Peter Berresford Ellis - A Brief History of the Celts - Little, Brown Book Group

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    • ISBN:9781472107947
    • Publication date:07 Feb 2013
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A Brief History of the Celts

By Peter Berresford Ellis

  • Paperback
  • £8.99

Uncovering one of the world's greatest civilisations

For centuries the Celts held sway in Europe. Even after their conquest by the Romans, their culture remained vigorous, ensuring that much of it endured to feed an endless fascination with Celtic history and myths, artwork and treasures. A foremost authority on the Celtic peoples and their culture, Peter Berresford Ellis presents an invigoration overview of their world. With his gift for making the scholarly accessible, he discusses the Celts' mysterious origins and early history and investigates their rich and complex society. His use of recently uncovered firnds brings fascinating insights into Celtic kings and chieftains, architecture and arts, medicine and religions, myths and legends, making this esesntial reading for any search for Europe's ancient past.

  • Other details

  • ISBN: 9781841197906
  • Publication date: 13 Nov 2003
  • Page count: 256
  • Imprint: Robinson
[A] vivid and enlightening representation of a fascinating civilisation. Anyone interested in the ancient world will find in it an informative and enjoyable adjustment of many assumptions about the Celts. — David Rankin, The Times Higher Education Supplement
Robinson

Rule Makers, Rule Breakers

Michele J. Gelfand
Authors:
Michele J. Gelfand

"A groundbreaking analysis of what used to be an impenetrable mystery: how and why do cultures differ? Gelfand shows that a wide range of divides of class, culture, and coalition are traceable to an intriguing source. Anyone interested in our cultural divides will find tremendous insight in Rule Makers, Rule Breakers." - Steven Pinker, Johnstone Professor of Psychology, Harvard University, and author of Enlightenment NowWhy are clocks in Germany always correct, while those in Brazil are frequently wrong? Why are Singaporeans jailed for selling gum? Why do women in New Zealand have three times the sex of females worldwide? Why was the Daimler-Chrysler merger ill-fated from the start? And why does each generation of Americans give their kids weirder and weirder names? Curious about the answers to these and other questions, award-winning social psychologist Michele Gelfand has spent two decades studying both tight societies (with clearly stated rules and codes of ethics) and loose societies (more informal communities with weak or ambiguous norms). Putting each under the microscope, she conducted research in more than fifty countries and collaborated with political scientists, neuroscientists, computer scientists, anthropologists, and archaeologists. Her fascinating conclusion: behaviour seems largely dependent on perceived threats. It's why certain nations seem predisposed to tangle with others; some American states identify as "Red" and others as "Blue"; and those attending a sports contest, health club, or school function behave in prescribed ways. Rule Makers, Rule Breakers reveals how to predict national variations around the globe, why some leaders innovate and others don't, and even how a tight vs. loose system can determine happiness. Consistently riveting and always illuminating, Michele Gelfand's book helps us understand how a single cultural trait dramatically affects even the smallest aspects of our lives."Fascinating and profound...It's quite possibly this year's best book on culture." Roy F. Baumeister, bestselling co-author of Willpower and author of The Cultural Animal"This brilliant book is full of well-documented insights that will change the way you look at yourself and at the world around you." Barry Schwartz, bestselling author of The Paradox of Choice, Practical Wisdom, and Why We Work

Robinson

Naples

Desmond Seward
Authors:
Desmond Seward

Many Italian cities look back with pride to the days when they were independent republics: Naples, on the contrary, remembers its days as a royal capital, the brilliant administrative and political centre of The Kingdom of The Two Sicilies, ruled over successively by the house of Anjou, Aragon and Bourbon. Once 'the third city of Europe', today it is one of the least visited of the continent's great cities. The same bustling lively atmosphere and magnificent buildings that one finds in Paris or London exist here.This book is a topographical anthology which recreates for today's tourist the drama, the history and the life of a city in buildings and locations that still exist today. An indispensable companion, it brings the past of Naples vividly to life for the traveller of the present. Extracts from chronicles, memoirs, biographies, letters and novels refer to the most important and beautiful buildings in and around Naples, as well as the lives of travellers to and residents of this famous city.This is a guide to the vanished glories of royal Naples: the departure of the Borbone King Francis II in 1860 as the Risorgimento movement brought about unification of Italy. It records the turbulent and bloodstained days of the Angevin Queens Giovanna I and II, and the revolt led by the young fisherman Masaniello; the artistic life of the city that Petrarch knew, where Caravaggio, Ribera and Giordano painted, and which attracted such diverse visitors as Nelson and Lady Hamilton, Casanova, Goethe, Mozart, John Evelyn and Angelica Kauffman among countless others. The dazzling world of the royalty - their palaces overlooking the legendarily beautiful Bay of Naples, their court balls and ceremonies - is described as well as the pulsing, overcrowded slums of the Spanish quarter and the seafront with its tarantella-dancers, iced-melon vendors, pickpockets and throbbing Neopolitan songs.Naples is still, as it always has been, a city of challenging contrasts: sunlight and squalor, grandeur and decay, gaiety and despair. Its slums and its crime-rate have deterred many, but those who persist will discover, through this illuminating guide, the hidden glories of this famous city.

Little, Brown

The Incurable Romantic

Frank Tallis
Authors:
Frank Tallis
Robinson

A Woman Lived Here

Allison Vale
Authors:
Allison Vale
Da Capo Press

Island of the Blue Foxes

Stephen R. Bown
Authors:
Stephen R. Bown

The immense 18th-century scientific journey, variously known as the Second Kamchatka Expedition or the Great Northern Expedition, from St. Petersburg across Siberia to the coast of North America, involved over 3,000 people and cost Peter the Great over one-sixth of his empire's annual revenue. Until now recorded only in academic works, this 10-year venture, led by the legendary Danish captain Vitus Bering and including scientists, artists, mariners, soldiers, and laborers, discovered Alaska, opened the Pacific fur trade, and led to fame, shipwreck, and "one of the most tragic and ghastly trials of suffering in the annals of maritime and arctic history."

PublicAffairs

The Empire Must Die

Mikhail Zygar
Authors:
Mikhail Zygar

The Empire Must Die portrays the vivid drama of Russia's brief and exotic experiment with civil society before it was swept away by the despotism of the Communist Revolution. The window between two equally stifling autocracies - the imperial family and the communists - was open only briefly, in the last couple of years of the 19th century until the end of WWI, by which time the revolution was in full fury. From the last years of Tolstoy until the death of the Tsar and his family, however, Russia experimented with liberalism and cultural openness. In Europe, the Ballet Russe was the height of chic. Novelists and playwrights blossomed, political ideas were swapped in coffee houses and St Petersburg felt briefly like Vienna or Paris. The state, however couldn't tolerate such experimentation against the backdrop of a catastrophic war and a failing economy. The autocrats moved in and the liberals were overwhelmed. This story seems to have strangely prescient echoes of the present.

Virago

What Katy Did Next

Susan Coolidge
Authors:
Susan Coolidge

Europe beckoned more brilliantly now that they were fairly embarked on their journey. The sun shone, the lake was a beautiful, dazzling blue, and Katy said to herself, "After all, a year is not very long, and how happy I am going to be!"'When Mrs Ashe discovers that her visiting nephew has scarlet fever, she sends her young daughter Amy to stay with the Carr family. There, Amy develops a strong attachment to Katy, who treats her like a little sister. Mrs Ashe, grateful for the kindness Katy has shown, invites her to join them on a year-long trip around Europe. Katy is at first reluctant - a year is a long time to be away from her family - but soon she gets swept up in the adventure, which takes her from the historic (but rainy) London streets to the beautiful cities of Nice, Paris and Naples. And perhaps Katy, now a young woman, will discover love.A collection that will be coveted by children and adults alike, this list is the best in children's literature, curated by Virago. These are timeless tales with beautiful covers, that will be treasured and shared across the generations. Some titles you will already know; some will be new to you, but there are stories for everyone to love, whatever your age. Our list includes Nina Bawden (Carrie's War, The Peppermint Pig), Rumer Godden (The Dark Horse, An Episode of Sparrows), Joan Aiken (The Serial Garden, The Gift Giving) E. Nesbit (The Psammead Trilogy, The Bastable Trilogy, The Railway Children), L. M. Montgomery (The Anne of Green Gables series) and Susan Coolidge (The What Katy Did Trilogy). Discover Virago Children's Classics.

PublicAffairs

The Storm Before the Storm

Mike Duncan
Authors:
Mike Duncan

The Roman Republic was one of the most remarkable achievements in the history of civilization. After its founding in 509 BCE, Rome grew from an unremarkable Italian city-state to the dominant superpower of the Mediterranean world. Through it all, the Romans never allowed a single man to seize control of the state. Every year for four hundred years the annually elected consuls voluntarily handed power to their successors. Not once did a consul give in to the temptation to grab absolute power and refuse to let it go. It was a run of political self-denial unmatched in the history of the world. The disciplined Roman republicans then proceeded to explode out of Italy and conquer a world filled with petty tyrants, barbarian chieftains, and despotic kings.But the very success of the Republic proved to be its undoing. The republican system was unable to cope with the vast empire Rome ruled. Bankrolled by mountains of imperial wealth and without a foreign enemy to keep them united, ambitious Roman leaders began to stray from the republican austerity of their ancestors. Almost as soon as they had conquered the Mediterranean, Rome would become engulfed in violent political conflicts and civil wars that would destroy the Republic less than a century later.The Storm Before the Storm tells the story of the beginning of the end of the Roman Republic--the story of the first generation that had to cope with the dangerous new political environment made possible by Rome's unrivaled domination over the known world. The tumultuous years from 133-80 BCE set the stage for the fall of the Republic.The Republic faced issues like rising economic inequality, increasing political polarization, the privatization of the military, endemic social and ethnic prejudice, rampant corruption, ongoing military quagmires, and the ruthless ambition and unwillingness of elites to do anything to reform the system in time to save it--a situation that draws many parallels to present-day America. These issues are among the reasons why the Roman Republic would fall. And as we all know, those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

Robinson

Norse Myths and Legends

Martyn Whittock, Hannah Whittock
Authors:
Martyn Whittock, Hannah Whittock

While the main focus of the book is on telling the stories, some scene-setting is provided at the beginning and each chapter also contains a section of commentary to explain what is going on and its significance.The Norse myths have gained widespread attention in the English-speaking world, partly through a Scandinavian diaspora, especially in the USA) and partly through a great interest in the myths and legends which lie behind Viking activity. Tolkien's 'Middle Earth', too, as seen in both The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit films is heavily indebted to Germanic/Norse mythology. The Whittock's book fills a gap in the market between academic publications and the interest-generating (but confusing) products of Hollywood and comic-culture. This is an accessible book, which both provides a retelling of these dramatic stories and also sets them in context so that their place within the Viking world can be understood. The book explores Norse myths (stories, usually religious, which explain origins, why things are as they are, the nature of the spiritual) and legends (stories which attempt to explain historical events and which may involve historical characters but which are told in a non-historical way and which often include supernatural events).

Little, Brown

Gibraltar

Lesley Adkins, Roy Adkins
Authors:
Lesley Adkins, Roy Adkins

For over three and a half years, from 1779 to 1783, the tiny territory of Gibraltar was besieged and blockaded, on land and at sea, by the overwhelming forces of Spain and France. It became the longest siege in British history, and the obsession with saving Gibraltar was blamed for the loss of the American colonies in the War of Independence. Located between the Mediterranean and Atlantic, on the very edge of Europe, Gibraltar was a place of varied nationalities, languages, religions and social classes. During the siege, thousands of soldiers, civilians and their families withstood terrifying bombardments, starvation and diseases. Very ordinary people lived through extraordinary events, from shipwrecks and naval battles to an attempted invasion of England and a daring sortie out of Gibraltar into Spain. Deadly innovations included red-hot shot, shrapnel shells and a barrage from immense floating batteries.This is military and social history at its best, a story of soldiers, sailors and civilians, with royalty and rank-and-file, workmen and engineers, priests, prisoners-of-war, spies and surgeons, all caught up in a struggle for a fortress located on little more than two square miles of awe-inspiring rock. Gibraltar: The Greatest Siege in British History is an epic page-turner, rich in dramatic human detail - a tale of courage, endurance, intrigue, desperation, greed and humanity. The everyday experiences of all those involved are brought vividly to life with eyewitness accounts and expert research.'A fascinating, well-crafted account of a siege that defined Britishness' Andrew Lambert, BBC History Magazine

Little, Brown

The King's City

Don Jordan
Authors:
Don Jordan

'The cruelty and magnificence of Restoration London provides endless fascination . . . there's much to delight in this volume' The Times'Don Jordan's history captures the shifts [Charles II] engineered in trade and culture' NatureDuring the reign of Charles II, London was a city in flux. After years of civil war and political turmoil, England's capital became the centre for major advances in the sciences, the theatre, architecture, trade and ship-building that paved the way for the creation of the British Empire.At the heart of this activity was the King, whose return to power from exile in 1660 lit the fuse for an explosion in activity in all spheres of city life. London flourished, its wealth, vibrancy and success due to many figures famous today including Christopher Wren, Samuel Pepys and John Dryden - and others whom history has overlooked until now.Throughout the quarter-century Charles was on the throne, London suffered several serious reverses: the plague in 1665 and the Great Fire in 1666, and severe defeat in the Second Anglo-Dutch War, which brought about notable economic decline. But thanks to the genius and resilience of the people of London, and the occasionally wavering stewardship of the King, the city rose from the ashes to become the economic capital of Europe.The King's City tells the gripping story of a city that defined a nation and birthed modern Britain - and how the vision of great individuals helped to build the richly diverse place we know today.

Abacus

Primitive Rebels

Eric Hobsbawm
Authors:
Eric Hobsbawm

Social agitation is as essential a part of public life today as it has ever been. In Eric Hobsbawm's masterful study, Primitive Rebels, he shines a light on the origins of contemporary rebellion: Robin Hood, secret societies, revolutionary peasants, Mafiosi, Spanish Civil War anarchy, pre-industrial mobs and riots - all of which have fed in to our notions of dissent in the modern world.Coining now familiar terms such as 'social banditry', Primitive Rebels shows how Hobsbawm was decades ahead of his time, and his insightful analysis of the history of social movements is critical to our understanding of movements such as UK Uncut, Black Lives Matter and the growing international resistance to Donald Trump's presidency.Reissued with a new introduction by Owen Jones, Primitive Rebels is the perfect guide to the revolutions that shaped western civilisation, and the bandits, reformers and anarchists who have fought to change the world.

Robinson

Superstition and Science

Derek Wilson
Authors:
Derek Wilson
Robinson

Superstition and Science

Derek Wilson
Authors:
Derek Wilson

'A dazzling chronicle, a bracing challenge to modernity's smug assumptions' - Bryce Christensen, Booklist'O what a world of profit and delightOf power, of honour and omnipotenceIs promised to the studious artisan.'Christopher Marlowe, Dr FaustusBetween the Renaissance and the Enlightenment, Europe changed out of all recognition and particularly transformative were the ardent quest for knowledge and the astounding discoveries and inventions which resulted from it. The movement of blood round the body; the movement of the earth round the sun; the velocity of falling objects (and, indeed, why objects fall) - these and numerous other mysteries had been solved by scholars in earnest pursuit of scientia. Several keys were on offer to thinkers seeking to unlock the portal of the unknown:Folk religion had roots deep in the pagan past. Its devotees sought the aid of spirits. They had stores of ancient wisdom, particularly relating to herbal remedies. Theirs was the world of wise women, witches, necromancers, potions and incantations.Catholicism had its own magic and its own wisdom. Dogma was enshrined in the collective wisdom of the doctors of the church and the rigid scholastic system of teaching. Magic resided in the ranks of departed saints and the priestly miracle of the mass.Alchemy was at root a desire to understand and to exploit the material world. Practitioners studied the properties of natural substances. A whole system of knowledge was built on the theory of the four humours.Astrology was based on the belief that human affairs were controlled by the movement of heavenly bodies. Belief in the casting of horoscopes was almost universal.Natural Philosophy really began with Francis Bacon and his empirical method. It was the beginning of science 'proper' because it was based on observation and not on predetermined theory.Classical Studies. University teaching was based on the quadrivium - which consisted largely of rote learning the philosophy and science current in the classical world (Plato, Aristotle, Galen, Ptolemy, etc.). Renaissance scholars reappraised these sources of knowledge.Islamic and Jewish Traditions. The twelfth-century polymath, Averroes, has been called 'the father of secular thought' because of his landmark treatises on astronomy, physics and medicine. Jewish scholars and mystics introduced the esoteric disciplines of the Kabbalah.New Discoveries. Exploration connected Europeans with other peoples and cultures hitherto unknown, changed concepts about the nature of the planet, and led to the development of navigational skills.These 'sciences' were not entirely self-contained. For example physicians and theologians both believed in the casting of horoscopes. Despite popular myth (which developed 200 years later), there was no perceived hostility between faith and reason. Virtually all scientists and philosophers before the Enlightenment worked, or tried to work, within the traditional religious framework. Paracelsus, Descartes, Newton, Boyle and their compeers proceeded on the a príori notion that the universe was governed by rational laws, laid down by a rational God.. This certainly did not mean that there were no conflicts between the upholders of different types of knowledge. Dr Dee's neighbours destroyed his laboratory because they believed he was in league with the devil. Galileo famously had his run-in with the Curia.By the mid-seventeenth century 'science mania' had set in; the quest for knowledge had become a pursuit of cultured gentlemen. In 1663 The Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge received its charter. Three years later the French Academy of Sciences was founded. Most other European capitals were not slow to follow suit. In 1725 we encounter the first use of the word 'science' meaning 'a branch of study concerned either with a connected body of demonstrated truths or with observed facts systematically classified'. Yet, it was only nine years since the last witch had been executed in Britain - a reminder that, although the relationship of people to their environment was changing profoundly, deep-rooted fears and attitudes remained strong.

Basic Books

Flaubert in the Ruins of Paris

Peter Brooks
Authors:
Peter Brooks

In 1869, Gustave Flaubert published what he considered to be his masterwork novel, A Sentimental Education, which told a deeply human and deeply pessimistic story of the 1848 revolutions. The book was a critical and commercial flop. Flaubert was devastated.

Robinson

Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Know

Karl Shaw
Authors:
Karl Shaw
Piatkus

Zigzag

Nicholas Booth
Authors:
Nicholas Booth

Eddie Chapman was a womaniser, blackmailer and safecracker. He was also a great hero - the most remarkable double agent of the Second World War. Chapman became the only British national ever to be awarded an Iron Cross for his work for the Reich. He was also the only German spy ever to be parachuted into Britain twice. But it was all an illusion: Eddie fooled the Germans in the same way he conned his victims in civilian life. He was working for the British all along. Until now, the full story of Eddie Chapman's extraordinary exploits has never been told, thwarted by the Official Secrets Act. Now at last all the evidence has been released, including Eddie's M15 files, and a complete account of what he achieved is told in this enthralling book.

PublicAffairs

All the Kremlin's Men

Mikhail Zygar
Authors:
Mikhail Zygar
Constable

Slim, Master of War

Robert Lyman
Authors:
Robert Lyman

General W J Slim achieved something no one believed possible. Appointed to lead what was soon to become the famous 'forgotten' 14th Army in 1943, at a time when British units in the Far East were defeated and demoralised, within six months he had dealt the first death blow to the Japanese Army. This - the battle of Kohima and Imphal - was the largest single defeat of the Japanese on land in the Second World War and led to their complete destruction in Burma by August 1945. So, how did he do it? And why is he not better known? Slim did not fit the British military mould. Like Patton he was a manoeuvrist: he fought differently, seeking victory by cunning and guile, starkly different from how the British Army foughts its wars at the time. Like the legendary soldier T E Lawrence, Slim was an exponent - long before it became fashionable - of mission command, giving his subordinates their head and encouraging initiative and imagination at the lowest levels of command. But above all Slim was a soldier's general - it wasn't just his men who revered him, but his equals too: Mountbatten, with whom he bonded in a way unparalleled in South East Asia Command, and Stilwell, another maverick, who would serve under no other British commander but him. They were not wrong; he was a singular man, a supreme commander, who remains worthy of our respect.

Basic Books

The Wise King

Simon R. Doubleday
Authors:
Simon R. Doubleday

If I had been present at the Creation," the thirteenth-century Spanish philosopher-king Alfonso X is said to have stated, Many faults in the universe would have been avoided." Known as El Sabio , the Wise," Alfonso was renowned by friends and enemies alike for his sparkling intellect and extraordinary cultural achievements. In The Wise King , celebrated historian Simon R. Doubleday traces the story of the king's life and times, leading us deep into his emotional world and showing how his intense admiration for Spain's rich Islamic culture paved the way for the European Renaissance. In 1252, when Alfonso replaced his more militaristic father on the throne of Castile and León, the battle to reconquer Muslim territory on the Iberian Peninsula was raging fiercely. But even as he led his Christian soldiers onto the battlefield, Alfonso was seduced by the glories of Muslim Spain. His engagement with the Arabic-speaking culture of the South shaped his pursuit of astronomy, for which he was famed for centuries, and his profoundly humane vision of the world, which Dante, Petrarch, and later Italian humanists would inherit. A composer of lyric verses, and patron of works on board games, hunting, and the properties of stones, Alfonso is best known today for his Cantigas de Santa María (Songs of Holy Mary), which offer a remarkable window onto his world. His ongoing struggles as a king and as a man were distilled,in art, music, literature, and architecture,into something sublime that speaks to us powerfully across the centuries. An intimate biography of the Spanish ruler in whom two cultures converged, The Wise King introduces readers to a Renaissance man before his time, whose creative energy in the face of personal turmoil and existential threats to his kingdom would transform the course of Western history.