The Blue by Nancy Bilyeau

Cover of The Blue by Nancy Bilyeau

The Blue is a historical thriller of industrial espionage in the world of 18th century porcelain manufacture. The heroine is a talented artist who wishes to become a serious painter, but, as a woman, that path is blocked to her in England. In Venice it would be a different story, but she doesn't have the money to go there. An unscrupulous nobleman offers to finance her journey to Venice if she accepts a job at a porcelain factory and steals the formula for a stunning new shade of blue...

Napoleon: A Life by Adam Zamoyski

Cover of Napoleon: A Life by Adam Zamoyski

In this detailed biography of Napoleon, Polish historian Adam Zamoyski gives us a balanced view of his character: not a hero, but not a villain, either. Zamoyski focuses on Napoleon's formative years and personal life, not so much on the battles, although that is covered as well.

Women and Power by Mary Beard

Cover of Women and Power by Mary Beard

Classicist Mary Beard writes, in two brief essays, about how the voices of powerful women in Western civilization have been suppressed though the years, from ancient times to the present day. She gives examples throughout history, from the ancient Greeks to the present.

Birth of the Chess Queen by Marilyn Yalom

Cover of Birth of the Chess Queen by Marilyn Yalom

Birth of the Chess Queen tells the story of the chess queen's evolution from the origins of the game to the present day. The queen was not always part of the game, and when she was first introduced, she was not the powerful piece she is today. Historian Marilyn Yalom discusses how the queen came to be the most powerful piece on the chessboard, and tells the stories of several strong real-life queens in the Middle Ages and Renaissance who influenced the evolution of the chess queen.

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