Book cover of Crown & Sceptre: A New History of the British Monarchy, from William the Conqueror to Elizabeth II by Tracy Borman
Biography & Autobiography

Crown & Sceptre: A New History of the British Monarchy, from William the Conqueror to Elizabeth II

Since William the Conqueror, duke of Normandy, crossed the English Channel in 1066 to defeat King Harold II and unite England’s various kingdoms, forty-one kings and queens have sat on Britain’s throne. “Shining examples of royal power and majesty alongside a rogue’s gallery of weak, lazy, or evil monarchs,” as Tracy Borman describes them in her sparkling chronicle, Crown & Sceptre. Ironically, during very few of these 955 years has the throne’s occupant been unambiguously English—whether Norman French, the Welsh-born Tudors, the Scottish Stuarts, and the Hanoverians and their German successors to the present day.
[…Learn More]

Book cover of The Wicked Boy: An Infamous Murder in Victorian London by Kate Summerscale
Biography & Autobiography

The Wicked Boy: An Infamous Murder in Victorian London

In the summer of 1895, Robert Coombes (age 13) and his brother Nattie (age 12) were seen spending lavishly around the docklands of East London — for ten days in July, they ate out at coffee houses and took trips to the seaside and the theater. The boys told neighbors they had been left home alone while their mother visited family in Liverpool, but their aunt was suspicious. When she eventually forced the brothers to open the house to her, she found the badly decomposed body of their mother in a bedroom upstairs. Robert and Nattie were arrested for matricide and sent for trial at the Old Bailey.  […Learn More]

Book cover of The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher: A Shocking Murder and the Undoing of a Great Victorian Detective by Kate Summerscale
Biography & Autobiography

The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher: A Shocking Murder and the Undoing of a Great Victorian Detective

The New York Times bestselling account of the real-life murder that inspired the birth of modern detective fiction.

In June of 1860 three-year-old Saville Kent was found at the bottom of an outdoor privy with his throat slit. The crime horrified all England and led to a national obsession with detection, ironically destroying, in the process, the career of perhaps the greatest detective in the land. […Learn More]

Book cover of The Case of the Murderous Dr. Cream: The Hunt for a Victorian Era Serial Killer by Dean Jobb
Biography & Autobiography

The Case of the Murderous Dr. Cream: The Hunt for a Victorian Era Serial Killer

”When a doctor does go wrong he is the first of criminals,” Sherlock Holmes observed during one of his most baffling investigations. “He has nerve and he has knowledge.” In the span of fifteen years, Dr. Thomas Neill Cream murdered as many as ten people in the United States, Britain, and Canada, a death toll with almost no precedent. Poison was his weapon of choice. Largely forgotten today, this villain was as brazen as the notorious Jack the Ripper. […Learn More]

Asia

She-Merchants, Buccaneers and Gentlewomen: British Women in India 1600 – 1900

The first British women to set foot in India did so in the very early seventeenth century, two and a half centuries before the Raj.

Women made their way to India for exactly the same reasons men did – to carve out a better life for themselves. In the early days, India was a place where the slates of ‘blotted pedigrees’ were wiped clean; bankrupts given a chance to make good; a taste for adventure satisfied – for women. They went and worked as milliners, bakers, dress-makers, actresses, portrait painters, maids, shop-keepers, governesses, teachers, boarding house proprietors, midwives, nurses, missionaries, doctors, geologists, plant-collectors, writers, travellers, and – most surprising of all – traders. […Learn More]

Book Cover of The Five: The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper by Hallie Rubenhold
Biography & Autobiography

The Five: The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper

Five devastating human stories and a dark and moving portrait of Victorian London—the untold lives of the women killed by Jack the Ripper

Polly, Annie, Elisabeth, Catherine, and Mary Jane are famous for the same thing, though they never met. They came from Fleet Street, Knightsbridge, Wolverhampton, Sweden, and Wales. They wrote ballads, ran coffeehouses, lived on country estates; they breathed ink dust from printing presses and escaped human traffickers. […Learn More]