River of Darkness: Francisco Orellana's Legendary Voyage of Death and Discovery Down the Amazon

By Buddy Levy

From the acclaimed writer of Conquistador comes this exciting account of 1 of history’s maximum adventures of discovery. With cinematic immediacy and meticulous recognition to ancient element, this is the real tale of a mythical sixteenth-century explorer and his death-defying navigation of the Amazon—river of darkness, pathway to gold.

In 1541, the brutal conquistador Gonzalo Pizarro and his well-born lieutenant Francisco Orellana trigger from Quito looking for l. a. Canela, South America’s rumored Land of Cinnamon, and the fabled El Dorado, “the golden man.” using an incredible retinue of mercenaries, enslaved natives, horses, looking canine, and different animals around the Andes, they watched their proud day trip start to collapse even earlier than they descended into the nightmarish jungle, following the process a robust river. quickly hopelessly misplaced within the swampy labyrinth, their numbers diminishing day-by-day via affliction, hunger, and Indian assaults, Pizarro and Orellana made a fateful determination to split. whereas Pizarro ultimately again domestic barefoot and in rags, Orellana and fifty-seven males, in a number of fragile craft, endured downriver into the unknown reaches of the amazing Amazon, serenaded via local warfare drums and the eerie cries of unique predators. Theirs often is the higher glory.
 
Interweaving eyewitness money owed of the hunt with newly exposed information, blood brother Levy reconstructs the seminal trip that has electrified adventurers ever considering the fact that, as Orellana grew to become the 1st ecu to navigate and discover the full size of the world’s biggest river. Levy offers a long-overdue account of the local populations—some peaceable and alluring, supplying sustenance and life-saving information, others ferociously antagonistic, subjecting the invaders to gauntlets of unremitting assault and intimations of terrifying rituals. And here's the Amazon itself, a strong presence whose each twist and switch held the promise of latest wonders either usual and man-made, in addition to the ever present chance of death—a river that might carry Orellana in its impossible to resist embody to the tip of his existence.

Overflowing with violence and wonder, the Aristocracy and tragedy, River of Darkness is either riveting background and a wide ranging experience that may sweep readers alongside on an epic voyage in contrast to the other.

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George VI: The Dutiful King (Penguin Monarchs)

By Philip Ziegler

A dutiful king and reluctant public figure

If Ethelred was once notoriously "Unready" and Alfred "Great," King George VI may still endure the name of "George the Dutiful." all through his existence, George devoted himself to the pursuit of what he notion he must be doing instead of what he desired to do. Inarticulate and loathing any kind of public appearances, he approved that it used to be his future to determine conspicuously within the public eye, gritted his tooth, battled his crippling stammer, and acquired on with it. He used to be now not born to be king, yet he made an admirable one, and was once the figurehead of the state on the time of its maximum trial, global warfare II. this can be a remarkable, touching, and occasionally humorous e-book approximately this reluctant public determine, and the personal man.

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Mirror, Mirror & A History Of The Human Love Affair With Reflection

By Mark Pendergrast

Of all human innovations, the reflect could be the single so much heavily attached to our personal realization. As our first know-how for contemplation of the self, the reflect is arguably as vital an invention because the wheel. Mirror Mirror is the attention-grabbing tale of the mirror's invention, refinement, and use in an mind-blowing diversity of human activities--from the glorious reflected rooms that filthy rich Romans created for his or her orgies to the mirror's key position within the use and realizing of sunshine. Pendergrast spins stories of the 2,500year secret of no matter if Archimedes and his "burning reflect" fairly set remote Roman ships on hearth; the medieval Venetian glassmakers, who perfected the means of making huge, flat mirrors from transparent glass and for whom any try and go away their cloistered island used to be punishable through dying; Isaac Newton, whose experiments with sun on mirrors as soon as left him blinded for 3 days; the artist David Hockney, who holds debatable principles approximately Renaissance artists and their use of optical units; and George Ellery Hale, the manic-depressive astronomer and telescope fanatic who encouraged (and gave his identify to) the 20 th century's greatest ground-based telescope. Like mirrors themselves, Mirror Mirror is a ebook of never-ending ask yourself and fascination.

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The Thirty Years' War 1618-1648

By Richard Bonney

Greater than 3 and a part centuries have handed because the Peace of Westphalia ended the Thirty Years' warfare (1618-48); yet this so much devastating of wars within the early smooth interval maintains to seize the mind's eye of readers: this publication finds why. It used to be one of many first wars the place contemporaries under pressure the significance of atrocities, the horrors of the scuffling with and in addition the sufferings of the civilian inhabitants. The Thirty Years' warfare continues to be a clash of key significance within the background of the advance of battle and the 'military revolution'.

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Globe: Life in Shakespeare's London

By Catharine Arnold

The lifetime of William Shakespeare, Britain's maximum dramatist, was once inextricably associated with the background of London. jointly, the nice author and the nice urban got here of age and faced triumph and tragedy. Triumph got here while Shakespeare's corporation, the Chamberlain's males, opened the Globe playhouse on Bankside in 1599, less than the patronage of Queen Elizabeth I. Tragedy touched the lives of lots of his contemporaries, from fellow playwright Christopher Marlowe to the disgraced Earl of Essex, whereas London struggled opposed to the ubiquitous risk of riots, rebellions and outbreaks of plague.

Globetakes its readers on a travel of London via Shakespeare's lifestyles and paintings, as, in attention-grabbing aspect, Catharine Arnold tells how appearing got here of age. We know about James Burbage, founding father of the unique Theatre in Shoreditch, who carried timbers around the Thames to construct the Globe one of the bear-gardens and brothels of Bankside, and of the negative evening in 1613 whilst the theatre stuck fireplace in the course of a functionality of King Henry VIII. Rebuilt, the Globe persisted to face as a monument to Shakespeare's genius until eventually 1642 whilst it was once destroyed at the orders of Oliver Cromwell. and at last we find out how three hundred years later, Shakespeare's Globe opened once again upon the Bankside, to nice acclaim, emerging like a phoenix from the flames Arnold creates a brilliant portrait of Shakespeare and his London from the bard's personal performs and modern assets, combining a novelist's eye for element with a historian's snatch of his distinctive contribution to the improvement of the English theatre. this can be a portrait of Shakespeare, London, the fellow and the parable.

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Unlikely Allies: How a Merchant, a Playwright, and a Spy Saved the American Revolution

By Joel Richard Paul

Silas Deane, a Connecticut service provider and member of the Continental Congress, went to France to cajole the king to aid the colonists of their fight with Britain. Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais used to be a playwright who had entry to the palms and ammunition that Deane wanted. And the Chevalier d'Éon used to be a diplomat and someday secret agent for the French king who ignited a drawback that persuaded the French to arm the american citizens. this can be the genuine tale of the way 3 awesome humans lied, cheated, stole, and cross-dressed throughout Europe to achieve France's relief because the struggle of yankee Independence hung within the stability.

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Fortune's Children: The Fall of the House of Vanderbilt

For lovers of Downton Abbey, a real-life American model of the Crawley family—Fortune's Children is a charming real tale that recreates the drama, elegance, and wealth of the mythical Vanderbilts.

Vanderbilt: The very identify is synonymous with the Gilded Age. The family members patriarch, "the Commodore,” outfitted a fortune that made him the world's richest guy by means of 1877. but, lower than fifty years after his loss of life, no Vanderbilt was once counted one of the world's richest humans. Written through descendant Arthur T. Vanderbilt II, Fortune's Children strains the dramatic and amazingly colourful heritage of this nice American family members, from the increase of industrialist and philanthropist Cornelius Vanderbilt to the autumn of his progeny—wild spendthrifts whose profligacy bankrupted an enormous inheritance.

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Gold: The Race for the World's Most Seductive Metal

By Matthew Hart

From the misplaced empires of the Sahara to today’s frenzied international gold rush, a blazing exploration of the human love affair with gold by means of the award-winning writer of Diamond.

From the misplaced empires of the Sahara to today’s frenzied international gold rush, a blazing exploration of the human love affair with gold by means of Matthew Hart, the award-winning writer of Diamond

In the wake of the 2008 monetary concern, the cost of gold skyrocketed—in 3 years greater than doubling from $800 an oz to $1900. this huge spike drove an extraordinary international gold-mining and exploration growth, a lot higher than the Gold Rush of the 1800s. In Gold, acclaimed writer Matthew Hart takes you on an unforgettable trip around the globe and during historical past to inform the intense tale of ways gold turned the world’s most useful commodity.

Beginning with a page-turning dispatch from the crime-ridden inferno of the world’s inner most mine, Hart pulls again to survey gold’s tempestuous earlier. From the earliest civilizations, 6,000 years in the past, while gold was once an icon of sacred and kingly energy, Hart tracks its evolution, via conquest, homicide, and overseas mayhem, into the speculative casino-chip that the steel has develop into. Hart describes every one growth and bust in gold’s lengthy tale, culminating within the rapid and startling emergence of China because the world’s new gold titan. In writing that Publishers Weekly calls “polished and fiery,” Hart weaves jointly historical past and cutthroat economics to bare the human dramas that experience pushed our lust for a helpful yellow steel.

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The Ismaili Assassins: A History of Medieval Murder

By James Waterson

Few humans recognize the reality concerning the enigmatic association often called the Assassins, an underground workforce of political killers, they have been able to kill Christians and Muslims alike with entire forget for the implications in their activities. even though their empire used to be destroyed within the thirteenth Century, have a arguable legacy which nonetheless resonates on the earth this present day.

The Assassins have been meticulous of their killing. they typically slew their sufferers in public, thereby cultivating their terrifying popularity. They assumed disguises and their weapon of selection used to be a dagger – poison or bows could provide the sufferer the opportunity to flee. Suicide was once thought of a deep dishonor and it used to be regularly approved that an murderer needed to die battling instead of be captured. rarely any move prior to or due to the fact that has solid so terrifying a shadow. In 1253, the Mongol chiefs have been so scared of the Assassins’ ‘poniards of bad size and sharpness’ that they massacred and enslaved the Assassins’ ladies and kids.

Assaults at the Crusaders of Syria resulted in warnings of brokers planted in ecu courts able to dedicate homicide on the bidding in their grasp. The English monarch, Edward I, used to be just about poisoned and Richard the Lionheart’s acceptance used to be sullied by means of his organization with the Assassins’ homicide of Conrad of Montferrat.

The Ismail: Assassins describes a distinct method of waging warfare and indicates how assassination and fifth-column infiltration turned the foremost weapon for the Ismailis. via its use of eyewitness bills from either Islamic and Western resources, this significant new publication unlocks a lot of the background of the Crusades and the early Islamic interval, permitting the reader access right into a historic epoch that's epic, exciting, startling and pertinent.

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