Despite its reputation as the longest established in Europe, the history
of the English monarchy is punctuated by scandal, murders, betrayals, plots,
and treason. Since William the Conqueror seized the crown in 1066, England has
seen three civil wars; six monarchs have been murdered or executed; the throne
of England has been usurped four times, and won in battle three times; and
personal scandals and royal family quarrels abound. A Dark History: The Kings
& Queens of England provides an exciting and dramatic account of English
royal history from 1066 to the present day. This engrossing book explores the
scandal and intrigue behind each royal dynasty, from the ‘accidental’ murder of
William II in 1100, through the excesses of Richard III, Henry VIII and ‘Bloody’
Mary, to the conspiracies surrounding the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, in
1997. Carefully researched, superbly entertaining and illustrated throughout
with more than 200 colour and black-and-white photographs and artworks, this
accessible and immensely enjoyable book highlights the true personalities and
real lives of the individuals honoured with the crown of England—and those
unfortunate enough to cross their paths.
‘Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown.’ William Shakespeare‘I shall
be an autocrat: that’s my trade. And the good Lord will forgive me: that’s
his.’ Catherine the Great To many, Europe has been the pinnacle of world
sophistication and culture. Yet beneath the power, the glamour, and the
splendour there has also been scandal, mystery and skullduggery. Kings &
Queens of Europe: A Dark History peels away the glory and the glitz to take a
wry look at what has really gone on in the corridors, bedrooms and dungeons of
European power from the fourteenth century up to the present day. Including
Vlad the Impaler’s stakes, Elizabeth Bathory’s razor blades, Philip IV’s
starvation of the Knights Templars, the man in the iron mask, many mad monarchs
from Juana I the Mad of Spain to Ludwig II of Bavaria, zand the troubled life
of Princess Grace of Monaco, Kings & Queens of Europe: A Dark History, is
illustrated throughout and offers a lively, highly varied portrait of
continental European monarchy.
From corruption to nepotism, from crusade to witch-burning to Inquisition, from popes sanctioning murder to popes being murdered, Dark History of The Popes explores more than 1000 years of sinister deeds surrounding the papacy. Ranging from the 9th century AD to Pope Pius XII’s position during World War II, the book examines political, religious and social history through the skulduggery of popes and courtiers, the role the Borgias family played in the papacy, the persecution of Jews and the religious controversy over Galileo Galilei’s heretical views, among other topics.
Using diaries, letters, reports from foreign ambassadors to the Vatican and official registers of the ecclesiastical courts, a picture of both sinning and sinned against popes is revealed. Packed with more than 200 colour and black-&-white photographs, paintings and artworks, Dark History of The Popes is an eye-opening account of the history of the papacy that pontiffs would rather not mention.
Few statesmen have received so many honours as he did over the course of his career. Although several have received the Nobel Peace Prize, none save Churchill have received the Nobel Prize for Literature. His was a career that had few parallels in British history for richness, range, length and achievement. The biography provides an interesting and informative account of Churchill's life - from his childhood, military service in India and the Sudan and his role as war correspondent during the Boer war to his rise in the world of politics, his leadership of Britain in World War II and his role in the post-war struggle of the Cold War years. Coverage of Churchill's personal life is woven into the narrative, including his marriage to Clementine Hozier, their children and Churchill's struggle with his 'Black Dog' depressions. The book gives an honest and accurate presentation of Churchill, including his mistakes and misjudgements as well as his successes. Like so many personalities of high achievement, the rules of ordinary, everyday life – politeness, diplomacy, toleration – did not always apply to Winston Churchill. Where he was eccentric or fanciful, pugnacious, obstinate, demanding and self-centred, this was the character and dynamism of a great man. Using many hundreds of extracts from his speeches and writings throughout his life, the book brings Churchill the man into focus.
In Churchill, eminent historian Paul Johnson offers a lively, succinct exploration of one of the most complex and fascinating personalities in history. Winston Churchill's hold on contemporary readers has never slackened, and Johnson’s analysis casts new light on his extraordinary life and times. Johnson illuminates the various phases of Churchill's career—from his adventures as a young cavalry officer in the service of the empire to his role as an elder statesman prophesying the advent of the Cold War—and shows how Churchill's immense adaptability and innate pugnacity made him a formidable leader for the better part of a century. Johnson's narration of Churchill's many triumphs and setbacks, rich with anecdote and quotation, illustrates the man's humor, resilience, courage, and eccentricity as no other biography before, and is sure to appeal to historians and general nonfiction readers alike.
Sir Winston Churchill was a soldier, journalist, writer, Nobel Prize winner and, above all, a leader. Conservative then Liberal then Conservative again, his political instincts won him a sustained career at the summit of British government, while his resolve and politics of personality made him broadly regarded as one of the greatest wartime leaders of the 20th century.
With his early radicalism, bold decisions regarding the Gold Standard and Iron curtain analysis, Churchill was, for many, a highly controversial figure. For others, he was Britain’s finest Prime Minister. From his career as a young army officer – serving in British India, The Sudan, and the Second Boer War, in which he won fame as a war correspondent – to his later pursuits as a historian, a writer, and an artist, ‘Churchill: History in an Hour’ is the perfect guide to the colorful, long and varied life of a historic titan.
Love history? Know your stuff with History in an Hour...
Winston Churchill attracted far more criticism alive than he has since his death. He was, according to Evelyn Waugh, "always in the wrong, surrounded by crooks, a terrible father, a radio personality." To others, he was the savior of the nation, even of Western civilization, "the greatest Briton" who ever lived. Whatever one's view, Winston Churchill remains splendidly unreduced. He also remains enormous fun--a cartoonist's and caricaturist's dream on the one hand, one of the most powerful and successful statesmen in modern history on the other.
Globally famed for his role as a leader during the Second World War, this study resists the temptation to conflate Churchill's post-war career with Britain's demise on the international stage. Nor does it endorse the notion that Churchill became an anachronism as he lived and continued to work, at a prodigious rate, through his seventies and eighties. As well as being Britain's most celebrated politician and war leader, Winston Churchill was a Nobel Prize-winning author. He was one of the most prolific writers of his age and his accounts of the momentous events through which he lived have indelibly marked the way in which modern British history has been conceptualized. Uniquely endowed with talent, energy and determination, Winston Churchill was, as a close wartime colleague put it, "unlike anyone you have ever met before."
Ashley Jackson describes the contours and contradictions of Churchill's remarkable life and career as a solider, politician, historian, journalist, painter, amateur farmer and homemaker. From thrusting subaltern to high-flying politician, Cabinet outcast to elder statesman, this is the eternally fascinating story of Winston Churchill's appointment with destiny.