Britain Since 1918
By David Marquand
A new political history of modern Britain - entertaining, instructive and thought-provoking.The history of democratic politics in Britain since the coming of universal male suffrage in 1918 is a dramatic one, crowded with events and colourful figures. As well as the great events of war and economic crises, and the quieter drama of constitutional change, this era has been studded with democratic protests of every sort.The story opens more than 350 years ago. The Levellers of the 17th century, 18th-century radicals, the Chartists and the Reform Acts are all part of the unsteady and fiercely contested progress towards a democratic constitution. Dreams, visions and ideals are important too - of George Orwell, and Enoch Powell, Milton, Thomas Paine and Edmund Burke, Churchill and Lord Salisbury, Aneurin Bevan and Tony Benn - for they have also shaped our outlook.
The Buccaneers of the Caribbean
By Jon Latimer
The True Story of Piracy on the Spanish Main.This is the incredible true story of piracy in the Caribbean, proof positive that fact is stranger than fiction. From the moment the English established their first tiny colonies in the New World, semi-legal pirates took on the might of the Spanish Empire. The lure of Spanish gold was so strong that French and Dutch privateers soon joined them. Sometimes licensed by governments, but often not, desperate gangs of cut-throats dominated the Caribbean throughout the seventeenth century. Led by ruthless captains, they wrested many of the key islands from Spanish control, then fought each other for the region's strategic bases. Most notoriously, the 'brethren of the coast' established the pirate port of Tortuga, the infamous city of crime. From Piet Heyn's capture of the entire Spanish treasure fleet in 1628, to Henry Morgan's sack of Panama, this was the Age of the Bucaneers. This epic story continued up to the destruction of the pirates' lair of Port Royal by an earthquake in 1692 -- recognised at the time as the judgement of God. . .International treaties at the end of the century brought this dramatic era to a close, by which time the division of the Caribbean among European powers was complete. And a legend had been born.
By Tristram Hunt
The ideas and people who inspired and shaped the great Victorian cities, with all their energy, achievements and prideThis is a history of the ideas that shaped not only London, but Manchester, Glasgow, Liverpool, Leeds, Birmingham, Sheffield and other power-houses of 19th-century Britain. It charts the controversies and visions that fostered Britain's greatest civic renaissance.Tristram Hunt explores the horrors of the Victorian city, as seen by Dickens, Engels and Carlyle; the influence of the medieval Gothic ideal of faith, community and order espoused by Pugin and Ruskin; the pride in self-government, identified with the Saxons as opposed to the Normans; the identification with the city republics of the Italian renaissance - commerce, trade and patronage; the change from the civic to the municipal, and greater powers over health, education and housing; and finally at the end of the century, the retreat from the urban to the rural ideal, led by William Morris and the garden-city movement of Ebenezer Howard.