Derek Wilson - Little, Brown Book Group

Derek Wilson



DEREK WILSON is a renowned Tudor historian. A graduate of Peterhouse, Cambridge, he has written over 50 critically acclaimed books including A Brief History of the Circumnavigators, and The Uncrowned Kings of England, as well as recent biographies of Charlemagne and Holbein.

He is a writer and presenter for radio and television and is also the founder of the Cambridge History festival. He lives in North Devon. Visit his website: www.derekwilson.com

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. Particularly transformative was 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. This fascinating account of the profound changes undergone by Europe between the Renaissance and the Enlightenment will cover ground including folk religion and its pagan past; Catholicism and its saintly dogma; alchemy, astrology and natural philosophy; Islamic and Jewish traditions; and the discovery of new countries and cultures.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.

Robinson

Elizabethan Society

Derek Wilson
Authors:
Derek Wilson

The reign of Queen Elizabeth I (1558-1603) marked a golden age in English history. There was a musical and literary renaissance, most famously and enduringly in the form of the plays of Shakespeare (2016 marks the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death), and it was a period of international expansion and naval triumph over the Spanish. It was also a period of internal peace following the violent upheaval of the Protestant reformation. Wilson skilfully interweaves the personal histories of a representative selection of twenty or so figures - including Nicholas Bacon, the Statesman; Bess of Hardwick, the Landowner; Thomas Gresham, 'the Financier'; John Caius, 'the Doctor'; John Norreys, 'the Soldier'; and Nicholas Jennings, 'the Professional Criminal' - with the major themes of the period to create a vivid and compelling account of life in England in the late sixteenth century. This is emphatically not yet another book about what everyday life was like during the Elizabethan Age. There are already plenty of studies about what the Elizabethans wore, what they ate, what houses they lived in, and so on. This is a book about Elizabethan society - people, rather than things. How did the subjects of Queen Elizabeth I cope with the world in which they had been placed? What did they believe? What did they think? What did they feel? How did they react towards one another? What, indeed, did they understand by the word 'society'? What did they expect from it? What were they prepared to contribute towards it? Some were intent on preserving it as it was; others were eager to change it. For the majority, life was a daily struggle for survival against poverty, hunger, disease and injustice. Patronage was the glue that held a strictly hierarchical society together. Parliament represented only the interests of the landed class and the urban rich, which was why the government's greatest fear was a popular rebellion. Laws were harsh, largely to deter people getting together to discuss their grievances. Laws kept people in one place, and enforced attendance in parish churches. In getting to grips with this strange world - simultaneously drab and colourful, static and expansive, traditionalist and 'modern' - Wilson explores the lives of individual men and women from all levels of sixteenth-century life to give us a vivid feel for what Elizabethan society really was.Praise for the author:Masterly. [Wilson] has a deep understanding of characters reaching out across the centuries. Sunday Times Scores highly in thoroughness, clarity and human sympathy. Sunday TelegraphThis masterly biography breaks new ground. Choice MagazineHis book is stimulating and authoritative. Sunday TimesBrilliant, endlessly readable ... vivid, immediate history, accurate, complex and tinged with personality. Sunday Herald

Robinson

A Brief History of Circumnavigators

Derek Wilson
Authors:
Derek Wilson

"Going round the world" is an idea that has excited people ever since it was realized that the earth was a sphere. The appeal has something to do with encompassing all the known environment and exploring the unknown, not only on the surface of the planet but within the spirit of the explorer. The story of circumnavigation is thus a long saga of human adventure, travel and discovery. Beginning with the fateful day in 1521 when Ferdinand Magellan was speared to death on Mactan and Juan de Elcano took up the challenge of bringing his surviving companions home, the story continues through four centuries crammed with astonishing exploits by men and women of many nations. Some of the names that feature are well-known, others less so.

Constable

The Uncrowned Kings of England

Derek Wilson
Authors:
Derek Wilson
Constable

Sir Francis Walsingham

Derek Wilson
Authors:
Derek Wilson

During the brief reign of the Queen Mary, Walsingham was a Protestant exile in Italy. Returning home when Elizabeth assumed the throne, from 1570 he became a diplomat to the arch-pragmatist Queen. He was often troubled by her inconsistent policy decisions and for allowing the exile in England of Mary Queen of Scots. His triumph came in 1587 when Mary was at last beheaded after the cunning defeat of the Babington plot. A powerful, if enigmatic figure, loathed by his adversaries and deeply admired by friends and allies, Walsingham became the master co-ordinator of a feared pan-European spy network. His spies underpinned his organisation of national resistance to the Spanish Armada, but devotion and duty to Elizabeth was costly and Walsingham died two years later in penury.Historian and storyteller Derek Wilson delves deeply into the life of a fascinating and highly influential figure, bringing us tales of deceit, betrayal and loyalty along the way; popular history of the highest calibre.see www.derekwilson.com

Robinson

A Brief History of Henry VIII

Derek Wilson
Authors:
Derek Wilson

Henry VIII changed the course of English life more completely than any monarch since the Conquest. In the portraits of Holbein, Henry Tudor stands proud as one of the most powerful figures in renaissance Europe. But is the portrait just a bluff?In his new book Derek Wilson explores the myths behind the image of the Tudor Lion. He was the monarch that delivered the Reformation to England yet Luther called him 'A fool, a liar and a damnable rotten worm'. As a young man he gained a reputation as an intellectual and fair prince yet he ruled the nation like a tyrant. He treated his subjects as cruelly as he treated his wives. Based on a wealth of new material and a life time's knowledge of the subject Derek Wilson exposes a new portrait of a much misunderstood King.PRAISE FOR DEREK WILSON'S PREVIOUS WORKS:The Uncrowned Kings of England: 'Stimulating and authorative.' John Guy'Masterly. [Wilson] has a deep understanding of...characters, reaching out accross the centuries.' Sunday TimesHans Holbein: Portrait of an Unknown Man:'Fascinating.' Sarah Bradford, Daily Telegraph'Highly readable...The most accurate and vivid portrayal to date.' Alison Weir

Sphere

Cumberland's Cradle

Derek Wilson
Authors:
Derek Wilson

Lanner Castle is a forbidding gothic building on an island in tiny Loch Huich. The locals know little about its present owner, the reclusive Mr Robertson, except that he is wealthy, writes antiquarian books and owns most of the comprehensive accumulation of torture instruments in private hands. But there are those who know more about Robertson and his past - and of those people he is terrified.When a sudden series of dark omens strikes at the very heart of Lanner Castle, Robertson calls in security expert Tim Lacy to install a state-of-the-art intruder-proof system and goes into hiding. But Lacy cannot prevent the pride of the gruesome collection, Cumberland's Cradle, from being stolen. Two days later, Robertson is found fatally reunited with his property and Lacy must run head-on towards the greatest danger he has ever faced...

Sphere

Tripletree

Derek Wilson
Authors:
Derek Wilson

On a sultry summer night in the Cotswolds, Nathaniel and Katherine Gye are guests at a Civil War fancy-dress party. The theme of the occasion is apt because Tripletree, the Jacobean manor house where the event is being held, is steeped in history and enjoys a colourful past. But at the end of a glittering evening tragedy strikes when the body of a woman is dragged from the lake.As he tries to unravel the truth about the woman's death, Nathaniel Gye, paranormal investigator, finds himself drawn back to the 17th century and the time when the hill above Tripletree manor was the place where the gallows once stood...

Sphere

The Borgia Chalice

Derek Wilson
Authors:
Derek Wilson

One of the most fabulous treasures of the Renaissance, the Borgia Chalice, carries with it a dark aura - for legend has it that the notorious Rodrigo Borgia, Pope Alexander VI, could use this cup to poison his enemies, yet drink from it himself without harm.Security expert Tim Lacy has no superstitious fear of the chalice's supposed powers, and nor do the six people who drink from it after Lacy buys it for a client. But within the hour, four of those people are dead, all of them art critics who had mercilessly attacked the chalice's late owner, Gregor Santori, as a fraud. Yet Santori's son and daughter, who also drank from the cup, are unaffected.Is it possible that this is revenge from beyond the grave? Lacy sets out to unearth the truth in Rome, where revelations of sordid Vatican politics have remarkable contemporary echoes. Before long Lacy finds himself racing between the art establishments of two continents in pursuit of a criminal more ruthless than he could ever have known...

Sphere

The Nature of Rare Things

Derek Wilson
Authors:
Derek Wilson

When paranormal investigator and Cambridge lecturer Dr. Nathaniel Gye is commissioned at a séance to find a dead man's killer, he dismisses the incident as a clumsy fraud by a fake medium. But when Nathaniel's own wife disappears in Italy, an eventuality foretold by the same unquiet spirit, he is forced to look for connections between her predicament and the violent death of a man she never knew.In this dark and fast-paced mystery, the urgent search for answers takes Nathaniel far from his quiet university existence and into a labyrinth of hazardous twists and turns involving a stolen Renaissance painting and the love life of poets Robert and Elizabeth Browning.

Sphere

Unquiet Spirit

Derek Wilson
Authors:
Derek Wilson
Sphere

The Camargue Brotherhood

Derek Wilson
Authors:
Derek Wilson
Sphere

The Hellfire Papers

Derek Wilson
Authors:
Derek Wilson
Sphere

The Dresden Text

Derek Wilson
Authors:
Derek Wilson
Sphere

The Triarchs

Derek Wilson
Authors:
Derek Wilson

The first case for Tim Lacy, ex-SAS officer, security expert and well-respected figure in the art world, a circle made up of dubious dealers, unscrupulous collectors, fraudsters, crime bosses and bona fide connoisseurs, all in pursuit of the rare, the beautiful and the valuable.Aspiring artist Venetia Granville has just inherited an historic mansion in Wiltshire. Before long she has also acquired a brutally murdered corpse. She turns to Lacy for help and he soon finds out that the victim - an art dealer who was evaluating the house's contents - had discovered a long-lost masterpiece by Raphael called 'The Triarchs', now worth millions and now nowhere to be found.On his mission to recover the priceless canvas, Lacy finds himself attracting the terrifying attentions of criminal gangs who will stop at nothing to protect their interests...

Robinson

A Brief History of the English Reformation

Derek Wilson
Authors:
Derek Wilson

Religion, politics and fear: how England was transformed by the Tudors.The English Reformation was a unique turning point in English history. Derek Wilson retells the story of how the Tudor monarchs transformed English religion and why it still matters today. Recent scholarly research has undermined the traditional view of the Reformation as an event that occurred solely amongst the elite. Wilson now shows that, although the transformation was political and had a huge impact on English identity, on England's relationships with its European neighbours and on the foundations of its empire, it was essentially a revolution from the ground up. By 1600, in just eighty years, England had become a radically different nation in which family, work and politics, as well as religion, were dramatically altered. Praise for Derek Wilson:'Stimulating and authoritative.' John Guy.'Masterly. [Wilson] has a deep understanding of . . . characters, reaching out across the centuries.' Sunday Times.

C & R Crime

Mammoth Books presents The Bothersome Business of the Dutch Nativity

Derek Wilson
Authors:
Derek Wilson

Watson begrudgingly visits relatives in Oxford only to find a case he did not know existed. He learns his dear friend was never at liberty to share the tale. Years have passed since the affair and with Holmes's passing Watson feels obliged to know the story. Watson is taken back to 1873 when Holmes was an undergraduate studying terrestrial science at Grenville College. 'The Dutch Nativity', a painting donated to the university has been missing for three weeks, along with an assortment of other Oxfordiana. William Spooner, a young lecturer in Ancient History recognises Holmes's astute nature and calls on him to investigate.