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Sharon Penman's Here Be Dragons is an absorbing historical novel of power and betrayal, loyalty and political intrigue in thirteenth-century England, Wales and France. Thirteenth-century Wales is a divided country, ever at the mercy of England's ruthless, power-hungry King John. Llewelyn, Prince of North Wales, secures an uneasy truce by marrying the English king's beloved illegitimate daughter, Joanna, who slowly grows to love her charismatic and courageous husband. But as John's attentions turn again and again to subduing Wales – and Llewelyn – Joanna must decide where her love and loyalties truly lie. The turbulent clashes of two disparate worlds and the destinies of the individuals caught between them spring to life in this magnificent novel of power and passion, loyalty and lies. The book that began the trilogy that includes Falls the Shadow and The Reckoning, Here Be Dragons brings thirteenth-century England, France, and Wales to tangled, tempestuous life.
Why do we find polar bears only in the Arctic and penguins only in the Antarctic? Why do oceanic islands often have many types of birds but no large native mammals? As Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace travelled across distant lands studying the wildlife they both noticed that the distribution of plants and animals formed striking patterns - patterns that held strong clues to the past of the planet. The study of the spatial distribution of living things is known as biogeography. It is a field that could be said to have begun with Darwin and Wallace. In this lively book, Denis McCarthy tells the story of biogeography, from the 19th century to its growth into a major field of interdisciplinary research in the present day. It is a story that encompasses two great, insightful theories that were to provide the explanations to the strange patterns of life across the world - evolution, and plate tectonics. We find animals and plants where we do because, over time, the continents have moved, separating and coalescing in a long, slow dance; because sea levels have risen, cutting off one bit of land from another, and fallen, creating land bridges; because new and barren volcanic islands have risen up from the sea; and because animals and plants vary greatly in their ability to travel, and separation has caused the formation of new species. The story of biogeography is the story of how life has responded and has in turn altered the ever changing Earth. It is a narrative that includes many fascinating tales - of pygmy mammoths and elephant birds; of changing landscapes; of radical ideas by bold young scientists first dismissed and later, with vastly growing evidence, widely accepted. The story is not yet done: there are still questions to be answered and biogeography is a lively area of research and debate. But our view of the planet has been changed profoundly by biogeography and its related fields: the emerging understanding is of a deeply interconnected system in which life and physical forces interact dynamically in space and time.
Winner of the Mythopoeic Scholarship Award for Myth and Fantasy Studies (2016) Fantasy worlds are never mere backdrops. They are an integral part of the work, and refuse to remain separate from other elements. These worlds combine landscape with narrative logic by incorporating alternative rules about cause and effect or physical transformation. They become actors in the drama—interacting with the characters, offering assistance or hindrance, and making ethical demands. In Here Be Dragons, Stefan Ekman provides a wide-ranging survey of the ubiquitous fantasy map as the point of departure for an in-depth discussion of what such maps can tell us about what is important in the fictional worlds and the stories that take place there. With particular focus on J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, Ekman shows how fantasy settings deserve serious attention from both readers and critics. Includes insightful readings of works by Steven Brust, Garth Nix, Robert Holdstock, Terry Pratchett, Charles de Lint, China Miéville, Patricia McKillip, Tim Powers, Lisa Goldstein, Steven R. Donaldson, Robert Jordan, and Neil Gaiman and Charles Vess.
The novel Here Be Dragons: A Tale of Mortals, Myths and Mystery takes readers into the past to uncover a man?s ancient Viking roots buried in his psyche. Anna is a writer who draws inspiration for her characters on the island of Mallorca. She meets Nils, a charismatic Dane living in a cave-house. He is a man hiding a lifetime of secrets. Then strange things begin to happen. Anna?s employer falls from his penthouse roof terrace, and Nils is shadowed by a Norse dragon that appears to Anna in her dreams. What is the dragon?s role in the story? What happened to Nils? former wife, and what could he possibly be hiding behind a locked door in his home? The chills are just beginning in Here Be Dragons. ?A very enjoyable book; a fascinating and original take on dragons as agents of fate, with resonances of many modern classic novels. The author clearly has a gift for speech patterns and rhythms, and Anna?s friends are all fizzingly alive, which recommends the book on the basis of its characterization. The plot builds to some spectacular moments as the reader is kept hooked and guessing to the end, with no option but to turn the page.? ? Tony Fyler, editor-in-chief, Jefferson-Franklin Editing
The #1 national bestseller now revised and updated with a new Epilogue. Now aged 75, Peter C. Newman at last tells the story of his stranger-than-fiction life. Try to keep up as we follow his many lives: as a pampered child in a Czech chateau; a Jewish kid in short pants being machine-gunned by Nazi fighter planes on the beach at Biarritz, en route to the last ship to escape from France in 1940; as a refugee on an Ontario farm; as an outsider on a scholarship at Upper Canada College; as a Financial Post journalist, then an author whose Renegade in Power made Canadian politics dramatic and disrespectfully exciting for the first time; as the man who revealed the secrets of the rulers of the Canadian business world in The Canadian Establishment, and other huge business success stories, including The Establishment Man, on Conrad Black; or the millionaire who turned his back on business books and tackled Canadian history (Company of Adventurers and other triumphs), in a career where his work has dominated the bestseller lists in politics, business, history, and current affairs. In the midst of all this were his years at the Toronto Star and Maclean’s where, as editor, he took the magazine weekly – a huge accomplishment. He is still a legend there, where his columns continue to run. He knew and wrote about every prime minister from Louis St. Laurent to Paul Martin and every prominent Canadian – hero or villain – in between. Yet his most interesting character is – Peter C. Newman. Incredibly, this central figure known to millions of Canadians sees himself as a perennial outsider. In personal terms, the rich little Czech boy whose nannies never stayed talks frankly about his marriages and the women he has known before his ultimate marriage to his beloved Alvy. His enthusiasms – from jazz to the Canadian Navy, not to mention his adventures on his beloved sailboat – make for a rich portrait of an astonishingcharacter, one who never stops being controversial. From the Trade Paperback edition.
When Nell Sely moves from sleepy Dorset to Hampstead she leaves behind a childhood of dull teas and oppressive rules for the freedom of the big city. Naive and only nineteen, she becomes embroiled with the wayward John Gaunt and falls in with London's bohemian crowd. In this city of seductive, shifting morals, smoke-filled jazz-clubs and glamorous espresso bars, Nell must master her new found independence and learn to strike her own course.

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