxford, 1482-94 (Hardcover)
J. M. Fletcher, C. a. Upton
R1,006 R938 Discovery Miles 9 380 Save R68 (7%) Ships in 10 - 15 working days
The Anarchy - The East India Company, Corporate Violence, and the Pillage of an Empire (Hardcover): William Dalrymple The Anarchy - The East India Company, Corporate Violence, and the Pillage of an Empire (Hardcover)
William Dalrymple
R863 R684 Discovery Miles 6 840 Save R179 (21%) Ships in 7 - 11 working days
Revolution Against Empire - Taxes, Politics, and the Origins of American Independence (Hardcover): Justin Du Rivage Revolution Against Empire - Taxes, Politics, and the Origins of American Independence (Hardcover)
Justin Du Rivage
R899 Discovery Miles 8 990 Ships in 10 - 15 working days

A bold transatlantic history of American independence revealing that 1776 was about far more than taxation without representation Revolution Against Empire sets the story of American independence within a long and fierce clash over the political and economic future of the British Empire. Justin du Rivage traces this decades-long debate, which pitted neighbors and countrymen against one another, from the War of Austrian Succession to the end of the American Revolution. As people from Boston to Bengal grappled with the growing burdens of imperial rivalry and fantastically expensive warfare, some argued that austerity and new colonial revenue were urgently needed to rescue Britain from unsustainable taxes and debts. Others insisted that Britain ought to treat its colonies as relative equals and promote their prosperity. Drawing from archival research in the United States, Britain, and France, this book shows how disputes over taxation, public debt, and inequality sparked the American Revolution-and reshaped the British Empire.

Access to History: Britain 1900-57 Second Edition (Paperback, 2nd Revised edition): Michael Lynch Access to History: Britain 1900-57 Second Edition (Paperback, 2nd Revised edition)
Michael Lynch
R622 Discovery Miles 6 220 Ships in 10 - 15 working days

Exam Board: AQA, Edexcel, OCR & WJEC Level: A-level Subject: History First Teaching: September 2015 First Exam: June 2016 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: - AQA: Wars and Welfare: Britain in Transition, 1906-1957 - OCR: Britain 1900-1951

Pepys's London - Everyday Life in London 1650-1703 (Paperback): Stephen Porter Pepys's London - Everyday Life in London 1650-1703 (Paperback)
Stephen Porter
R308 R267 Discovery Miles 2 670 Save R41 (13%) Ships in 10 - 15 working days

Samuel Pepys's London was a turbulent, boisterous city, enduring the strains caused by foreign wars, the Great Plague and the Great Fire, yet growing and prospering. The Restoration in 1660 brought the reopening of the theatres, with women appearing on the stage for the first time, and the period saw the development of English opera and the first public concerts. Pepys lived through a time of change in a city of contrasts, which maintained a sophisticated cultural scene, yet was a focus for political turmoil that spilled over into violence. Against this changing and sometimes troubled background Londoners strived to make a living and to enjoy the benefits of their efforts, as consumers of an increasing range of food and drink, luxuries and entertainments. The London of Wren, Dryden and Purcell was also the city of Nell Gwyn, an orange seller in the theatre who became an actress and the king's mistress; of 'Colonel' Thomas Blood, who attempted to steal the crown jewels from the Tower and yet escaped punishment; and of Titus Oates, whose invention of a Popish Plot provoked a major political crisis. London was the country's political, economic, social and intellectual capital, described by a visitor from Tuscany as 'the metropolis of the whole island'.

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