Soldiers

      Richard Holmes
Soldiers

A magisterial new history of the British soldier - a man famously described by the Duke of Wellington as ?the scum of the earth?. From battlefield to barrack-room, this book is stuffed to the brim with anecdotes and stories of soldiers from the army of Charles II, through Empire and two World Wars to modern times. The British soldier forms a core component of British history. In this scholarly but gossipy book, Richard Holmes presents a rich social history of the man (and now more frequently woman) who have been at the heart of his writing for decades. Technological, political and social changes have all made their mark on the development of warfare, but have the attitudes of the soldier shifted as much we might think? For Holmes, the soldier is part of a unique tribe ? and the qualities of loyalty and heroism have continued to grow amongst these men. And while today the army constitutes the smallest proportion of the population since the first decade of its existence (regular...
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    Falling Upwards

      Richard Holmes
Falling Upwards

Lose yourself in the clouds with bestselling and prize-winning biographer and science writer Richard Holmes in this glorious history of hot-air ballooning.

Hot-air balloons have drifted through Richard Holmes's work for many years. And now, in this heart-lifting book he tells the story of these ineffably romantic floating machines and the reckless invention of the adventurers who flew them.

His subject is flight itself and the pioneer generation of rival aviators. Ballooning offered a new vision of the earth. The world pondered for the first time reliable weather prediction, observation of the stars from an aerial point of view and the exploration of remote continents. Those in previous centuries who dreamt of flight believed it would open up the secrets of heaven. In fact, as Richard Holmes shows, it revealed the secrets of the world beneath.

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    This Long Pursuit

      Richard Holmes
This Long Pursuit

From the great biographer of the Romantics, 'The Long Pursuit' is a sweeping exploration of a career devoted to the art of life-writing. Thirty years ago Richard Holmes published Footsteps – a revolutionary book that would become a bestseller and influence profoundly a whole generation of younger writers. The Long Pursuit is a companion book in that it ranges widely over the arts, science, poetry and inspiration to reflect upon the practice and importance of biographical writing. Holmes wraps his arguments in an exquisite cloak of many colours, sewn from stories of a myriad different lives. One section of the book is devoted to the biography of women – particularly scientific women who have long suffered the condescension of history. Margaret Cavendish and the lost women of science, Madame de Stael, Mary Wollstonecraft and Mary Somerville amongst them. The book includes a light-hearted look at how the popular reputations of some favourite Romantic figures – including the...
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    Tommy

      Richard Holmes
Tommy

Groundbreaking and critically-acclaimed, Tommy is the first history of World War I to place the British soldier who fought in the trenches centre-stage.

Tommy tells the story of an epic and terrible war through the letters, diaries and memories of those who fought it. Epitomised by the character of Sgt Tommy Atkins, Richard Holmes portrays the strength and fallibility of the human spirit, the individuals behind the epic conflict, and their legacy.

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    Sidetracks

      Richard Holmes
Sidetracks

In the ebook version of the classic, the author of 'Footsteps' collects the biographical stories that have captured his fancy in the course of researching his books on the romantic poets, creating a captivating mixture of biography and memoir. â??Sidetracks' is a sister book to 'Footsteps', conjured up from decades of 'wanderings from the straight and narrow' of his major biographies like Shelley and Coleridge. The collection is held together by a subtle autobiographical thread: 'to be sidetracked is, after all, to be led astray by a path or an idea, a scent or a tune, and maybe lost forever.' The centerpiece of book concerns Mary Woolstonecraft, the great feminist crusader and philosopher, and her relationship with William Godwin. Their story and travails are inspiring and poignant, all told in riveting and beautiful prose style. 'Sidetracks' winds through an extraordinary and eclectic assortment of Romantic and Gothic writers and personalities: some French, some English, some...
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    Marlborough

      Richard Holmes
Marlborough

Bestselling military historian Richard Holmes delivers an expertly written and exhilarating biography of John Churchill, the Duke of Marlborough and Britain's finest soldier. Charting Churchill’s rise to favour to lead his country to glory, cementing its position as a major player on the European stage and saviour of the Holy Roman Empire, Holmes paints a portrait of a man who combined passion, avarice and duplicity in his personal life with tenacity and utter brilliance on the battlefield.
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    Wellington

      Richard Holmes
Wellington

In this compelling book, Richard Holmes tells the exhilarating story of the Duke of Wellington, Britain's greatest ever soldier. Seeing Wellington as a remarkable figure, Holmes follows his career from the ruins of his family seat in Ireland to the plains of India where Wellesley first gained his reputation as a brilliant commander, to the horrors of the Peninsular War and Waterloo. Combining his astute historical analysis with semi-biographical examination, Holmes artfully illustrates the rapid evolution in military and political thinking of the time.
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    Footsteps

      Richard Holmes
Footsteps

Richard Holmes's great work of biographical exploration, rejacketed and republished alongside its sister volume Sidetracks. In 1985, Richard Holmes published a small book of essays called 'Footsteps' and the writing of biography was changed forever. A daring mix of travel, biographical sleuthing and personal memoir, it broke all the conventions of the genre and remains ons of the most intoxicating, magical works of modern literary exploration ever published. Sleeping rough, he retraces Robert Louis Stevenson's famous journey through the Cevennes. Caught up in the Parisian riots of the 1960s, he dives back in time to the terrors of Wordsworth and of Mary Wollstonecraft marooned in Revolutionary Paris and then into the strange tortured worlds of Gérard de Nerval. Wandering through Italy, he stalks Shelley and his band of Romantic idealists to Casa Magni on the Gulf of Spezia. Note that it has not been possible to include the same picture content that appeared in the original print...
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    Shelley: The Pursuit

      Richard Holmes
Shelley: The Pursuit

Shelley: The Pursuit is the book with which Richard Holmes—the finest literary biographer of our day—made his name. Dispensing with the long-established Victorian picture of Shelley as a blandly ethereal character, Holmes projects a startling image of "a darker and more earthly, crueler and more capable figure." Expelled from college, disowned by his aristocratic father, driven from England, Shelley led a life marked from its beginning to its early end by a violent rejection of society; he embraced rebellion and disgrace without thought of the cost to himself or to others. Here we have the real Shelley—radical agitator, atheist, apostle of free love, but above all a brilliant and uncompromising poetic innovator, whose life and work have proved an essential inspiration to poets as varied as W.B. Yeats and Allen Ginsberg.

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    Sahib

      Richard Holmes
Sahib

Sahib is a magnificent history of the British soldier in India from Clive to the end of Empire, making full use of personal accounts from the soldiers who served in the jewel in Britain's Imperial Crown.

This is a stunning account of Indian soldiering in peace and war, from the barrack rooms to the cavalry swirling across open plains. Bestselling military historian Richard Holmes not only illuminates the lives and feelings of the men who served, but also those of the women who followed them across a vast continent, bore their children, and suffered alongside them in the merciless conditions.

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