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history

Ghosts of Vesuvius by

ghosts of vesuvius

It is hard to blurb this book. On the one hand it is about Vesuvius and volcanic explosions and disasters both natural and man-made. But it is also a book about the origins of the earth, of the universe, and about how precarious our existence is. How so much of what we are today is dependent on natural events a thousand years ago, or a millennia ago, or so long ago that it is almost pointless to count the time because it is so difficult to grasp those sort of numbers.

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Wedlock by

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Mary Eleanor Bowes was born in 1749. Her father was extremely wealthy and, unusually for the time, had her well educated. A most eligible young woman, not least because she was the richest heiress in C18th Britain. Her first wedding was nothing unusual for the time. Pretty loveless and to an older man it wasn’t a romantic love match. Her second, to a dashing young soldier, was. Mary Eleanor probably hadn’t intended to marry Andrew Robinson Stoney, but upon hearing that he had fought a duel for her honour and was laying on his deathbed wishing for nothing but her hand in marriage… well, who could resist that romance!

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The Courtesan’s Revenge by

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Harriette Wilson, the woman who blackmailed the king ISBN: 0571205240 See also: LibraryThing ; Other reviews Harriette Wilson’s Memoirs omit both time and place; there are no addresses given, no locations described, no elections, diseases, or wars. “Dates make ladies nervous and stories dry,” she wrote. It has taken me quite a while to finish this book. Usually that isn’t

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The Squad by

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Michael Collins is frequently cited as the originator of modern urban terrorism. The British characterised his Squad as ‘the murder gang’ and had they knowingly captured members of of the Squad they would almost certainly have exectued them.

Irish history is full of revolutionaries and failed rebellions, of informers giving information to the English, and spies infiltrating Irish organisations. Michael Collins recognised the importance of the intelligence network and so in 1919 he formulated a plan to blind the eyes of Dublin Castle by ensuring that the police force were as terrorised and demoralised as possible.

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Irish Voices by

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An Informal History 1916-1966 ISBN: 0712665323 Early on Easter Sunday 23 April 1916 in Liberty Hall, the painter Christopher Brady carried out his commission of printing the document that would proclaim the Irish Republic As the subtitle says, this is a history of Ireland between the years 1916 and 1966, 50 years of change and turmoil. As the informal part

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Guns, Germs and Steel by

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A Short History of Everybody for the last 13,000 years – ISBN: 0099302780 This book attempts to provide a short history of everybody for the last 13,000 years. The question motivating the book is this: Why did history unfold differently on different continents? As that opening sentence tells you, this is a book all about the history of humankind on

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Queen Emma and the Vikings by

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A history of power, love and greed in 11th-century England ISBN 0747574898 Read with Medieval Britain book group She looks a little peevish, although this would not have been the intention of the artist This is the story of Queen Emma, by birth a Norman, who married two kings of England. Her first marriage was as peacemaker between her family

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The Great Nation: France from Louis XV to Napoleon by

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ISBN: 0140130934 I’m not quite sure why I picked this one up, I’ve never had all that great an interest in French history, not after getting totally confuddled trying to study the Wars of Religion back in college. But I developed an interest, and thought that is looked like an interesting read. I know a little about the revolution, and

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