Don Jordan - The King's City - Little, Brown Book Group

Time remaining

  • -- days
  • -- hours
  • -- minutes
  • -- seconds
Other Formats
  • Hardback
    More information
    • ISBN:9781408707296
    • Publication date:06 Jul 2017
  • E-Book £P.O.R.
    More information
    • ISBN:9781408707302
    • Publication date:06 Jul 2017

The King's City

London under Charles II: A city that transformed a nation – and created modern Britain

By Don Jordan

  • Paperback
  • £12.99

A fast-paced and thrilling history of London at the time of King Charles II, from the acclaimed co-author of The King's Revenge and The King's Bed.

'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' Nature

During 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.

Biographical Notes

Don Jordan (Author)
Don Jordan is a writer and film maker, most recently known for a series of history books co-written with Michael Walsh. Among them are White Cargo, acclaimed by Nobel Laureate Toni Morrison as 'an extraordinary book', The King's Revenge and The King's Bed, the latter two published by Little, Brown.

Jordan's work has won several awards, including two Blue Ribbons at the New York Film and Television Festival. He is the co-writer and co-producer of the multi-award winning feature film Love is the Devil, based on the life of the painter Francis Bacon, staring Derek Jacobi and Daniel Craig.

Born in Northern Ireland, Don has lived in England for more than thirty years, most of that time in London, and is married to Eithne, a hospital doctor.

  • Other details

  • ISBN: 9780349141374
  • Publication date: 10 Aug 2018
  • Page count: 544
  • Imprint: Abacus
Robinson

Barbarians

Stephen P. Kershaw
Authors:
Stephen P. Kershaw
Robinson

Naples

Desmond Seward
Authors:
Desmond Seward
Sphere

Intrigue in Covent Garden

Susanna Gregory
Authors:
Susanna Gregory

By January 1666, the plague has almost disappeared from London, leaving its surviving population diminished and in poverty. The resentment against those who had fled to the country turns to outrage as the court and its followers return, their licentiousness undiminished. The death of a well-connected physician, the mysterious sinking of a man-of-war in the Thames and the disappearance of a popular courtier are causing concern to Thomas Chaloner's employer. When instructed to investigate them all, he is irritated that he is prevented from gaining intelligence on the military preparations of the Dutch. Then he discovers common threads in all the cases, which seem linked to those planning to set a match to the powder keg of rebellion in the city.Battling a ferocious winter storm that causes serious damage to London's fabric, Chaloner is in a race against time to prevent the weakened city from utter destruction.

Piatkus

Let Evening Come

Mary C. Morrison
Authors:
Mary C. Morrison

'Incredibly wise, comforting and beautiful' Joanna LumleyIt is never too soon to start thinking about old age. In Let Evening Come, Mary C. Morrison, herself eighty-seven at the time of first publication, considers the gains and losses of the ageing process in all their depth and richness. She writes about old age from her own personal experience, describing without sentimentality or despair how it actually feels to grow old, to be old, to look back over life, to look forward to death. In a series of meditative passages and journal entries she presents old age as a time that calls for gallantry and courage, but one that also offers unique opportunities for inner growth and wisdom.Let Evening Come is a remarkable book; simply but elegantly written, it is both moving and uplifting. It is not only for those standing on the edge of old age, it is for people of all ages, and once read will be recommended to others for the very special pleasures found within its pages.

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

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
Constable

The Visitors' Book

Jon Lys Turner
Authors:
Jon Lys Turner

Denis Wirth-Miller and Dicky Chopping were a couple at the heart of the mid-twentieth century art world, with the visitors' book of the Essex townhouse they shared from 1945 until 2008 painting them as Zeligs of British society. The names recorded inside make up an astonishing supporting cast - from Francis Bacon to Lucian Freud to Randolph Churchill to John Minton. Successful artists, although not household names themselves, writing Dicky and Denis off as just footnotes in history would be a mistake. After Denis's death in 2010, Jon Lys-Turner, one of two executors of the couple's estate, came into possession of an extraordinary archive of letters, works of art and symbolically loaded ephemera the two had collected since they met in the 1930s. It is no exaggeration to state that this archive represents a missing link in British art history - the wealth of new biographical information disclosed about Francis Bacon, for example, is truly staggering. The Visitors' Book is both an extraordinary insight into the minutiae of Dicky and Denis's life together and what it meant to be gay in pre-Wolfenden Britain, as well as a pocket social history of the era and a unique perspective into mid-twentieth century art. With reams of previously unseen material, this is a fascinating and unique opportunity to delve into post-war Britain.

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

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
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
Virago

Love Like Salt

Helen Stevenson
Authors:
Helen Stevenson

CHOSEN BY MAGGIE O'FARRELL IN THE GUARDIAN AS ONE OF HER BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR'It's a slice of a life . . . a complex, intelligent, beautiful, thoughtful, rather lyrical book' -Cathy Rentzenbrink, author of The Last Act of Love'A moving treatise on inheritance, not just of a disease like cystic fibrosis, but of our attitudes to living and loving, our sense of cultural and familial landscape, and how these intangibles pass down through generations. Stevenson picks apart her life like a strand of DNA to uncover just how we become the sum of our parts' Daily Telegraph'A beautiful memoir . . . [Stevenson] is a novelist and a translator and her memoir is about translation in the larger sense. Translating the world is what we all do but she reminds us that one can hope - with a mind as intricately well read and original as hers - to translate misfortune; to absorb and see beyond it . . . Stevenson makes of poetry, fiction and philosophy a protective shawl for her story . . . Although intense she has a carefree wit' Kate Kellaway, Observer'Motherhood, medicine and music are explored with a spellbinding intensity. It is a beautifully written and entirely honest memoir... Stevenson acknowledges the pain and overwhelming melancholy of being the mother of a sick child but she also manages to wholeheartedly celebrate the life of her family, who are still determined to live as luminous a life as possible, to make a kind of poetry out of the everyday' Eithne Farry Sunday Express'Stevenson is a writer and musician, and her memoir is distinguished by its ravishing prose and sensitive understanding of the role that loss, misfortune and grief play in the story of our lives' Jane Shilling, Daily Mail'Love Like Salt is a human triumph ... it's all told in the most mesmerising of words, no adjective is extraneous and Love Like Salt flows with poetic precision ... Ultimately, Love Like Salt follows in the hallowed footsteps of Helen MacDonald's brilliant H is for Hawk or Cathy Rentzenbrink's The Last Act of Love. These are not misery memoirs but reminders that life comes in all shades - that in the darkest moments, beauty and humour can be found' Francesca Brown, Stylist'Did Clara taste salty when I kissed her? She did. She tasted of mermaids, of the sea.'Love Like Salt is a deeply affecting memoir, beautifully and intelligently written. It is about mothers and daughters, music and illness, genes and inheritance, writing and story-telling. It is about creating joy from the hand you've been dealt and following its lead - in this case to rural France, where the author and her family lived for seven years. And back again.'I had always written, and until the birth of Clara I wrote for a living. Once I knew the Cystic Fibrosis gene had unfolded itself in our daughter's body, like a paper flower meeting water, I felt that to write, even if I had had time, or been able, would have been to squander a kind of power which was needed for tending and nurturing. Every moment became a moment in which I protected my baby. Some of it I did in secret, like a madwoman muttering spells. I thought of her as a candle, cupping my hand around her.A beautifully written memoir, in the vein of H is for Hawk and The Last Act of Love, about motherhood, music and living the best life you can, even in the shadow of illness.

Constable

The Plague Road

L.C. Tyler
Authors:
L.C. Tyler

The third John Grey historical mystery1665, and the Great Plague has London in its grip. Everyone who can has fled and the only sounds are the tolling bells and the incessant cry of 'bring out your dead!'. Where better, then, to hide a murdered man than amongst the corpses on their way to the plague pit?John Grey, now a successful lawyer, is called in by Secretary of State Lord Arlington to investigate an unexpected admission to the Tothill pit. The man was, before his murder, known to be carrying a letter from the Duke of York to the French ambassador. But the letter has vanished and Arlington wants it.Grey soon begins to realise why Arlington is prepared to pay well for the document. The contents will compromise not only the duke but many others around him. But Arlington is not the only one trying to recover the letter. Somebody has killed once to try to obtain it - and is prepared to kill again. And Samuel Pepys's offer of help may not be all it seems. So John Grey is forced to set off on a journey through plague-ravaged England to fulfil his commission and keep himself safe from his enemies - if the Plague doesn't get him first.Praise for L.C. Tyler'A historical thriller, but one written with tongue firmly in cheek . . . Tyler is a witty writer, and this third outing for Grey is great fun' - Sunday Times'Tyler at his entertaining best . . . a Restoration romp delivered with aplomb and verbal artistry, a delicious slice of history in all its dark, dank and deadly reality, and a veritable stage show of witty one-liners wrapped up in an enthralling mystery adventure' - Lancashire Evening Post

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.

Robinson

A Brief History of the British Army

John Lewis-Stempel, Jock Haswell
Authors:
John Lewis-Stempel, Jock Haswell
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.

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.