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.
The Warrior Queen
The Life and Legend of Aethelflaed, Daughter of Alfred The Great
Aethelflaed, the eldest daughter of Alfred the Great, is an enigmatic and almost legendary figure, a renowned warrior queen who fought the Danes and who struggled to be accepted as a female ruler of the Saxon Kingdom of Mercia. This study goes back to contemporary sources to explore the ‘Lady of the Mercians’ and reveals a skilled diplomat, and a shrewd, even ruthless leader, but also a patron of learning who used the poetic tradition to fashion her own reputation.
An archipelago of more than 100 islands, Shetland is one of the remotest areas of the UK. Its 1,500 miles of shore means that wherever one stands there is a view of the sea. In this handsomely illustrated book, the bestselling novelist behind the hit TV series Shetland and Vera takes readers through a year on the islands, learning about their past, meeting their people, visiting a Viking fire festival and watching the flora and fauna change with the seasons.
Malcolm Root's Pageant of Transport
A Treasury of Transport Paintings from Times Past
In this third collection of his meticulously detailed paintings, Malcolm Root presents a chronological pageant of transport, tracing the development of travel by land, sea and air over the last century or so. Each painting sets the vehicles within an evocative, often nostalgic scene – such as the AEC lorry and Royal Navy airship at an airfield in 1919, or steam traction engines towing a locomotive through Glasgow in the 1950s – all accompanied by Tom Tyler’s informative narrative.
A Square a Day
365 Crochet Squares: One for Each Day of the Year
Offering a pattern a day for the 6x6-inch traditional crocheted ‘granny’ square, this ringbound guide also includes information on yarns and hooks, and an illustrated guide to the stitches featured inside. The colour-coded layout enables readers to match the yarns they have to hand, and each clearly photographed pattern is also graded according to its level of difficulty; from the simple black-and-yellow ‘Bumblebee’ design, to the more complex ‘Entwined’, featuring inter-connected rings.
Bloomers, Biros and Wellington Boots
How the Names Became the Words
As you sit on the davenport eating garibaldi biscuits, do you ever consider how people's names become words we use in everyday English? From Achilles to Zeppelin, this entertaining book investigates both familiar and unusual eponyms and tells the stories behind them. At last, we meet the man who gave the world the Hoover, the farmer responsible for macadamia nuts (John Macadam), and Dr Salmon, immortalized in salmonella. (Formerly in Postscript as Teddy Bears, Tupperware and Sweet Fanny Adams.)
A History of the Leyland Bus
Leyland Motors Ltd was one of the first manufacturers of buses in Britain and went on to dominate the market with highly successful models such as the Titan and Atlantean. Illustrated with more than 250 colour photographs, this essential guide charts the complete production history of the Leyland buses and tells the story of the company from its origins in the 1880s, producing steam-driven vehicles, to its demise and purchase by Volvo in 1988.
A Brief History of the Knights Templar
A Brief History of the Warrior Order
The Knights of the Order of the Temple of Solomon are found in fictional literature from the Middle Ages to Sir Walter Scott and beyond, even appearing in computer games. Nicholson separates the surviving historical evidence from speculative associations with Freemasonry, the Holy Grail and space travel: beginning with the Templars' origins during the Crusades she considers their religious life, their service to Europe's kings and their commercial and economic activities, up to the order's dissolution in 1312.
Alfie and Grandma
These three gentle, beautifully illustrated stories feature Alfie and his good friend Grandma. A missing tortoise is disguised as a stone, Alfie goes exploring indoors and Alfie and Grandma help a lost sheep. A map at the back of the book shows Grandma’s house, so that readers can spot locations that feature in the story. Age 3+
A Cruel and Shocking Act
The Secret History of the Kennedy Assassination
Philip Shenon's book pieces together the compelling story of the most important, and most misunderstood, homicide investigation in 20th-century America: the Warren Commission inquiry and its conclusion that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone to assassinate the President. Drawing on unprecedented access to surviving Commission staff and other key witnesses, Shenon reveals how much of the truth about the Kennedy assassination has not been told and how much evidence was 'shredded, incinerated or erased' before it reached the Commission.
Wild Flowers of Britain and Ireland
First published in 2003 and revised and updated in 2013, this was the first fully illustrated and mapped guide to British and Irish wild flora. It covers more than 1,900 species, with over 5,000 detailed paintings by the renowned botanical artist Marjorie Blamey and over 1,600 distribution maps. As well as flowering plants, the guide has chapters on grasses, rushes and ferns, aquatic plants, and local specialities of West Cornwall, the Scilly Isles and Ireland.
Paper Folding with Children
Fun and Easy Origami Projects
Some tips that make origami simpler for beginners are to use plain paper rather than patterned so that the fold marks are clearer, and to use a bone folder (a plastic tool that allows you to make sharp creases easily). This introduction to paper folding presents 26 projects of varying difficulty from ladybirds and paper boats to spaceships and butterflies. Age 5+
Letters to the Midwife
Jennifer Worth (1935-2011) based her hugely successful books, Call the Midwife, Shadows of the Workhouse and Farewell to the East End, on her own experiences in the East End in the 1950s. This book contains letters from all sorts of people - from other midwives to lorry drivers - responding to the books and telling their own stories. There are also writings by Jennifer herself, a biographical introduction by family members and a foreword by Miranda Hart.
Atlas of The Human Body
This unusual and beautiful guide to anatomy is almost a work of art. Intricate, hand-drawn, cutaway illustrations take the reader inside the male body layer by layer, through the digestive, circulatory and nervous systems. Then a series of detailed drawings focus on key organs, bones and joints, while a doctor explains their function in clear and concise text. The whole volume is attractively presented with heavy stock, marbled endpapers, a fabric spine and covers of thick card. Age 7+
Bird Portraits to Colour
Many adults have discovered the therapeutic benefits of simply colouring in a picture. This volume provides 31 intricate illustrations of popular birds, from an Atlantic puffin and a kingfisher to a Victoria crowned pigeon and a Major Mitchell’s cockatoo. Printed on single-sided pages using high-quality paper, these superbly detailed line drawings offer hours of relaxing and rewarding enjoyment.
The Baffle Book
Fifteen Fiendishly Challenging Detective Puzzles
If you revel in armchair criminal investigation, this book is just your cup of poisoned orange pekoe. Here are 15 old-fashioned 'detective puzzles', the unravelling of which requires well-honed powers of observation and deduction. In words, charts and diagrams, the authors put you at the crime scene and present you with the facts established by the police. Solving the questions that each case poses is your challenge. Answers at the back - if you must.
The White Horse of Zennor
And Other Stories
Cherry is swept out to sea and encounters ghosts from a mine; two children rescue a strange old man caught in an animal trap… Five mystical, sometimes dark, short stories are connected by their location: Zennor, on the coast at the edge of Britain. With beautiful colour illustrations, these are haunting, magical tales. Age 9+
The Tragic Story of Henry VIII's Fifth Queen
Katherine Howard was little more than a child when she married Henry VIII, and just 18 when she was beheaded in the Tower of London. This meticulous, sympathetic and absorbing biography sheds fascinating new light on the life and death of this kind, intelligent young woman trapped in a web of sexual abuse, family ambition, religious conflict and political intrigue by those in positions of power.
Time to be in Earnest
A Fragment of Autobiography
PD James (1920-2014) was not only the most stylish and intelligent crime writer of her generation - she was an influential figure in politics, culture and the media. In this, her only autobiographical work, she considers the year leading up to her 78th birthday, and looks back over her past: growing up in the 1920s and '30s, giving birth during an air raid, working for the Home Office forensic department, and her career as a novelist.
A Short History
Described by the Financial Times as ‘an excellent antidote to prejudice’, this concise account of Muslim history emphasizes the importance of rethinking the Western mistrust of Islam which dates back to the time of the Crusades. As well as challenging stereotypes and highlighting how the faith has inspired scholars, mystics and poets, it reveals how Islam’s ‘sacralization of history’ means that the religion, its past history and current events are woven together especially closely.
Colours of the Earth
Exploring some of the most spectacular – and most inaccessible – places on earth, this volume of aerial photographs covers the entire spectrum of colours in nature, from vivid blue and turquoise seas, to volcanic blacks and greys and the white of salt flats. It gives bird's-eye views of remote deserts, glaciers and coral reefs, and close-up studies of rock formations such as the violet fissured slate of Namibia, with notes on how each landscape’s colours are formed.
The Sherlock Holmes Collection
This is our very own set of Sherlock Holmes mysteries. It comprises the first and last of the novels, A Study in Scarlet (1887) and The Valley of Fear (1915); two celebrated cases, The Sign of Four and The Hound of the Baskervilles; and three volumes of short stories (The Adventures of the Engineer's Thumb, The Five Orange Pips and The Adventure of the Six Napoleons, each with at least 12 'Other Cases'). This seven-volume, slip-cased set is exclusive to Postscript.
Glasgow Boys Masterpieces of Art
From the 1880s to around 1914, a group of young painters based in Glasgow challenged the traditional art of the Scottish Academy, favouring instead the naturalistic ideas of the Impressionists and Post-Impressionists, and en plein-air painting. The realism and freedom of their portraits, informal scenes and landscapes was to revolutionize Scottish art. This book introduces the Glasgow Boys – among them James Guthrie, John Lavery, Arthur Melville, George Henry and David Gauld – and presents over 85 reproductions of their work.
Classic Images - Earls Court Shows
Enthusiasm for personal transport was checked by austerity in post-war Britain but by the 1950s things were improving and British motorcycle manufacturers dominated the scene. This selection of images of Earls Court trade shows during the 1950s presents the latest showroom models, famous racers, concept bikes and prototypes in high-quality black-and-white photographs. By the end of the decade imported models are increasingly in evidence, portending what was in store for the British motorcycle industry.
The Art of Deception
Illusion to Challenge the Eye and the Mind
Brad Honeycutt, the author of The Art of the Illusion, presents another collection of deceptive art, including paintings, illustration, photography and computer-generated design ranging from simple optical illusions, ambigram lettering and impossible objects to Oleg Shupliak’s ‘two-in-one’ paintings in which landscapes become portraits. A brief commentary by the artist accompanies each of around 200 artworks and there is an epilogue by the world-famous puzzle designer Scott Kim.
The Invasion of Europe by the Barbarians
JB Bury (1861–1927) was Professor of Modern History, then of Greek, at Cambridge, but his most important contributions were to the study of Late Antiquity. This book brings together a series of lectures on the long period of migrations from the fourth to sixth centuries; with a focus on military matters, they examine how Germans, Visigoths, Gauls, Ostrogoths and Franks took control of Europe as the power and influence of the Roman Empire waned.
The Long and the Short of It
How We Came to Measure Our World
In the seventh century a yard was as much a reckoning of the worth of some land as a set measure of its dimensions and, although the term came to mean a unit of distance, the 36-inch standard was not settled until 1855. This light-hearted compendium explores the origins of our weighing, measuring and timing systems from the Babylonian calendar to the metric system.
Saving British and American Women at Ravensbruck
In April 1945, a score of British and American women emerged from the ‘Women’s Hell’ of Ravensbrück concentration camp, kept alive by the willpower of one woman, Mary Lindell, Comtesse de Milleville. Movingly supported by personal testimonies, this book tells the remarkable story of this courageous woman, already a heroine of the First World War, who smuggled out a list that belied German claims that they had no British or American prisoners, and saved the lives of her fellow inmates.
The Victorian Master Criminal
Charles Peace and the Murders of Cock and Dyson
Charles Peace had served several short prison terms for burglary before he killed a policeman during a robbery in Manchester in 1876. Later the same year a second murder provoked a nationwide hunt for Peace, who was only apprehended two years later in London, where he had been living luxuriously on the proceeds of his crimes. This book tells the story of one of Victorian England's most notorious criminals, his trial, eventual confession and execution.
The Easter Rising
The Easter Rising in April 1916 saw civilian deaths, the destruction of a large part of Dublin and the true beginning of Irish independence. Coogan's account of this turning-point in Irish history introduces the major players and the ideas that drove them, and vividly describes the events which they set in train. He also examines how the British government's mishandling of the aftermath had the effect of galvanizing popular support for the rebels.
Incredible Voyage of Ulysses
On their epic journey home after defeating the Trojans, Ulysses and his men encounter an array of mythical creatures from Cyclops and Sirens to giants and goddesses. Including a list of characters and a map of the locations, this beautifully illustrated graphic novel retells the story in simple, powerful language, capturing the drama and mystery of Ulysses’ ten-year quest. Age 8+
Despite the electrification of many of the main line routes in Sussex during the 1930s, there were still steam locomotives running across the region in the 1950s and 1960s, including Bulleid light pacifics working services beyond the county and smaller engines on freight and shunting duties. Charting the scene during the last years of steam, many of the photographs in this collection are in colour and additional illustrations include period tickets, labels and timetables.
Living on the Home Front
As well as living in fear of imminent bombing raids or invasion, British civilians during the Second World War faced shortages that forced them to marshal meagre resources carefully. Alongside a historical account of the conditions faced by Britons, this book presents a year-long diary of the author’s own experiments in living within wartime constraints and the insights it has given her into how we live today.
A Natural History: 500 Years of Searching for Proof
Roger Clarke is now best known as a writer on film, but was once the youngest member of the Society for Psychical Research. He has now returned to his childhood obsession by writing this history of ghosts and ghost-hunting in Western culture. Asking not whether ghosts exist but rather what our ghost stories reveal about us, he examines both famous hauntings such as the notorious events at Borley Rectory and investigations by sceptics and parapsychologists.
Ships to Remember
1400 Years of Historic Ships
The world’s largest passenger ship when it was launched in 1906, and holder of the Blue Riband transatlantic speed record, the Lusitania was already notable before it was sunk by a U-boat in 1915. Other less grand vessels, including the lifeboats in which Captain Bligh and Ernest Shackleton made spectacular voyages, are also included in this collection of maritime stories, and illustrated with maps and drawings and paintings by Austin Dwyer.
The Dublin King
The True Story of Edward, Earl of Warwick, Lambert Simnel and the 'Princes in the Tower'
In 1487, the Yorkist claimant to the throne, Lambert Simnel, was crowned king in Dublin. To the Tudors he was an impostor, and history has generally agreed with their interpretation. However, many aspects of the Lambert Simnel story are contradictory. In this study, Ashdown-Hill presents a re-examination of the pretender and his claim by meticulously tracking the life stories, including alternative versions, of the four – or possibly five – boys who may have been the Dublin king.
The Only Recipes You'll Ever Need
4 Ways to Cook Almost Everything
There are more than 270 recipes in this book based on the author's column for The Times, consisting of four approaches to all of the most common dishes and ingredients - so there are four suggestions if you fancy a savoury pie, while salmon gets an Asian, Italian, Indian and English recipe. Directions are clear and ingredients few, and every dish is illustrated.
A Pocket Guide to the Orchids of Britain and Ireland
Orchids are among the most diverse groups of plants and although many varieties grow in the British Isles, including Lady's Slipper and Ghost Orchid, two of the rarest native wildflowers, most are in retreat in the face of environmental changes. This pocket guide includes detailed descriptions and information for all 52 species that grow wild in Britain and Ireland with colour photographs and distribution maps.
The Divine Comedy
Widely considered the precursor of all modern literature, Dante’s 14th-century epic poem is a majestic three-part journey from despair to redemption, through Hell, Purgatory and Heaven. Decades in the making, Clive James’s bestselling translation conveys all the drama, pathos and narrative drive of the original in modern English verse that moves with ease from the intimate and conversational to the heights of the sublime – but is always compulsively readable.
Growing up in a humble shack in America’s poorest state, Elvis Presley dreamed that success would free him from poverty. So how did he become dependent on bank loans even after achieving huge worldwide fame, and why did he despise his own movies and songs, even fearing that he would be forgotten after his death? This biography focuses on identifying the origins of the contradictions and frailties that lay behind Elvis’s charming, confident onstage persona.
Draw Me a House
Architectural Ideas, Inspiration and Colouring In
Every child makes drawings of simple houses and many are inspired to sketch dream homes when they are older. This drawing and colouring book focuses interest on architecture and famous buildings, such as the Empire State Building and the Gherkin, as well as interior features such as lighting and furniture. Using accessible, simple line art, the pages include dot-to-dots, sketches to colour in and drawing challenges. Ages 7–13.