Nicholas Crane - The Making Of The British Landscape - Orion Publishing Group

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    • ISBN:9780297856665
    • Publication date:13 Oct 2016
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    • ISBN:9780753826676
    • Publication date:05 Oct 2017

The Making Of The British Landscape

From the Ice Age to the Present

By Nicholas Crane

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The history of 12,000 years of the British landscape, from the Ice Age to the twenty-first century, by prize-winning author Nicholas Crane, co-presenter of COAST.

How much do we really know about the place we call 'home'? In this sweeping, timely book, Nicholas Crane tells the story of Britain.

The British landscape has been continuously occupied by humans for 12,000 years, from the end of the Ice Age to the twenty-first century. It has been transformed from a European peninsula of glacier and tundra to an island of glittering cities and exquisite countryside.

In this geographical journey through time, we discover the ancient relationship between people and place and the deep-rooted tensions between town and countryside.

The twin drivers of landscape change - climate and population - have arguably wielded as much influence on our habitat as monarchs and politics. From tsunamis and farming to Roman debacles and industrial cataclysms, from henge to high-rise and hamlet to metropolis, this is a book about change and adaptation. AS Britain lurches from an exploitative past towards a more sustainable future, this is the story of our age.

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  • ISBN: 9780297857358
  • Publication date: 13 Oct 2016
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  • Imprint: W&N
'Ambitious, magnificent . . . Crane is excellent at describing climate, geology and shifting shorelines, but is at his best when plaiting together earth-shaping events with humankind and civilisation' — Andrea Wulf, Guardian
'Pungent, dramatic and drawing deeply on recent research . . . a geographer's love letter to the British and the land that formed them - and which they transformed over many millennia of creative labour. As such, it is dramatic, lyrical and even inspiring, and given all those rocks, remarkably readable' — James McConnachie, SUNDAY TIMES
'This is a magnificent, epic work by a national treasure . . . Nothing escapes his eye . . . and the sweep of history, brought to life in superb prose, is oddly moving. A tour de force' — Bel Mooney, DAILY MAIL
'Crane's book earns its place in the pantheon and it will hopefully inspire a passion for our landscapes in a new generation of readers' — Richard J Mayhew, LITERARY REVIEW
'The book I admired most was Nicholas Crane's The Making of the British Landscape as panoramic as it is revelatory' — Tom Holland, OBSERVER Books of the Year
'The book I want most for Christmas is the satisfyingly hefty The Making of the British Landscape by the ever reliable Nicholas Crane' — Bill Bryson, OBSERVER Books of the Year
'Crane provides a masterful account of how landscapes were settled and shaped' — THE NATIONAL
'A definitive, encyclopaedic read and an evocative paean to the evolution of our scenery by the vastly knowledgeable BBC presenter, Nick Crane. A revealing glimpse of the Britain that once was and how we made it the place it is today' — BBC COUNTRYFILE
'Nicholas Crane's sweeping The Making of the British Landscape shows how fragile are the views we love best, and how critical it is to guard them' — Simon Jenkins, EVENING STANDARD
'This is his greatest work for those curious to understand the geographical layers that have shaped Great Britain. From diminishing ice to the peak of our London urban Shard, Crane has captured the chronology of change of our landscapes, full of facts, imagination and archaeology' — Nigel Winser, GEOGRAPHICAL
W&N

Unnatural Murder: Poison In The Court Of James I

Anne Somerset
Authors:
Anne Somerset

'Wonderfully dramatic ... Probably the juiciest court scandal of the past 500 years' Christopher Hudson, DAILY MAIL'A sordid yet fascinating story' Antonia Fraser, THE TIMESIn the autumn of 1615 the Earl and Countess of Somerset were detained on suspicion of having murdered Sir Thomas Overbury. The arrest of these leading court figures created a sensation. The young and beautiful Countess of Somerset had already achieved notoriety when she had divorced her first husband in controversial circumstances. The Earl of Somerset was one of the richest and most powerful men in the kingdom, having risen to prominence as the male 'favourite' of England's homosexual monarch, James I.In the coming weeks it was claimed that, after sending Sir Thomas Overbury poisoned tarts and jellies, the Somersets had finally killed him by arranging for an enema of mercury sublimate to be administered. In a vivid narrative, Anne Somerset unravels these extraordinary events, which were widely regarded as an extreme manifestation of the corruption and vice that disfigured the court during this period. It is, at once, a story rich in passion and intrigue and a murder mystery, for, despite the guilty verdicts, there is much about Overbury's death that remains enigmatic. Infinitely more than a gripping personal tragedy, the Overbury murder case profoundly damaged the monarchy, and constituted the greatest court scandal in English history.

W&N

The Company of Trees

Thomas Pakenham
Authors:
Thomas Pakenham
Orion

Richard III

Chris Skidmore
Authors:
Chris Skidmore
W&N

Watling Street

John Higgs
Authors:
John Higgs

A journey along one of Britain's oldest roads, from Dover to Anglesey, in search of the hidden history that makes us who we are today.Long ago a path was created by the passage of feet tramping through endless forests. Gradually that path became a track, and the track became a road. It connected the White Cliffs of Dover to the Druid groves of the Welsh island of Anglesey, across a land that was first called Albion then Britain, Mercia and eventually England and Wales. Armies from Rome arrived and straightened this 444 kilometres of meandering track, which in the Dark Ages gained the name Watling Street. Today, this ancient road goes by many different names: the A2, the A5 and the M6 Toll. It is a palimpsest that is always being rewritten.Watling Street is a road of witches and ghosts, of queens and highwaymen, of history and myth, of Chaucer, Dickens and James Bond. Along this route Boudicca met her end, the Battle of Bosworth changed royal history, Bletchley Park code breakers cracked Nazi transmissions and Capability Brown remodelled the English landscape. The myriad people who use this road every day might think it unremarkable, but, as John Higgs shows, it hides its secrets in plain sight. Watling Street is not just the story of a route across our island, but an acutely observed, unexpected exploration of Britain and who we are today, told with wit and flair, and an unerring eye for the curious and surprising.

W&N

Emigrants

James Evans
Authors:
James Evans

During the course of the seventeenth century nearly 400,000 people left Britain for the Americas, most of them from England. Crossing the Atlantic was a major undertaking, the voyage long and treacherous. There was little hope of returning to see the friends and family who stayed behind. Why did so many go? A significant number went for religious reasons, either on the MAYFLOWER or as part of the mass migration to New England; some sought their fortunes in gold, fish or fur; some went to farm tobacco in Virginia, a booming trade which would enmesh Europe in a new addiction. Some went because they were loyal to the deposed Stuart king, while others yearned for an entirely new ambition - the freedom to think as they chose. Then there were the desperate: starving and impoverished people who went because things had not worked out in the Old World and there was little to lose from trying again in the New. EMIGRANTS casts light on this unprecedented population shift - a phenomenon that underpins the rise of modern America. Using contemporary sources including diaries, court hearings and letters, James Evans brings to light the extraordinary personal stories of the men and women who made the journey of a lifetime.

Gollancz

The Shape Of Things To Come

H.G. Wells
Authors:
H.G. Wells

When a diplomat dies in the 1930s, he leaves behind a book of 'dream visions' he has been experiencing, detailing events that will occur on Earth for the next two hundred years. This fictional 'account of the future' (similar to LAST AND FIRST MEN by Olaf Stapledon) proved prescient in many ways, as Wells predicts events such as the Second World War, the rise of chemical warfare and climate change.

Orion

Forging On

Catherine Robinson
Authors:
Catherine Robinson

'Wonderfully warm and funny' Cathy Woodman, bestselling author of Trust Me I'm A VetWill is a Yorkshire lad, through and through. He's in his element when he's outside in the country air, not stuck in a classroom wasting his youth and the beauty of Yorkshire. When he starts as an apprentice farrier, his first few days are a baptism of fire. His fellow apprentice is a wind-up merchant and his gruff boss, Stanley, ribs him mercilessly about his tea drinking habit. But in this chaotic environment, the three of them form a brotherhood, and soon, Will realises that the coming year is going to teach him a lot more than how to shoe a horse properly...A charming story full of dry Yorkshire humour and warmth - a must-read for fans of James Herriot, Clare Balding, Countryfile and The Shepherd's Life.

W&N

Stiff Upper Lip

Alex Renton
Authors:
Alex Renton

'A brave and necessary book' GUARDIAN'Shocking, gripping and sobering' SUNDAY TELEGRAPHThis is the story of generations of parents, Britain's richest and grandest, who believed that being miserable at school was necessary to make a good and successful citizen. Childish suffering was a price they accepted for the preservation of their class, and their entitlement. The children who were moulded by this misery and abuse went on - as they still do - to run Britain's public institutions and private companies.Confronting the truth of his own schooldays and the crimes he witnessed, Alex Renton has revealed a much bigger story. It is of a profound malaise in the British elite, shown up by tolerance of the abuse of its own children that amounts to collusion. This culture and its traditions, and the hypocrisy, cronyism and conspiracy that underpin them, are key to any explanation of the scandals over sexual abuse, violence and cover-up in child care institutions that are now shocking the nation.As Renton shows, complicity in this is the bleak secret at the heart of today's British elite.

Orion

Master of Shadows

Neil Oliver
Authors:
Neil Oliver
Orion

Honeycote

Veronica Henry
Authors:
Veronica Henry

Before THE BEACH HUT ... there was HONEYCOTE.When you've got it all, why would you risk it all?The Liddiards have a wonderful life at Honeycote House: endless guests, parties and family fun. But unbeknownst to his wife Lucy, Mickey Liddiard has a few secrets.He's going to make some changes, though.1) Give his mistress the boot. Tricky, especially when she is head over heels in love with him.2) Get the family business back on its feet. Trickier, as Mickey's had his fingers in the till.3) Give up the booze. Trickiest. And he can't possibly do that until he's resolved steps one and two.He owes it to Lucy and the children. But it's going to take more than willpower, especially when there's more than one person with their eye on the brewery. And his house. And his wife ...After all, it's impossible to keep secrets in a village as small as Honeycote ...

W&N

Mail Obsession

Mark Mason
Authors:
Mark Mason

'FASCINATING' Daily Mail'FULL OF AMAZING FACTS' The QI ElvesEach of the United Kingdom's 124 postcode areas has a story to tell, an unexpected nugget to dust off and treasure. Mark Mason has embarked on a tour of the country, immersing himself in Britain's history on a roundabout journey from AB to ZE. On the lookout for interesting place names and unusual monuments, along the way he discovers what the Queen keeps in her handbag, why the Jack Russell has a white coat and how Jimi Hendrix got confused by the M1. At the same time Mason paints an affectionate portrait of Britain in the 21st century, from aggressive seagulls in Blackpool to 'seasoned' drinkers in Surrey. And his travels offer the perfect opportunity to delve into the history of the Royal Mail, complete with pillar boxes, posties and Penny Reds - plus Oscar Wilde's unconventional method of posting a letter. A playful mix of fact, anecdote and overheard conversation, MAIL OBSESSION pays homage to Britain's wonderful past and its curious present.

W&N

Empire of the Deep

Ben Wilson
Authors:
Ben Wilson
W&N

How to Create the Perfect Wife

Wendy Moore
Authors:
Wendy Moore

From the No.1 bestselling author of WEDLOCK. The Georgian scandal of one gentleman, two orphans and an experiment to create the ideal wife.This is the story of how Thomas Day, a young man of means, decided he could never marry a woman with brains, spirit or fortune. Instead, he adopted two orphan girls from a Foundling Hospital, and set about educating them to become the meek, docile women he considered marriage material. Unsurprisingly, Day's marriage plans did not run smoothly. Having returned one orphan early on, his girl of choice, Sabrina Sidney, would also fall foul of the experiment. From then on, she led a difficult life, inhabiting a curious half-world - an ex-orphan, and not quite a ward; a governess, and not quite a fiancée. But Sabrina also ended up figuring in the life of scientists and luminaries as disparate as Erasmus Darwin and Joseph Priestley, as well as that pioneering generation of women writers who included Fanny Burney, Maria Edgeworth and Anna Seward. In HOW TO CREATE THE PERFECT WIFE, Wendy Moore has found a story that echoes her concerns about women's historic powerlessness, and captures a moment when ideas of human development and childraising underwent radical change.

The Murder Room

Jack-in-the-Box

J. J. Connington
Authors:
J. J. Connington
W&N

The Offshore Islanders

Paul Johnson
Authors:
Paul Johnson

A history of the English people.In this much-acclaimed book, Paul Johnson looks back on two thousand years of English history and provides a radical interpretation of a remarkable people.Provocative and incisive, Johnson applies his journalistic skills to a shrewd analysis of the evolution of the English nation, charting the growth of the small but newly independent state, enveloped in the myths of the Dark Ages, into its modern-day status as a prominent player upon the world stage.

W&N

Vikings

Neil Oliver
Authors:
Neil Oliver

The Vikings famously took no prisoners, relished cruel retribution, and prided themselves on their blood-thirsty skills as warriors. But their prowess in battle is only a small part of their story, which stretches from their Scandinavian origins to America in the west and as far as Baghdad in the east. As the Vikings did not write their history, we have to discover it for ourselves, and that discovery, as Neil Oliver reveals, tells an extraordinary story of a people who, from the brink of destruction, reached a quarter of the way around the globe and built an empire that lasted nearly 200 years.Drawing on the latest discoveries that have only recently come to light, Neil Oliver goes on the trail of the real Vikings. Where did they emerge from? How did they really live? And just what drove them to embark on such extraordinary voyages of discovery over 1000 years ago? VIKINGS will explore many of these questions for the first time in an epic story of one of the world's great empires of conquest.

W&N

Perilous Question

Antonia Fraser
Authors:
Antonia Fraser

The two-year revolution that totally changed how Britain is governed.Internationally bestselling historian Antonia Fraser's new book brilliantly evokes one year of pre-Victorian political and social history - the passing of the Great Reform Bill of 1832. For our inconclusive times, there is an attractive resonance with 1832, with its 'rotten boroughs' of Old Sarum and the disappearing village of Dunwich, and its lines of most resistance to reform. This book is character-driven - on the one hand, the reforming heroes are the Whig aristocrats Lord Grey, Lord Althorp and Lord John Russell, and the Irish orator Daniel O'Connell. They included members of the richest and most landed Cabinet in history, yet they were determined to bring liberty, which whittled away their own power, to the country. The all-too-conservative opposition comprised Lord Londonderry, the Duke of Wellington, the intransigent Duchess of Kent and the consort of the Tory King William IV, Queen Adelaide. Finally, there were 'revolutionaries' and reformers, like William Cobbett, the author of RURAL RIDES.This is a book that features one eventful year, much of it violent. There were riots in Bristol, Manchester and Nottingham, and wider themes of Irish and 'negro emancipation' underscore the narrative. The time-span of the book is from Wellington's intractable declaration in November 1830 that 'The beginning of reform is the beginning of revolution', to 7th June 1832, the date of the extremely reluctant royal assent by William IV to the Great Reform Bill, under the double threat of the creation of 60 new peers in the House of Lords and the threat of revolution throughout the country. These events led to a total change in the way Britain was governed, a two-year revolution that Antonia Fraser brings to vivid dramatic life.

W&N

Victorian London

Liza Picard
Authors:
Liza Picard

From rag-gatherers to royalty, from fish knives to Freemasons: everyday life in Victorian LondonLike her previous books, this book is the product of the author's passionate interest in the realities of everyday life - and the conditions in which most people lived - so often left out of history books. This period of mid Victorian London covers a huge span: Victoria's wedding and the place of the royals in popular esteem; how the very poor lived, the underworld, prostitution, crime, prisons and transportation; the public utilities - Bazalgette on sewers and road design, Chadwick on pollution and sanitation; private charities - Peabody, Burdett Coutts - and workhouses; new terraced housing and transport, trains, omnibuses and the Underground; furniture and decor; families and the position of women; the prosperous middle classes and their new shops, e.g. Peter Jones, Harrods; entertaining and servants, food and drink; unlimited liability and bankruptcy; the rich, the marriage market, taxes and anti-semitism; the Empire, recruitment and press-gangs. The period begins with the closing of the Fleet and Marshalsea prisons and ends with the first (steam-operated) Underground trains and the first Gilbert & Sullivan.

W&N

Elizabeth's London

Liza Picard
Authors:
Liza Picard

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W&N

The Somme

Gary Sheffield
Authors:
Gary Sheffield