Book picks similar to
The Unfortunate Colonel Despard by Mike Jay
Twilight of the Habsburgs: The Life and Times of Emperor Francis Joseph
Alan Warwick Palmer - 1994
Titular master of central Europe from 1848 until 1916, he was centre stage throughout the dramatic era in which Italy and Germany emerged as united nation states. His personal decisions were vital both to the outcome of the Crimean War and to the onset of World War I, sixty years later.
Prince Eddy: The King Britain Never Had
Andrew Cook - 2006
1901–10) first son and heir to the throne, popularly known as Eddy, has virtually been airbrushed out of history. Eddy was as popular and charismatic a figure in his own time as Princess Diana a century later. As in her case, his sudden death in 1892 resulted in public demonstrations of grief on a scale rarely seen at the time, and it was even rumored (as in the case of Diana) that he was murdered to save him besmirching the monarchy. Had he lived, he would have been crowned king in 1911, ushering in a profoundly different style of monarchy from that of his younger brother, who ultimately succeeded as the stodgy George V. Eddy's life was virtually ignored by historians until the 1970s, when myths began to accumulate and his character somehow grew horns and a tail. As a result, he is remembered today primarily as a suspect in the Jack the Ripper murders of 1888 and for his alleged involvement in the Cleveland Street homosexual scandal of 1889. But history has found Eddy guilty of crimes he did not commit. Now, for the first time, using modern forensic evidence combined with Eddy's previously unseen records, personal correspondence, and photographs, Andrew Cook proves his innocence. Prince Eddy reveals the truth about a key royal figure, a man who would have made a fine king, and changed the face of the British monarchy.
Theo Aronson - 1971
Theo Aronson's The Kaisers is the story of six people whose bitter differences were a microcosm of, and greatly influenced, a national conflict which echoed all round the world. Kaiser Wilhelm I, born 1797, King of Prussia 1861, proclaimed Emperor of all Germany 1871, died only in 1888 an autocratic, militaristic man of the eighteenth century completely opposed to the liberalizing ideas which swept Europe in his lifetime. In contrast his Empress, Augusta, was progressive in thought, open-minded in outlook, yet with all had a taste for the theatrical and pageantry of her royal status. The best of her was seen in their son, Kaiser Frederick III, who was Crown Prince for all but the last few cancer-torn weeks of his life. He personified the best of European liberalism of the nineteenth century. In this he was supported—many said unduly influenced by his energetic and vivacious English wife Victoria, Queen Victoria's eldest and 'Dearest Child', who brought to the marriage the enlightened ideals and hopes of her shrewd, practical mother and her far-seeing father, the Prince Consort. The tragedy, the tempting speculation of Germany's history, is that this couple reigned for only three months before Frederick III's death brought their son to the throne. Kaiser Wilhelm II, 'Kaiser Bill' of the first World War, was again the antithesis of everything his parents stood for. Queen Victoria's hopes that her grandson might be 'wise, sensible, courageous — liberal-minded — good and pure', could hardly have been more misplaced. The sixth, the dominating figure in the Hohenzollern story, is Prince Otto von Bismarck, the ruthless 'Iron Chancellor', virtual dictator of Germany for nearly thirty years. He served all three Kaisers, claiming with justification that on his shoulders he had carried the first to the Imperial throne—where he manipulated him to his will despite the hatred and manoeuvrings of the Empress Augusta. He feared the reign of the short-lived second Kaiser and feared more perhaps (and never missed an opportunity to disparage) the Empress Victoria and the constant, commonsense influence from England of her mother. (`That', he said ruefully after their one meeting, 'was a woman ! One could do business with her ! ') Their son he flattered, siding with him against his parents, and in so doing brought about his own downfall, when the vainglorious young man he had schooled as Crown Prince came as Kaiser to believe that he could do without his mentor. But for Europe it was too late, and the policies of one and the vanities of the other were already leading Europe helter-skelter into the holocaust of 'the Kaiser's War'. Theo Aronson's gifts as a writer have deservedly brought him high regard as a chronicler of the complex histories of Europe's great ruling Houses. Rarely have his talents been better employed than in this study of the comet-like rise and fall of the House of Hohenzollern, the House of the Kaisers of Germany. It is a story of bitter, almost continual conflict, yet even in what can now be seen as a path to inevitable destruction Mr. Aronson finds passages of light and shade that show the Hohenzollerns not simply as Wagnerian puppets posturing on a vast European stage, but people deserving of our understanding and compassion.
The Ghosts of Johns Hopkins: The Life and Legacy That Shaped an American City
Antero Pietila - 2018
One of America's richest men and the largest single shareholder of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, Hopkins was also one of the city's defining developers. In The Ghosts of Johns Hopkins, Antero Pietila weaves together a biography of the man with a portrait of how the institutions he founded have shaped the racial legacy of an industrial city from its heyday to its decline and revitalization. From the destruction of neighborhoods to make way for the mercantile buildings that dominated Baltimore's downtown through much of the 19th century to the role that the president of Johns Hopkins University played in government sponsored "Negro Removal" that unleashed the migration patterns that created Baltimore's existing racial patchwork, Pietila tells the story of how one man's wealth shaped and reshaped the life of a city long after his lifetime.--Klaus Philipsen, architect and author of Baltimore: Reinventing an Industrial Legacy City
The King's Revenge: Charles II and the Greatest Manhunt in British History
Don Jordan - 2012
From exile, he instigated what became the biggest manhunt the nation had ever seen, spreading out across Europe and America and lasting for over thirty years. When he ascended to the throne in 1660 as Charles II, his search for revenge intensified, with show trials in London and assassination squads scouring foreign countries.Many of the most senior figures in England were hanged, drawn and quartered; imprisoned for life; or consigned to a self-imposed exile, in constant fear of the assassin's bullet.History has painted the regicides and their supporters as fanatics, but among them were exceptional men, including John Milton, poetic genius and political propagandist; Oliver Cromwell's steely son-in-law, Henry Ireton; and the errant son of an earl, Algernon Sidney, whose writings helped inspire the founders of the American Revolution. Cromwell himself was subjected to the most bizarre symbolic revenge when—though long-dead—his body was disinterred and beheaded.Set in an age of intrigue and betrayal, The King's Revenge brings these remarkable figures vividly to life in an engrossing tale of ambition, double agents, and espionage.
Kiss the Hand You Cannot Bite: The Rise and Fall of the Ceausescus
Edward Samuel Behr - 1991
A study of the rise and fall of Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu and his wife, Elena, discusses their complex lives and political careers, their reign of terror over Romania, and their fate during the 1989 revolution.
The Last Lion 1-2: Visions of Glory/Alone
William Manchester - 1983
The Churchill conjured up by William Manchester and Paul Reid is a man of indomitable courage, lightning fast intellect, and an irresistible will to action. THE LAST LION brilliantly recounts how Churchill organized his nation's military response and defense; compelled FDR into supporting America's beleaguered cousins, and personified the "never surrender" ethos that helped the Allies win the war, while at the same time adapting himself and his country to the inevitable shift of world power from the British Empire to the United States. More than twenty years in the making, THE LAST LION presents a revelatory and unparalleled portrait of this brilliant, flawed, and dynamic leader. This is popular history at its most stirring.
Margaret Thatcher: Power and Personality
Jonathan Aitken - 2013
Drawing from an abundance of new, previously unpublished material from the Thatcher Archive at Churchill College, Cambridge, Jonathan Aitken's fresh and original biography is a lively and perceptive exploration of the personality that dominated conservative British politics for more than 10 years and her profound and worldwide impact on the historical tapestry of her time. At once positive and critical in its assessment of her governance, Margaret Thatcher: Power and Personality is crafted from the author's longtime personal relationship with his subject, his eyewitness account of public and private episodes in her life, and more than 100 interviews with the former Prime Minister's political colleagues and close personal friends. Penetrating and insightful, it chronicles one of the most remarkable political lives of our time.
Bloody Mary: The Life and Legacy of England's Most Notorious Queen
Charles River Editors - 2015
The truth, as usual, is more complicated than the myth. The oldest surviving child of King Henry VIII, she grew up in an era of religious and political turmoil, both in England and abroad, and though united in its Christianity, the continent was divided in how it approached that faith. A growing wave of protest and dissent had been met with brutal suppression in the 15th century, only to emerge like a phoenix from the flames in the form of Protestantism. With religious faith and political practice deeply intertwined, countries were being torn apart in a growing conflict between Catholics and Protestants. Mary’s life was shaped by her experience of this, and by the twisted family politics of her father, Henry VIII. Henry VIII’s lone mail heir, his young son Edward, was a strong Protestant but a sickly teen, and as it became clear he would not survive to adulthood, Edward did not want his crown to pass to Mary, a zealous Catholic whose brutal reign would include 280 “heretics” being burned at the stake during the “Marian Persecutions”. However, Edward could see no constitutional, or indeed non-arbitrary, way to pass over Mary and instead choose the younger sister, Elizabeth. Hence, in his typical schoolboy penmanship, Edward’s will attempted to override the Succession to the Crown Act 1543 (advocated by his father and passed by Parliament), bar both Mary and Elizabeth from the succession, and instead declare as his heir Lady Jane Grey, who was the granddaughter of Henry VIII’s sister Mary. Lady Jane was proclaimed queen by the Privy Council, possibly under duress, but her support soon waned after her own close blood relations distanced themselves from her, and she was deposed after just over a week. Given this background, it is hardly surprising then that her reign epitomized an extreme reaction against these upheavals. Mary’s behavior was rightly viewed with fear and anger by many but in hindsight, it is hard not to pity the woman who took these terrible steps. Emotionally betrayed by her father, her husband and even her own body, Mary’s life is one of the great tragedies of the English crown. It also hasn’t helped Mary’s legacy that she was succeeded by one of England’s greatest monarchs, her younger sister Elizabeth. Elizabeth I was the last Tudor sovereign, and she would improve upon her predecessors’ successes and mitigate their failures. In the process, she would lend her name to the Elizabethan Age and set Great Britain on its future imperial course. Bloody Mary: The Life and Legacy of England’s Most Notorious Queen traces the life of Mary and the history of her short reign. Along with pictures of important people, places, and events, you will learn about Bloody Mary like never before, in no time at all.
The Strong Man: John Mitchell and the Secrets of Watergate
James Rosen - 2008
Mitchell, the central figure in the rise and ruin of Richard Nixon and the highest-ranking American official ever convicted on criminal charges.As U.S. attorney general from 1969 to 1972, John Mitchell stood at the center of the upheavals of the late sixties. The most powerful man in the Nixon cabinet, a confident troubleshooter, Mitchell championed law and order against the bomb-throwers of the antiwar movement, desegregated the South’s public schools, restored calm after the killings at Kent State, and steered the commander-in-chief through the Pentagon Papers and Joint Chiefs spying crises. After leaving office, Mitchell survived the ITT and Vesco scandals—but was ultimately destroyed by Watergate. With a novelist’s skill, James Rosen traces Mitchell’s early life and career from his Long Island boyhood to his mastery of Wall Street, where Mitchell's innovations in municipal finance made him a power broker to the Rockefellers and mayors and governors in all fifty states. After merging law firms with Richard Nixon, Mitchell brilliantly managed Nixon’s 1968 presidential campaign and, at his urging, reluctantly agreed to serve as attorney general. With his steely demeanor and trademark pipe, Mitchell commanded awe throughout the government as Nixon’s most trusted adviser, the only man in Washington who could say no to the president.Chronicling the collapse of the Nixon presidency, The Strong Man follows America’s former top cop on his singular odyssey through the criminal justice system—a tortuous maze of camera crews, congressional hearings, special prosecutors, and federal trials. The path led, ultimately, to a prison cell in Montgomery, Alabama, where Mitchell was welcomed into federal custody by the same men he had appointed to office. Rosen also reveals the dark truth about Mitchell’s marriage to the flamboyant and volatile Martha Mitchell: her slide into alcoholism and madness, their bitter divorce, and the toll it all took on their daughter, Marty. Based on 250 original interviews and hundreds of thousands of previously unpublished documents and tapes, The Strong Man resolves definitively the central mysteries of the Nixon era: the true purpose of the Watergate break-in, who ordered it, the hidden role played by the Central Intelligence Agency, and those behind the cover-up. A landmark of history and biography, The Strong Man is that rarest of books: both a model of scholarly research and savvy analysis and a masterful literary achievement.
The Habsburg Empire: A Very Short Introduction
Martyn Rady - 2017
From the thirteenth to the twentieth centuries, they ruled much of Central Europe, and for two centuries were also rulers of Spain. Through the Spanish connection, they acquired lands around the Mediterranean and a chunk of the New World, spreading eastwards to include the Philippines. Reaching from South-East Asia to what is now Ukraine, the Habsburg Empire was truly global.In this Very Short Introduction Martin Rady looks at the history of the Habsburgs, from their tenth-century origins in Switzerland, to the dissolution of the Habsburg Empire in 1918. He introduces the pantheon of Habsburg rulers, which included adventurers, lunatics, and at least one monarch who was so malformed that his true portrait could never be exhibited. He also discusses the lands and kingdoms that made up the Habsburg Empire, and the decisive moments that shaped their history. Dynasty, Europe, global power, and the idea of the multi-national state all converge on the history of the Habsburg Empire. Martin Rady shows how.ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
The Puppet Masters: Spies, Traitors and the Real Forces Behind World Events
John Hughes-Wilson - 2004
From France’s brilliant secret agent transvestite to the infamous Cambridge spy ring, ‘The Puppet Masters’ offers an entertaining and thought-provoking insight into the work – and treacheries – of the spies who shaped history. From the Old Testament’s honey-traps to WWII’s cryptography, from Elizabeth I to Osama bin Laden, the hidden hand of intelligence is exposed behind every critical decision. In this revised and updated edition, John Hughes-Wilson analyses the threat of the globalisation of terrorism and the role of intelligence in fighting the ‘War on Terror’. ‘The Puppet Masters’ provides the essential guide to history, intelligence and war, perfect for either curious layman or expert. “A powerful book… there should be a well-thumbed copy of this book on every general’s bedside table…” – The Spectator “John Hughes-Wilson has a lively pen and an eye for a good anecdote… an enjoyable romp through world history.” – The Sunday Telegraph A former senior intelligence officer, John Hughes-Wilson is an author and broadcaster specialising in military history and intelligence. He has published multiple works, including the best-selling ‘Military Intelligence Blunders’, while acting as a consultant for the United Nations, European Union, and the Ministry of Defence among other organisations. Endeavour Press is the UK's largest independent publisher of digital books.
History of Louis XIV
John S.C. Abbott - 1870
This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: Gayeties in Paris. Poverty of the court. Chapter IIL Matrimonial Projects. r I EERE is nothing so successful as sue J- cess." The young king returned to Paris from his coronation and his brief campaign a hero and a conqueror. The courage he had displayed won universal admiration. The excitable populace were half frenzied with enthusiasm. The city resounded with shouts of gladness, and the streets were resplendent with the display of gorgeous pageants. The few nobles who still rallied around the court endeavored to compensate by the magnificence of their equipages, the elegance of their attire, and the splendor of their festivities, for their diminished numbers. There were balls and tournaments, where the dress and customs of the by-gone ages of chivalry were revived. Ladies of illustrious birth, glit tering in jewels, and proud in conscious beauty, contributed to the gorgeousness of the spectacle. Still, in the midst of all this splendor, the impoverished court was greatly embarrassed by straitened circumstances. Death of the Archbishop of Paris. Murmnringfl. Cardinal Mazarin, eager to retain his hold upon the king, did every thing he could to gratify the love of pleasure which his royal master developed, and strove to multiply seductive amusements to engross his time and thoughts. But a few days after Cardinal de Retz had been conducted a prisoner to Yincennes, his uncle, the Archbishop of Paris, died. The cardinal could legally claim the succession. The metropolitan clergy, who had been almost roused to rebellion by his arrest, were now still more deeply moved, since he had become their archbishop. They regarded his captivity as political martyrdom, and their murmurs were deep and prolonged. The pope also addressed several letters to the court, soliciting the ...