The House of Medici picks up where Barbara Tuchman's Hibbert delves into the lives of the Medici family, whose legacy of increasing self-indulgence and sexual dalliance eventually led to its self-destruction. With twenty-four pages of black-and-white illustrations, this timeless saga is one of Quill's strongest-selling paperbacks.
The name Borgia is synonymous with the corruption, nepotism, and greed that were rife in Renaissance Italy. The powerful, voracious Rodrigo Borgia, better known to history as Pope Alexander VI, was the central figure of the dynasty. Two of his seven papal offspring also rose to power and fame—Lucrezia Borgia, his daughter, whose husband was famously murdered by her brother, and that brother, Cesare, who served as the model for Niccolò Machiavelli's The Prince. Notorious for seizing power, wealth, land, and titles through bribery, marriage, and murder, the dynasty's dramatic rise from its Spanish roots to its occupation of the highest position in Renaissance society forms a gripping tale.
Erudite, witty, and always insightful, Hibbert removes the layers of myth around the Borgia family and creates a portrait alive with his superb sense of character and place.
To his mother, Queen Victoria, he was "poor Bertie," to his wife he was "my dear little man," while the President of France called him "a great English king," and the German Kaiser condemned him as "an old peacock." King Edward VII was all these things and more, as Hibbert reveals in this captivating biography. Shedding new light on the scandals that peppered his life, Hibbert reveals Edward's dismal early years under Victoria's iron rule, his terror of boredom that led to a lively social life at home and abroad, and his eventual ascent to the throne at age 59. Edward is best remembered as the last Victorian king, the monarch who installed the office of Prime Minister.
As his corse to the rampart we hurried.’
—from ‘The Burial of Sir John Moore at Corunna’ by Charles Wolfe
One of the best remembered poems in the English language has served to keep alive the memory of Sir John Moore and of his burial at Corunna on 17 January, 1809. The story of the battle which he fought on the previous day and of the short campaign and horrifying retreat which preceded it is, however, not so well known.
The Battle of Corunna saved a British army from annihilation and resulted in the tragic death of one of England’s finest generals. Setting out from Lisbon in the autumn of 1808, Sir John Moore had marched his army into Spain against Napoleon and by a daring manoeuvre had thrown it across the line of French communications. But, having thus drawn off Napoleon’s army from Madrid, Moore found himself so outnumbered and with no hope of assistance from the ineffectual Spanish armies, that he decided to withdraw to the coast. After a 250-mile retreat across the mountains of Galicia under appalling weather conditions, with inadequate food supplies and the French hard on his heels, he eventually reached the port of Corunna. Here he turned and drew up his depleted forces to face Marshal Soult’s massive army; and, though mortally wounded in the ensuing battle, he lived long enough to learn that the French had been checked and that his own army would be able to embark in safety.
In Corunna extensive use is made of the many eyewitness accounts which survive in the form of official despatches, histories, diaries, memoirs and letters. With the aid of these, Christopher Hibbert not only shows a remarkable understanding of John Moore and his fellow officers, of their conflicting characters and views, but also provides a horrifying picture of the hardships of this brief and bitter campaign.
Nine thousand men of the First British Airborne Division were parachuted into the peaceful countryside that surrounded Arnhem. Their objective was to capture and hold the bridge over the Rhine ahead of the advancing British Second Army. Nine days later, after some of the fiercest street-fighting of the war, 2,000 paratroopers managed to escape to safety. This is the vivid account of how a brilliant plan turned into an epic tragedy.
‘Alive with the detail that evokes the smoking background’—Daily Telegraph
‘Finely recorded...truly the battle of Arnhem has been fortunate in its historian’—Sunday Times
‘Clear-sighted, well written and scrupulously fair...it deserves to stand with the best of the battle chronicles’—Sunday Telegraph
The London Encyclopaedia is the most comprehensive book on London ever published. In its first new edition in over ten years, completely revised and updated, it comprises some 6,000 entries, organised alphabetically, cross-referenced and supported by two large indexes – one for the 10,000 people mentioned in the text and one general – and is illustrated with over 500 drawings, prints and photographs. Everything of relevance to the history, culture, commerce and government of the capital is documented in this phenomenal book. From the very first settlements through to the skyline of today, The London Encyclopaedia comprehends all that is London.
‘Written in very accessible prose with a range of memorable quotations and affectionate jokes...a monumental achievement written with real love’ Financial Times
Controversial and revisionist history of America’s first civil war. Published with hugely successful accompanying four-part BBC TV series – written and presented by star military historian, Richard Holmes.
Most people view the American Revolutionary War of the 1775–83 (also known as the War of Independence) as a popular struggle for liberty against an oppressive colonial power. REBELS & REDCOATS by historian Hugh Bicheno, written to accompany a four-part BBC television series presented by Richard Holmes, demonstrates that it was in fact America's first civil war.
Employing the latest scholarship and vivid eyewitness accounts, Bicheno argues t that the war was the product of a broad French imperial design, and greed of many prominent colonials. As many Americans remained loyal to the Crown as rebelled against it, and the reasons for adopting or changing sides were as varied as the men and women who had to make the unenviable decision. Native and African Americans overwhelmingly favoured the British cause.We hear not only the voices of Rebels and Redcoats, but also of German mercenaries and aristocratic French adventurers, as well as Indian warriors and Black slaves fighting for their independence, which together shed new light on events that forged a nation. The main loser was the French monarchy, which ruined itself to gain no lasting influence over the United States, while unable to exploit the distraction the war created either to invade Britain or gain control of the West Indies, which at the time were considered a far bigger prize than all of North America.
From the U.S. government's campaign to encourage American vacations in Western Europe as part of the Marshall Plan, to Charles de Gaulle's aggressive promotion of American tourism to France in the 1960s, Endy reveals how consumerism and globalization played a major role in transatlantic affairs. Yet contrary to analyses of globalization that emphasize the decline of the nation-state, Endy argues that an era notable for the rise of informal transnational exchanges was also a time of entrenched national identity and persistent state power.
A lively array of voices informs Endy's analysis: Parisian hoteliers and cafe waiters, American and French diplomats, advertising and airline executives, travel writers, and tourists themselves. The resulting portrait reveals tourism as a colorful and consequential illustration of the changing nature of international relations in an age of globalization.
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY
JANET MASLIN, THE NEW YORK TIMES • ESQUIRE • THE CHICAGO PUBLIC LIBRARY
“Victoria the Queen, Julia Baird’s exquisitely wrought and meticulously researched biography, brushes the dusty myth off this extraordinary monarch.”—The New York Times Book Review (Editor’s Choice)
When Victoria was born, in 1819, the world was a very different place. Revolution would threaten many of Europe’s monarchies in the coming decades. In Britain, a generation of royals had indulged their whims at the public’s expense, and republican sentiment was growing. The Industrial Revolution was transforming the landscape, and the British Empire was commanding ever larger tracts of the globe. In a world where women were often powerless, during a century roiling with change, Victoria went on to rule the most powerful country on earth with a decisive hand.
Fifth in line to the throne at the time of her birth, Victoria was an ordinary woman thrust into an extraordinary role. As a girl, she defied her mother’s meddling and an adviser’s bullying, forging an iron will of her own. As a teenage queen, she eagerly grasped the crown and relished the freedom it brought her. At twenty, she fell passionately in love with Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, eventually giving birth to nine children. She loved sex and delighted in power. She was outspoken with her ministers, overstepping conventional boundaries and asserting her opinions. After the death of her adored Albert, she began a controversial, intimate relationship with her servant John Brown. She survived eight assassination attempts over the course of her lifetime. And as science, technology, and democracy were dramatically reshaping the world, Victoria was a symbol of steadfastness and security—queen of a quarter of the world’s population at the height of the British Empire’s reach.
Drawing on sources that include fresh revelations about Victoria’s relationship with John Brown, Julia Baird brings vividly to life the fascinating story of a woman who struggled with so many of the things we do today: balancing work and family, raising children, navigating marital strife, losing parents, combating anxiety and self-doubt, finding an identity, searching for meaning.
Praise for Victoria: The Queen
“In Baird’s deft portrayal, Victoria lives, breathes, and struts before us in all her complexity. . . . On a geopolitical level, Baird’s sweeping historical portrait also illuminates just how interconnected the European royal families were during this time. . . . Historical astuteness aside, the pages gallop along enhanced by titillating morsels of info.”—Esquire
“A vivid portrait of one of England’s longest-reigning monarchs.”—Entertainment Weekly
“[A] success from start to finish . . . [Baird’s] Victoria is a vivid, visceral creature.”—The Christian Science Monitor
“Like the best biographers, Baird writes like a novelist, and her book is crammed with irresistible detail and description.”—The Seattle Times
The New Statesman Book of the Year selection by Lucy Hughes-Hallett
BBC History Magazine Book of the Year selection by Helen Rappaport
"A masterpiece . . . . [T]his heartbreaking narrative of family dysfunction and royal sacrifice is an absolute page-turner." —Amanda Foreman, author of Georgiana: Duchess of Devonshire
"[A] fascinating, story-filled account . . . . Each story is a revelation." —Jenny Uglow, The Guardian
The surprising, deliciously dramatic, and ultimately heartbreaking story of King George III's radical pursuit of happiness in his private life with Queen Charlotte and their 15 children
In the U.S., Britain's George III, the protagonist of A Royal Experiment, is known as the king from whom Americans won their independence and as "the mad king," but in Janice Hadlow's groundbreaking and entertaining new biography, he is another character altogether—compelling and relatable.
He was the first of Britain's three Hanoverian kings to be born in England, the first to identify as native of the nation he ruled. But this was far from the only difference between him and his predecessors. Neither of the previous Georges was faithful to his wife, nor to his mistresses. Both hated their own sons. And, overall, their children were angry, jealous, and disaffected schemers, whose palace shenanigans kick off Hadlow's juicy narrative and also made their lives unhappy ones.
Pained by his childhood amid this cruel and feuding family, George came to the throne aspiring to be a new kind of king—a force for moral good. And to be that new kind of king, he had to be a new kind of man. Against his irresistibly awful family background—of brutal royal intrigue, infidelity, and betrayal—George fervently pursued a radical domestic dream: he would have a faithful marriage and raise loving, educated, and resilient children.
The struggle of King George—along with his wife, Queen Charlotte, and their 15 children—to pursue a passion for family will surprise history buffs and delight a broad swath of biography readers and royal watchers.
In 1502, Italy was riven by conflict, with the city of Florence as the ultimate prize. Machiavelli, the consummate political manipulator, attempted to placate the savage Borgia by volunteering Leonardo to be Borgia’s chief military engineer. That autumn, the three men embarked together on a brief, perilous, and fateful journey through the mountains, remote villages, and hill towns of the Italian Romagna—the details of which were revealed in Machiavelli’s frequent dispatches and Leonardo’s meticulous notebooks.
Superbly written and thoroughly researched, The Artist, the Philosopher, and the Warrior is a work of narrative genius—whose subject is the nature of genius itself.
The analysis of the Camicia bruciata examines the structure of the historical novel – Anna Banti’s representations of her male and female characters and their capacity for relationships – and the difference between the fictional story created by Anna Banti, and the historical facts narrated in The House of Medici by Sir Christopher Hibbert and The Last Medici by Harold Acton. The purpose of this analysis is to show how Banti’s personal experience, mainly her idea of married life and motherhood, influenced her narrative and her characters.
Based on the 1799 edition, Christopher Hibbert’s abridgement preserves the integrity of the original, while his fascinating introduction sets Boswell’s view of Samuel Johnson against that of others of the time.
Aaron Freundschuh's account of the "Pranzini Affair" recreates not just the intricacies of the investigation and the raucous courtroom trial, but also the jockeying for status among rival players—reporters, police detectives, doctors, and magistrates—who all stood to gain professional advantage and prestige. Freundschuh deftly weaves together the sensational details of the case with the social and political undercurrents of the time, arguing that the racially charged portrayal of Pranzini reflects a mounting anxiety about the colonial "Other" within France's own borders. Pranzini's case provides a window into a transformational decade for the history of immigration, nationalism, and empire in France.
In this riveting new book, Ian Davidson provides a fresh look at this vital moment in European history. He reveals how it was an immensely complicated and multifaceted revolution, taking place in different places, at different times, and in different spheres; and how subsequently it became weighted with political, social, and moral values. Stirring and dramatic—and filled with the larger-than-life players of the period and evoking the turbulence of this colorful time—this is narrative history at its finest.
During 200 years the East India Company grew from a loose association of Elizabethan tradesmen into "the grandest society of merchants in the universe". As a commercial enterprise it came to control half the world's trade and as a political entity it administered an embryonic empire. Without it there would have been no British India and no British Empire. In a tapestry ranging from Southern Africa to north-west America, and from the reign of Elizabeth I to that of Victoria, bizarre locations and roguish personality abound. From Bombay to Singapore and Hong Kong the political geography of today is, in some respects, the result of the Company. This book looks at the history of the East India Company.
A Notorious Duke
An Infamous Duchess
An Innocent Girl
Violante isn't supposed to be here, in one of the grandest courts of Renaissance Italy. She isn't supposed to be a lady-in-waiting to the beautiful Lucrezia Borgia. But the same secretive politics that pushed Lucrezia's father to the Vatican have landed Violante deep in a lavish landscape of passion and ambition.
Violante discovers a Lucrezia unknown to those who see only a scheming harlot, and all the whispers about her brother, Cesare Borgia, never revealed the soul of the man who dances close with Violante.
But those who enter the House of Borgia are never quite the same when they leave-if they leave at all. Violante's place in history will test her heart and leave her the guardian of dangerous secrets she must carry to the grave.
What Readers Are Saying
"Glittering, gorgeous, compelling, and stunning."
"A richly satisfying historical novel. It deserves prizes."
Like the travels of Marco Polo, those of Alexander Gardner clip the white line between credible adventure and creative invention. Either this Scots-American is the nineteenth century's most intrepid traveller or its most egregious fantasist, or a bit of both. Contemporaries generally believed him; posterity became more sceptical. And as with Polo, the investigation of Gardner's story enlarged man's understanding of the world and upped the pace of scientific and political exploration.
Before more reputable explorers notched up their own discoveries in innermost Asia, this lone traveller had roamed the deserts of Turkestan, ridden round the world's most fearsome knot of mountains and fought, as the first American in Afghanistan, 'for the good cause of right against wrong'. From the Caspian to Tibet and from Kandahar to Kashgar, Gardner had seen it all. At the time, the 1820s, no other outsider had managed anything remotely comparable. When word of his feats filtered out, geographers were agog.
Historians were more intrigued by what followed. After thirteen years as a white-man-gone-native in Central Asia, Gardner re-emerged as a colonel of artillery in the employ of India's last great native empire. He witnessed the death throes of that Sikh Empire at close quarters and, sparing no gruesome detail, recorded his own part in the bloodshed (the very same featuring as the exploits of 'Alick' Gardner in the 'Flashman' series).
Fame finally caught up with him during his long retirement in Kashmir. Dressed in tartan yet still living as a native, he mystified visiting dignitaries and found a ready audience for the tales of his adventurous past. But one mystery he certainly took to the grave: the whereabouts of his accumulated fortune has still to be discovered.
Using much original material, including newly discovered papers by Gardner himself, this investigative biography by John Keay, bestselling author of India: A History, takes the reader on a quest from the American West to the Asian East to unravel the greatest enigma in the history of travel.
In France, the simple act of eating bread is an exercise in creative problem solving and attempting to spell requires a degree of masochism. But that’s just how the French like it—and in WTF, Olivier Magny reveals the France only the French know. From the latest trends in baby names, to the religiously observed division of church and state, prepare yourself for an insider's look at French culture that is surprising, insightful, and chock full of bons mots.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
After the untimely death of Prince Albert, the queen and her nation were plunged into a state of grief so profound that this one event would dramatically alter the shape of the British monarchy. For Britain had not just lost a prince: during his twenty year marriage to Queen Victoria, Prince Albert had increasingly performed the function of King in all but name. The outpouring of grief after Albert's death was so extreme, that its like would not be seen again until the death of Princess Diana 136 years later.
Drawing on many letters, diaries and memoirs from the Royal Archives and other neglected sources, as well as the newspapers of the day, Rappaport offers a new perspective on this compelling historical psychodrama--the crucial final months of the prince's life and the first long, dark ten years of the Queen's retreat from public view. She draws a portrait of a queen obsessed with her living husband and – after his death – with his enduring place in history. Magnificent Obsession will also throw new light on the true nature of the prince's chronic physical condition, overturning for good the 150-year old myth that he died of typhoid fever.
Edward Prince of Wales, better known as “Bertie,” was the eldest son of Queen Victoria. Charming and dissolute, he was a larger-than-life personality with king-size appetites. A lifelong womanizer, Bertie conducted his countless liaisons against the glittering backdrop of London society, Europe, and the stately homes of England in the second half of the 19th century.
Bertie’s lovers were beautiful, spirited, society women who embraced a wide field of occupations. There was Lillie Langtry, the simple Jersey girl who would become an actress and producer; “Daisy” Brooke, Countess of Warwick, the extravagant socialite who embraced socialism and stood for Parliament as a Labour party candidate; bisexual French actress Sarah Bernhardt, celebrated for her decadent appeal and opium habit; and by total contrast the starchy Agnes Keyser, who founded a hospital for army officers. One of Bertie’s most intriguing liaisons was with American heiress Jennie Churchill, unhappy wife of Sir Randolph Churchill and mother of Sir Winston.
While the scandals resulting from his affairs—from suicides to divorces—were a blight on the royal family, Bertie would become a surprisingly modern monarch. His major accomplishment was transforming the British monarchy into the modern institution that we know today and ensuring its survival in a period when every other European dynasty collapsed in the wake of WWI.
A-Z entries--including topics barely touched in standard biographies--cover things like the various assassination attempts on her life, her interest in dancing and Jack the Ripper's murders, and how her husband Prince Albert introduced the celebration of Christmas to England. "Queen Victoria" also describes individuals such as her companion Lady Jane Churchill, her physician Sir James Clark, and politicians such as William Gladstone and Benjamin Disraeli; events like the Irish potato famine; inventions like steam power; and issues such as missionary activity and prostitution. It also includes bibliographies both for each entry and overall, and a chronology.
A paratrooper in the 101st Airborne, James Sheeran was just a kid when he floated into Normandy on D-Day-only to be captured soon afterward by the Germans. Escaping from a POW train bound for Germany, Sheeran traveled behind enemy lines in France, eventually fighting alongside the French Resistance.
After hooking up with Patton's advancing army, he fought admirably in Operation Market Garden and the Battle of the Bulge, and was ultimately awarded the Bronze Star, a Purple Heart, and the Chevalier of the Order of the Legion of Honor.
Sheeran's breathtaking chronicle of his capture, daring escape, fierce guerilla resistance, and valor under fire is an unforgettable testament to the spirit of the American soldier.
This richly entertaining biography chronicles the eventful life of Queen Victoria’s firstborn son, the quintessential black sheep of Buckingham Palace, who matured into as wise and effective a monarch as Britain has ever seen. Granted unprecedented access to the royal archives, noted scholar Jane Ridley draws on numerous primary sources to paint a vivid portrait of the man and the age to which he gave his name.
Born Prince Albert Edward, and known to familiars as “Bertie,” the future King Edward VII had a well-earned reputation for debauchery. A notorious gambler, glutton, and womanizer, he preferred the company of wastrels and courtesans to the dreary life of the Victorian court. His own mother considered him a lazy halfwit, temperamentally unfit to succeed her. When he ascended to the throne in 1901, at age fifty-nine, expectations were low. Yet by the time he died nine years later, he had proven himself a deft diplomat, hardworking head of state, and the architect of Britain’s modern constitutional monarchy.
Jane Ridley’s colorful biography rescues the man once derided as “Edward the Caresser” from the clutches of his historical detractors. Excerpts from letters and diaries shed new light on Bertie’s long power struggle with Queen Victoria, illuminating one of the most emotionally fraught mother-son relationships in history. Considerable attention is paid to King Edward’s campaign of personal diplomacy abroad and his valiant efforts to reform the political system at home. Separating truth from legend, Ridley also explores Bertie’s relationships with the women in his life. Their ranks comprised his wife, the stunning Danish princess Alexandra, along with some of the great beauties of the era: the actress Lillie Langtry, longtime “royal mistress” Alice Keppel (the great-grandmother of Camilla Parker Bowles), and Lady Randolph Churchill, mother of Winston.
Edward VII waited nearly six decades for his chance to rule, then did so with considerable panache and aplomb. A magnificent life of an unexpectedly impressive king, The Heir Apparent documents the remarkable transformation of a man—and a monarchy—at the dawn of a new century.
Praise for The Heir Apparent
“If [The Heir Apparent] isn’t the definitive life story of this fascinating figure of British history, then nothing ever will be.”—The Christian Science Monitor
“The Heir Apparent is smart, it’s fascinating, it’s sometimes funny, it’s well-documented and it reads like a novel, with Bertie so vivid he nearly leaps from the page, cigars and all.”—Minneapolis Star Tribune
“I closed The Heir Apparent with admiration and a kind of wry exhilaration.”—The Wall Street Journal
“Ridley is a serious scholar and historian, who keeps Bertie’s flaws and virtues in a fine balance.”—The Boston Globe
“Brilliantly entertaining . . . a landmark royal biography.”—The Sunday Telegraph
“Superb.”—The New York Times Book Review
From the Hardcover edition.
Originally published in 1955.
The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback and hardcover editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.