A network of complex currents flowed across Jacobean England. This was the England of Shakespeare, Jonson, and Bacon; the era of the Gunpowder Plot and the worst outbreak of the plague. Jacobean England was both more godly and less godly than the country had ever been, and the entire culture was drawn taut between these polarities. This was the world that created the King James Bible. It is the greatest work of English prose ever written, and it is no coincidence that the translation was made at the moment "Englishness," specifically the English language itself, had come into its first passionate maturity. The English of Jacobean England has a more encompassing idea of its own scope than any form of the language before or since. It drips with potency and sensitivity. The age, with all its conflicts, explains the book.This P.S. edition features an extra 16 pages of insights into the book, including author interviews, recommended reading, and more.
Nicolson describes the group of black-gowned individuals who compared Bible translations and argued fine details between 1604 and 1611 to create the Bible we know today.
One of the supreme masterpieces of world literature, the Homeric saga of the shipwrecks, wanderings, and homecoming of the master tactician Odysseus encompasses a virtual inventory of the themes and attitudes that have shaped Western culture. The tale of Odysseus's encounters with such obstacles as Calypso, Circe, Scylla and Charybdis, the Sirens, and the lotus-eaters, and his dramatic return to Ithaca and his patient wife, Penelope, forms a prototype for all subsequent Western epics.Robert Fitzgerald's much-acclaimed translation, fully possessing as it does the body and spirit of the original, has helped to assure the continuing vitality of Europe's most influential work of poetry. This edition includes twenty-five new line drawings by Barnaby Fitzgerald.(Book Jacket Status: Jacketed)
Spanning the most turbulent and dramatic years of English history--from the 1520s through 1650--Quarrel with the King tells the remarkable saga of one of the greatest families in English history, the Pembrokes, following their glamorous trajectory across three generations of change, ambition, resistance, and war. With vivid color and fascinating detail, acclaimed historian Adam Nicolson recounts the story of a century-long power struggle between England's richest family and the English Crown--a fascinating study of divided loyalties, corruption, rights and privilege, and all the ambiguities involved in the exercise and maintenance of power and status.
In Seize the Fire, Adam Nicolson, author of the widely acclaimed God's Secretaries, takes the great naval battle of Trafalgar, fought between the British and Franco-Spanish fleets in October 1805, and uses it to examine our idea of heroism and the heroic. Is violence a necessary aspect of the hero? And daring? Why did the cult of the hero flower in the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries in a way it hadn't for two hundred years? Was the figure of Nelson-intemperate, charming, theatrical, anxious, impetuous, considerate, indifferent to death and danger, inspirational to those around him, and, above all, fixed on attack and victory-an aberration in Enlightenment England? Or was the greatest of all English military heroes simply the product of his time, "the conjurer of violence" that England, at some level, deeply needed? It is a story rich with modern resonance. This was a battle fought for the control of a global commercial empire. It was won by the emerging British world power, which was widely condemned on the continent of Europe as "the arrogant usurper of the freedom of the seas." Seize the Fire not only vividly describes the brutal realities of battle but enters the hearts and minds of the men who were there; it is a portrait of a moment, a close and passionately engaged depiction of a frame of mind at a turning point in world history.
In October 1805 Lord Horatio Nelson, the most brilliant sea commander who ever lived, led the British Royal Navy to a devastating victory over the Franco-Spanish fleets at the great battle of Trafalgar. It was the foundation of Britain's nineteenth-century world-dominating empire. Adam Nicolson's "Seize the Fire" is not only a close and revealing portrait of a legendary hero in his final action but also a vivid account of the brutal realities of battle; it asks the questions: Why did the winners win? What was it about the British, their commanders and their men, their beliefs and their ambitions, that took them to such overwhelming victory
Adam Nicolson's powerful memoir reveals the history of one of Europe's most famous gardens, and the ongoing battle over its future From lavish palace for Elizabethan nobles to dreary jailhouse for eighteenth-century prisoners of war, from well-manicured country house for a string of landed families to weed-choked ruin, Sissinghurst, in Kent, has become one of the most illustrious estates in England--and its future may prove to be just as intriguing as its past. In the 1930s, English poet Vita Sackville-West and her husband, Harold Nicolson, acquired land that had once been owned by Vita's ancestors. Together they created elaborate gardens filled with roses, apple trees, vivid flowers, and scenic paths lined with hedges and pink brick walls. Vita, a gardening correspondent for the Observer and a close friend of Virginia Woolf, opened Sissinghurst to the public. But the thriving working farm began to change after her death. Her son Nigel instituted sweeping changes, including transferring ownership of the estate to Britain's National Trust in 1967 to avoid extensive taxation. For author Adam Nicolson, the grandson of Harold and Vita, Sissinghurst was always more than a tourist attraction; it was his home. As a boy, Nicolson hiked the same trails that Roman conquerors walked centuries before. With wistful imagination, fascination with natural beauty, and connection to the land, Nicolson has returned home to restore Sissinghurst's glory. His journey to recreate a sustainable and functioning farm, despite resistance from the National Trust, makes for a compelling memoir of family, history, and the powerful relationship between people and nature.
A bestselling author's passionate memoir about restoring life to one of the world's greatest gardens Sissinghurst Castle is a jewel in the English countryside. Its chief attraction is its celebrated garden, designed in the 1930s by the poet Vita Sackville-West, lover of Virginia Woolf. As a boy, Adam Nicolson, Sackville-West's grandson, spent his days romping through Sissinghurst's woods, streams, and fields. In this book, he returns to the place of his bucolic youth and finds that the estate, now operated by Britain's National Trust, has lost something precious. It is still unquestionably a place of calm and beauty but, he asks, where is the working farm, the orchards, the cattle and sheep? Nicolson convinces the Trust to embrace a simple idea: Grow lunch for the two hundred thousand annual visitors. Sissinghurst is a personal biography of a place and an inspiring story of one man's quest to return a remarkable landscape to its best, most useful purpose. Nicolson is an entertaining and charming writer and this book will capture fans of Michael Pollan, Alice Waters, and Barbara Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, Miracle.
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