Historia’s early October giveaway is the second of three Crowns shortlist specials. Win all six books shortlisted for the 2018 HWA Non-fiction Crown Award, showcasing the best in historical writing.
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More about the shortlisted books:
No city on earth has preserved its past as has Rome. Visitors stand on bridges that were crossed by Julius Caesar and Cicero, walk around temples visited by Roman emperors, and step into churches that have hardly changed since popes celebrated mass in them sixteen centuries ago.
These architectural survivals are all the more remarkable considering the violent disasters that have struck the city. Afflicted by earthquakes, floods, fires and plagues, it has most of all been repeatedly ravaged by roving armies. Rome: A History in Seven Sackings examines the most important of these attacks and reveals, with fascinating insight, how they transformed the city – and not always for the worse.
At the head of this disintegrating kingdom was Charles I. His rule would change the face of the monarchy for ever.Charles I’s reign is one of the most dramatic in history, yet Charles the man remains elusive. Too often he is recalled as weak and stupid, his wife, Henrietta Maria, as spoilt and silly: the cause of his ruin.
In this portrait he is revealed as a complex man who pays the price for bringing radical change; Henrietta Maria as a warrior queen and political player as impressive as any Tudor.
This is a tragic story for our times, of populist politicians and religious war, of a new media and the reshaping of nations, in which women vied with men for power.
The years after 1945 were a time of both terror and wonder, whose impact still dominates our lives. Out of the ashes of war came the superpowers and nations of the modern world. From the new technologies delivered by scientists came the possibility of nuclear war. Politicians fantasised about overhauled societies, with some arguing for global government, others for independence, leading to the arguments about nationalism, immigration and globalisation that exist today.
As well as analysing the major changes and the myths that emerged, The Fear and the Freedom uses individual stories to examine the philosophical and psychological impact of the war, by showing how leaders and ordinary people coped with the post-war world and turned one of the greatest traumas in history into an opportunity for change.
Outside its windows the Roman Road has seen an extraordinary revolution – from women’s liberation and industrialisation to wars and immigration – and yet at its heart it remains one of the last traditional market roads of London.
Pie and Mash down the Roman Road is the biography of that shop and of the people – customers, suppliers, employees, owners – who passed through it, and continue to do so. Through vivid tales of ordinary lives the book tells the extraordinary story of the community living around the oldest trading route in Britain, and the true heart of the East End.
At the height of its notoriety, it was the bloodiest region in Great Britain, fought over by Henry VIII, Elizabeth I and James V. After the Union of the Crowns, most of its population was slaughtered or deported and it became the last part of the country to be brought under the control of the state. Today, its history has been forgotten or ignored.
When Graham Robb moved to a lonely house on the very edge of England, he discovered that the river which almost surrounded his new home had once marked the Debatable Land’s southern boundary. Under the powerful spell of curiosity, Robb began a journey – on foot, by bicycle and into the past – that would uncover lost towns and roads, reveal the truth about this maligned patch of land and result in more than one discovery of major historical significance.
Britain is under threat of invasion and Neville Chamberlain’s government is about to fall. It is hard for us to imagine the Second World War without Winston Churchill taking the helm, but in Six Minutes in May Nicholas Shakespeare shows how easily events could have gone in a different direction.
It took just six minutes for MPs to cast the votes that brought down Chamberlain. Shakespeare moves from Britain’s disastrous battle in Norway, for which many blamed Churchill, on to the dramatic developments in Westminster that led to Churchill becoming Prime Minister. Uncovering fascinating new research and delving into the key players’ backgrounds, Shakespeare gives us a new perspective on this critical moment in our history.
See the shortlists for the HWA Sharpe Gold Crown and Debut Crown awards and look out for another giveaway later this month!