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 Favourite

Ophelia Field
Authors:
Ophelia Field
W&N

The Story of Britain

Roy Strong
Authors:
Roy Strong

This is a sweeping history of Britain which answers the questions: 'Where do we come from?' and 'Where are the we going?' When The Story of Britain was originally published to great acclaim in 1996, Andrew Roberts declared it 'classic popular history' and Antonia Fraser said 'History at its best'. Roy Strong's mission was to produce an accessible one-volume history which would clearly depict Britain's origins, and explain how the past shaped our current identity. He begins the story of Britain from the very earliest recorded Celtic times, and has now brought it right up to date via the Blair years and into the present day of Brexit Britain. It is a remarkable achievement and, 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.

W&N

Relish

Ruth Cowen
Authors:
Ruth Cowen

Alexis Soyer (1810-1858) was a working-class Frenchman from an unremarkable town north-west of Paris, but his exceptional cooking skills and ebullient personality turned him into Britain's first true celebrity chef. He was the first to publish a succession of best-selling cookbooks - one selling more than a quarter of a million copies, an extraordinary figure for the mid-nineteenth century. He was also the first to produce branded merchandise, including a remarkably ingenious stove that fitted in the pocket and bottled sauces decorated with his recognisable portrait. Ahead of his time, he nurtured a flamboyant public profile through a combination of brilliant self-publicity and shameless press manipulation.But his life's purpose both came into focus and found its dramatic climax when he renounced his sybaritic lifestyle and elected to travel, for no pay and in the face of real danger, across Europe first to Scutari and later to Balaclava, where thousands of British troops had died of disease and malnutrition during the first long, bitter winter of the Crimean war. One of the first to understand fully the rudiments of good nutrition and mass catering, Soyer had already introduced new principles of large-scale cookery to Ireland during the potato famine of 1847, and he extend his expertise to the British army with spectacular results. Long overlooked by historians, Ruth Cowen vividly recounts the life of a unique personality with a scholarly slice of Victorian history.

W&N

General Jack's Diary 1914-18

John Terraine
Authors:
John Terraine
W&N

Daughters of the Winter Queen

Nancy Goldstone
Authors:
Nancy Goldstone
W&N

Robert Peel

Douglas Hurd
Authors:
Douglas Hurd
W&N

Goodbye Europe

Various
Authors:
Various
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

Lenin the Dictator

Victor Sebestyen
Authors:
Victor Sebestyen

Victor 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's focus will be 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 the Russian Revolution, one of the great turning points of modern history.

W&N

Istanbul

Bettany Hughes
Authors:
Bettany Hughes
W&N

East West Street

Philippe Sands
Authors:
Philippe Sands
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, from Ivan the Terrible to Tolstoy, from Queen Victoria to Lenin.To rule Russia was both imperial-sacred mission and poisoned chalice: six tsars were murdered and all the Romanovs lived under constant threat to their lives. Peter the Great tortured his own son to death while making Russia an empire, and dominated his court with a dining club notable for compulsory drunkenness, naked dwarfs and fancy dress. Catherine the Great overthrew her own husband - who was murdered soon afterwards - loved her young male favourites, conquered Ukraine and fascinated Europe. Paul was strangled by courtiers backed by his own son, Alexander I, who faced Napoleon's invasion and the burning of Moscow, then went on to take Paris. Alexander II liberated the serfs, survived five assassination attempts, and wrote perhaps the most explicit love letters ever written by a ruler. THE ROMANOVS climaxes with a fresh, unforgettable portrayal of Nicholas and Alexandra, the rise and murder of Rasputin, war and revolution - and the harrowing massacre of the entire family.Written with dazzling literary flair, drawing on new archival research, THE ROMANOVS is at once an enthralling story 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

Augustus

Adrian Goldsworthy
Authors:
Adrian Goldsworthy

Caesar Augustus schemed and fought his way to absolute power. He became Rome's first emperor and ruled for forty-four years before dying peacefully in his bed. The system he created would endure for centuries. Yet, despite his exceptional success, he is a difficult man to pin down, and far less well-known than his great-uncle, Julius Caesar. His story is not always edifying: he murdered his opponents, exiled his daughter when she failed to conform and freely made and broke alliances as he climbed ever higher. However, the peace and stability he fostered were real, and under his rule the empire prospered. Adrian Goldsworthy examines the ancient sources to understand the man and his times.

W&N

The Audacious Crimes of Colonel Blood

Robert Hutchinson
Authors:
Robert Hutchinson

'THE AUDACIOUS CRIMES OF COLONEL BLOOD is television mini-series material ... the clash of blades, the whizzing bullets and galloping hooves guarantee nonstop adventure.' Jonathan Keates, LITERARY REVIEWOne morning in May 1671, a man disguised as a parson daringly attempted to seize the Crown Jewels from the Tower of London. Astonishingly, he managed to escape with the regalia and crown before being apprehended. And yet he was not executed for treason. Instead, the king granted him a generous income and he became a familiar strutting figure in the royal court's glittering state apartments.This man was Colonel Thomas Blood, a notorious turncoat and fugitive from justice. Nicknamed the 'Father of all Treasons', he had been involved in an attempted coup d'état in Ireland as well as countless plots to assassinate Charles II.In an age when gossip and intrigue ruled the coffee houses, the restored Stuart king decided Blood was more useful to him alive than dead. But while serving as his personal spy, Blood was conspiring with his enemies. At the same time he hired himself out as a freelance agent for those seeking to further their political ambition.In THE AUDACIOUS CRIMES OF COLONEL BLOOD bestselling historian Robert Hutchinson paints a vivid portrait of a double agent bent on ambiguous political and personal motivation, and provides an extraordinary account of the perils and conspiracies that abounded in Restoration England.

W&N

Stalin

Simon Sebag Montefiore
Authors:
Simon Sebag Montefiore
W&N

Churchill and Empire

Lawrence James
Authors:
Lawrence James

A genuinely new biography of Churchill, focusing on his contradictory and lifelong relationship with the British Empire.One of our finest narrative historians, and journalist for the SUNDAY TIMES and LITERARY REVIEW, Lawrence James, has written a genuinely new biography of Winston Churchill, set within a fully detailed historical context, but solely focusing on his relationship with the British Empire. As a young army officer in the late 19th century, Churchill's first experience of the Empire was serving in conflicts in India, South Africa and the Sudan. His attitude towards the Empire at the time was the stereotypical Victorian paternalistic approach - a combination of feeling responsible and feeling superior. Conscious even then of his political career ahead, Churchill's natural benevolence towards the Empire was occasionally overruled for political reasons, and he found himself reluctantly supporting - or at least not publicly condemning - British atrocities.As a politician he consistently relied on the Empire for support during crises, but was angered by any demands for nationalisation. He held what many would regard today as racist views, in that he felt that some nationalities were superior to others, but he didn't regard those positions as fixed. His (some might say obsequious) relationship with America reflected that view. America was a former colony where the natives had become worthy to rule themselves, but - he felt - still had that tie to Britain. Thus he overlooked the frequently expressed American view that the Empire was a hangover from a bygone era of colonisation, and reflected poorly on Britain's ability to conduct herself as a political power in the current world order.This outmoded attitude was one of the reasons the British voters rejected him after a Second World War in which - it was universally felt - he had led the country brilliantly. His attitude remained Victorian in a world that was shaping up very differently. However, it would be a mistake to consider Churchill merely as an anachronistic soldier. He grasped the problems of the Cold War immediately, believing that immature nations prematurely given independence would be more likely to be sucked into the vortex of Communism. This view chimed with American foreign policy, and made the Americans rather more pragmatic about their demands for self-governance for Empire countries.Lawrence James has written a fascinating portrait of an endlessly interesting statesman - and one that includes tantalising vignettes about his penchants for silk underwear and champagne.

W&N

The Great Divide

Peter Watson
Authors:
Peter Watson

How the division of the Americas from the rest of the world affected human history.In 15,000 B.C. early humankind, who had evolved in Africa tens of thousands of years before and spread out to populate the Earth, arrived in Siberia, during the Ice Age. Because so much water was locked up at that time in the great ice sheets, several miles thick, the levels of the world's oceans were much lower than they are today, and early humans were able to walk across the Bering Strait, then a land bridge, without getting their feet wet and enter the Americas. Then, the Ice Age came to an end, the Bering Strait refilled with water and humans in the Americas were cut off from humans elsewhere in the world. This division - with two great populations on Earth, each oblivious of the other - continued until Christopher Columbus 'discovered' America just before 1500 A.D. This is the fascinating subject of THE GREAT DIVIDE, which compares and contrasts the development of humankind in the 'Old World' and the 'New' between 15,000 B.C. and 1500 A.D. This unprecedented comparison of early peoples means that, when these factors are taken together, they offer a uniquely revealing insight into what it means to be human.THE GREAT DIVIDE offers a masterly and totally original synthesis of archaeology, anthropology, geology, meteorology, cosmology and mythology, to give a new shape - and a new understanding - to human history.

W&N

Harold Macmillan

Charles Williams
Authors:
Charles Williams
W&N

Sylvia, Queen Of The Headhunters

Philip Eade
Authors:
Philip Eade
W&N

Enigma

Hugh Sebag-Montefiore
Authors:
Hugh Sebag-Montefiore