Books

Lady Bette and the Murder of Mr Thynn

This is the true story of Lady Bette, fourteen years old and immensely wealthy, who is tricked by her unscrupulous grand-mother into marrying Thomas Thynn, a man three times her age and notoriously debauched. Even the decadent world of Restoration London is shocked. And it is even more shocked when Bette runs away and a few weeks later, Thynn is gunned down in the street by three hired assassins. Who was behind the murder? Was it the glamorous Count Konigsmark, who was rumoured to be Bette’s lover? Was it a plot by Catholics intent on destroying a key player in the Protestant faction? Or was it Bette herself?

The reader is led through the turmoil of the streets, taverns, coffee  houses and brothels of London into the Court at Whitehall, the stately homes of England – Syon, Petworth, Longleat and Althorp – and the palaces of Paris, Rome and The Hague.

The rich and famous rub shoulders with obscure foot-soldiers, watermen and newspaper hacks. Lives criss-cross and collide in the atmosphere of violence and insecurity engendered by religious fanaticism and political conspiracy. Meticulously researched, the narrative unfolds to reveal a vivid and accurate portrayal of Restoration society.

“expertly explored…fascinating”  Christopher Hirst INDEPENDENT 14 March 2014

“the stuff of gothic romance…in this dashing revival of the case” Iain Finlayson TIMES 22 March 2014

“as wild a ride through Restoration England as one could hope to get….an intriguing, heart-breaking story”  Leah Rhyne BOOKSHOTS

Listen to the opening chapter read by Katie ScarfeLady B audio

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Maritime History Books

 

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The first comprehensive illustrated guide to ships lost at sea and the treasures they have yielded, capturing the romance and the risks of treasure hunting.

Riveting accounts tell the story of 40 of the most significant wrecks of all time.

Exquisite hand drawn maps illustrate sea routes and shipping danger areas throughout history.

Spectacular colour photographs depict the boats, salvage techniques and treasure recovered from the seas.

A comprehensive gazetteer plots the sites of more than 1400 wrecks on detailed maps.

 

 

The Tek SingTek Sing Cover was one of the last great Chinese ocean-going junks – part of a tradition stretching back to the days of Zheng He and the legendary treasure ships.

There were nearly 200 people on board when it sank in 1822 with a loss of life greater than the Titanic.

Its excavation has yielded the largest and most varied cargo of porcelain ever salvaged, with pieces dating from the 15th through to the 19th century. It is also the only Chinese junk which has ever been found where it has been possible to discover the story behind the sinking. What emerges is a dramatic tale encompassing both treachery and heroism. arrogance and greed, played out against a back ground of opium smuggling, piracy and mass emigration.

 

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The seas of Northern Europe are probably the most heavily travelled in history and there are literally thousands of wrecks lying in what is relatively shallow water.

Among these a significant proportion may be regarded as high-value –  either in financial terms or because of their potential contribution to historical knowledge – but few have been precisely located.

This book identifies about 300 sites, giving concise details of ship, voyage, and cargo, and describes  in detail fifteen detailed case studies of wrecks chosen to illustrate the range of problems likely to be encountered by anyone diving on these sites.

Covering the last 2000 years, these include a wide variety of ships from a Roman trading vessel to a German liner sunk in 1945.

 

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The book tells the gripping stories of fortunes both lost and found. It explores seventeen individual ships selected for their historic importance, the scientific innovation behind their discovery, the personal tragedies that befell those involved or the glamour of the extraordinary wealth they once contained.

Detailed maps show the location of more than 170 ships including the Titanic and the Lusitania.

Each wreck encapsulates a moment in time, and each one provides a poignant memorial to its own age. Presented in chronological order, the stories of these wrecks will appeal to historians, scientists, sailors and everyone interested in the secrets of the sea, the treasure it has yielded and what still lies on the ocean bed.

 

 

 

 

 

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