A Brief History of the Private Life of Elizabeth II

A Brief History of the Private Life of Elizabeth II

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  • Author: Michael Paterson
  • Publisher: Hachette UK
  • ISBN: 178033074X
  • Category : Biography & Autobiography
  • Languages : en
  • Pages : 272

Elizabeth II is the longest-reigning British monarch. A personally quiet, modest and dutiful person, she is far better-informed about the lives of her subjects than they often realize. She has known every Prime Minister since Winston Churchill and every American President since Eisenhower. Yet what of the woman behind the crown? This book seeks to take a new look at this exhaustively-documented life and show how Queen Elizabeth became the person she is. Who, and what, have been the greatest influences upon her? What are her likes and dislikes? What are her hobbies? Who are her friends? What does she feel about the demands of duty and protocol? Is she really enjoying herself when she smiles during official events? How differently does she behave when out of the public eye? Examining the places in which she grew up or has lived, the training she received and her attitudes to significant events in national life, it presents a fresh view of one of recent history's most important figures. In recent years, Queen Elizabeth has become the longest-reigning monarch in our history and has cut back on commitments. Nevertheless she is still very active and has made some wise decisions about who takes over a number of her duties.


Private Life in Britain's Stately Homes

Private Life in Britain's Stately Homes

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  • Author: Michael Paterson
  • Publisher: Hachette UK
  • ISBN: 178033690X
  • Category : History
  • Languages : en
  • Pages : 288

The Victorian and Edwardian eras in the run-up to 1914 marked the golden age of the English country house, when opulence and formality attained a level that would never be matched again. The ease of these perfect settings for flirtation and relaxation was maintained by a large and well-trained staff of servants. Although those 'in service' worked very long hours and had little personal freedom, many were proud of their positions and grateful for the relative security these gave. Indeed, the strictly hierarchical world below stairs could be more snobbish than that of a house's owners. Michael Paterson skilfully and entertainingly explores the myths and realities of this vanished world, both upstairs and down.


Nicholas II, The Last Tsar

Nicholas II, The Last Tsar

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  • Author: Michael Paterson
  • Publisher: Hachette UK
  • ISBN: 1472136845
  • Category : History
  • Languages : en
  • Pages : 256

The character of the last Tsar, Nicholas II (1868-1918) is crucial to understanding the overthrow of tsarist Russia, the most significant event in Russian history. Nicholas became Tsar at the age of 26. Though a conscientious man who was passionate in his devotion to his country, he was weak, sentimental, dogmatic and indecisive. Ironically he could have made an effective constitutional monarch, but these flaws rendered him fatally unsuited to be the sole ruler of a nation that was in the throes of painful modernisation. That he failed is not surprising, for many abler monarchs could not have succeeded. Rather to be wondered at is that he managed, for 23 years, to hold on to power despite the overwhelming force of circumstances. Though Nicholas was exasperating, he had many endearing qualities. A modern audience, aware - as contemporaries were not - of the private pressures under which he lived, can empathise with him and forgive some of his errors of judgement. To some readers he seems a fool, to others a monster, but many are touched by the story of a well-meaning man doing his best under impossible conditions. He is, in other words, a biographical subject that engages readers whatever their viewpoint. His family was of great importance to Nicholas. He and his wife, Alexandra, married for love and retained this affection to the end of their lives. His four daughters, all different and intriguing personalities, were beautiful and charming. His son, the family's - and the nation's - hope for the future, was disabled by an illness that had to be concealed from Russia and from the world. It was this circumstance that made possible the nefarious influence of Rasputin, which in turn hastened the end of the dynasty. This story has everything: romance and tragedy, grandeur and misery, human frailty and an international catastrophe that would not only bring down the Tsar but put an end to the glittering era of European monarchies.


A Brief History of the House of Windsor

A Brief History of the House of Windsor

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  • Author: Michael Paterson
  • Publisher: Hachette UK
  • ISBN: 178033804X
  • Category : History
  • Languages : en
  • Pages : 288

The British monarchy may be over a thousand years old, but the House of Windsor dates only from 1917, when, in the middle of the First World War that was to see the demise of the major thrones of continental Europe, it rebranded itself from the distinctly Germanic Saxe-Coburg-Gotha to the homely and familiar Windsor. By redefining its loyalties to identify with its people and country rather than the princes, kings and emperors of Europe to whom it was related by birth and marriage, it set the monarchy on the path of adaptation, making itself relevant and allowing it to survive. Since then, the fine line trodden by the House of Windsor between ancient and modern, grandeur and thrift, splendour and informality, remoteness and accessibility, and influence and neutrality has left it more secure and its appeal more universal today than ever.


A Brief History of the English Reformation

A Brief History of the English Reformation

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  • Author: Derek Wilson
  • Publisher: Hachette UK
  • ISBN: 1849018251
  • Category : History
  • Languages : en
  • Pages : 464

Religion, politics and fear: how England was transformed by the Tudors. The English Reformation was a unique turning point in English history. Derek Wilson retells the story of how the Tudor monarchs transformed English religion and why it still matters today. Recent scholarly research has undermined the traditional view of the Reformation as an event that occurred solely amongst the elite. Wilson now shows that, although the transformation was political and had a huge impact on English identity, on England's relationships with its European neighbours and on the foundations of its empire, it was essentially a revolution from the ground up. By 1600, in just eighty years, England had become a radically different nation in which family, work and politics, as well as religion, were dramatically altered. Praise for Derek Wilson: 'Stimulating and authoritative.' John Guy. 'Masterly. [Wilson] has a deep understanding of . . . characters, reaching out across the centuries.' Sunday Times.


A Brief History of Gangsters

A Brief History of Gangsters

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  • Author: Brian J. Robb
  • Publisher: Hachette UK
  • ISBN: 1472110684
  • Category : True Crime
  • Languages : en
  • Pages : 320

The romanticised American gangster of the Prohibition era has proved an enduringly popular figure. Even today, names like Al Capone and Lucky Luciano still resonate. Robb explores the histories of key figures, from gangs in the Old West, through Prohibition and the Great Depression, to the likes of John Gotti and Frank Lucas in the 1970s and 1980s. He also looks at the gangster in popular culture, in hit TV series such as Boardwalk Empire. Although the focus is strongly on the archetypal American gangster, Robb also examines gangsters around the world, including the infamous Kray twins in London, French crime kingpin Jacques Mesrine, the Mafia Dons of Sicily, and the rise of notorious Serbian and Albanian gangs. Infamous Australian outlaw Ned Kelly makes an appearance, as does Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar, while other sections provide details of the Chinese Triads and the Yakuza in Japan. Robb also explores the gangster in popular culture, especially in film and television. Recent hit TV series such as The Sopranos and Boardwalk Empire and blockbuster movies like Public Enemies and Gangster Squad show that the gangster is here to stay.


A Brief History of the Martial Arts

A Brief History of the Martial Arts

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  • Author: Jonathan Clements
  • Publisher: Hachette UK
  • ISBN: 1472136470
  • Category : History
  • Languages : en
  • Pages : 304

'If I had to pick a single general martial arts history book in English, I would recommend A Brief History of the Martial Arts by Dr Jonathan Clements' RICHARD BEITLICH, Martial History Team blog From Shaolin warrior monks to the movies of Bruce Lee, a new history of the evolution of East Asian styles of unarmed combat, from Kung Fu to Ninjutsu Folk tales of the Shaolin Temple depict warrior monks with superhuman abilities. Today, dozens of East Asian fighting styles trace their roots back to the Buddhist brawlers of Shaolin, although any quest for the true story soon wanders into a labyrinth of forgeries, secret texts and modern retellings. This new study approaches the martial arts from their origins in military exercises and callisthenics. It examines a rich folklore from old wuxia tales of crime-fighting heroes to modern kung fu movies. Centre stage is given to the stories that martial artists tell themselves about themselves, with accounts (both factual and fictional) of famous practitioners including China's Yim Wing-chun, Wong Fei-hong, and Ip Man, as well as Japanese counterparts such as Kano Jigoro, Itosu Anko and So Doshin. The history of martial arts encompasses secret societies and religious rebels, with intimate glimpses of the histories of China, Korea and Japan, their conflicts and transformations. The book also charts the migration of martial arts to the United States and beyond. Special attention is paid to the turmoil of the twentieth century, the cross-cultural influence of Japanese colonies in Asia, and the post-war rise of martial arts in sport and entertainment - including the legacy of Bruce Lee, the dilemma of the ninja and the global audience for martial arts in fiction.


A Brief History of Sherlock Holmes

A Brief History of Sherlock Holmes

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  • Author: Nigel Cawthorne
  • Publisher: Hachette UK
  • ISBN: 1780331568
  • Category : Literary Criticism
  • Languages : en
  • Pages : 280

Created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in 1887, Sherlock Holmes appears in four novels and fifty-six short stories. Although Holmes was not the first literary detective, he continues to have a perennial allure as the ultimate sleuth. As Holmes is being re-introduced to a new audience through TV and film, Cawthorne introduces the general reader to Holmes and his creator Arthur Conan Doyle. He gives a full biography of author as well as his creation, including his resurrection following his unlikely death at the hands of arch enemy, Moriarty. Cawthorne also surveys the world of Holmes, looking at Victorian crime, the real characters behind Dr Watson and Inspector Lestrade, as well as the world on the doorstep of 22b Baker Street.


A Brief History of Mathematical Thought

A Brief History of Mathematical Thought

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  • Author: Luke Heaton
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • ISBN: 0190621761
  • Category : Math anxiety
  • Languages : en
  • Pages : 336

Emblazoned on many advertisements for the wildly popular game of Sudoku are the reassuring words, "no mathematical knowledge required." Anxiety about math plagues many of us, and school memories can still summon intense loathing. In A Brief History of Mathematical Thought, Luke Heaton shows that much of what many think-and fear-about mathematics is misplaced, and to overcome our insecurities we need to understand its history. To help, he offers a lively guide into and through the world of mathematics and mathematicians, one in which patterns and arguments are traced through logic in a language grounded in concrete experience. Heaton reveals how Greek and Roman mathematicians like Pythagoras, Euclid, and Archimedes helped shaped the early logic of mathematics; how the Fibonacci sequence, the rise of algebra, and the invention of calculus are connected; how clocks, coordinates, and logical padlocks work mathematically; and how, in the twentieth century, Alan Turing's revolutionary work on the concept of computation laid the groundwork for the modern world. A Brief History of Mathematical Thought situates mathematics as part of, and essential to, lived experience. Understanding it requires not abstract thought or numbing memorization but an historical imagination and a view to its origins. --


A Brief History of Ireland

A Brief History of Ireland

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  • Author: Richard Killeen
  • Publisher: Hachette UK
  • ISBN: 1780330731
  • Category : History
  • Languages : en
  • Pages : 352

From the dawn of history to the decline of the Celtic Tiger - how Ireland has been shaped over the centuries. Ireland has been shaped by many things over the centuries: geography, war, the fight for liberty. A Brief History of Ireland is the perfect introduction to this exceptional place, its people and its culture. Ireland has been home to successive groups of settlers - Celts, Vikings, Normans, Anglo-Scots, Huguenots. It has imported huge ideas, none bigger than Christianity which it then re-exported to Europe after the fall of the Roman Empire. In the Tudor era it became the first colony of the developing English Empire. Its fraught and sometimes brutal relationship with England has dominated its modern history. Killeen argues that religion was decisive in all this: Ireland remained substantially Catholic, setting it at odds with the larger island culturally, religiously and politically. But its own culture and identity have stayed strong, most obviously in literature with a magnificent tradition of writing from the Book of Kells to the modern masters: Joyce, Yeats, Beckett and Heaney.