The Caribbean and the World
From the moment Columbus gazed on the land he mistook for India, the islands of the Caribbean have been the subject of daydreams and fantasy. This absorbing book, the result of ten years’ travel, strips away the myths to reveal the real Caribbean, a region that has produced some of the world’s most influential artists, activists, writers, musicians and sportsmen, as its people speak for themselves about their home and its place in the world.
Can Any Mother Help Me?
This book’s title was originally a plea from a lonely young mother in the 1930s, which sparked a flood of sympathetic responses, resulting in a private women’s magazine and many lifelong friendships. Fascinated by these remarkable ladies, the author has compiled some of their articles on children, work, love and politics; photographs; and contributors’ biographies, providing a unique social history of ordinary 20th-century women.
A Visitor's Guide to Shakespeare's London
This time-traveller’s guide takes the reader back to a London not entirely unlike ours, a city of drinking, dining, entertainment and shopping. And though many buildings have been obliterated by fire, Blitz and development, the street plan remains. Like any reliable guidebook, it provides information on when to visit, how to get there – ‘the Gravesend voyage is very difficult and its length depends on the weather’ – where to stay and what to see.
Life in the Georgian Court
When Queen Anne died in 1714, George, Elector of Hanover, acceded to the British throne. Organized in four main acts – Childhood, Marriage, Scandal and Death – rather than as a comprehensive history, this is a collection of true stories from the Georgian era. Romantic, tragic, eccentric and sometimes gory, the tales are engagingly told, revealing the real people beneath the wigs and pomp of the period, and complemented by a useful timeline and a section of black-and-white portraits.
Ancestors in the Arctic
A Photographic History of Dundee Whaling
Drawn from the collections of Dundee Art Galleries and Museums, this volume of early photographs shows the sailing ships and the highly skilled crews of the Dundee whaling industry, often set against the dramatic ice seas and landscapes of the Arctic. Offering insights into an almost forgotten aspect of Dundee’s history, the book demonstrates the importance of whaling for the city between the mid 18th century and the First World War.
From Crimea to Afghanistan: the Real Lives of Women Behind the Men of Uniform
Through the centuries, army wives have had to contend with anxiety, separation, injury, bereavement, post-traumatic stress, and the struggle to maintain a normal home life in abnormal circumstances. Using interviews, letters and diaries, this remarkable history gives them a voice, sometimes for the first time. It traces their experiences from the Crimean War – the last in which wives followed their husbands to the front – to the new breed of independent women supporting their men through the war in Afghanistan.
Guide to Britain's Working Past
The impact of the industrial revolution on Britain is unmistakable in the form of bridges, factories, railways and canals, but evidence of industry goes back further to mills, mines and forges of the medieval period. This regional guide to key industrial sites around Britain includes the most significant transport and industrial museums as well as factories, potteries, mills and mines. Entries include information on location, admission prices and opening hours.
The Farmer's Wife
The Life and Work of Women on the Land
Agriculture is widely perceived as a male endeavour, yet throughout history, farmers’ wives have been central to the running of many farms. In addition to their responsibilities for children and the home, women worked the land, milked the cows and took care of the business side. Illustrated with more than 250 historic photographs, this book records and celebrates the life and work of rural women from the Middle Ages until the coming of mechanization after the First World War.
The Fun of the Fifties
Ads, Fads and Fashion
British consumer culture in the 1950s reflected a newly optimistic nation, eager to be seduced by such luxuries as cars, household gadgets, toys, records and a host of exciting branded groceries. Robert Opie, the founder and curator of the Museum of Brands, celebrates the era with evocative descriptions and nostalgic images ranging from chocolate bars, cigarette packets and magazines to advertisements for washing machines, televisions and aspirational holiday destinations.
Custard Tarts and Broken Hearts
Drawing on the true story of the Bermondsey women’s strike of 1911, this novel tells the story of Nellie Clark, a determined young factory worker whose meagre wages are all that keep her siblings from starvation. As war looms, and strikes and riots erupt across the country, Nellie faces hardship and loss, and makes a promise that will change her life for ever.
Peacock or Enigma?
Philosopher or poseur, aristocrat or democrat, austere classicist or flamboyant eccentric? More than 200 years after Beau Brummell dazzled London with his elegance, the dandy remains an enigma. This entertaining, richly anecdotal history charts the evolution of dandyism from London to Paris, St Petersburg to Hollywood. Along the way, we meet a long line of men – Byron, Disraeli, Oscar Wilde, F Scott Fitzgerald, and Noël Coward among them – who dedicated their lives to making a stand against drab conformity.
How the Women of Paris Lived, Loved and Died in the 1940s
How did the women of Paris survive the grim years of German occupation – and how, in the aftermath of liberation, did they come to terms with their actions? This first in-depth account of the lives of ordinary women in the occupied city charts the experiences of collaborators and resisters, actresses and prostitutes, teachers and writers, Nazis and Jews, in an atmosphere where sex became currency and life-or-death decisions were faced every day.
My Life as a Nurse in the 1950s
Exchanging her native Belfast for Cumbria, Patricia Jordan worked as a midwife and district nurse in Borrowdale during the 1950s. This memoir recalls her tough nursing training in London, tells how a romance with a patient took her to the North West and recounts her many heart-warming and sometimes heartbreaking experiences as her work took her into people's homes at times of crisis and celebration.
From Pre-Raphaelites to Punk
London has always been home to outsiders, people who can't – or won't – abide by the rules of respectable society. This entertaining, anecdotal history charts two centuries of bohemianism, including such colourful characters as Oscar Wilde and Aubrey Beardsley, the Bloomsburyites and Bright Young Things, and Dylan Thomas boozing through the Blitz. It is also a guide to the places where Bohemia flourished: the Café Royal, the Colony Room and the Gargoyle Club.
A Dance Through Time
Images of Western Social Dancing from the Middle Ages to Modern Times
Where depictions of peasant revels may be exuberant and unfettered, the stately codes of formal dance before the modern era created a tension between sobriety and decorum and underlying emotion or sexual tension. This art history curates images of dance from the Bodleian Library and explores their different meanings and themes, including how artists have conveyed the movement of dance technically and the social and historical information that can be gleaned from depictions of dancing, instructional illustrations and satirical sketches.
'I Was Transformed'
Frederick Douglass: An American Slave in Victorian Britain
In the summer of 1845, Frederick Douglass, a young slave catapulted to fame by his bestselling autobiography, arrived in Liverpool for a two-year tour of Britain and Ireland. Drawing on a wide range of sources on both sides of the Atlantic, this absorbing history explores the ‘liberating sojourn’ that bought Douglass’s freedom, paid for by British supporters. It charts his return to the USA as an international celebrity, and his later life through the Civil War and its aftermath.
When the Massachusetts Bay authorities responded to months of accusations by executing 14 women, five men and two dogs for witchcraft, they made the name of Salem synonymous with murderous mass hysteria. In her vivid narrative of this seminal episode in American history, Pulitzer-winner Schiff profiles the leading figures, takes the reader into Salem’s houses, taverns, streets and courtrooms and explores how the adolescent girls at the centre of the crisis responded to their repressive Puritan surroundings. Felt-tip mark on lower trimmed edge and American-cut pages.
A Colourful History of Cosmetics
From prehistoric body art and ancient Egyptian anti-ageing preparations, through lethal white lead and crocodile dung (both used to make the face paler) in Roman times, medieval pomanders and the painted faces of 16th-century aristocrats, to radium night cream in the 1930s, Susan Stewart traces the history of cosmetics and the ideals of beauty that inspired men and women to take such terrible risks in the fight against time and the wrinkle.
Call the Doctor
A Country GP Between the Wars Tales of Courage, Hardship and Hope
Working as a doctor in London's East End and then on a hospital train and at the Front during the First World War formed Ronald White-Cooper's training for his medical career, which was then spent as a local GP in the South Devon town of Dartmouth. This memoir provides a host of stories and medical anecdotes from the pre-penicillin and pre-NHS world of the first half of the 20th century.
Miller of Dee
The Story of Chester Mills and Millers, their Trades and Wares, the Weir, the Water Engine and the Salmon
Corn mills on the River Dee by the King’s Pool were built in the eleventh century and that part of Chester and Handbridge became one of the most important medieval and post-medieval industrial sites in Britain. In this illustrated industrial history, Roy Wilding presents a detailed look at the many wares besides flour – leather goods, paper, snuff and needles – that were produced by the mills; and he also describes fishing in the Dee.
The Justice Women
The Female Presence in the Criminal Justice System 1800–1970
Today we are accustomed to seeing female police officers, barristers and judges, but this only came about through more than a century of struggle. This absorbing book traces the history of the fight for equality and professional status through the lives of pioneering women in the legal system. They include Edith Smith, the first woman police officer to be sworn in, Lilian Wyles, the first female chief inspector, and the remarkable judge Rose Heilbron.
None Dare Oppose
The Laird, The Beast and the People of Lewis
In 1844, James Matheson, having made his fortune selling opium in China, bought the Isle of Lewis, but left it in the charge of his 'chamberlain', an unscrupulous lawyer named Donald Munro. This book reveals how Munro seized every office of civic, legal and industrial power in the community, which he ruled with monstrous brutality – and how the islanders rose up and brought about his downfall.
Moustaches, Whiskers & Beards
The extravagant whiskers of prominent Victorians such as Charles Darwin and WG Grace seemed impossibly archaic until the recent 'hipster' fashion reinvented the wearing of long beards for young men for the first time since the hippies of the 1960s. This book traces the history of fashions in facial hair from the ancients to the present day.
1956: The World in Revolt
In January 1956, the home of Martin Luther King, the leader of the Montgomery Improvement Association, was bombed; by December, the black citizens’ campaign had ended segregation on the city’s buses. In this survey of 1956, Simon Hall describes how frustration with the post-war order caused ordinary people across the world – in places as far-flung as Algeria, Eastern Europe, South Africa, Cyprus and Cuba – to speak out, take to the streets and sometimes die in the bid for greater freedoms.
In this second, updated edition of a pioneering work in the social history of Britain and the Welfare State, Welshman explores the idea that an underclass has been successively reinvented since 1880, in Britain and the US. After discussing general ideas such as the undeserving poor and the lumpenproletariat, the study examines the continuities and differences in concepts ranging from the ‘social residuum’ of the 1880s, through the ‘problem family’ of the 1950s to today’s ‘troubled families’.
A Downstairs History of Britain from the Nineteenth Century to Modern Times
From the large staff running an Edwardian estate to the harried housemaid of a cramped middle-class home, servants were once an integral part of British life. Richly entertaining and impeccably researched, this fascinating history uses letters and diaries to bring to life the day-to-day experience of men and women whose lives were dedicated to providing for their employers’ personal needs and social status, and reflects on why, in a more egalitarian age, we look back on those times with nostalgia.
Dirty Old London
The Victorian Fight Against Filth
With mud and horse dung filling its streets, and soot, smoke and the stench of rotten food in the air, Victorian London was infamous for its squalor. As he guides the reader through the filthy underbelly of the vast metropolis, Lee Jackson describes how reformers struggled to stem the tide of pollution, from the dustmen who made huge profits by recycling waste to Joseph Bazalgette, whose great 82-mile network of sewers still serves the modern city.
Stars in Battledress
A Light-Hearted Look at Service Entertainment in the Second World War
Many of the stars of post-war British entertainment cut their teeth in Army entertainment; established artistes as part of ENSA and, braving the front lines, Stars in Battledress using talent drawn from the serving ranks. This book recounts the stories of such members as Charlie Chester and Spike Milligan as well as tales of the post-war Combined Service Entertainment in which Frankie Howerd and Stanley Baxter learned their trade.
Why Did the Chicken Cross the World?
The Epic Saga of the Bird That Powers Civilization
There are currently more than 20 billion chickens on the planet, constituting humanity’s most important source of protein. But how did a humble fowl rise from the thickets of South Asian jungles to a position of such global supremacy? Reframing how we think about all domesticated animals, this history of our relationship with chickens ranges over four continents to trace their vital role in human cultures and the spread of civilization, from ancient Egyptian processions to the latest flu vaccines.
The Life of Two Countries, England and Germany, in Many Stories
Two world wars have all but erased the memory that Britain and Germany were once the best of friends. This absorbing history charts three centuries of cooperation between allies bonded by blood, religion and culture. Wide-ranging and richly anecdotal, it also recounts the stories of individuals – from the royal family through writers and musicians to ordinary people working abroad – whose lives straddled two nations, and how their loyalties were put to the test after 1914.
The Year That Changed Britain
Few years have seen such seismic change as 1956. Khrushchev’s ‘secret speech’ exposed the crimes of Stalin and Soviet tanks rolled into Hungary, disillusioning loyal communists worldwide, while the debacle of Suez spelled the end of British Empire. This entertaining social history charts the political and cultural events of that momentous year, which saw the emergence of rock ’n’ roll and commercial television while Osborne’s Look Back in Anger electrified the London stage.
Historical Tales and National Identity
An Introduction to Narrative Social Psychology
Drawing on social, political, cognitive and psychodynamic areas of psychology, László outlines a theory and methodology which provide tools for a better understanding of the relation between the present psychological condition of a society and representations of its past.
From Boiled Beef to Chicken Tikka
500 Years of Feeding the British Army
‘An army’, Napoleon famously remarked, ‘marches on its stomach’. But who ensured that its stomach was filled – and what was it filled with? This compelling, meticulously researched book charts the history of British Army catering from Cromwell to the Iraq war, turns up such fascinating details as how to improvise a kebab skewer with a bayonet, and includes 20 recipes to try at home, from Gurkha Chicken Pilau to Game Pie.
Dole Queues and Demons
British Election Posters from the Conservative Party Archive
A unique blend of graphic design, bold artwork and cunning psychology, election posters are an unsung art form. Drawing on the Conservative Party archive at the Bodleian Library, this lavishly illustrated book charts 100 years of political advertising, lampooning opponents from Lloyd George to Tony Blair. Its ten chronological chapters chart the political history of Britain, changing ideologies and social attitudes, and fashions in advertising. A foreword by communications guru Maurice Saatchi discusses the posters from a design perspective.
A History of Blaming Other People
‘Adam blamed Eve, Eve blamed the serpent, and we’ve been hard at it ever since.’ In the aftermath of disaster, people have always tried to absolve themselves of responsibility by saying it was someone else’s fault. This witty, thought-provoking essay looks at the plight of the unfairly targeted – witches, bankers, neighbours, foreigners, politicians, Muslims, Jews, Christians – and warns that irrational blame-mongering is unabated today.
Bobby on the Beat
Memories of a London Policeman in the 1960s
Honest, entertaining and packed with colourful stories, this memoir of the author’s time as a copper on the beat in Limehouse provides a real flavour of the life and crimes of London’s East End during the 1960s. Laced with tough cockney humour, it presents a rogues’ gallery of pickpockets, conmen, informants, gangsters and pimps, against a rich backdrop of docklands pubs, markets and cafés.
Britain's Greatest Generation
How Our Parents & Grandparents Made the Twentieth Century
A depression, wars and unprecedented new technology created challenging conditions for Britons in the first half of the 20th century. Drawing on the first-hand accounts of people born into the devastated world of the 1920s, this book analyses the experiences of the generation that lived through the Second World War and built a new society after it, from a Jewish refugee coming to Britain in 1939 to Jimmy Perry, who served in the Home Guard and later created Dad's Army.