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A reissue of this classic title brought up to date and with a new introduction by Andrew Morton.
Reflecting on the extraordinary circumstances surrounding the original publication, and on the long-term legacy of Diana, the woman who helped reinvigorate the royal family, giving it a more emotional, human face, and thus helping it move forward into the 21st century.
'A litany of fresh heroes to make the embattled heart sing' Caitlin Moran 'Newman is a brilliant writer' Observer A fresh, opinionated history of all the brilliant women you should have learned about in school but didn't. For hundreds of years we have heard about the great men of history, but what about herstory? In this freewheeling history of modern Britain, Cathy Newman writes about the pioneering women who defied the odds to make careers for themselves and alter the course of modern history; women who achieved what they achieved while dismantling hostile, entrenched views about their place in society. Their role in transforming Britain is fundamental, far greater than has generally been acknowledged, and not just in the arts or education but in fields like medicine, politics, law, engineering and the military. While a few of the women in this book are now household names, many have faded into oblivion, their personal and collective achievements mere footnotes in history. We know of Emmeline Pankhurst, Vera Brittain, Marie Stopes and Beatrice Webb. But who remembers engineer and motorbike racer Beatrice Shilling, whose ingenious device for the Spitfires' Rolls-Royce Merlin fixed an often-fatal flaw, allowing the RAF's planes to beat the German in the Battle of Britain? Or Dorothy Lawrence, the journalist who achieved her ambition to become a WW1 correspondent by pretending to be a man? And developmental biologist Anne McLaren, whose work in genetics paved the way for in vitro fertilisation? Blending meticulous research with information gleaned from memoirs, diaries, letters, novels and other secondary sources, Bloody Brilliant Women uses the stories of some extraordinary lives to tell the tale of 20th and 21st century Britain. It is a history for women and men. A history for our times.
Viking Britain author Thomas Williams returns with a brief history of the interaction between the Vikings and the British to tell the story of the occupation of London. The Vikings remoulded the world, changed the language, and upended the dynamics of power and trade. Monasteries and settlements burned, ancient dynasties were extinguished. And nowhere in these islands saw more aggression than London. Between 842 and 1016, the city was subjected repeatedly to serious assault. In this short history, bestselling historian Thomas Williams recounts the profound impact Viking raiders from the North had on London. Delving into London's darkest age, he charts how the city was transformed in this period by immigrants and natives, kings and commoners, into the fulcrum of national power and identity. London emerged as a hub of trade, production and international exchange, a financial centre, a political prize, a fiercely independent and often intractable cauldron of spirited and rowdy townsfolk: a place that, a thousand years ago, already embodied much of what London was to become and still remains. This remarkable book takes the reader into a city of spectres, to its ancient past, to timeworn street names hidden beneath concrete underpasses, to the crypts of old churches, to a stretch of the old river bank, or the depths of museum collections. Nothing is lost in the city. And memories of the Vikings hover like a miasma in these places, blowing across the mud and shingle on the Thames foreshore - ghosts of Viking London.
THE SUNDAY TIMES NON FICTION BESTSELLER WHSmith NON-FICTION BOOK OF THE YEAR 2018 'The best book you will ever read about Britain's greatest warplane.' Patrick Bishop, bestselling author of Fighter Boys. 'A rich and heartfelt tribute to this most iconic British machine. By focussing on the men (and women) who flew the Spitfire, John Nichol has brought a fresh and powerful perspective to the story. And by recording their bravery, humility, camaraderie, tragedy and sheer joy in flying their beloved Spits he has done them - and us - a valuable service' Rowland White, bestselling author of Vulcan 607 'As the RAF marks its centenary, Nichol has created a thrilling and often moving tribute to some of its greatest heroes.' Jon Dennis, Mail on Sunday magazine. 'A stirring portrait of a piece of aviation art in motion flown by the bravest of the brave. Nichol's Spitfire is still a sky-borne prima ballerina that kicks like Bruce Lee.' RAF News 'A superb and compelling book. Brilliantly written with some incredible and astonishing stories; it is gripping, moving, emotional and sometimes humorous - just perfect' Squadron Leader (Ret) Clive Rowley, former Officer Commanding RAF Battle Of Britain Memorial Flight 'A superb journey through the remarkable tale of that British icon, the Spitfire. Brilliantly and engagingly written, this is the most readable story of the aircraft and her pilots that I have ever had the pleasure to read in a period spanning some forty-odd years of personal study and research. Truly stunning.' Andy Saunders, Editor, Britain at War Magazine. The perfect complementary narrative to the bestselling memoir by Geoffrey Wellum - First Light. Achtung, Spitfire! The iconic Spitfire found fame during the darkest early days of World War II. But what happened to the redoubtable fighter and its crews beyond the Battle of Britain, and why is it still so loved today? In late spring 1940, Nazi Germany's domination of Europe had looked unstoppable. With the British Isles in easy reach since the fall of France, Adolf Hitler was convinced that Great Britain would be defeated in the skies over her southern coast, confident his Messerschmitts and Heinkels would outclass anything the Royal Air Force threw at them. What Hitler hadn't planned for was the agility and resilience of a marvel of British engineering that would quickly pass into legend - the Spitfire. Bestselling author John Nichol's passionate portrait of this magnificent fighter aircraft, its many innovations and updates, and the people who flew and loved them, carries the reader beyond the dogfights over Kent and Sussex. Spanning the full global reach of the Spitfire's deployment during WWII, from Malta to North Africa and the Far East, then over the D-Day beaches, it is always accessible, effortlessly entertaining and full of extraordinary spirit. Here are edge-of-the-seat stories and heart-stopping first-hand accounts of battling pilots forced to bail out over occupied territory; of sacrifice and wartime love; of aristocratic female flyers, and of the mechanics who braved the Nazi onslaught to keep the aircraft in battle-ready condition. Nichol takes the reader on a hair-raising, nail-biting and moving wartime history of the iconic Spitfire populated by a cast of redoubtable, heroic characters that make you want to stand up and cheer.
Queen Victoria, once remarked `I don't dislike babies though I think very young ones are rather disgusting'. She went on to have nine children. As 2018 heralds the arrival of Prince Louis for the House of Windsor, who is fifth in line to the throne, this book outlines all he can expect as a baby in the modern royal household. Exploring the history on the upbringing of royal children from Tudor births, this book looks at how customs and traditions have changed contrasting the formality of the Victorians when children were `seen and not heard' through to the more relaxed discipline of the modern royals. It reveals how Princess Diana was one of the first senior royals to influence this change in how she brought up her two princes, William and Harry. As well as examining royal nurseries through the years, this book also looks at royal grannies, governesses and nannies and their influence on the young royals with their devotion and care. It also looks at the role of schooling from the strictness of Gordonstoun in Scotland to the traditions at Eton.
THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER 'Tessa Dunlop made pains to select women from broad walks of life and succeeds in weaving a rich tapestry of experiences.'The Independent 'A warm-hearted and engaging read, The Century Girls is replete with wonderful characters.' Sunday Express 'Dunlop has pulled off an impressive feat of oral history...creating a moving portrait of a world that is now lost forever.' Who Do You Think You Are? A celebration of the one-hundred years since British women got the vote, told, in their own voices, by six centenarians: Helena, Olive, Edna, Joyce, Ann and Phyllis - The Century Girls In 2018 Britain celebrates the centenary of some women getting the vote. The intervening ten decades have witnessed staggering change, and The Century Girls features six women born in 1918 or before who haven't just witnessed that change, they've lived it. Empire shrank, war came and went, and modern society demanded continual readjustment.... the Century Girls lasted the course, and this book weaves together their lifetime's adventures - what they were taught, how they were treated, who they loved, what they did and where they are now. With stories that are intimately knitted into the history of the British Isles, this is a time-travel epic featuring our oldest, most precious national treasures. Edna, 102, was a domestic servant born in Lincolnshire. Helena is 101 years old and the eldest of eight born into a Welsh farming family. Olive, 102, began life as a child of empire in British Guiana and was one of the first women to migrate to London after the war. There's Ann, a 103-year-London bohemian; 100-year-old Phyllis, daughter of the British Raj, who has called Edinburgh home for nearly eighty years; and finally 'young' Joyce - a 99-year-old Cambridge classicist who's still at work. It is through the prism of these women's very long lives that The Century Girls provides a deeply personal account of British history over the past one hundred years. Their story is our story too. Further praise for The Century Girls 'The book's atmosphere of intimacy, enhanced by a generous selection of evocative photographs, is compelling and Dunlop's attention to her subjects' day-to-day lives renders this an absorbing alternative to grander views of recent history.' TLS 'Fascinating . . . a deeply personal account of British history over the past 100 years.' Countryside Magazine, Book of the Month 'A delightful book . . . all about women and women's lives.' Jane Garvey, Radio 4 Woman's Hour 'A warm-hearted and engaging read, The Century Girls is replete with wonderful characters.' Sunday Express
An illustrated guide to the Normans - the invaders of 1066 who changed English life forever The 1066 Norman conquest of England, led by William, Duke of Normandy ("the Conqueror"), was the single greatest political change England has ever seen. The Normans brought with them a new culture, which included law, architectural style and methods, and leisure pursuits. The old aristocracy was stripped of their assets and denounced, and in its place a new French aristocracy began to run the country - even bringing their language with them. The guide examines the impact the new Norman rule had on the English way of life. Look out for more Pitkin Guides on the very best of British history, heritage and travel.
Pomp, pageantry, power and prestige are just a few of the words to sum up the history and vibrancy of the City of London. Beyond its fame as the financial heart of London, this new guidebook explores the Square Mile of London revealing the secrets hidden in its rich treasure trove. Neither square nor a square mile, the City of London seems to lie beyond the limits of logic. From St Paul's, Wren's Masterpiece to the Barbican, Europe's largest centre for Arts, the City of London is a compelling blend of diverse visitor attractions waiting to be explored. Whether you pop into the Old Bailey, the scene of many a courtroom drama, amble through Lincoln Inn Fields or drool over the Crown Jewels in the Tower of London there is never a dull moment in the City... Learn why the Bank of England is known as the Old Lady of Threadneedle Street and the importance of Mansion House, home to the Right Honorable The Lord Mayor of London and looks at the traditions behind the Lord Mayor's Show.
'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.
For the last century A-Z maps have been the trusted and reliable source of mapping for Londoners. As the face of London has changed so have the maps. History of Britain in Maps author, Philip Parker, outlines these changes. Drawing on maps and photographs from the A to Z archives, Philip Parker reveals how the city has changed over the last one hundred years. Did you know that Phyllis Pearsall walked 23,000 street in order to create the first street atlas of London? The land to build Heathrow airport on was bought for GBP15,000 from the Vicar of Harmondsworth? There used to be S and NE London postcodes? London's skyline has gone from Big Ben and Tower Bridge to include the Tate Modern and The Shard. Several ill-fated projects appeared on maps, including London Millennium Tower and The Sparkplug, which never quite made it into the city's skyline A beautifully presented book and perfect gift for any map lover and historian.
A thrillingly intimate portrait of one of history's most illustrious knights - William Marshal - that vividly evokes the grandeur and barbarity of the Middle Ages William Marshal was the true Lancelot of his era - a peerless warrior and paragon of chivalry -yet over the centuries, the spectacular story of his achievements passed from memory. Then, in 1861, a young French scholar stumbled upon the sole surviving copy of an unknown text, later dubbed the History of William Marshal. This richly detailed work helped to resurrect Marshal's reputation, putting flesh onto the bones of this otherwise obscure figure, but even today he remains largely forgotten. As a five-year-old boy, William was sentenced to execution and led to the gallows, yet this landless younger son survived his brush with death, and went on to train as a medieval knight. Rising through the ranks to serve at the right hand of five English monarchs, he became a celebrated tournament champion, baron, politician and, ultimately, regent of the realm. He befriended the great figures of his day, from Richard the Lionheart to the infamous King John, and helped to negotiate the terms of Magna Carta - the first 'bill of rights'. Yet at the age of seventy he was forced to fight in the frontline of one final battle, striving to save the kingdom from French invasion in 1217. In The Greatest Knight, renowned historian Thomas Asbridge draws upon an array of contemporary evidence, including the thirteenth-century biography, to present a compelling account of William Marshal's life and times, from rural England to the battlefields of France, the desert castles of the Holy Land and the verdant shores of Ireland. Charting the unparalleled rise to prominence of a man bound to a code of honour, yet driven by unquenchable ambition, this knight's tale lays bare the brutish realities of medieval warfare and the machinations of royal court, and draws us into the heart of a formative period of our history, when the West emerged from the Dark Ages and stood on the brink of modernity. It is the story of one remarkable man, the birth of the knightly class to which he belonged, and the forging of the English nation.
`The narrative is as suspenseful as any thriller. Truly, an excellent read' Lynn Barber, Sunday Times Married for almost seventy years to the most famous woman in the world, Prince Philip is the longest-serving royal consort in British history. Yet his origins have remained curiously shrouded in obscurity. In the first book to focus exclusively on his life before the coronation, acclaimed biographer Philip Eade uncovers the extraordinary story of the prince's turbulent upbringing in Greece, France and Nazi Germany, during which his mother spent five years in a secure psychiatric clinic and his father left him to be brought up by his Mountbatten relations in England just when he needed him most. Remarkably the young prince emerged from this unsettled background a character of singular vitality and dash - self-confident, capable, famously opinionated and devastatingly handsome. Girls fell at his feet, and the princess who was to become his wife was smitten from the age of thirteen. Yet alongside the considerable charm and intelligence, the prince was also prone to volcanic outbursts and to putting his foot in it. Detractors perceived in his behaviour emotional shortcomings, a legacy of his traumatic childhood, which would have profound consequences for his family and the future of the monarchy. Published to coincide with the prince's ninetieth birthday and containing new material from interviews, archives and film footage, this revelatory biography is the most complete and compelling account yet of his storm-tossed early life.
'Julie Summers has an amazing instinct for unearthing good stories and telling quotes.' Craig Brown, The Mail On Sunday 'This is an enjoyable book, peppered with examples of under-reported wartime heroism.' Robert Leigh-Pemberton, The Daily Telegraph 'It's hard to believe that there are still untold stories about Britain and World War II, but Julie Summers has unearthed a fascinating one that she tells with great verve and style. All in all, Uninvited Guests is a sheer delight.' Lynne Olson, author of Citizens of London and Last Hope Island A remarkable narrative set against the dark days of World War Two, from one of the country's foremost social historians. Our Uninvited Guests perfectly captures the spirit of upheaval at the beginning of the Second World War when thousands of houses were requisitioned by the government to provide accommodation for the armed forces, secret services and government offices as well as vulnerable children, the sick and the elderly, all of whom needed to be housed safely beyond the reach of Hitler's Luftwaffe. Julie Summers gives the reader a behind-the-scenes glimpse of life in some of Britain's greatest country houses that were occupied by people who would otherwise never have set foot in such opulent surroundings.Blenheim Palace was colonised by schoolboys who slept in the Long Library; Polish special agents trained in the grounds of Audley End House, learning to forge and lie their way into occupied Europe in the old nursery. Brocket Hall, former home of Queen Victoria's favourite Lord Melbourne, was used as a maternity home for women from the East End of London, and the Rothschilds' magnificent French chateau-inspired Waddesdon Manor housed a hundred children under five. The Northern Highlands, where the fierce warriors of Scotland's past developed their unconventional military skills, played host to the most extreme form of warfare, training agents in the fine arts of sabotage, subterfuge and assassination. The juxtaposition of splendour and opulence with the everyday activities of people whose needs were at odds with their new surroundings is at the heart of this book. This thought-provoking and evocative narrative captures a crucial period in the social history of Britain. Praise for Julie Summers: 'Superb...highly recommended' Who Do You Think You Are Magazine 'A remarkable collection of stories...a rich and moving book' Mail on Sunday 'Summers is a good and knowledgeable writer...powerful, emotional stuff' Independent 'A poignant, lingering account' BBC History Magazine 'A revelation - full of information, reminiscences, humour and social history. Reading it not only gave me great pleasure but also made me proud to be a member of such a long lasting, valuable and vital organisation' Helen Carey OBE, former chairman of the National Federation of Women's Institutes
Retaining well-loved features from the previous editions, Religious Conflict and the Church in England has been approved by AQA and matched to the 2015 specifications. This textbook covers AS and A Level content together and explores in depth a period of major change in the English Church and government, and the issues which led England to break with Rome. It focuses on key concepts such as humanism, Protestantism and the relationship between Church and state, and covers events and developments with precision. Students can further develop vital skills such as historical interpretations and source analyses via specially selected sources and extracts. Practice questions and study tips provide additional support to help familiarize students with the new exam style questions, and help them achieve their best in the exam.
The second tie-in to ITV drama Victoria unveils the complex, passionate relationship of Victoria and Albert. What happened after the Queen married her handsome prince? Did they live happily ever after, or did their marriage, like so many royal marriages past and present fizzle into a loveless bond of duty? Victoria and Albert were the royal couple that broke the mould - it may have been an arranged match, yet their union was a passionate, tempestuous relationship between two extremely strong-willed individuals. Despite the fact that they were first cousins they could not have been more different people - she was impulsive, emotional, capricious, while he was cautious, self-controlled, and logical. But together they became the most successful royal couple there had ever been, and this book reveals the private and the public face of Victoria and Albert's marriage. Using their letters and diaries, Victoria and Albert charts the constant ebb and flow of power between the couple, and presents a picture of a very modern marriage. This companion book, full of rich historical detail, takes fans deeper into that period than ever before. Discover the inner workings behind the scenes, with profiles of all the major characters, interviews with the actors and fascinating, in-depth information on the production, the costumes and the props.
Few heirs to the throne have suffered as much humiliation as Prince Charles. Despite his hard work and genuine concern for the disadvantaged, he has struggled to overcome his unpopularity. After Diana's death, his approval rating crashed to 4% and has been only rescued by his marriage to Camilla. Nevertheless, just one third of Britons now support him to be the next king.
Many still fear that his accession to the throne will cause a constitutional crisis. That mistrust climaxed in the aftermath of the trial of Paul Burrell, Diana's butler, acquitted after the Queen's sensational ‘recollection'. In unearthing many secrets surrounding that and many other dramas, Bower's book, relying on the testimony from over 120 people employed or welcomed into the inner sanctum of Clarence House, reveals a royal household rife with intrigue and misconduct.
The result is a book which uniquely will probe into the character and court of the Charles that no one, until now, has seen.
'A holiday in the complex, joyful, indelicate medieval world' John Higgs, author of Watling Street Chaucer's People is an absorbing and revealing guide to the Middle Ages, populated with Chaucer's pilgrims from The Canterbury Tales. These are lives spent at the pedal of a loom, maintaining the ledgers of an estate or navigating the high seas. Drawing on contemporary experiences of a vast range of subjects including trade, religion, toe-curling remedies and hair-raising recipes, bestselling historian Liza Picard recreates the medieval world in glorious detail.
Is modern racism a product of secularisation and the decline of Christian universalism? The debate has raged for decades, but up to now, the actual racial views of historical atheists and freethinkers have never been subjected to a systematic analysis. Race in a Godless World sets out to correct the oversight. It centres on Britain and the United States in the second half of the nineteenth century, a time when popular atheist movements were emerging and scepticism about the truth of Christianity was becoming widespread. Covering racial and evolutionary science, imperialism, slavery and racial prejudice in theory and practice, it provides a much-needed account of the complex and sometimes contradictory ideas espoused by the transatlantic community of atheists and freethinkers. It also reflects on the social dimension of irreligiousness, exploring how working-class atheists' experiences of exclusion could make them sympathetic to other marginalised groups. -- .
The First World War touched every family in the country and this book tells a story of national collective action and intense private experience. Country House at War presents a history of the war through the houses and estates maintained by the National Trust. It shows what happened to the people who lived and worked in many great houses, both upstairs and downstairs, and portrays how they were affected by the war and what happened to those estates in its aftermath. The progress and impact of war can be charted through the buildings and their estates - lawns that had once hosted tea parties and croquet given over to machine gun training and convalescent exercises, for example. With many fascinating and poignant personal stories and many hitherto unpublished photographs of the time, this is an important celebration and commemoration of the First World War.
This entertaining and fact-packed guide provides all the information you'll need to travel back in time to Elizabethan London - a booming city of courtiers, cutthroats, merchants, beggars, lawyers, dramatists, apprentices and adventurers. Find out the best way to the capital and where to stay. Saunter over London Bridge, with its hundreds of shops and houses. Glimpse Her Majesty at Whitehall, Europe's largest palace. Watch the finest plays and players at the Rose Theatre, and marvel at the bustle of business in the Royal Exchange. Go down to Greenwich to stand on the deck of the Golden Hind, the ship that Sir Francis Drake sailed around the world. This intriguingly addictive guide provides all you need to know to sightsee, shop and meet the famous in the capital of a nation stirring to greatness.
The Second World War was the WI's finest hour. The whole of its previous history - two decades of educating, entertaining and supporting women and campaigning on women's issues - culminated in the enormous collective responsibility felt by the members to 'do their bit' for Britain. With all the vigour, energy and enthusiasm at their disposal, a third of a million country women set out to make their lives and the lives of those around them more bearable in what they described as 'a period of insanity'. Jambusterstells the story of the minute and idiosyncratic details of everyday life during the Second World War. Making jam, making do and mending, gathering rosehips, keeping pigs and rabbits, housing evacuees, setting up canteens for the troops, knitting, singing and campaigning for a better Britain after the war: all these activities played a crucial role in war time.
How did the most wanted man in the country outwit the greatest manhunt in British history? In January 1649, King Charles I was beheaded in London outside his palace of Whitehall and Britain became a republic. When his eldest son, Charles, returned in 1651 to fight for his throne, he was crushed by the might of Cromwell's armies at the battle of Worcester. With 3,000 of his supporters lying dead and 10,000 taken prisoner, it seemed as if his dreams of power had been dashed. Surely it was a foregone conclusion that he would now be caught and follow his father to the block? At six foot two inches tall, the prince towered over his contemporaries and with dark skin inherited from his French-Italian mother, he stood out in a crowd. How would he fare on the run with Cromwell's soldiers on his tail and a vast price on his head? The next six weeks would form the most memorable and dramatic of Charles' life. Pursued relentlessly, Charles ran using disguise, deception and relying on grit, fortitude and good luck. He suffered grievously through weeks when his cause seemed hopeless. He hid in an oak tree - an event so fabled that over 400 English pubs are named Royal Oak in commemoration. Less well-known events include his witnessing a village in wild celebrations at the erroneous news of his killing; the ordeal of a medical student wrongly imprisoned because of his similarity in looks; he disguised himself as a servant and as one half of an eloping couple. Once restored to the throne as Charles II, he told the tale of his escapades to Samuel Pepys, who transcribed it all. In this gripping, action-packed, true adventure story, based on extensive archive material, Charles Spencer, bestselling author of Killers of the King, uses Pepys's account and many others to retell this epic adventure.
Her personal life riven by passion, illness and intrigue, Queen Anne presided over some of the most momentous events in British history. Like Antonia Fraser's life of Marie Antoinette or Amanda Foreman's `The Duchess', `Queen Anne' is historical biography at its best. In 1702, fourteen years after she helped oust her father from his throne and deprived her newborn half-brother of his birthright, Queen Anne inherited the crowns of England and Scotland. Childless, despite seventeen pregnancies that had all either ended in failure or produced heartrendingly short-lived children, in some respects she was a pitiable figure. But against all expectation she proved Britain's most successful Stuart ruler. Her reign was marked by many triumphs, including union with Scotland and glorious victories in war against France. It was also marked by controversy: Anne's close relationship with Sarah, the outspoken wife of the Duke of Marlborough, turned to rancor with Sarah's startling claim of the Queen's lesbian infatuation with another lady-in-waiting, Abigail Masham. Traditionally depicted as a weak ruler dominated by female favourites and haunted by remorse at having deposed her father, Queen Anne emerges as a woman whose unshakeable commitment to duty enabled her to overcome private tragedy and painful disabilities, and set her kingdom on the path to greatness.
The remarkable life of the vivacious, clever - and forgotten - Kennedy sister, who charmed the English aristocracy and was almost erased from her family history. The favourite child of Joe Kennedy and favourite sister of Jack, Kick Kennedy was spirited, vivacious and legendary for her charm. When the Kenndys sailed to Britain in 1938 she was presented as a debutante amid the pre-war social whirl of the British aristocracy. Here she met a shy, tall, handsome man called Billy, and, rebelling against family, faith, and country, soon married him. He was William Cavendish, heir to Chatsworth and the Duke of Devonshire, the most eligible bachelor in England. But their days of married bliss proved short, as war would bring tragedy and loss. Uncovering her spectacular life in full for the first time, Paula Byrne depicts a remarkable woman who bewitched the Churchills, Astors and Mitfords, and yet was almost erased from Kennedy family history.
'The girls' boarding school! What a ripe theme for the most observant verbal artist in our midst today - the absurdly undersung Ysenda Maxtone Graham, who has the beadiness and nosiness of the best investigative reporter, the wit of Jane Austen and a take on life which is like no one else's. This book has been my constant companion ever since it appeared' A. N. Wilson, Evening Standard When I asked a group of girls who had been at Hatherop Castle in the 1960s whether the school had had a lab in those days they gave me a blank look. 'A laboratory?' I expanded, hoping to jog their memories. 'Oh that kind of lab!' one of them said. 'I thought you meant a Labrador.' 'The cruel teachers. The pashes on other girls. The gossip. The giggles. The awful food. The homesickness. The friendships made for life. The shivering cold. Games of lacrosse, and cricket. 'The most brilliant, hilarious book. My book of the year' India Knight 'A wonderful book' Craig Brown, Mail on Sunday
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