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Pen & Sword Books

Pen & Sword Books
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Independent publisher of military, aviation, maritime, family history, transport, social & local history, true crime books, @white_owl_books & more!
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    Jane Austen Daddy’s Girl: The Life and Influence of the Revd George Austen is a poignant and pertinent examination of a relationship which became the cornerstone of Jane’s life, the bedrock of family and faith as she knew them.Our epic journey through the life and times of the Reverend George Austen will lead us from his early childhood and humble beginnings as an orphan, through his schooldays and on to Oxford University, and beyond. We will follow his career in the Church of England and as master of his own boarding school, as well as peek into his marriage and home life.Dovetailed in with this revealing biography is a thorough interpretation of fatherhood as a theme, as outlined in Jane’s novels, with scrutiny of the fathers of all her most beloved fictional families. Chapter by chapter we will understand more about Jane’s own view on fatherhood and how the Reverend Austen, as her father, colored and created that view.As we draw George and Jane’s relationship closer to us, we understand anew the many layers of clever meaning that Jane Austen interlaced within her stories. Through an examination of this unique father-daughter bond, Jane Austen fans everywhere can pull up a footstool in George’s library and become further united in spirit with their beloved novelist.
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    Witchcraft! Just the mention of the name is enough to cause fear, even terror, in the minds and hearts of many people. But that is not the full story. Yes, there have always been proponents of the 'dark arts,' witches and warlocks willing to use their powers for evil, but the wise men and women of the ancient and medieval world — men and women eager to use their spells and potions for good — have often been overlooked.This book looks at witchcraft from the early days, tracing its development as a pseudo-religious cult, the good and the bad, from the wild plains of Babylon to the present day. It highlights witch scares and individuals, particularly the witch hunts of the medieval period when 100,000 women were accused of witchcraft and nearly 80,000 executed. It examines the concept of witch hunting, detailing the activities of men like Matthew Hopkins, the famous Witchfinder General.The book does not just focus on medieval and ancient witches, it takes in modern witch hunting — with people like Senator Joe McCarthy during his Communist witch hunts of the 1950s — and the continued modern persecution of women and men accused of witchcraft in African, Indian and Caribbean states.This is a detailed account of witches and witchcraft, in many ways a tribute to the thousands of men and women accused and executed without full evidence or proof of evil doing. It is a broad historical sweep that includes fictional characters like Morgan le Fey and Merlin, the magician of King Arthur's court. Thoroughly researched and elegantly written, it is essential reading for anyone who is interested in the social and political history of the past.
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    This book is the narrative of three women of York, sisters to not one, but two kings of England. Anne, Elizabeth and Margaret Plantagenet were the daughters of Richard, Duke of York and his wife, Cecily Neville, and therefore sisters to Edward IV and Richard III. These women watched from the sidelines as their father challenged England’s anointed king and lost his life, as their brothers fought together for the throne of England and then amongst themselves and as the Plantagenet dynasty fell, making way for the reign of the Tudors. But they were not just bystanders; they had their own stories to tell. Anne of York was married to the Lancastrian Duke of Exeter who sided against her father and brother, before finding later happiness, albeit briefly, with her second husband. Elizabeth of York married John de la Pole, Duke of Suffolk and became the mother of eleven children who would become thorns in the side of the Tudor kings and Margaret of York became Duchess of Burgundy, a hugely influential woman in her adopted kingdom although she never stopped supporting her family back in England. Between them, they witnessed and contributed to one of the most turbulent times in English history yet they have naturally been overshadowed by their more famous brothers. This is their story.
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    Katheryn Parr is mainly remembered today as being the sixth wife of King Henry VIII, the one who ‘survived’. Katheryn was not only a wife but a queen, mother, reformer, and author. Katheryn would face a number of events in her lifetime including being held to ransom during the Pilgrimage of Grace, being placed as regent while Henry was in France, a role which only one of his five previous wives held, her namesake Katherine of Aragon, and overcame a plot which would have led to her arrest and execution. While Queen she was able to unite the Tudor family and establish some form of happiness for Henry VIII’s three children.Raised by her mother Maud Parr, under a humanist education, Katheryn was intelligent enough to understand her role in life and was not afraid to do her research. Although raised a Catholic, Katheryn became a reformer and went on to write a number of religious texts, being the first female in England to ever have a book published under her own name. She was loyal not only to her family but her servants and the women of her court. She loved her stepchildren and provided them with a mother's love and a role model which her stepdaughters could learn from. Her views on what was expected of her placed her into an open conflict with her brother-in-law Edward Seymour and his wife Anne.This book explores the various roles she had in her lifetime and the passion and duty she put into them, even if it meant putting others first. It will explore her love for Thomas Seymour and how it blindsided her and led to a sad end of her life, and the book will finally look at her legacy — the influence she had on Princess Elizabeth, the future Queen Elizabeth I.
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    Edward II is one of the most unsuccessful and unconventional kings in English history, and is well-known for having passionate and probably intimate relationships with men. In modern times, he has often been considered an LGBT+ icon of sorts. Edward II: His Sexuality and Relationships looks at the men in the king’s life and examines the relations he had with them in the context of medieval notions of sexuality and the famous, albeit almost certainly mythical, idea that he was murdered with a red-hot poker as punishment for having sex with men.It also investigates Edward’s associations with women. Though often thought of as a gay man, it is more likely that Edward was bisexual: he fathered an illegitimate son in his early twenties, at the age of forty had an intimate encounter with a woman in London which is recorded in his household account, and might even have had an incestuous relationship with his own niece.Edward’s marriage to the king of France’s daughter Isabella, arranged when they were children, has often been depicted as a tragic disaster from start to finish. Edward II: His Sexuality and Relationships takes a detailed look at the royal marriage and at all the evidence that it was in fact a happy and mutually supportive partnership for many years, and at Isabella’s important though over-romanticized association with the baron Roger Mortimer.Because Edward is often assumed to have been solely attracted to men, numerous modern authors have depicted him as a grotesque caricature of a camp, weak, foppish gay man. Edward II: His Sexuality and Relationships reveals him as he truly was: as a chronicler puts it, ‘one of the strongest men in his realm.'
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    In 1770 H.M. Bark Endeavour arrived in New Holland, Australia, the 'Continent of Smoke'. On board were Lieutenant James Cook, gentleman naturalist Joseph Banks, natural history artist Sydney Parkinson, and Midshipman James Magra.For the first time, this book combines the journals of these men to present a single, cohesive narrative that brings the story to life as never before. The journals are complimented by over 300 images, including charts, costal profiles, plans of harbors, and many original drawings executed during the voyage of the animals, people and landscape unique to the region.Of the many titles that are available concerning Cook and his voyaging, few focus on Cook’s New Holland experience. Most commonly these titles are interpretative accounts, and heavily weighted with the author’s opinion. However, here the story of New Holland is told in the words of the explorers themselves, containing first hand accounts of all the elements of drama, risk and first discovery.Focusing particularly on the contact with the Indigenous people and how they were first described by Europeans, this is an adaption of the discovery story made accessible to the general reader as well as the historian, without compromising the integrity of the original document.These adventurers were men of their own time, constrained by the common beliefs that fashioned the lives of people two hundred and fifty years ago. If some of their words sit uncomfortably with current thinking, we should remind ourselves that some of our own beliefs and actions, might similarly be thought beyond the pale by future generations, and that we too may find ourselves the target of criticism from those who come after us.
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    During his lifetime, US playwright Arthur Miller was affronted in numerous ways by what he experienced, either personally, or vicariously through the experiences of others. For example:By the way his immigrant family had come to financial grief in the Great Depression (1929 to the late 1930s), through no fault of their own.By the anti-Semitism that existed in the USA and elsewhere in the 1930s, culminating in the Nazi Holocaust in which so many people of his own ethnic group, the Jews, together with millions of other innocents, perished.By the way he and others, including many connected with the arts, were persecuted for alleged communist sympathies in the McCarthy ‘witch-hunts’ of the late 1940s and 1950s in the USA.By the way that atheism, to which he himself subscribed, was considered to be subversive and unpatriotic.By the way that the ‘American Dream’ was generally portrayed as something to which everybody could aspire: and yet, by embracing the concept of the American Dream, most people were generally setting themselves up to fail.Despite his disillusionment with life, Miller strove to illuminate a path to a better way and in doing so, offered hope to the inhabitants of the flawed and troubled world in which he found himself, not just in the USA but also elsewhere.
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    Women in the Tudor age are often overshadowed by their male counterparts. Even those of royalty were deemed inferior to males. while women may have been classed as the inferior gender, women played a vital role in Tudor society.As daughters, mothers and wives they were expected to be obedient to the man of the household, but how effective would those households be without the influence of women?Many opportunities including much formal education and professions were closed to women, their early years spent imitating their mothers before learning to run a household in preparation for marriage. Once married their responsibilities would vary greatly according to their social status and rank. Widowhood left some in vulnerable conditions while for others it enabled them to make a life for themselves and become independent in a largely patriarchal society.Women’s Lives in the Tudor Era aims to look at the roles of women across all backgrounds and how expectations of them differed during the various stages of life.
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    The first of a series of volumes on the Hospitaller Knights of Saint John, this volume covers the period 1306–1522.The Hospitaller Knights had developed during the Crusades from a monastic order providing hostels for Christian pilgrims visiting the Holy Land. The need to provide armed escorts to these pilgrims brought about their evolution into a Military Order. An elite component of Crusader armies, Hospitallers were involved in most large-scale Christian-Saracen engagements following the First Crusade. Taking to the sea, the Hospitallers became a major naval power in the Mediterranean. The author draws on the work of the Order’s official historians, Giacomo Bosio and his successor Bartolomeo dal Pozzo. He transcribes their writings for the modern reader, while also presenting new information revealed in the 400 years of scholarship since Bosio’s death in 1627. This volume opens with Hospitaller relocation from Cyprus to Rhodes during the years 1306 to 1309 while introducing other entities wielding power in the Eastern Mediterranean, including Mamluk Egypt, Turkish beyliks emerging from disintegration of the Seljuk Empire, the Eastern Roman or Byzantine Empire, Cyprus itself, and not least, the Republic of Venice controlling most Aegean islands. The book brings to light the contributions of Hospital leaders (Grand Masters) as well as of lieutenants, allies and opponents, including those of Philippe Villiers de L’Isle-Adam, who became Grand Master in 1521. Complete with an extensive glossary of notable figures, this volume is believed to be the only continuous history since Bosio of the Hospitallers during the period 1306 through 1522, and is certainly the only such history in the English language.
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    THE FOURTH YEAR began with intensified fighting on Guadalcanal in the southern Solomon Islands in September 1942. The United States had launched their fight back in the Pacific when they landed there the previous month. In the Western hemisphere the USA threw its almighty weight into the fight against Hitler’s Germany with the ‘Operation Torch’ landings in North Africa. The Americans had boots on the ground.Hitherto in the war the Axis had largely been the controllers of events; now as often as not, they had to react to occurrences under a continuous rain of blows. Montgomery had masterminded a tactical success at El Alamein in November 1942; Rommel had retreated to face an Allied invasion of Tunisia and defeat of all Axis forces on that continent. This was followed in Russia by Hitler losing an entire army at Stalingrad when the starving survivors surrendered in January 1943. Then the Allies invaded Sicily triggering the ousting of Italy’s dictator, Mussolini, from power. Further concern for the German Führer came with the first daylight bombing raid by the USAAF at the end of January 1943. It was followed by the RAF successfully breaching two dams in the Ruhr valley in a precision night raid. Those events heralded round the clock bombing of Germany by day and night. On the Eastern Front in the summer Hitler gambled one final strategic offensive at Kursk and suffered a decisive defeat, never again to regain the initiative or launch a major offensive in Russia.By the end of the fourth year of the war the Allies dominated the vital Atlantic seaways upon which future Allied strategy was entirely dependent — although the German submarine menace still existed.
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    This book provides a unique take on the history of Roman Britain from Julius Caesar’s first invasion to the end of Roman authority.In 55 BC, on a stretch of beach near Deal in East Kent, the Romans’ first invasion was in great danger of being pushed back into the sea by a host of Britons defending the beach. The eagle bearer of the Tenth Legion jumped into the surf and urged his comrades to follow him, a pivotal moment in Julius Caesar’s first invasion. It was to be another ninety years before Claudius finally subdued part of the island and paraded in triumph into the stronghold at Camulodunum. Roman authority quickly expanded, from Vespasian’s dramatic campaign against the hillforts of southern Britain to Hadrian’s famous Wall in the north.This book will cover not the reign of Emperors but what posts they held in Britain prior to their achieving the throne. Titus served as a tribune directly after the Boudiccan revolt. Pertinax served in three posts: equestrian tribune of the Sixth Legion; praefectus of an auxiliary unit; and finally as a governor of Britannia. It will cover the civil war between Clodius Albinus and Septimius Severus and the later campaigns into Scotland. The upheavals of the third century and the breakaway regimes of Postumus and Carauius, ‘the pirate king’.In the fourth century Britain continued to produce usurpers and tyrants but only one managed to unite the empire, Constantine I. His namesake, Constantine III, was to be the last emperor to lead troops from Britain to Gaul, leaving the province to fend for itself into the fifth century.
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    The lives of women changed immeasurably during the twentieth century, not just because of technological and economic advances, but as a result of a multiplicity of small and large, local, national and international political campaigns by women. The activities of the Edwardian suffrage campaigns are the most well-known example of this, but in less well-known, political struggles women fought with equal tenacity, sacrifice, and inventiveness, to demand, for example, equal pay, analgesics for women and childbirth, an end to virginity testing at airports or wages for housework. This book focuses on 15 such campaigns and the thousands of women who sought to influence decision making, exercise and challenge power in the twentieth century. These political activities were sometimes small-scale and short-lived or seemingly unsuccessful but together they helped to bring about immeasurable changes in women’s lives during the twentieth century.With limited financial resources and hefty domestic responsibilities, women have often chosen to pick their political battles very carefully. Some fought for workers’ rights or the right to education, some prioritised stopping male violence on the streets, in the home or between nations, others like Radcliffe Hall campaigned so women could define their own sexuality. Women organised self-help childcare, rape crisis centres and peace camps. They set up birth control clinics and women’s refuges. Ordinary women took on exploitive landlords, immigration officers, international companies, local councils, the media and successive governments.A few of the hundreds of thousands of these political women, like Maggie Wintringham and Nancy Astor, were MPs; others became local councillors. However, women’s access to traditional areas of political power was limited, even when Britain had its first woman prime minister in 1979, she was one of only 19 women MPs in parliament. Consequently, women sought other spheres of activity through which to fight for change, using all the resources and imagination at their disposal to challenge injustice and abuse. They employed deeds and words, petitions and protests, legal and illegal devices, peaceful and violent strategies to further their political aims. Their motivations and contributions were varied, many made sacrifices to be involved in political battles, but this book seeks to celebrate some of these unsung heroines who tried to make a difference.
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    The third in a three-part in depth study and deals with Hitler’s influence on the Wehrmacht and how his decisions influenced the advancement of weapons technology in this pivotal era of the Second World War.Hitler arrogated to himself the power to make all critical decisions relating to the strategic and operational deployment of the entire Wehrmacht, and this volume analyzes the effect of his decisions on the Luftwaffe and Kriegsmarine. How did his decisions affect the development of German Jet aircraft? And the types of U-Boats used? How did he decide what priority to assign to key weapons in the overall German war effort? What determined how programs such as the V1, V2 and the potential German Atomic bomb were integrated into the German war effort? All these matters were critical to the actual operational power of the Wehrmacht as opposed to its theoretical potential. Similarly, what was the effect of the allied strategic bombing campaign on Germany’s war potential and how effective were the steps Hitler ordered against it? Finally, what did the leading military figures of the Third Reich such as Field Marshals von Rundstedt, Rommel, Kluge, Bock, Model and Kleist think of Hitler’s command? Did the Chiefs of the General Staff during the war — Halder, Zeitzler and Guderian state their views? And what was the effect of the attempt on Hitler’s life through ‘Operation Valkyrie’ on military operations?Hitler's Command is the third in a three part in depth study and deals with Hitler’s influence on the Wehrmacht and how his decisions influenced the advancement of weapons technology in this pivotal era of the Second World War.
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    A number of fighters in boxing history have been considered great over the years. However, it must be said that in some cases their respected claims to greatness do not stand up when closely scrutinised. The same cannot be said of Muhammad Ali. Now this man was a true great, no argument. Ali would often state when in his pomp that he was the greatest of all time. Many experts even today agree with that statement. Ali changed the way the general public viewed the sport. He in fact changed boxing, shook it up in a way that it had never been shaken before.Ali was different, he was special, he talked a good fight, making bold statements prior to his fights which he backed up with his outstanding talent. The man was a master in the ring a craftsman who often overcame the odds when in combat. Ali fought the very best fighters available — he dodged no man, a true champion in every sense of the word, he gave every contender their chance. Ali became the first boxer to win the world heavyweight crown on three different occasions. Whenever heavyweight boxing is discussed, the name Muhammad Ali is mentioned — how can it not be when considering his magnificent record? This book covers the many achievements of the fighter and those associated with him during his long career in an interesting way which fight fans will find informative.
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    The real story of Isabel de Clare, William Marshal's wife, a powerful woman who was a key figure in the history of Ireland, England, Wales and Normandy.Isabel de Clare, the descendant of kings, dukes and freebooters, was one of the wealthiest heiresses in Henry II’s kingdom thanks to the ambitions of her father Richard, Strongbow, de Clare and his marriage to Aoife, daughter of the last king of Leinster. Nature gave her beauty and intelligence. Destiny made her a key figure in the history of Ireland, England, Wales and Normandy. Isabel’s role as a daughter, wife, mother and countess in her own right is the story of medieval aristocratic women and the power that they could wield.Married to a complete stranger when she was just eighteen on the orders of Richard the Lionheart, she found love in the arms of William Marshal — known as the greatest knight who ever lived. Together they established powerbases in Ireland and in Wales, beat off their foes; negotiated the perils of serving King John; and built a powerful kinship network. Marshal declared, ‘I have no claim to anything save through her.’ She was a peerless wife and remarkable woman who played the political game alongside her husband serving successive Plantagenet monarchs, consolidating and extending her inheritance as well as giving birth to ten children.Like her mother before her and her brood of Marshall daughters after her, she was a prize, not a pawn, who knew how to balance her role as a wife and mother alongside the brutal politics of the period.
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    The ‘ShipCraft’ series provides in-depth information about building and modifying model kits of famous warship types. Lavishly illustrated, each book takes the modeller through a brief history of the subject, highlighting differences between ships and changes in their appearance over their careers. This includes paint schemes and camouflage, featuring color profiles and highly detailed line drawings and scale plans. The modelling section reviews the strengths and weaknesses of available kits, lists commercial accessory sets for super-detailing of the subjects, and provides hints on modifying and improving the basic kit. This is followed by an extensive photographic gallery of selected high-quality models in a variety of scales, and the book concludes with a section on research references — books, monographs, large-scale plans and relevant websites.This is the second of two volumes covering Royal Navy 6-inch cruisers of the 1930s and later, this one devoted to the ‘second generation’ designs armed with triple mountings. The Southampton class marked a return to large cruisers, but the urgent requirement for numbers led to the smaller ‘Colonies’ from which all the later RN 6-inch cruisers were derivatives. These ships formed the backbone of British cruiser forces during the Second World War.With its unparalleled level of visual information — paint schemes, models, line drawings and photographs — this book is simply the best reference for any modelmaker setting out to build one of these famous cruisers.
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    Despite defeating his opponent Pompeius Magnus at Pharsalus, and the latter’s subsequent murder, Caesar still faced a determined opposition in the Civil War that had engulfed the late Roman Republic. Having become entangled in the intrigues and wars of the East, Caesar gave his opponents time to regroup under the lead of Metellus Scipio and Cato the Younger, scions of two of the Republic’s greatest families. Under their leadership Caesar’s dominance of the Republic was seriously challenged, culminating in a decisive battle at Thapsus in what is now Tunisia.  Gareth Sampson describes the campaigns that set the context for the battle, including the role played by the various regional powers drawn into the Roman Civil War. He then recounts the battle itself in detail, analysing the relative strengths of the armies involved, their organization, equipment and tactics. He assesses the opposing commanders and the strategies on the day which led to another victory for Caesar. He concludes with a discussion of the bloody aftermath of the battle and the myths that developed around the deaths of Caesar’s opponents.
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    In the past, while visiting the First World War battlefields, the author often wondered where the various Victoria Cross actions took place. He resolved to find out. In 1988, in the midst of his army career, research for this book commenced and over the years numerous sources have been consulted.Victoria Crosses on the Western Front: Battles of the Hindenburg Line — St Quentin, Beaurevoir, Cambrai 1918 and the Pursuit to the Selle is designed for the battlefield visitor as much as the armchair reader. A thorough account of each VC action is set within the wider strategic and tactical context. Detailed sketch maps show the area today, together with the battle-lines and movements of the combatants. It will allow visitors to stand upon the spot, or very close to, where each VC was won. Photographs of the battle sites richly illustrate the accounts. There is also a comprehensive biography for each recipient, covering every aspect of their lives warts and all parents and siblings, education, civilian employment, military career, wife and children, death and burial/commemoration. A host of other information, much of it published for the first time, reveals some fascinating characters, with numerous links to many famous people and events.
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    Zbyšek Nečas was just 18, and still a high school student, when he escaped from the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia a month before the outbreak of war in 1939. He managed to make his way to Britain where he had a cousin.Nečas enlisted in the RAF in 1940, initially being posted as an interpreter at the Czech Depot. Some of his early duties involved the interrogation of captured German aircrew. He was, however, determined to fly. That wish came not as a pilot, but as a radar operator.In time, Nečas was posted to 68 Squadron, which throughout the war had a large number of Czech exiles on its strength — one flight was entirely Czech-manned. In this moving memoir, he details just what it was like to serve as part of an RAF night fighter crew during the second half of the Second World War. From the organization of squadron and operations, to the directing of night fighters in the bomber stream, problems of maintaining contact with the target, the duration of patrols to interception tactics, all, and more, is revealed in this book. Having trained on the Blenheim Mk.IV, Nečas’ operational patrols began on Bristol Beaufighters, the squadron subsequently converting to de Havilland Mosquitoes.There are of course, the graphic accounts of victory in the air. This includes combat with a Heinkel He 177 Grief over North Sea, or the explosion of a Dornier Do 217 after another successful interception. As well as nighttime intruder operations over Europe, from the summer of 1944, 68 Squadron, Nečas included, found itself drawn into the battle against Hitler’s V-weapons, particularly the V1. Nečas’ crew ended the war with three confirmed kills, one probable, and two damaged.After the war, Nečas returned to his homeland where he received the tragic news that that none of his immediate family had survived the German occupation This is Zbyšek Nečas’ story of his part in the defense of Britain’s skies and the final victory against the Third Reich.
    Pen & Sword Bookstilføjede en bog til boghyldenPen & Sword Booksfor 20 dage siden
    When King George V ascended to the throne in 1910, world trade was increasing and at home the country’s private enterprise railways were booming with larger trains and more freight being carried than ever before. Over the next fifty years the country had experienced not one, but two world wars. Railways had been forcefully reorganized, not once but twice, eventually becoming state owned. With the Government now in control of the railway’s finances, reformation was on the horizon in the medicine of Dr. Beeching.This volume sets out to chart the passage of the railways during these turbulent times.Contrary to popular belief, life on the railways during these times was not all doom and gloom but times of innovation, competition, new buildings, new lines and the spread of electrification. This was the era of faster, larger, non-stop expresses, streamlined trains: we even showcased our best trains abroad, not once but twice!More and more people were taking holidays by trains and holiday camps emerged. Challenging the position of steam engines were new diesel locomotives. The Festival of Britain (1951) and the Coronation of Elizabeth (1953) saw the country emerge from the devastation and crippling debt after World War 2. On the horizon were devastating rivals that wounded the previously unassailable position of steam trains: motor lorries and family cars.With looming unsustainable finances, the Government solicited external help to help sort out matters.
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