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History > British

One of our finest narrative historians, and journalist for the SUNDAY TIMES and LITERARY REVIEW, Lawrence James, has written a genuinely new biography of Winston Churchill, set within a fully detailed historical context, but solely focusing on his relationship with the British Empire. As a young army officer in the late 19th ... read more

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Facing feuds and frauds, robberies and riots and the disasters of dangerous drivers, deadly designers and sleepy signalmen, Victorians risked more than just delays when stepping on a steam train. Victorian inventors certainly didn't lack steam, but squabbling over who deserved the title of 'The Father of the Locomotive' and b... read more

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On 5 September 1785, a trial began in Paris that would divide the country, captivate Europe and send the French monarchy tumbling down the slope towards the Revolution. Cardinal Louis de Rohan, scion of one of the most ancient and distinguished families in France, stood accused of forging Marie Antoinette's signature to fraud... read more

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This is the colourful, salacious and sumptuously illustrated story of Covent Garden - the creative heart of Georgian London - from Wolfson Prize-winning author Vic Gatrell. It is shortlisted for the hessell tiltman prize 2014. In the teeming, disordered, and sexually charged square half-mile centred on London's Covent Garden ... read more

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This title is nominated for "Sunday Times", "Daily Telegraph", "TLS", "Financial Times", "Guardian", "Daily Mail" and "Sunday Telegraph" Books Of The Year. "He were a dark prince, and infinitely suspicious, and his times full of secret conspiracies and troubles". (Sir Francis Bacon). In his remarkable debut, Penn vividly recr... read more

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Elizabeth of York would have ruled England, but for the fact that she was a woman. The eldest daughter of Edward IV, at seventeen she was relegated from pampered princess to bastard fugitive, but the probable murders of her brothers, the Princes in the Tower, left Elizabeth heiress to the royal House of York and, in 1486, Hen... read more

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A beautifully written and wonderfully evocative volume offering descriptive imagery of rural England; the countryside and its people.

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In this astonishing and riveting book, Alison Weir shows that Mary's story had a happy ending and that she was by far the luckiest of the Boleyns.
Mary Boleyn has gone down in history as a 'great and infamous whore'. She was the mistress of two kings, Francois I of France and Henry VIII of England, and sister to Ann... read more

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Mary Queen of Scots passed her childhood in France and married the Dauphin to become Queen of France at the age of sixteen. Widowed less than two years later, she returned to Scotland as Queen after an absence of thirteen years. Her life then entered its best known phase: the early struggles with John Knox, and the unruly Sco... read more

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A groundbreaking book, this unprecedented study is the authoritative account of the best-known intelligence organisation in the world.
Essential reading for anyone interested in the history of espionage, the two world wars, modern British government and the conduct of international relations in the first half of the tw... read more

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What is Britishness? What allowed one small island group to rule a quarter of the world and, even today, to have the most spoken language after Chinese? What makes Americans admire the guts, traditions and loyalties of these island Anglo-Saxon and Celtic people? What is it that makes cynical Europeans and once-dominated Asian... read more

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Having written enthralling biographies of London and of its great river, the Thames, Peter Ackroyd now turns to England itself. This first volume of six takes us from the time that England was first settled, more than 15,000 years ago, to the death in 1509 of the first Tudor monarch, Henry VII. In it, Ackroyd takes us from Ne... read more

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The acclaimed and enthralling story of the dark side of Elizabethan rule, from Stephen Alford Elizabeth I's reign is known as a golden age, yet to much of Europe she was a 'Jezebel' and heretic who had to be destroyed. The Watchers is a thrilling portrayal of the secret state that sought to protect the Queen; a shadow world o... read more

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Full of detail and colour about everyday life in Dickens's London, and leaves you with a sense not only of how hard life was then, but how strange. Even if you've read Dickens and the contemporary historians of the poor, there is still more to marvel at here.' Sebastian Faulks, Mail on Sunday Books of the Year The nineteenth ... read more

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From the late 19th century, when the Raj was at its height, many of Britain's best and brightest young men went out to India to work as administrators, soldiers and businessmen. With the advent of steam travel and the opening of the Suez Canal, countless young women, suffering at the lack of eligible men in Britain, followed ... read more

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With the deft, sure eye of master craftsmen, they portray the mellow stone of country towns, spray swept seaside promenades, strolls among sand dunes, Mr Pimpkins the jobbing gardener, roach fishing at dawn, the art of pear growing, and much more to make a book that is lasting pleasure. Above all, The Happy Countryman was HE ... read more

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From the bestselling author of "The English" comes "Empire", Jeremy Paxman's history of the British Empire accompanied by a flagship 5-part BBC TV series, for readers of Simon Schama and Andrew Marr. The influence of the British Empire is everywhere, from the very existence of the United Kingdom to the ethnic composition of o... read more

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The official inside story of the life, death and remarkable discovery of history's most controversial monarch. On 22 August 1485 Richard III was killed at Bosworth Field, the last king of England to die in battle. His victorious opponent, Henry Tudor (the future Henry VII), went on to found one of our most famous ruling dynas... read more

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On the morning of 22 August 1485, in fields several miles from Bosworth, two armies faced each other, ready for battle. The might of Richard III's army was pitted against the inferior forces of the upstart pretender to the crown, Henry Tudor, a 28-year-old Welshman who had just arrived back on British soil after 14 years in e... read more

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