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The Romanovs



For over 300 years, the Romanov family ruled over Russia.

Its glittering Tsars and Tsarinas were autocratic despots, who between them embraced all the vices (and too few of the virtues) of absolute rulers.

Their name has become a byword for excess, avarice and cruelty, they have aroused intrigue and horror in equal measure.

Virginia Cowles offers a portrait gallery of the outstanding members of this incredible family — from Alexis (a Tartar in his wrath) and Peter the Great (a terrifying…

Passchendaele: A New History


Between July and November 1917, in a small corner of Belgium, more than 500,000 men were killed or maimed, gassed or drowned – and many of the bodies were never found. The Ypres offensive represents the modern impression of the First World War: splintered trees, water-filled craters, muddy shell-holes.

The climax was one of the worst battles of both world wars: Passchendaele. The village fell eventually, only for the whole offensive to be called off. But, as Nick Lloyd shows, notably through…

SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome


Sunday Times Top 10 Bestseller

Shortlisted for a British Book Industry Book of the Year Award 2016

The new series Ultimate Rome: Empire Without Limit is on BBC2 now

Ancient Rome matters.

Its history of empire, conquest, cruelty and excess is something against which we still judge ourselves. Its myths and stories – from Romulus and Remus to the Rape of Lucretia – still strike a chord with us. And its debates about citizenship, security and the rights of the individual still influence our own…

The Unwomanly Face of War (Penguin Classics)


The long-awaited translation of the classic oral history of Soviet women’s experiences in the Second World War – from the winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature

Bringing together dozens of voices in her distinctive style, The Unwomanly Face of War is Svetlana Alexievich’s collection of stories from Soviet women who lived through the Second World War: on the front lines, on the home front, and in occupied territories. As Alexievich gives voice to women who are absent from official narratives…

24 Hours in Ancient Rome: A Day in the Life of the People Who Lived There


Walk a day in a Roman’s sandals.

What was it like to live in one of the ancient world’s most powerful and bustling cities – one that was eight times more densely populated than modern day New York?

In this entertaining and enlightening guide, bestselling historian Philip Matyszak introduces us to the people who lived and worked there. In each hour of the day we meet a new character – from emperor to slave girl, gladiator to astrologer, medicine woman to water-clock maker – and discover the…

Sophia: Princess, Suffragette, Revolutionary



In 1876 Sophia Duleep Singh was born into royalty. Her father, Maharajah Duleep Singh, was heir to the Kingdom of the Sikhs, a realm that stretched from the lush Kashmir Valley to the craggy foothills of the Khyber Pass and included the mighty cities of Lahore and Peshawar. It was a territory irresistible to the British, who plundered everything, including the fabled Koh-I-Noor diamond. Exiled to England, the dispossessed Maharajah transformed his estate at Elveden in Suffolk into a Moghul…