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Tom Holland

Recommended Books

Tom Holland is an award-winning historian, biographer and broadcaster.
32 books on the list
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The Many Lives of Marilyn Monroe book cover
The Many Lives of Marilyn Monroe
Sarah Churchwell - 2005-12-27 (first published in 2000)
Goodreads Rating
"After her death in 1962, Marilyn the star became Marilyn the myth: sex goddess and innocent child, crafty manipulator and dumb blonde, liberated woman and tragic loner. Indeed, the writing and rewriting of this endlessly intriguing icon's life has produced more than six hundred books, from the long procession of "authoritative" biographies to the ...
Tom Holland
I finish ⁦@sarahchurchwell⁩’s The Many Lives Of Marilyn Monroe: the best book on a celebrity - indeed, on celebrity - that I think I have ever read.      source
Magnificent Rebels book cover
Magnificent Rebels
The First Romantics and the Invention of the Self
Andrea Wulf - 2022-09-13
Goodreads Rating
From the best-selling author of The Invention of Nature comes an exhilarating story about a remarkable group of young rebels--poets, novelists, philosophers--who, through their epic quarrels, passionate love stories, heartbreaking grief, and radical ideas launched Romanticism onto the world stage, inspiring some of the greatest thinkers of the time...
Tom Holland
Courtesy of @andrea_wulf, this is simultaneously a brilliant study of the origin of subjectivity & selfie-sticks, & a wonderful soap opera: amazing characters, endless bed-swapping, friends turned bitter rivals. Andrea’s book, Magnificent Rebels:      source
Dress in the Age of Jane Austen book cover
Dress in the Age of Jane Austen
Regency Fashion
Hilary Davidson - 2019-11-12
Goodreads Rating
This lively book reveals the clothing and fashion of the world depicted in Jane Austen’s beloved books, focusing on the long Regency between the years 1795 and 1825. During this period, accelerated change saw Britain’s turbulent entry into the modern age, and clothing reflected these transformations. Starting with the intimate perspective of clothi...
Tom Holland
“Each element of Regency men’s dress cost roughly double its female equivalent.” Fascinating detail from @FourRedShoes in her wonderful book, Dress in the Age of Jane Austen      source
George Orwell book cover
George Orwell
English Rebel
Robert Colls - 2014-01-01 (first published in 2013)
Goodreads Rating
An intellectual who did not like intellectuals, a socialist who did not trust the state, a liberal who was against free markets, a Protestant who believed in religion but not in God, a fierce opponent of nationalism who defined Englishness for a generation.Aside from being one of the greatest political essayists in the English language and author o...
Tom Holland
Robert Colls' biography, 'George Orwell: English Rebel' is a brilliant read (as indeed is his hugely enjoyable book on the history of sport, This Sporting Life: Sport & Liberty in England, 1760-1960, which I whole-heartedly recommend)      source
Grave Concerns book cover
Grave Concerns
The Follies and Folklore of Robin Hood's Final Resting Place
Kai Roberts - 2011-12-02
In the modern era, the narrative of Robin Hood's death is increasingly one of the least familiar aspects of the outlaw's legend. Whilst the icon of Robin himself still shines brightly in the psyche of this nation and many others, his story has always been adapted to reflect the dominant concerns and modes of transmission of the era. It is all too c...
Tom Holland
For fans of blood-drinking prioresses, this is the book by @ImbolcFire I mention in the episode. It is a hugely entertaining and informative read!      source
The Last Emperor of Mexico book cover
The Last Emperor of Mexico
The Dramatic Story of the Habsburg Archduke Who Created a Kingdom in the New World
Edward Shawcross - 2021-10-19
Goodreads Rating
The true operatic tragedy of Maximilian and Carlota, the European aristocrats who stumbled into power in Mexico—and faced bloody consequences.In the 1860s, Napoleon III, intent on curbing the rise of American imperialism, persuaded a young Austrian archduke and a Belgian princess to leave Europe and become the emperor and empress of Mexico. They an...
Tom Holland
Fans of magical realist fiction will love @EdwardShawcross's book - except that everything in it actually happened. It is a jaw-dropping story, expertly and thrilling told.      source
The Emergence of the English book cover
The Emergence of the English
Susan Oosthuizen - 2019-04-30
Goodreads Rating
This book takes a critical approach to the dominant explanation for the transformation from post-Roman to 'Anglo-Saxon' society in Britain from the fifth to the eighth century: that change resulted from north-west European immigration into Britain. After testing this paradigm, the author explores the increasing amount of evidence for the gradual ev...
Tom Holland
@ADShimmin @dcsandbrook @TheRestHistory @Real_HistoryGuy @DrSueOosthuizen’s recent (& accessibly short) book on the origins of the English particularly bracing      source
This Sporting Life book cover
This Sporting Life
Sport and Liberty in England, 1760-1960
Robert Colls - 2020-10-27
Goodreads Rating
Why did killing a fox mean liberty? What did parish revels have to do with the Peterloo Massacre? What did animal cruelty have to do with the English constitution? What did the Factory Acts mean for modern football?In This Sporting Life, Robert Colls explains sport as one of England's great civil cultures. The lived experiences of people from all w...
Tom Holland
I’m so enjoying Robert Colls’ book on the history of English sport, #ThisSportingLife. Not just boxing - fox-hunting and poaching too. I had no idea they were so fascinating!      source
Moses the Egyptian book cover
Moses the Egyptian
The Memory of Egypt in Western Monotheism
Jan Assmann - 1998-10-15 (first published in 1997)
Goodreads Rating
Standing at the very foundation of monotheism, and so of Western culture, Moses is a figure not of history, but of memory. As such, he is the quintessential subject for the innovative historiography Jan Assmann both defines and practices in this work, the study of historical memory--a study, in this case, of the ways in which factual and fictional ...
Tom Holland
One of the most thrilling books on Akhenaten I've read is Jan Assman's Moses The Egyptian, in which he relates Tacitus' garbled version of the Exodus myth to buried memories of Akhenaten's heresy. Maybe it will come up when @dcsandbrook & I record this?      source
Escape from Rome book cover
Escape from Rome
The Failure of Empire and the Road to Prosperity (The Princeton Economic History of the Western World, 94)
Walter Scheidel - 2019-10-15
Goodreads Rating
The gripping story of how the end of the Roman Empire was the beginning of the modern worldThe fall of the Roman Empire has long been considered one of the greatest disasters in history. But in this groundbreaking book, Walter Scheidel argues that Rome's dramatic collapse was actually the best thing that ever happened, clearing the path for Europe'...
Tom Holland
I finish @WalterScheidel’s Escape From Rome: a book which ranges across time & space in the best manner of global history, & is not only hugely stimulating, but great fun. Anyone who has ever played Civilization will particularly enjoy it.      source
The Enlightenment book cover
The Enlightenment
Ritchie Robertson - 2021-02-23
History Has Begun by Bruno Maçães
The Northumbrians by Dan Jackson
Fifth Sun by Camilla Townsend
The Secret History of the Roman Roads of Britain by M. C. Bishop
Digging Up Britain by Mike Pitts
The Missing Lynx by Ross Barnett
The Moon by Oliver Morton
Our Place by
The Greek Experience of India by Richard Stoneman
Nothing is True and Everything is Possible by Peter Pomerantsev
On Tyranny by Timothy Snyder
The Life of Samuel Johnson by James Boswell
Angels with Dirty Faces by Jonathan Wilson
The Fortunes of Francis Barber by Michael Bundock
Winter King by Thomas Penn
The Hindus by Wendy Doniger
The Last Wolf by Jim Crumley
The Beginnings of Rome by T. J. Cornell
Remus by T. P. Wiseman
The Hot-Blooded Dinosaurs by Adrian J Desmond
Green Smoke by Rosemary Manning