The Empty Hearth
By Kitty Neale
This family saga, packed with dark secrets, from Sunday Times bestseller Kitty Neale, will tug at the heartstrings.Millie Pratchett's life is not an easy one. Her dad, coalman Alfie, is a bully, and his vicious temper dominates their small terraced house in Battersea. His teenage children, handsome John and ugly-duckling Millie, have learnt to dodge his moods but Millie lives in fear for her mother, Eileen. When Alfie's tyranny forces Eileen into an impossible position, a crisis erupts. The Pratchetts' old life collapses around them and a new, darker future looms. But people are not always what they seem; could Millie turn out to be far stronger and more resilient than anyone could have imagined ? Perfect for fans of Nadine Dorries and Katie Flynn, this is an emotional family saga from the Sunday Times bestselling author of A Mother's Sacrifice and A Family Scandal.
The Escape Artists
By Neal Bascomb
Summer, 1918: twenty-nine officers crawled into a 16 inch high, 55 metre tunnel dug only with spoons. This was the culmination of 9 months gruelling toil in oxygen-starved darkness. Of the twenty-nine escapees, just ten would make their way back to Britain.When captured Royal Flying Corps pilots Captain David Gray, Captain Caspar Kennard and 2nd Lieutenant Cecil Blain had arrived at Holzminden - or 'Hellminden' as its occupants called it - the Germans' highest-security prison complex had seemed impregnable. 'The Black Hole' was ruled by the iron fist of Camp Commandant Carl Niemayer, under whose brutal temper prisoners were known to be shot and beaten to death. Not least the breakout artists.After five unsuccessful attempts from different camps in one year, the obsessive Captain Gray was personally determined to orchestrate the building of a tunnel directly under the feet of their one hundred armed guards. With an improvised oxygen piping system, stolen disguises and astonishing courage, this handful of the Kaiser's 2.3 million prisoners would succeed in making their way to neutral Holland and eventually back to Britain - for a private audience at Windsor Palace. The most unlikely escape of the Great War, their derring-do became military legend and the inspiration for the subsequent great escapes of the Second World War.
By James Evans
'Marvellously engaging' The Times'Brisk, informative and eye-opening' Daily TelegraphIn the 1600s, vast numbers of people left England for the Americas. Crossing the Atlantic was a major undertaking, the voyage long and treacherous. Why did they go?Emigrants casts vivid new light on the population shift which underpins the rise of modern America. Using contemporary sources including diaries, court hearings and letters, James Evans brings us the extraordinary personal stories of the men and women who made the journey of a lifetime.
The Empire Must Die
By Mikhail Zygar
The Empire Must Die portrays the vivid drama of Russia's brief and exotic experiment with civil society before it was swept away by the despotism of the Communist Revolution. The window between two equally stifling autocracies - the imperial family and the communists - was open only briefly, in the last couple of years of the 19th century until the end of WWI, by which time the revolution was in full fury. From the last years of Tolstoy until the death of the Tsar and his family, however, Russia experimented with liberalism and cultural openness. In Europe, the Ballet Russe was the height of chic. Novelists and playwrights blossomed, political ideas were swapped in coffee houses and St Petersburg felt briefly like Vienna or Paris. The state, however couldn't tolerate such experimentation against the backdrop of a catastrophic war and a failing economy. The autocrats moved in and the liberals were overwhelmed. This story seems to have strangely prescient echoes of the present.
Empires in the Sun
By Lawrence James
In this compelling history of the men and ideas that radically changed the course of world history, Lawrence James investigates how, within a hundred years, Europeans persuaded and coerced Africa into becoming a subordinate part of the modern world. The continent was a magnet for the high-minded, the philanthropic, the unscrupulous and the insane. Visionary pro-consuls rub shoulders with missionaries, explorers, soldiers, adventurers, engineers, big-game hunters, entrepreneurs and physicians.Eminent historian Lawrence James narrates how between 1830 and 1945, Britain, France, Belgium, Germany, Portugal and Italy exported their languages, laws, culture, religions, scientific and technical knowledge and economic systems to Africa. The colonial powers imposed administrations designed to bring stability and peace to a continent that seemed to lack both. The justification for emancipation from slavery (and occupation) was the common assumption that the late nineteenth-century Europe was the summit of civilization. This magnificent history also pauses to ask: what did not happen and why?
The Early Modern World
By Alex Woolf
What developments in government and society, food and farming, exploration and discovery, science and technology, art and literature, religion, education and entertainment were there in the early modern world of Europe between the years 1500 and 1789, and how did these compare with those made during the same time period in the Islamic world and elsewhere in Africa and Asia? What was happening at the same time in the Americas? Packed with beautiful illustrations, this book, in the Parallel History series for readers upwards of age nine, will help you to explore the early modern world chronologically, with timelines to show you when major events and achievements took place.
Eleanor Roosevelt: In Her Words
By Eleanor Roosevelt, Nancy Woloch
Eleanor Roosevelt is considered by many to be the most fascinating, accomplished, and admired woman in American history. While she is best known as a politician, diplomat, humanitarian, UN delegate, activist, feminist, and First Lady she was also a prolific reporter and writer who changed the role of women in government.Roosevelt wrote twenty-seven books, more than 8,000 columns, and over 555 articles. She received an average of 175,000 letters a year while she served as first lady and delivered more than 75 speeches a year.Organized into sections like by sections like Becoming Eleanor Roosevelt, On Women, Diversity and Democracy, and the UN and Human Rights, In Her Words: Eleanor Roosevelt collects the most fascinating writings from her life including historical documents like the Universal Human Declaration of Rights, relevant commentary on sexism, racism, and immigration, intimate letters to Lorena Hickock and others, and witty self-help. Illustrated with dozens of photographs and documents, this is the perfect gift for history buffs, feminist, social activists, and anyone who is curious about the Roosevelt family.
By Hugh Sebag-Montefiore
The complete story of how the German Enigma codes were broken. Perfect for fans of THE IMITATION GAME, the new film on Alan Turing's Enigma code, starring Benedict Cumberbatch.Breaking the German Enigma codes was not only about brilliant mathematicians and professors at Bletchley Park. There is another aspect of the story which it is only now possible to tell. It takes in the exploits of spies, naval officers and ordinary British seamen who risked, and in some cases lost, their lives snatching the vital Enigma codebooks from under the noses of Nazi officials and from sinking German ships and submarines. This book tells the whole Enigma story: its original invention and use by German forces and how it was the Poles who first cracked - and passed on to the British - the key to the German airforce Enigma. The more complicated German Navy Enigma appeared to them to be unbreakable.
East West Street
By Philippe Sands
THE BRITISH BOOK AWARDS NON-FICTION BOOK OF THE YEAR 2017SUNDAY TIMES TOP 10 BESTSELLERWhen he receives an invitation to deliver a lecture in the Ukrainian city of Lviv, international lawyer Philippe Sands begins a journey on the trail of his family's secret history. In doing so, he uncovers an astonishing series of coincidences that lead him halfway across the world, to the origins of international law at the Nuremberg trial. Interweaving the stories of the two Nuremberg prosecutors (Hersch Lauterpacht and Rafael Lemkin) who invented the crimes or genocide and crimes against humanity, the Nazi governor responsible for the murder of thousands in and around Lviv (Hans Frank), and incredible acts of wartime bravery, EAST WEST STREET is an unforgettable blend of memoir and historical detective story, and a powerful meditation on the way memory, crime and guilt leave scars across generations.* * * * * 'A monumental achievement: profoundly personal, told with love, anger and great precision' John le Carré'One of the most gripping and powerful books imaginable' SUNDAY TIMESWinner:Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-fictionJQ-Wingate Literary PrizeHay Festival Medal for Prose
By Simon Jenkins
'Inspired . . . encourages us to take a fresh look at the familiar' - The TimesEngland's cathedrals are the nation's glory. They tower over its landscape, outranking palaces, castles and mansions. They attract roughly half the nation's population each year. For a millennium they have been objects of pilgrimage for those seeking faith, consolation and beauty. Still at the start of the twenty-first century, they remain unequalled in their size and splendour.More than any other English institution, cathedrals reflect the vicissitudes of history and should be treasured as such. They are custodians of culture and of the rituals of civic life. They offer welfare and relieve suffering. They uplift spirits with their beauty. In a real sense they are still what they were when first built a millennium ago, a glimpse of the sublime.Gloriously illustrated throughout, England's Cathedrals not only offers us a companion to England's Thousand Best Churches, it takes us on an enthralling tour of the nation and its history, through some of our most astonishing buildings.
Echoes from Afar
By Tamara McKinley
A powerful story of love and loss from the beloved internationally bestselling author, Tamara McKinley, who also writes as Sunday Times bestseller Ellie Dean. For fans of Lesley Pearse and Susan Lewis.So this is Paris, she thought in awe. Spread out before her beneath a clear blue sky, it was like a precious gift after the smog and filth of London. No wonder it was called the city of love . . .After a spiteful rumour ruins her career in London, Annabelle Blake must travel to Paris to start afresh. There she makes the acquaintance of Etienne and Henri - one a poet, the other a painter - both charming, talented and handsome. They spend their days flirting and drinking with the city's artistes and Bohemians, and soon Annabelle too is swept up in the exotic and exhilarating world of 1930s Paris. But as ever more young people are drawn to the fight against Fascism in Spain, Annabelle must wake from the dream and confront the reality of war. A lifetime later, gifted artist Eugenie Ashton falls in love with Paris the moment she sets foot outside the Gare de Lyon. Like her mother Annabelle before her, the artistic delights of the city are a bright new world to her: but Eugenie will soon find that in its shadows are hidden the secrets of her family's past.Discover Tamara McKinley's other timeless bestsellers Ocean Child and Matilda's Last Waltz.
By Lisa Hilton
A definitive portrait of one of the most compelling monarchs England has ever had: Elizabeth I.'We are a prince from a line of princes.'Lisa Hilton's majestic biography of Elizabeth I, 'The Virgin Queen', uses new research to present a fresh interpretation of Elizabeth as a queen who saw herself primarily as a Renaissance prince, delivering a very different perspective on her emotional and sexual life, and upon her attempts to mould England into a European state. Elizabeth was not an exceptional woman but an exceptional ruler, and this book challenges readers to reassess her reign, and the colourful drama, scandal and intrigue to which it is always linked.
By Juliet Barker
The dramatic and shocking events of the Peasants' Revolt of 1381 are to be the backdrop to Juliet Barker's latest book: a snapshot of what everyday life was like for ordinary people living in the middle ages. The same highly successful techniques she deployed inAgincourt and Conquest will this time be brought to bear on civilian society, from the humblest serf forced to provide slave-labour for his master in the fields, to the prosperous country goodwife brewing, cooking and spinning her distaff and the ambitious burgess expanding his business and his mental horizons in the town.The book will explore how and why such a diverse and unlikely group of ordinary men and women from every corner of England united in armed rebellion against church and state to demand a radical political agenda which, had it been implemented, would have fundamentally transformed English society and anticipated the French Revolution by four hundred years. The book will not only provide an important reassessment of the revolt itself but will also be an illuminating and original study of English medieval life at the time.
By Diana Souhami
Edith Cavell was born on 4th December 1865, daughter of the vicar of Swardeston in Norfolk, and shot in Brussels on 12th October 1915 by the Germans for sheltering British and French soldiers and helping them escape over the Belgian border. Following a traditional village childhood in 19th-century England, Edith worked as a governess in the UK and abroad, before training as a nurse in London in 1895. To Edith, nursing was a duty, a vocation, but above all a service. By 1907, she had travelled most of Europe and become matron of her own hospital in Belgium, where, under her leadership, a ramshackle hospital with few staff and little organization became a model nursing school. When war broke out, Edith helped soldiers to escape the war by giving them jobs in her hospital, finding clothing and organizing safe passage into Holland. In all, she assisted over two hundred men. When her secret work was discovered, Edith was put on trial and sentenced to death by firing squad. She uttered only 130 words in her defence. A devout Christian, the evening before her death, she asked to be remembered as a nurse, not a hero or a martyr, and prayed to be fit for heaven. When news of Edith's death reached Britain, army recruitment doubled. After the war, Edith's body was returned to the UK by train and every station through which the coffin passed was crowded with mourners. Diana Souhami brings one of the Great War's finest heroes to life in this biography of a hardworking, courageous and independent woman.
The Eve of Destruction
By James T. Patterson
At the beginning of 1965, the U.S. seemed on the cusp of a golden age. Although Americans had been shocked by the assassination in 1963 of President Kennedy, they exuded a sense of consensus and optimism that showed no signs of abating. Indeed, political liberalism and interracial civil rights activism made it appear as if 1965 would find America more progressive and unified than it had ever been before. In January 1965, President Lyndon Johnson proclaimed that the country had no irreconcilable conflicts."Johnson, who was an extraordinarily skillful manager of Congress, succeeded in securing an avalanche of Great Society legislation in 1965, including Medicare, immigration reform, and a powerful Voting Rights Act. But as esteemed historian James T. Patterson reveals in The Eve of Destruction , that sense of harmony dissipated over the course of the year. As Patterson shows, 1965 marked the birth of the tumultuous era we now know as The Sixties," when American society and culture underwent a major transformation. Turmoil erupted in the American South early in the year, when police attacked civil rights demonstrators in Selma, Alabama. Many black leaders, outraged, began to lose faith in nonviolent and interracial strategies of protest. Meanwhile, the U.S. rushed into a deadly war in Vietnam, inciting rebelliousness at home. On August 11th, five days after Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act, racial violence exploded in the Watts area of Los Angeles. The six days of looting and arson that followed shocked many Americans and cooled their enthusiasm for the president's remaining initiatives. As the national mood darkened, the country became deeply divided. By the end of 1965, a conservative resurgence was beginning to redefine the political scene even as developments in popular music were enlivening the Left.In The Eve of Destruction , Patterson traces the events of this transformative year, showing how they dramatically reshaped the nation and reset the course of American life.
By A. J. Stones
Can you imagine leaving your home and your family, and moving hundreds of miles away to live with strangers, because it was too dangerous to stay in your hometown? During World War II, this was situation millions of people, the majority of them children, faced. Stories of World War II: Evacuation tells the stories of these children: where they came from, where they went, who looked after them, what they ate, and how they went to school, along with many other details about their lives as evacuees.Much of the material on which the book is based comes from The National Archives, and so is made up of government documents and reports from during World War II. This gives the book a real grounding in fact and in history - it is a true account of what life was like for evacuees during World War II.The other book in the series, Stories of World War II: Kindertransport, tells the story of Jewish children evacuated to Britain from Germany, Holland and Austria before the outbreak of World War II.
Empire of the Deep
By Ben Wilson
The bestselling complete history of the British Navy - our national story through a different prism.The story of our navy is nothing less than the story of Britain, our culture and our empire. Much more than a parade of admirals and their battles, this is the story of how an insignificant island nation conquered the world's oceans to become its greatest trading empire. Yet, as Ben Wilson shows, there was nothing inevitable about this rise to maritime domination, nor was it ever an easy path. EMPIRE OF THE DEEP: THE RISE AND FALL OF THE BRITISH NAVY also reveals how our naval history has shaped us in more subtle and surprising ways - our language, culture, politics and national character all owe a great debt to this conquest of the seas. This is a gripping, fresh take on our national story.
By Ron Rosenbaum
Hitler did not escape the bunker in Berlin but, seven decades later, he has managed to escape explanation in ways both frightening and profound. Explaining Hitler is an extraordinary quest, an expedition into the war zone of Hitler theories. This is a passionate, enthralling book that illuminates what Hitler explainers tell us about Hitler, about the explainers, and about ourselves.
By Derek Wilson
The reign of Queen Elizabeth I (1558-1603) marked a golden age in English history. There was a musical and literary renaissance, most famously and enduringly in the form of the plays of Shakespeare (2016 marks the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death), and it was a period of international expansion and naval triumph over the Spanish. It was also a period of internal peace following the violent upheaval of the Protestant reformation. Wilson skilfully interweaves the personal histories of a representative selection of twenty or so figures - including Nicholas Bacon, the Statesman; Bess of Hardwick, the Landowner; Thomas Gresham, 'the Financier'; John Caius, 'the Doctor'; John Norreys, 'the Soldier'; and Nicholas Jennings, 'the Professional Criminal' - with the major themes of the period to create a vivid and compelling account of life in England in the late sixteenth century. This is emphatically not yet another book about what everyday life was like during the Elizabethan Age. There are already plenty of studies about what the Elizabethans wore, what they ate, what houses they lived in, and so on. This is a book about Elizabethan society - people, rather than things. How did the subjects of Queen Elizabeth I cope with the world in which they had been placed? What did they believe? What did they think? What did they feel? How did they react towards one another? What, indeed, did they understand by the word 'society'? What did they expect from it? What were they prepared to contribute towards it? Some were intent on preserving it as it was; others were eager to change it. For the majority, life was a daily struggle for survival against poverty, hunger, disease and injustice. Patronage was the glue that held a strictly hierarchical society together. Parliament represented only the interests of the landed class and the urban rich, which was why the government's greatest fear was a popular rebellion. Laws were harsh, largely to deter people getting together to discuss their grievances. Laws kept people in one place, and enforced attendance in parish churches. In getting to grips with this strange world - simultaneously drab and colourful, static and expansive, traditionalist and 'modern' - Wilson explores the lives of individual men and women from all levels of sixteenth-century life to give us a vivid feel for what Elizabethan society really was.Praise for the author:Masterly. [Wilson] has a deep understanding of characters reaching out across the centuries. Sunday Times Scores highly in thoroughness, clarity and human sympathy. Sunday TelegraphThis masterly biography breaks new ground. Choice MagazineHis book is stimulating and authoritative. Sunday TimesBrilliant, endlessly readable ... vivid, immediate history, accurate, complex and tinged with personality. Sunday Herald
Eavesdropping on Jane Austen's England
By Lesley Adkins, Roy Adkins
Eavesdropping on Jane Austen's England explores the real England of Jane Austen's lifetime. It was a troubled period, with disturbing changes in industry and agriculture and a constant dread of invasion and revolution. The comfortable, tranquil country of her fiction is a complete contrast to the England in which she actually lived. From forced marriages and the sale of wives in marketplaces to boys and girls working down mines or as chimney sweeps, this enthralling social history reveals how our ancestors worked, played and struggled to survive. Taking in the horror of ghosts and witches, bull baiting, highwaymen and the stench of corpses swinging on roadside gibbets, this book is a must-read for anyone wanting to discover the genuine story of Jane Austen's England and the background to her novels.