A Pirate Of Exquisite Mind

Author: Diana Preston,Michael Preston

Publisher: Random House

ISBN: 1446429180

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 512

View: 786


William Dampier, (1651-1715), was an English adventurer and pirate who preyed on ships on the Spanish Main. Poor and ill-educated and determined to make his fortune, he nonetheless had a passion for exploration and scientific research. Dampier was the first to map the winds and currents of the world's oceans; led the first recorded party of Englishmen to set foot on Australia - 80 years before Cook; wrote about Galapagos wildlife 150 years before Darwin, who drew on Dampier's notes in his own work; was the first travel writer: A NEW VOYAGE AROUND THE WORLD was instant bestseller when it was published in 1697 - said to have influenced the novels of Swift and Defoe. A man full of contradictions: he who achieved so much 'blew it' later in life, declining into scandal, failure and even farce. A unique man ahead of his time, he lived a large part of his life among pirates yet managed to preserve what Coleridge called his "exquisite refinement of mind". A classic example of the best narrative history.

Pirate of Exquisite Mind

Author: Diana Preston

Publisher: CCV Digital

ISBN: 9781446429174

Category:

Page: 512

View: 4947


A Teardrop on the Cheek of Time

Author: Diana Preston,Michael Preston

Publisher: Random House

ISBN: 1446421465

Category: History

Page: 416

View: 4614


In 1631, the heartbroken Moghul Emperor, Shah Jahan, ordered the construction of a monument of unsurpassed splendour and majesty in memory of his beloved wife. Theirs was an extraordinary story of passionate love: although almost constantly pregnant - she bore him fourteen children - Mumtaz Mahal followed her husband on every military campaign.But then Mumtaz died in childbirth. Blinded by grief, Shah Jahan created an exquisite and extravagant memorial for her on the banks of the river Jumna. The Taj Mahal took twenty years to build and depleted the Moghul treasuries.But Shah Jahan was to pay a greater price for his obsession. He ended his days imprisoned by his own son in Agra Fort, gazing across the river at the monument to his love. The building of the Taj Mahal had set brother against brother and son against father in a savage conflict that pushed the seventeenth century's most powerful empire into irreversible decline.

Cleopatra and Antony

Author: Diana Preston

Publisher: Random House

ISBN: 1407033905

Category: History

Page: 416

View: 1757


In 44 bc, Julius Caesar was murdered on the Ides of March. His mistress, Cleopatra of Egypt, fled back to Alexandria with their little son. Mark Antony, Caesar's friend and henchman, who, according to some accounts, was already besotted by the beautiful Cleopatra, took up her son's case before the Senate. But they refused to recognize him as one of Caesar's heirs. Civil war broke out, and after the defeat of Caesar's murderers, Antony took control over the East. Summoned to his headquarters in present-day Turkey, Cleopatra made her entry at dusk on a scented, candlelit barge: and so began one of the greatest love stories of all time - an eleven-year love affair that created the ancient world's most famous celebrity couple. The affair became all-consuming and fired the lovers with the ambition to create a new order. Had they succeeded, our world today might have been very different. Filled with murder, intrigue, civil war and great battles, the tragedy of Cleopatra and Antony has fascinated the world for two millennia, and has been depicted by everyone from Chaucer and Shakespeare to Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor in the iconic 1960s film. Now Diana Preston has gone back to the original sources and delved into the real history behind the propaganda and the myth, to breathe new life into this epic love story.

Before the Fall-Out

Author: Diana Preston

Publisher: Random House

ISBN: 1446423492

Category: History

Page: 608

View: 2906


Spanning fifty years, Before the Fall-Out tells the full story of how an exhilarating quest to unravel the secrets of the material world produced the knowledge of how to destroy it.And of how a scientific adventure shared openly between nuclear physicists from many different nations transmuted into a secretive wartime race for the ultimate weapon of mass destruction - the atom bomb. As much as on the science, Before the Fall-Out focuses on the 'human chain reaction' - the intertwined lives of the many scientists of many nations whose compulsive curiosity led, however unwittingly, ultimately to Hiroshima. In her page-turning account Diana Preston reveals how individuals responded to events - from Allied scientists debating the morality of deploying the bomb, to Japanese civilians who became its first victims, and to a German chemist working on the Nazi bomb project while concealing a Jewish pianist in his Berlin apartment. Diana Preston draws on fresh material including interviews with the last living scientist to have worked with Marie Curie, the only senior scientist to have walked out on the Manhattan Project on moral grounds, and the German scientist who accompanied Werner Heisenberg on his controversial wartime visit to Niels Bohr in Copenhagen. A Manhattan Project scientist said that the only secret of the bomb was that it could be made: once this was known, any nation could replicate it. Before the Fall-Out helps us make better sense of our own, dangerous world and of the threats and moral dilemmas that face our society today.

Wilful Murder

Author: Diana Preston

Publisher: Doubleday

ISBN: 9780857522931

Category: History

Page: 544

View: 508


The most comprehensive book to date to explore the tragedy of the sinking of the Lusitania. On May 7th, 1915 a passenger ship crossing the Atlantic sank with the loss of 1200 lives. On board were some world-famous figures, including multimillionaire Alfred Vanderbilt. But this wasn't the Titanic and there was no iceberg. The liner was the Lusitania and it was torpedoed by a German U-boat. Wilful Murder is the hugely compelling story of the sinking of the Lusitania. The first book to look at the events in their full historical context, it is also the first to place the human dimension at its heart. Using first-hand accounts of the tragedy Diana Preston brings the characters to life, recreating the splendour of the liner as it set sail and the horror of its final moments. Using British, American and German research material she answers many of the unanswered and controversial questions surrounding the Lusitania: why didn't Cunard listen to warnings that the ship would be a target of the Germans? Was the Lusitania sacrificed to bring the Americans into the War? What was really in the Lusitania's hold? Was she armed? Had Cunard's offices been infiltrated by German agents? And did the Kaiser's decision to cease unrestricted U-boat warfare in response to international outrage expressed after the sinking effectively change the outcome of the First World War? Highly readable, highly researched Wilful Murder casts dramatic new light on one of the world's most famous maritime disasters.

Rembember the Lusitania!

Author: Diana Preston

Publisher: Walker Childrens

ISBN: N.A

Category: Juvenile Nonfiction

Page: 102

View: 4954


An account of the World War I German torpedo attack on and sinking of the passenger liner, the Lusitania, describing the experiences of some of those involved.

Taj Mahal

Author: Diana Preston,Michael Preston

Publisher: Walker Books

ISBN: N.A

Category: History

Page: 317

View: 4341


A narrative history of the great monument of Moghul India traces the story of the Taj Mahal, built by emperor Shah Jahan as a memorial to his beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal, examining its creation against the backdrop of the history of the Moghul Empire. 50,000 first printing.

Eight Days at Yalta

Author: Diana Preston

Publisher: Atlantic Monthly Press

ISBN: 0802147666

Category: History

Page: N.A

View: 2207


While some of the last battles of WWII were being fought, U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, and Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin—the so-called “Big Three”—met from February 4-11, 1945, in the Crimean resort town of Yalta. Over eight days of bargaining, bombast, and intermittent bonhomie, while Soviet soldiers and NKVD men patrolled the grounds of the three palaces occupied by their delegations, they decided, among other things, on the endgame of the war against Nazi Germany and how a defeated and occupied Germany should be governed, on the constitution of the nascent United Nations, on the price of Soviet entry into the war against Japan, on the new borders of Poland, and on spheres of influence elsewhere in Eastern Europe, the Balkans, and Greece. With the deep insight of a skilled historian, drawing on the memorable accounts of those who were there—from the leaders and high level advisors such as Averell Harriman, Anthony Eden, and Andrei Gromyko, to Churchill’s clear-eyed secretary Marian Holmes and FDR’s insightful daughter Anna Boettiger—Diana Preston has, on the 75th anniversary of this historic event, crafted a masterful and vivid chronicle of the conference that created the post-war world, out of which came decisions that still resonate loudly today. Ever since, who “won” Yalta has been debated. Three months after the conference, Roosevelt was dead, and right after Germany’s surrender, Churchill wrote to the new president, Harry Truman, of “an iron curtain” that was now “drawn upon [the Soviets’] front.” Knowing his troops controlled eastern Europe, Stalin’s judgment in April 1945 thus speaks volumes: “Whoever occupies a territory also imposes on it his own social system.”