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By any standards the 15-year reign of the French king Henry III (1574-89) was troubled and inauspicious. 

Plagued by ill-health, the exercise of his authority beset by political rivalries and confessional division and finally assassinated...

Helen McCarthy’s latest book is one of the most important studies on diplomatic practice to have been published in many years. It is the first academically rigorous account of the role that women played in the conduct of British foreign policy...

Target: Italy is the latest book commissioned by the Cabinet Office to tell the story of the Special Operations Executive (SOE) in various sectors of Britain’s Second World War. Covering the time when Italy was actively participating in...

Simon Bolivar

Innumerable biographies of Simón Bolívar crowd the shelves, yet this aristocratic rebel against Spain, who transformed the history of South America at the start of the 19th century, remains a shadowy figure outside his own continent. Many will...

The Italian soldier, Giulio Douhet, is one of the few well-known names in the history of air power strategy, along with Hugh Trenchard, father of the RAF, and Billy Mitchell, the American air power pioneer. Command of the Air, originally...

A major multi-authored history of Australia appears once in a generation. The celebrated and contested bicentenary of British colonisation in 1988 marked the last effort: Australians: A Historical Library, which sliced the nation’s past...

Did physics make the torpedo possible? Barry Parker’s book, The Physics of War, primarily an explanation of the principles of physics behind how different weapons work, claims that it did. Yet Katherine Epstein’s book, Torpedo,...

British academic interest in post-colonial South Asia has long lacked the rigour found in works dedicated to the region and its people prior to 1947. Essential questions around the relative influence of Britain (and later the United States) in...

The 1971 Bangladesh genocide is little remembered, although it was almost as bad as Rwanda. It turned the Cold War story of freedom-loving US versus the oppressive Soviet Union on its head. The land of the free was in a shameful alliance with the...

As the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen protests passed this year, the topic continues to be a taboo in China. Even so, former participants, eyewitnesses and others still remember what they are supposed to forget. Their memories undermine the...

‘Those who travel the seas in ships are called to witness the Lord’s work.’ This verse from Psalm 107 was quoted by the Norman captain Jacques de Vaulx at the beginning of his lavishly illustrated treatise on navigation published in Le Havre in...

This is really two books. In one, a Richard III Society luminary – star of the Channel 4 TV documentary, The King in the Car Park – describes the discovery of Richard’s skeleton, while in the other an academic historian studies Richard...

1177 B.C. seeks to explain the complexities that brought an end to the Late Bronze Age (LBA) in the eastern Mediterranean. The protagonists are the ‘Sea Peoples’, best known from contemporary Egyptian documents, and the main problem is...

Archie Brown promises an argumentative book and he does not disappoint. The case he presents is clear: so-called ‘strong leaders’ generally prove ineffective. This is because ‘strong’ typically means an inability to accept collective decision-...

This is an omnibus edition of Leonard’s previous three books on 18th, 19th and 20th century premiers, plus new chapters on Blair, Brown and Cameron. It contains detailed chapters on all 53 prime ministers from Robert Walpole to the present. All...

In 1923 Richard Wagner’s son, Siegfried, appealed to Bayreuth Festival audiences to refrain from responding to Hans Sachs’ paean to ‘holy German art’ at the close of The Mastersingers of Nuremberg by singing the German national anthem. ‘...

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