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

Barbarians

Stephen P. Kershaw
Authors:
Stephen P. Kershaw

History is written by the victors, and in the case of Rome the victors also had some extremely eloquent historians. Rome's history, as written by the Romans, follows a remarkable trajectory from its origins as a tiny village of refugees from a conflict zone, to a dominant superpower, before being transformed into the Medieval and Byzantine worlds. But throughout its rise and fall Rome faced resistance and rebellion from peoples which it regarded as barbarous and/or barbarian. These opponents of Rome's power left little in the way of their own first-hand historical accounts, but they had great deal of impact on the imaginations of the Romans, and of later ages. Resisting from outside the borders, or rebelling from within, they emerge vividly in Rome's historical tradition, and have a significant footprint in the archaeology. This new history takes a fresh and original viewpoint of Rome, building its narrative around the lives, personalities, successes and failures both of the key opponents of Rome's rise and dominance, and of the ones who ultimately brought the empire down. The book presents a selection of portrait-histories of Africans, Britons, Easterners, Egyptians, Gauls, Germans, Goths, Huns, Vandals and others which can be read individually as stand-alone pieces or collectively as a narrative 'barbarian' history of Rome. These will be based both on ancient historical writings and modern archaeological research.

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? ... 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

'A pretty awesome present for the feminist in your life' - Caroline Criado Perez, OBE, author of Do It Like a WomanAt the last count, the Blue Plaque Guide honours 903 Londoners, and a walking tour of these sites brings to life the London of a bygone era. But only 111 of these blue plaques commemorate women.Over the centuries, London has been home to thousands of truly remarkable women who have made significant and lasting impacts on every aspect of modern life: from politics and social reform, to the Arts, medicine, science, technology and sport. Many of those women went largely unnoticed, even during their own lifetimes, going about their lives quietly but with courage, conviction, skill and compassion. Others were fearless, strident trail-blazers. Many lived in an era when their achievements were given a male name, clouding the capabilities of women in any field outside of the home or field. A Woman Lived Here shines a spotlight on some of these forgotten women to redress the balance. The stories on these pages commemorate some of the most remarkable of London's women, who set out to make their world a little richer, and in doing so, left an indelible mark on ours.

Da Capo Press

Island of the Blue Foxes

Stephen R. Bown
Authors:
Stephen R. Bown
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
PublicAffairs

The Storm Before the Storm

Mike Duncan
Authors:
Mike Duncan
Robinson

Norse Myths and Legends

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

Little, Brown

Gibraltar

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

Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Know

Karl Shaw
Authors:
Karl Shaw

The alarming history of the British, and European, aristocracy - from Argyll to Wellington and from Byron to Tolstoy, stories of madness, murder, misery, greed and profligacy.From Regency playhouses, to which young noblemen would go simply in order to insult someone to provoke a duel that might further their reputation, to the fashionable gambling clubs or 'hells' which were springing up around St James's in the mid-eighteenth century, the often bizarre doings of aristocrats. An eighteenth-century English gentleman was required to have what was known as 'bottom', a shipping metaphor that referred to stability. Taking part in a duel was a bold statement that you had bottom. William Petty, 2nd Earl of Shelburne certainly had bottom, if not a complete set of gonads following his duel with Colonel Fullarton, MP for Plympton. Both men missed with their first shots, but the colonel fired again and shot off Shelborne's right testicle. Despite being hit, Shelborne deliberately discharged his second shot in the air. When asked how he was, the injured Earl coolly observed his wound and said, 'I don't think Lady Shelborne will be the worse for it.' The cast of characters includes imperious, hard-drinking and highly volatile Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe, who is remembered today as much for his brilliant scientific career as his talent for getting involved in bizarre mishaps, such as his death as a result of his burst bladder; the Marquess of Queensberry, a side-whiskered psychopath, who, on a luxury steamboat in Brazil, in a row with a fellow passenger over the difference between emus and ostriches, and knocked him out cold; and Thomas, 2nd Baron Lyttelton, a Georgian rake straight out of central casting, who ran up enormous gambling debts, fought duels, frequented brothels and succumbed to drug and alcohol addiction.Often, such rakes would be swiftly packed off on a Grand Tour in the hope that travel would bring about maturity. It seldom did.

PublicAffairs

All the Kremlin's Men

Mikhail Zygar
Authors:
Mikhail Zygar
Little, Brown US

1924

Peter Ross Range
Authors:
Peter Ross Range

Adolf Hitler spent 1924 away from society and surrounded by co-conspirators of the failed Beer Hall Putsch. Behind bars in a prison near Munich, Hitler passed the year with deep reading and intensive writing, a year of slowly walking gravel paths while working feverishly on his book Mein Kampf. This was the year of Hitler's final transformation into the self-proclaimed savior and infallible leader who would appropriate Germany's historical traditions and bring them into his vision for the Third Reich.Until now, no one has devoted an entire book to the single, dark year of Hitler's incarceration following his attempted coup. Peter Ross Range richly depicts this year that bore to the world a monster.

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.

Piatkus

Zigzag

Nicholas Booth
Authors:
Nicholas Booth