Title: Sir Martin Frobisher
Author: Robert Fossier
Publisher: Pen & Sword
Spartacus Website: Martin Frobisher
Sir Martin Frobisher was one of the great sea dogs of Elizabethan England. He was a pirate and a privateer - he looted countless ships and was incarcerated by the Portuguese as a young man - and he aided Sir Francis Drake in one of his most daring voyages to attack the Spanish in the West Indies. But Frobisher was also a warrior who was knighted for his services against the Spanish Armada, and he was an explorer. He was the first Englishman to attempt to find the fabled Northwest Passage to Cathay – to China. He commanded three voyages into the uncharted northern wastes Canada and Greenland and devoted eighteen years of his life to this dream. Taliesin Trow’s new biographical study of this many-sided Elizabethan adventurer should revive interest in him and in this extraordinary period in English seafaring history. For Frobisher was a fascinating, enigmatic character whose reputation is often eclipsed by those of his remarkable contemporaries, Drake, Hawkins and Ralegh.
Author: Angus Konstam
Spartacus Website: History Websites
John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough, is one of the great commanders of history. Using his great charm and diplomatic skills he was able to bind troops from various European states into a cohesive army that won a string of victories over the French armies of King Louis XIV, the first of which was perhaps his most spectacular triumph - the battle of Blenheim. Other great victories followed, but political and social turmoil proved harder opponents to defeat. This book provides a detailed look at the many highs and lows in the career of the most successful British general of his era.
Title: Landsman Hay
Author: Robert Hay
Publisher: Seaforth Publishing
Spartacus Website: History Websites
In 1803, at the age of 14, Robert Hay ran away from home to join the Royal Navy, and for the next eight years experienced the trials and tribulations of a sailor s life. Intelligent, agile and willing, he became a boy servant to a series of officers, all of whom helped advance his education as was the practice of the day. But the taxing conditions of life onboard he found detestable and he was, after an action off the French coast, sorely tempted to desert but the well known and ruthless treatment of deserters, if caught, deterred him this time. He was then posted to the East Indies where he was badly wounded and nearly lost a leg before returning home after five years with £14 and fourteen days leave to look forward to. His next ship ran aground off Plymouth and, this time, he took the opportunity to desert but was then quickly taken by a press gang. Terrified of being identified, he managed to escape and reach the Scotland and home. As well as a wonderful yarn, the book is also an impressive description of early nineteenth-century naval life, and his ability as a writer was considerable. His descriptions of his remarkable experiences in the East Indies are full of the flavour of the region, while the sailor s natural inclination to drink and debauchery is told with verve. But also running through the narrative are many fine observations on nature and on the human condition. A true and vivid account of the sailor s life of this era.
Title: Queens and Empresses
Author: Mark Hichens
Publisher: The Book Guild
Spartacus Website: The Monarchy
History is brought to life through the colourful stories of eleven queens and empresses. Their lives were often tempestuous and tragic, ending in execution, suicide, divorce or abdication. Some were child brides, pawns in political games, and most had unfaithful husbands. These women differed widely: Queen Elizabeth spoke six languages, while Catherine I of Russia was an illiterate ex-kitchen maid. The tomboyish Christina, Queen of Sweden, contrasted with the beautiful Mary Queen of Scots. Catherine the Great was tyrannical, while Marie Antoinette was helpless and irresponsible. The conscientious Maria Theresa and the respectable Queen Victoria differed from the duplicitous Catherine de Medici and 'the Serpent of Old Nile', Cleopatra. There were great failures, as Catherine de Medici failed to preserve the Valois dynasty in France and Maria Theresa saw her empire diminished. On the other hand, under Queen Elizabeth the arts flourished in England, while Catherine the Great made Russia a major power, and Cleopatra's wiles warded off Roman suzerainty over Egypt.