lecture-postBooks by Canon Dr Anne Davison
Accredited Lecturer, National Association of Decorative and Fine Arts Societies (NADFAS)
The following books are the outcome of a series of lectures and were written with encouragement from those who heard these lectures, either on cruise ships, or at other UK venues.
They form part of the In Brief Series: Books for Busy People and are aimed at the general reader who is looking for a short, accessible overview rather than a heavy academic tome. They are available in both e-book and paper back form at Amazon, Barnes&Noble and Smashwords. Alternatively you can order through me by using the Contact button above.

New Publication: A History of China

A History of China

China - EBOOK - 300dpi ready copyNapoleon Bonaparte, when referring to China, famously said; “China is a sleeping giant. Let her sleep, for when she wakes, she will shake the world.” His words were prophetic. For centuries China slumbered. Then, about forty years ago she woke up and since that time has risen to become the world’s second largest economy by GDP with the world’s greatest purchasing power.

New Publication: A HISTORY OF RUSSIA

A History of Russia EBOOK version 300dpiRussia has recently marked one hundred years since the 1917 Russian Revolution and the overthrow of the Romanov Dynasty. Seventy-four years of Soviet rule followed, until 1991, when the USSR (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) was dissolved.

It could be said that the Soviet experiment was simply a blip in the long history of the Russian people. But how, or why did the blip happen? More significantly, is the blip slowly being forgotten, while people and events from Russia’s ‘glorious’ past are re-emerging into the Russian consciousness?


Some recent reviews appearing on Amazon for The Ottoman Empire:

Excellent Big Picture Book:   Very well written with the book hitting all the key themes and forces. Everyone should read this book to understand the current wars/conflicts in Middle East. June 2017

An Informative Read:   Husband enjoyed reading this on our holiday to Turkey. August 2017

A Really Useful Book About a Complex and Obscure History: Concise, readable – a really useful book about a complex and obscure history. Puts the modern Balkans, Turkey and the Levant in context.  August 2017

Brief: As stated, it is “In Brief”. Not a book to read if you desire an in depth dive into the Ottoman Empire. If you know little about the subject and want a quick overview this is a great book. Very easy to read and put together nicely by the author. August 2017

Great Little Book:  Covers a time line from 1200 up to the end of WWI and is great brief history of the Ottoman Empire. September 2017

700 Years in a Few Pages: The book is an appetizer for deeper studying the history of that area. The links to today reality in a huge zone of the world are enlightening. September 2017

Great Read: This is a very interesting book. Explains how the world got where we are. Full of history we did not learn in school. September 2017





New Publication: THE MUGHAL EMPIRE


image 1 jpgIn 1526, a Turkic-Mongol warlord named Babur invaded Hindustan and established the Mughal Empire.



The first book in the In Brief” Books for Busy People series was From the Medes to the Mullahs: a history of Iran.  It was published in 2013.  Since that time there have been many changes not only in Iran, but also in the region generally. Furthermore, the election of Donald Trump as President Elect of the United States will undoubtedly affect relations between Iran and the West.

The book has therefore been updated and includes a revised Epilogue which follows:


On the 15th June 2013 Hassan Rouhani was democratically elected President of Iran, so replacing Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Rouhani, who is considered to be a ‘moderate’ compared to his predecessor, is a cleric who studied at the prestigious seminary at Qom in Iran and later at Glasgow Caledonian University. He was previously Deputy Speaker of the Iranian Parliament and also led the Iranian team in negotiations with the UK, France and Germany on Iran’s nuclear programme.

NEW PUBLICATION: The Ottoman Empire


Today the hot spot of unrest is Syria, the repercussions of which are reverberating across the Western world. From the outbreak of the Syrian Civil War in early 2011, it has been estimated that by February 2016, the total number of deaths due to the war stood at some 470,000 (Syrian Observatory for Human Rights). Internally displaced persons are given as over 7,600,000 with over 4,000,000 people made refugees (United Nations Commissioner for Refugees).

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NEW PUBLICATION  The Ottoman Empire

This book begins with the arrival of the Turkic tribes into Anatolia in the 13th Century and covers the main events up to and including the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire in 1923.

The final part of the book explores the link between today’s conflicts in the Middle East and the peace process following the First World War. A better understanding of this last period could help people make more sense of the complex situation in the Middle East today.

The book is written in a clear and accessible style with useful maps to help the reader navigate through what is a complex history.

As with other books in the ‘In Brief’ series, this book is aimed at the general reader who wants to understand a particular historical topic but does not have the time or inclination to read a heavy academic tome.

Available at Amazon UK as ebook and paperback. Buy

Recent Reviews for ‘Paul of Tarsus: a First Century Radical’

Two recent reviews from verified purchasers on Amazon for Paul of Tarsus:  a First Century Radical

Info for Bible Study”

“Like this book. very easy to read, down to earth, everyday language. Full of background information as well as facts related to Paul’s life. Useful”


” Very brief but comprehensive in its own way. Gives an overview of the political, and cultural, world of the first century Roman empire and how St Paul fits in to the bigger picture.”

Available at Amazon UK as ebook and paperback  BUY

at Barnes and Noble as ebook and paperback   BUY

at Smashwords in all ebook formats    BUY



arab spring protestors in silhouette with crescent moon and star sign, vertical frame


Every time we hear that another young girl has left the security of her home to join the Islamic State we ask ‘Why?’ What is the attraction of this barbaric terrorist group that draws girls, and even young mothers with their children, from countries across Europe, North America, Russia, the Balkans and even Saudi Arabia and the Gulf?

New Publication:

arab spring protestors


This book is essential reading for anyone who wants to better understand the complex world of militant Islam.  It asks what is the justification, for example, for the barbaric executions of innocent people by the so-called ‘Islamic State’? On what grounds can this group claim authority to establish a ‘caliphate’ covering territory in Northern Iraq and Syria?

Post: The Importance of Hadith in Islam

The militant group that calls itself ‘Islamic State’, otherwise known as IS, is terrorising innocent people across Syria and Iraq and threatening the stability of the region.  The group professes to be following a ‘pure’ form of Islam that is founded upon the teaching of the Prophet Muhammad and the early generations of Muslims.

In a forthcoming book, Making Sense of Militant Islam, I explore the roots of this extremism starting from the early Islamic period through to today.

The following is a short excerpt from Chapter One that looks at the importance of Hadith (sayings of the Prophet).  My suggestion is that groups such as IS lift selective texts from the Qur’an to justify their brutal acts without reference to the historical context, the Hadith or a long tradition of Islamic scholarship.

New Publication:

ABRAHAM’S CHILDREN: Jew Christian Muslim Commonality and Conflict cover 11.7

This book attempts to show how close Judaism, Christianity and Islam are in terms of their history and beliefs.

It has been written mainly for those who are less familiar with Islam and so there is an emphasis on the early Islamic history. However, it is hoped that readers of all Faiths or none, may find the content of interest, particularly in the present climate where an understanding of the history of Islam is important.

Latest book reviews

The books are now selling quite well and seem to be especially popular with people who attend the corresponding lecture. Here is a sample of some of the reviews received on Amazon.

Holy Roman Empire: power politics papacy

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Francois-Marie Arouet, better known as Voltaire, famously said that ‘the Holy Roman Empire was neither Holy, nor Roman nor an Empire’. Taken at face value this is probably right. If we dig a little deeper, however, we may discover how and why, this entity came to be so named.

The foundation of the Holy Roman Empire is traditionally dated from the coronation of Otto the Great in AD 962. However, the reign of Charles I, otherwise known as ‘the Great’ or Charlemagne, who was crowned Emperor of the Romans by Pope Leo III on Christmas Day AD 800, is usually considered to be the first Emperor of the Empire.