Votes for Women
The Pioneers and Heroines of Female Suffrage
Jenni Murray, the presenter of BBC Radio 4's Women’s Hour, counter’s Carlyle’s assertion that history ‘is but the biography of great men’ with a personal selection of inspirational women who have made significant contributions to British history. In 21 short biographies, Murray includes just one queen, Elizabeth I, among writers, artists and scientists, social reformers and politicians from Boadicea to Nicola Sturgeon.
The Trials of the King of Hampshire
Madness, Secrecy and Betrayal in Georgian England
Every family has its skeletons, but in 1823 the aristocratic Wallops were about to have theirs laid bare to the world. This biography tells the dramatic story of the Third Earl of Portsmouth. Wealthy and well-connected, a friend of Byron and Jane Austen, he was widely considered a harmless eccentric until – amid accusations of blackmail, abduction and sodomy – his own family set out to have him declared insane in a trial that scandalized the nation.
Brother Protector King
The loyal brother of Edward IV, Richard was entrusted as Protector of Edward’s son and heir, but in 1483 he took the crown himself while his nephews, Edward V and Prince Richard, disappeared. It was widely rumoured that the king had murdered his brother’s sons. Avoiding the bias of Richard’s evil reputation, this narrative history of his life and reign returns to original sources and looks in depth at contemporary politics, Richard’s earlier years and northern affinity, and how he constructed his own power base.
Eavesdropping on Jane Austen's England
How Our Ancestors Lived Two Centuries Ago
Drawing on contemporary sources including diaries, letters, newspapers and trial proceedings as well as Jane Austen's own correspondence and writings, Roy and Lesley Adkins have created a wide-ranging and richly detailed social history of English life in the early 19th century that offers new perspectives on the world of the great novelist. Covering everything from childbirth, education and work to the darker side of Georgian society, poverty and crime, the book provides an illuminating companion to Austen's novels.
A Roman Frontier Fort in Scotland
Discovered in 1979, the Roman fort at Elginhaugh near Dalkeith is now the most completely excavated timber-built auxiliary fort in the Roman Empire. Here, Professor Hanson describes the discovery, excavation and interpretation of the site and sets the findings in the wider context of the fort’s builders and the lives of its inhabitants.
A Roman Frontier Fort in Scotland
Discovered in 1979, the Roman fort at Elginhaugh near Dalkeith is now the most completely excavated timber-built auxiliary fort in the Roman Empire. Here, Professor Hanson describes the discovery, excavation and interpretation of the site and sets the findings in the wider context of the fort’s builders and the lives of its inhabitants. Slightly off-mint
A History of the English-Speaking Peoples since 1900
Picking up where Churchill’s work of the same title left off, Andrew Roberts follows Britain’s relations with the United States and the Commonwealth over the last 120 years. He examines the Western Alliance’s response to the challenges of two world wars and the Cold War, arguing that the unity of the English-speaking peoples is a bastion of liberty, and warning that the ‘wasted breathing space’ between 1991 and 2011 left us ill-prepared to meet the rise of Islamic fundamentalism.
A Beginner's Guide
This concise introduction covers many aspects of Victorian society: class, religion, gender roles, the city and the empire. It considers how British views of the era have changed, and how it has shaped the modern world, from the infrastructure of British politics and culture to the global struggles of the post-colonial era.
A Revolution of Feeling
The Decade that Forged the Modern Mind
In the 1790s Britain experienced what Edmund Burke called ‘a revolution in sentiments’: Hewitt shows how the French Revolution inspired British radicals to incorporate raw emotion into reformist ideals concerning sex, education, commerce and medicine. However, while this had enduring political effects, the aspirations of Enlightenment figures including Samuel Coleridge, William Godwin, Mary Wollstonecraft and Thomas Wedgwood went unfulfilled as the ensuing Terror led to political crackdowns in Britain.
An Exploration of Shakespeare's World Through Maps
In Shakespeare’s time explorers were adding to European knowledge of distant places and peoples, while advances in cartography allowed for more accurate projections and more detailed mapping. Presenting many contemporary representations of English and European locations, the wider world and the heavens, Jeremy Black examines what such maps reveal about the ways in which playwright and audience understood geography and how they viewed their place in the world and the universe. Slightly off-mint.
The Dark Side of East London
The alleyways and estates of Tower Hamlets were rife with poverty and crime in the 18th and 19th centuries. Local historian David Charnick tells dark tales of murders, poisonings and abductions that occurred there, using them to reveal aspects of everyday life before and during the encroachment of London’s East End. A specially commissioned section of black and white photographs shows the locations of many of the events.
Wallis in Love
The Untold Life of the Duchess of Windsor, the Women Who Changed the Monarchy
Andrew Morton, author of Diana: Her True Story, turns his attention to Wallis Simpson, the twice-married divorcée 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.
Land Travel and Communications in Tudor and Stuart England
Achieving a Joined-up Realm
Dealing with the period between 1500 and 1700, this study documents the unprecedented growth in road travel by all sections of society, from paupers to princes; the increasing volume of wheeled vehicles on the highways; and the radical changes in the means of conveying correspondence, both within England and beyond its borders.
Prehistoric Strongholds of Northumberland National Park
The hillforts of Northumberland are extraordinarily well-preserved, their interiors relatively untouched since they were last occupied, around 1,500 years ago. Presenting the key results of the detailed and extensive archaeological landscape surveys carried out by English Heritage, this well-illustrated account, aimed at hill-walkers and other visitors, describes what hillforts would have looked like when they were first built and what life was like for the inhabitants.
A History of the City
The historian and columnist for The National in Scotland, Michael Fry offers a new perspective on the history and culture of Glasgow as ‘a unique species of urban civilization’. His book takes in the whole span of the city’s history, from the sixth century to the present day, but is structured thematically, in chapters exploring Glasgow’s trade and industry, religion, the lives and politics of its ‘patricians’ and ‘plebeians’, and its distinctive styles of language, literature and art.
The Dandy at Dusk
Taste and Melancholy in the Twentieth Century
Dandyism is often thought to be about extravagance of dress. Combining biography, social history and men’s fashion, this study reveals it to be something different: an austere, almost religious dedication to style. Through profiles of six 20th-century dandies – the Duke of Windsor, the architect Adolf Loos, Bunny Roger, Quentin Crisp, Jean-Philippe Melville and the film director Rainer Werner Fassbinder – it probes issues of identity, nostalgia and the self-created persona.
The King's Bed
Sex, Power and the Court of Charles II
Charles II was obsessed by women, and his conquests ranged across the classes, from the actress Nell Gwyn to the aristocrat Barbara Villiers. For the first time, this revealing book places the king’s compulsive philandering at the centre of an account of his reign. Taking us behind the scenes, it introduces a colourful cast of court favourites, politicians and a parade of mistresses fighting for influence over a king ruled – and ruined – by his passions.
War! Hellish War! Star Shell Reflections 1916–1918
The Illustrated Great War Diaries of Jim Maultsaid
Jim Maultsaid was injured on the Somme in 1916, after which he was commissioned into the Chinese Labour Corps, directing these foreign recruits in non-combatant support work and manual labour. His unusual war diaries include his frank but often upbeat observations about his experiences as well as drawings, satirical cartoons and scrapbook photographs which give a unique insight into his everyday activities and the characters he encountered.
The Real Guy Fawkes
Guy Fawkes is among British history’s most recognizable figures, burned in effigy every November to celebrate the Gunpowder Plot’s failure. His early life is less familiar though, and so this biography focuses on his youth as a Protestant in York and the motivations that led him to fight as a mercenary and to plan mass murder for the Catholic cause, asking whether he was ‘a fanatic, a fool, or a freedom fighter’.
The Life of Henrietta Anne
Daughter of Charles I
Melanie Clegg offers a detailed biography of the youngest daughter of Charles I. Her prestige enhanced by her dramatic escape from parliamentary forces during the Civil War, the infant Henrietta Anne was cherished by the court in her mother's native France. As a young woman, her flirtatious reputation belied her political acumen, but the part she played in negotiating the Secret Treaty of Dover in 1670 was a notable highpoint in her short, at times controversial, life.
Law, Loyalty, Literature 1640–1674
This multi-disciplinary collection of eight essays reassesses the career of Edward Hyde, 1st Earl of Clarendon (1609–1674), a figure of major importance in 17th-century British politics, constitutional history and literature, and the author of the History of the Rebellion (1702–04).