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March 2019 Non-Fiction Releases

The Greatest Siege in British History
By (author): Roy Adkins By (author): Lesley Adkins
9780735221642 Paperback, Trade English General Trade HISTORY / Military / General Mar 12, 2019
$24.00 CAD
Active 5.41 x 8.38 x 1.01 in 480 pages 8-PP COLOR INSERT & 8-PP B/W INSERT (INSRT STK); 7 B/W MAPS Penguin Books
A rip-roaring account of the dramatic four-year siege of Britain’s Mediterranean garrison by Spain and France—an overlooked key to the British loss in the American Revolution

For more than three and a half years, from 1779 to 1783, the tiny territory of Gibraltar was besieged and blockaded, on land and at sea, by the overwhelming forces of Spain and France. It became the longest siege in British history, and the obsession with saving Gibraltar was blamed for the loss of the American colonies in the War of Independence.

Located between the Mediterranean and Atlantic, on the very edge of Europe, Gibraltar was a place of varied nationalities, languages, religions, and social classes. During the siege, thousands of soldiers, civilians, and their families withstood terrifying bombardments, starvation, and diseases. Very ordinary people lived through extraordinary events, from shipwrecks and naval battles to an attempted invasion of England and a daring sortie out of Gibraltar into Spain. Deadly innovations included red-hot shot, shrapnel shells, and a barrage from immense floating batteries.

This is military and social history at its best, a story of soldiers, sailors, and civilians, with royalty and rank and file, workmen and engineers, priests, prisoners of war, spies, and surgeons, all caught up in a struggle for a fortress located on little more than two square miles of awe-inspiring rock. Gibraltar: The Greatest Siege in British History is an epic page-turner, rich in dramatic human detail—a tale of courage, endurance, intrigue, desperation, greed, and humanity. The everyday experiences of all those involved are brought vividly to life with eyewitness accounts and expert research.

Story Locale: Gibraltar and the United Kingdom

CAPTIVATING STORY: The desperate tale of the British soldiers and sailors holding fast against an endless onslaught of bombardment, shipwrecks, terrifying diseases, and failed rescues makes for narrative history of the highest order.

WONDERFUL HARDCOVER RECEPTION: Early reviews for the book were glowing and noted how strong a candidate Gibraltar is for a big screen adaptation.

KEY TO AMERICAN HISTORY: The plight of Gibraltar and its deep connection with the Revolutionary War raging in Britain’s American colonies at the same time will have strong resonance with readers in the U.S.

HUSBAND AND WIFE AUTHOR PAIR: Roy and Lesley Adkins have established themselves as masters of the military and cultural history of Britain in the 18th and 19th centuries. This new book will appeal to readers of their previous title, Jane Austen’s England, as well as fans of Antony Beevor’s Stalingrad (a comparison made by multiple reviewers of Roy Adkins’ book Nelson’s Trafalgar).

MILITARY AND CIVILIAN LIFE EXAMINED: In writing about soldiers on both sides of the conflict as well as the many civilians who lived through the siege, the authors provide a fascinating glimpse into the lives of individuals operating at the limits of human endurance.

Roy and Lesley Adkins are husband-and-wife historians and archaeologists and the bestselling authors of Jane Austen’s England, Nelson’s Trafalgar, Jack Tar, and The Keys of Egypt, among other books. They live in Devon, England.

Author Residence: Devon, England

Marketing: Academic marketing and Library promotions

Publicity: New in paperback media attention

Author Website:

Praise for Gibraltar:

“Well-researched and briskly written…worthy of the most melodramatic Hollywood blockbuster.”—Dominic Sandbrook, Sunday Times

“Fascinating and timely.” —Daily Mail

“A definitive new book…it recounts in detail the stirring story of the conflict and Lord Heathfield’s key role in ensuring a momentous British victory.” —Sussex Express

“The Adkins bring the siege vividly to life, especially the everyday experiences of all those involved in the struggle…An epic page-turner.”—Julian Stockwin

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