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A companion volume to the highly successful Field Guide to the Battlefields of South Africa, this features the pivotal sieges that characterised the Cape Frontier, Anglo-Zulu, Basotho and Anglo-Boer wars in one volume.
Accounts of 17 sieges over the last two centuries explore in detail the historical context in which they occurred, the day-to-day military actions that sustained the investments and the conditions both soldiers and civilians faced while defending their territory against a hostile force. The siege descriptions are animated by maps and a variety of information boxes and human-interest stories, gleaned from diaries, letters and eye-witness accounts, while longer features focus on the practical aspects of siege warfare, such as artillery, medicine, food, and the psychological effects of besiegement. The book also provides practical information for visitors who wish to explore these historical sites.
A fascinating read that will appeal to anyone interested in the volatile history of the country – armchair historians and travellers alike.
'To say that Atkinson can tell a story is like saying Sinatra can sing ... A powerful new voice has been added to the dialogue about [America's] origins as a people and a nation. It is difficult to imagine any reader putting this beguiling book down without a smile and a tear.' New York Times In June 1773, King George III attended a grand celebration of his reign over the greatest, richest empire since ancient Rome. Less than two years later, Britain's bright future turned dark: after a series of provocations, the king's soldiers took up arms against his rebellious colonies in America. The war would last eight years, and though at least one in ten of the Americans who fought for independence would die for that cause, the prize was valuable beyond measure: freedom from oppression and the creation of a new republic. Rick Atkinson, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning An Army at Dawn and two other superb books about the Second World War has long been admired for his unparalleled ability to write deeply researched, stunningly vivid narrative history. In this new book, he tells the story of the first twenty-one months of America's violent effort to forge a new nation. From the battles at Lexington and Concord in spring 1775 to those at Trenton and Princeton in winter 1776-77, American militiamen and then the ragged Continental Army take on the world's most formidable fighting force and struggle to avoid annihilation. It is a gripping saga alive with astonishing characters: Henry Knox, the former bookseller with an uncanny understanding of artillery; Nathanael Greene, the blue-eyed bumpkin who becomes one of America's greatest battle captains; Benjamin Franklin, the self-made man who proves himself the nation's wiliest diplomat; George Washington, the commander in chief who learns the difficult art of leadership when the war seems all but lost. Full of riveting details and untold stories, The British Are Coming is a tale of heroes and knaves, of sacrifice and blunder, of redemption and profound suffering. Rick Atkinson has given stirring new life to the first act of America's creation drama.
The Sunday Times Number 1 Bestseller 'A fabulous story, superbly told ... cannot be bettered' Max Hastings 'Some battles change nothing. Waterloo changed almost everything.' On the 18th June 1815 the armies of France, Britain and Prussia descended upon a quiet valley south of Brussels. In the previous three days the French army had beaten the British at Quatre-Bras and the Prussians at Ligny. The Allies were in retreat. The blood-soaked battle of Waterloo would become a landmark in European history, to be examined over and again, not least because until the evening of the 18th, the French army was close to prevailing on the battlefield. Now, brought to life by the celebrated novelist Bernard Cornwell, this is the chronicle of the four days leading up to the actual battle and a thrilling hour-by-hour account of that fateful day. In his first work of non-fiction, Cornwell combines his storytelling skills with a meticulously researched history to give a riveting account of every dramatic moment, from Napoleon's escape from Elba to the smoke and gore of the battlefields. Through letters and diaries he also sheds new light on the private thoughts of Napoleon and the Duke of Wellington, as well as the ordinary officers and soldiers. Published to coincide with the bicentenary in 2015, Waterloo is a tense and gripping story of heroism and tragedy - and of the final battle that determined the fate of Europe.
Days after the assassination of his prime minister in the middle of Rome in November 1848, Pope Pius IX found himself a virtual prisoner in his own palace. The wave of revolution that had swept through Europe now seemed poised to put an end to the popes' thousand-year reign over the Papal States, if not indeed to the papacy itself. Disguising himself as a simple parish priest, Pius escaped through a back door. Climbing inside the Bavarian ambassador's carriage, he embarked on a journey into a fateful exile. Only two years earlier Pius's election had triggered a wave of optimism across Italy. After the repressive reign of the dour Pope Gregory XVI, Italians saw the youthful, benevolent new pope as the man who would at last bring the Papal States into modern times and help create a new, unified Italian nation. But Pius found himself caught between a desire to please his subjects and a fear-stoked by the cardinals-that heeding the people's pleas would destroy the church. The resulting drama-with a colorful cast of characters, from Louis Napoleon and his rabble-rousing cousin Charles Bonaparte to Garibaldi, Tocqueville, and Metternich-was rife with treachery, tragedy, and international power politics. David Kertzer is one of the world's foremost experts on the history of Italy and the Vatican, and has a rare ability to bring history vividly to life. With a combination of gripping, cinematic storytelling, and keen historical analysis rooted in an unprecedented richness of archival sources, The Pope Who Would Be King sheds fascinating new light on the end of rule by divine right in the west and the emergence of modern Europe.
Her personal life riven by passion, illness and intrigue, Queen Anne presided over some of the most momentous events in British history. Like Antonia Fraser's life of Marie Antoinette or Amanda Foreman's `The Duchess', `Queen Anne' is historical biography at its best. In 1702, fourteen years after she helped oust her father from his throne and deprived her newborn half-brother of his birthright, Queen Anne inherited the crowns of England and Scotland. Childless, despite seventeen pregnancies that had all either ended in failure or produced heartrendingly short-lived children, in some respects she was a pitiable figure. But against all expectation she proved Britain's most successful Stuart ruler. Her reign was marked by many triumphs, including union with Scotland and glorious victories in war against France. It was also marked by controversy: Anne's close relationship with Sarah, the outspoken wife of the Duke of Marlborough, turned to rancor with Sarah's startling claim of the Queen's lesbian infatuation with another lady-in-waiting, Abigail Masham. Traditionally depicted as a weak ruler dominated by female favourites and haunted by remorse at having deposed her father, Queen Anne emerges as a woman whose unshakeable commitment to duty enabled her to overcome private tragedy and painful disabilities, and set her kingdom on the path to greatness.
As the railroads opened up the American West to settlers in the last half of the 19th Century, the Plains Indians made their final stand and cattle ranches spread from Texas to Montana. Eminent Western author Dee Brown here illuminates the struggle between these three groups as they fought for a place in this new landscape. The result is both a spirited national saga and an authoritative historical account of the drive for order in an uncharted wilderness, illustrated throughout with maps, photographs and ephemera from the period.
`Victorians Undone is the most original history book I have read in a long while' Daily Mail A SUNDAY TIMES BOOK OF THE YEAR * AN OBSERVER BOOK OF THE YEAR A groundbreaking account of what it was like to live in a Victorian body from one of our best historians. Why did the great philosophical novelist George Eliot feel so self-conscious that her right hand was larger than her left? Exactly what made Darwin grow that iconic beard in 1862, a good five years after his contemporaries had all retired their razors? Who knew Queen Victoria had a personal hygiene problem as a young woman and the crisis that followed led to a hurried commitment to marry Albert? What did John Sell Cotman, a handsome drawing room operator who painted some of the most exquisite watercolours the world has ever seen, feel about marrying a woman whose big nose made smart people snigger? How did a working-class child called Fanny Adams disintegrate into pieces in 1867 before being reassembled into a popular joke, one we still reference today, but would stop, appalled, if we knew its origins? Kathryn Hughes follows a thickened index finger or deep baritone voice into the realms of social history, medical discourse, aesthetic practise and religious observance - its language is one of admiring glances, cruel sniggers, an implacably turned back. The result is an eye-opening, deeply intelligent, groundbreaking account that brings the Victorians back to life and helps us understand how they lived their lives.
Handelsryk in die Ooste is die tweede deel van ’n vyfdelige reeks oor vroeŽ blanke vestiging aan die Kaap.
In diť deel beskryf Karel Schoeman die totstandkoming en bestuur van die Verenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie (VOC) se uitgebreide handelsnetwerk in die gebied van die Indiese Oseaan gedurende die sewentiende eeu. Vir die meeste Suid-Afrikaanse lesers wat maar min kennis van die VOC het, bied hierdie boek besonder baie insigte en word die stigting van die klein verversingspos aan die Kaap die Goeie Hoop in 1652 in konteks geplaas. Dit gee byvoorbeeld aandag aan die groot intra-Asiatiese handelsnetwerk wat selfs voor die koms van die Portugese en Spaanse ontdekkingsreisigers in die gebied bestaan het, aan die wedywering tussen die seevarende moondhede Portugal, Nederland, Engeland en Frankryk om vastrapplek in verskillende Oosterse lande te kry en aan die soms bloedige stryd om monopolieŽ in die handel met kosbare produkte soos speserye, tekstiel en porselein te verkry.
’n Aantal hoofstukke word gewy aan Batavia, die VOC se administratiewe hoofstad: Vanuit die VOC-kantore is die retoervlote gekoŲrdineer; hiervandaan is verkenningstogte na die binneland onderneem; het die amptenary en ryk handelaars ’n swierige lewenstyl ontwikkel en het kosbare Oosterse meubels en tapyte modieus geword. Ten slotte word ook aandag aan die verskynsel van slawerny en die invloed wat dit gehad het op die koloniale lewe, ook aan die Kaap.
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.
Kolonie aan die Kaap is die derde van vyf boeke oor vroeŽ blanke vestiging aan die Kaap.
In diť deel vestig Karel Schoeman die aandag op die eerste blanke intrekkers. Die VOC (Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie), het in 1651 besluit om in Tafelbaai ’n verversingspos te stig ten behoewe van die Kompanjie se skeepvaart tussen Nederland en die Ooste en dis met hierdie doel dat kommandeur Jan van Riebeeck in Desember van daardie jaar met sy vlootjie van vyf skepe na die Kaap uitgeseil het.
Die eerste hoofstuk gee aandag aan Van Riebeeck se lewe en loopbaan tot en met hierdie datum en in die tweede hoofstuk word die werksaamhede rondom die vestiging van die verversingspos aan die hand van Van Riebeeck se dagboeke en briewe en die geskrifte van vroeŽ besoekers beskryf. Die omstandighede van die pioniersgroepie wat uitvoering aan Van Riebeeck se opdragte en ambisieuse planne moes gee, word in hoofstuk 3 bespreek. Aanvanklik moes alle lewensmiddele, gereedskap, saad, plantjies en selfs perde uit die Ooste ingevoer word. ’n Fort, wat skuiling en beskerming teen wilde diere en vyandige Khoi-stamme moes gee, is in 1666 voltooi. Hoe die verskillende sosiale groeperinge soos die hoŽ amptenare, die ambagsmanne, soldate en slawe in diť Fort gewerk, geleef en soms ook gesterf het, die onthale, kerk- en gebedsdienste en militÍre parades kom in hoofstuk 4 aan die bod.
’n Klein klompie hoŽ Kompanjiesamptenare was deel van die Kaapse nedersetting, maar dit was hoofsaaklik uit die groter groep werksvolk, soldate en matrose dat die latere vryburgers afkomstig was. Die uiters moeilike omstandighede, teenslae en mislukkings van die aanvanklike groepie van nege, maar ook die enkele suksesverhale, word in hoofstuk 7 bespreek. Die boek sluit af met ’n oorsig oor Van Riebeeck se latere loopbaan in die Ooste en sy oorlye in 1677.
'This was much more than a bunch of guys out on an exploring and collecting expedition. This was a military expedition into hostile territory'. In 1803 President Thomas Jefferson selected his personal secretary, Captain Meriwether Lewis, to lead a pioneering voyage across the Great Plains and into the Rockies. It was completely uncharted territory; a wild, vast land ruled by the Indians. Charismatic and brave, Lewis was the perfect choice and he experienced the savage North American continent before any other white man. UNDAUNTED COURAGE is the tale of a hero, but it is also a tragedy. Lewis may have received a hero's welcome on his return to Washington in 1806, but his discoveries did not match the president's fantasies of sweeping, fertile plains ripe for the taking. Feeling the expedition had been a failure, Lewis took to drink and piled up debts. Full of colourful characters - Jefferson, the president obsessed with conquering the west; William Clark, the rugged frontiersman; Sacagawea, the Indian girl who accompanied the expedition; Drouillard, the French-Indian hunter - this is one of the great adventure stories of all time and it shot to the top of the US bestseller charts. Drama, suspense, danger and diplomacy combine with romance and personal tragedy making UNDAUNTED COURAGE an outstanding work of scholarship and a thrilling adventure.
In 1707 is die Nederlander Hermanus Bosman as sieketrooster van die gemeente Drakenstein aangestel. Hy is getroud met die dogter van 'n Franse Hugenoot, en oor die volgende honderd jaar het hy en sy afstammelinge prominente inwoners van die distrikte Paarl en Stellenbosch geword.
Die Bosmans van Drakenstein bevat transkripsies van ongeveer 'n honderd briewe, ander persoonlike geskrifte, gedigte en dokumente uit die tydperk 1705–1842 wat met hierdie familie in verband staan, en toon veral hul belangstelling in godsdienstige en kerklike aangeleenthede en hul aktiewe betrokkenheid by die Theronsaak wat die gemeente Drakenstein jare lank verdeel het.
Die transkripsies is geannoteer, en voorsien van uitvoerige inleidings waarin hulle in hul sosiale en historiese konteks geplaas en verdere inligting oor die familie gegee word.
Die grootskaalse verhuising van boere aan die Kaapkolonie se oosgrens, ín gebeurtenis wat later as die Groot Trek bekend sou word, was teen 1835 reeds in volle swang. Uiteindelik het bykans 10 000 siele huis en haard met ossewaens en veetroppe verlaat met die ideaal: om in die ongetemde Suid-Afrikaanse binneland ín eie staat en samelewing tot stand te bring. Wie was hierdie Trekkers waarvan die geskiedenis vertel? Hulle was tog mense van vlees en bloed, wat gelag en gehuil, geeet, geslaap en gedroom het. Hoe het hulle die talle struikelblokke op die trekpad oorkom? Was daar tyd vir pret en plesier of was elke dag ín stryd om oorlewing? Op trek, die resultaat van omvattende kultuurhistoriese navorsing wat met die oog op die 150ste herdenking van die Groot Trek gedoen is, het die eerste keer in 1988 verskyn. Buiten teks, bevat dit fotoís en illustrasies wat ín nabyblik gee op die daaglikse lewe tydens die Groot Trek Ė aan die hand van wat beeldende kunstenaars verewig het en persoonlike besittings van die Trekkers wat behoue gebly het, soos dagboeke godsdienstige en ander boeke, wapens, kledingstukke, gebruiksartikels en fotoís.
In this compelling history of the men and ideas that radically changed the course of world history, Lawrence James investigates how, within a hundred years, Europeans persuaded and coerced Africa into becoming a subordinate part of the modern world. The continent was a magnet for the high-minded, the philanthropic, the unscrupulous and the insane. Visionary pro-consuls rub shoulders with missionaries, explorers, soldiers, adventurers, engineers, big-game hunters, entrepreneurs and physicians. Eminent historian Lawrence James narrates how between 1830 and 1945, Britain, France, Belgium, Germany, Portugal and Italy exported their languages, laws, culture, religions, scientific and technical knowledge and economic systems to Africa. The colonial powers imposed administrations designed to bring stability and peace to a continent that seemed to lack both. The justification for emancipation from slavery (and occupation) was the common assumption that the late nineteenth-century Europe was the summit of civilization. This magnificent history also pauses to ask: what did not happen and why?
When slavery was a routine part of life in America's South, a secret network of activists and escape routes enabled slaves to make their way to freedom in what is now Canada. The 'underground railroad' has become part of folklore, but one part of the story is only now coming to light. In New York, a city whose banks, business and politics were deeply enmeshed in the slave economy, three men played a remarkable part, at huge personal risk. In Gateway to Freedom, Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Eric Foner tells the story of Sydney Howard Gay, an abolitionist newspaper editor; Louis Napoleon, furniture polisher; and Charles B. Ray, a black minister. Between 1830 and 1860, with the secret help of black dockworkers, the network led by these three men helped no fewer than 3,000 fugitives to liberty. The previously unexamined records compiled by Gay offer a portrait of fugitive slaves who passed through New York City - where they originated, how they escaped, who helped them in both North and South, and how they were forwarded to freedom in Canada.
Die bewindsoorname van 'n oorwegend swart regerende party in 1994 het 'n nuwe beleid ten opsigte van grondbesit in Suid-Afrika ingelui. Hierdie beleid is daarop ingestel om die wanbalans wat grondbesit betref reg te stel, dus om van die blanke grondeienaars, wat by verre die grootste deel van die landbougrond besit, grond weg te neem en dit aan die swart bevolkingsgroep, wat tussen 75% en 80% van die totale landsbevolking uitmaak, beskikbaar te stel. Die veronderstelling is dat die meeste blanke grondeienaars (of hulle voorsate) die grond wat hulle besit wederregtelik bekom het en dit daarom nou aan die 'regmatige' eienaars moet teruggee. Daar bestaan ook 'n persepsie dat alle grond aan swart mense oorgedra moet word Ė dat die klok teruggedraai moet word na die tyd toe Afrika swart was en wit mense slegs in Europa eiendom besit het. Die skrywers vra die vraag of grondhervorming in Suid-Afrika wel enigsins haalbaar of nodig is? Kan die ander bevolkingsgroepe van die land, die wittes en gekleurdes, daarop aanspraak maak dat die land ook aan hulle behoort. Kan hulle dus se: 'Dit is ons land ook'?
The prize was great -- not just land, but the riches it held, in the form of diamonds and gold. What became a country called South Africa was, until 1910, a vast and untamed land where great fortunes could be made (and lost); where great battles were fought (and lost); and where great men had their reputations forged, or dashed, or sometimes both. Martin Meredith's follow-up to his magisterial The State of Africais an equally epic new history of the making of South Africa. Covering the extraordinarily eventful four decades leading up to the establishment of the Union of South Africa in 1910, it covers some of the most iconic tales of imperial history. The Zulus at Rorke's Drift; the Jameson Raid; the diamond and gold rushes at Kimberley and Witwatersrand; the Boer wars; the titanic struggle between the arch-imperialist Cecil Rhodes and his Boer rival, Paul Kruger -- DIAMONDS, GOLD AND WARbrings all of these and more together in a stunningly coherent and compelling narrative. History, somehow, just isn't as colourful any more.
The best political biography of the year' Jonathan Sumption, Spectator 'Wonderful . . . A Life so nearly complete it need never be written again' Ferdinand Mount, Times Literary Supplement By the author of the Orwell Prize-winning Citizen Clem Damned in coruscating verse by Shelley and Byron, his coffin hissed at during his funeral, Lord Castlereagh has one of the blackest reputations in British history. But as John Bew shows, this is but a half-drawn portrait. His gripping biography reveals a shy, inarticulate but passionate man; a towering political figure of implacable principles who redrew the map of Europe, fought a duel with a cabinet colleague and would tragically take his own life amid rumours of scandal and madness.
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