The northeastern quarter of the continent of Africa is drained and watered by the Nile. Among and about the headstreams and tributaries of this mighty river lie the wide and fertile provinces of the Egyptian Soudan. Situated in the very centre of the land, these remote regions are on every side divided from the seas by 500 miles of mountain, swamp, or desert. The great river is their only means of growth, their only channel of progress.
Jacquetta always has had the gift of second sight. As a child visiting her uncle, she met his prisoner, Joan of Arc, and saw her own power reflected in the young woman accused of witchcraft. They share the mystery of the tarot card of the wheel of fortune before Joan is taken to a horrific death. Jacquetta understands the danger for a woman who dares to dream. Jacquetta is married to the Duke of Bedford, English regent of France, and he introduces her to a mysterious world of learning and alchemy.
"Philippa back on track"
The United States lost hundreds of ships during the course of World War II, from the deadly explosion of the USS Arizona during the attack on Pearl Harbor to the sinking of John F. Kennedy's PT-109, a patrol boat with a crew of less than 15. However, few of the ships lost in the Pacific suffered a fate as gripping or tragic as the sinking of the heavy cruiser USS Indianapolis on July 30, 1945.
After the siege of Boston forced the British to evacuate that city in March 1776, Continental Army commander George Washington suspected that the British would move by sea to New York City, the next logical target in an attempt to end a colonial insurrection. He thus rushed his army south to defend the city. Washington guessed correctly, but it would be to no avail.
" Recap "Cliff Note""
The waters of the Pacific Ocean - stretching deep blue under the tropical sun, or scourged by typhoons - provided World War II's most far-flung battlefield. Two of the world's premier mid-20th century maritime powers, the United States of America and the Empire of Japan, grappled for supremacy across that pelagic expanse. In the process, they forcefully sounded the death knell of battleships and naval gunnery, ushering in the era of the aircraft carrier and the submarine.
The 12 months known in history as the Year of the Four Emperors was a pivotal chapter in the long epoch of the Roman Empire. It marked the tumultuous end of the Julio-Claudian Dynasty and the advent of a year of civil war, renewal and realignment, the result of which was the establishment of a new era and the founding of a new (and arguably more rational and responsible) imperial dynasty.
At 9:30 a.m. on Sunday, December 7, 1941, Pearl Harbor, the advanced base of the United States Navy's Pacific Fleet, was ablaze. It had been smashed by aircraft launched by the carriers of the Imperial Japanese Navy. All eight battleships had been sunk or badly damaged, 350 aircraft had been knocked out, and over 2,000 Americans lay dead.
Though scarcely mentioned in the world of early 21st century politics, Manchuria represented a key region of Asia during the first half of the 20th century. Once the heartland of the fierce Manchu empire, this northeastern Chinese region's rich natural resources made it a prize for nations in the process of entering the modern age, and three ambitious nations in the midst of such a transformation lay close enough to Manchuria to attempt to claim it: Japan, Russia, and China.
In December 2010, a 26-year-old Tunisian street vendor's self-immolation triggered protests that spread from his hometown in Sidi Bouzid to cities across the country. The next month, on January 14, the country's autocratic president, Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, fled the country. This would be the start of what became known as the "Arab Spring", which ultimately saw anti-government protests responded to with violence, reform, or both in countries across the Middle East.
Today, roses are a sign of love and luxury, but for over 30 years they provided the symbols for two houses at war for control of England. Thousands of people died and many more were injured fighting beneath the white rose of York and the red rose of Lancaster, and the noble families ruling England tore each other apart in a struggle that was as bitter as it was bloody.
"Could this topic be made any more boring?!"
World War II stood apart in many ways from every earlier war, not least in the way that it reached to every corner of the planet and involved a noticeable segment of humanity's collective resources. Battles erupted not only on land and the sea's surface as they had for centuries, but also in the ocean depths and the windswept heights of the sky. One of the war's most crucial struggles happened in the realm of the unseen, inside the human mind and amid the invisible flow of radio waves.
"A Real Fast Read"
"Blitzkrieg", or "lightning war", describes the Third Reich's invasion strategy during its 1940 conquest of France not only due to the speed of the Wehrmacht advance but also its devastating effect on its ill-prepared adversaries. Mired in the paralyzing muck of plodding staff college military doctrine and demoralized as a nation by their appalling losses during World War I, the French succumbed in a few weeks to German skill and vigor.
Cloak and dagger espionage, assassination, dangerous adventure, and strange deceptions such as the Operation Mincemeat plan wherein the corpse of a Welsh pauper fitted with a uniform and false papers deceived the Nazi hierarchy about the location of the Western Allies' first landing in Europe, all constitute as real a part of World War II's kaleidoscopically varied history as battles and clear-cut policies.
"A bit short."
Richard Peck is a master of stories about people in transition, but perhaps never before has he told a tale of such dramatic change as this one, set during the first year of the Civil War. The whole country is changing in 1861, even the folks from a muddy little Illinois settlement on the banks of the Mississippi. Here, 15-year-old Tilly Pruitt frets over the fact that her brother is dreaming of being a soldier and that her sister is prone to supernatural visions.
"Love Peck's way of writing about history!"
In early June 1863, the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia occupied Culpeper, Virginia, and after their victories at Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville against armies twice their size, the Confederate troops felt invincible and anxious to carry the war north into Pennsylvania. One of the proudest was iconic cavalry leader JEB Stuart, who had filled in admirably for the mortally wounded Stonewall Jackson the previous month at Chancellorsville.
Although it ended over 550 years ago, the Hundred Years' War still looms large in the historical consciousness of England and France, even if the name of the famous war is a misnomer. Actually a series of separate conflicts between the English and French monarchies, interspersed with periods of peace, its historical image is an odd one, in part because its origins were based on royal claims that dated back centuries.
"Good learning opportunity"
Americans have long been fascinated by the Civil War, marveling at the size of the battles, the leadership of the generals, and the courage of the soldiers. Since the war's start over 150 years ago, the events have been subjected to endless debate among historians and the generals themselves. The Civil War was the deadliest conflict in American history, and had the two sides realized it would take four years and inflict over a million casualties, it might not have been fought.
Danger prowled under both the cold gray waters of the North Sea and the shimmering blue waves of the tropical Atlantic during World War II as Adolf Hitler's Third Reich attempted to strangle Allied shipping lanes with U-boat attacks. German and British submarines combed the vast oceanic battlefield for prey, while scientists developed new technologies and countermeasures.
Between the two armies, at the confluence of the two rivers, sits a rich prize, a vast plantation run by young, beautiful Mrs. Hawkland. At any moment Union or Confederate forces could seize her land and set fire to her home to prevent the enemy from doing so first. Confederate officer Jamie Russell comes to her plantation by chance, only to find that that she is no stranger; his dreams of their brief but passionate encounter fill his nights as war fills his days.
Emerging from France's catastrophic 1940 defeat like a bedraggled and rather sinister phoenix, the French State – better known to history as Vichy France or the Vichy Regime after its spa-town capital, stands in history as a unique and bizarre creation of German Fuhrer Adolf Hitler's European conquests. A patchwork of paradoxes and contradictions, the Vichy Regime maintained a quasi-independent French nation for some time after the Third Reich invasion.