Richard I was crowned King in 1189 and set off almost immediately for the Third Crusade. This was a bloody campaign to regain the Holy Land, marked by internecine warfare among the Christians and extraordinary campaigns against the Saracens. Men and women found themselves facing new sorts of challenges and facing an uncertain future. John, the youngest son, was left behind – and with Richard gone, he was free to conspire with the French king to steal his brother’s throne.
Overshadowing the battlefields that stretched to Jerusalem and beyond were the personalities of two great adversaries: Richard and Saladin. They quickly took the measure of each other in both war and diplomacy. The result was mutual admiration: a profound acknowledgement of a worthy opponent. In this gripping narrative, Penman reveals a true and complex Richard – a man remarkable for his power and intelligence, his keen grasp of warfare and his concern for the safety of his men, who followed hi against all odds.
Ken Follett - World Without End
World Without End takes place in the same town of Kingsbridge, two centuries after the townspeople finished building the exquisite Gothic cathedral that was at the heart of The Pillars of the Earth. The cathedral and the priory are again at the center of a web of love and hate, greed and pride, ambition and revenge, but this sequel stands on its own. This time the men and women of an extraordinary cast of characters find themselves at a crossroad of new ideas--about medicine, commerce, architecture, and justice. In a world where proponents of the old ways fiercely battle those with progressive minds, the intrigue and tension quickly reach a boiling point against the devastating backdrop of the greatest natural disaster ever to strike the human race--the Black Death.
Umberto Eco - Baudolino (angol)
An extraordinarily epic, brilliantly imagined new novel from a world-class writer and author of The Name of the Rose. Discover the Middle Ages with Baudolino - a wondrous, dazzling, beguiling tale of history, myth and invention. It is 1204, and Constantinople is being sacked and burned by the knights of the Fourth Crusade. Amid the carnage and confusion Baudolino saves a Byzantine historian and high court official from certain death at the hands of the crusading warriors, and proceeds to tell his own fantastical story.
Amin Maalouf - Balthasar's Odyssey
There are ninety-nine names for God in the Koran, is it possible that there is a secret one-hundredth name? In this tale of magic and mystery, of love and danger, Balthasar's ultimate quest is to find the secret that could save the world. Before the dawn of the apocalyptic 'Year of the Beast' in 1666, Balthasar Embriaco, a Genoese Levantine merchant, sets out on an adventure that will take him across the breadth of the civilised world, from Constantinople, through the Mediterranean, to London shortly before the Great Fire. Balthasar's urgent quest is to track down a copy of one of the rarest and most coveted books ever printed, a volume called 'The Hundredth Name', its contents are thought to be of vital importance to the future of the world. There are ninety-nine names for God in the Koran, and merely to know this most secret hundredth name will, Balthasar believes, ensure his salvation.
Philippa Gregory - The Queen's Fool
Into the treacherous Tudor court cornes Hannah. Becoming entangled in the schemes ofhandsome traitor Robert Dudley, she is sent as a Holy Fool to spy on Princess Mary. She finds a woman driven by a fatal desire to turn her people back to the true faith - while her sister Eliz.abpth waits to take advantage of any mistake she makes. Caught in the savage rivalry between the daughters ofHenry VIII, tom by her infatuation with Dudley and duty to her family, thrilled by her own strange gifts but scared ofthe unknown, Hannah must find a safe way through tumultuous times - when the wrong religion is a death sentence, science and rnagic are one, and true love can destroy you...
David McDowall - An Illustrated History of Britain
An Illustrated History of Britain traces the development of the nation from prehistoric times to the present day. It looks at British history not merely in terms of kings, queens and battles, but also emphasises economic, social and intellectual forces and how these affected the everyday lives of people from different sections of society. An Illustrated History of Britain is a history of Britain, not just of England. It looks at major developments within Scotland, Wales and Ireland as well as their relations with England.
Ian Serraillier - The Silver Sword
"If you meet Ruth or Edek or Bronia, you must tell them I'm going to Switzerland to find their mother. Tell them to follow as soon as they can" Having lost their parents in the chaos of war, Ruth, Edek and Bronia are left alone to fend for themselves and hide from the Nazis amid the rubble and ruins of their city. They meet a ragged orphan boy, Jan, who treasures a paperknife - a silver sword - which was entrusted to him by an escaped prisoner of war. The three children realise that the escapee was their father, the silver sword a message that he is alive and searching for them. Together with Jan they begin a dangerous journey across the battlefields of Europe to find their parents.
Andrew Taylor - Bleeding Heart Square
'If Philippa Penhow hadn't gone to Bleeding Heart Square on that January day, you and perhaps everyone else might have lived happily ever after...' It's 1934, and the decaying London cul-de-sac of Bleeding Heart Square is an unlikely place of refuge for aristocratic Lydia Langstone. But as she flees her abusive marriage there is only one person she can turn to - the genteelly derelict Captain Ingleby-Lewis, currently lodging at no 7. However, unknown to Lydia, a dark mystery haunts 7 Bleeding Heart Square. What happened to Miss Penhow, the middle-aged spinster who owns the house and who vanished four years earlier? Why is a seedy plain-clothes policeman obsessively watching the square? What is making struggling journalist Rory Wentwood so desperate to contact Miss Penhow? And why are parcels of rotting hearts being sent to Joseph Serridge, the last person to see Miss Penhow alive...? Legend has it the Devil once danced in Bleeding Heart Square - but is there now a new and sinister presence lurking in its shadows?
Zakes Mda - The Heart of Redness
Camugu, recently returned to Johannesburg and disillusioned by the new democracy, moves to the remote Eastern Cape. There in the nineteenth century a teenage prophetess commanded the Xhosa people to kill their cattle and burn their crops, promising that the spirits of their ancestors would rise and drive the English into the ocean. The failed prophecy split the people in two, with devastating consequences. One hundred and fifty years later, the two groups’ decendants are at odds over plans to build a vast casino and tourist resort, and Camugu is soon drawn into their heritage and their future—and into a bizarre love triangle as well.
Victoria Holt - The Queen's Confession
The unforgettable story of Marie Antoinette, from her pampered childhood in imperial Vienna, to the luxury and splendor of her days as Queen of France, to her tragic end upon the scaffold in the bloodbath of the Revolution . . .
Octavia E. Butler - Wild Seed
When two immortals meet in the long-ago past, the destiny of mankind is changed forever For a thousand years, Doro has cultivated a small African village, carefully breeding its people in search of seemingly unattainable perfection. He survives through the centuries by stealing the bodies of others, a technique he has so thoroughly mastered that nothing on Earth can kill him. But when a gang of New World slavers destroys his village, ruining his grand experiment, Doro is forced to go west and begin anew. He meets Anyanwu, a centuries-old woman whose means of immortality are as kind as his are cruel. She is a shapeshifter, capable of healing with a kiss, and she recognizes Doro as a tyrant. Though many humans have tried to kill them, these two demi-gods have never before met a rival. Now they begin a struggle that will last centuries and permanently alter the nature of humanity.
Bernard Cornwell - Heretic
The eagerly anticipated follow-up to the number one bestseller Vagabond, this is the third instalment in Bernard Cornwell's Grail Quest series. In 1347 the English capture Calais and the war with France is suspended by a truce. But for Thomas of Hookton, the hero of Harlequin and Vagabond, there is no end to the fighting. He is pursuing the grail, the most sacred of Christendom's relics, and is sent to his ancestral homeland, Gascony, to engineer a confrontation with his deadliest enemy, Guy Vexille. Once in the south country Thomas becomes a raider, leading his archers in savage forays that will draw his enemy to his arrows. But then his fortunes change. Thomas becomes the hunted as his campaign is destroyed by the church. With only one companion, a girl condemned to burn as a heretic, Thomas goes to the valley of Astarac where he believes the grail was once hidden and might still be concealed, and there he plays a deadly game of hide and seek with an overwhelming enemy. Then, just as Thomas succeeds in meeting his enemy face to face, fate intervenes as the deadliest plague in the history of mankind erupts into Europe. What had been a landscape of castles, monasteries, vineyards and villages, becomes death's kingdom and the need for the grail, as a sign of God's favour, is more urgent than ever.
Edward Rutherfurd - Ireland Awakening
Few authors are as ambitious as Edward Rutherford. And Dublin: Foundation, the first of a massive two-part epic, is possibly Rutherford's most challenging undertaking yet--and (on the evidence of this first book) could well be his most considerable achievement. Rutherford's sheer readability belies his obvious seriousness. His arm-straining volumes may cover every possible variety of human experience (couched in historical backgrounds of immense detail and authenticity), but he remains a storyteller of no mean skills. From the early books that made his name (notably the much-acclaimed Sarum), through to the more recent blockbuster London, the author has combined a panoramic, Homeric vision with a James-Joyce like concentration on the minutiae of everyday life; the results of this synthesis are brought to perfectly honed effect in Dublin: Foundation. Parallels with Joyce's Dublin are not appropriate here, though. The scope is far wider and stretches back into history. Beginning in Pre-Christian Ireland as the Kings of Tara reigned autocratically, we encounter the lovers Prince Conall and the beautiful Deidre. An army sized dramatis personae surround the lovers, representing every player in a turbulent era. We are shown many of the key events in Irish history, with parts for Saint Patrick, the Nordic savagery of the Vikings and the battles with the cunning Henry VIII. As this operatic volume ends with the approach of the Reformation, the orchestration of narrative commands total respect. --Barry Forshaw
Morton Rhue - The Wave (Penguin Readers)
Mr Ross had something special he wanted to teach his students - the Wave. And now the Wave is all over the school. But there is something about the wave, something people don't like. The wave is always moving - so can it be stopped?
A. L. Kennedy - Day
Alfred Day wanted his war. In its turmoil he found his proper purpose as the tail-gunner in a Lancaster bomber; he found the wild, dark fellowship of his crew, and - most extraordinary of all - he found Joyce, a woman to love. But that's all gone now - the war took it away. Maybe it took him, too. Now in 1949, employed as an extra in a war film that echoes his real experience, Day begins to recall what he would rather forget...
Terry Deary - Martin Brown - Loathsome London
The nasty bits of London's glorious and goriest history - from early Roman Londinium to the blasting by the Blitz. Terry Deary revisits all the old favourites: Romans, Saxons, Normans, Tudors, Stuarts; all in one book!
Willa Cather - O Pioneers!
One of America’s greatest women writers, Willa Cather established her talent and her reputation with this extraordinary novel—the first of her books set on the Nebraska frontier. A tale of the prairie land encountered by America’s Swedish, Czech, Bohemian, and French immigrants, as well as a story of how the land challenged them, changed them, and, in some cases, defeated them, Cather’s novel is a uniquely American epic. Alexandra Bergson, a young Swedish immigrant girl who inherits her father’s farm and must transform it from raw prairie into a prosperous enterprise, is the first of Cather’s great heroines—all of them women of strong will and an even stronger desire to overcome adversity and succeed. But the wild land itself is an equally important character in Cather’s books, and her descriptions of it are so evocative, lush, and moving that they provoked writer Rebecca West to say of her: “The most sensuous of writers, Willa Cather builds her imagined world almost as solidly as our five senses build the universe around us.” Willa Cather, perhaps more than any other American writer, was able to re-create the real drama of the pioneers, capturing for later generations a time, a place, and a spirit that has become part of our national heritage.
A. J. P. Taylor - English history 1914-1945
During ten of the 31 years between 1914 and 1945 the English people were involved in world wars; for 19 of the years they lived in the shadow of mass unemployment. These themes and the politics which sprang from them shape the narrative of this book.
Ralph Waldo Emerson - English Traits
During two influential visits to England (in 1833 and in 1847) where he met with literary icons such as Coleridge, Carlyle, and Wordsworth, Ralph Waldo Emerson recognized the source of everything American -- from the laws of society to the plot of a novel. Though he admired England's triumphs, he also presciently sensed the demise of a country weighed down by the *drag of inertia.* And though mesmerized by her literature, he would later encourage American writers to forge a style all their own. Written during a decade of great change for America, England, and for Emerson himself, English Traits illuminates Emerson's visionary thought as much as it vividly portrays 19th century England.