New York Times best sellerFor the first time in decades comes a fresh look at the fabled Tudor dynasty, comprising some of the most enigmatic figures ever to rule a country.´´A thoroughly readable and often compelling narrative...Five centuries have not diminished the appetite for all things Tudor.” (Associated Press)For the first time in decades, here, in a single volume, is a fresh look at the fabled Tudor dynasty, comprising some of the most enigmatic figures ever to rule a country. Acclaimed historian G. J. Meyer reveals the flesh-and-bone reality in all its wild excess.In 1485, young Henry Tudor, whose claim to the throne was so weak as to be almost laughable, crossed the English Channel from France at the head of a ragtag little army and took the crown from the family that had ruled England for almost four hundred years. Half a century later his son, Henry VIII, desperate to rid himself of his first wife in order to marry a second, launched a reign of terror aimed at taking powers no previous monarch had even dreamed of possessing. In the process he plunged his kingdom into generations of division and disorder, creating a legacy of blood and betrayal that would blight the lives of his children and the destiny of his country.The boy king Edward VI, a fervent believer in reforming the English church, died before bringing to fruition his dream of a second English Reformation. Mary I, the disgraced daughter of Catherine of Aragon, tried and failed to reestablish the Catholic Church and produce an heir. And finally came Elizabeth I, who devoted her life to creating an image of herself as Gloriana the Virgin Queen but, behind that mask, sacrificed all chance of personal happiness in order to survive.The Tudors weaves together all the sinners and saints, the tragedies and triumphs, the high dreams and dark crimes, that reveal the Tudor era to be, in its enthralling, notorious truth, as momentous and as fas 1. Language: English. Narrator: Robin Sachs. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/rand/002198/bk_rand_002198_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
When one hears the term ´´Victorian,´´ many images come to mind. For some, the term conjures up visions of lace and gloves and delicate fans. Others think of tight corsets and even tighter morals. Others, swayed perhaps by one too many British costume dramas, envision gentle elegance and long lost beauty. Naturally, few people think of multiple dead bodies cast about in the streets or dark bedrooms, most mutilated to a shocking degree, and yet, those tragic images played a significant role not only in late Victorian London but ever since. In 1888 and 1889, a killer stalked the dark backstreets of the city through the notoriously overcrowded and crime-ridden Whitechapel district, murdering young women and then cutting their bodies up like a butcher. The Jack the Ripper case continues to fascinate historians and amateur sleuths so much that people have dubbed themselves Ripperologists, and since nobody knows for sure who the killer was, every aspect of the crimes is up for discussion, down to who the actual victims of the Ripper were and whether there was actually more than one Ripper. In addition to considering so many suspects, the police were only certain that five of the victims (the ´´canonical five´´) were killed by Jack the Ripper, but there were at least 11 documented murders over the course of several years, and today those are called the Whitechapel murders. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Scott Clem. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/acx0/081997/bk_acx0_081997_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
When one hears the term ´´Victorian´´, many images come to mind. For some, the term conjures up visions of lace and gloves and delicate fans. Others think of tight corsets and even tighter morals. Others, swayed perhaps by one too many British costume dramas, envision gentle elegance and long lost beauty. Naturally, few people think of multiple dead bodies cast about in the streets or dark bedrooms, most mutilated to a shocking degree, and yet, those tragic images played a significant role not only in late Victorian London but ever since. In 1888 and 1889, a killer stalked the dark backstreets of the city through the notoriously overcrowded and crime-ridden Whitechapel district, murdering young women and then cutting their bodies up like a butcher. There have been a countless number of serial killers throughout history, and certainly more prolific ones, but the timing, circumstances, and unsolved nature of the case continue to make Jack the Ripper the most famous serial killer in history. The murders came at a time when media coverage could be both more acute and more widespread, and it allowed the public a closer look into how police agencies operated at the time, exposing both their strengths and shortcomings. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Scott Clem. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/acx0/080213/bk_acx0_080213_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
There is no force in the world that can block the powerful march of our army and people, who are holding high the banner of the suns of great Comrade Kim Il-sung and great Comrade Kim Jong-il and continuing to advance under the leadership of the party and with strong faith in sure victory. (Kim Jong-un) In 2014, the International Space Station unleashed a series of photographs that had netizens around the globe simultaneously slapping their cheeks in disbelief. They showed striking satellite shots of the world at nighttime, illuminated by its dazzling city lights. But it was a close-up snap of the China-North Korea border that elicited the biggest reactions, for the image, as terrific as it was, was equally troubling. The images show an enormous patch of pitch-blackness flanked by two sweeping stretches of gold, the coruscating clusters of light marking the largest cities in the land. On one side lay the shimmering Chinese territories, and the other, the glittering grounds of South Korea. The patch of black in question was so dark it could very well be mistaken for an extension of either the Yellow Sea or the Sea of Japan. At first glance, it would seem as if there was not an inkling of life in sight, had it not been for the tiny twinkle floating in the center of the abyss. This twinkle was none other than the city of Pyongyang, and the missing piece of the puzzle was North Korea. North Korea has long been the butt of jokes, and it has been a longstanding target of international criticism, but the startling satellite image demonstrated the truly catastrophic conditions North Koreans find themselves in. Statistics show that the average South Korean uses up to 10,162 kilowatt hours of power per year, whereas their neighbors in the north consume only 739. This is only one amongst a slew of stumbling blocks affecting the state. The entire state is frozen in time. Notwithstanding a fractional sliver of the capital, where the Suprem 1. Language: English. Narrator: Dan Gallagher. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/acx0/098262/bk_acx0_098262_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
My loving people, we have been persuaded by some that are careful of our safety, to take heed how we commit ourself to armed multitudes for fear of treachery; but I assure you, I do not desire to live to distrust my faithful and loving people.... I know I have the body but of a weak and feeble woman, but I have the heart and stomach of a king, and of a king of England too, and think foul scorn that Parma or Spain, or any Prince of Europe should dare to invade the borders of my realm. (Queen Elizabeth I) On July 12, 1588, the legendary Spanish Armada started for the English channel. The Spanish plan was to take this invasion, led by the duke of Parma, to the coast of southeast England, where they would be released to conquer Elizabethan England for the Spanish monarch and Catholic Christendom. The Armada included over 150 ships, 8,000 sailors, and 18,000 soldiers, and it boasted the firepower of 1,500 brass guns and 1,000 iron guns. Just leaving port took the entire Armada two days. As everyone who has been taught history now knows, the Armada was one of the most famous military debacles in history. Now, whether it was simple mathematical miscalculation or plain bad luck, coupled with English fire ships assailing the Spanish ships, the Armada was decisively defeated. The Armada ultimately found its reluctant way home in awful condition, having permanently lost over one third of the ships. And on the Irish coast the Armada had suffered further losses. Not yet knowing what had happened to the Armada, internal English gentry and militias sought to secure and protect England. This was when Elizabeth I consolidated her image as mother-protector of her people. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Maurice R. Cravens II. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/acx0/033527/bk_acx0_033527_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
In the 1950s, Confidential magazine, America´s first celebrity scandal magazine, revealed Hollywood stars´ secrets, misdeeds, and transgressions in gritty, unvarnished detail. Deploying a vast network of tipsters to root out scandalous facts about the stars, including their sexual affairs, drug use, and sexuality, publisher Robert Harrison destroyed celebrities´ carefully constructed images and built a media empire. Confidential became the best-selling magazine on American newsstands in the 1950s, surpassing Time, Life, and the Saturday Evening Post. Confidential´s spectacular rise was followed by an equally spectacular fall. Stars filed multimillion dollar libel suits against the magazine, and the state of California, prodded by the film studios, prosecuted its publisher for obscenity, culminating in a famous, star-studded Los Angeles trial in 1957. The lawsuits forced Confidential to end its scandal-mongering, and stopped printing its sleazy gossip in 1958. However, the magazine´s legacy lives on in our culture´s obsession with gossip and celebrity scandal. This is Confidential´s story, how the magazine revolutionized celebrity culture and American society in the 1950s and beyond. 1. Language: English. Narrator: Donna Postel. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/tant/012672/bk_tant_012672_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.
Sprightly swing music spills across the dimly lit club. The grayish curtains of cigarette smoke part every once in a while to reveal a sparkling stage and tables upon tables of patrons, some incurably inebriated and others high on the fast-paced nightlife. Fabulous flappers in shimmery cocktail dresses and stylish feather headbands throw their hands up and stomp their feet to the addictive beat on the dance floor. Smartly dressed men, their hair neatly parted and slicked back, toss fistfuls of dice onto the plush green baize of the craps tables. Some hover over roulette wheels, staring intently at the spinning flashes of silver, while others finger their playing cards as they sip on tumblers of whiskey, eyeing both the river and the tower of tokens next to them. Frisky tunes, chic fashion, and American gambling are nostalgic, rose-tinted images most choose to project when visualizing the Roaring Twenties, but the other side of the coin brought an uninviting, much harsher reality that most would prefer to sweep under the rug. The first real estate bubble was on the brink of bursting, and progress was evident, but painfully slow, which gave way to yet another era of violent riots, lynchings, and other forms of oppression imposed on minorities.Then, of course, there were mobsters. Remove the silk three-piece suits, burnished Tommy guns, and obscene stacks of cash from the equation, and one would be left with limp, bullet-ridden bodies either slumped over their steering wheels or sprawled out like broken rag dolls on the floors of public establishments, the walls painted with blood spatters and shattered glass littered about. These, they say, are the lucky ones, for their corpses, though laid out as a public message, provide the deceased´s loved ones with some form of closure. Over the decades, dozens involved in this deadly game disappeared altogether, never again to see the light of day.One of the most integral members of that criminal underworld was 1. Language: English. Narrator: Scott Clem. Audio sample: http://samples.audible.de/bk/acx0/138385/bk_acx0_138385_sample.mp3. Digital audiobook in aax.