Related to: 'Chris Skidmore'

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Henry VIII

Robert Hutchinson
Authors:
Robert Hutchinson

The Tudors retained only a precarious grip on the crown of England, founded on a title that was both tenuous and legally flimsy. This left them preoccupied by two major obsessions: the necessity for a crop of lusty male heirs to continue their bloodline, and the elimination of threats from those who had strong, if not superior, claims to the throne than them. None was cursed more by this rampant insecurity than Henry VIII. The king embodied not only the power and imperial majesty of the monarchy, but also England's stature and military might. His health always had huge political consequences at home and overseas - hence his unbridled hypochondria. Henry's last six years saw him embark on two marriages, brutal wars against Scotland and France and the devastating collapse of England's economy. Terror stalked his court, as factions plotted in the shadows behind the throne to snatch ascendancy in religion and political influence. Drawing on the latest historical and medical research, Robert Hutchinson reveals the extent to which the king also grappled with accelerating geriatric decay, made more acute by medical conditions that were not only painful but transformed the monarch into a 28-stone psychotic monster, suspicious of everyone around him, including those most dear to him.

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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.

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Benjamin Franklin in London

George Goodwin
Authors:
George Goodwin
Orion

Margot at War

Anne de Courcy
Authors:
Anne de Courcy
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Fatal Rivalry, Flodden 1513

George Goodwin
Authors:
George Goodwin

The relationship of England and Scotland became defined by events on 9 September 1513 in a battle of great size, bloodshed and finality - the Battle of Flodden.On the back of historian George Goodwin's critically acclaimed debut, FATAL COLOURS, comes FATAL RIVALRY, providing the first in-depth examination of the Battle of Flodden, the biggest and bloodiest in British history.This book captures the importance of the key players in the story - the kings and their respective queens, their nobles, diplomats and generals - as the rivalry brought the two countries inexorably to war. Fatefully, it would be an error by James, that most charismatic of commanders, and in the thick of engagement, that would make him the last British king to fall in battle, would condemn the bulk of his nobility to a similarly violent death and settle his country's fate.

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Strictly Ann

Ann Widdecombe
Authors:
Ann Widdecombe

Forthright memoirs of a singular personality - former MP and Strictly Come Dancing star, Ann Widdecombe.In this life story of one of our most outspoken and celebrated politicians, Ann Widdecombe offers a unique insight into her time as a minister in three government departments and the Shadow Cabinet in the 1990s, as well as taking us back to her wandering childhood and explaining the roots of her deeply held views.A rare anti-hunting Tory, who campaigned for prison education and once donned a miner's overalls to go down a coal mine, Ann Widdecombe has never shied away from controversy. Her memoirs reveal a singular personality who lives life to the full. From feisty appearances on Have I Got News for You to her unforgettable and star-turning performances on Strictly Come Dancing, Ann has earned her place in the public's affections and has been heralded as a 'national living treasure' by the Guardian.

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Bosworth

Chris Skidmore
Authors:
Chris Skidmore

Richard III and Henry Tudor's legendary battle: one that changed the course of English history.On the morning of 22 August 1485, in fields several miles from Bosworth, two armies faced each other, ready for battle. The might of Richard III's army was pitted against the inferior forces of the upstart pretender to the crown, Henry Tudor, a 28-year-old Welshman who had just arrived back on British soil after 14 years in exile. Yet this was to be a fight to the death - only one man could survive; only one could claim the throne.It would become one of the most legendary battles in English history: the only successful invasion since Hastings, it was the last time a king died on the battlefield. But BOSWORTH is much more than the account of the dramatic events of that fateful day in August. It is a tale of brutal feuds and deadly civil wars, and the remarkable rise of the Tudor family from obscure Welsh gentry to the throne of England - a story that began 60 years earlier with Owen Tudor's affair with Henry V's widow, Katherine of Valois.Drawing on eyewitness reports, newly discovered manuscripts and the latest archaeological evidence, Chris Skidmore vividly recreates this battle-scarred world in an epic saga of treachery and ruthlessness, death and deception and the birth of the Tudor dynasty.

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Perilous Question

Antonia Fraser
Authors:
Antonia Fraser

Internationally bestselling historian Antonia Fraser's new book brilliantly evokes a key period of pre-Victorian political and social history - the passing of the Great Reform Bill of 1832.For our inconclusive times, there is an attractive resonance with 1832, with its 'rotten boroughs' of Old Sarum and the disappearing village of Dunwich, and its lines of most resistance to reform. This book is character-driven - on the one hand, the reforming heroes are the Whig aristocrats Lord Grey, Lord Althorp and Lord John Russell, and the Irish orator Daniel O'Connell. They included members of the richest and most landed Cabinet in history, yet they were determined to bring liberty, which whittled away their own power, to the country. The all-too-conservative opposition comprised Lord Londonderry, the Duke of Wellington, the intransigent Duchess of Kent and the consort of the Tory King William IV, Queen Adelaide.Finally, there were 'revolutionaries' and reformers, like William Cobbett, the author of RURAL RIDES.This is a book that features one eventful year, much of it violent. There were riots in Bristol, Manchester and Nottingham, and wider themes of Irish and 'negro emancipation' underscore the narrative. The time-span of the book is from Wellington's intractable declaration in November 1830 that 'The beginning of reform is the beginning of revolution', to 7th June 1832, the date of the extremely reluctant royal assent by William IV 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. 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.

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The Wars of the Roses

Robin Neillands
Authors:
Robin Neillands
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Young Henry

Robert Hutchinson
Authors:
Robert Hutchinson
W&N

Death and the Virgin

Chris Skidmore
Authors:
Chris Skidmore

The dramatic story of Elizabeth's first ten years on the throne and the unexplained death that scandalised her court.Elizabeth came to the throne in 1558 a 25-year-old virgin - the most prized catch in Christendom. For the first ten years of her reign, one matter dominated above all others: the question of who the queen was to marry and when she would produce an heir.Elizabeth's life as England's Virgin Queen is one of the most celebrated in history. Christopher Skidmore takes a fresh look at the familiar story of a queen with the stomach of a man, steadfastly refusing to marry for the sake of her realm, and reveals a very different picture: of a vulnerable young woman, in love with her suitor, Robert Dudley. Had it not been for the mysterious and untimely death of his wife, Amy Robsart, Elizabeth might have one day been able to marry Dudley, since Amy was believed to be dying of breast cancer. Instead, the suspicious circumstances surrounding Amy Robsart's death would cast a long shadow over Elizabeth's life, preventing any hope of a union with Dudley and ultimately shaping the course of Tudor history. Using newly discovered evidence from the archives, Christopher Skidmore is able to put an end to centuries of speculation as to the true causes of her death.

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House of Treason

Robert Hutchinson
Authors:
Robert Hutchinson
W&N

Thomas Cromwell

Robert Hutchinson
Authors:
Robert Hutchinson

The rise and fall of Henry's notorious minister - the most corrupt Chancellor in English historyThe son of a brewer, Cromwell rose from obscurity to become Earl of Essex, Vice-Regent and High Chamberlain of England, Keep of the Privy Seal and Chancellor of the Exchequer. He maneuvered his way to the top by intrigue, bribery and sheer force of personality in a court dominated by the malevolent King Henry.Cromwell pursued the interests of the king with single-minded energy and little subtlety. Tasked with engineering the judicial murder of Anne Boleyn when she had worn out her welcome in the royal chamber, he tortured her servants and relations, then organised a 'show trial' of Stalinist efficiency. He orchestrated the 'greatest act of privatisation in English history': the seizure of the monasteries. Their enormous wealth was used to cement the loyalty of the English nobility, and to enrich the crown. Cromwell made himself a fortune too, soliciting colossal bribes and binding the noble families to him with easy loans. He came home from court literally weighed down with gold.

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The Last Days of Henry VIII

Robert Hutchinson
Authors:
Robert Hutchinson

After 35 years in power, Henry VIII was a bloated, hideously obese, black-humoured old man, rarely seen in public. He had striven all his life to ensure the survival of his dynasty by siring legitimate sons, yet his only male heir was eight-year-old Prince Edward. It was increasingly obvious that when Henry died, real power in England would be exercised by a regent. The prospect of that prize spurred the rival court factions into deadly conflict.Robert Hutchinson spent several years in original archival research. He advances a genuinely new theory of Henry's medical history and the cause of his death; he has unearthed some fabulous eyewitness material and papers from death warrants, confessions and even love letters between Katherine Parr and the Lord High Admiral.

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Edward VI

Chris Skidmore
Authors:
Chris Skidmore

The struggle for the soul of England after the death of Henry VIIIIn the death of Henry VIII, the crown passed to his nine-year-old son, Edward. However, real power went to the Protector, Edward's uncle, the Duke of Somerset. The court had been a hotbed of intrigue since the last days of Henry VIII. Without an adult monarch, the stakes were even higher. The first challenger was the duke's own brother: he seduced Henry VIII's former queen, Katherine Parr; having married her, he pursued Princess Elizabeth and later was accused of trying to kidnap the boy king at gunpoint. He was beheaded. Somerset ultimately met the same fate, after a coup d'etat organized by the Duke of Warwick. Chris Skidmore reveals how the countrywide rebellions of 1549 were orchestrated by the plotters at court and were all connected to the (literally) burning issue of religion: Henry VIII had left England in religious limbo. Court intrigue, deceit and treason very nearly plunged the country into civil war. Edward was a precocious child, as his letters in French and Latin demonstrate. He kept a secret diary, written partly in Greek, which few of his courtiers could read. In 1551, at the age of 14, he took part in his first jousting tournament, an essential demonstration of physical prowess in a very physical age. Within a year it is his signature we find at the bottom of the Council minutes, yet in early 1553 he contracted a chest infection and later died, rumours circulating that he might have been poisoned. Mary, Edward's eldest sister, and devoted Catholic, was proclaimed Queen. This is more than just a story of bloodthirsty power struggles, but how the Church moved so far along Protestant lines that Mary would be unable to turn the clock back. It is also the story of a boy born to absolute power, whose own writings and letters offer a compelling picture of a life full of promise, but tragically cut short.

Antonia Fraser

Antonia Fraser is the author of many widely acclaimed historical works which have been international bestsellers. She was awarded the Medlicott Medal by the Historical Association in 2000 and was made a DBE in 2011 for services to literature.Her previous books include MARY QUEEN OF SCOTS, KING CHARLES II, THE WEAKER VESSEL: WOMAN'S LOT IN SEVENTEENTH-CENTURY ENGLAND which won the Wolfson History Prize, MARIE ANTOINETTE: THE JOURNEY, PERILOUS QUESTION; THE DRAMA OF THE GREAT REFORM BILL 1832 and THE KING AND THE CATHOLICS: THE FIGHT FOR RIGHTS 1829. MUST YOU GO?,a memoir of her life with Harold Pinter, was published in 2010, and MY HISTORY; A MEMOIR OF GROWING UP in 2015. She lives in London.Visit Antonia Fraser's website at www.antoniafraser.com

Robert Hutchinson

Robert Hutchinson is a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London and the author of THE LAST DAYS OF HENRY VIII, ELIZABETH'S SPYMASTER, THOMAS CROMWELL, HOUSE OF TREASON, YOUNG HENRY, THE SPANISH ARMADA and THE AUDACIOUS CRIMES OF COLONEL BLOOD. He was Defence Correspondent for the Press Association before moving to Jane's Information Group to launch JANE'S DEFENCE WEEKLY. He has a doctorate from the University of Sussex, and was appointed OBE in the 2008 Honours List.

D. R. Thorpe

D. R. Thorpe was born in 1943 and educated at Fettes College and Selwyn College, Cambridge. He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and a regular contributor to the OXFORD DICTIONARY OF NATIONAL BIOGRAPHY. He has been an Archives Fellow at Churchill College, Cambridge and the Sir Alistair Horne Fellow at St Antony's College, Oxford. Since 1998 he has been based at Brasenose College, Oxford as a senior member. He has published five acclaimed biographical works: THE UNCROWNED PRIME MINISTERS: A STUDY OF SIR AUSTEN CHAMBERLAIN, LORD CURZON AND RAB BUTLER; the official lives of Selwyn Lloyd and Sir Alec Douglas-Home; and EDEN: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF ANTHONY EDEN, FIRST EARL OF AVON, 1897-1977. His biography of Harold Macmillan, SUPERMAC: THE LIFE OF HAROLD MACMILLAN won the biennial Marsh Biography Award, 2009-10. He knew Kenneth Rose for forty years and was appointed by him to edit his journals.

George Goodwin

George Goodwin is a history graduate of Cambridge, where he was awarded a Foundation exhibition. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing.You can follow George Goodwin on Twitter at https://twitter.com/GeorgeGoodwin1 and visit his website for more information www.georgegoodwin.com.

Peter Barber

Peter Barber is a diplomatic historian by training and became responsible for maps in the Department of Manuscripts in the British Library shortly after joining in 1975. In 1987 he transferred to the Map Library as Deputy Map Librarian and succeeded Tony Campbell as Head of Map Collections. He is perhaps best known as the co-author (with Christopher Board) of TALES FROM THE MAP ROOM, a book published in 1993 to accompany the BBC television series to which he acted as consultant, and THE LIE OF THE LAND, which accompanied the British Library exhibition in 2001. He has published extensively on medieval world maps, on British mapmaking in the 16th century, on the British Library's cartographical and topographical collections, and on map use and the relationship between mapping and government in the early modern period.He is Fellow of the Royal Society of Antiquaries, the Royal Historical Society, and the Royal Geographical Society. He is an honorary editorial board member of Mapforum