'Audacious', 'a page-turner' and ' has the makings of a feminist classic' INDEPENDENT A gripping and heartbreaking novel that reimagines life at Wuthering Heights through the eyes of the Earnshaws' loyal servant, Nelly Dean. Young Nelly Dean has been Hindley's closest companion for as long as she can remember, living freely at the great house, Wuthering Heights. But when the benevolence of the master brings a wild child into the house, Nelly must follow in her mother's footsteps, be called servant and give herself to the family completely. But Nelly is not the only one who must serve. When a new heir is born, a reign of violence begins that will test Nelly's spirit as she finds out what it is to know true sacrifice. Nelly Dean is a wonderment of storytelling, a heartbreaking accompaniment to Emily Bronte's adored work. It is the story of a woman who is fated to bear the pain of a family she is unable to leave, and unable to save.
Hendrickje, a girl from a strict Calvinist family leaves her provincial home to find work as a housemaid. She enters Rembrandt's flourishing workshop five years after the death of the great artist's wife, an event that continues to haunt him. It is a house full of secrets and desires, and Hendrickje soon witnesses a sexual encounter between Rembrandt and Geertje, his implacable housekeeper. She is shocked to the core by their intense carnality and yet, slowly, she is drawn to Rembrandt by the freshness with which he perceives the world and the special freedom he seems to possess. Rembrandt is a man of dark corners, strange passions and a ruthlessness born from his need to put his art first. An involvement with him could be her ruin or her liberty. Rembrandt's Mirror explores the three women of Rembrandt's life, and the towering passions of the artist, seen through the eyes of his last, great love, Hendrickje.
In the middle of the 15th century, scribe Peter Schoeffer is dismayed to be instructed by his father to give up his beloved profession of illuminating texts in Paris. Instead he is to travel to Mainz in Germany to be apprenticed to Johann Gutenberg, an entrepreneur who has invented a new process for producing books - the printing press.
Working in conditions of extreme secrecy, the men employed by Gutenberg daily face new challenges both artistic and physical as they strive to create the new books to the standard required by their master. In a time of huge turmoil in Europe and around the world, Gutenberg is relentless in pursuing his dream and wooing the powerful religious leaders whose support is critical. Peter's resistance to the project slowly dissolves as he sees that, with the guidance of a scribe such as himself, the new Bibles could be as beautiful in their way as the old.
Today we can see that beauty in some of our museums, but few know the astonishing tale of ambition, ruthlessness and triumph that lies behind it.
The year is 1883, and in New York City it's a time of dizzying splendor, crushing poverty, and tremendous change. With the gravity-defying Brooklyn Bridge nearly complete and the city in the grip of anti-vice crusader Anthony Comstock, Dr Anna Savard and her cousin, Sophie - both graduates of the Women's Medical School - treat the city's most vulnerable. Even when doing so puts all they've worked for in jeopardy...
For Anna, her role as a surgeon has placed her in the path of four children who have lost everything. Faced with their helplessness, Anna must make the unexpected choice between holding on to the pain of her past and letting love into her life. For Sophie, an obstetrician and the orphaned daughter of free people of color, helping a desperate young mother forces her to grapple with her doctor's oath - and thrusts her and Anna into Comstock's orbit, a dangerous man who considers himself the enemy of everything indecent, and of anyone who dares to defy him.
With its vivid depictions of old New York and its enormously appealing characters, The Gilded Hour is a captivating, emotionally gripping novel that proves Sara Donati is an author at the height of her powers.
The first unpublished novel from the historical fiction legend, George Macdonald Fraser, featuring the unscrupulous and brilliantly entertaining pirate, Calico Jack Rackham. New Providence, 1720s. When infamous pirate Captain 'Calico' Jack Rackham returns from the high seas to ask Governor Woodes Rogers for a royal pardon, the Governor sees his chance to put his own devious plans into action. Their agreement sets off an adventure of betrayals, counter-betrayals, plots and escapes that see Rackham join forces with the scheming but seductively beautiful pirate, Anne Bonney. Captain in Calico is a wonderfully spirited and entertaining novel, which will delight fans of George MacDonald Fraser. The unscrupulous Captain Rackham is pure pleasure, and shows the author's early penchant - and flair - for writing scoundrels of the highest order.
The Queen's Goddaughter. Her Favourite Maid. Her Deadliest Enemy?
Penelope Devereux is a legendary beauty in the court of Elizabeth I. But it's not just her looks that have won her favour. Her canny instincts and her skilled political manoeuverings have made her indispensable at court, though the Queen has reason not to trust her.
For Penelope hold Elizabeth responsible for the death of her father, the exile of her mother and her own failure to marry the one man she truly loved. And now she will do anything, make any sacrifice, to ensure her dynasty has a future.
But Penelope's secret letters of friendship to a foreign king - one who has a strong claim to the English throne - could, if exposed, see the once illustrious Devereux name in the gutter and her own head on the block.
In a world where sister is turned against brother, husband against wife, courtier against queen, the rules of the game are forever changing. And as the dying Queen's reign looks set to pass, Penelope will need all her wits to stay alive...
Rome never fell. The empire continued as Byzantium. This epic historical novel concerns one man's role in saving the empire. The Ottoman Turks are at the gates of Constantinople and Luke Magoris, descended from princes of England, has to find a fortune to build defences for his beloved Mistra, the last glorious outpost of Imperial Rome, as well as saving the Emperor. He turns to China, to the Ming Empire, for trade and to Renaissance Italy for its rapidly developing banks. Both are entirely new roles for Luke and his Varangian brotherhood and many pitfalls befall him. And yet the Varangian treasure - which only he can uncover - may hold the key to all. This is a rich tale of clashing empires, trade wars and tempestuous love. It was the age, the early fifteenth century, when the fate of the world hung on the survival of Byzantium; an age that made the modern world.
Beauty can be a gift...or a wicked temptation...So it is for Filippo Lippi, growing up in Renaissance Florence. He has a talent - not only can he see the beauty in everything, he can capture it, paint it. But while beauty can seduce you, and art can transport you - it cannot always feed you or protect you. To survive, Pippo Lippi, orphan, street urchin, budding rogue, must first become Fra Filippo Lippi: Carmelite friar, man of God. His life will take him down two paths at once. He will become a gambler, a forger, a seducer of nuns; and at the same time he will be the greatest painter of his time, the teacher of Botticelli and the confidante of the Medicis. So who is he really - lover, believer, father, teacher, artist? Which man? Which life? Is anything true except the paintings? An extraordinary journey of passion, art and intrigue, The Painter of Souls takes us to a time and place in Italy's history where desire reigns and salvation is found in the strangest of places.
War has destroyed all he knew. Now he must find a new way to live. The second Samurai adventure from David Kirk, perfect for fans of Conn Iggulden. Musashi Miyamoto's reputation precedes him. He is known as the greatest warrior of all time. But all that must change, for Miyamoto and his men have been defeated in the great battle of Sekigahara. Tens of thousands of men lie slaughtered and the Armies of the East have claimed a glorious victory. And now, alone but alive, he must contemplate his future. Until this moment he has lived and fought as a Samurai, proud of its ancient tradition, following The Way with honour. But in defeat he must question everything, and what he once saw as honour he now sees as ignorance. But tradition is strong and he is just one man. But though he seeks to throw off the past, the past will not let him go. His name is on a list of those who have dishonoured the Yoshioka warriors, and a man has been sent to claim is head in their name. And so, though he renounces violence, he must protect himself and seek revenge on those who would have him dead...
After ten years of uninterrupted war, blood and agony, the Trojans have finally been defeated. Odysseus and his men begin the epic journey of returning to Ithaca. Along the way, terrifying enemies await them: the cyclops Polyphemus, the lotus eaters who feast on narcotic flowers that give only oblivion, the sorceress who turns men into swine, and the deadly, enthralling sirens. Odysseus is determined to make his way home to Ithaca, where his beloved family have awaited him for many long years. But his journey will present him with new, terrible perils - ones that he could not have dreamed of even in his wildest nightmares. In this stunning new novel, Valerio Massimo Manfredi gives a new voice to one of the most adventurous and fascinating heroes of all time.
In the 18th century, Dawnay Price is an anomaly. An educated foundling, a woman of science in a time when such things are unheard-of, she overcomes her origins to become a natural philosopher. Against the conventions of the day, and to the alarm of her male contemporaries, she sets sail to Portugal to develop her theories. There she makes some startling discoveries - not only in an ancient cave whose secrets hint at a previously undiscovered civilisation, but also in her own heart. The siren call of science is powerful, but as war approaches she finds herself pulled in another direction by feelings she cannot control.
In the Wars of the Roses two remarkable women cunningly work the strings of succession...
Young, beautiful and French, Margaret of Anjou is hated when she marries England's ill-fated Henry VI. But when her husband goes mad and civil war erupts - pitting family against family and throwing the country into turmoil - Margaret must become a warrior queen, fighting for her husband's right to be king and her son's place as his heir.
Meanwhile heiress Margaret Beaufort is born into a troubled inheritance. Fiercely sought after by courtiers who want to be her guardian, or join with her by marriage, she is a pawn in a political game. Aged thirteen, she has married twice and birthed a son: the future King of England. But when he is ripped from her arms, her fight really begins.
Succession begins the intense and powerful story of the women who gave birth to the Tudor dynasty...
In fifteenth-century Constantinople, Prince Constantine saves the life of a broken-hearted girl. But the price of his valour is high. John Grant is a young man on the edge of the world. His unique abilities carry him from his home in Scotland to the heart of the Byzantine Empire in search of a girl and the chance to fulfil a death-bed promise. Lena has remained hidden from the men who have been searching for her for many years. When she's hunted down, at last she knows what she must do. With an army amassing beyond the city's ancient walls, the fates of these three will intertwine. As the Siege of Constantinople reaches its climax, each must make a choice between head and heart, duty and destiny.
The epic first instalment in a sequence of novels set at the end of the Roman Empire, during the reign of the Emperor Constantine. Centurion Aurelius Castus - once a soldier in the elite legions of the Danube - believes his glory days are over, as he finds himself in the cold, grey wastes of northern Britain, battling to protect an empire in decline. When the king of the Picts dies in mysterious circumstances, Castus is selected to guard the Roman envoy sent to negotiate with the barbarians beyond Hadrian's Wall. Here he will face the supreme challenge of command, in a mission riven with bloodshed and treachery, that tests his honour to the limit. As he struggles to avert disaster and keep his promise to a woman he has sworn to protect, Castus discovers that nothing about this doomed enterprise was ever what it seemed.