Books about social, economic and general history.
Mad, bad and sad. From the depression suffered by Virginia Woolf and Sylvia Plath to the mental anguish and addictions of iconic beauties Zelda Fitzgerald and Marilyn Monroe. From Freud and Jung and the radical breakthroughs of psychoanalysis to Lacan's construction of a modern movement and the new women-centred therapies. (hide)
Annulled by the pope within weeks of being issued, it was destined to oblivion. But with the sudden death of John, all of this changed. Magna Carta was reissued by the regents of the boy King Henry III as an apology for past misrule and as a promise of future good government.
It was reissued on successive occasions and repeatedly cited in legal cases in the following centuries. Later, it played a part in conflicts such as the English Civil War and the US Wars of Independence. Echoes of Magna Carta are to be found in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States.
In The Making of Home, Flanders traces the evolution of the house across northern Europe and America from the sixteenth to the early twentieth century, and paints a striking picture of how the homes we know today differ from homes through history. The transformation of houses into homes, she argues, was not a private matter, but an essential ingredient in the rise of capitalism and the birth of the Industrial Revolution. Without 'home', the modern world as we know it would not exist, and as Flanders charts the development of ordinary household objects - from cutlery, chairs and curtains, to fitted kitchens, plumbing and windows - she also peels back the myths that surround some of our most basic assumptions, including our entire notion of what it is that makes a family. (hide)
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'Think not that you have the right to be idle because you are young.' 'Of all things, beware of sullenness, melancholy and ill-humoured silence.' 'Particularly avoid belching, biting or cutting your nails, rubbing your teeth and picking your nose and ears in company.' 'Boys will be boys', the saying goes - but, as this intriguing manual maintains, there is always scope for improvement.
First published in 1829, it offers forthright advice to young gentlemen in all situations, from encouraging family harmony ('On no account quarrel with your brothers and sisters') to good table manners and conduct at school. Packed with frank and funny observations on boys at work and play, it shows how to navigate the twin perils of 'sheepish bashfulness and obtrusive boldness', and hold your own in company with confidence and style. Timeless tips on tidiness, behaviour and self-knowledge combine with the amusing social etiquette of two centuries ago in this entertaining and perceptive guide.(hide)
Vivid, uncompromising and unflinching, Short presents in one-volume the man behind the propaganda - his family, his beliefs and his horrors. In doing so he shows us both the human being Mao was, and the monster he became. (hide)
The eighteenth century: The growing need for maps on a world scale reflects the spread of European power and of transoceanic conflict between Europeans. This chapter focuses in particular on the American War of Independence. The nineteenth century: Key developments included contouring and the creation of military surveying. (hide)
She once described herself as 'a sort of political clairvoyant', but she did not anticipate the premier's fall, and it is for her candour, not her clairvoyance, that the diary is valuable. Margot was both a spectator of, and a participant in, the events that she describes, and in public affairs could be an ally or an embarrassment - sometimes both. Her diary evokes the wartime milieu, as experienced in 10 Downing Street, and describes the great political battles that lay behind the warfare on the Western Front.
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