William Wallace: Brave Heart

Random House
6
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Sir William Wallace of Ellerslie is one of history's greatest heroes, but also one of its greatest enigmas - a shadowy figure whose edges have been blurred by myth and legend. Even the date and place of his birth have been mis-stated - until now. James Mackay uses all his skills as a historical detective to produce this definitive biography, telling the incredible story of a man who, without wealth or noble birth, rose to become Guardian of Scotland. William Wallace, with superb generalship and tactical genius, led a country with no previous warlike tradition to triumph gloriously over the much larger, better-armed and better-trained English forces. Seven hundred years later, the heroism and betrayal, the valiant deeds and the dark atrocities, and the struggle of a small nation against a brutal and powerful empire, still create a compelling tale.
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About the author

James Mackay studied art before becoming the cinema coordinator at the London Filmmakers' Co-op. He met Derek Jarman in 1979 and went on to produce many of his films. Mackay now oversees the archive on behalf of the LUMA Foundation.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Random House
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Published on
Jan 27, 2012
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Pages
288
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ISBN
9781780574288
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / Historical
Biography & Autobiography / Military
Biography & Autobiography / Political
History / Europe / Great Britain / General
History / Europe / Ireland
History / Europe / Medieval
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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In My End Is My Beginning is the story of Mary Queen of Scots (1542–87), the tragic heroine par excellence. Queen of an unfamiliar and troubled nation when she was a week old, it was her misfortune to be a pawn in the game of international politics throughout her life. Even in the brief period from 1561 to 1567 when she was ruler of Scotland in fact as well as in name, she was beset with problems that would have defeated a much stronger, more experienced monarch. A talented poet and a charismatic leader, she contended with a treacherous, self-serving nobility, the religious ferment of the Reformation, and the political ambitions of larger and more powerful neighbours.

With little real authority and few resources, Mary’s reign was successful, until her disastrous marriage to the dissolute Darnley set in motion the events that brought about her downfall. For the last 20 years of her life she was a prisoner in the hands of her cousin, Elizabeth I of England, and the subject of treacherous plots and conspiracies. A hostage to fortune, she represented a threat and a rallying-point for English Catholics. Her tragic end was inevitable. Yet her life, with all its adventurous, failures and disasters, produced the son – James – who ultimately brought about the union of Scotland and England.

In the End Is My Beginning uncovers the true facts of Mary’s life in the context of Anglo-Scottish relations and shows why, after more than 400 years, she remains arguably the greatest character in popular Scottish history.

The perfect St. Patrick's Day gift, and a book in the best tradition of popular history -- the untold story of Ireland's role in maintaining Western culture while the Dark Ages settled on Europe.

Every year millions of Americans celebrate St. Patrick's Day, but they may not be aware of how great an influence St. Patrick was on the subsequent history of civilization. Not only did he bring Christianity to Ireland, he instilled a sense of literacy and learning that would create the conditions that allowed Ireland to become "the isle of saints and scholars" -- and thus preserve Western culture while Europe was being overrun by barbarians.

In this entertaining and compelling narrative, Thomas Cahill tells the story of how Europe evolved from the classical age of Rome to the medieval era. Without Ireland, the transition could not have taken place. Not only did Irish monks and scribes maintain the very record of Western civilization -- copying manuscripts of Greek and Latin writers, both pagan and Christian, while libraries and learning on the continent were forever lost -- they brought their uniquely Irish world-view to the task.

As Cahill delightfully illustrates, so much of the liveliness we associate with medieval culture has its roots in Ireland. When the seeds of culture were replanted on the European continent, it was from Ireland that they were germinated.

In the tradition of Barbara Tuchman's A Distant Mirror, How The Irish Saved Civilization reconstructs an era that few know about but which is central to understanding our past and our cultural heritage. But it conveys its knowledge with a winking wit that aptly captures the sensibility of the unsung Irish who relaunched civilization.

BONUS MATERIAL: This ebook edition includes an excerpt from Thomas Cahill's Heretics and Heroes.
Andrew Carnegie (1835–1922) was a mass of contradictions: a radical Chartist who became a rabid capitalist, an idealist who was also a profound cynic, a committed pacifist who also played a crucial role in the opening part of the American Civil War, and a ladies’ man who had to wait until his fifties (after his domineering mother died) before forming a meaningful relationship with a woman.

From bobbin boy in a Pittsburgh factory he progressed to messenger boy, telegraphist and railway superintendent. His meteoric rise owed much to his boss, Thomas Scott, who also cut the young Carnegie in on his first lucrative share deal. The youth who earned thirty-five dollars a month was on the road to his first million within a year or two, and he never looked back. Speculation in rolling-stock and railways, the nascent oil industry, iron and, above all, steel made Carnegie the richest man in the world. Along the way he created fortunes for many others, but trampled on friend and foe alike in his relentless pursuit of money.

Then, the man who amassed the largest fortune in the world proceeded to give most of it away. From free libraries to world peace, the Carnegie millions were pumped into a host of worthy causes. The Peace Palace at the Hague is the lasting legacy of this global philanthropy; but Carnegie’s faith in the Kaiser to achieve world peace was shattered by the outbreak of the First World War, and it was a setback from which he never recovered.

This candid and penetrating biography follows Carnegie from his humble birthplace in Dunfermline to the squalor of Allegheny City and Pittsburgh in the 1840s, and charts his dramatic rise to fame and fortune. Set against the contrasting backdrops of radical Scotland and America during the most turbulent phase of its development, Little Boss is the definitive story of one of the world’s greatest captains of industry.

In My End Is My Beginning is the story of Mary Queen of Scots (1542–87), the tragic heroine par excellence. Queen of an unfamiliar and troubled nation when she was a week old, it was her misfortune to be a pawn in the game of international politics throughout her life. Even in the brief period from 1561 to 1567 when she was ruler of Scotland in fact as well as in name, she was beset with problems that would have defeated a much stronger, more experienced monarch. A talented poet and a charismatic leader, she contended with a treacherous, self-serving nobility, the religious ferment of the Reformation, and the political ambitions of larger and more powerful neighbours.

With little real authority and few resources, Mary’s reign was successful, until her disastrous marriage to the dissolute Darnley set in motion the events that brought about her downfall. For the last 20 years of her life she was a prisoner in the hands of her cousin, Elizabeth I of England, and the subject of treacherous plots and conspiracies. A hostage to fortune, she represented a threat and a rallying-point for English Catholics. Her tragic end was inevitable. Yet her life, with all its adventurous, failures and disasters, produced the son – James – who ultimately brought about the union of Scotland and England.

In the End Is My Beginning uncovers the true facts of Mary’s life in the context of Anglo-Scottish relations and shows why, after more than 400 years, she remains arguably the greatest character in popular Scottish history.

Andrew Carnegie (1835–1922) was a mass of contradictions: a radical Chartist who became a rabid capitalist, an idealist who was also a profound cynic, a committed pacifist who also played a crucial role in the opening part of the American Civil War, and a ladies’ man who had to wait until his fifties (after his domineering mother died) before forming a meaningful relationship with a woman.

From bobbin boy in a Pittsburgh factory he progressed to messenger boy, telegraphist and railway superintendent. His meteoric rise owed much to his boss, Thomas Scott, who also cut the young Carnegie in on his first lucrative share deal. The youth who earned thirty-five dollars a month was on the road to his first million within a year or two, and he never looked back. Speculation in rolling-stock and railways, the nascent oil industry, iron and, above all, steel made Carnegie the richest man in the world. Along the way he created fortunes for many others, but trampled on friend and foe alike in his relentless pursuit of money.

Then, the man who amassed the largest fortune in the world proceeded to give most of it away. From free libraries to world peace, the Carnegie millions were pumped into a host of worthy causes. The Peace Palace at the Hague is the lasting legacy of this global philanthropy; but Carnegie’s faith in the Kaiser to achieve world peace was shattered by the outbreak of the First World War, and it was a setback from which he never recovered.

This candid and penetrating biography follows Carnegie from his humble birthplace in Dunfermline to the squalor of Allegheny City and Pittsburgh in the 1840s, and charts his dramatic rise to fame and fortune. Set against the contrasting backdrops of radical Scotland and America during the most turbulent phase of its development, Little Boss is the definitive story of one of the world’s greatest captains of industry.

Thomas Lipton burst onto the national scene in 1897, the year of Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee. The Princess of Wales had launched a £30,000 fund to provide a Jublilee dinner for the poor, but, with only weeks to go, no more than £5,000 had been subscribed. Lipton saved the day by writing a cheque for £25,000. The annonymous gift created massive press speculation and even greater publicity when the identity of the donor leaked out two days later. Lipton's generosity earned him a knighthood and propelled him into society at the highest level, a personal friend of the future King and Queen.

Many of the myths that surrounded Lipton in the latter part of his life were created at this time and would be fixed for ever in his autobiography, published shortly after his death in 1931. Until now, what we know of Sir Thomas Lipton, grocery millionaire and yachtsman, is what he chose to tell the world about himself. Now literally detective James Mackay has uncovered the true story of one of the turn of the century's most extrordinary, larger-than-life characters, a story which is indefinitely more dramatic than the accepted version.

Virtually everything Lipton tells us about himself is now shown to be untrue - even the origins of his family, his name, his date of birth and the place where he was born. The man who was hailed as the world's most eligible bachelor (his name was linked romantically with Rose Fitzgerald, the future mother of John F. Kennedy) had at least two skeletons in the closet - a youthful indescretion which led to a forced marriage, and a homosexual affair which lasted for thirty years.

As a self-publicist he was a genius, and this was the key to his remarkable success. Beginning with a small shop in Glasgoe in 1871 he created a nationwide grocery chain second to none. In the process, he revolutionised the grocery retail trade, dealing direct with producers and eventually controlling production himself, with tea estates in Ceylon and meat-packing plants in Chicago. He combined a flair for organisation with superb showmanship, with stunts such as five-ton cheeses stuffed with gold sovereigns. In 1898 his company went public in one of the most successful share issues in stockmarket history.

Lipton developed an interest in yachting which he pursued with the same single-mindedness as his business ventures. Between 1898 and 1930 he challenged for the America's Cup with a succession of yachts called Shamrock, but the rules of the race were heavily weighted in favour of the American defenders. The saga of his challenges, his near triumphs and the disappointments that would have destroyed a less heroic figure has become the most stirring in the annals of sport, and provides a fitting conclusion to the life of a maverick and outsider who was also one of the most colourful and flamboyant tycoons of all time.

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