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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.
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
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