In the eighteenth century, the palace's most elegant assembly room was in fact a bloody battlefield. This was a world of skulduggery, politicking, wigs and beauty-spots, where fans whistled open like flick-knives... Ambitious and talented people flocked to court of George II and Queen Caroline in search of power and prestige, but Kensington Palace was also a gilded cage. Successful courtiers needed level heads and cold hearts; their secrets were never safe. Among them, a Vice Chamberlain with many vices, a Maid of Honour with a secret marriage, a pushy painter, an alcoholic equerry, a Wild Boy, a penniless poet, a dwarf comedian, two mysterious turbaned Turks and any number of discarded royal mistresses.
Kensington Palace is now most famous as the former home of Diana, Princess of Wales, but the palace's glory days came between 1714 and 1760, during the reigns of George I and II . In the eighteenth century, this palace was a world of skulduggery, intrigue, politicking, etiquette, wigs, and beauty spots, where fans whistled open like switchblades and unusual people were kept as curiosities. Lucy Worsley's The Courtiers charts the trajectory of the fantastically quarrelsome Hanovers and the last great gasp of British court life. Structured around the paintings of courtiers and servants that line the walls of the King's Staircase of Kensington Palace-paintings you can see at the palace today-The Courtiers goes behind closed doors to meet a pushy young painter, a maid of honor with a secret marriage, a vice chamberlain with many vices, a bedchamber woman with a violent husband, two aging royal mistresses, and many more. The result is an indelible portrait of court life leading up to the famous reign of George III , and a feast for both Anglophiles and lovers of history and royalty.
A Sunday Times bestseller - Five women. One house. One extraordinary history. Even today, Cliveden retains its royal mystique - it is where Meghan Markle and her mother spent the night before the royal wedding - but from its construction in the 1660s to its heyday in the 1960s, Cliveden has played host to a dynasty of remarkable and powerful women. Anna Maria, Elizabeth, Augusta, Harriet, and Nancy were five ladies who, over the course of three centuries, shaped British society through their beauty, personalities, and political influence. Restoration and revolution, aristocratic rise and fall, world war and cold war form the extraordinary backdrop against which their stories unfold. An addictive history of the period and an intimate exploration of the timeless relationships between people and place, The Mistresses of Cliveden is a story of sex, power and politics, and the ways in which exceptional women defy the expectations of their time.
The Queen’s life is dedicated to her public – every move is scrutinised, every word noted. But her homes are havens where peace can be found, away from watchful eyes; sanctuaries of private calm in a whirlwind life of public duty. In The Queen’s Houses, Alan Titchmarsh takes us on a tour of the royal residences, examining the personal family stories behind these magnificent buildings. Through personal reflections, interviews with royal staff and meticulous historical research, Alan looks beyond the formal grandeur of Buckingham Palace, the imposing structure of Windsor Castle and the private escape offered by Balmoral and others. Illustrated with intimate family photographs and evocative memorabilia, The Queen’s Houses offers a glimpse of life behind the state banquets and sovereign duties – a respectful study of the royal family at home.
The Seven Years’ War (1756–1763) was the decisive conflict of the eighteenth century – Winston Churchill called it the first “world war” – and the clash which forever changed the course of North American history. Yet compared with other momentous conflicts like the Napoleonic Wars or the First World War, the cultural impact of the Seven Years’ War remains woefully understudied. The Culture of the Seven Years’ War is the first collection of essays to take a broad interdisciplinary and multinational approach to this important global conflict. Rather than focusing exclusively on political, diplomatic, or military issues, this collection examines the impact of representation, identity, and conceptions and experiences of empire. With essays by notable scholars that address the war’s impact in Europe and the Atlantic world, this volume is sure to become essential reading for those interested in the relationship between war, culture, and the arts.
The story of the queen who defied convention and defined an era A passionate princess, an astute and clever queen, and a cunning widow, Victoria played many roles throughout her life. In Queen Victoria: Twenty-Four Days That Changed Her Life, Lucy Worsley introduces her as a woman leading a truly extraordinary life in a unique time period. Queen Victoria simultaneously managed to define a socially conservative vision of Victorian womanhood, while also defying its conventions. Beneath her exterior image of traditional daughter, wife, and widow, she was a strong-willed and masterful politician. Drawing from the vast collection of Victoria’s correspondence and the rich documentation of her life, Worsley recreates twenty-four of the most important days in Victoria's life. Each day gives a glimpse into the identity of this powerful, difficult queen and the contradictions that defined her. Queen Victoria is an intimate introduction to one of Britain’s most iconic rulers as a wife and widow, mother and matriarch, and above all, a woman of her time.
The pre-eminent historian of his day, Edward Gibbon (1737-94) produced his magnum opus in six volumes between 1776 and 1788. Reissued here is the authoritative seven-volume edition prepared by J. B. Bury (1861-1927) between 1896 and 1900. Immediately and widely acclaimed, Gibbon's work remains justly famous for its magisterial account of Roman imperialism and Christianity from the first century CE through to the fall of Constantinople and beyond. Innovative in its use of primary sources and notable for its tone of religious scepticism, this epic narrative stands as a masterpiece of English literature and historical scholarship. Volume 7 covers the period 1206-1590 CE, examining the rise of Genghis Khan, the conquests of Tamerlane, the Council of Basel, the Ottoman capture of Constantinople, the Western schism and reunion, and the ruins of ancient Rome. Indexes to the text and appendices are also included.
"Jane Austen at Home offers a fascinating look at Jane Austen's world through the lens of the homes in which she lived and worked throughout her life. The result is a refreshingly unique perspective on Austen and her work and a beautifully nuanced exploration of gender, creativity, and domesticity."--Amanda Foreman, bestselling author of Georgianna, Duchess of Devonshire Take a trip back to Jane Austen's world and the many places she lived as historian Lucy Worsley visits Austen's childhood home, her schools, her holiday accommodations, the houses--both grand and small--of the relations upon whom she was dependent, and the home she shared with her mother and sister towards the end of her life. In places like Steventon Parsonage, Godmersham Park, Chawton House and a small rented house in Winchester, Worsley discovers a Jane Austen very different from the one who famously lived a 'life without incident'. Worsley examines the rooms, spaces and possessions which mattered to her, and the varying ways in which homes are used in her novels as both places of pleasure and as prisons. She shows readers a passionate Jane Austen who fought for her freedom, a woman who had at least five marriage prospects, but--in the end--a woman who refused to settle for anything less than Mr. Darcy. Illustrated with two sections of color plates, Lucy Worsley's Jane Austen at Home is a richly entertaining and illuminating new book about one of the world’s favorite novelists and one of the subjects she returned to over and over in her unforgettable novels: home.