Rasputin: A Short Life [EPUB]
24 March 2014, 06:46
2014 | EPUB | 1.96MB
GRIGORY RASPUTIN, the Siberian peasant-turned-mystic, was both fascinating and unfathomable. As the only person able to relieve the symptoms of haemophilia in the Tsar’s heir Alexis, he gained almost hallowed status within the Imperial court. Yet he played the role of the simple man, eating with his fingers and boasting, ‘I don’t even know the alphabet’. During the last decade of his life, he and his band of ‘little ladies’ came to symbolise all that was decadent and remote about the Imperial Family – especially when it was rumoured that he was not only shaping Russian policy during the First World War, but also enjoying an intimate relationship with the Tsarina. Rasputin’s role in the downfall of the tsarist regime is beyond dispute.
But who was he really? Prophet or rascal? In this unputdownable short biography – which draws on new material, including an interview with one of the last people alive who actually saw Rasputin, as well as unpublished memoirs, diaries and letters – Frances Welch turns her inimitable wry gaze on one of the great mysteries of Russian history.
Last Man Standing [EPUB]
15 March 2014, 04:04
2012 | EPUB | 13.44MB
It hardly seems credible today that a nineteen-year-old boy, just commissioned into the Seaforth Highlanders, could lead a platoon of men into the carnage of the Battle of the Somme. Or that, as the machine gun bullets whistled past and shells exploded, he could maintain his own morale to lead a platoon, keeping its discipline and cohesion, in spite of desperate losses. Norman Collins, the author of this superb memoir, was this remarkable man.
Despite being wounded three times, Norman lived to see his hundredth birthday so becoming one of the last surviving combatants of this terrible conflict. Through his eloquent memories recorded late in life and a rare collection of letters that he wrote from the front, he tells the story of his life as a young subaltern at the front during 1916 and 1917. Using Norman’s own words, this book follows him from his childhood in Hartlepool to his subsequent service in France. The book also covers such shattering events as the German naval assault on Hartlepool in December 1914 when, as a seventeen-year-old, Norman was subjected to as big a bombardment as any occurring on the Western Front at that time.Norman’s enlistment and training are covered in detail in his letters, as is his posting to France and the epic attack at Beaumont Hamel in November 1916. Service at Arras in April 1917 and in the weeks prior to the Third Battle for Ypres is also recorded before serious injury hospitalized him for a year.
Norman’s love for, and devotion to, the men under his command shine out in this book and his stories are gripping and deeply moving. They are illustrated by a rare collection of private photographs taken at or near the front by Norman himself, although the use of a camera was strictly proscribed by the Army. Most of the images have never been published before.
Mary Queen Of Scots [EPUB]
15 March 2014, 03:58
2010 | EPUB | 5.24MB
She was the quintessential queen: statuesque, regal, dazzlingly beautiful. Her royal birth gave her claim to the thrones of two nations; her marriage to the young French dauphin promised to place a third glorious crown on her noble head.
Instead, Mary Stuart became the victim of her own impulsive heart, scandalizing her world with a foolish passion that would lead to abduction, rape and even murder. Betrayed by those she most trusted, she would be lured into a deadly game of power, only to lose to her envious and unforgiving cousin, Elizabeth I.
Here is her story, a queen who lost a throne for love, a monarch pampered and adored even as she was led to her beheading, the unforgettable woman who became a legend for all time.