Divorced, Beheaded, Died...
The History of Britain's Kings and Queens in Bite-Sized Chunks
Kevin Flude’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.
The Book of Eels
Written from a fisherman’s perspective, this book explores the habits, habitats and extraordinary transatlantic migration of the eel and ranges, like its subject, from the Thames to the Sargasso Sea. Blending memoir, nature writing and history, it records the author’s long fascination with this mysterious fish, and warns of the ecological threats to its survival.
A Chronicle of Deaths, Disappearances, and Discoveries
Inspired by the discovery of Richard III’s remains under a car park in 2012, this is a well-illustrated collection of 30 historical cold cases including the struggle to identify the true corpse of Queen Nefertiti, the Pope exhumed so that his cadaver could stand trial and the continual false FBI tipoffs on the final whereabouts of Jimmy Hoffa.
Individuals, Institutions, Communities, 1730–1830
This collection of essays addresses questions about consumers of music in the long 18th century: who bought music, how did they know what was available and who shaped the public’s musical tastes? The contributors investigate publishers’ commercial and promotional strategies, the popularity of Hungarian dances on the Viennese market and the roles played by critics, celebrities and amateur performers in the growth of musical consumerism.
Escape from Earth
A Secret History of the Space Rocket
After happening upon an old – and still restricted – Cold War rocket testing site in the Outer Hebrides, Fraser MacDonald began to research the technology being tested, the ‘Corporal’ guided missile, and the mystery of the designer Frank J Malina. This book tells the long-buried story of this pioneering rocket scientist, his work at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the birth of the space rocket – and how its inventor was written out of history during the McCarthy witch-hunts.
The History of Espionage
The Secret World of Spycraft, Sabotage and Post-Truth Propaganda
Investigative reporter Ernest Volkman presents stories of espionage and surveillance from ancient Rome and the medieval world to the Cold War and harvesting of data in the digital age. Illustrated with rare photographs, and including 12 case studies, his survey explores how the wealth of information gathered by spies is assembled into intelligence, and some of the methods and ciphers used to preserve national security.
Drawing on her childhood in war-torn Europe and experiences as a diplomat, the former US Secretary of State explores the conditions that gave rise to fascism in the 1920s, and the reasons for its survival beyond 1945. She warns that the resurgent nationalism of leaders such as Putin, Trump and Orban presents a new threat to world peace.
Epitaph for the Ash
In Search of Recovery and Renewal
Alarmed by the appearance in the UK of Ash Dieback, Lisa Samson travels the length of these islands to assess the seriousness of the threat to a much-loved tree, and the measures taken by environmentalists to ensure its survival. When she is diagnosed with a brain tumour and faces life-changing surgery, the fate of the ash becomes a mirror of her own.
Histories of the Unexpected
How Everything has a History
‘History is like a maze’, write the authors as they embark on this journey through 30 topics, inspired by their podcast series that promotes non-linear historical thinking. They reveal how our everyday world connects with the past in surprising, thought-provoking ways, including the use of paper clips as an anti-Nazi symbol, cats’ significance for the French Revolution and the links between letters, marriage, the Royal Navy and eggs.
A Brief History of the Freemasons
In the popular imagination the Freemasons are often regarded as a sinister secret society practising arcane rituals: Jasper Ridley’s reassessment traces the origins of Freemasonry in the medieval craftsmen's guilds and its spread throughout Europe, Asia and the Americas. Dispelling the more lurid misconceptions, Ridley sheds new light on the organization's beliefs, activities and current role in society.
The Staffordshire Regiments 1705–1919
Vol II 'The Scrapbook'
This volume comprises mainly photographs, engravings, illustrations and ephemera relating to the regiments. Most of the material dates to the early 20th century and includes portraits and images of troops on campaign during the Boer War and First World War as well as in training and transit.
A History of the Umbrella in Life and Literature
Once a mark of royalty designed to shield pharaohs from the sun, umbrellas have also been used to signal class distinctions and as status symbols, talismans and defensive weapons. This illustrated volume explores their history and cultural significance, and examines their treatment in literature, art and film, including 120 appearances in the works of Dickens.
The Feminist Revolution
The Struggle for Women's Liberation 1966–1988
This celebration of the women’s liberation movement, its battles and achievements and the creativity that came with them, focuses on the period from the 1960s to the 1980s during which feminist campaigns achieved landmark political victories and transformed the lives and opportunities of women. The highly illustrated volume contains interviews with leading figures, first-hand accounts and a range of photographs, posters, campaign literature and other ephemera.
A Whistle-Stop Tour of Railway History
Peter Saxton conducts a ‘whistle-stop tour of railway history’, from Stephenson’s Rocket and the first underground line to the Chinese high-speed magnetic levitation train. En route there is information on topics from engineering to railway poets, including descriptions of memorable rail incidents and introductions to such notable figures as George Bradshaw, Richard Beeching and Sir Nigel Gresley.
The History of Theatre
The diverse and absorbing history of the theatre ranges from the tragedies and comedies of ancient Greece to the high-tech musicals of today. Derek Jacobi’s engaging reading is illustrated with more than 50 extracts from classic plays, performed by some of today’s leading actors.
The Radicals Who Made the Modern World
In 1517 Martin Luther, the ‘indispensable firestarter’, launched his 95 theses protesting the sale of indulgences by the Roman Catholic Church. From the upheaval of the Reformation that followed, Alec Ryrie’s fast-paced and engaging history traces five centuries of Protestantism, across the globe and across a vast diversity of sects and movements, to Pentecostalism in the 20th century and the situation today. ‘We cannot understand the modern age,’ writes Ryrie, ‘without understanding the dynamic history of Protestant Christianity’.
The First Railways
Atlas of Early Railways
From the earliest known map that shows a waggon-way in 1637, this atlas uses contemporary cartography, mostly from previously unpublished maps, along with illustrations of trackbeds, locomotives and rolling stock, to trace the technological development of railways in Britain. Beginning with primitive wooden rails used in mines and quarries, it describes progress up to the first modern, steam-driven railways in the early 19th century, and ends by surveying the transfer of the technology to other countries.
Abbotsford to Zion
The Story of Scottish Place Names Around the World
Despite the A–Z of the title, this book takes a thematic approach as it tells the stories behind a selection of Scottish names of far-flung places. Starting with the explorers and pioneers who opened up wilderness lands, from Sir Alexander Mackenzie in Canada to Dundee Island in Antarctica, chapters describe the Scottish traders and migrants to North America, Australia and New Zealand who named places after themselves, their heroes or their homeland.
The Story of Costume
Fashion changed slowly in the centuries before the modern era and resulted in some odd and impractical styles, such as the long, pointed men’s shoes of the 15th century or the 19th century’s bustles and crinolines. This children’s history of costume tells the story of fashion from the ancient Egyptians and Greeks to the modern era through a series of 325 colour illustrations. Age 8+
Russian Motor Vehicles
The CZARIST Period 1784 to 1917
The Russo-Baltic Waggon Works of Riga in Latvia was the most prominent manufacturer of motors in the Russian Empire before the Revolution, producing vehicles to rival the best German or American designs. This analysis of the industry in Russia places it in the context of engineering innovation in the Czarist period and, with 90 illustrations and archive photographs, assesses the vehicles produced before 1917, from early steam and electric experiments to motorcycles, cars, trucks and military vehicles.
Dinner with a Cannibal
The Complete History of Mankind's Oldest Taboo
In this thorough examination of human cannibalism, a palaeoanthropologist analyses the evidence, from ancient fossils to recent genetic findings, that marks us all as descendants of cannibals. Investigating when and why humans have eaten their own kind, she identifies cannibalism as an ancient, natural strategy used by early humans to survive periods of food scarcity, but also considers the religious and culinary contexts in which it has been practised in historical times.
Lindbergh, His Competitors, and the Race to Cross the Atlantic
Between 14 April and 21 May 1927, 16 aviators raced to be the first to cross the Atlantic non-stop and collect the $25,000 prize put up by the French-American hotelier Raymond Orteig. The 'Orteig Prize' finally went to Charles Lindbergh and his victory has overshadowed the achievements and the tragedies – six died – of his fellow competitors. Joe Jackson's compelling account of the 'Great Atlantic Derby' of 1927 covers all who took part in that truly perilous race.
Britain's Railway Disasters
Fatal Accidents from the 1830s to the Present Day
Ten people died in the Staplehurst train crash of 1865, but accidents were not uncommon at the time and the disaster is now most notable because Dickens was one of the passengers. This history focuses on the most serious accidents on the British network from the beginnings of rail travel to the present day, comparing official reports with contemporary newspaper accounts and examining how attitudes changed as court claims became more common and safety was taken more seriously.
Glen and Shire Lines
A Ship in Focus Fleet History
When the Suez Canal opened in 1869, it offered an 8,000-mile short cut to the East. Just a few years earlier, the development of a reliable and fuel-efficient maritime steam engine had also made it viable to use steamships on long ocean voyages. With comprehensive fleet lists and many photographs, this book tells the story of two of the first shipping lines to exploit these developments, pioneering the liner routes to the Far East.
These stories of the unexplained from all parts of Scotland draw on personal interviews with the haunted as well as the author's own experience. The mysterious phenomena described include witchcraft, time slips, exorcisms, reincarnation and ghostly encounters such as the confrontation with a shadowy beast known as The Dark Lord.