The Diligent: A Voyage Through the Worlds of the Slave Trade by Robert Harms (Perseus Press, 17.99 [pounds sterling]), uses the private journal of an officer on a French slaver of 1731 to provide a richly detailed and rounded portrait of the,slave trade and the people involved in it at every level.
Voyages of Delusion: The Search for the Northwest Passage in the Age of Reason by Glyn Williams (HarperCollins, 15.99 [pounds sterling]) charts the often doomed attempts during the 18th century to navigate the treacherous seas from Hudson Bay to the Pacific.
Batavia's Graveyard by Mike Dash (Weidenfeld and Nicolson (14.99 [pounds sterling]) follows the author's previous success, Tulipomania, with a study of the aftermath of `history's bloodiest mutiny' aboard a Dutch East India ship in 1628-29.
Moving forward in time, The Indian Mutiny 1857 by Saul David (Viking, 20 [pounds sterling]) is a thorough account of the Bengal Army's revolt and near victory against their colonial masters.
David Livingstone: Mission and Empire by Andrew Ross (Hambledon and London, 19.95 [pounds sterling]) presents a fresh look at the life and career of the famous Scottish explorer, and his journeys through southern Africa.
The Long Recessional: The Imperial Life of Rudyard Kipling by David Gilmour (John Murray, 22.50 [pounds sterling]) examines another iconic figure of empire and his impact on the British public.
Closer to home, Abject Loyalty: Nationalism and Monarchy in Ireland during the Reign of Queen Victoria by James H. …