Derek Wilson - A Brief History of the English Reformation - Little, Brown Book Group

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    • ISBN:9781849018258
    • Publication date:21 Jun 2012
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A Brief History of the English Reformation

By Derek Wilson

  • Paperback
  • £9.99

Derek Wilson retells the story of how the Tudor monarchs transformed the English religion and why it still matters today

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.

Biographical Notes

Derek Wilson is a renowned Tudor historian. He is the author of over 30 books including BHO the Circumnavigators, The Uncrowned Kings of England for Constable as well as recent biographies of Charlemaigne and Holbein (Pimlico). He is the founder of the Cambridge History festival and we are publishing Francis Walsingham in 2007.

  • Other details

  • ISBN: 9781845296469
  • Publication date: 21 Jun 2012
  • Page count: 464
  • Imprint: Robinson
Constable

Viceroys

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Authors:
Christopher Lee
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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.

Robinson

Nicholas II, The Last Tsar

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Michael Paterson

The character of the last Tsar, Nicholas II (1868-1918) is crucial to understanding the overthrow of tsarist Russia, the most significant event in Russian history. Nicholas became Tsar at the age of 26. Though a conscientious man who was passionate in his devotion to his country, he was weak, sentimental, dogmatic and indecisive. Ironically he could have made an effective constitutional monarch, but these flaws rendered him fatally unsuited to be the sole ruler of a nation that was in the throes of painful modernisation. That he failed is not surprising, for many abler monarchs could not have succeeded. Rather to be wondered at is that he managed, for 23 years, to hold on to power despite the overwhelming force of circumstances. Though Nicholas was exasperating, he had many endearing qualities. A modern audience, aware - as contemporaries were not - of the private pressures under which he lived, can empathise with him and forgive some of his errors of judgement. To some readers he seems a fool, to others a monster, but many are touched by the story of a well-meaning man doing his best under impossible conditions. He is, in other words, a biographical subject that engages readers whatever their viewpoint. His family was of great importance to Nicholas. He and his wife, Alexandra, married for love and retained this affection to the end of their lives. His four daughters, all different and intriguing personalities, were beautiful and charming. His son, the family's - and the nation's - hope for the future, was disabled by an illness that had to be concealed from Russia and from the world. It was this circumstance that made possible the nefarious influence of Rasputin, which in turn hastened the end of the dynasty.This story has everything: romance and tragedy, grandeur and misery, human frailty and an international catastrophe that would not only bring down the Tsar but put an end to the glittering era of European monarchies.

Little, Brown

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Authors:
Don Jordan

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Robinson

Superstition and Science, 1450-1750

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.

Hachette Australia

Maralinga

Frank Walker
Authors:
Frank Walker
Robinson

The Ludicrous Laws of Old London

Nigel Cawthorne
Authors:
Nigel Cawthorne

London abounds with all manner of ludicrous laws, and not all of these curious statutes have been relegated to the past. Despite the efforts of the Law Commission there are medieval laws that are still in force, and the City of London and its livery companies have their own legal oddities. Laws are made in the capital because parliament is here; so are the Old Bailey, the Law Courts, the House of Lords and, now, the Supreme Court. The privy council, which sometimes has to decide cases, also sits in London, and there were other courts that used to sit in London, from prize courts concerning war booty to ecclesiastical courts. Having maintained its 'ancient rights and freedoms' under Magna Carta, the City felt free to enact its own laws, many of which seem to have had to do with what people could wear. Until quite recently, for example, a man could be arrested for walking down the street wearing a wig, a robe and silk stockings - unless he was a judge. And all human folly has been paraded through the law courts of London, to the extent that it is difficult to know where the serious business of administering justice ends and where farce begins. As law is made in the courtroom as well as in parliament and elsewhere, judges like to keep a firm hand, but sometimes so-called jibbing juries will simply not do what they are told. All sorts of oddities get swept up into the law. Legislators particularly love to pass Acts about sex. If sexual services are being offered in a London massage parlour, for example, a police officer must then search the premises for school children. According to The Children and Young Persons Act of 1933 it is against the law for children and 'yowling persons' between the age of four and sixteen to frequent a brothel. A writ was introduced under both Edward III and Henry IV to ban lawyers from parliament as there were too many of them, the reason being that it was easier for a lawyer to spend his time in London attending parliament that it was for a knight of the shires. But because parliament was already packed with lawyers it was difficult to make any such rule stick. Then an effective way of excluding them was found. They were denied the wages paid to members in those days. Sadly, these days, parliament and the government are packed with lawyers once again. And they are being paid.A law passed in 1540 - and still in force today - makes it illegal for barbers in the City of London to practise surgery; with impeccable impartiality, the Act also forbids surgeons to cut hair. Finally, never forget that under the Vagrancy Act of 1824, you can be convicted of being 'an idle and disorderly person, or a rogue, vagabond, or incorrigible rogue'. The same act also outlaws people 'professing to tell fortunes', including 'palmistry'. Under the Act, it is an offence merely to be suspected.

Abacus

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Authors:
Don Jordan, Michael Walsh

To refer to the private life of Charles II is to abuse the adjective. His personal life was anything but private. His amorous liaisons were largely conducted in royal palaces surrounded by friends, courtiers and literally hundreds of servants and soldiers. Gossip radiated throughout the kingdom. Charles spent most of his wealth and his intellect on gaining and keeping the company of women, from the lowest sections of society such as the actress Nell Gwyn to the aristocratic Louise de Kérouaille. Some of Charles' women played their part in the affairs of state, colouring the way the nation was run. Don Jordan and Michael Walsh take us inside Charles' palace, where we will meet court favourites, amusing confidants, advisors jockeying for political power, mistresses past and present as well as key figures in his inner circle such as his 'pimpmasters' and his personal pox doctor.The astonishing private life of Charles II reveals much about the man he was and why he lived and ruled as he did. The King's Bed tells the compelling story of a king ruled by his passion.

Constable

On Intelligence

John Hughes-Wilson
Authors:
John Hughes-Wilson

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Robinson

A Brief History of the Battle of Agincourt

Christopher Hibbert
Authors:
Christopher Hibbert

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Robinson

A Brief Guide To British Battlefields

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Basic Books

The Cause of All Nations

Don H. Doyle
Authors:
Don H. Doyle

When Abraham Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address in 1863, he had broader aims than simply rallying a war-weary nation. Lincoln realized that the Civil War had taken on a wider significance,that all of Europe and Latin America was watching to see whether the United States, a beleaguered model of democracy, would indeed perish from the earth."In The Cause of All Nations , distinguished historian Don H. Doyle explains that the Civil War was viewed abroad as part of a much larger struggle for democracy that spanned the Atlantic Ocean, and had begun with the American and French Revolutions. While battles raged at Bull Run, Antietam, and Gettysburg, a parallel contest took place abroad, both in the marbled courts of power and in the public square. Foreign observers held widely divergent views on the war,from radicals such as Karl Marx and Giuseppe Garibaldi who called on the North to fight for liberty and equality, to aristocratic monarchists, who hoped that the collapse of the Union would strike a death blow against democratic movements on both sides of the Atlantic. Nowhere were these monarchist dreams more ominous than in Mexico, where Napoleon III sought to implement his Grand Design for a Latin Catholic empire that would thwart the spread of Anglo-Saxon democracy and use the Confederacy as a buffer state.Hoping to capitalize on public sympathies abroad, both the Union and the Confederacy sent diplomats and special agents overseas: the South to seek recognition and support, and the North to keep European powers from interfering. Confederate agents appealed to those conservative elements who wanted the South to serve as a bulwark against radical egalitarianism. Lincoln and his Union agents overseas learned to appeal to many foreigners by embracing emancipation and casting the Union as the embattled defender of universal republican ideals, the last best hope of earth."A bold account of the international dimensions of America's defining conflict, The Cause of All Nations frames the Civil War as a pivotal moment in a global struggle that would decide the survival of democracy.

Little, Brown

England, Arise

Juliet Barker
Authors:
Juliet Barker
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

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 British Kings & Queens

Mike Ashley
Authors:
Mike Ashley

Here is the whole of recorded British royal history, from the legendary King Alfred the Great onwards, including the monarchies of England, Scotland, Wales and the United Kingdom for over a thousand years. Fascinating portraits are expertly woven into a history of division and eventual union of the British Isles - even royals we think most familiar are revealed in a new and sometimes surprising light. This revised and shortened edition of The Mammoth Book of British Kings & Queens includes biographies of the royals of recorded British history, plus an overview of the semi-legendary figures of pre-history and the Dark Ages - an accessible source for students and general readers.

Constable

Bizarre London

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Authors:
David Long
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

In the political ferment of the Tudor century one family above all others was always at the troubled centre of court and council. During those years the Dudleys were never far from controversy. Three of them were executed for treason. They were universally condemned as scheming, ruthless, over-ambitious charmers, and one was defamed as a wife murderer. Yet Edmund Dudley was instrumental in establishing the financial basis of the Tudor dynasty, and John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland, led victorious armies, laid the foundations of the Royal Navy, ruled as uncrowned king and almost succeeded in placing Lady Jane Grey on the throne. The most famous of them all, Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, came the closest to marrying Elizabeth I, was her foremost favourite for 30 years and governed the Netherlands in her name, while his successor, Sir Robert Dudley, was one of the Queen's most audacious seadogs in the closing years of her reign, but fell foul of James I. Thus the fortunes of this astonishing family rose and fell with those of the royal line they served faithfully through a tumultuous century.see www.derekwilson.com