Wallis in Love
The Untold True Passion of the Duchess of Windsor
Andrew Morton, author of Diana: Her True Story, turns his attention to Wallis Simpson, the twice-married divorcee who claimed the heart of Edward VIII, causing his abdication. Drawing on interviews, secret letters, diaries and previously unseen primary sources, Morton charts Wallis’s life, from falling in love with a female teacher as a teenager to ignoring the cries of her husband as he lay dying. While Morton makes plain Wallis’s disdain for the duke, it seems his devotion to her never wavered.
Comic, Curious and Quirky
News Stories from Centuries Past
Rona Levin, of the British Library's Newspaper Archive, has tracked down an eclectic variety of stories, ranging in date from 1729 to 1930, which cover dastardly crimes, sexual scandals, animal antics and medical oddities. Some (such as the lady offended by seeing footballers' knees) reveal profound shifts in British society, while others (horsemeat fraud and doctors' poor handwriting) remind us that many things haven't changed.
The Mythology of the 'Princes in the Tower'
Were the sons of Edward IV – the boy king Edward V and his younger brother, Richard, Duke of York – genuinely held against their will in the Tower of London; and were they murdered there? Bones found in the Tower were interred in Westminster Abbey in 1674, and their burial urn was opened in 1933. Now, drawing on genetic science, John Ashdown-Hill re-examines the case of the two princes, questioning the orthodox view and stripping away the myths that surround their fate.
The Windsors, The Nazis and the Cover-Up
Edward Windsor, the former king, and Wallis Simpson were already an embarrassment to the establishment, and their connections to leading Nazis during the 1930s were too damaging to the crown to be allowed to surface after the war. This investigative report reveals their links to Nazi sympathizers and examines Hitler's plan to install Edward as a puppet king. The title refers to flowers apparently sent by German diplomat von Ribbentrop to Simpson commemorating their love affair.
Jesus the Wicked Priest
How Christianity Was Born of an Essene Schism
This book’s provocative thesis is that the Dead Sea Scrolls refer directly to Jesus, as the ‘wicked priest’ who opposed the rigid, militant views of the Essene movement. Revealing how Jesus’ message is presented in the Scrolls’ coded language, Vining explores the possibility that Christianity arose out of a schism resulting from the refusal of this ‘ultimate Reform Jew’ to follow Essene orthodoxy; his research also reopens doctrinal questions about reincarnation and the virgin birth.
The Women's Institute
One-pot dishes not only streamline your cooking (you save on washing-up, for a start) – they also help you to create innovative meals that are full of flavour. This collection features dozens of main dishes, for vegetarians as well as meat-eaters, from risottos and stir-frys to pasta bakes and casseroles, in addition to twelve soup recipes. Some are for everyday meals; others are for entertaining.
Cream Teas, Traffic Jams and Sunburn
The Great British Holiday
In this funny, acutely observed and engaging social history, Brian Viner celebrates the British holidaymaker at home and abroad. A surprising recent phenomenon is the increase in holidays in Britain, while the holiday abroad appears to be in decline. From holiday flings to the hen night, from the 'full English' to the long-haul gap year, the minutiae of British holiday-making is examined here in all its glory.
Vermeer & the Dutch Masters
In this generously illustrated guide to the Dutch Golden Age of painting, genre works by Vermeer, Rembrandt, Steen and many others are fêted for their power to transform the everyday – artisanship, domesticity, intellectual curiosity – into the extraordinary. Covering themes of patronage, trade, meaning and motif, the book shows how a rich array of subject matter, including still life, landscape and domestic interiors, reflects the blossoming of Dutch society in a time of economic prosperity and artistic freedom.
The Last Horsemen
A Year at Sillywrea, Britain's Only Horse-Powered Farm
First published in 2001, this study of a disappearing way of life took place over three years, on the last farm in Britain still reliant on horse power rather than machinery. Sillywrea Farm has belonged to the same family for over 150 years, and the book follows two of the family’s recent farmers and their five Clydesdale horses through four seasons, ploughing, haymaking and training a young foal.
I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud...
And Other Poems You Half-Remember from School
Our language is full of well-worn phrases from much-loved poems, but how often can we recall the rest of the poem, or the first line, or even the poet's name? This anthology presents the complete poems that gave us such immortal lines as 'Water, water everywhere/Nor any drop to drink', 'not waving but drowning' and 'They also serve who only stand and waite'. The poems are arranged chronologically, from Chaucer to Carol Ann Duffy, and indexed by title and the famous bits.
The Fall of the Tay Bridge
In a disaster commemorated by one of William McGonagall’s famously bad poems, engineer Thomas Bouch's Tay Bridge collapsed when a train was passing over it during a storm in 1879, killing everyone on board. This revision of David Swinfen's 1994 study of the event analyses the evidence and technical studies to answer the still-contested questions of why the bridge failed and how many people lost their lives.
The Times Concise Atlas of the World
For the 13th edition, this major atlas has been updated to 2016 and includes, among several new features, nine historical maps of the world since 1858 and satellite images of the continents. The main body of the atlas comprises over 200 pages of Collins Bartholomew maps covering the continents, oceans and polar regions. Other features include world maps, 41 city plans and geographical information, new sections on climate change and economy, a glossary and a comprehensive index of place names. Slipcased.
Death in Devon (The County Guides)
Swanton Morley, the People’s Professor, sets off for Devon to continue The County Guides, his history of England; but when he arrives at All Souls School, he hears that a pupil has died in mysterious circumstances. Cue another adventure in the dark heart of 1930s England for Morley, Sefton and Miriam - the trio first encountered in The Norfolk Mystery.
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+
The Secret World of the Victorian Lodging House
Throughout the burgeoning cities of Victorian Britain, lodging houses provided shelter to those who flocked from the countryside in search of work. Crowded, insanitary and often disreputable, they aroused the horror of respectable society, and were viewed as hotbeds of crime and disease. Drawing on contemporary accounts, newspaper reports and court cases, this fascinating social history shines a light into the shadowy world of itinerant labourers, criminals, street entertainers, peddlers, prostitutes, abandoned children, and families fallen on hard times.
In Search of the Real Dad's Army
The Home Guard and the Defence of the United Kingdom 1940–1944
By the summer of 1940 nearly a million and a half British men had joined the Local Defence Volunteers (LDV), a response to the very real threat of invasion by a rapidly advancing German Army. This book explores the LDV’s transformation from an enthusiastic yet ill-equipped organisation into the capable Home Guard, which, as the threat of invasion receded, nevertheless became key to the UK’s local defence strategy, as well as a means of combating the purported Fifth Column. Off-mint.
Divorced, Beheaded, Died...
The History of Britain's Kings and Queens in Bite-sized Chunks
Kevin Flute’s history of Britain's kings and queens in bite-sized chunks includes legendary kings, Dark Age warlords, Scottish monarchs and kings of Wales as well as Normans, Plantagenets etc – up to the House of Windsor and Elizabeth II.
Corsets & Codpieces
A Social History of Outrageous Fashion
With tales both tragic (the 2,500 deaths from crinoline fires in 1864) and amusing (the horse that ate the stuffing from a race-goer’s bustle), Bowman takes readers on a lively journey from Roman times through to 1940s Britain, examining some of the more unusual trends that have been deemed fashionable at one time or another. From the style that was invented to mask disease, to a 1920s hairdo that ended relationships, there’s more to fashion that first meets the eye.
The Motorbike Book
The Definitive Visual History
From pioneering German machines of the 1890s to the 'whispering' MotoCzysz electric racer in 2009 and the 2014 Honda NM4 Vultus, this volume tells the story of two-wheeled grit and glory with more than 1,000 detailed photographs. Everything with an engine and two wheels is covered in chapters on iconic bikes such as the Indian Scout and Triumph Bonneville, profiles of the great marques, and surveys of every type of motorcycle, from scooters and mopeds to powerful touring bikes.
The World's Heritage
The Definitive Guide to All 1007 World Heritage Sites
UNESCO's 'guide to the world’s most extraordinary places' presents all 1,007 sites on the World Heritage List, first mapped by continent, then arranged chronologically by the year in which they were inscribed on the List. From the Galápagos Islands (added 1978) to the rich biodiversity of the Great Himalayan National Park Conservation Area (added 2014), the guide covers a remarkable range of monuments and landscapes, with cultural, natural and mixed sites, each described individually and the majority shown in photographs.
How to Behave Badly in Renaissance Britain
Nothing reveals as much about a society as its bad behaviour, and if Shakespeare’s England is remembered for courtly ceremony, it was also an age of brawling, boozing and badmouthing. Drawing on contemporary behaviour manuals, court cases and sermons, Ruth Goodman, the presenter of Victorian Farm, reveals what most upset and infuriated our forebears. Her entertaining survey dishes the dirt on ninny-hammers, wittols, stinkards and draggletails, and offers practical advice on how to handle yourself in a fight. Off-mint.
Village Life in the Middle Ages
Based on years of research and imaginatively presented, Ann Baer’s book follows the course of a year in the life of a peasant woman in medieval England. Evoking the hardships of life in feudal England, it tells the story of Marion, a carpenter’s wife, her extended family and the neighbours living in the outlying hamlet ‘down the common’. The book is illustrated with drawings by the author.
I Used to Know That: History
Stuff You Forgot from School
From Mesopotamia c. 5000 BCE to the collapse of communism c. 1991, Emma Marriott succinctly presents 'the essentials of the history you really should know’. This is history-made-easy, with the British Civil War straightened out in a mere five pages, Queen Victoria in a paragraph and a minimum of dates.
The Birdwatcher's Garden
In this straightforward guide to making your garden – whatever its size – into a safe haven for birds, Hazel and Pamela Johnson explain how to plan a garden and what to grow to provide food, shelter, observation and singing posts, and nesting sites. They also deal with feeding birds, providing a directory of different species’ requirements; and ‘man-made provisions’ such as bird tables, nesting boxes and bird baths.
Britain's Best Walks
200 Classic Walks from The Times
Veteran ramblers and novice walkers alike have delighted in Christopher Somerville’s 'A Good Walk' column in The Times. This book presents 200 of the best, ranging across the UK from Glen Nevis to Romney Marsh, and from the Breidden Hills of Powys to the Mourne Mountains of County Down. Each walk is described in detail, with length and level of difficulty, directions to the starting point, advice on where to eat and stay, colour photographs and maps.
Mensa Logic Brainteasers
Over 150 Diverse Logic Puzzles
Logic puzzles require no specialist knowledge, just the ability to follow a line of reasoning, step by step, to its ultimate conclusion. This selection of more than 150 brain-teasers ranges from verbal and mathematical riddles to visual conundrums that test your spatial reasoning as well as your powers of logic.
Mrs Miles's Diary
The Wartime Journal of a Housewife on the Home Front
In August 1939 a Surrey housewife began a war journal in which she recorded daily life on the home front. She tells of bombers overhead day and night, ration queues and the influx of evacuees. In 1947, she sent the diary to the Imperial War Museum with a letter describing herself as a housewife and a professional journalist; she was a naturally gifted writer whose diary gives a compelling account of wartime Britain.
I Used to Know That: English
Stuff You Forgot From School
If you were taught grammar the 'old fashioned way' and have forgotten everything except the boredom, or went to a school where it was deemed unnecessary, this book provides a simple guide to the grammar, spelling and correct usage of British Standard English.
Glorious Son of York
A charismatic Plantagenet ruler, described by a contemporary as ‘the handsomest prince my eyes ever beheld’, Edward IV (1442–1483) fought hard for his crown, contesting some of the most important battles of the medieval period, including Mortimer’s Cross, Towton, Barnet and Tewkesbury. Covering Edward’s background, the Yorkist takeover and the tensions created by the king’s controversial Woodville marriage, this history follows his struggle to gain and regain the kingship of England during a period of great dynastic turmoil.
The Diaries of a Military Wife During the Second World War
While her husband was serving as a British Army captain, Evelyn Shillington travelled with him whenever she could. She kept a regular diary starting with their arrival home from Hong Kong in 1935, through the turbulence of the Second World War, to a stint in post-war Italy in 1946. As well as commenting on the political situation, the diaries include gossip, humour and even a meeting with Princess Elizabeth.
The Ancestor's Tale
A Pilgrimage to the Dawn of Life
In a pilgrimage back through four billion years of evolution, Dawkins and Wong follow the history of our genes in search of the microbial beginnings of life. As they encounter other species – from chimpanzees to fungi and bacteria – they listen to each evolutionary ‘tale’, shedding light on such topics as speciation and extinction, and reveal how intimately humans are connected with all life on Earth. This revised and expanded edition takes into account a decade of new research.
An A–Z of Forgotten Landmarks and Lost Traditions
Britain's history is well documented, but there are nevertheless fascinating events, characters and practices that have been largely overlooked. This book explores lesser-known aspects of our heritage from the pivotal Battle of Assandun to the abandoned Croydon Canal.
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.
The Mitford Girls
The Biography of an Extraordinary Family
The six daughters of the eccentric Lord Redesdale and his wife Sydney have inspired many books, but this group biography is widely considered to be the finest. It skilfully weaves together the dramatic, often outrageous lives of the sisters: the novelist Nancy; Diana, who married Oswald Mosley; Decca, the communist; the lesbian horsewoman Pamela; the socialite Deborah; and Unity, the doomed admirer of Adolf Hitler.
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+
Tuscany is both the cradle of the Renaissance and a region of breathtakingly beautiful and richly varied landscapes, from the mountains of the north to the bare clay hills of the Crete Senese to the south. The 150 captivating colour photographs in this book show its many facets: the architectural wonders of Florence, Siena and Pisa, the vineyards of Chianti, the long, cypress-lined roads, the rocky coast, and the peaceful farms nestling amid rolling hills.
How A Group of Scottish Conspirators Unleashed Half A Century of War In Britain
Fife in the 1630s was a hotbed of rebel priests, fire-breathing politicians and unemployed mercenaries, many connected through family. This innovative history shows how a combustible mixture of Covenanters, Catholics, Gibbites, Malignants and a host of other sects ignited not only Scotland’s wars of religion, but conflict in Ireland, and the English Civil War, resulting in more than 600,000 deaths. The book concludes with a gazetteer of the buildings, ruins, monuments and battlefields of Scottish wars from 1639 to 1689.
The Last Shepherds
A Vanishing Way of Life on Britain's Traditional Hill Farms
Shepherds were ubiquitous from pre-biblical times, their occupation a way of life – some even had their own language for counting sheep. Today, among other things, fewer sheep and quad bikes contribute to dwindling shepherd numbers. First published in 2004, this account follows three shepherds through their year, witnessing lambing, haymaking, sheep fairs and the training of a puppy to become a working sheepdog; it describes age-old traditions that are fast becoming things of the past.
This Book Will Make You Think
Philosophical Quotes and What They Mean
Beginning with Bentham on happiness ('The greatest happiness of the greatest number is the foundation of morals and legislation'), Alain Stephen examines the best-known quotes of the great philosophers and, in concise essays, explains the theories behind the words.
Shallow-draughted Thames sailing barges were a common sight on the river throughout the 19th century and well into the 20th, and the agility of the boats and crew were honed by keenly contested races, held from the 1860s. This book offers a first-hand account of the golden age of the barges, in the early 20th century, by a member of a prominent barging and barge-racing family, based at Mistley in Essex. Off-mint and may smell slightly musty due to long storage.
Great British Gardeners
From Early Plantsmen to Chelsea Medal Winners
The British have always been a nation of gardeners, and their distinctive creations have been admired and emulated across the globe. This book traces the history of British gardening over 450 years through the stories of 26 key figures, from early plant hunters such as the Tradescants, though the celebrated 18th-century landscape gardeners Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown and Humphry Repton to 20th-century pioneers such as Gertrude Jekyll and Vita Sackville-West. A 32-page section of colour plates showcases their achievements.
Where to See Wildlife in Britain and Ireland
Over 800 Best Wildlife Sites in the British Isles
The 10,000 acres of saltmarsh and 65,000 acres of tidal sandbanks and mudflats around the Wash on the east coast are a haven for wildlife, with about 500,000 wildfowl wintering there and common seals breeding there in summer, when the saltmarsh is abundant with wildflowers. This practical guide focuses on 800 wildlife-rich locations in the UK and advises on what to see, when to visit and how to get there, with detailed mapping and over 500 photographs.
A Good Face for Radio
Confessions of a Radio Head
As the host of Radio 4's PM for 15 years, Eddie Mair established a unique style, bringing deadpan humour to the programme alongside hard-hitting political interviews and serious news journalism. This collection of his weekly columns, which were published in the Radio Times between 2010 and 2016, reflects his idiosyncratic wit and mischievous tone, lampooning contemporary political events, poking fun at his fellow broadcasters and musing on the quirks of everyday life.
The Car Book
The Definitive Visual History
Conceived as an alternative to the 'bubble cars' popular in the 1950s, Alec Issigonis' revolutionary Mini established the pattern for the modern car with its front-wheel drive and transverse engine. This history of more than a century of evolution includes illustrated features exploring milestones in car design and engine development as well as profiling the great marques and presenting over 1,000 colour images of important cars, from Daimler's first petrol-engined vehicle of 1886 to modern hybrids.