James Evans - Merchant Adventurers - Orion Publishing Group

Time remaining

  • -- days
  • -- hours
  • -- minutes
  • -- seconds
Other Formats
  • Hardback
    More information
    • ISBN:9780297866886
    • Publication date:12 Sep 2013
  • E-Book £P.O.R.
    More information
    • ISBN:9780297866893
    • Publication date:12 Sep 2013

Merchant Adventurers

The Voyage of Discovery that Transformed Tudor England

By James Evans

  • Paperback
  • £12.99

A Tudor voyage of exploration - an extraordinary story of daring, discovery, tragedy and pioneering achievement.

A Tudor voyage of exploration - an extraordinary story of daring, discovery, tragedy and pioneering achievement.

In the spring of 1553 three ships sailed north-east from London into uncharted waters. The scale of their ambition was breathtaking. Drawing on the latest navigational science and the new spirit of enterprise and discovery sweeping the Tudor capital, they sought a northern passage to Asia and its riches.

The success of the expedition depended on its two leaders: Sir Hugh Willoughby, a brave gentleman soldier, and Richard Chancellor, a brilliant young scientist and practical man of the sea. When their ships became separated in a storm, each had to fend for himself. Their fates were sharply divided. One returned to England, to recount extraordinary tales of the imperial court of Tsar Ivan the Terrible. The tragic, mysterious story of the other two ships has to be pieced together through the surviving captain's log book, after he and his crew became lost and trapped by the advancing Arctic winter.

This long-neglected endeavour was one of the boldest in British history, and its impact was profound. Although the 'merchant adventurers' failed to reach China as they had hoped, their achievements would lay the foundations for England's expansion on a global stage. As James Evans' vivid account shows, their voyage also makes for a gripping story of daring, discovery, tragedy and adventure.

Biographical Notes

James Evans did a PhD at Oriel College, Oxford, following a first-class Masters in Historical Research. He has worked as a producer on various historical television documentaries, including Dan Cruickshank's HIDDEN HOUSES (BBC2), Niall Ferguson's WESTERN CIVILISATION (C4), Griff Rhys Jones's RIVERS (BBC1) and Michael Wood's ENGLISH STORY (BBC2), for which he also contributed to the accompanying book. He lives in London.

  • Other details

  • ISBN: 9781780221021
  • Publication date: 09 Oct 2014
  • Page count: 400
  • Imprint: W&N
Meticulously researched ... Evans's short, exciting chapters describe the voyage and 16th-century life, technology and politics in glorious detail — Stephen Coulson, THE LADY
Looking for a short-cut sea route, in 1553 they commissioned Sir Hugh Willoughby and Richard Chancellor to voyage in search of a northeast passage through the Arctic to Asia. Their venture was, says Evans, one of the boldest in English history as a significant turning point in English economic and cultural development. It's also a good story, well told — Iain Finlayson, THE TIMES
Entertaining and meticulously researched ... Merchant Adventurers is much more than a reconstruction of one of the most fascinating voyages of the Tudor age. The author places the expedition in the wider context of global exploration, mercantile expansion and the establishment of the first joint-stock company. Indeed he argues that the 1553 expedition anticipated the dawn of a new era, one that would see the formation of the East India Company and England's fledgling empire — Giles Milton, LITERARY REVIEW
Essentially this should be a tale of a spectacular failure, yet Evans' enthusiasm in relating the achievements of their 1553 voyage is infectious ... James Evans' excellent book reminds us that even the most ill-fated attempts broke new ground. These first, tentative missions eventually allowed for the eastern side of the map of the world to be inked in — Chris Skidmore, TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT
This is an extraordinary tale of a voyage of discovery every bit as epoch-making as those of Spain and Portugal ... A richly detailed account that is a pleasure to read — Lucinda Byatt, THE HISTORICAL NOVEL SOCIETY
Evans combines gripping adventure stories with an exploration of the roots of the British empire and national consciousness — YOUR FAMILY TREE
This is the fascinating story of a forgotten few whose deeds had an important long-term impact on Britain's history — THE GOOD BOOK GUIDE
A fascinating insight into the minds of the merchant adventurers who laid the foundations for the British Empire, and much of our politics, for the next 400 years. — Keith Richmond, TRIBUNE
It is a heroic and tragic tale that for all the commercial and political agents at work remains, above all, a story of courage and endeavour. Evans is alert to the complexities of early modern diplomacy and cultural encounter, and the description of the survivors' experiences in Russia complements well the treatment of what they endured at sea — Mark Hutchings, LONDON MAGAZINE
James Evans offers an account of an extraordinary 1553 voyage full of daring, discovery, tragedy and pioneering achievement. The Chalk Farm author lifts the lid on how a Britain with little maritime experience came to rule the waves through the efforts of historic pioneers like Sebastian Cabot, Sir Hugh Willoughby and Richard Chancellor — HAM & HIGH
The book's strength is in showing the extent to which the institutional structure of the joint stock company that emerged from the ill-fated voyage as the Muscovy Company was a model that was replicated to form successful ventures in British trade and imperial outreach for the next two centuries — Robert J. Mayhew, BBC HISTORY
W&N

Henry VIII

Robert Hutchinson
Authors:
Robert Hutchinson
W&N

The Favourite

Ophelia Field
Authors:
Ophelia Field

'An incredible story crackling with royal passion, envy, ambition and betrayal ... Field's account of the psychological power play between Queen Anne and her confidante is surely definitive. A tour de force' Lucy WorsleySarah Churchill, Duchess of Marlborough (1660-1774), was as glamorous as she was controversial. Politically influential and independently powerful, she was an intimate, and then a blackmailer, of Queen Anne, accusing her of keeping lesbian favourites - including Sarah's own cousin Abigail Masham.Ophelia Field's masterly biography brings Sarah Churchill's own voice, passionate and intelligent, back to life. Here is an unforgettable portrait of a woman who cared intensely about how we would remember her.

Trapeze

The Ordnance Survey Puzzle Book

Gareth Moore
Authors:
Gareth Moore

Are YOU the ultimate map-reader? Do you know your trig points from your National Trails? Can you calculate using contours? And can you fathom exactly how far the footpath is from the free house? Track down hidden treasures, decipher geographical details and discover amazing facts as you work through this unique puzzle book based on 40 of the Ordnance Survey's best British maps. Explore the first ever OS map made in 1801, unearth the history of curious place names, encounter abandoned Medieval villages and search the site of the first tarmac road in the world. With hundreds of puzzles ranging from easy to mind-boggling, this mix of navigational tests, word games, code-crackers, anagrams and mathematical conundrums will put your friends and family through their paces on the path to becoming the ultimate map-master!

W&N

Emigrants

James Evans
Authors:
James Evans

'Marvellously engaging' The Times'Brisk, informative and eye-opening' Daily TelegraphIn the 1600s, vast numbers of people left England for the Americas. Crossing the Atlantic was a major undertaking, the voyage long and treacherous. Why did they go?Emigrants casts vivid new light on the population shift which underpins the rise of modern America. Using contemporary sources including diaries, court hearings and letters, James Evans brings us the extraordinary personal stories of the men and women who made the journey of a lifetime.

W&N

Francis I

Leonie Frieda
Authors:
Leonie Frieda
W&N

Yorkshire

Richard Morris
Authors:
Richard Morris

'A restless, poetic, strange book, and the territory it describes deserves nothing less' Observer'Meticulously researched ... fascinating' Country LifeYorkshire, it has been said, is 'a continent unto itself', a region where mountain, plain, coast, downs, fen and heath lie close. By weaving history, family stories, travelogue and ecology, Richard Morris reveals how Yorkshire took shape as a landscape and in literature, legend and popular regard.We descend into the county's netherworld of caves and mines, and face episodes at once brave and dark, such as the part played by Whitby and Hull in emptying Arctic waters of whales, or the re-routing of rivers and destruction of Yorkshire's fens. We are introduced to discoverers and inventions, meet the people who came and went, encounter real and fabled heroes, and discover why, from the Iron Age to the Cold War, Yorkshire has been such a key place in times of tension and struggle.In a wide-ranging and lyrical narrative, Morris finds that for as far back as we can look Yorkshire has been a region of unique presence with links around the world.

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

Richard III

Chris Skidmore
Authors:
Chris Skidmore

SHORTLISTED FOR THE BEST NON-FICTION BOOK AT THE PARLIAMENTARY BOOK AWARDS'Fresh, gripping and vivid' Simon Sebag Montefiore 'Exhaustively researched and scrupulously even-handed' David Starkey 'A portrait that chills you to the bone' Leanda de Lisle, The TimesThe 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 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.By stripping back the legends that surround Richard's life and reign, and returning to original manuscript evidence, Chris Skidmore rediscovers the man as contemporaries saw him. His compelling study presents every facet of Richard's personality as it deserves to be seen: as one of the most significant figures in medieval history, whose actions and behaviour underline the true nature of power in an age of great upheaval and instability.

W&N

Great British Journeys

Nicholas Crane
Authors:
Nicholas Crane

Intrepid presenter Nicholas Crane investigates eight epic journeys, following in the footsteps of our greatest indigenous explorers.Nick presents eight of the most interesting traveller-chroniclers to have explored and reported on the state of the nation. From Gerald of Wales who embarked on a seven week journey around the wild perimeter of Wales in March 1188, to HV Morton, the journalist and travel writer who crossed the length and breadth of England by car in the 1920s. Others include Celia Fiennes who started her many journeys around Britain on horseback in the late 1600s at the age of 20, Tudor antiquarian John Leland, Daniel Defoe, William Cobbett, Thomas Pennant, and William Gilpin, who travelled through the north of England by boat in 1770.

W&N

Fighting Fit

Laura Dawes
Authors:
Laura Dawes
W&N

Elizabeth

Lisa Hilton
Authors:
Lisa Hilton

A definitive portrait of one of the most compelling monarchs England has ever had: Elizabeth I.'We are a prince from a line of princes.'Lisa Hilton's majestic biography of Elizabeth I, 'The Virgin Queen', uses new research to present a fresh interpretation of Elizabeth as a queen who saw herself primarily as a Renaissance prince, delivering a very different perspective on her emotional and sexual life, and upon her attempts to mould England into a European state. Elizabeth was not an exceptional woman but an exceptional ruler, and this book challenges readers to reassess her reign, and the colourful drama, scandal and intrigue to which it is always linked.

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.

W&N

Mary Queen Of Scots

Antonia Fraser
Authors:
Antonia Fraser

'Reads like an engrossing novel' Sunday TimesMary Queen of Scots passed her childhood in France and married the Dauphin to become Queen of France at the age of sixteen. Widowed less than two years later, she returned to Scotland as Queen after an absence of thirteen years. Her life then entered its best known phase: the early struggles with John Knox, and the unruly Scottish nobility; the fatal marriage to Darnley and his mysterious death; her marriage to Bothwell, the chief suspect, that led directly to her long English captivity at the hands of Queen Elizabeth; the poignant and extraordinary story of her long imprisonment that ended with the labyrinthine Babington plot to free her, and her execution at the age of forty-four.

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, an eventful and violent year that featured riots in Bristol, Manchester and Nottingham.The time-span of the book is from Wellington's intractable declaration in November 1830 that 'The beginning of reform is beginning of revolution' to 7 June 1832, when William IV reluctantly assented 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. Wider themes of Irish and 'negro emancipation' underscore the narrative.The book is character driven; we learn of the Whig aristocrats prepared to whittle away their own power to bring liberty to the country, the all-too-conservative opposition who included the intransigent Duchess of Kent and Queen Adelaide and finally the 'revolutionaries' like William Cobbett, author of Rural Rides.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

The Spanish Armada

Robert Hutchinson
Authors:
Robert Hutchinson
W&N

How to Create the Perfect Wife

Wendy Moore
Authors:
Wendy Moore
W&N

The Great Train Robbery

Nick Russell-Pavier, Stewart Richards
Authors:
Nick Russell-Pavier, Stewart Richards
W&N

That Woman

Anne Sebba
Authors:
Anne Sebba

Bestselling biography of the enduringly fascinating Wallis SimpsonOne of Britain's most distinguished biographers turns her focus on one of the most vilified women of the twentieth century. Historian Anne Sebba has written the first full biography by a woman of Wallis Simpson, Duchess of Windsor. 'That woman', as she was referred to by the Queen Mother, became a hate figure for ensnaring a British king and destabilising the monarchy. Neither beautiful nor brilliant, she nevertheless became one of the most talked-about women of her generation, and she inspired such deep love and adoration in Edward VIII that he gave up a throne and an empire for her. Wallis lived by her wit and her wits, while both her apparent and alleged moral transgressions added to her aura and dazzle. Based on new archives and material only recently made available, this scrupulously researched biography sheds new light on the character and motivations of a powerful, charismatic and complex woman.

Orion

Six Weeks

John Lewis-Stempel
Authors:
John Lewis-Stempel
W&N

A History Of Scotland

Neil Oliver
Authors:
Neil Oliver