The Great Tapestry of Scotland
‘The history of a nation written and made by a thousand people’, the Great Tapestry of Scotland, now in the Scottish Parliament, was the brainchild of author Alexander McCall Smith. The historian Alistair Moffat chose the subjects to tell Scotland’s story in 168 panels, which were drawn by Andrew Crummy, and stitched by a thousand volunteers, supervised by Dora Wilkie. After McCall Smith's foreword and introduction by Moffat, this volume illustrates each panel, with an historical commentary on its facing page.
Mapping the City
As home to one of the world's oldest universities, Oxford has been extensively mapped over four and a half centuries. This handsome, lavishly illustrated volume brings together 59 remarkable maps and views dating from 1568 to 2016. Few were created to help people find their way around its historic townscape: instead, they reveal a fascinating tableau of the city's history, from the Civil War to a planned Soviet assault on the heart of the British motor industry.
The Happy Countryman
Home on leave from the Second World War, HE Bates took solace in the English countryside. His lyrical evocation of its pear blossom, gardens and old stone cottages are dramatically interspersed with stories of battle, and beautifully illustrated by CF Tunnicliffe’s woodcuts. Knowing the war will change everything, and with no desire to return to the old, feudalistic rural life, he asks ‘Have we anything to put in its place?’
I Used to Know That
Stuff You Forgot from School
In chapters on English language and literature, maths, science, history and geography, Caroline Taggart’s distillation of the essential stuff that you learned in school, but forgot to remember, is an enjoyable trip back to the land of subordinate clauses and metaphysical poets, quadratic equations, the periodic table and the Wars of the Roses – and no exams.
In Praise of Bees
A Cabinet of Curiosities
Bees have been a source of fascination since antiquity, with writers hailing them as an example of benevolent industry and social cohesion. Lavishly illustrated with colour photographs and historic prints and paintings, this volume explores bees’ lives and habits, the medicinal properties of their honey and wax, the craft of beekeeping, and the dangers they – and we – face from pesticides. Scholarly but eminently readable, the book also celebrates the role of these fascinating insects in myth, folklore, literature and art.
Britain: A Genetic Journey
Population genetics and the study of ancestral DNA are beginning to reveal the historical information hidden inside our own bodies. Moffat has produced a revolutionary new history of Britain, eschewing the deeds of monarchs and politicians in favour of the remarkable stories that genetics can tell about the origins of our lineages and the travels of our forebears around the world. (Previously sold in Postscript as a hardback edition titled The British: A Genetic Journey.)
The Complete Naturalist
This updated and expanded version of The New Amateur Naturalist from TV presenter and expert Nick Baker will give you all the information you need whether you want to know what makes an insect an insect, rear a family of frogs or build a bird box. Clearly illustrated with photos and diagrams throughout, this introductory guide describes the habits and habitats of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish and invertebrates, and provides advice on how to observe them for yourself.
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 12 soup recipes. Some are for everyday meals; others are for entertaining.
The Extraordinary Story of the World's Most Famous Train
Famous for its record-breaking express service on the LNER in the 1920s and 1930s, then as a globe-trotting preserved locomotive after 1963, the Flying Scotsman is now a national icon. This history of the engine, from Nigel Gresley’s drawing board to the National Railway Museum in 2016, is illustrated with over 130 photographs and reproductions, from a rare shot of the newly constructed locomotive at the Doncaster shed in 1923, to a stunning picture of the train on an evening test run, 2016.
Bess of Hardwick
First Lady of Chatsworth, 1527–1608
Elizabeth Talbot, Countess of Shrewsbury (1527–1608) struck some as rapacious and social-climbing, but is nowadays seen as an astonishingly shrewd and accomplished woman who successfully managed four husbands and four monarchs in a particularly complex and dangerous era. Mary Lovell's biography charts every aspect of Bess's long life, including her time as minder of Mary, Queen of Scots for Elizabeth I and the building of Chatsworth, Hardwick and Oldcotes, which still stand as testimony of a remarkable Tudor figure.
Four Revenge Tragedies
Francis Bacon described revenge as ‘a kind of wild justice’. Then, as now, early modern playwrights and their theatre-going public were fascinated by the anarchic energies that a desire for retribution unleashes. This volume presents four plays, with four different approaches to revenge: The Spanish Tragedy by Thomas Kyd; The Revenger's Tragedy (anonymous); John Ford's 'Tis Pity She's a Whore; and The White Devil by John Webster. This student edition contains an introduction and fully annotated, modernized texts.
An Alternative History of Britain
Among the crucial moments in Tudor history that could have had very different outcomes with far-reaching consequences, Venning focuses on Henry VIII's near-fatal tiltyard accident in 1536 and Edward VI's early death in 1553, and he poses the question: if the Spanish Armada had landed successfully – what then?
Wish You Were Here
The Lives, Loves and Friendships of the Butlin's Girls
'It was just a gorgeous place to be and there seemed to be laughter coming from everywhere!' From the 1930s until the growth of cheap air travel in the 1970s, Butlin's offered the British holidaymaker a rare taste of escape, magic and fun. Drawing on interviews with Redcoats, waitresses, chalet maids and other staff, this book tells the stories of seven girls who worked at Butlin's, vividly evoking the highs, lows, secrets and scandals of life in the world-famous holiday camps.
Bomber Harris: His Life and Times
The Biography of Marshal of the Royal Air Force Sir Arthur Harris, the Wartime Chief of Bomber Command
Sir Arthur Harris (1892–1984) remains one of the most controversial figures of the Second World War. As Commander-in-Chief of Bomber Command from 1942 to 1945 he made a significant contribution to the Allies’ ultimate success, but his reputation has been tarnished by the fierce controversy over the ‘area bombing’ of German cities. Henry Probert’s critical but sympathetic biography is the first to give a properly balanced account of a remarkably able and dedicated man.
A Year in the Life of Stuart Britain
Among the momentous events described in the Stuart year are the Great Plague, the Great Fire of London, the Union of Scotland and England and the publication of Newton’s Principia; and the witnesses to this 17th-century Britain include Pepys, Evelyn, Defoe and John Bunyan.
British Posters of the Second World War
In 1939, the first attempts of the government to bolster morale with poster campaigns were largely ineffective but as the war progressed, propaganda became more sophisticated, using contemporary design, memorable slogans and humour to inform and direct the public. This analysis draws on the collection of the Imperial War Museum and explores such classic campaigns as 'Dig for Victory' and 'Make Do and Mend'.
Restoring the "Lost Years" of a Social Activist and Religious Dissident
Who was Jesus? This biography draws on modern economic, forensic and psychological models, alongside ancient Roman and Jewish sources, to create a convincing portrait of an adolescent galvanized by tyranny and the displacement of the Galilean peasantry to embark on a mission of social and religious reform. It sets his teachings in their historical context, explains his healing abilities in terms of both ancient and modern medicine, and sheds new light on his betrayal and execution.
The Book of the Howlat
The Howlat was a young owl, with dowdy, fluffy feathers and a hooked beak. He blamed Nature for his ugliness and appealed to the other birds for help. They took pity on poor Howlat; but as soon as they had decked him out in finery, he became impossibly conceited – which is when they flew off and left him alone in the night. This ancient Scottish fable is retold by James Robertson with magnificent illustrations by Kate Leiper.
Strange Ideas from the Scrapheap of History
Can apples get high on drugs? Are the laws of physics sexist? Was Jesus a giant electron? This book, by a regular contributor to Fortean Times, is an entertaining survey of bizarre experiments and ludicrous theories now abandoned in the dead-ends of scientific history. But, by showing why pseudoscientific fads such as alchemy took hold, it also warns that ‘science sometimes functions as a kind of myth’ when a laudable desire to challenge received thinking meets a faulty belief system.
The King's Revenge
Charles II and the Greatest Manhunt in British History
After the beheading of his father Charles I in 1649, the 19-year-old Prince of Wales vowed to seek revenge and, from exile, instigated the biggest manhunt in British history. The search lasted over 30 years, with show trials and assassination squads scouring the country for the men who dared to sit in judgement of King Charles. Following the hunt in this fast-paced historical narrative, the authors tell an engrossing tale of intrigue, espionage, ambition and betrayal.
Charley's First Night
Charley is Henry's new puppy and although he has a pillow bed in the warm kitchen, with Henry's teddy bear and Henry's clock for company, Charley really wants to be in Henry's bed. This simple tale by Amy Hest, with Helen Oxenbury's illustrations, captures the magic of getting your first puppy. Age 4+
Adventures in the Strand
Arthur Conan Doyle and the Strand Magazine
In 1891, the first issue of The Strand magazine appeared; it was an immediate and massive success, mainly due to the debut of Sherlock Holmes in its pages. In this study of the relationship between Holmes's creator and the magazine, Mike Ashley first sketches the early career paths of Conan Doyle, the publisher George Newnes and editor Greenhough Smith before exploring their extraordinary achievement and Doyle’s subsequent 40-year association with The Strand up to his death in 1930.
Essays, Afterword and Key
United and divided by a river, London is one of the few world cities to find its essence in two profoundly contrasting yet nearly touching urban environments. The Italian artist Matteo Pericoli travelled the 20-mile stretch of the Thames from Hammersmith Bridge to the Millennium Dome to draw both banks of the river. His 25-foot-long folding panorama is accompanied by essays by two of the city's foremost contemporary chroniclers, North Londoner Iain Sinclair and southside resident Will Self.
Materials, Techniques & Projects
With a collection of simple, inexpensive tools and materials, anyone can master the art of calligraphy and make their own handwriting beautiful. This manual includes tips and techniques from how to hold a pen to spacing the letters and creating different calligraphic styles, and includes projects such as a bookplate, a wedding invitation and a poster, all demonstrating how the skill can be put to good use.
A Very British Revolution
150 Years of John Lewis
From catering for Victorian mourners with 50 shades of black fabric in its first shop in Oxford Street in the 1860s, to 12 million YouTube viewings of its Christmas ad for 2013, this is a 150-year retailing success story. Jonathan Glancy looks back over John Lewis's history, describing its roots in drapery and fabrics, the radical partnership structure set up in 1929, its architecturally distinguished flagship stores, the success of the online store and its future plans – more shops.
The Theory and Practice of Taiji Qigong
Widely practised in the Far East, Qigong is growing in popularity in the West as a system of simple exercises that, used regularly, can help to improve movement, breathing and inner concentration. This guide explores the theory behind Qigong and includes detailed advice on how it should be practised. The final section describes the 18 core movements with clear diagrams to help achieve the correct posture.
How to Decode the Sacred Language of the Ancient Egyptians
The hieroglyphic script found on ancient Egyptian tombs and temples is probably the world’s oldest writing system. As you work through this introductory guide by an expert Egyptologist, you will learn the basic principles of the script and the language’s common structures and formulas, before discovering how to unlock the meaning of 23 short texts taken from real artefacts.