• Amberley Publishing

      Established in 2008,AmberleyPublishingis home of the ever-popular colour local history series Through Time, Amberleyis an independent publisher of books on a rich variety of history and heritage.

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    • Humanities & Social Sciences
      April 2018

      Ali

      The Fight America Didn't Want

      by Russell Routledge

      Has everything been said about Muhammad Ali, once the most famous man in the world? No. There is one special bout that has, over time, been largely overlooked, where both the fight and shenanigans surrounding it have never been fully examined. In early 1970, a fight involving Ali was avoided by just about every city in America – until Atlanta in Georgia decided to take a chance. They proposed an Ali fight with ‘Great White Hope’ Jerry Quarry. The comparison of Ali’s comeback bout with that of ‘Great White Hope’ Jim Jeffries and his return against Jack Johnson in 1910 was unavoidable. Atlanta, once fertile soil for the racism, was inundated with objections when a prize fight involving Ali, a black Muslim draft evader facing a possible five-year prison sentence, was planned. When the ‘Black Mecca’ of the South eventually put on the fight it attracted not only Ali’s legion of die-hard fans but also every echelon of African American society. They came together to witness the return of their fighting hero, but for some unlucky ringside spectators the party spirit was soon replaced by anger, empty pockets and rumours of deadly retribution. An after-party became the scene of perhaps one of the biggest and most brazen armed robberies in Atlanta’s history. Ali’s life would be forever linked to the city that reintroduced him to the ring. Twenty-six years later, the same city and same fighter would come together in one of the most memorable moments in sporting history, when Ali lit the Olympic flame in front of the whole world.

    • Humanities & Social Sciences
      November 2017

      Anne Boleyn

      Adultery, Heresy, Desire

      by Amy Licence

      Anne Boleyn’s unconventional beauty inspired poets ‒ and she so entranced Henry VIII with her wit, allure and style that he was prepared to set aside his wife of over twenty years and risk his immortal soul. Her sister had already been the king’s mistress, but the other Boleyn girl followed a different path. For years the lovers waited; did they really remain chaste? Did Anne love Henry, or was she a calculating femme fatale? Eventually replacing the long-suffering Catherine of Aragon, Anne enjoyed a magnificent coronation and gave birth to the future Queen Elizabeth, but her triumph was short-lived. Why did she go from beloved consort to adulteress and traitor within a matter of weeks? What role did Thomas Cromwell and Jane Seymour of Wolf Hall play in Anne’s demise? Was her fall one of the biggest sex scandals of her era, or the result of a political coup? With her usual eye for the telling detail, Amy Licence explores the nuances of this explosive and ultimately deadly relationship to answer an often neglected question: what choice did Anne really have? When she writes to Henry during their protracted courtship, is she addressing a suitor, or her divinely ordained king? This book follows Anne from cradle to grave and beyond. Anne is vividly brought to life amid the colour, drama and unforgiving politics of the Tudor court.

    • Humanities & Social Sciences
      July 2017

      The Beatles' Landmarks in Liverpool

      by Daniel K. Longman, Bill Harry

      The appeal of the Beatles is everlasting. Millions of fans from all over the world continue to revel in the band’s eternal hits and their music stands out as one of Britain’s greatest cultural successes. This book takes the reader on a journey to the Fab Four’s home town of Liverpool and explores the significant sites and locations associated with the band’s unparalleled rise to stardom. We delve into the archives and uncover nostalgic images of Mathew Street, Strawberry Field and Penny Lane, as well as many other familiar landmarks and witness the changes that have taken place in the city through time. This book will appeal to any true Beatles fan who wishes to discover that little bit extra about the world’s most famous boy band.

    • Humanities & Social Sciences
      July 2016

      The Beauty of Her Age

      A Tale of Sex, Scandal and Money in Victorian England

      by Jenifer Roberts

      Yolande Duvernay was born in poverty in Paris in 1812. Under the control of a formidable stage mother, she became a celebrated ballerina – the favourite dancer of Princess Victoria – renowned for her beauty, grace, and provocative style on stage. Sold for sexual assignations from puberty, she gave birth to two children and became the mistress of a succession of men. When she became the mistress of Stephens Lyne Stephens, son and heir of the richest commoner in England, her mother was rewarded with over a million pounds in today’s money. There was a massive scandal a few years later when she manipulated Stephens into marriage, and when he died, he left her a life interest in his entire fortune. With an annual income worth more than six million pounds today, she became the wealthiest woman in England – even richer, it was said, than Queen Victoria. While her husband’s will was placed in the infamous Court of Chancery and lawyers began to pore over every word, Yolande seduced the British military attaché in Paris. With an eye on her fortune, General Claremont took charge of her financial affairs, and soon he and his wife were sharing her wealthy lifestyle in a barely disguised ménage-à-trois. Jenifer Roberts unearths this fascinating story of sex, scandal and money, and proves that truth really can be stranger than fiction.

    • Humanities & Social Sciences
      October 2013

      Country House Society

      The Private Lives of England's Upper Class After the First World War

      by Pamela Horn

      When the cataclysm of the First World War impacted on British society, it particularly affected the landed classes, with their long military tradition. Country houses, as in a variety of popular TV dramas, were turned into military hospitals and convalescent homes, while many of the menfolk were killed or badly injured in the hostilities. When the war ended efforts were made to return to the pre-war world. Pleasure seeking in night-clubs, sporting events and country-house weekends became the order of the day. Many of the old former rituals such as presentation at Court for debutantes and royal garden parties were revived. Yet, overshadowing all were the economic pressures of the decade as increased taxation, death duties and declining farm rentals reduced landed incomes. Some owners sold their mansions or some land to newly enriched businessmen who had prospered as a result of the war. Others turned to city directorships to make ends meet or, in the case of the women, ran dress shops and other small businesses. The 1920s proved a decade of flux for High Society, with the light-hearted dances, treasure hunts and sexual permissiveness of the 'Bright Young People' contrasting with the financial anxieties and problems faced by their parents' generation. Pamela Horn draws on the letters and diaries of iconic figures of the period, such as Nancy Mitford and Barbara Cartland, to give an insight into this new post-war era.

    • Health & Personal Development
      August 2017

      The Dark Side of Japan

      Ancient Black Magic, Folklore, Ritual

      by Antony Cummins

      The Dark Side of Japan is a collection of folk tales, black magic, protection spells, monsters and other dark interpretations of life and death from Japanese folklore. Much of the information comes from ancient documents, translated into English here for the first time. Antony Cummins has also searched the now forgotten Victorian volumes on Japanese mythology and explains recent academic research on Japan for the non-expert. Antony has transformed the complex information into a modern rendering, with stories and details that let a modern reader enter into the world of the forgotten legends of old Japan and the superstitions that colour them, some of which still exist today. The Dark Side of Japan is profusely illustrated, with drawings showcasing the ‘hellish’ concepts within. And remarkably hellish they are, too. Consider the kappa: ‘goblin-like creatures that have the body of a child, the face of a tiger adorned with a beak and the shell of a turtle. They drag people into rivers and ponds and drown them. If a woman gives birth to a kappa baby after being raped, the baby is hacked to death.’

    • Humanities & Social Sciences
      November 2017

      Edward II the Man

      by Stephen Spinks

    • Humanities & Social Sciences
      September 2017

      Heroines of the Medieval World

      by Sharon Bennett Connolly

      These are the stories of women, famous, infamous and unknown, who shaped the course of medieval history. The lives and actions of medieval women were restricted by the men who ruled the homes, countries and world they lived in. It was men who fought wars, made laws and dictated religious doctrine. It was men who were taught to read, trained to rule and expected to fight. Today, it is easy to think that all women from this era were downtrodden, retiring and obedient housewives, whose sole purpose was to give birth to children (preferably boys) and serve their husbands. Heroines of the Medieval World looks at the lives of the women who broke the mould: those who defied social norms and made their own future, consequently changing lives, society and even the course of history. Some of the women are famous, such as Eleanor of Aquitaine, who was not only a duchess in her own right but also Queen Consort of France through her first marriage and Queen Consort of England through her second, in addition to being a crusader and a rebel. Then there are the more obscure but no less remarkable figures such as Nicholaa de la Haye, who defended Lincoln Castle in the name of King John, and Maud de Braose, who spoke out against the same king’s excesses and whose death (or murder) was the inspiration for a clause in Magna Carta. Women had to walk a fine line in the Middle Ages, but many learned to survive – even flourish – in this male-dominated world. Some led armies, while others made their influence felt in more subtle ways, but all made a contribution to their era and should be remembered for daring to defy and lead in a world that demanded they obey and follow.

    • Humanities & Social Sciences
      August 2017

      The House of Beaufort

      The Bastard Line that Captured the Crown

      by Nathen Amin

      The Wars of the Roses saw family fight family over the greatest prize – the throne of England. But what gave the eventual victor of these brutal and complex wars, Henry Tudor, the right to claim the crown? How exactly did an illegitimate line come to challenge the English monarchy? While the Houses of York and Lancaster fought brutally for the crown, other noble families of the kingdom also played integral roles in the wars; grand and prestigious names like the Howards, Mowbrays, Nevilles and Percys were intimately involved in the conflict, but none symbolised the volatile nature of the period quite like the House of Beaufort. Their rise, fall, and rise again is the story of England during the fifteenth century, a dramatic century of war, intrigue and scandal, both at home and abroad. This book uncovers the rise of the Beauforts from bastard stock of John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, to esteemed companions of their cousin Henry V, celebrated victor of Agincourt, and tracks their chastening fall with the House of Lancaster during the 1460s and 1470s. The hopes and fortunes of the family gradually came to rest upon the shoulders of a teenage widow named Margaret Beaufort and her young son Henry. From Margaret would rise the House of Tudor, the most famous of all England’s royal houses and a dynasty that owed its crown to the blood of its forebears, the House of Beaufort. From bastards to princes, the Beauforts are medieval England’s most captivating family.

    • Humanities & Social Sciences
      February 2018

      'I Was Transformed' Frederick Douglass

      An American Slave in Victorian Britain

      by Laurence Fenton

      In the summer of 1845, Frederick Douglass, the young runaway slave catapulted to fame by his incendiary autobiography, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, arrived in Liverpool for the start of a near-two-year tour of Britain and Ireland he always called one of the most transformative periods of his life. Laurence Fenton draws on a wide array of sources from both sides of the Atlantic and combines a unique insight into the early years of one of the great figures of the nineteenth-century world with rich profiles of the enormous personalities at the heart of the transatlantic anti-slavery movement. This vivid portrait of life in Victorian Britain is the first to fully explore the ‘liberating sojourn’ that ended with Douglass gaining his freedom – paid for by British supporters – before returning to America as a celebrity and icon of international standing. It also follows his later life, through the American Civil War and afterwards. Douglass has been described as ‘the most influential African American of the nineteenth century’. He spoke and wrote on behalf of a variety of reform causes: women’s rights, temperance, peace, land reform, free public education and the abolition of capital punishment. But he devoted most of his time, immense talent and boundless energy to ending slavery. On April 14, 1876, Douglass would deliver the keynote speech at the unveiling of the Emancipation Memorial in Washington’s Lincoln Park.

    • Humanities & Social Sciences
      July 2012

      In Bed with the Tudors

      The Sex Lives of a Dynasty from Elizabeth of York to Elizabeth I

      by Amy Licence

      Learn what went on behind closed doors in the Tudor court. Illegitimate children, adulterous queens, impotent kings, and a whole dynasty resting on their shoulders. Sex and childbirth were quite literally a matter of life or death for the Tudors - Elizabeth of York died in childbirth, two of Henry VIII's queens were beheaded for infidelity, and Elizabeth I's elective virginity signalled the demise of a dynasty. Amy Licence guides the reader through the births of Henry VII and Elizabeth of York's two sons, Arthur and Henry, Catherine of Aragon's subsequent marriages to both of these men, Henry VIII's other five wives and his mistresses, and the sex lives of his daughters. This book details the experiences of all these women, from fertility, conception and pregnancy through to the delivery chamber, on to maternal and infant mortality. Each woman's story is a blend of specific personal circumstances, set against their historical moment: for some the joys were brief, for others it was a question that ultimately determined their fates.

    • Biography & True Stories
      April 2016

      Isambard Kingdom Brunel

      The Life of an Engineering Genius

      by Colin Maggs

      In his time Isambard Kingdom Brunel was the world's greatest engineer. His list of achievements is truly breathtaking: the Thames Tunnel, the first underwater tunnel in the world; the SS Great Britain, the first propeller-driven ship; the Clifton Suspension Bridge, then the longest span of any bridge in the world; and the Great Western Railway. History has been kind to his memory: many of his creations still exist and he is lauded by historians as a truly 'Great Briton'. In this full-scale biography Colin Maggs presents a portrait of a complex, ambitious and determined genius. But the Brunel that emerges is not without flaws. He made mistakes, both personal and technical – he wasn't always right but never admitted he was wrong. Drawing on Brunel's diaries, letters and business papers, we see the real Isambard, a more human figure, emerging from behind the towering structures and machines he created.

    • Humanities & Social Sciences
      October 2017

      Joan of Arc and 'The Great Pity of the Land of France'

      by Moya Longstaffe

      Joan of Arc’s life and death mark a turning point in the destiny both of France and England and the history of their monarchies. ‘It is a great shame,’ wrote Étienne Pasquier in the late sixteenth century, ‘for no one ever came to the help of France so opportunely and with such success as that girl, and never was the memory of a woman so torn to shreds.’ Biographers have crossed swords furiously about her inspiration, each according to the personal conviction of the writer. As Moya Longstaffe points out: ‘She has been claimed as an icon by zealous combatants of every shade of opinion, clericals, anticlericals, nationalists, republicans, socialists, conspiracy theorists, feminists, yesterday’s communists, today’s Front National, everyone with a need for a figurehead. As George Bernard Shaw said, in the prologue to his play, “The question raised by Joan’s burning is a burning question still.”’ By returning to the original sources and employing her expertise in languages, the author brings La Pucelle alive and does not duck the most difficult question: was she deluded, unbalanced, fraudulent ‒ or indeed a great visionary, to be compared to Catherine of Siena or Francis of Assisi?

    • Humanities & Social Sciences
      April 2018

      Julius Caesar

      A Life

      by Patricia Southern

      Julius Caesar is part historical figure and part legend. He was a complex individual, a brilliant politician, a successful general, an accomplished psychologist. He grew up in a world where political and military careers were inextricably intertwined, and he excelled at both. In his youth he was considered vain and a little foppish, but showed nerves of steel when he defied the Dictator Sulla – and survived. Bending to someone’s will was not in Caesar’s make-up. He came late to a position of supreme power, and though his policies embraced pragmatic, sensible measures designed to solve the problems that beset the Republic, it was his dictatorial methods rather than his ideas which caused resentment. Unfortunately, when his assassins killed him, hoping to liberate the state from what they saw as his tyranny, they had formulated no plans for the government of the Roman world. By murdering Caesar, the assassins provoked a prolonged series of civil wars, and the rise of Augustus, the all-powerful first Emperor, who took up where Caesar left off. In this new appraisal of his life, Patricia Southern sheds light on the man behind the legend.

    • Humanities & Social Sciences
      October 2016

      King Cnut and the Viking Conquest of England 1016

      by W. B. Bartlett

      The Viking Conquest of England in 1016 – a far tougher and more brutal campaign than the Norman Conquest exactly half a century later – saw two great warriors, the Danish prince Cnut and his equally ruthless English opponent King Edmund Ironside, fight an epic campaign. Cnut sailed in two hundred longboats, landing first in September 1015 on the Wessex coast with 10,000 soldiers. The two forces fought each other to the point of exhaustion for the next fourteen months. It was a war of terrifying violence that scarred much of England, from the Humber to Cornwall. It saw an epic siege of the great walls of London and bruising set-piece battles at Penselwood, Otford, and the conclusive Danish victory at Assandun on 18 October 1016. Edmund’s death soon afterwards finally resolved a brutal, bloody conflict and ended with Cnut becoming the undisputed king of England. This book tells the extraordinary story of Cnut the Great’s life. Cnut was far removed from the archetypal pagan Viking, being a staunch protector of the Christian Church and a man who would also become Emperor of the North as king of Denmark and Norway. His wife, Emma of Normandy, was a remarkable woman who would outlive the two kings of England that she married. Their son Harthacnut would be the second and last Danish king of England, but the greatness of his dynasty did not long survive his death. This saga also features the incompetent Æthelred the Unready, the ferocious Sweyn Forkbeard and the treacherous Eadric Streona, recreating one of the great stories of Dark Age England.

    • Humanities & Social Sciences
      September 2017

      The King's Pearl

      by Melita Thomas

    • Humanities & Social Sciences
      February 2018

      La Reine Blanche

      Mary Tudor, A Life in Letters

      by Sarah Bryson

      Mary Tudor’s childhood was overshadowed by the men in her life: her father, Henry VII, and her brothers Arthur, heir to the Tudor throne, and Henry VIII. These men and the beliefs held about women at the time helped to shape Mary’s life. She was trained to be a dutiful wife and at the age of eighteen Mary married the French king, Louis XII, thirty-four years her senior. When her husband died three months after the marriage, Mary took charge of her life and shaped her own destiny. As a young widow, Mary blossomed. This was the opportunity to show the world the strong, self-willed, determined woman she always had been. She remarried for love and at great personal risk to herself. She loved and respected Katherine of Aragon and despised Anne Boleyn – again, a dangerous position to take. Author Sarah Bryson has returned to primary sources, state papers and letters, to unearth the truth about this intelligent and passionate woman. This is the story of Mary Tudor, told through her own words for the first time.

    • Humanities & Social Sciences
      April 2018

      Lady M

      The Life and Loves of Elizabeth Lamb, Viscountess Melbourne 1751-1818

      by Colin Brown

      At a time of emerging women leaders, the life of Elizabeth Milbanke, Viscountess Melbourne, the shrewdest political hostess of the Georgian period, is particularly intriguing. It was Byron who called her ‘Lady M’ and it was Byron’s tempestuous and very public affair with Elizabeth’s daughter-in-law Lady Caroline Lamb that was the scandal of the age. Lady M rose above all adversity, using sex and her husband’s wealth to hold court among such glittering figures as Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire, the Whig leader and wit Charles James Fox and the playwright Sheridan. Her many lovers included Lord Egremont, Turner’s wealthy patron, and the future George IV. Elizabeth schemed on behalf of her children and her ambitions were realised when her son William Lamb (‘Lord M’) became the young Queen Victoria’s confidant and Prime Minister. Based upon primary research – diaries, archives and extensive correspondence between Lady M and Lord Byron – Colin Brown examines the Regency period and its pre-Victorian code of morals from the perspective of a powerful and influential woman on the 200th anniversary of her death.

    • Humanities & Social Sciences
      March 2018

      The Lion Boy and Other Medical Curiosities

      by Jan Bondeson

      In this book of amazing oddities, the successor to his popular Cabinet of Medical Curiositiesand The Two-Headed Boy, Jan Bondeson explores various surprising and bizarre aspects of the history of medicine: Does people’s hair go white after a sudden fright; can the image of the killer be seen in the eyes of a murdered person; does the severed head of a guillotined person maintain some degree of consciousness? Giants, dwarfs and medical freaks are paraded in front of the reader, to say nothing of Johnny Trunley, the Fat Boy of Peckham, who was a sensation in Edwardian show business, and his various rotund rivals. In this book, Bondeson combines a historian’s research skills with a physician’s diagnostic flair, as he explores our timeless fascination with the freakish and bizarre people and events in the colourful history of medicine.

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