In the first days of World War I four soldiers, left behind as the British army retreated through northern France under the first German onslaught, found themselves trapped on the wrong side of the Western Front, in a tiny village called Villeret. Just a few miles from the Somme, the village would be permanently inundated with German troops for the next four years, yet the villagers conspired to feed, clothe and protect the fugitives under the very noses of the invaders, absorbing the Englishmen into their homes and lives until they could pass for Picardy peasants.
The leader of the band, Robert Digby, was a striking young man who fell in love with Claire Dessenne, the prettiest maid in the village. In November 1915, with the guns clearly audible from the battlefront, Claire gave birth to Digby's child, the jealous whispering began, and the conspiracy that had protected the soldiers for half the war started to unravel.
Never before told, Ben Macintyre's The Englishman's Daughter is a harrowing tale of love, duplicity and their tragic consequences, which haunt the people of Villeret eight decades after the Great War.
In the year 1838, a young adventurer, surrounded by his native troops and mounted on an elephant, raised the American flag on the summit of the Hindu Kush in the mountainous wilds of Afghanistan. He declared himself Prince of Ghor, Lord of the Hazarahs, spiritual and military heir to Alexander the Great.
The true story of Josiah Harlan, a Pennsylvania Quaker and the first American ever to enter Afghanistan, has never been told before, yet the life and writings of this extraordinary man echo down the centuries, as America finds itself embroiled once more in the land he first explored and described 180 years ago.
Soldier, spy, doctor, naturalist, traveler, and writer, Josiah Harlan wanted to be a king, with all the imperialist hubris of his times. In an extraordinary twenty-year journey around Central Asia, he was variously employed as surgeon to the Maharaja of Punjab, revolutionary agent for the exiled Afghan king, and then commander in chief of the Afghan armies. In 1838, he set off in the footsteps of Alexander the Great across the Hindu Kush and forged his own kingdom, only to be ejected from Afghanistan a few months later by the invading British.
Using a trove of newly discovered documents and Harlan's own unpublished journals, Ben Macintyre's The Man Who Would Be King tells the astonishing true story of the man who would be the first and last American king.
General Alex Dumas is a man almost unknown today, yet his story is strikingly familiar—because his son, the novelist Alexandre Dumas, used his larger-than-life feats as inspiration for such classics as The Count of Monte Cristo and The Three Musketeers.
But, hidden behind General Dumas's swashbuckling adventures was an even more incredible secret: he was the son of a black slave—who rose higher in the white world than any man of his race would before our own time. Born in Saint-Domingue (now Haiti), Alex Dumas made his way to Paris, where he rose to command armies at the height of the Revolution—until he met an implacable enemy he could not defeat.
The Black Count is simultaneously a riveting adventure story, a lushly textured evocation of 18th-century France, and a window into the modern world’s first multi-racial society. TIME magazine called The Black Count "one of those quintessentially human stories of strength and courage that sheds light on the historical moment that made it possible." But it is also a heartbreaking story of the enduring bonds of love between a father and son.
His words launched Evans into the heart of a story thattightly bound Onassis not to Jackie's first husband, but tohis ambitious younger brother Bobby. A bitter rivalryemerged between Bobby and Ari long before Onassis andJackie had even met. Nemesis reveals the tangled thread ofevents that linked two of the world's most powerful men intheir intense hatred for one another and uncovers thesurprising role played by the woman they both loved. Theirpower struggle unfolds against a heady backdrop ofinternational intrigue: Bobby Kennedy's discovery of theGreek shipping magnate's shady dealings, which led him tobar Onassis from trade with the United States; Onassis'sattempt to control much of Saudi Arabia's oil; Onassis'suntimely love affair with Jackie's married sister LeeRadziwill; and his bold invitation to First Lady Jackie tojoin him on his yacht -- without the president. Just as theself-made Greek tycoon gloried in the chance to stir thewrath of the Kennedys, they struggled unsuccessfully tobreak his spell over the woman who held the key to all oftheir futures. After Jack's death, Bobby became ever closerto Camelot's holy widow, and fought to keep her frommarrying his sworn rival. But Onassis rarely failed to getwhat he wanted, and Jackie became his wife shortly afterBobby was killed.
Through extensive interviews with the closest friends,lovers, and relatives of Onassis and the Kennedys, longtimejournalist Evans has uncovered the shocking culmination ofthe Kennedy-Onassis-Kennedy love triangle: AristotleOnassis was at the heart of the plot to kill Bobby Kennedy.Meticulously tracing Onassis's connections in the world ofterrorism, Nemesis presents compelling evidence that hefinanced the assassination -- including a startling confessionthat has gone unreported for nearly three decades. Alongthe way, this groundbreaking work also daringly paintsthese international icons in all of their true colors. FromEvans's deeply nuanced portraits of the charismatic Greekshipping magnate and his acquisitive iconic bride to hisprobing and revelatory look into the events that shaped anera, Nemesis is a work that will not be soon forgotten.
Austerlitz, Borodino, Waterloo: his battles are among the greatest in history, but Napoleon Bonaparte was far more than a military genius and astute leader of men. Like George Washington and his own hero Julius Caesar, he was one of the greatest soldier-statesmen of all times.
Andrew Roberts’s Napoleon is the first one-volume biography to take advantage of the recent publication of Napoleon’s thirty-three thousand letters, which radically transform our understanding of his character and motivation. At last we see him as he was: protean multitasker, decisive, surprisingly willing to forgive his enemies and his errant wife Josephine. Like Churchill, he understood the strategic importance of telling his own story, and his memoirs, dictated from exile on St. Helena, became the single bestselling book of the nineteenth century.
An award-winning historian, Roberts traveled to fifty-three of Napoleon’s sixty battle sites, discovered crucial new documents in archives, and even made the long trip by boat to St. Helena. He is as acute in his understanding of politics as he is of military history. Here at last is a biography worthy of its subject: magisterial, insightful, beautifully written, by one of our foremost historians.