1666 was a watershed year for England. An outbreak of the Great Plague, the eruption of the second Dutch War, and the devastating Great Fire of London all struck the country in rapid succession and with devastating repercussions.
Shedding light on these dramatic events and their context, historian Rebecca Rideal reveals an unprecedented period of terror and triumph. Based in original archival research drawing on little-known sources, 1666 opens with the fiery destruction of London before taking readers on a thrilling journey through a crucial turning point in English history as seen through the eyes of an extraordinary cast of historical characters.
While the central events of this significant year were ones of devastation and defeat, 1666 also offers a glimpse of the incredible scientific and artistic progress being made at that time, from Isaac Newton's discovery of gravity to the establishment of The London Gazette. It was in this year that John Milton completed Paradise Lost, Frances Stewart posed for the iconic image of Britannia, and a young architect named Christopher Wren proposed a plan for a new London--a stone phoenix to rise from the charred ashes of the old city.
With flair and style, 1666 exposes readers to a city and a country on the cusp of modernity and a series of events that altered the course of history.
Julius Caesar has been assassinated. A nation is in mourning. Revenge will be bloody. Rome's great hero Julius Caesar has been brutally murdered by his most trusted allies. While these self-appointed Liberatores seek refuge in the senate, they have underestimated one man: Caesar's adopted son Octavian, a man whose name will echo through history as Augustus Caesar.
Uniting with his great rival Mark Antony, Octavian will stop at nothing to seek retribution from the traitors and avenge his father's death. His greatest hatred is reserved for Brutus, Caesar's childhood friend and greatest ally, now leader of the conspirators. As the people take to the streets of Rome, the Liberatores must face their fate. Some flee the city; others will not escape mob justice. Not a single one will die a natural death. And the reckoning will come for Brutus on the sweeping battlefield at Philippi.
In On Borrowed Time, Manne applies his brilliant mind to the topics that have shaped our world over the last five years, including climate change, the media, Australia's asylum seeker policy, and Wikileaks. This provocative and challenging book features essays on Donald Trump's alleged links to Russia, Malcolm Turnbull's leadership, the ideas driving Islamic State, and a searing critique of Jonathan Franzen's views on climate change activists.
The European Union is a besieged institution. It is struggling in vain to overcome the eurozone crisis and faces an influx of refugees not seen since World War II. The Schengen Agreement is a dead letter, and Britain stands on the brink of leaving altogether. The EU is unfit for the challenges of the coming age of increased global competition and high tech. In sum, the drive for an ever-closer union has set Europe on the wrong course: plunged it into depression, fuelled national antagonisms, debilitated democracy, and accelerated decline. In this pithy, rigorously argued book, leading historian John Gillingham examines a once great notion that soured long ago. From its postwar origins, through the Single Market, to the troubles of the present, Gillingham explains how Europe's would-be government became a force for anti-democratic centralization and inept policy-making. Brussels has inspired a world of illusion that now threatens to undo the undoubted achievements of integration. The EU: An Obituary is an urgent call to the political Left, Right, and Centre to act before it is too late.
In the last months of the war, Hitler ordered the poisoning, blocking, and wrecking of all ports across Europe; the destruction of all industries, railroads, bridges, utilities supplies, archives and museums in Europe; and the destruction of the most beautiful city in the world: Paris. Thanks to the determination and bravery of a few, including those who paid with their lives, Hitler's orders were often disobeyed. The result was a profound and lasting effect on the war and its aftermath.
In this fascinating and gripping book, Randall Hansen explores the extraordinary phenomenon of disobedience and its consequences: would Rommel have opened the Western Front to the Allies on July 20, 1944 had he not been shot up a few days earlier? Did Albert Speer single-handedly prevent the destruction of bridges, factories, towns,and all features of civilized life? Did the actions of one Prussian General save Paris from total devastation? And why were some German cities defended to the last man, leading to a great loss of life and the cities' complete destruction, while others surrendered without a fight?
This authoritative and fascinating introduction to the legends of history will reintroduce readers to the cyclopes, Minotaur and centaurs of the Ancient Greeks, as well as shedding light on the wider world of mythology.
The Midas Touch includes a stunning array of fascinating tales and gets to grips with the ancient stories of Aboriginal, Sumerian, Egyptian, Mesoamerican, Maori, Greek, Roman, Indian, Norse and Japanese cultures, encompassing legends from the most diverse societies and the most ancient cultures from across the globe.
In a concise yet comprehensive format, The Midas Touch is a wonderful evocation of the hugely entertaining stories and characters of mythology.
Here are the wittiest, wisest, most bonkers of the Guardian readers' comments on every subject from food (mostly quinoa), ethics (mostly guilt), politics (mostly angry), travel (mostly skiing), sport (mostly banter), sex and drugs (mostly awkward), culture (mostly harmless) and blocked comments and abuse (mostly baffling).
The Guardian community moderation team, frantically read, block and sift through thousands and thousands of comments from all over the world desperately trying to keep things on-topic, legal and enjoyable. Jacked up on coffee, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days of the year they work to preserve that most precious of things: conversation, opinion and the fundamental human right to be wrong on the internet. Here they've chosen the best readers' remarks from the Guardian's Comment is Free section.
Illustrated by the deadpan genius, Tom Gauld.
er's unlikely rise to power and his uncanny ability to manipulate his fellow man resulted in the deaths of millions of Europeans and a horrific world war, yet despite his colossal role in world history, he remains mythologized and, as a result, misunderstood. In Hitler, A.N. Wilson limns this mysterious figure with great verve and acuity, showing that it was Hitler's frightening normalcy,not some otherworldly evilness,that makes him so truly terrifying.
The Russian Revolution. Fairy tale, spy thriller, love story. One man's life during the last days of the Romanovs, beautifully imagined by award-winning author Marcus Sedgwick. Shortlisted for the Costa Children's Book Award.
Set in the rich and atmospheric landscape of Russia during the revolution that sent shockwaves around the world, this is the partly true story of Arthur Ransome - a writer accused of being a spy.
Fictionalising history and blending it with one man's real life, Marcus Sedgwick expertly crafts this innovative and stimulating novel of three parts - a fairy tale full of wise and foolish kings, princesses, wishes and magic; a bleak and threatening spy thriller, and a love story . . .
In the New York Times bestseller that the Washington Post called Lean In for misfits, Sophia Amoruso shares how she went from dumpster diving to founding one of the fastest-growing retailers in the world.
Amoruso spent her teens hitchhiking, committing petty theft, and scrounging in dumpsters for leftover bagels. By age twenty-two she had dropped out of school, and was broke, directionless, and checking IDs in the lobby of an art school--a job she'd taken for the health insurance. It was in that lobby that Sophia decided to start selling vintage clothes on eBay. Flash forward to today, and she's the founder of Nasty Gal and the founder and CEO of Girlboss. Sophia was never a typical CEO, or a typical anything, and she's written #GIRLBOSS for other girls like her: outsiders (and insiders) seeking a unique path to success, even when that path is windy as all hell and lined with naysayers.
#GIRLBOSS proves that being successful isn't about where you went to college or how popular you were in high school. It's about trusting your instincts and following your gut; knowing which rules to follow and which to break; when to button up and when to let your freak flag fly.
A witty and cleverly told account . . . It's this kind of honest advice, plus the humorous ups and downs of her rise in online retail, that make the book so appealing. --Los Angeles Times Amoruso teaches the innovative and entrepreneurial among us to play to our strengths, learn from our mistakes, and know when to break a few of the traditional rules. --Vanity Fair #GIRLBOSS is more than a book . . . #GIRLBOSS is a movement. --Lena Dunham
A body is found crushed to death in the London snow. There are no footprints anywhere near. It is almost as if the man was killed by the air itself. This is the first in a series of attacks that sees a handful of London's most prominent occultists murdered. While pursuing the case, Holmes and Watson have to travel to Scotland to meet with the one person they have been told can help: Aleister Crowley.
Children throughout the developed world are suffering: instances of obesity, dyslexia, ADHD, bad behaviour and so on are all on the rise. And it's not simply that our willingness to diagnose has increased; there are very real and growing problems. Sue Palmer, a former head teacher and literacy expert, has researched a whole range of problem areas, from poor diet, lack of exercise and sleep deprivation to a range of modern difficulties that are having a major effect: television, computer games, mobile phones. This combination of factors, added to the increasingly busy and stressed life of parents, means that we are developing a toxic new generation. TOXIC CHILDHOOD illustrates the latest research from around the world and provides answers for worried parents as to how they can protect their families from the problems of the modern world and help ensure that their children emerge as healthy, intelligent and pleasant adults.
Soon we will all decide if and how indigenous Australians will be recognised in the constitution. In this essential book, several leading indigenous writers and thinkers provide a road map to recognition.
These eloquent essays show what constitutional recognition means, and what it could make possible- a fairer relationship and a renewed appreciation of an ancient culture. With remarkable clarity and power, they traverse law, history and culture to map the path to change.
The contributors to A Rightful Place are Noel Pearson, Stan Grant, Rachel Perkins, Damien Freeman, Rod Little and Jackie Huggins, and the book includes a foreword by Galarrwuy Yunupingu. A Rightful Place is edited by Shireen Morris, a lawyer and constitutional reform fellow at the Cape York Institute and researcher at Monash University.
'The day we come to regard ourselves as people with a distinct heritage, with distinct cultures and languages but not of a distinct race, will be a day of psychological liberation. And it will also be liberating for those in the wider community.' Noel Pearson
'A watershed moment for this country, a call for us to deal with unfinished business that tarnishes our nation a a landmark essay' Patricia Karvelas, The Australian
ABBEY’S BOOKSELLER PICK —— I read Marlon James' 700 page novel over the Christmas break in the Summer of 2015. Every night my mind would travel to Jamaica, finding itself outside the beaches and safe tourist zones full of bars, restaurants and shops. I never saw those. My time in Jamaica was spent running with the raggedy young men brandishing their weapons and listening to their braggadocio peppered with, no… smothered in juvenile misogyny. It takes a while for me to grasp that their childish talk is precisely because they are still children - boys not men.
The structure of the book is interesting. No chapters as such but instead we have alternating first-person viewpoints of events and goings-on. Often we return to a person, getting more of their specific world view. I found the monologues from ganglords Papa Lo and Josey Wales to be particularly striking. Like the TV series The Wire, we gradually build an understanding of the many forces at play between the key players - the CIA, the politicians, the rival gangs, and life in the ghettos.
Some readers will struggle with the Jamaican patois. I loved it, gradually tuning in to the meaning and use of words and phrases. If you can handle that then you will be rewarded with an epic and detailed story around the violent exploitation of poverty-stricken youth towards the aims of political power struggles. Craig Kirchner
A musical, electric, fantastically profane epic that explores the tumultuous world of Jamaica over the past three decades. New York Times
Marlon James combines brilliant storytelling with his unrivalled skills of characterisation and meticulous eye for detail to forge an enthralling novel of dazzling ambition and scope.
Jamaica, 1976: On December 3, just before the Jamaican general election and two days before Bob Marley was to play the Smile Jamaica Concert to ease political tensions in Kingston, seven gunmen stormed the singer's house, machine guns blazing. The attack wounded Marley, his wife, and his manager, and injured several others. Little was officially released about the gunmen, but much has been whispered, gossiped and sung about in the streets of West Kingston. Rumours abound regarding the assassins fates, and there are suspicions that the attack was politically motivated. The reggae superstar survives, but leaves Jamaica the following day, not to return for two years.
Inspired by this near-mythic event, James delves deep into this dangerous and unstable time in Jamaica's history and beyond. This is an imagined oral biography, told by ghosts, witnesses, killers, members of parliament, drug dealers, conmen, beauty queens, FBI and CIA agents, reporters, journalists, and even Keith Richards' drug dealer.
Marlon James's dazzling novel is a tour de force. It traverses strange landscapes and shady characters, as motivations are examined - and questions asked - in a masterpiece of imagination.
Justice and retribution are inextricably linked, and no one can truly escape his fate.
It's 1327 and England is in turmoil. King Edward II has been removed from the throne and his son installed in his place. The old man's rule had proved a disaster for the realm and many hope that his removal may mean the return of peace to England's cities.
Keeper of the King's Peace Sir Baldwin de Furnshill and his friend Bailiff Simon Puttock had been tasked with guarding Edward II, but they have failed in their task and now ride fast to Exeter to inform the sheriff of the old king's escape.
In Exeter, the sheriff has problems of his own. Overnight the body of a young maid has been discovered, lying bloodied and abandoned in a dirty alleyway. The city's gates had been shut against the lawlessness outside, so the perpetrator must still lie within the sanctuary of the town.
When Baldwin de Furnshill arrives, along with Sir Richard de Welles, a companion of old, he is tasked with uncovering the truth behind this gruesome murder. But, in a city where every man hides a secret, his task will be far from easy...
A New York Times 2016 Notable Book A major new biography--an extraordinary, penetrating study of the man who has become the personification of evil. Ullrich reveals Hitler to have been an eminently practical politician--and frighteningly so. Timely... One of the best works on Hitler and the origins of the Third Reich to appear in recent years. --Kirkus Reviews An outstanding study... All the huge, and terrible moments of the early Nazi era are dissected...but the real strength of this book is in disentangling the personal story of man and monster. --The Guardian (U.K.)
For all the literature about Adolf Hitler there have been just four seminal biographies; this is the fifth, a landmark work that sheds important new light on Hitler himself. Drawing on previously unseen papers and a wealth of recent scholarly research, Volker Ullrich reveals the man behind the public persona, from Hitler's childhood to his failures as a young man in Vienna to his experiences during the First World War to his rise as a far-right party leader. Ullrich deftly captures Hitler's intelligence, instinctive grasp of politics, and gift for oratory as well as his megalomania, deep insecurity, and repulsive worldview.
Many previous biographies have focused on the larger social conditions that explain the rise of the Third Reich. Ullrich gives us a comprehensive portrait of a postwar Germany humiliated by defeat, wracked by political crisis, and starved by an economic depression, but his real gift is to show vividly how Hitler used his ruthlessness and political talent to shape the Nazi party and lead it to power. For decades the world has tried to grasp how Hitler was possible. By focusing on the man at the center of it all, on how he experienced his world, formed his political beliefs, and wielded power, this riveting biography brings us closer than ever to the answer. Translated from the German by Jefferson Chase.