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Subject: History

Mersey Built: The Role of Merseyside in the American Civil War

Robert Thorp

June 2017 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-281-4
Availability: In stock
448pp. ¦ $70 £57 €66

‘Mersey Built’ chronicles the little-known commercial battle that raged between North and South during the American Civil War. The South relied on Europe for its military supplies, which the North tried to stop with a naval blockade of all Southern ports. The South retaliated by destroying Northern merchant ships on the high seas, using war ships, secretly procured from British shipyards and smuggled out of Britain by sympathetic British captains using British crews. The Charleston-based business empire headed by George Trenholm provided a conduit for Confederate finance with its Liverpool branch acting as bankers for the Confederacy’s procurement agents. Merseyside, with its extensive docks and numerous shipyards quickly became the epicenter of Confederate operations in Europe. Several British businessmen bought ships specifically to run supplies through the Union blockade, leaving relationships between the United States and Britain strained, close to breaking point. The book relates the history of Trenholm’s commercial empire, its pre-war expansion into Liverpool and the pivotal role it played in supporting the Confederate war effort. The involvement of other Liverpool-based entrepreneurs and their successes and failures in blockade-running is described. Background histories of the Merseyside ship builders who constructed warships and blockade runners for the Confederacy are included as well as several mini-biographies of the Liverpool-based captains who smuggled out warships and braved the Union blockade. Details of each ship built on Merseyside for involvement in the Civil War are listed. The role of the United States consular service and its extensive, Liverpool-based, spy ring is described, as are the efforts of the United States ambassador in London to influence British government policy on neutrality. The author, a direct descendant of a Liverpool ship builder, and a blockade-running captain, brings new insights and previously unpublished facts to light in this fascinating chapter of history.

Mersey Built: The Role of Merseyside in the American Civil War

Robert Thorp

July 2017 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-280-7
Availability: In stock
448pp. [Color] ¦ $105 £86 €99

‘Mersey Built’ chronicles the little-known commercial battle that raged between North and South during the American Civil War. The South relied on Europe for its military supplies, which the North tried to stop with a naval blockade of all Southern ports. The South retaliated by destroying Northern merchant ships on the high seas, using war ships, secretly procured from British shipyards and smuggled out of Britain by sympathetic British captains using British crews. The Charleston-based business empire headed by George Trenholm provided a conduit for Confederate finance with its Liverpool branch acting as bankers for the Confederacy’s procurement agents. Merseyside, with its extensive docks and numerous shipyards quickly became the epicenter of Confederate operations in Europe. Several British businessmen bought ships specifically to run supplies through the Union blockade, leaving relationships between the United States and Britain strained, close to breaking point. The book relates the history of Trenholm’s commercial empire, its pre-war expansion into Liverpool and the pivotal role it played in supporting the Confederate war effort. The involvement of other Liverpool-based entrepreneurs and their successes and failures in blockade-running is described. Background histories of the Merseyside ship builders who constructed warships and blockade runners for the Confederacy are included as well as several mini-biographies of the Liverpool-based captains who smuggled out warships and braved the Union blockade. Details of each ship built on Merseyside for involvement in the Civil War are listed. The role of the United States consular service and its extensive, Liverpool-based, spy ring is described, as are the efforts of the United States ambassador in London to influence British government policy on neutrality. The author, a direct descendant of a Liverpool ship builder, and a blockade-running captain, brings new insights and previously unpublished facts to light in this fascinating chapter of history.

Relearning History

A Question-Driven Approach to the Study of the Past

Joe Regenbogen

August 2017 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-253-1
Availability: In stock
239pp. ¦ $49 £40 €46

For many students, the traditional approach to the study of history does not work. The litany of facts arranged in a chronological sequence often turns out to be mind numbing and forgettable. In addition, they see little relevance between the past and the world they live in today. Relearning History was written for those students. Instead of reviewing the traditional time line of the past, the focus is directed at questions relevant to the present. Why does the two-party system dominate American politics? Why is wealth so unevenly distributed? Why does race and gender still play such a large role in modern society? Why has there never been a World War Three? These “why” questions, along with 11 others, serve as the foundation for a discussion of history so that the study of the past is inexorably linked to a enhanced understanding of the present. Students who are currently enrolled in history classes can use Relearning History to supplement and enrich the traditional curriculum. Some may even want to use it in place of the traditional curriculum. As for those adults who have completed their formal education and never learned much in their earlier history classes, this book will give them the chance to finally study history in a meaningful manner.

Canada before Confederation: Maps at the Exhibition

Chet Van Duzer, Library of Congress and Lauren Beck, Mount Allison University

August 2017 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-266-1
Availability: In stock
272pp. [Color] ¦ $85 £70 €80

Each of the maps featured in this book was showcased in the exhibition “Canada before Confederation: Early Exploration and Mapping,” which took place in several locations, both in Canada and abroad, in Fall of 2017. The authors provide a scholarly study highlighting the importance and unique features of each of these jewels of cartographic history, with particular attention paid to how they demonstrate the development of Canadian identity at the same time that they reveal Indigenous knowledge of the lands now known as Canada.

Elizabeth Craven: Writer, Feminist and European

Julia Gasper

July 2017 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-275-3
Availability: In stock
334pp. ¦ $65 £55 €62

Elizabeth Craven’s fascinating life was full of travel, love-affairs and scandals but this biography, the first to appear for a century, is the only one to focus on her as a writer and draw attention to the full range of her output, which raises her stature as an author considerably. Born into the upper class of Georgian England, she was pushed into marriage at sixteen to Lord Craven and became a celebrated society hostess and beauty, as well as mother to seven children. Though acutely conscious of her relative lack of education, as a woman, she ventured into writing poetry, stories and plays. Incompatibility and infidelities on both sides ended her marriage and she had to move to France where, living in seclusion, she wrote the little-known feminist work Letters to Her Son. In the years that followed, she travelled extensively all over Europe and turned her letters into a travelogue which is one of her best-known works. On her return she went to live in Germany as the companion and eventually second wife of the Margrave of Ansbach. At his court she organised and appeared in theatricals, and wrote several more plays of great interest, including The Modern Philosopher. In 1792 she and the Margrave settled in England, where they were never fully accepted by the more strait-laced pillars of society but mixed with all the musicians and actors and the more rakish of the Regency set. Craven continued to put on her own theatricals and write for the theatre. In her old age, she moved to Naples where she passed her time sailing, gardening and writing her Memoirs. Even in her final years, scandal dogged her, and Craven made her feminist principles and criticisms of the laws of marriage apparent through her involvement in the notorious divorce case of Queen Caroline.

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