Albert: Prince Consort to Queen Victoria, social and cultural visionary in his own right, was born in the Saxon duchy of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld but defined the culture and direction of 19th century Britain - a superpower at the zenith of its influence - more than any other British royal or politician. Although he pleaded with his wife that no monument to his memory should be left (a plea that was to go unheeded by his grieving widow) the role he played in shaping Victorian culture stands today as indisputable proof of the enduring legacy of a man who spent just two decades of his short life in England.
Though overshadowed in history by his adoring wife, and at times even mocked by her subjects, it was arguably Albert that gave form and substance to the Victorian Age. From the outset, he strove to win 'the respect, the love and the confidence of the Queen and of the nation', pursuing an extraordinary social and cultural crusade that has become his greatest legacy. From the Great Exhibition and the construction of many of London's great museums to his social campaigns against slavery and the Corn Laws, Albert's achievements were truly remarkable - in fact, very few have made such a permanent mark on British society. This is the life story of Albert of Saxe-Coburg: Prince Consort and beloved husband of Queen Victoria - and one of the most influential figures of modern Europe.
The novels of Conn Iggulden bring the past to thrilling life, from ancient Rome to thirteenth-century Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. Now he delivers the spectacular story of the rise of Genghis Khan’s grandson, a man destined to become one of the most remarkable rulers who ever lived—the legendary Kublai Khan.
A succession of ruthless leaders has seized power in the wake of the great Khan’s death—all descendants of Genghis, but none with the indomitable character that led a people to triumph. One grandson, Guyuk, decadent and vicious, seeks to consolidate his position through bribery and murder, pitting powerful factions against one another and straining the loyalties of the tribes to the breaking point.
Next comes his cousin, Mongke, who eliminates all possible opposition with breathtaking brutality and dispatches his younger brothers Kublai and Hulegu to far-flung territories, to test their mettle and their allegiance.
Hulegu displays his barbarity with the savage destruction of Baghdad and his clash with the Khan’s age-old enemies, the cult of assassins, who will strike deep into the heart of the nation. But it is Kublai—refined and scholarly, always considered too thoughtful to take power—who will devise new ways of warfare and conquest as he builds the dream city of Xanadu and pursues the ultimate prize: the ancient empire of Sung China. His gifts will serve him well when an epic civil war breaks out among brothers, the outcome of which will literally change the world.
Brilliantly researched and imagined, unforgettably told, Conqueror is a magnificent achievement from an enthralling writer at the peak of his powers, a must read for all lovers of history and storytelling on the grand scale.
How did an illiterate 17-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. Just thirteen when her life changed forever, Joan's holy guidance led her on an arduous eleven-day journey into the unknown, restoring the Dauphin back to his original birthright in an official coronation where he was able to resume his rule as France's legitimate king. Joan summoned and led an impressive army of French loyalists against the English, marking the siege at Orleans as an exhilarating English defeat that would liberate the city. The following year witnessed Joan's capture by the enemy.
After a series of heroic endeavours to escape cruel adversaries, she was subjected to trial by inquisition and then in Rouen, the heart of France, Joan's courageous journey came to a heartbreaking conclusion. This is the story at the core of centuries of myth-making. But what if we no longer accept this tale? What if we question whether the Heavens and their angels were truly Joan's only source of strength and power? What if we demand a different narrative? This revisionist biography unearths the secular and verifiable basis for Joan's heroic exploits: Yolande of Aragon, a forgotten mentor. This is a story of not one life, but two; two lives that together were intertwined in the restoration of France's greatness.