WorldCat Identities

Seward, Desmond 1935-

Works: 69 works in 480 publications in 4 languages and 20,362 library holdings
Genres: Biography  History  Biographies  Military history  Church history  Pictorial works 
Roles: Author, Composer
Publication Timeline
Most widely held works about Desmond Seward
Most widely held works by Desmond Seward
Richard III, England's black legend by Desmond Seward( Book )

25 editions published between 1983 and 2015 in English and Undetermined and held by 1,474 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

A biography of the controversial British monarch examines the evidence of his guilt in politically motivated murders and attempts to portray his complex personality
The monks of war; the military religious orders by Desmond Seward( Book )

34 editions published between 1972 and 2002 in English and held by 1,281 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

The military religious orders emerged during the Crusades as Christendom's stormtroopers in the savage conflict with Islam. Some of them still exist today, devoted to charitable works. The Monks of War is the first general history of these orders to have appeared since the eighteenth century. The Templars, the Hospitallers (later Knights of Malta), the Teutonic Knights, and the Knights of the Spanish and Portuguese orders were 'noblemen vowed to poverty, chastity and obedience, living a monastic life in convents which were at the same time barracks, waging war on the enemies of the Cross'. The first properly disciplined Western troops since Roman times, they played a major role in defending the crusader kingdom of Jerusalem, in the 'Baltic Crusades' which created Prussia, in the long reconquest of Spain from the Moors, and in fighting the 'Infidel' right up to Napoleonic times. This celebrated book tells the whole enthralling story, recreating such epics as the sieges of Rhodes and Malta and the destruction of the Templars by the Inquisition. - publisher's description
Prince of the Renaissance; the golden life of François I by Desmond Seward( Book )

23 editions published between 1972 and 1974 in English and Undetermined and held by 1,050 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

A biography of the king of France remembered as a patron of the arts, who constructed some of the splendid chateaux of the Loire Valley
Napoleon and Hitler : a comparative biography by Desmond Seward( Book )

24 editions published between 1988 and 2013 in English and Russian and held by 1,027 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Napoleon Bonaparte and Adolf Hitler were two of history's greatest dictators. This book examines the lives of these remarkable men and demonstrates the numerous striking parallels between their careers and their roles in shaping the destiny of modern Europe
The Wars of the Roses : through the lives of five men and women of the fifteenth century by Desmond Seward( Book )

22 editions published between 1995 and 2007 in English and held by 1,025 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Profiles the tumultuous era of the Wars of the Roses, the brutal 15th-century struggle to decide which branch of the royal family would win the crown of England, through the stories of five major players: William Hastings, a brave Yorkist soldier and charming courtier who rose from relative obscurity to become one of King Edward's closest advisers (and his pimp); the head of England's most ancient noble family, John de Vere, Earl of Oxford, who was determined to win the crown back for the Lancastrians; Lady Margaret Beaufort, the richest woman in England, a pious but dangerous noblewoman of royal descent and the mother of the future Henry VII; John Morton, a brilliant priest-lawyer and political genius who was skillful enough to be relied on by both Yorkist and Lancastrian kings to handle important state matters; and the beautiful daughter of a rich London merchant and sometime mistress of kings, Jane Shore.--Adapted from dust jacket
Henry V : the scourge of God by Desmond Seward( Book )

7 editions published between 1987 and 1996 in English and held by 920 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

The life of Henry V as told by Desmond Seward
Marie Antoinette by Desmond Seward( Book )

14 editions published between 1981 and 2015 in English and German and held by 904 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

A biography of the consort of Louis XVI, King of France, until her execution during the French Revolution in 1793
Napoleon's family by Desmond Seward( Book )

14 editions published between 1986 and 2015 in 3 languages and held by 904 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

No family in history ascended the thrones of Europe so quickly - or were deposed so fast - as the Bonapartes. Like some mafia capo, Napoleon heaped honors and riches on his siblings, giving them the crowns of Spain, Naples, Tuscany, Rome, Holland and Westphalia. In Napoleon's Family Desmond Seward recounts the saga of this extraordinary clan of social-climbing Corsican emigres. Their back-biting and bickering for honors was incessant, often vicious if deplorably entertaining, a constant embarrassment to their august brother. They had small talent for government and even less for battles, saving all their energies for dissipation. One brother was a drunken wastrel, another a venal womanizer, a third a paranoid depressive. The sisters were notorious for their innumerable lovers - among whom were Metternich and the violinist Paganini - and the emperor himself called them whores. Napoleon's Family is more than a scandalous family chronicle, however. It offers a penetrating view of the inner Napoleon - a military genius who brought France to the height of glory, a farsighted ruler who initiated social and economic reforms, yet also a man who could not escape from his Corsican background and was unable to control worthless brothers and sisters. - Author's agent
Eleanor of Aquitaine, the mother queen by Desmond Seward( Book )

19 editions published between 1978 and 2014 in English and held by 782 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

“A monstrous injurer of heaven and earth,” as Shakespeare referred to this powerful medieval matriarch, Eleanor of Aquitaine's reign as England's stormiest and most ambitious queen has never been matched. As the greatest heiress in Europe, she was in turn Queen of France and Queen of England; among her sons were Richard the Lionheart and King John. A magnificent independent ruler in her own right, she lost her power when she married Louis VII of France. She received neither influence nor fame by her second marriage to King Henry II, who jailed her for fifteen years for conspiring and supporting their son's claim to the throne. Her husband was succeeded by their son, King Richard the Lionheart, who immediately released his mother from prison. Eleanor then acted as Regent while Richard launched the Third Crusade. Her loveliness and glamour, her throwing-off of the constraints that shackled women of the twelve century, and her very real gifts as a politician and ruler make Eleanor's story one of the most colorful of the High Middle Ages
The first Bourbon : Henri IV, King of France and Navarre by Desmond Seward( Book )

12 editions published between 1971 and 1972 in English and held by 748 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

The Bourbon kings of France by Desmond Seward( Book )

7 editions published between 1976 and 2013 in English and held by 729 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

"They begin with the dashing figure of Henri IV, with his courage, gaiety and sixty-four mistresses; they include figures such as the Sun King Louis XIV and Louis XVI who ended under the guillotine; they close with the little-known "Henri V" - expected to return and rule France in 1873 but whose refusal to abandon the Lily banner of the Bourbons for the Tricolore finally lost the throne."--Cover page [4]
The last white rose : [the secret wars of the Tudors] by Desmond Seward( Book )

18 editions published between 2010 and 2015 in English and held by 653 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

One of the most dramatic periods of British history, the Wars of the Roses didn't end at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485. Despite the death of Richard III and Henry VIIs victory, it continued underground into the following century with plots, pretenders and subterfuge by the ousted white rose faction. In a brand new interpretation of this turning point in history, well known historian Desmond Seward reviews the story of the Tudors' seizure of the throne and shows that for many years they were far from secure. He challenges the way we look at the reigns of Henry VII and Henry VIII, explaining why there were so many Yorkist pretenders and conspiracies, and why the new dynasty had such difficulty establishing itself. King Richard's nephews, the Earl of Warwick and the little known de la Pole brothers, all had the support of dangerous enemies overseas, while England was split when the lowly Perkin Warbeck skilfully impersonated one of the princes in the tower in order to claim the right to the throne. Warwick's surviving sister Margaret also became the desperate focus of hopes that the White Rose would be reborn. The book also offers a new perspective on why Henry VIII, constantly threatened by treachery, real or imagined, and desperate to secure his power with a male heir, became a tyrant
Caravaggio : a passionate life by Desmond Seward( Book )

5 editions published between 1998 and 2013 in English and held by 635 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

A portrait of the Baroque painter highlights the many contradictions of his life, contrasting his criminal record with his achievements as a painter of religious experience against the background of life in early seventeenth-century Italy
Metternich : the first European by Desmond Seward( Book )

13 editions published between 1991 and 2015 in English and German and held by 577 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Biography of Clemons von Metternich, who destroyed Napoleon, directed Habsburg Censtria's policy for forty years, and tried to unify Europe
The demon's brood : a history of the Plantagenet dynasty by Desmond Seward( Book )

2 editions published in 2014 in English and held by 567 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

A vivid and colorful history of the most dominant royal dynasty in English history, from Richard the Lionheart and Edward the Black Prince to Henry IV and Richard III
Eleanor of Aquitaine by Desmond Seward( Book )

4 editions published between 1979 and 2013 in English and held by 498 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

"Eleanor of Aquitaine (French: Aliénor d?Aquitaine; Éléonore de Guyenne; 1122 or 1124 ? 1 April 1204) was one of the wealthiest and most powerful women in Western Europe during the High Middle Ages, a member of the Ramnufid dynasty of rulers in southwestern France. She became Duchess of Aquitaine in her own right while she was still a child, then later queen consort of France (1137?1152) and England (1154?1189)."--Wikipedia
Jerusalem's traitor : Josephus, Masada, and the fall of Judea by Desmond Seward( Book )

6 editions published between 2008 and 2009 in English and held by 449 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

"When the Jews revolted against Rome in 66 CE, Josephus, a Jerusalem aristocrat, was made a general in his nations army. Captured by the Romans, he saved his skin by finding favor with the emperor Vespasian. He then served as an adviser to the Roman legions, running a network of spies inside Jerusalem, in the belief that the Jews only hope of survival lay in surrender to Rome. As a Jewish eyewitness who was given access to Vespasians campaign notebooks, Josephus is our only source of information for the war of extermination that ended in the destruction of Jerusalem and its Temple, and the amazing times in which he lived. He is of vital importance for anyone interested in the Middle East, Jewish history, and the early history of Christianity."--Jacket
The burning of the vanities : Savonarola and the Borgia Pope by Desmond Seward( Book )

6 editions published between 2006 and 2012 in English and held by 262 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

"In the 1490s, Girolamo Savonarola, a visionary friar, dominated Renaissance Florence, terrifying the city with his uncannily accurate prophecies. Best remembered for his 'burning of the vanities' - the destruction of 'profane art' in public bonfires - Savonarola has often been caricatured as a hell-fire fanatic. Yet Victorian England saw him as an Italian Martin Luther, while his career inspired George Eliot's novel, Romola. Acclaimed author Desmond Seward casts new light on this controversial and contradictory figure." "Savonarola prophesied the French invasion of Italy with alarming precision, and foretold the deaths of Lorenzo the Magnificent and Pope Innocent VIII. Yet there was more to him than prophecies of doom. He restored republican government to Florence and many of its citizens - including Michelangelo and Machiavelli - remained convinced that no better Italian government had ever existed." "Savonarola's undoing was his denunciation and attempt to depose of the Borgia Alexander VI, one of the most corrupt popes in history. Had he succeeded, the Reformation might have been avoided. But in the end Alexander turned the Florentines against Savonarola and destroyed him. They stormed his friary and, after a mockery of a trial during which he was tortured by the strappado and condemned as a heretic, he was hanged and burned in chains." "In this wide-ranging biography Desmond Seward portrays Savonarola as a surprisingly human figure. Exploring Savonarola's early years in Ferrara, his birthplace, Seward highlights the fact that an outsider had such an impact on Florence. He draws on Philippe de Commine's memoirs to analyse Savonarola's attitude towards the French invaders, examines Savonarola's eerie ability to see into the future, and looks at what really perished in the 'burning of the vanities'. Dramatic, colourful and compelling, The Burning of the Vanities brings to life an extraordinary man whose story is one of the great Renaissance tragedies."--Jacket
Old Puglia : a portrait of south eastern Italy by Desmond Seward( Book )

4 editions published in 2009 in English and held by 58 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

"Puglia is the heel stretching down from the spur of the Italian boot. It boasts very beautiful landscapes, wonderful old cities with Romanesque cathedrals, Gothic castles and a great wealth of Baroque architecture. And yet, though far from inaccessible, until quite recently it was seldom visited by western tourists." "Today, however, Puglia is becoming fashionable as "an alternative Tuscany". There are radio and television features on it, travel supplements which describe its beaches and cooking, and supermarkets stock Apulian wine, oil, bread and pasta. Yet almost nothing about the region has been published in English since the days of Norman Douglas and the Sitwells. One can find "holiday histories" of Tuscany, but there is no popular introduction to Apulian history, not even in Italian. This book has been written to fill the gap by providing a simple, readable study of the region."--Jacket
The dancing sun : journeys to the miracle shrines by Desmond Seward( Book )

4 editions published between 1993 and 2015 in English and held by 19 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

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Audience level: 0.30 (from 0.05 for Jerusalem' ... to 0.76 for The dancin ...)

The Wars of the Roses : through the lives of five men and women of the fifteenth century
Alternative Names
Desmond Seward Brits historicus

Desmond Seward historian

Seward, Desmond

スアード, デズモンド

English (257)

German (4)

Russian (3)

Polish (1)

The monks of war; the military religious ordersNapoleon and Hitler : a comparative biographyThe Wars of the Roses : through the lives of five men and women of the fifteenth centuryThe last white rose : [the secret wars of the Tudors]Caravaggio : a passionate lifeEleanor of AquitaineJerusalem's traitor : Josephus, Masada, and the fall of JudeaThe burning of the vanities : Savonarola and the Borgia PopeOld Puglia : a portrait of south eastern Italy