Anthony Blond - A Brief History of the Private Lives of the Roman Emperors - Little, Brown Book Group

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    • ISBN:9781472103628
    • Publication date:25 Oct 2012
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A Brief History of the Private Lives of the Roman Emperors

By Anthony Blond

  • Paperback
  • £8.99

Even more scurrilous than 'Rome', A Brief History of the Private Lives of the Roman Emperors tells the true story of toga parties, banquets, and the scandalous life of the Caesars. Ancient history with all the boring bits taken out.

With the recent success of 'Rome' on BBC2, no one will look at the private lives of the Roman Emperors again in the same light.

Anthony Blond's scandalous expose of the life of the Caesars is a must-read for all interested in what really went on in ancient Rome.

Julius Caesar is usually presented as a glorious general when in fact he was an arrogant charmer and a swank; Augustus was so conscious of his height that he put lifts in his sandals.

But they were nothing compared to Caligula, Claudius and Nero. This book is fascinating reading, eye-opening in its revelations and effortlessly entertaining.

Biographical Notes

Anthony Blond was previously a publisher and an author of numerous books includingThe World of Simon Raven and his autobiography Jew Made in England. He regularly writes for the Spectator and the Literary Review.

  • Other details

  • ISBN: 9781845297190
  • Publication date: 28 Feb 2008
  • Page count: 256
  • Imprint: Robinson
This is the sort of book that gives ancient history a good name. — Sunday Telegraph
...informative fun... — TLS
Lively and amusing - the Emperors enjoyably monstrous. — Observer
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.

Sphere

The Mitford Murders

Jessica Fellowes
Authors:
Jessica Fellowes

'A lively, well-written, entertaining whodunit' THE TIMES***You can now preorder Bright Young Dead, the thrilling second book in The Mitford Murders series***Lose yourself in the sumptuous first novel in a new series of Golden Age mysteries set amid the lives of the glamorous Mitford sisters.It's 1919, and Louisa Cannon dreams of escaping her life of poverty in London, and most of all her oppressive and dangerous uncle.Louisa's salvation is a position within the Mitford household at Asthall Manor, in the Oxfordshire countryside. There she will become nurserymaid, chaperone and confidante to the Mitford sisters, especially sixteen-year-old Nancy - an acerbic, bright young woman in love with stories.But when a nurse - Florence Nightingale Shore, goddaughter of her famous namesake - is killed on a train in broad daylight, Nancy and amateur sleuth Louisa find that in postwar England, everyone has something to hide . . . Written by Jessica Fellowes, author of the number one-bestselling Downton Abbey books, The Mitford Murders is the perfect new obsession for fans of Daisy Goodwin, Anthony Horowitz and Agatha Christie - and is based on a real unsolved crime.'An extraordinary meld of fact and fiction' GRAHAM NORTON'True and glorious indulgence. A dazzling example of a Golden Age mystery'DAISY GOODWIN'Exactly the sort of book you might enjoy with the fire blazing, the snow falling. The solution is neat and the writing always enjoyable'ANTHONY HOROWITZ'Oh how delicious! This terrific start to what promises to be a must-read series is exactly what we all need in these gloomy times. Inventive, glittering, clever, ingenious. I devoured The Mitford Murders... so will you. Give it to absolutely everyone for Christmas, then pre-order the next one'SUSAN HILL'All the blissful escapism of a Sunday-night period drama in a book'THE POOL'Keeps the reader guessing to the very end. An accomplished crime debut and huge fun to read'EVENING STANDARD'This story is drenched in detail and feels both authentic and fun. Curl up in your favourite reading spot and enjoy'HEAT'The plan is that each book will focus on a different Mitford sister. On the strength of this initial entry, success is assured'FINANCIAL TIMES'Elegant, whipsmart and brilliantly twisty-turny, this Downton-style mystery had me hooked from the first page'VIV GROSKOP'Full of period pleasure'WOMAN & HOME'An audacious and glorious foray into the Golden Age of mystery fiction. Breathtaking'ALEX GRAY'A real murder, a real family and a brand new crime fiction heroine are woven together to make a fascinating, and highly enjoyable, read. I loved it'JULIAN FELLOWES'Jessica Fellowes' deliciously immersive, effortlessly easy novel has a strong feel for period and a rollicking plot'METRO'What a captivating crime novel and heroine Jessica has created in The Mitford Murders. The instant reassurance of being in the hands of a true storyteller with a feel for period detail makes this a real treat'AMANDA CRAIG'This is a chocolate soufflé of a novel: as the enthralling mystery heats up, so the addictive deliciousness of the story rises. The sort of book you never want to end'JULIET NICOLSON

Constable

The Throne of Caesar

Steven Saylor
Authors:
Steven Saylor

In The Throne of Caesar, award-winning mystery author Steven Saylor turns to the most famous murder in history . . . It's Rome, 44 AD, and the Ides of March are approaching.Julius Caesar has been appointed Dictator for life by the Roman Senate. Having pardoned his remaining enemies and rewarded his friends, Caesar is now preparing to leave Rome with his army to fight the Parthian Empire.Gordianus the Finder, after decades of investigating crimes and murders involving the powerful, has finally retired. But on the morning of March 10th, he's summoned to meet with Cicero and Caesar himself. Both have the same request - keep your ear to the ground, ask around, and find out if there are any conspiracies against Caesar's life. Caesar, however, has one other important matter to discuss - he is going to make Gordianus a Senator when he attends the next session on the 15th of March.With only four days left before he's made a Senator, Gordianus must dust off his old skills and see what conspiracy against Julius Caesar, if any, he can uncover. Because the Ides of March are approaching...Praise for Steven Saylor'A compelling storyteller, with a striking talent for historical reconstruction' Mary Beard'Saylor's scholarship is breathtaking and his writing enthrals' Ruth Rendell'The most reliably entertaining and well-researched novels about the ancient world [are] Steven Saylor's tales of the Roman proto-detective Gordianus the Finder. The Throne of Caesar brings the series to a satisfying conclusion [and offers] a new, compelling perspective on familiar historic events' Sunday Times'Writing a detective story about one of the most famous murders in history is no easy feat, but Saylor carries it off with characteristic brilliance . . . he has made this era his own' Ian Ross

Abacus

The Lie of the Land

Amanda Craig
Authors:
Amanda Craig
Little, Brown

Fire and Fury

Michael Wolff
Authors:
Michael Wolff

SUNDAY TIMES NUMBER ONE BESTSELLERNEW YORK TIMES NUMBER ONE BESTSELLERWith extraordinary access to the Trump White House, Michael Wolff tells the inside story of the most controversial presidency of our time.The first nine months of Donald Trump's term were stormy, outrageous - and absolutely mesmerising. Now, thanks to his deep access to the West Wing, bestselling author Michael Wolff tells the riveting story of how Trump launched a tenure as volatile and fiery as the man himself.In this explosive book, Wolff provides a wealth of new details about the chaos in the Oval Office. Among the revelations: - What President Trump's staff really thinks of him- What inspired Trump to claim he was wire-tapped by President Obama - Why FBI director James Comey was really fired- Why chief strategist Steve Bannon and Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner couldn't be in the same room - Who is really directing the Trump administration's strategy in the wake of Bannon's firing- What the secret to communicating with Trump is- What the Trump administration has in common with the movie The ProducersNever before has a presidency so divided the American people. Brilliantly reported and astoundingly fresh, Michael Wolff's Fire and Fury shows us how and why Donald Trump has become the king of discord and disunion.

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.

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.

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

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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
Abacus

Dynasty

Tom Holland
Authors:
Tom Holland
Constable

Once A Saint

Ian Ogilvy
Authors:
Ian Ogilvy

'A wickedly entertaining new memoir' Daily MailAccording to the Daily Mail Ian Ogilvy was 'the undisputed star of 1970s TV as the dashing Simon Templar in Return Of The Saint'. The show turned him into a household name, causing him to be touted as the next James Bond. From a liberal upbringing in post-war Britain, boarding school escapades and life at RADA, Ogilvy enjoyed an acting career spanning more than fifty years, including TV show Upstairs, Downstairs and films Witchfinder General, No Sex Please: We're British and Death Becomes Her. His story plays host to a spectacular all-star cast including Boris Karloff, Hayley Mills, Penelope Keith, Derek Nimmo, Timothy Dalton, Derek Jacobi and Meryl Streep, and Ogilvy gives a vivid account from behind the scenes of the Golden Age of television and film.Once a Saint is an amusing and unvarnished story: a tremendously endearing tale from a working actor. His story is modest and endlessly charming, told in such a way that opens a reader's heart to him.

Orbit

Reign of Iron

Angus Watson
Authors:
Angus Watson

THE ACTION-PACKED FINAL VOLUME IN THE EPIC TRILOGY THAT FANTASY FANS EVERYWHERE ARE TALKING ABOUT'Unflinchingly bloodthirsty and outrageously entertaining' Christopher Brookmyre 'It simply grabbed me by the throat and wouldn't let go' Bibliosanctum 'Gore soaked and profanity laden - full of visceral combat and earthy humor' Publishers Weekly 'Would I read the next one? Yes, absolutely. Bring me my hammer, bring my beer, bring it on!' SF Crowsnest 'Fun and addictive' Fantasy FactionInvaders have massacred and pillaged their way through neighbouring kingdoms and loom on the far side of the sea, ready to descend upon the fortress of Maidun - with them are an unstoppable legion of men twisted by dark magic. Somehow Queen Lowa's army must repel the invasion, although their best general is dead and their young druid powerless. She faces impossible odds, but when the alternative is death or slavery, a warrior queen will do whatever it takes to save her people.Look out now for YOU DIE WHEN YOU DIE - first in a new series from Angus Watson.

Robinson

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.