Description - Gunpowder by Clive Ponting
For many, gunpowder is associated with Guy Fawkes and the attempt to blow up parliament on 5 November 1605. Fewer people know that the formula for gunpowder was in fact discovered more than 1,000 years ago - in China - and by accident. nown as 'fire-drug', its origin was the alchemists' search for immortality, 'the elixir of life', and it was initially a medicine, not an explosive. It is a myth that the Chinese used gunpowder only for fireworks; in fact, within a few hundred years of the discovery, the Chinese military was equipped with every type of weapon that ever used gunpowder - bombs, incendiaries, rockets, mines, guns and cannons. his fascinating book tells the story of the huge impact of gunpowder on every state and empire in the world. For 400 years the Chinese kept it to themselves, until a Mongol soldier leaked the secret to the Islamic world, where gunpowder played a crucial role in the rise of the great empires of the Ottomans and the Mughals- the spectacular capture of Constantinople in 1453 was accomplished through new siege tactics, while India was conquered with muskets and artillery mounted on 700 carts held together with ox harnesses. ven more important was t
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(198mm x 130mm x 17mm)
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
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Author Biography - Clive Ponting
Clive Ponting was until recently Reader in Politics and International Relations at the University of Wales, Swansea. His Green History of the World was an international bestseller, and his revisionist biography of Churchill raised a storm of controversy. Available in Pimlico are his most recent books- The Pimlico History of the Twentieth Century; World History- A New Perspective; Thirteen Days- The Road to the First World War; and The Crimean War. He recently took early retirement and now lives on a small Greek island where he is creating a Mediterranean garden and cultivating olives.