This month we’ve got a real treat for history fans. We’re giving away a bundle of six books from Pen & Sword, including new titles from historians Lindsay Powell and Naomi Clifford.
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Enter before midnight on 30 June 2018. The winners will be contacted by email (so please add firstname.lastname@example.org to your contact list!) and the prize will be sent by UK snail mail.
This giveaway is open to Worldwide entries.
About the books
Naomi Clifford writes about love, life and death in the Georgian period.
Taunton, 1817. What seems a simple newspaper report of elopement gone wrong turns out to be a rollercoaster story of crime, coercion, illusory triumph and fraudulent defeat. Barrister George Tuckett wakes to discover that his 16-year-old niece Maria Glenn, reputedly the heiress to West Indian sugar plantations, is missing. He discovers that she has been abducted by the Bowditches, a local farming family, who intend to force her to marry one of their sons. Maria is rescued and Tuckett starts investigating the crime himself, uncovering a complex and disturbing web of lies and impersonation. At a drama-filled trial that is the talk of the country, four people are sentenced to prison. When a cabal of powerful people in Taunton begin a campaign to destroy Maria’s testimony, her supporters fall away and she is openly vilified. Her enemies have her arrested for perjury and, after a ramshackle trial, she is forced to flee into exile. Yet the story of conspiracy and deception does not end there, as Maria and her uncle were to suffer one final and devastating betrayal. But was Maria telling the truth? Both sides had given utterly different versions of events during the trial so it was clear that someone had to be lying.
In the last four decades of the Georgian era 131 women went to the gallows. What were their crimes? And why, unlike most convicted felons, were they not reprieved? Women and the Gallows 1797 1837 brings new insights into their lives and the events that led them to their deaths, and includes chapters on baby murder among domestic servants, counterfeiting, husband poisoning, as well as the infamous Eliza Fenning case. Plus, for the first time, all the stories of the women have been compiled in a unique chronology.
In the small hours of 27 May 1817, Mary Ashford, a young servant girl from the village of Erdington near Birmingham, left a party in the company of Abraham Thornton. A few hours later she was found drowned in a pool; an inquest established that she had been raped. Despite a seemingly solid alibi, Thornton, an uncouth young man with a bad reputation, was soon on trial for his life, but to the widespread consternation of everyone from the local gentry to the humblest labourer, he was acquitted at the direction of the judge. Public opinion across the country was outraged, convinced that a murderer had evaded the gallows. Then, in a last-ditch effort to find justice, Mary s brother used an archaic legal process to prosecute Thornton again, only find himself confronted with an extraordinary challenge. In court, Thornton threw down a gauntlet and demanded his legal right to trial by combat… The outcome altered the course of English legal history. In this many-layered account, Naomi Clifford looks at the key issue of whether Thornton was guilty but also explores themes including the birth of forensic investigation, the meaning of sexual consent and the struggle of a modern state to emerge from its medieval legal heritage.
Lindsay Powell is a historical detective. He tells the stories of the under-reported personalities and events of history in the belief that they deserve to be told if our understanding of the past is to be complete. Lindsay has a particular passion for the social, political and military history of the Roman Empire.
Marcus Agrippa personified the term ‘right-hand man’. As Emperor Augustus’ deputy, he waged wars, pacified provinces, beautified Rome, and played a crucial role in laying the foundations of the Pax Romana for the next two hundred years – but he served always in the knowledge he would never rule in his own name. Why he did so, and never grasped power exclusively for himself, has perplexed historians for centuries. Illustrated with colour plates, figures and high quality maps, Lindsay Powell presents a penetrating new assessment of the life and achievements of the multifaceted man who put service to friend and country before himself.
Germanicus (a.k.a. Germanicus Iulius Caesar) was regarded by many Romans as a hero in the mould of Alexander the Great. His untimely death, in suspicious circumstances, ended the possibility of a return to a more open republic and ambitions for the outright conquest of Germania Magna (Germany). This, the first modern biography of Germanicus, is in parts a growing-up story, a history of war, a tale of political intrigue and a murder mystery.
A new and penetrating assessment of Augustus as ancient Rome’s military commander-in-chief by an author rapidly establishing himself as one of the leading historians of the period. The words Pax Augusta – or Pax Romana – evoke a period of uninterrupted peace across the vast Roman Empire. Lindsay Powell exposes this as a fallacy. Almost every year between 31 BC and AD 14 the Roman Army was in action somewhere, either fighting enemies beyond the frontier in punitive raids or for outright conquest; or suppressing banditry or rebellions within the borders. Remarkably over the same period Augustus succeeded in nearly doubling the size of the Empire. How did this second-rate field commander, known to become physically ill before and during battle, achieve such extraordinary success? Did he, in fact, have a grand strategy? Powell reveals Augustus as a brilliant strategist and manager of war. The book is lavishly illustrated with 23 maps, 42 colour plates, 13 black and white figures and 5 order of battle schematics. With a forward by Karl Galinsky, this book breaks new ground in explaining the extraordinary achievement of Caesar Augustus.
Our thanks to Pen & Sword Books for this fantastic prize.