This text presents a new reading of the Bayeux tapestry that radically alters our understanding of the events of 1066 and reveals the astonishing story of early Medieval Europe's greatest treasure.
A thrilling history of England's great metropolis at a point of great change, told through the story of a young vagrant murdered by "resurrection men"
Before his murder in 1831, the "Italian boy" was one of thousands of orphans on the streets of London, moving among the livestock, hawkers, and con men, begging for pennies. When his body was sold to a London medical college, the suppliers were arrested for murder. Their high-profile trial would unveil London's furtive trade in human corpses carried out by body-snatchers-or "resurrection men"-who killed to satisfy the first rule of the cadaver market: the fresher the body, the higher the price.
Historian Sarah Wise reconstructs not only the boy's murder but the chaos and squalor of London that swallowed the fourteen-year-old vagrant long before his corpse appeared on the slab. In 1831, the city's poor were desperate and the wealthy were petrified, the population swelling so fast that old class borders could not possibly hold. All the while, early humanitarians were pushing legislation to protect the disenfranchised, the courts were establishing norms of punishment and execution, and doctors were pioneering the science of human anatomy.
As vivid and intricate as a novel by Charles Dickens, "The Italian Boy" restores to history the lives of the very poorest Londoners and offers an unparalleled account of the sights, sounds, and smells of a city at the brink of a major transformation.
One of our Most Brilliant public intellectuals, Paul Berman has spent his career writing on revolutionary movements and their totalitarian aspects. Here he argues that, in the terror war, we are not facing a battle of the West against Islam--a clash of civilizations. We are facing, instead, the same battle that tore apart Europe during most of the twentieth century, only in a new version. It is the clash of liberalism and its enemies--the battle between freedom and totalitarianism that arose in Europe many years ago and spread to the Muslim world. The author considers the wars against fascism and communism from the past, and draws cautionary lessons. But he also draws from those past experiences a liberal program for the present--a program that departs in fundamental respects from the policies of the Bush administration.
When war broke out in Europe in 1914, it surprised a European population enjoying the most beautiful summer in memory. For nearly a century since, historians have debated the causes of the war. Some have cited the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand; others have concluded it was unavoidable.In Europe's Last Summer, David Fromkin provides a different answer: hostilities were commenced deliberately. In a riveting re-creation of the run-up to war, Fromkin shows how German generals, seeing war as inevitable, manipulated events to precipitate a conflict waged on their own terms. Moving deftly between diplomats, generals, and rulers across Europe, he makes the complex diplomatic negotiations accessible and immediate. Examining the actions of individuals amid larger historical forces, this is a gripping historical narrative and a dramatic reassessment of a key moment in the twentieth-century.
Set against the backdrop of the turbulent thirteenth century, a time of chivalry and crusades, poetry, knights, and monarchs comes the story of the four beautiful daughters of the count of Provence whose brilliant marriages made them the queens of France, England, Germany, and Sicily.
From a cultured childhood in Provence, each sister was propelled into a world marked by shifting alliances, intrigue, and subterfuge. Marguerite, the eldest, whose resolution and spirit would be tested by the cold splendor of the Palais du Roi in Paris; Eleanor, whose soaring political aspirations would provoke her kingdom to civil war; Sanchia, the neglected wife of the richest man in England who bought himself the crown of Germany; and Beatrice, whose desire for sovereignty was so acute that she risked her life to earn her place at the royal table.
This book is an accessible and comprehensive study of the French wars of religion, designed specifically for undergraduate students. Drawing on the latest scholarship of a generation of social historians of the Reformation, the author presents a new analysis which goes beyond the partisan politics of noble factions and socio-economic tensions of early modern society. He argues that this long conflict was fomented by religious tensions among the population at large. While politics and socio-economic tensions were doubtlessly important, this book focuses on the social history of religion. By analysing the conflict as a cultural clash between two communities bent on defining the boundaries between the sacred and the profane in explicitly different ways, the author attempts to explain why the wars lasted for so long and why they ended in the way that they did.
Poisoner, besotted mother, despot, necromancer, engineer of a massacre: the stain on the name of Catherine de Medici is centuries old. In this critically hailed biography, Leonie Frieda reclaims the story of this unjustly maligned queen of France to reveal a skilled ruler battling against extraordinary political and personal odds.
Orphaned in infancy, imprisoned in childhood, heiress to an ancient name and vast fortune, Catherine de Medici was brought up in Florence, a city dominated by her ruling family. At age fourteen, the Italian-born young woman became a French princess in a magnificent alliance arranged by her uncle the pope to Henry, son of King Francis I of France. She suffered cruelly as her new husband became bewitched by the superbly elegant Diane de Poitiers. Henry's influential and lifelong mistress wisely sent her lover to sleep with Catherine, and after an agonizingly childless decade when she saw popular resentment build against her, she conceived the first of ten children. Slowly Catherine made the court her own: she transformed the cultural life of France, importing much of what we now think of as typically French -- cuisine, art, music, fashion -- from Italy, cradle of the Renaissance.
In a freak jousting accident in 1559, a wooden splinter fatally pierced Henry's eye. Hitherto sidelined, Catherine found herself suddenly thrust into the maelstrom of French power politics, for which she soon discovered she had inherited a natural gift.
A contemporary and sometime ally of Elizabeth I of England, Catherine learned to become both a superb strategist and ruthless conspirator. During the rise of Protestantism, her attempts at religious tolerance were constantly foiled, and France was riven by endemic civil wars. Although history has always laid the blame for the infamous St. Bartholomew's Day massacre by a Catholic mob of thousands of French Protestants at Catherine's door, Leonie Frieda presents a powerful case for Catherine's defense.
This courageous queen's fatal flaw was a blind devotion to her sickly and corrupt children, three of whom would become kings of France. Despite their weaknesses, Catherine's indomitable fight to protect the throne and their birthright ensured the survival of the French monarchy for a further two hundred years after her death, until it was swept away by the French Revolution.
Leonie Frieda has returned to original sources and reread the thousands of letters left by Catherine, and she has reinvested this protean figure with humanity. The first biography of Catherine in decades, it reveals her to be one of the most influential women ever to wear a crown.
A Pulitzer Prize Winner and landmark book from one of the truly original scholars of our time: a magnificent revelation of turn-of-the-century Vienna where out of a crisis of political and social disintegration so much of modern art and thought was born.Not only is it a splendid exploration of several aspects of early modernism in their political context; it is an indicator of how the discipline of intellectual history is currently practiced by its most able and ambitious craftsmen. It is also a moving vindication of historical study itself, in the face of modernism's defiant suggestion that history is obsolete.
-- David A. Hollinger, History Book Club Review Each of the seven separate studies] can be read separately....Yet they are so artfully designed and integrated that one who reads them in order is impressed by the book's wholeness and the momentum of its argument.
-- Gordon A. Craig, The New Republic A profound work...on one of the most important chapters of modern intellectual history -- H.R. Trevor-Roper, front page, The New York Times Book Review Invaluable to the social and political historian...as well as to those more concerned with the arts -- John Willett, The New York Review of Books A work of original synthesis and scholarship. Engrossing.
The author of The Fatal Shore links 1,500 years of Catalan history with the architecture, painting, sculpture, music, and poetry of Barcelona to pay tribute to the intense accomplishments of the Catalunya culture. 50,000 first printing. $50,000 ad/promo. Tour.
Between the mid-15th and the mid-18th century, every European country bordering the Atlantic (and some that did not) acquired land overseas. But, as these imperial powers rushed to grab colonies, the world began to grow too small for these competing adventurers. Continuing the story he began in The Age of Reconnaissance, the author of the highly praised History of Civilization series now deals with the second phase of empire--its expanded operations, collisions, mutinies, alterations of course, and changing attitude toward the subject races.