Legend has it that, in a few busy weeks in July 1789, a despotic king, his freeloading wife, and a horde of over-privileged aristocrats, were displaced and then humanely dispatched. In the ensuing years, we are told, France was heroically transformed into an idyll of Liberté, Egalité and Fraternité. In fact, as Stephen Clarke argues in his informative and eye-opening account of the French Revolution, almost all of this is completely untrue. In 1789 almost no one wanted to oust King Louis XVI, let alone guillotine him. While the Bastille was being stormed by out-of-control Parisians, the true democrats were at work in Versailles creating a British-style constitutional monarchy. The founding of the Republic in 1792 unleashed a reign of terror that caused about 300,000 violent deaths. And people hailed today as revolutionary heroes were dangerous opportunists, whose espousal of Liberté, Egalité and Fraternité did not stop them massacring political opponents and guillotining women for demanding equal rights. Going back to original French sources, Stephen Clarke has uncovered the little-known and rarely told story of what was really happening in revolutionary France, as well as what went so tragically and bloodily wrong.
In the 16th century, corruption, debauchery, and the general perversion of ethics were running rampant within the Roman Catholic Church. The public began to grow leery of the crooked church, and soon, they could no longer bite their tongues. Among the church´s most vocal opponents was Martin Luther, whose publication of the 95 Theses gave rise to the Protestant movement. This reformed brand of Christianity gradually spread throughout Europe, planting flags across the continent. France was among the first to latch onto the movement, and these new-wave Protestants became known as the ´´Huguenots´´. The exact origins of the Huguenot name is still disputed to this day, but most historians have agreed it is a French and German translation of the Swiss-German term, eidgenossen, meaning ´´oath-fellowship´´. The Huguenots mostly resided in the southern regions of France, along with the northern regions of Normandy and Picardy. They shared quite a few similarities with the Protestant Walloons, who lived in what is now Belgium, but the two groups were unique communities. Even so, both groups frequently convened to worship together as refugees. The Huguenots, whose belief system incorporated a blend of unorthodox Waldensian and Calvinist teachings, continued to bloom, which did not sit well with the authorities. Critics attributed the rise of Protestant-led riots to the no-good Huguenots. The Huguenots were known iconoclasts who rejected statues, paintings, idols, and other religious images, as often seen in the numerous statues and stained glass artwork in Catholic churches. Across Europe, rebellious Protestants seized Catholic churches and swiped all heretical images, destroying them with axes and hurling them into roaring bonfires. The string of ambushes included the 1562 Looting of the Churches in Lyon, which were followed by similar attacks in Zurich, Copenhagen, Geneva, and many more. Even in the face of persecution, the Huguenot influence gain 1. Language: English. Narrator: Scott Clem. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/acx0/081957/bk_acx0_081957_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
Sean McGlynn shows that King John´s reputation for evil and incompetence is well deserved in this new biography. He lost an empire, murdered his young nephew, starved a political opponent´s wife and son to death, and ended his reign in 1216 with London and half of England under French control. Ties in with the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta this June.
During the Napoleonic Wars the supreme battlefield shock weapon was the heavy cavalry - the French cuirassiers, and their British, Austrian, Prussian and Russian counterparts. Big men mounted on big horses, the heavy cavalry were armed with swords nearly a metre long, used for slashing or thrusting at their opponents; many wore steel armour, a practice revived by Napoleon. They were tasked with smashing a hole in the enemy´s line of battle, with exploiting a weakness, or with turning a flank. Their classic manoeuvre was the charge; arrayed in close-order lines or columns, the heavy cavalry would begin their attack at the walk, building up to a gallop for the final 50 metres before impact. Illustrated with diagrams, relevant paintings and prints and specially prepared colour plates, this is the first volume of a two-part study of the cavalry tactics of the armies of Napoleon and those of his allies and opponents. Written by a leading authority on the period, it draws upon drill manuals and later writings to offer a vivid assessment of how heavy cavalry actually fought on the Napoleonic battlefield.
It is 1805 and Ensign Richard Sharpe, having secured a reputation as a fighting soldier in India, is on his way home to join the newly formed Green Jackets. The voyage should be a period of rest but his ship is riven with treachery and threatened by a formidable French warship, the Revenant, which is terrorizing British shipping in the Indian ocean. An old opponent of Sharpe´s is aboard his ship, and the voyage is further disturbed by the Lady Grace Hale, apparently as unreachable as she is beautiful. Sharpe also has friends, notably a captain of the Royal Navy who is hunting the Revenant and who rescues Sharpe when all seems lost. The hunt turns into a stern chase as the French warship races home, carrying a treaty that could ignite India into a new war against the British. Yet when the Revenant encounters the combined French and Spanish fleet of Cadiz, it seems that Sharpe´s enemies have found safety, even as his enemies on board seem to have him trapped. Yet over the horizon is another fleet, led by Nelson, and Sharpe´s revenge will come in a savage climax when the two armadas meet on a calm October day off Cape Trafalgar. Sharpe´s Trafalgar introduces Richard Sharpe to the horrors of a battle at sea, and finds him at his most ruthless as he struggles not just for revenge, but for the woman he loves. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Paul McGann. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/hcuk/000113/bk_hcuk_000113_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
From the palaces of the Habsburg Empire to the torture chambers of Stalin´s Soviet Union, the extraordinary story of a life suspended between the collapse of the imperial order and the violent emergence of modern Europe. Wilhelm Von Habsburg wore the uniform of the Austrian officer, the court regalia of a Habsburg archduke, the simple suit of a Parisian exile, the collar of the Order of the Golden Fleece, and, every so often, a dress. He could handle a saber, a pistol, a rudder, or a golf club; he handled women by necessity and men for pleasure. He spoke the Italian of his archduchess mother, the German of his archduke father, the English of his British royal friends, the Polish of the country his father wished to rule, and the Ukrainian of the land Wilhelm wished to rule himself. In this exhilarating narrative history, prize-winning historian Timothy D. Snyder offers an indelible portrait of an aristocrat whose life personifies the wrenching upheavals of the first half of the 20th century, as the rule of empire gave way to the new politics of nationalism. Coming of age during the First World War, Wilhelm repudiated his family to fight alongside Ukrainian peasants in hopes that he would become their king. When this dream collapsed, he became, by turns, an ally of German imperialists, a notorious French lover, an angry Austrian monarchist, a calm opponent of Hitler, and a British spy against Stalin. Played out in Europe´s glittering capitals and bloody battlefields, in extravagant ski resorts and dank prison cells, The Red Prince captures an extraordinary moment in the history of Europe, in which the old order of the past was giving way to an undefined future - and in which everything, including identity itself, seemed up for grabs. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Michael Damon. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/adbl/001561/bk_adbl_001561_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
Exclusively from Audible Having received strict and confidential orders from high above, C.S. Forester´s inimitable hero must recapture The Flame, a brig which has been taken over by a band of mutineers. Voyaging to the Bay of Seine in order to rescue the captive Lieutenant Augustin Chadwick from his disloyal crew, Horatio Hornblower must once more fight for the freedom and safety of his people and country. In an unexpected turn of events, the now world-weary captain Hornblower is propelled towards the gates of his mortal enemy: Napoleon Bonaparte. Having spent a lifetime trying to defeat the French empire, Horatio is desperate to overthrow his opponents once and for all, but with so many odds against him, the threat of failure hangs in the air. Hailed by the likes of Ernest Hemingway and Sir Winston Churchill for being ´admirable and vastly entertaining,´ C.S. Forester became a hugely influential 20th-century author. Born in Cairo, raised in London and buried in California, the metropolitan writer experienced huge success with his Horatio Hornblower series as well as with his later works, The African Queen and The Good Shepherd. His literary genius is perfectly encapsulated within this endlessly entertaining narrative, and his heroic protagonist draws us in to another titillating journey through the Napoleonic wars. Narrator Biography Christian Rodska is an English television and voice actor best known for his role in the 1970s series Follyfoot. From the The Monuments Men and The Eagle of the Ninth to The Likely Lads, Z Cars, The Tomorrow People, Coronation Street, Bergerac and Casualty, his extensive and diverse acting career has led him to become a highly solicited radio and audiobook narrator. He has now voiced over 150 unabridged audiobooks including Winston Churchill´s biographies, Evelyn W 1. Language: English. Narrator: Christian Rodska. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/bbcw/003899/bk_bbcw_003899_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
Nabokov’s third novel, The Luzhin Defense, is a chilling story of obsession and madness. As a young boy, Luzhin was unattractive, distracted, withdrawn, sullen — an enigma to his parents and an object of ridicule to his classmates. He takes up chess as a refuge from the anxiety of his everyday life. His talent is prodigious and he rises to the rank of grandmaster — but at a cost: in Luzhin’s obsessive mind, the game of chess gradually supplants reality. His own world falls apart during a crucial championship match, when the intricate defense he has devised withers under his opponent’s unexpected and unpredictable lines of assault. One of the 20th century’s master prose stylists, Vladimir Nabokov was born in St. Petersburg in 1899. He studied French and Russian literature at Trinity College, Cambridge, then lived in Berlin and Paris, where he launched a brilliant literary career. In 1940, he moved to the United States and achieved renown as a novelist, poet, critic, and translator. He taught literature at Wellesley, Stanford, Cornell, and Harvard. In 1961, he moved to Montreux, Switzerland, where he died in 1977. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Mel Foster. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/brll/002611/bk_brll_002611_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
Best-in-class guide on chess openings for beginners! Do you want to dramatically improve your game? Do you want to quickly master the most popular chess openings? If so, this is the book you have been waiting for. Learn the most successful chess openings to dominate every game and become a savvy chess player. Magnus Templar explains how to control the center and rule each and every party you´ll play. He takes you step-by-step through the most important chess openings such as the Italian Game, King´s Gambit, Queen´s Gambit, the Ruy Lopez, the English for white, the Sicilian Defense, the French Defense, the Slav Defense, the Caro-Cann Defense, and many more. You will also learn what to look for when determining your opponent´s game plan! If you apply the tricks and traps of this book you will win every play and beat all your unsuspecting foes! Chess for Beginners - A Comprehensive Guide to Chess Openings is a an easy-to-understand yet powerful guide to quickly master chess. You will learn the best chess openings, proven strategies, and tactics on how to win each and every game. Do not wait longer to get your key to become a brilliant chess player. Buy this audiobook today! 1. Language: English. Narrator: Frank Phillips. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/acx0/133590/bk_acx0_133590_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.