The King and the Catholics
By Antonia Fraser
'Utterly gripping and consistently witty' Damian Thompson, Literary Review'An absolutely splendid book' A. N. Wilson, The Spectator The story of Catholic Emancipation begins with the violent Anti-Catholic Gordon Riots in 1780, fuelled by the reduction in Penal Laws against the Roman Catholics harking back to the sixteenth century. Some fifty years later, the passing of the Emancipation Bill was hailed as a 'bloodless revolution'. Had the Irish Catholics been a 'millstone', as described by an English aristocrat, or were they the prime movers? While the English Catholic aristocracy and the Irish peasants and merchants approached the Catholic Question in very different ways, they manifestly shared the same objective. Antonia Fraser brings colour and humour to the vivid drama with its huge cast of characters: George III, who opposed Emancipation on the basis of the Coronation Oath; his son, the indulgent Prince of Wales, who was enamoured with the Catholic Maria Fitzherbert before the voluptuous Lady Conyngham; Wellington and the 'born Tory' Peel vying for leadership; 'roaring' Lord Winchilsea; the heroic Daniel O'Connell. Expertly written and deftly argued, The King and Catholics is also a distant mirror of our times, reflecting the political issues arising from religious intolerance.
A new edition of one of the world's most important and influential booksThe Koran, the holy scripture of Islam, is the record of Muhammad's oral teaching delivered between the years immediately preceding the Hegira in AD 622 and the Prophet's death in AD 632.It has exerted untold influence upon the history of mankind. Apart from its specifically religious content, inspiring the triumphant arms of Islam throughout vast areas of Asia, Africa and southern Europe, it was the starting point of a new literary and philosophical movement which powerfully affected the most cultivated minds among both Christians and Jews in the Middle Ages; and the movement inaugurated has resulted in some of the finest products of genius and learning.Alan Jones has restored the traditional ordering of the Suras, enabling the reader to trace the development of the Prophet's mind from the early flush of inspiration to his later roles of warrior, politician and founder of an empire.