New and forthcoming

Hearts And Minds

Jane Robinson (and others)

Set against the colourful background of the entire campaign for women to win the vote, Hearts and Minds tells the remarkable and inspiring story of the suffragists' march on London.

1913: the last long summer before the war. The country is gripped by suffragette fever. These impassioned crusaders have their admirers; some agree with their aims if not their forceful methods, while others are aghast at the thought of giving any female a vote.

Meanwhile, hundreds of women are stepping out on to the streets of Britain. They are the suffragists: non-militant campaigners for the vote, on an astonishing six-week protest march they call the Great Pilgrimage. Rich and poor, young and old, they defy convention, risking jobs, family relationships and even their lives to persuade the country to listen to them.

This is a story of ordinary people effecting extraordinary change. By turns dangerous, exhausting and exhilarating, the Great Pilgrimage transformed the personal and political lives of women in Britain for ever. Jane Robinson has drawn from diaries, letters and unpublished accounts to tell the inside story of the march, against the colourful background of the entire suffrage campaign.

Fresh and original, full of vivid detail and moments of high drama, Hearts and Minds is both funny and incredibly moving, important and wonderfully entertaining.

White King

Leanda de Lisle

Less than forty years after the golden age of Elizabeth I, England was at war with itself. The bloody, devastating civil wars set family against family, friend against friend. At the head of this disintegrating kingdom was Charles I. His rule would change the face of the monarchy for ever.

Charles I’s reign is one of the most dramatic in history, yet Charles the man remains elusive. Too often he is recalled as weak and stupid, his wife, Henrietta Maria, as spoilt and silly: the cause of his ruin. In this portrait -- informed by newly disclosed manuscripts, including letters between the king and his queen -- Leanda de Lisle uncovers a Charles I who was principled and brave, but also fatally blinkered. He is revealed as a complex man who pays the price for bringing radical change; Henrietta Maria as a warrior queen and political player as impressive as any Tudor. Here too are the cousins who befriended and betrayed them: the peacocking Henry Holland, whose brother engineered the king’s fall; and the magnetic ‘last Boleyn girl’, Lucy Carlisle.

This is a tragic story for our times, of populist politicians and religious war, of a new media and the reshaping of nations, in which women vied with men for power. For Charles it ended on the scaffold. Condemned as a traitor and murderer, he was also heralded as a martyr: his reign destined to sow the seeds of democracy across Britain and the New World.

Paul Sinha's History Revision: The Complete Series 1-3

Paul Sinha (and others)

In his fascinating and hilarious BBC Radio 4 stand up show, comedian and quizzer Paul Sinha shines a light on the important historical moments that you never got taught at school, and explains why so much of what you did learn is wrong. There will also, as ever, be puns.

He explains how Portugal's invasion of Morocco in 1415 led directly to the 2014 World Cup; how the 1909 launch of an Austro-Hungarian submarine prevented Dr Zhivago from winning an Oscar; and the story of the black woman who refused to give up a seat on an Alabama bus and ended up changing the law - no, it wasn't Rosa Parks.

"Sinha's gift for finding humour in it all makes him worth a listen" - The Telegraph

Paul Sinha is an acclaimed stand-up who was nominated for the Edinburgh Comedy award for his show Saint or Sinha?. He frequently appears on The News Quiz, The Now Show, and Fighting Talk, and he is a resident 'chaser' on the ITV quiz show The Chase. He wrote and starred in The Sinha Test (2011) and The Sinha Games (2012) on Radio 4 and in 2013 had his own four-part series, Paul Sinha's Citizenship Test.

Paul Sinha’s History Revision was the winner of the 2016 Rose d’Or Award for 'Best Radio Comedy'.

Written and performed by: Paul Sinha
Producer: Ed Morrish

McMafia

Misha Glenny

Now a major BBC series

Have you ever illegally downloaded a DVD? Taken drugs? Fallen for a phishing scam?

Organised crime is part of all our worlds - often without us even knowing. McMafia is a journey through the new world of international organised crime, from gunrunners in Ukraine to money launderers in Dubai, by way of drug syndicates in Canada and cyber criminals in Brazil.

This edition comes with a new introduction and epilogue from author Misha Glenny.

On Writing History from Herodotus to Herodian

none (and others)

What is history and how should it be written? This important new anthology, translated and edited by Professor John Marincola, contains all the seminal texts that relate to the writing of history in the ancient world.

The study of history was invented in the classical world. Treading uncharted waters, writers such as Plutarch and Lucian grappled with big questions such as how history should be written, how it differs from poetry and oratory, and what its purpose really is. This book includes complete essays by Dionysius, Plutarch and Lucian, as well as shorter pieces by Pliny the Younger, Cicero and others, and will be an essential resource for anyone studying history and the ancient world.

Diary of an Ordinary Schoolgirl

Margaret Forster

23 February
Results rolling in! Algebra, 6th = 74%. Not bad. Latin = 55% Thrilled! History top = 85% smashing! Geography, disgusting, 2nd = 67%.

In 1954 in Carlisle lived an ordinary 15-year-old schoolgirl called Margaret. She would go on to become an acclaimed writer, the author of the novels Georgy Girl and Diary of an Ordinary Woman as well as biographies and memoirs. But this is her diary from that year; her life. Hers might be a lost world, but her daily observations bring it back in vivid, irresistible detail.

7 May
Wonderful feat accomplished yesterday by Roger Bannister! At last, the 4 minute mile. Glad an Englishman got it before anyone else.

24 July
Bought a pair of shorts – white, very short with two pockets. Super but rather daring!

2 September
Mum’s coming back on Saturday. Miss her every minute! I'll never marry and have a family -- housekeeping for two for a week is bad enough -- but for life!

Beneath Another Sky

Norman Davies

'He writes history like nobody else. He thinks like nobody else ... He sees the world as a whole, with its limitless fund of stories' Byan Appleyard, Sunday Times

Where have the people in any particular place actually come from? What are the historical complexities in any particular place? This evocative historical journey around the world shows us.

'Human history is a tale not just of constant change but equally of perpetual locomotion', writes Norman Davies. Throughout the ages, men and women have endlessly sought the greener side of the hill. Their migrations, collisions, conquests and interactions have given rise to the spectacular profusion of cultures, races, languages and polities that now proliferates on every continent.

This incessant restlessness inspired Davies's own. After decades of writing about European history, and like Tennyson's ageing Ulysses longing for one last adventure, he embarked upon an extended journey that took him right round the world to a score of hitherto unfamiliar countries. His aims were to test his powers of observation and to revel in the exotic, but equally to encounter history in a new way. Beneath Another Sky is partly a historian's travelogue, partly a highly engaging exploration of events and personalities that have fashioned today's world - and entirely sui generis.

Davies's circumnavigation takes him to Baku, the Emirates, India, Malaysia, Mauritius, Tasmania, Tahiti, Texas, Madeira and many places in between. At every stop, he not only describes the current scene but also excavates the layers of accumulated experience that underpin the present. He tramps round ancient temples and weird museums, summarises the complexity of Indian castes, Austronesian languages and Pacific explorations, delves into the fate of indigenous peoples and of a missing Malaysian airliner, reflects on cultural conflict in Cornwall, uncovers the Nazi origins of Frankfurt airport and lectures on imperialism in a desert oasis. 'Everything has its history', he writes, 'including the history of finding one's way or of getting lost.'

The personality of the author comes across strongly - wry, romantic, occasionally grumpy, but with an endless curiosity and appetite for knowledge. As always, Norman Davies watches the historical horizon as well as what is close at hand, and brilliantly complicates our view of the past.

James I (Penguin Monarchs)

Thomas Cogswell

James's reign marked one of the rare breaks in England's monarchy. Already James VI of Scotland, he rode south on Elizabeth I's death to become James I of England and Ireland, uniting the British Isles for the first time and founding the Stuart dynasty which would, with several lurches, reign for over a century. His descendant still occupies the throne.

Thomas Cogswell's dramatic new biography brings James to life as a complex, learned, curious man and great survivor, one who drastically changed court life in London and presided over the Authorized Version of the Bible and the establishment of English settlements across the globe. Although he failed to unite England and Scotland, he insisted that ambassadors acknowledge him as King of Great Britain, and that vessels from both countries display a version of the current Union Flag.

Cogswell tells the story of James's personal life and private passions as much as his public achievements. James was often accused of being too informal and insufficiently regal - but when his son, Charles I, decided to redress these criticisms in his own reign he was destroyed. This is a vivid portrait of an often underappreciated monarch.

Cnut (Penguin Monarchs)

Ryan Lavelle

Cnut, or Canute, is one of the great 'what ifs' of English history. The Dane who became King of England after a long period of Viking attacks and settlement, his reign could have permanently shifted eleventh-century England's rule to Scandinavia. Stretching his authority across the North Sea to become king of Denmark and Norway, and with close links to Ireland and an overlordship of Scotland, this formidable figure created a Viking Empire at least as plausible as the Anglo-Norman Empire that would emerge in 1066.

Ryan Lavelle's illuminating book cuts through myths and misconceptions to explore this fascinating and powerful man in detail. Cnut is most popularly known now for the story of the king who tried to command the waves, relegated to a bit part in the medieval story, but as this biography shows, he was a conqueror, political player, law maker and empire builder on the grandest scale, one whose reign tells us much about the contingent nature of history.

George I (Penguin Monarchs)

Tim Blanning

George I was not the most charismatic of the Hanoverian monarchs to have reigned in England but he was probably the most important. He was certainly the luckiest.

Born the youngest son of a landless German duke, he was taken by repeated strokes of good fortune to become, first the ruler of a major state in the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation and then the sovereign of three kingdoms (England, Ireland and Scotland).

Tim Blanning's incisive short biography examines George's life and career as a German prince, and as King. Fifty-four years old when he arrived in London in 1714, he was a battle-hardened veteran, who put his long experience and deep knowledge of international affairs to good use in promoting the interests of both Hanover and Great Britain. When he died, his legacy was order and prosperity at home and power and prestige abroad. Disagreeable he may have been to many, but he was also tough, determined and effective, at a time when other European thrones had started to crumble.

Darkest Hour

Anthony McCarten

From the prize-winning screenwriter of The Theory of Everything, this is a cinematic, behind-the-scenes account of a crucial moment which takes us inside the mind of one of the world's greatest leaders - and provides a revisionist, more rounded portrait of his leadership.

May, 1940. Britain is at war, European democracies are falling rapidly and the public are unaware of this dangerous new world. Just days after his unlikely succession to Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, faces this horror - and a sceptical King and a party plotting against him. He wonders how he can capture the public mood and does so, magnificently, before leading the country to victory.

It is this fascinating period that Anthony McCarten captures in this deeply researched, gripping day-by-day (and often hour-by-hour) narrative. In doing so he revises the familiar view of Churchill - he made himself into the iconic figure we remember and changed the course of history, but through those turbulent and dangerous weeks he was plagued by doubt, and even explored a peace treaty with Nazi Germany. It's a scarier, and more human story, than has ever been told.

Global Discontents

Noam Chomsky (and others)

'If I were a voter in Britain, I would vote for [Jeremy Corbyn]' - Noam Chomsky, 2017

Global Discontents is an essential guide to geopolitics and how to fight back, from the world's leading public intellectual

What kind of world are we leaving to our grandchildren? How are the discontents kindled today likely to blaze and explode tomorrow?

From escalating climate change to the devastation in Syria, pandemic state surveillance to looming nuclear war, Noam Chomsky takes stock of the world today. Over the course of ten conversations with long-time collaborator David Barsamian, spanning 2013-2016, Chomsky argues in favour of radical changes to a system that cannot possibly cope with what awaits tomorrow.

Interwoven with personal reflections spanning from childhood to his eighth decade of life, Global Discontents also marks out Chomsky's own intellectual journey, mapping his progress to revolutionary ideas and global prominence.