Related to: 'The Making Of The British Landscape'



Nicholas Crane
Nicholas Crane

A biography of the genius who mapped the world and for ever changed the face of the planet - by a bestselling author.Gerard Mercator (1512-1594) was born at the dawn of the Age of Discovery, when the world was beginning to be discovered and carved up by navigators, geographers and cartographers. Mercator was the greatest and most ingenious cartographer of them all: it was he who coined the word 'atlas' and solved the riddle of converting the three-dimensional globe into a two-dimensional map while retaining true compass bearings. It is Mercator's Projection that NASA are using today to map Mars. How did Mercator reconcile his religious beliefs with a science that would make Christian maps obsolete? How did a man whose imagination roamed continents endure imprisonment by the Inquisition? Crane brings this great man vividly to life, underlying it with colour illustrations of the maps themselves: maps that brought to a rapt public wonders as remarkable as today's cyber-world.


Great British Journeys

Nicholas Crane
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.

Annie Sanders

Annie Sanders is two people. Annie Ashworth and Meg Sanders are television and print journalists who have written an array of non-fiction books and novels together while managing to remain the best of friends. Both live in Stratford-Upon-Avon with their families.

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

Blair Worden

Blair Worden is a historian, among the leading authorities on the period of the English Civil War. He has taught at the universities of Cambridge, Oxford, Sussex and Chicago. After a period as a Fellow of St Edmund Hall, Oxford, he took up a position as a Professor at Royal Holloway, University of London. As of 2011 he is an Emeritus Fellow of St Edmund Hall.

Chris Skidmore

Chris Skidmore is the author of four books on medieval and Tudor history: Richard III, Bosworth, Edward VI and Death and the Virgin. He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries. He is also the Member of Parliament for Kingswood and in July 2016 was appointed as Minister for the Constitution in the Cabinet

Christopher Meyer

Christopher Meyer served as Ambassador to the United Kingdom to the United States from 1997 until 2003. He was a vital link in the important relationship between America and Britain, one of the closest periods since the Second World War. He had previously been British Ambassador to Germany and chief spokesman and press secretary for former Prime Minister John Major, and for Geoffrey Howe when he was Foreign Secretary. In 2003 Meyer was appointed Chairman of the Press Complaints Commission, a position he held until April 2009. He was knighted in 2001.

Dan Cruickshank

Dan Cruickshank is a regular presenter on the BBC best known for his popular BBC2 series THE BEST BUILDINGS OF BRITAIN and WHAT THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION DID FOR US. He is one of Britain's leading architectural and historic building experts. For Omnibus he has travelled to Afghanistan and Iraq to discover what cultural treasures remain after years of looting and civil war.

David Morgan

David Morgan was awarded the DSC for his services in the Falklands War. He left the forces in 1991 and now flies commercial jets for Virgin Airways. A dedicated aerobatic pilot, he regularly flies at air shows.

Douglas Hurd

Douglas Hurd is a politician, biographer and novelist who served in the governments of Margaret Thatcher and John Major, as Minister for Europe (1979-83), Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (1984-85), Home Secretary (1985-89) and Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1989-95). His previous books include his MEMOIRS, ROBERT PEEL: A BIOGRAPHY and, with Edward Young, CHOOSE YOUR WEAPONS: THE BRITISH FOREIGN SECRETARY - 200 YEARS OF ARGUMENT, SUCCESS AND FAILURE.

Eliza Pakenham

Eliza Pakenham read English at Oxford, was an editor in publishing and is now a writer and journalist. She is married with three children.

Gavin Mortimer

Gavin Mortimer was born in London 34 years ago. As a freelance journalist he has contributed articles to a diverse range of magazines and newspapers, including the Observer, the Guardian, History Monthly and Esquire. The Longest Night is his fourth book and the second to be published by Weidenfeld & Nicolson. The first, Stirling's Men: the Inside History of the SAS in World War II, was published in 2004 and is now available in paperback.

Geoffrey Moorhouse

Geoffrey Moorhouse was ¿one of the best writers of our time¿ (Byron Rogers, The Times), ¿a brilliant historian¿ (Dirk Bogarde, Daily Telegraph) and ¿a writer whose gifts are beyond category¿ (Jan Morris, Independent on Sunday). He wrote over twenty books, on subjects ranging from travel and spirituality to cricket and rugby league. In 1982 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. His To the Frontier won the Thomas Cook Award for the best travel book of its year in 1984. More recently he concentrated on Tudor history, notably with THE PILGRIMAGE OF GRACE and, in 2005, GREAT HARRY'S NAVY. He died in November 2009.

George Turner

George Turner (1916-1997) George Reginald Turner was an Australian writer and critic, best known for the science fiction novels written in the later part of his career. His mainstream novel, The Cupboard Under the Stairs won the Miles Franklin Award, Australia's highest literary honour. His best-known SF novel, The Drowning Towers, was published in the UK under the title The Sea and Summer, and won the second Arthur C. Clarke Award in 1988. George Turner was named as a Guest of Honour for the 1999 World Science Fiction Convention held in his home town of Melbourne, but died before the event.

H.G. Wells

H.G. Wells was born in Bromley, Kent in 1866. After working as a draper's apprentice and pupil-teacher, he won a scholarship to the Normal School of Science in 1884, studying under T. H. Huxley. He was awarded a first-class honours degree in biology and resumed teaching but had to retire after a kick from an ill-natured pupil afflicted his kidneys. He worked in poverty in London as a crammer while experimenting in journalism and stories. It was with THE TIME MACHINE (1895) that he had his real breakthrough.

HRH The Prince of Wales

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J. J. Connington

Alfred Walter Stewart (1880-1947), who wrote under the pen name J. J. Connington, was born in Glasgow, the youngest of three sons of Reverend Dr Stewart. He graduated from Glasgow University and pursued an academic career as a chemistry professor, working for the Admiralty during the First World War. Known for his ingenious and carefully worked-out puzzles and in-depth character development, he was admired by a host of his better-known contemporaries, including Dorothy L. Sayers and John Dickson Carr, who both paid tribute to his influence on their work. He married Jessie Lily Courts in 1916 and they had one daughter.

Joan Fleming

Joan Fleming (1908-1980) was one of the most original and literate crime writers of her generation. Born in Lancashire and educated at Lausanne University she became the wife of a Harley Street eye surgeon and mother of four, and was already a successful children's author before she turned to crime. She is the author of over thirty novels and won the CWA Gold Dagger in 1962 for When I Grow Rich and again in 1970 for Young Man, I Think You're Dying. The Deeds of Dr Deadcert was made into the 1958 film Rx for Murder.

John Keegan

Britain's most distinguished military historian and senior lecturer at the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst for many years, Sir John Keegan is the author of THE FACE OF BATTLE, widely considered a classic of military history. His other books include THE MASK OF COMMAND, THE PRICE OF ADMIRALTY, SIX ARMIES IN NORMANDY and THE SECOND WORLD WAR. His book THE HISTORY OF WARFARE sold 60,000 copies in the US and 25,000 in the UK. He is Defence Editor of The Daily Telegraph and was knighted in 2000.

John Lewis-Stempel

John Lewis-Stempel is the author of numerous anthologies and books on military history. He lives on a farm in Herefordshire with his wife and two children.Join John Lewis-Stempel on Facebook and follow him on Twitter