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The Irish famine that began in 1845 was one of the nineteenth century's greatest disasters. By its end, the island's population of eight million had shrunk by a third through starvation, disease and emigration. This is a brilliant, compassionate retelling of that awful story for a new generation - the first account for the general reader for many years and a triumphant example of narrative non-fiction at its best. The immediate cause of the famine was a bacterial infection of the potato crop on which too many the Irish poor depended. What turned a natural disaster into a human disaster was the determination of senior British officials to use relief policy as an instrument of nation - building in their oldest and most recalcitrant colony. Well-meaning civil servants were eager to modernise Irish agriculture and to improve the Irish moral character, which was utterly lacking in the virtues of the new age of triumphant capitalism. The result was a relief programme more concerned with fostering change than of saving lives. This is history that resonates powerfully with our own times.
We all see the Victorians as a respectable, well-mannered and sober people, yet a generation before Queen Victoria ascended the throne, the British were notorious for their boisterous pastimes, plain-speaking and drunkenness. How was it that this free-spirited and pleasure-loving people embraced the kinds of values that we know as Victorian moralism? "Decency and Disorder" is about the generation who grew up during the turmoil of the Napoleonic Wars. Acclaimed young historian Ben Wilson recreates their age, and some of its most exciting figures, in this landmark history book.
This text brings 125 years of Britain's political, economic and social history to life. Illustrated with original cartoons and documents, and making good use of contemporary quotes, it is written in an accessible style which is intended to both inform the reader and stimulate discussion. Each chapter gives an in-depth survey, which explores key issues within the topic and ends with a "controversies" section which outlines recent trends and debates in histroical interpretation. The authors have produced a treatment of British history over the last century which sets politics against the appropriately wider cultural, economic and social contexts. Aiming at objectivity in their analysis, they have synthesized from a complex and diffuse mass of material, the key elements in the evolution of the society in which we live today.
From the "Glorious Revolution" to victory at Waterloo: every aspect
of British history during the pivotal period between 1688 and 1815
comes into fascinating focus in a series of detailed essays and
quick-reference entries. Check the facts on politicians such as
Walpole and Charles James Fox, and then find out about the
electoral system as a whole. Pinpoint the period's best architects,
and learn about the aristocracy, agriculture, authors, inventors,
castles, censorship, clergymen, generals, and the American War of
Part of a unique venture: a twenty-four volume series that will capture the entire history of war and warfare, written by the world's leading experts. Fully illustrated throughout and incorporating computer generated cartography that brings the sea battles to life.
By focusing on 13 classic engagements in which gunboats won the
day, you appreciate how they were used to establish and control
empire, preserve trade routes, and police pirates and rebels.
Starting with the Burma war in 1824, and ending with the dramatic
escape of the "Amethys"t down the Yangtze in 1949, this gunboat
saga depicts exploits from China to Argentina, from the Crimea to
the Mississippi, and from the Persian Gulf to East Africa.
Having enjoyed absolute power as Elector of Hanover, George I was not overjoyed at succeeding to the thrones of England and Scotland, notably fractious countries. His reign was the start of the Hanoverian dynasty, which ended with the 70-year reign of Victoria.
This work addresses a crucial episode in British history: the last time that a British monarch stood a serious chance of being unseated by a dynastic rival at the head of an army. The '45 Rising has been romanticized over the centuries in many books and films, and still arouses strong emotions in Scotland. Based on original research in all available archives, including Swedish, French and German records, this work makes nonsense of the many popular histories based on self-serving accounts written by a few of the key participants. But it is no dry academic analysis. Christopher Duffy writes a vivid narrative that overturns many accepted "facts" about The '45. His text is supported by numerous maps and a comprehensive guide to the key sites that can be visited today.
James Thomas Brudenall, Seventh Earl of Cardigan, was probably the most hated and adulated man of his time. Dragoon, hussar, huntsman, landholder, adulterer and duellist, he waited for almost 60 years for his moment of glory. When it came it took place in an obscure Crimean valley and lasted only 20 minutes - but the Charge of the Light Brigade was a defining moment in history, and as its leader Cardigan instantly became a national hero.;Yet the Balaclava incident was merely one of several peaks in Cardigan's career, which included the most remarkable proceedngs for divorce, criminal conversation, and criminal libel; one of the greatest court-marshal scandals of the century; a very public and un-Victorian love affair with a woman less than half his age; and a number of "matters of honour", one of which earned him the distinction of beng the only Victorian peer to be tried by the House of Lords.;This is the biography of a controversial and fascinating figure, which in the process offers a portrayal of the Crimean War and of 19th-century military society.
The rise of the English middle class from the mid-19th century onwards is one of the great untold stories of social history. Many of the most profound cultural changes of the 20th century - the rise of concepts like professionalism, privacy, respectability, consumerism, the centrality of home - were driven by the inexorable expansion of the suburban middle class. The original BBC2 series (broadcast in early 2001) combined interviews from over 50 people telling their own stories with comment and analysis by prominent historians and sociologists. The book shares its structure but explores the subject in much greater depth.
This last volume spans the period between 1815 and 1901. It draws to a close when the British Empire is at its peak - with a staggering one-fifth of the human race presided over by the longest reigning monarch in British history. Queen Victoria. As with the other volumes it is a history not only of the English-speaking peoples, but also fo the world that they inhabit. Churchill traces the footsteps of these inhabitants, whether it is to Canada and South Africa, Australia and New Zealand or across the Atlantic Ocean to the United States. He charts the rise of Germany and the unification of Italy, and examines the situation in the Balkans in 1878 - all of which had a deep and lasting impact on the geography of the European continent today. RECOVERY AND REFORM Victory Peace; Canning and the Duke; Reform and Free Trade; Crimean War; Palmerston; Migration of the Peoples: Canada and South Africa; Migration of the Peoples: Australia and New Zealand THE GREAT REPUBLIC American Epic; Slavery and Secession; Union in Danger; Campaign Against Richmond; Lee and McClellan; Chancellorsville and Gettysburg; Victory of the Union THE VICTORIAN AGE Rise of Germany; Gladstone and Disraeli; American 'Reconstruction'; America as a World-Power; Home Rule for Ireland; Lord Salisbury's Governments; South African War
This single volume study of Wellington's life and times is based on modern research. Wellington achieved fame as a soldier fighting the Mahratta in India. His later brilliant generalship fighting the French in Spain was rewarded by a dukedom and a grant from the house of Commons which would today be worth some u8 million. After his defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo he embarked on his second career as a politician. He was appointed Commander-in-Chief of the army for life, became Prime Minister in 1827 and a byword for High Toryism while presiding over the emancipation of Roman Catholics and the formation of the country's first police force. Unhappily married, he had several mistresses and many intimate friendships with women."
Victorian cities, so long the object of derision as a byword for deprivation, are now celebrated as an urban ideal. They are widely heralded among modern planners and politicians for their active citizenship, local democracy, and civic spirit. This is a history of the ideas that shaped not only London, but Manchester, Glasgow, Liverpool, Leeds, Birmingham, Sheffield and other power-houses of 19th-century Britain. It charts the controversies and visions that fostered Britain's greatest civic renaissance.;Tristram Hunt explores the horrors of the Victorian city, as seen by Dickens, Engels and Carlyle; the influence of the medieval Gothic ideal of faith, community and order espoused by Pugin and Ruskin; the reaction led by Macaulay and Mill, who were repelled by the faux medievalism of the early Victorian years and who championed progress and industry; the pride in self-government, identified with the Saxons as opposed to the Normans; the identification with the city republics of the Italian renaissance - commerce, trade and patronage; the change from the civic to the municipal, and greater powers over health, education and housing, especially in Joe Chamberlain's Birmingham; and finally at the end of the century, the retreat from the urban to the rural ideal, led by William Morris and the garden-city movement of Ebenezer Howard.
Florence Nightingale is history's most famous nurse, the epitome of gentle, nurturing femininity. But behind the public image of 'The Lady With the Lamp' was a brilliant, combative, complicated woman, struggling to escape a web of social prejudice and familial expectations. From girlhood, Florence wanted to dedicate her life to nursing in public hospitals, even though nursing was then work done only by women of the lowest classes. Florence's family - her father WEN, her mother Fanny, her elder sister Parthenope - were determined to stop her. Eventually Florence had her way, and her nursing mission took her to the filthy, disease-ridden military hospitals of Scutari and Balaclava. Her work during the Crimean War made her an international heroine, and thereafter she wielded an influence over public health policy that was unparalleled for a woman of the time. Radical in her ideas, eccentric in her way of life, Florence was often at war with her family, but love and loyalty always triumphed in the end. The other three Nightingales adored and criticised her, understood and misread her, supported and thwarted her, defined and were defined by her. Nightingales brings the dynamic and compl
In this fascinating new biography Ian Kelly reveals the man who changed the way we dress forever - and how his life reflects upon and has influenced our own 21st century culture. Beau Brummell's life is a riveting story of unparalleled fame, fashion and admiration followed by a descent into poverty and madness. The man who put Saville Row on the map, who could win friends, political arguments or the favours of women with apparent effortlessness, and who was responsible for some of the wittiest put-downs in history, Brummell created the myth of the British gent typified by wit, style, sex, and the finest tailoring in the world. In this biography Ian Kelly brings the clothes, fashions and people of Regency England vividly to life. Brummell's life is a mirror to his own age and also to our own. Part Andy Warhol, part David Beckham, part Oscar Wilde - Brummell became famous by virtue of his image at a time when the modern concept of 'celebrity' was first termed. This is the man with cause to be considered the father of the cult of personality - to be considered, indeed, as the first true 'celebrity'.
On his deathbed in 1820 Queen Victoria's father, the Duke of Kent, left his widow and baby daughter in the care of his dashing aide-de-camp Captain John Conroy. A decade later Sir John Conroy, as he then was, appeared as a knight in shining armour, totally in control of the Duchess of Kent's household and of Victoria. How was it then that only five short years later the Heiress Presumptive had brought about his downfall?;Historians have long been baffled by the power wielded by this shrewd and opportunistic organizer, who was later assumed to be an embezzler and a sham. Using unpublished material from the Conroy papers in Balliol College, Oxford, and from the Royal Archives, Katherine Hudson reveals with humour and irony the secret delusion on which Sir John's dominance was based.
Darwin's voyage on The Beagle to Tierra del Fuego and the Galapagos Islands is hailed as a pivotal point in history for discovery and the explanation of man's very being. Nick Hazlewood shatters this purely romantic notion to reveal that along with the flora and fauna collected, island children were brought back too.;Jemmy Button, so called because explorers threw a pearl button at his father in recompense for his life, was one of the "savages" torn from his pacific island family and brought back to Britain. He was taught English, dressed in British clothes and paraded to the British establishment. Such was the desire to meet him that the Royal family invited him to tea. He was an object of curiosity and fascination. Jemmy was ferried back and forth to his homeland as part of a grand experiment which ended disastrously and shockingly. Hazlewood tells this fascinating story for the first time.
A portrait of Sarah Churchill, first Duchess of Marlborough (1660-1744), this volume discusses one of the most powerful, influential and fascinating women of her times.;Castigated for traits which might have been applauded in a man, Sarah was famously described by Dr Johnson as a "good hater". She was instrumental in the Glorious Revolution of 1688 and became a strident advocate of Whig principles. She supervised the building of Blenheim Palace and Marlborough House, and managed some 27 other estates.;Sarah was a compulsive and compelling writer, narrating the major events of her day with herself often at centre-stage. This biography brings her own passionate, intelligent voice to the fore and casts a critical eye over images of the Duchess in art, history and literature.
The photographic team which has put this project together has scoured the country for original venues, unchanged since Shakespeare's time, to give a reconstruction of the key stages of his life and times - the bawdiness, the passion, the perils of plague, and the spectacle of public execution. All this is brought to life through colour photographs, so that the world's most successful writer is revealed as a living, breathing person.
This is the story of the great English courtesans and their glittering era.;During the course of the 18th and 19th centuries a small group of women rose from impoverished obscurity to positions of great power, independence and wealth. In doing so they took control of their lives - and those of other people - and made the world do their will. Men ruined themselves in desperate attempts to gain and retain a courtesan's favours, but she was always courted for far more than sex. In an age in which women were generally not well educated she was often unusually literate and literary, courted for her conversation as well as her physical company.;Courtesans were extremely accomplished, and exerted a powerful influence as leaders of fashion and society. They were not received at Court, but inhabited their own parallel world - the demi-monde - complete with its own hierarchies, etiquette and protocol. They were queens of fashion, linguists, musicians, accomplished at political intrigue and, of course, possessors of great erotic gifts. Even to be seen in public with one of the great courtesans was a much-envied achievement.;In "Courtesans" Katie Hickman focuses on the exceptional stories of five outstanding women. Sophia Baddeley, Elizabeth Armistead, Harriette Wilson, Cora Pearl and Catherine Walters may have had very different personalities and talents, but their lives exemplify the dazzling existence of the courtesan.
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