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Tom Holland


Recommended Books

Tom Holland is an award-winning historian, biographer and broadcaster.
10 books on the list
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Latest Recommendations First
Winter King
Henry VII and the Dawn of Tudor England
Thomas Penn - Mar 06, 2012 (first published in 2011)
Goodreads Rating
It was 1501. England had been ravaged for decades by conspiracy, violence, murders, coups and countercoups. Through luck, guile and ruthlessness, Henry VII, the first of the Tudor kings, had clambered to the top of the heap--a fugitive with a flimsy claim to England's throne. For many he remained a usurper, a false king.But Henry had a crucial asse...
Tom Holland
Jul 22, 2020
@sunneofyork @RisingEver Absolutely. It’s a brilliant book.     source
The Life of Samuel Johnson
James Boswell - Dec 22, 2016 (first published in 1790)
Goodreads Rating
James Boswell was a prominent Scottish biographer, lawyer, and diarist during the late 18th century. Boswell wrote many books and his biography on the great English writer Samuel Johnson is one of the greatest ever written. The Life of Samuel Johnson was published in 1791 and was highly influential in the development of the modern biography....
Tom Holland
Jul 21, 2020
I finish Boswell’s Life of Samuel Johnson, one of my very favourite books, and which I find offers me - just as a classic should - fresh delights & insights with each re-reading. It is a book I know will accompany me over the course of my entire life.     source
The Missing Lynx
The Past and Future of Britain's Lost Mammals
Ross Barnett - Sep 10, 2019
Goodreads Rating
The story of the magnificent lynx--what its extinction in Britain signifies, and how we might turn the ecological tide. In The Missing Lynx, Ross Barnett uses case studies, new fossil discoveries, biomolecular evidence and more to paint pictures of these extinct species, and to explore the significance of the lynx's disappearance in ecological term...
Tom Holland
Jul 19, 2020
It’s a moving, haunting, fascinating book!     source
The Fortunes of Francis Barber
The True Story of the Jamaican Slave Who Became Samuel Johnson’s Heir
Michael Bundock - Mar 31, 2015
Goodreads Rating
This compelling book chronicles a young boy’s journey from the horrors of Jamaican slavery to the heart of London’s literary world, and reveals the unlikely friendship that changed his life. Francis Barber, born in Jamaica, was brought to London by his owner in 1750 and became a servant in the household of the renowned Dr. Samuel Johnson. Although ...
Tom Holland
Jul 19, 2020
Michael Bundock’s biography of Francis Barber, Dr Johnson’s manservant, & the chief beneficiary of his will, is a fascinating book. Barber named two of his sons ‘Samuel’, & his descendants still farm outside Johnson’s native Lichfield     source
Digging Up Britain
Ten Discoveries, a Million Years of History
Mike Pitts - Oct 08, 2019
Goodreads Rating
Digging Up Britain traces the history of Britain through key discoveries and excavations. With British archaeologist Mike Pitts as a guide, this book covers the most exciting excavations of the past ten years, gathers firsthand stories from the people who dug up the remains, and follows the latest revelations as one twist leads to another.Britain, ...
Tom Holland
Nov 12, 2019
A fascinating chapter in @pittsmike’s truly excellent book on recent archaeological discoveries, Digging Up Britain, on Gough’s Cave, concludes on a very Turner Prize note: “making ‘art’ could be an integral part of cutting up and eating people.”     source
On Tyranny
Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century
Timothy Snyder - Feb 28, 2017
Goodreads Rating
A historian of fascism offers a guide for surviving and resisting America’s turn towards authoritarianism.On November 9th, millions of Americans woke up to the impossible: the election of Donald Trump as president. Against all predictions, one of the most-disliked presidential candidates in history had swept the electoral college, elevating a man w...
Tom Holland
Oct 25, 2019
"There isn’t a page of this magnificent book that does not contain some fascinating detail and the narrative is held together with a novelist’s eye for character and theme." #Dominion     source
Also recommended by
Ben Goldacre
The Secret History of the Roman Roads of Britain
M.C. Bishop - Oct 16, 2019 (first published in 2014)
Goodreads Rating
There have been many books on Britain's Roman roads, but none have considered in any depth their long-term strategic impact. Mike Bishop shows how the road network was vital not only in the Roman strategy of conquest and occupation, but influenced the course of British military history during subsequent ages. The author starts with the pre-Roman or...
Tom Holland
Oct 03, 2019
I curl up with @perlineamvalli’s new book, The Secret History Of The Roman Roads Of Britain: a study of their prehistory & their afterlife. It looks absolutely fascinating.     source
The Northumbrians
North-East England and its People -- A New History
Dan Jackson - Dec 01, 2019
Goodreads Rating
The Northumbrians have been overlooked by British and global history, but they've made astonishing contributions to both. Dan Jackson sets out to recover this lost history, exploring the deep roots of Northumbrian culture-hard work and heavy drinking, sociability and sentimentality, militarism and masculinity-through centuries of border warfare and...
Tom Holland
Oct 02, 2019
I finish @northumbriana’s The Northumbrians: North East England & Its People, which is a wonderful book: full of amazing detail, wise, humane & balanced. Often hilarious, often upsetting; in love with its subject, but never blind to its problems. I can’t recommend it enough.     source
The Greek Experience of India
From Alexander to the Indo-Greeks
Richard Stoneman - Feb 05, 2019
Goodreads Rating
An exploration of how the Greeks reacted to and interacted with India from the third to first centuries BCEWhen the Greeks and Macedonians in Alexander's army reached India in 326 BCE, they entered a new and strange world. They knew a few legends and travelers' tales, but their categories of thought were inadequate to encompass what they witnessed....
Tom Holland
Sep 07, 2019
I curl up with Richard Stoneman's new book, The Greek Experience of India: From Alexander to the Indo-Greeks. Impossible to love Herodotus & India both, & not find this theme an infinitely fascinating one...     source
The Moon
A History for the Future (Economist Books)
Oliver Morton - Jun 04, 2019
Goodreads Rating
An intimate portrait of the Earth's closest neighbor--the Moon--that explores the history and future of humankind's relationship with itEvery generation has looked towards the heavens and wondered at the beauty of the Moon. Fifty years ago, a few Americans became the first to do the reverse--and shared with Earth-bound audiences the view of their o...
Tom Holland
May 27, 2019
I finish @Eaterofsun’s The #Moon: A History For The Future. It is probably the best book on astronomy I have ever read. Brilliant on the interface between hard science & the imagination. I learnt so much. It’s also wonderfully written. #Recommended.     source