The Discovery of France: A Historical Geography [Audiobook]
24 February 2018, 23:57
2018 | MP3@64 kbps + EPUB | 16 hrs 49 mins | 463.53MB
A narrative of exploration―full of strange landscapes and even stranger inhabitants―that explains the enduring fascination of France. While Gustave Eiffel was changing the skyline of Paris, large parts of France were still terra incognita. Even in the age of railways and newspapers, France was a land of ancient tribal divisions, prehistoric communication networks, and pre-Christian beliefs. French itself was a minority language.
Graham Robb describes that unknown world in arresting narrative detail. He recounts the epic journeys of mapmakers, scientists, soldiers, administrators, and intrepid tourists, of itinerant workers, pilgrims, and herdsmen with their millions of migratory domestic animals. We learn how France was explored, charted, and colonized, and how the imperial influence of Paris was gradually extended throughout a kingdom of isolated towns and villages.
The Discovery of France explains how the modern nation came to be and how poorly understood that nation still is today. Above all, it shows how much of France―past and present―remains to be discovered.
Secret Pigeon Service: Operation Columba, Resistance and the Struggle to Liberate Europe [Audiobook]
24 February 2018, 23:55
2018 | MP3@64 kbps + EPUB | 10 hrs 18 mins | 284.67MB
A riveting spy story set in World War Two. Using declassified documents and extensive original research, Secret Pigeon Service tells the dramatic untold story of MI 14(d) and its spy networks including the remarkable 'Leopold Vindictive', a Belgian resistance cell who used the pigeon they found in 1941 to spy on the Nazis.
Everyone has heard of MI5 and MI6. Some may even have heard of MI9, which helped downed airmen escape in World War II. Few have heard of MI14(d) - home to Operation Columba. In this new spy story set during the Second World War, Gordon Corera uses declassified documents and extensive original research to tell the story of the Secret Pigeon Service for the first time.
Between 1941 and 1944, 16,000 pigeons were dropped in an arc from Bordeaux to Copenhagen as part of 'Columba' - a secret British operation to bring back intelligence from those living under Nazi occupation. The messages flooded back written on tiny pieces of rice paper tucked into canisters and tied to the legs of the birds - authentic voices from rural France, Holland, Belgium, sometimes comic, often tragic and occasionally invaluable, with details of German troop movements and fortifications, new Nazi weapons, radar systems or the deployment of the V-1 and V-2 rockets that terrorized London.
Who were the people who provided this rich seam of intelligence? Many were not trained agents nor people with experience of spying. At the centre of this audiobook is the 'Leopold Vindictive' network - a small group of Belgian villagers prepared to take huge risks. They were led by an extraordinary priest, Josef Raskin - a man connected to royalty and whose intelligence was so valuable it was shown to Churchill, leading MI6 to parachute agents to assist him.
A powerful and tragic tale of espionage, the book brings together the British and Belgian sides of Leopold Vindictive's story and reveals for the first time the wider history of a quirky, quarrelsome band of spy masters and their special wartime operations as well as how bitter rivalries in London placed the lives of secret agents at risk. It is an audiobook about not so much pigeons as the remarkable people living trapped in occupied Europe who were faced with the choice of how to respond to a call for help - and took the decision to resist.
Ladies of the Canyons: A League of Extraordinary Women and Their Adventures in the American Southwest [Audiobook]
24 February 2018, 23:52
2018 | MP3@64 kbps | 11 hrs 6 mins | 305.48MB
Ladies of the Canyons is the true story of remarkable women who left the security and comforts of genteel Victorian society and journeyed to the American Southwest in search of a wider view of themselves and their world.
Educated, restless, and inquisitive, Natalie Curtis, Carol Stanley, Alice Klauber, and Mary Cabot Wheelwright were plucky, intrepid women whose lives were transformed in the first decades of the 20th century by the people and the landscape of the American Southwest. Part of an influential circle of women that included Louisa Wade Wetherill, Alice Corbin Henderson, Mabel Dodge Luhan, Mary Austin, and Willa Cather, these ladies imagined and created a new home territory, a new society, and a new identity for themselves and for the women who would follow them.
Their adventures were shared with the likes of Theodore Roosevelt and Robert Henri, Edgar Hewett and Charles Lummis, Chief Tawakwaptiwa of the Hopi, and Hostiin Klah of the Navajo. Their journeys took them to Monument Valley and Rainbow Bridge, into Canyon de Chelly, and across the high mesas of the Hopi, down through the Grand Canyon, and over the red desert of the Four Corners, to the pueblos along the Rio Grande and the villages in the mountains between Santa Fe and Taos.
Although their stories converge in the outback of the American Southwest, the saga of Ladies of the Canyons is also the tale of Boston's Brahmins, the Greenwich Village avant-garde, the birth of American modern art, and Santa Fe's art and literary colony. Ladies of the Canyons is the story of New Women stepping boldly into the New World of inconspicuous success, ambitious failure, and the personal challenges experienced by women and men during the emergence of the Modern Age.