The Crusades; The Industrial Revolution
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This issue’s cover is from a stunning new picture book, Mary’s Secret by David McKee (Andersen Press, 0 86264 909 9, £9.99). An ecological fable about doing without cars, McKee’s story with its bright pictures full of well observed detail is set within Mary’s cheerful family and at her school. His bold, painterly illustrations use the page so confidently and dextrously that their quirky, decorative perspectives seem entirely natural. Thanks to Andersen Press for their help in producing this September cover.
The Industrial Revolution
The Crusades examines the origins, background and outcome of the great battles of faith and fortune fought between Muslims and Christians for control of the Holy Land during the Middle Ages. Using contemporary, historical documents such as diaries, eye-witness accounts and extracts from books, it gives a detailed account of the major Crusades between 1095 to 1270. There is further information about the tactics and weapons used in warfare, the religious fervour which spurred the wars on, and the larger-than-life characters on either side, including the magnificent Saladin and Richard the Lionheart.
The Industrial Revolution uses the same approach, equally successfully, to examine the causes of the Industrial Revolution in the 18th and 19th centuries, and its extraordinary impact on our world. The book charts the development of the powered machinery and transport which led to the explosion of manufacturing industry, and also looks at how these technological advances created a parallel revolution in the way people lived and worked.
Both titles, as their back cover blurbs suggest, present a fresh and original look at key events in history. They are well researched and written, and the use of documents provides an accessible and fascinating glimpse of history through the words of those who were actually there. Attractively illustrated with photographs and clearly laid out, they will help bring history alive for older readers.