Tuesday, August 13, 2013

August Additions

Yes, as the July additions are slowly making their way to the Library, August's list has just been sent off - here they are:

Anglo-Saxon England by F.M. Stenton
Covers the emergence of the earliest English kingdoms to the establishment of the Anglo-Norman monarchy in 1087. Professor Stenton examines the development of English society, from the growth of royal power to the establishment of feudalism after the Norman Conquest.

Fourteen Byzantine Rulers by Michael Psellus
Chronicles the Byzantine Empire, beginning in 1025. This title shows an understanding of the power politics that characterized the empire and led to its decline.

The Other Tudors by Philippa Jones
Everybody thinks they know the tale of King Henry VIII's wives: divorced, beheaded died; divorced, beheaded, survived. But behind this familiar story, lies a far more complex truth. This book brings together the 'other women' of King Henry VIII. It examines the tales of the women who Henry loved but never married.

Richard III the Young King To Be by Josephine Wilkinson
This new biography concentrates on the much neglected early part of Richard's life - from his birth in 1452 as a cadet of the House of York to his marriage to the beautiful Anne Neville - and shows how his experiences as the son of an ambitious duke, a prisoner of war, an exile, his knightly training and awe of his elder brother, King Edward IV, shaped the character of England's most controversial monarch. 

The Rulers of the South - Sicily, Calabria, Malta - Vol II by Francis Marion Crawford
This early works is a comprehensive and informative look at the subject and is extensively illustrated throughout. Contents include; The Goths and the Byzantines, The Saracens, The Normans, In Later Times, and, The Mafia..... 

Joan of Arc by Kelly DeVries
Why did the soldiers of France follow a woman into battle when no troops of the Hundred Years War had done so before, and how was she able to win? This book is essential reading for anyone interested in the Middle Ages and the phenomenon of the girl warrior.

The Maid and the Queen by Nancy Goldstone
How did an illiterate seventeen-year-old peasant girl manage to become one of histories most salient females? It is almost 600 years since Joan of Arc heard the voices of angels that would change her life forever: in a breathtaking story her quest saved France from English domination and restored France's hereditary monarchy. 

The Kings & Queens of Wales by Timothy Venning
A considered attempt to set out what we can know about the rulers of what is now Wales in the early medieval period, Timothy Venning's new book does not shy away from problems of dating and interpretation in the use of the meagre source material.

The Kings & Queens of Anglo-Saxon England by Timothy Venning
In The Kings & Queens of Anglo-Saxon England, Venning examines the rulers of Anglo-Saxon England, beginning with the legendary leaders of the Anglo-Saxon invasion as Hengest and Horsa or Cerdic and Cynric and moving on through such figures as Aethelbert of Kent, the first king to be converted to Christianity and his daughter Aethelburh, whose marriage began the conversion of Northumbria, to Alfred of Wessex and his dynasty, the Viking invasions, and the last of the Anglo-Saxon kings, Harold Godwineson.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Band of Angels

"A Manchester University professor has published a book to shine light on the women she claims have been neglected by mainstream churches.

Band of Angels: The Forgotten World of Early Christian Women by Professor Kate Cooper draws on five years of research and looks at some of the women who were hugely influential as Christianity spread in the first and second centuries.

She argues that women played a central role in spreading the new Christian faith through informal friendship and family networks.

Their authority within Christian communities was earned through their role as parents, community organisers, and small business owners."

"Drawing on the earliest Christian texts, Cooper examines what it would have been to live as a woman between the first and fifth centuries. Her book is as much an exercise in historical detective work as anything else, an act of reading between and behind the lines, rescuing these lost women from ancient sources, assessing their influence, and placing their lives in a broader social and historical context.

She explores in particular detail the exaltation of virginity and the role of the domestic space in the growth and spread of the church. Early Christians usually gathered in private homes, with families and communities praying together, and women were a vital part of this process."

Sunday, August 4, 2013

July Additions to the Library

Here are the latest additions to my personal Library for the  month of July 2013:

Gaelic Ireland, C.1250-c.1650 by Patrick J. Duffy
"This massive work, published in hardback in 2001 to critical acclaim, has become one of the definitive books on Gaelic Ireland. In is now made available in paperback. Running to over 450 pages, it includes a place-name index, a personal-name and collective-name index."

Stephen and Matilda by J. Bradbury
"This is a story of rivalry for the English throne which throws new light on a much-neglected aspect of Stephen's reign. The book looks at colorful characters and brings to life the civil war and the ensuing battle for the English Crown. The war is examined in detail through the various campaigns, battles and sieges of the period, including the two major battles at the Standard and Lincoln, showing that Stephen always held more ground than his opponents and was mostly on the offensive. The nature of the warfare and the reasons for its outcome are examined, along with comment on the strategy, tactics, technology in arms and armor, and the improvements in fortifications."

The Monks of War by Desmond Seward
"The Templars, the Hospitallers, the Tuetonic Knights and the Knights of the Spanish and Portuguese orders were 'noblemen vowed to poverty, chastity and obedience, living a monastic life in convents which were at the same time barracks, waging war on the enemies of the Cross'."

A Brief History of the Knights Templar by Helen J. Nicholson
"Presents an account of the Knights of the Order of the Temple of Solomon. This work recounts the history of these storm troopers of the papacy, founded during the crusades but who got so rich and influential that they challenged the power of kings."

Richard III by David Baldwin
"The only biography to reveal that the bones found in Leicester carpark ARE Richard III's. The DNA tests of the bones found in a Leicester car park reveal that they DO belong to Richard III beyond all reasonable doubt. These findings were announced at a press conference on February 4th and broadcast on the same day in a documentary on Channel 4." (I have the pre-finds book as well)

And two novels from one of my favourite authors:
Soldier of Crusade by Jack Ludlow
"1096. The Pope has called for a Crusade to free Jerusalem, and half the warriors of Europe have responded. Among them is the Norman, Count Bohemund, one-time enemy of Byzantium. His first task, pushing back the Infidel Turks, calls for an alliance with old enemy Emperor Alexius. But can the Crusaders trust the wily Emperor?"

Prince of Legend by Jack Ludlow
- awaiting publication but follows on from "Son of Blood" and "Soldier of the Crusade"

And for something completely different:
"Heart of Darkness" and "The End of the Tether" by Joseph Conrad
"Heart of Darkness is a short and vividly brutal account of colonial enterprise that has as much in common with the jaded Evelyn Waugh of Black Mischief as it does with any of Conrad's direct contemporaries in the late nineteenth century. It is accompanied in this volume by the tales with which it has been published since 1902, the autobiographical short story "Youth," and the less personal but more substantial tale of an old man's fall from fortune, "The End of the Tether." Though these stories differ considerably in style and content from his later novels, much of his reputation rests upon the words contained in this volume."