Monday, 30 November 2009

This week's new books

The Killer Trail: A Colonial Scandal in the Heart of Africa, Bertrand Taithe (Oxford University Press)
The story of the Voulet-Chanoine mission (led by French army captains Voulet and Chanoine), which set out from Dakar to Lake Chad in November 1898 to establish territorial boundaries between the French and British empires, but degenerated into violence, pillage, murder and enslavement when Voulet and Chanoine declared their independence and set about establishing their own African kingdom.

Samuel Johnson: A Life, David Nokes (Faber and Faber)
This biography looks beyond Samuel Johnson’s public persona and beyond the Johnson that Boswell created to consider Johnson's early life and his relationships with his first wife, Tetty Porter, his family and with Mrs Thrale.

The Fighting Tudors, David Loades (The National Archives)
This history of the Tudors explores the dynasty’s major conflicts, from campaigns in Scotland and France to the crises of the Armada, revealing their public and private impact upon successive monarchs and how military action to defend the throne became a sophisticated propaganda tool.

Troubadour, Mary Hoffman (Bloomsbury)
A tale of persecution and poetry, love and war, set in southern France in 1208, when Bertran, a troubadour, witnesses the murder of the Pope’s legate and risks his life to warn others of the war that he knows will follow this act.

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