The book tackles the events related to the dramatic Battle of the Atlantic, the longest military campaign of WW2, which ran from 1939 until Germany surrendered in 1945. The conflict over the dominion of the sea was crucial to Britain's survival, and in Jonathan Dimbleby's account, military history is complemented by the stories of the men who fought in the war and their families.
His Majesty King Charles III
His Majesty King Charles III (then HRH The Prince of Wales) shared five of his favourite books with The Reading Room.
By Jonathan Dimbleby
An unputdownable and gripping account of a deadly conflict in a vast, trackless ocean that could so nearly have ended Britain's hopes of winning the Second World War - made even more enthralling by the author's constant referral to German archive material. -
By William Blacker
A touching and deeply moving account of a fast-disappearing way of life and culture in Transylvania, a rare and uniquely special corner of Eastern Europe. -
As he arrives in Romania after the fall of the Berlin wall in 1989, William Blacker finds a medieval world he thought was lost forever. The charm of life in the Carpathian mountains and the Saxon villages is so irresistible that he decides to stay, and for many years, he lives according to the cycle of the seasons, ploughing with horses and scything the hay. Now this world is slowly disappearing, but the magic of this country, with its traditional way of life untouched by modernity, emanates from this remarkable book.
By Robert Harris
From one of the most captivating of storytellers - a brilliantly imaginative combination of history and fiction, with original letters, speeches and descriptions of events in Cicero's lifetime, to produce another irresistible masterpiece with a warning from history. -
The second instalment in the trilogy dedicated to Cicero, Lustrum follows immediately from Imperium. The book starts at the beginning of Cicero's consulship and ends with his exile, narrating the power struggles of the late Roman republic from the perspective of Cicero's secretary and slave Tiro. A dramatic portrayal of a violent and brutal time, in which ruthless men use alliances and betrayals to seize power for themselves.
By Martha Gellhorn
A series of the best and frequently hilarious descriptions of disastrous experiences on overseas trips from the late, lamented American travel-writer, Martha Gellhorn. -
The book is an account of Martha Gellhorn's "best horror journeys", including in war-torn China and the Caribbean, the Soviet Union, Africa, and the Red Sea. These adventurous expeditions, punctuated by narrow rescues and escapes, are written with surprising humour and profound insight which make them remarkably captivating.
By Adam Zamoyski
A beautifully written and, at times, sympathetic portrait of a remarkable, fascinating and talented man whose fatal hubris eventually destroyed him. -
Zamoyski investigates the rise and fall of one of the greatest political figures in modern history. In this landmark biography, Napoleon is a man, ambitious and tragic, the architect of his own fortune as well as his demise. Through the use of primary sources in several European languages, Zamoyski delineates a memorable picture of the life of Napoleon.