Trevor Royle is a historian, specializing in war and empire. His previous books include Civil War: The Wars of Three Kingdoms, Crimea: The Great Crimean War 1854-1856, and Winds of Change: The End of Empire in Africa. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and the Associate Editor of The Sunday Herald. He lives in Edinburgh, Scotland.
The Crimean War is one of history's most compelling subjects. It encompassed human suffering, woeful leadership and maladministration on a grand scale. It created a heroic myth out of the disastrous Charge of the Light Brigade and, in Florence Nightingale, it produced one of history's great heroes. New weapons were introduced; trench combat became a fact of daily warfare outside Sebastopol; medical innovation saved countless soldiers' lives that would otherwise have been lost. The war paved the way for the greater conflagration which broke out in 1914 and greatly prefigured the current situation in Eastern Europe.
In Foundation, the chronicler of London and of its river, the Thames, takes us from the primeval forests of England's prehistory to the death, in 1509, of the first Tudor king, Henry VII. He guides us from the building of Stonehenge to the founding of the two great glories of medieval England: common law and the cathedrals. He shows us glimpses of the country's most distant past--a Neolithic stirrup found in a grave, a Roman fort, a Saxon tomb, a medieval manor house--and describes in rich prose the successive waves of invaders who made England English, despite being themselves Roman, Viking, Saxon, or Norman French.
With his extraordinary skill for evoking time and place and his acute eye for the telling detail, Ackroyd recounts the story of warring kings, of civil strife, and foreign wars. But he also gives us a vivid sense of how England's early people lived: the homes they built, the clothes the wore, the food they ate, even the jokes they told. All are brought vividly to life in this history of England through the narrative mastery of one of Britain's finest writers.