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This month’s best historical books

Gibraltar: The Greatest Siege in British History

By Roy and Lesley Adkins

Little, Brown, £20, hardback, 480 pages

Daring sea battles, flaming shipwrecks and an attempted invasion of England: all feature in this spirited retelling of the late-18th-century Siege of Gibraltar, the longest in British history. The tiny territory, just off the Iberian Peninsula, somehow became a key battleground as France and Spain attempted to join forces and defeat Britain in the ongoing American War of Independence – recapturing land they regarded as rightfully theirs as they did so. Besieged for more than three-and-a-half years, British forces and ordinary people on ‘the Rock’ endured starvation and disease, and Roy and Lesley Adkins’ account never loses sight of the human story at the heart of an extraordinary international incident.

BOOK OF THE MONTH

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About History Revealed

"With the release of Victoria and Abdul, starring Judi Dench, we uncover the story behind Queen Victoria's love affair with India. From the dawn of the British Empire to Indian Independence, follow the Crown's tumultuous rule of the subcontinent. Also inside, get a blow-by-blow of the first mass tank battle of World War I, and find out how these machines have developed over the last 100 years. You can also meet the real Prince of Persia, Xerxes, and find out what happened after his infamous fight against 300 Spartans."