Simon Sebag Montefiore - Titans of History - Orion Publishing Group

Time remaining

  • -- days
  • -- hours
  • -- minutes
  • -- seconds
Other Formats
  • E-Book £P.O.R.
    More information
    • ISBN:9781474606479
    • Publication date:14 Sep 2017

Titans of History

The Giants Who Made Our World

By Simon Sebag Montefiore

  • Paperback
  • £12.99

The history of the world told through the entertaining, horrifying and inspiring characters that everyone should know

NEW EDITION - FEATURING UPDATED INTRODUCTION AND NEW CHAPTERS

The giant characters of history - from Mozart to Michelangelo, Shakespeare to Einstein, Henry VIII to Hitler, Catherine the Great to Margaret Thatcher, Jesus Christ to Genghis Khan ­- lived lives of astonishing drama and adventure, debauchery and slaughter, but they also formed our world and will shape our future. In this eclectic and surprising collection of short and entertaining life stories, Simon Sebag Montefiore introduces his choice of kings, empresses, sultans and conquerors, as well as prophets, explorers, artists, actresses, courtesans and psychopaths. From the ancient times, via crusades and world wars, up to the 21st century, this accessible history introduces readers to the titans who changed the world: the characters we should all know, and the stories we should never forget.

Biographical Notes

Simon Sebag Montefiore is a prizewinning historian whose bestselling books have been published in over forty-five languages. CATHERINE THE GREAT AND POTEMKIN was shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize; STALIN: THE COURT OF THE RED TSAR won the History Book of the Year Prize at the British Book Awards; YOUNG STALIN won the Costa Biography Award, LA Times Biography Prize and Le Grand Prix de Biographie; JERUSALEM: THE BIOGRAPHY was a number one bestseller and won the Jewish Book Council's Book of the Year prize; THE ROMANOVS: 1613-1918 was an international bestseller and won the Lupicaia del Terriccio Book Prize. Montefiore is also the author of the acclaimed novels SASHENKA, RED SKY AT NOON and ONE NIGHT IN WINTER, which won the Paddy Power Political Fiction Book of the Year Award. He read history at Cambridge University where he received his PhD, and now lives in London with his wife, the novelist Santa Montefiore, and their two children.
www.simonsebagmontefiore.com
@simonmontefiore
www.facebook.com/pages/Simon-Sebag-Montefiore

  • Other details

  • ISBN: 9781474606462
  • Publication date: 14 Sep 2017
  • Page count: 640
  • Imprint: W&N
Simon Sebag Montefiore is a master storyteller — EVENING STANDARD
Sparkling biographical essays ... A tour of the good, the bad and the ugly — MAIL ON SUNDAY
Entertaining and informative. Full of offbeat, fascinating detail — SUNDAY TELEGRAPH
Comprehensive, chilling and highly compelling. A first-class chronologically arranged catalogue that enagages as it teaches — DAILY EXPRESS
Compulsive reading ... We do not shudder at the depths to which men and women throughout history have sunk, but experience a piquant relish ... a book that reminds us how thin the veneer of civilisation is — THE TIMES
A survey of great historical figures favours villainy over goodness ... A compilation of short biographical profiles ... catering to our appalled fascination with evil. Monsters outnumber heroes. Stalin, the subject of Montefiore's superb two-volume biography, is the prototype for many of the maniacal autocrats whose rages and rampages are described here. A strutting parade of psychopathic dictators, warlords, malevolent dwarves ... Montefiore finds room for a few gods, one or two secular saints, American founding fathers, Lincoln and Churchill, and a smattering artists and scientists, but their achievements hardly manage to maintain the pretence of civilisation. What excites Montefiore is villainy ... and he does this with wicked verve — OBSERVER
W&N

The Real Lolita

Sarah Weinman
Authors:
Sarah Weinman

Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita is one of the most beloved and notorious novels of all time. And yet, very few of its readers know that the subject of the novel was inspired by a real-life case: the 1948 abduction of eleven-year-old Sally Horner.Weaving together suspenseful crime narrative, cultural and social history, and literary investigation, The Real Lolita tells Sally Horner's full story for the very first time. Drawing upon extensive investigations, legal documents, public records and interviews with remaining relatives, Sarah Weinman uncovers how much Nabokov knew of the Sally Horner case and the efforts he took to disguise that knowledge during the process of writing and publishing Lolita.Sally Horner's story echoes the stories of countless girls and women who never had the chance to speak for themselves. By diving deeper in the publication history of Lolita and restoring Sally to her rightful place in the lore of the novel's creation, The Real Lolita casts a new light on the dark inspiration for a modern classic.

Orion

Agent Jack: The True Story of MI5's Secret Nazi Hunter

Robert Hutton
Authors:
Robert Hutton

This is the incredible tale of Operation Fifth Column, a Second World War MI5 operation so secret that its existence was only revealed by the National Archives for the first time in 2014.Throughout the war and even for a couple of years afterwards, 'Agent Jack' - in reality, a bank clerk named Eric Roberts - acted as a Gestapo agent to whom hundreds of British-based Nazi sympathisers and informers passed their secrets, thinking that he was sending them back to Germany. Many were put on a salary by what they thought was the Third Reich and some were even 'awarded' Iron Crosses for their services to the Fatherland; they never found out the truth.Among the secrets they tried to pass were: a tip-off about Bletchley Park; details of the deadly Mosquito bomber; complete plans of a highly effective anti-radar technology codenamed WINDOW. The larger-than-life characters who populate the book include Roberts himself, the deceptively ordinary-seeming bank clerk; Maxwell Knight, who recruited Roberts; Victor Third Baron Rothschild, Roberts' spymaster, who did a sideline in bomb disposal using his Cartier screwdrivers; Theresa Clay, the distinguished biologist who co-ran the operation with Rothschild, but because she was a woman was only ever classified as an 'assistant'; Marita Perigoe, possibly the most dangerous of the fascists, who despite having her suspicions about Roberts, continued to recruit spies for him and pass him secrets to the end of the war.

Trapeze

Reader I Married Me

Sophie Tanner
Authors:
Sophie Tanner
W&N

The Favourite

Ophelia Field
Authors:
Ophelia Field

Sarah Churchill, first Duchess of Marlborough, was the glamorous and controversial subject of hundreds of satires, newspaper articles and publications both during her lifetime and after her death. Tied to Queen Anne by an intimate friendship, Sarah hoped to wield power equal to that of a government minister. When their relationship soured, she blackmailed Anne with letters revealing their intimacy and accused her of perverting the course of national affairs by keeping lesbian favourites - including Sarah's own cousin Abigail Masham.Sarah was a compulsive and compelling writer, narrating the major events of life at Blenheim Palace and at court with herself often centre-stage. Attacked for traits that might have been applauded in a man, she was also capable of inspiring intense love and loyalty, deeply committed to her principles and to living what she believed to be a virtuous life. This biography brings Sarah Churchill's own voice, passionate and intelligent, back to life, and casts a critical eye over images of the Duchess handed down through art, history and literature. Here is an unforgettable portrait of a woman who cared intensely about how we would remember her.

W&N

The Story of Britain

Roy Strong
Authors:
Roy Strong

THE CLASSIC HISTORY OF BRITAIN, FULLY UPDATEDRoy Strong has written an exemplary introduction to the history of Britain, as first designated by the Romans. It is a brilliant and balanced account of successive ages bound together by a compelling narrative which answers the questions: 'Where do we come from?' and 'Where are we going?'Beginning with the earliest recorded Celtic times, and ending with the present day of Brexit Britain, it is a remarkable achievement. With his passion, enthusiasm and wide-ranging knowledge, he is the ideal narrator. His book should be read by anyone, anywhere, who cares about Britain's national past, national identity and national prospects. Richly enjoyable, The Story of Britain will inform and enlighten readers as to how we arrived at where we are today - and why.

W&N

Daughters of the Winter Queen

Nancy Goldstone
Authors:
Nancy Goldstone
W&N

Istanbul

Bettany Hughes
Authors:
Bettany Hughes

Orion

Richard III

Chris Skidmore
Authors:
Chris Skidmore

The last Plantagenet king remains one of England's most famous and controversial monarchs. There are few parallels in English history that can match the drama of Richard III's reign, witnessed in its full bloody intensity. A dedicated brother and loyal stalwart to the Yorkist dynasty for most of his early life, Richard's personality was forged in the tribulation of exile and the brutality of combat. An ambitious nobleman and successful general with a loyal following, Richard was a man who could claim to have achieved every ambition in life, except one.Within months of his brother Edward IV's early death, Richard stunned the nation when he seized the throne for himself and disinherited his nephews. Having put to death his rivals, Richard's two-year reign would become one of the most tumultuous in English history, ending in treachery and with his death on the battlefield at Bosworth.Chris Skidmore's biography strips back the legends that surround Richard's life and reign, and by returning to original manuscript evidence, he rediscovers the man as contemporaries saw him. Rather than vindicate or condemn, Skidmore's compelling study presents every facet of Richard's personality as it deserves to be seen: as one of the most important figures in medieval history, whose actions and behaviour underline the true nature of power in an age of great drama, upheaval and instability.Read by Roger Davis(p) 2017 Orion Publishing Group

W&N

Pax Romana

Adrian Goldsworthy
Authors:
Adrian Goldsworthy

The Pax Romana is famous for having provided a remarkable period of peace and stability, rarely seen before or since. Yet the Romans were first and foremost conquerors, imperialists who took by force a vast empire stretching from the Euphrates in the east to the Atlantic coast in the west. Their peace meant Roman victory and was brought about by strength and dominance rather than co-existence with neighbours. The Romans were aggressive and ruthless, and during the creation of their empire millions died or were enslaved.But the Pax Romana was real, not merely the boast of emperors, and some of the regions in the Empire have never again lived for so many generations free from major wars. So what exactly was the Pax Romana and what did it mean for the people who found themselves brought under Roman rule?Acclaimed historian Adrian Goldsworthy tells the story of the creation of the Empire, revealing how and why the Romans came to control so much of the world and asking whether the favourable image of the Roman peace is a true one. He chronicles the many rebellions by the conquered, and describes why these broke out and why most failed. At the same time, he explains that hostility was only one reaction to the arrival of Rome, and from the start there was alliance, collaboration and even enthusiasm for joining the invaders, all of which increased as resistance movements faded away.A ground-breaking and comprehensive history of the Roman Peace, Pax Romana takes the reader on a journey from the bloody conquests of an aggressive Republic through the age of Caesar and Augustus to the golden age of peace and prosperity under diligent emperors like Marcus Aurelius, offering a balanced and nuanced reappraisal of life in the Roman Empire.

W&N

Emigrants

James Evans
Authors:
James Evans

AN EVENING STANDARD NO. 1 BESTSELLER'Marvellously engaging' THE TIMES'Brisk, informative and eye-opening' DAILY TELEGRAPHDuring 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.

W&N

The Husband Hunters

Anne de Courcy
Authors:
Anne de Courcy

Towards the end of the nineteenth century and for the first few years of the twentieth, a strange invasion took place in Britain. The citadel of power, privilege and breeding in which the titled, land-owning governing class had barricaded itself for so long was breached. The incomers were a group of young women who, fifty years earlier, would have been looked on as the alien denizens of another world - the New World, to be precise. From 1874 - the year that Jennie Jerome, the first known 'Dollar Princess', married Randolph Churchill - to 1905, dozens of young American heiresses married into the British peerage, bringing with them all the fabulous wealth, glamour and sophistication of the Gilded Age.Anne de Courcy sets the stories of these young women and their families in the context of their times. Based on extensive first-hand research, drawing on diaries, memoirs and letters, this richly entertaining group biography reveals what they thought of their new lives in England - and what England thought of them.

W&N

The Mesmerist

Wendy Moore
Authors:
Wendy Moore

Medicine, in the early 1800s, was a brutal business. Surgery was performed without anaesthesia, while conventional treatment relied on leeches, cupping and toxic potions. Two pioneering men of science aimed to change all this - the progressive physician John Elliotson, and Thomas Wakley, founder of The Lancet magazine. But when the flamboyant Baron Jules Denis Dupotet arrived in London to promote the latest craze that was sweeping through Europe - mesmerism - the scene was set for an explosive confrontation . . .

W&N

East West Street

Philippe Sands
Authors:
Philippe Sands

THE BRITISH BOOK AWARDS NON-FICTION BOOK OF THE YEAR 2017SUNDAY TIMES TOP 10 BESTSELLERWhen he receives an invitation to deliver a lecture in the Ukrainian city of Lviv, international lawyer Philippe Sands begins a journey on the trail of his family's secret history. In doing so, he uncovers an astonishing series of coincidences that lead him halfway across the world, to the origins of international law at the Nuremberg trial. Interweaving the stories of the two Nuremberg prosecutors (Hersch Lauterpacht and Rafael Lemkin) who invented the crimes or genocide and crimes against humanity, the Nazi governor responsible for the murder of thousands in and around Lviv (Hans Frank), and incredible acts of wartime bravery, EAST WEST STREET is an unforgettable blend of memoir and historical detective story, and a powerful meditation on the way memory, crime and guilt leave scars across generations.* * * * * 'A monumental achievement: profoundly personal, told with love, anger and great precision' John le Carré'One of the most gripping and powerful books imaginable' SUNDAY TIMESWinner:Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-fictionJQ-Wingate Literary PrizeHay Festival Medal for Prose

W&N

Lenin the Dictator

Victor Sebestyen
Authors:
Victor Sebestyen

Shortlisted for the Elizabeth Longford Prize for Historical BiographyVictor Sebestyen's intimate biography is the first major work in English for nearly two decades on one of the most significant figures of the twentieth century. In Russia to this day Lenin inspires adulation. Everywhere, he continues to fascinate as a man who made history, and who created a new kind of state that would later be imitated by nearly half the countries in the world.Lenin believed that the 'the political is the personal', and while in no way ignoring his political life, Sebestyen focuses on Lenin the man - a man who loved nature almost as much as he loved making revolution, and whose closest ties and friendships were with women. The long-suppressed story of his ménage a trois with his wife, Nadezhda Krupskaya, and his mistress and comrade, Inessa Armand, reveals a different character to the coldly one-dimensional figure of legend.Told through the prism of Lenin's key relationships, Sebestyen's lively biography casts a new light on the Russian Revolution, one of the great turning points of modern history.

W&N

The Romanovs

Simon Sebag Montefiore
Authors:
Simon Sebag Montefiore

The Romanovs were the most successful dynasty of modern times, ruling a sixth of the world's surface. How did one family turn a war-ruined principality into the world's greatest empire? And how did they lose it all?This is the intimate story of twenty tsars and tsarinas, some touched by genius, some by madness, but all inspired by holy autocracy and imperial ambition. Montefiore's gripping chronicle reveals their secret world of unlimited power and ruthless empire-building, overshadowed by palace conspiracy, family rivalries, sexual decadence and wild extravagance, and peopled by a cast of adventurers, courtesans, revolutionaries and poets. Written with dazzling literary flair, drawing on new archival research, THE ROMANOVS is at once an enthralling chronicle of triumph and tragedy, love and death, a universal study of power, and an essential portrait of the empire that still defines Russia today.

W&N

The Rival Queens

Nancy Goldstone
Authors:
Nancy Goldstone

Set in Renaissance France at the magnificent court of the Valois kings, THE RIVAL QUEENS is the history of two remarkable women, a mother and daughter driven into opposition by a terrible betrayal that threatened to destroy the realm. Catherine de' Medici, the infamous queen mother of France, was a consummate pragmatist and powerbroker who dominated the throne for 30 years. Her youngest daughter Marguerite, the glamorous 'Queen Margot', was a passionate free spirit, the only adversary whom her mother could neither intimidate nor control. When Catherine forces the Catholic Marguerite to marry her Protestant cousin Henry of Navarre against her will, and then uses her opulent Parisian wedding as a means of luring his Huguenot followers to their deaths, in the notorious St Bartholomew's Day Massacre of 1572, she creates not only savage conflict within France but also a potent rival within her own family. Rich in historical detail and vivid prose, Nancy Goldstone's narrative unfolds as a thrilling historical epic. Treacherous court politics, poisonings, international espionage and adultery form the background to a story whose fascinating array of characters include such celebrated figures as Elizabeth I, Mary, Queen of Scots, and Nostradamus. From Catherine's early struggles with her husband's exquisite mistress, Diane de Poitiers, and her exultant rise to power, through Marguerite's poignant sacrifice of love and happiness to save her husband's life, and ultimately to the political awakening that leads to a threat to her very survival, THE RIVAL QUEENS is a dangerous tale of love, betrayal, ambition and the true nature of courage, the echoes of which still resonate.

Orion

Operation Mayhem

Steve Heaney, MC, Damien Lewis
Authors:
Steve Heaney, MC, Damien Lewis

2,000 blood-crazed rebels. 26 elite British soldiers. One man's explosive true story.Airlifted into the heart of the Sierra Leone jungle in the midst of the bloody civil war in 2000, 26 elite operators from the secret British elite unit X Platoon were sent into combat against thousands of Sierra Leonean rebels.Notorious for their brutality, the rebels were manned with captured UN armour, machine-guns and grenade-launchers, while the men of X Platoon were kitted with pitiful supplies of ammunition, malfunctioning rifles, and no body armour, grenades or heavy weapons.Intended to last only 48 hours, the mission mutated into a 16-day siege against the rebels, as X Platoon were denied the back-up and air support they had been promised, and were forced to make their stand alone. The half-starved soldiers, surviving on bush tucker, fought with grenades made from old food-tins and defended themselves with barricades made of sharpened bamboo-sticks, tipped in poison given to them by local villagers.Sergeant Steve Heaney won the Military Cross for his initiative in taking command after the platoon lost their commanding officer. OPERATION MAYHEM recounts his amazing untold true story, full of the rough-and-ready humour and steely fortitude with which these elite soldiers carried out operations far into hostile terrain.

W&N

I Am Malala

Malala Yousafzai, Christina Lamb
Authors:
Malala Yousafzai, Christina Lamb

*Winner of the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize*When the Taliban took control of the Swat Valley, one girl fought for her right to an education. On Tuesday, 9 October 2012, she almost paid the ultimate price when she was shot in the head at point-blank range.Malala Yousafzai's extraordinary journey has taken her from a remote valley in northern Pakistan to the halls of the United Nations. She has become a global symbol of peaceful protest and is the youngest ever winner of the Nobel Peace Prize.I Am Malala will make you believe in the power of one person's voice to inspire change in the world.*****'Malala is an inspiration to girls and women all over the world' JK Rowling'Moving and illuminating' Observer'Inspirational and powerful' Grazia'Her story is astonishing' Spectator

W&N

The Second World War

Antony Beevor
Authors:
Antony Beevor
W&N

Dangerous Days in the Roman Empire

Terry Deary
Authors:
Terry Deary

DANGEROUS DAYS IN THE ROMAN EMPIRE is the first in a new adult series by Terry Deary, the author of the hugely bestselling Horrible Histories, popular among children for their disgusting details, gory information and sharp wit, and among adults for engaging children (and themselves) with history.The Romans have long been held up as one of the first 'civilised' societies, and yet in fact they were capable of immense cruelty. Not only that, but they made the killing of humans into a sport. The spoiled emperors were the perpetrators (and sometimes the victims) of some imaginative murders. DANGEROUS DAYS IN THE ROMAN EMPIRE will include some of the violent ways to visit the Elysian Fields (i.e. death) including: animal attack in the Coliseum; being thrown from the Tarpeian Rock - 370 deserters in 214 AD alone (or if the emperor didn't like your poetry); by volcanic eruption from Vesuvius; by kicking (Nero's fatal quarrel with the Empress Poppea); from poison mushrooms (Claudius); by great fires; torturous tarring; flogging to death; boiling lead (the invention of 'kind' Emperor Constantine); or being skinned alive by invading barbarians. DANGEROUS DAYS IN THE ROMAN EMPIRE looks at the back-story leading up to the victims' deaths, and in doing so gives the general reader a concise history of a frequently misunderstood era.