England’s Last War Against France: Fighting Vichy 1940-42 by Colin Smith
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Overview: Genuinely new story of the Second World War – the full account of England’s last war against France in 1940-42.
Most people think that England’s last war with France involved point-blank broadsides from sailing ships and breastplated Napoleonic cavalry charging red-coated British infantry. But there was a much more recent conflict than this. Under the terms of its armistice with Nazi Germany, the unoccupied part of France and its substantial colonies were ruled from the spa town of Vichy by the government of Marshal Philip Petain. Between July 1940 and November 1942, while Britain was at war with Germany, Italy and ultimately Japan, it also fought land, sea and air battles with the considerable forces at the disposal of Petain’s Vichy French.
When the Royal Navy sank the French Fleet at Mers El-Kebir almost 1,300 French sailors died in what was the twentieth century’s most one-sided sea battle. British casualties were nil. It is a wound that has still not healed, for undoubtedly these events are better remembered in France than in Britain. An embarrassment at the time, France’s maritime massacre and the bitter, hard-fought campaigns that followed rarely make more than footnotes in accounts of Allied operations against Axis forces. Until now.
Genre: Non-Fiction > History
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Sex and Satiric Tragedy in Early Modern England: Penetrating Wit by Gabriel A. Rieger
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Overview: Drawing upon recent scholarship in Renaissance studies regarding notions of the body, political, physical and social, this study examines how the satiric tragedians of the English Renaissance employ the languages of sex – including sexual slander, titillation, insinuation and obscenity – in the service of satiric aggression. There is a close association between the genre of satire and sexually descriptive language in the period, author Gabriel Rieger argues, particularly in the ways in which both the genre and the languages embody systems of oppositions. In exploring the various purposes which sexually descriptive language serves for the satiric tragedian, Rieger reviews a broad range of texts, ancient, Renaissance, and contemporary, by satiric tragedians, moralists, medical writers and critics, paying particular attention to the works of William Shakespeare, Thomas Middleton and John Webster
Genre: Non-Fiction > Educational > Literature, Criticism
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Scandal and Religious Identity in Early Stuart England: A Northamptonshire Maid’s Tragedy (Studies in Modern British Religious History) by Peter Lake , Isaac Stephens
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Overview: This book starts with an extraordinary event and document. The event is the trial and execution for infanticide of a puritan minister, John Barker, along with his wife’s niece and their maid, in Northampton in 1637; the document, what appears to be a virtual transcript of Barker’s last speech on the gallows. His downfall soon became polemical fodder in scribal publications, with Puritans circulating defences of Barker and anti-Calvinists producing a Laudian condemnation of the minister. Scandal and Religious Identity in Early Stuart England uses Barker’s crime and fate as a window on the religious world of early modern England. It is based upon an extraordinary deposit of manuscript and printed sources, all produced between 1637 and 1640 by people living in close proximity to one another and all of whom knew one another, either as friends or more often as enemies. Marshalling evidence from public polemical sources and from almost entirely private ones – a diary, private letters and a spiritual autobiography – the book is able to examine the same events and persons, and beliefs and practices, from multiple perspectives: the micro and the macro, the personal and the political, and the affective and the doctrinal. Throughout, we meet a range of very different people putting various bodies of religious theory into practice, connecting the most local and particular of events and rivalries to the great issues of the day and responding, in certain cases, to the promptings of the Holy Spirit and the temptations of the devil. This approach enables a whole series of generalisations to be explored: about the relation between politics and religion, devotion and polemic, puritans and their enemies, local and national affairs; between rumour, manuscript and print; and, finally, about gender hierarchy and the social roles of men and women. The result is an extraordinarily detailed and intimate portrait of the religio- political scene in an English county on the eve of civil war. PETER LAKE is Distinguished University Professor of early modern English history at Vanderbilt. He is the author of several studies of English religion, culture and politics in the Elizabethan and early Stuart periods. ISAAC STEPHENS is Assistant Professor of History at Saginaw Valley State University and has published on early modern marriage, religion, and life-writing.
Genre: Non-Fiction > History > Great Britain > England
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The Historical past of England, Quantity 5: Dominion (The Historical past of England) by Peter Ackroyd
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Overview: The penultimate quantity of Peter Ackroyd’s masterful Historical past of England sequence, Dominion begins in 1815 as nationwide glory following the Battle of Waterloo provides solution to post-war despair, spanning the final years of the Regency to the demise of Queen Victoria in January 1901.
In it, Ackroyd takes us from the accession of the profligate George IV whose authorities was steered by Lord Liverpool, who was firmly set in opposition to reform, to the reign of his brother, William IV, the ‘Sailor King’, whose reign noticed the modernization of the political system and the abolition of slavery.
Nevertheless it was the accession of Queen Victoria, aged solely eighteen, that sparked an period of huge innovation. Technological progress – from steam railways to the primary telegram – swept the nation and the best innovations have been showcased on the first Nice Exhibition in 1851. The emergence of the center lessons modified the form of society and scientific advances modified the outdated pieties of the Church of England, and unfold secular concepts throughout the nation. However although intense industrialization introduced growth instances for the manufacturing facility homeowners, the working lessons have been nonetheless subjected to poor housing, lengthy working hours and dire poverty.
Style: Non-Fiction > Historical past
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Navy Communities in Late Medieval England (Warfare in Historical past) by Gary P. Baker
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Overview: From warhorses to the men-at-arms who rode them; armies that have been raised to the lords who recruited, led, administered, and financed them; and ships to the mariners who crewed them; few features of the organisation and logistics of warfare in late medieval England have escaped the scholarly consideration, or failed to learn from the insights, of Dr Andrew Ayton. The idea of the navy group, with its emphasis on warfare as a collective social enterprise, has at all times lain on the coronary heart of his work; he has proven specifically how this age of warfare is characterised by associated however intersecting navy communities, marked not solely by the social and political relationships inside armies and navies, however by communities of thoughts, expertise, and enterprise.
The essays on this quantity, starting from the late thirteenth to the early fifteenth century, deal with varied features of this concept. They provide investigations of troopers’ and mariners’ tools; their obligations, capabilities, standing, and recruitment; and the vary and period of their service.
Gary P. Baker is a Analysis Affiliate on the College of East Anglia and a Researcher in Historical past on the College of Groningen; Craig L. Lambert is Lecturer in Maritime Historical past on the College of Southampton; David Simpkin teaches historical past at Birkenhead Sixth-Type Faculty.
Contributors: Gary P. Baker, Adrian R. Bell, Peter Coss, Anne Curry, Robert W. Jones, Andy King, Craig L. Lambert, Tony Ok. Moore, J.J.N. Palmer, Philip Preston, Michael Prestwich, Matthew Raven, Clifford J. Rogers, Nigel Saul, David Simpkin.
Style: Non-Fiction > Historical past
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The Historical past of England, Quantity 3: Civil Struggle (The Historical past of England) by Peter Ackroyd
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Overview: In Civil Struggle, Peter Ackroyd continues his dazzling account of England’s historical past, starting with the progress south of the Scottish king, James VI, who on the loss of life of Elizabeth I grew to become the primary Stuart king of England, and ends with the deposition and flight into exile of his grandson, James II. The Stuart dynasty introduced collectively the 2 nations of England and Scotland into one realm, albeit a realm nonetheless marked by political divisions that echo to today.
Extra importantly, maybe, the Stuart period was marked by the merciless depredations of civil battle, and the killing of a king. Ackroyd paints a vivid portrait of James I and his heirs. Shrewd and opinionated, the brand new King was eloquent on issues as various as theology, witchcraft and the abuses of tobacco, however his angle to the English parliament sowed the seeds of the division that may break up the nation within the reign of his hapless inheritor, Charles I. Ackroyd gives a superb – warts and all – portrayal of Charles’s nemesis Oliver Cromwell, Parliament’s nice navy chief and England’s solely dictator, who started his profession as a political liberator however ended it as a lot of a despot as ‘that man of blood’, the king he executed.
Style: Non-Fiction > Historical past
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