The Battle of Hastings in 1066 is the one date forever seared on the British national psyche. It enabled the Norman Conquest that marked the end of Anglo-Saxon England. But there was much more to the Normans than the invading army Duke William shipped over from Normandy to the shores of Sussex. How a band of marauding warriors established some of the most powerful dominions in Europe – in Sicily and France, as well as England – is an improbably romantic idea. In exploring Norman culture in all its regions, Leonie V Hicks is able to place the Normans in the full context of early medieval society.
The Flower of Empire : An Amazonian Water Lily, The Quest to Make It Bloom, and the World It Created
In 1837, while charting the Amazonian country of Guiana for Great Britain, German naturalist Robert Schomburgk discovered an astounding’vegetable wonder’–a huge water lily whose leaves were five or six feet across and whose flowers were dazzlingly white. In The Flower of Empire, Tatiana Holway tells the story of this magnificent lily, revealing how it touched nearly every aspect of Victorian life, art, and culture. Holway’s colorful narrative captures the sensation stirred by Victoria regia in England, particularly the intense race among prominent Britons to be the first to coax the flower to bloom.