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.
Daughters of the Winter Queen
Four Remarkable Sisters, the Crown of Bohemia, and the Enduring Legacy of Mary, Queen of Scots
The daughter of James I, Elizabeth Stuart, the ‘Winter Queen’ was married to Frederick, Elector Palatine, who became King of Bohemia – for one season. Nancy Goldstone’s engrossing history first tells Elizabeth’s story, from childhood in the Stuart court to deposed queen in exile, then describes the lives of her four daughters: Princess Elizabeth, Louise Hollandine, Henrietta Maria and Sophia, Electress of Hanover and mother of George I – women who ‘formed the loom upon which the great tapestry of Europe was woven’.
A History of Heads Lost and Heads Found
'A severed head can be many things: a loved one, a trophy, scientific data, criminal evidence, an educational prop, a religious relic, an artistic muse, a practical joke.' Larson surveys all these fates of human heads in a strange and often gruesome history that ranges from primitive tribes' shrunken heads to bizarre experiments in bringing guillotined heads back to life, and discusses issues such as the spectacle of public execution, the human face and the act of decapitation.
Women and Power
In two lectures that aim to show ‘just how deeply embedded in Western culture are the mechanisms that silence women’, Mary Beard first goes back to Penelope being told to shut up by her son in Homer’s Odyssey and shows how ‘gendered speaking’ has persisted through millennia; and in her second lecture, ‘Women in Power’, she explores the cultural underpinnings of misogyny. Off-mint.
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.
Churnet Valley Iron
The Mills & The Mines
Herbert Chester first published this history of iron-working as The Iron Valley in 1979. Since then, Churnet Valley has become popular with walkers and steam train enthusiasts and the book, now re-issued with additional maps and photographs, provides a detailed account of the area’s largely forgotten industrial heritage.
The Book Thieves
The Nazi Looting of Europe's Libraries and the Race to Return a Literary Inheritance
Throughout occupied Europe, the Nazis looted not only art but also books. The Swedish journalist Anders Rydell describes how the shelves of Jews, Communists, Catholics, Freemasons and other opposition groups were pillaged to provide material for Nazi propaganda. He meets the small team of dedicated librarians combing Berlin's public libraries to identify the looted books, and finds himself entrusted with returning a stolen volume to its rightful owner. Off-mint with a felt-tip mark on lower trimmed edge.
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.
A History of Design and Circumstance
Where did the pencil come from? How is it made? Are pencils as good as we can make them? From its antecedents to ‘the quest for perfection’, Henry Petroski, a professor of civil engineering, reflects on the ‘history and symbolism of the common pencil’. Slightly off-mint.
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’.
Published by Sam Fogg, the renowned gallery dealing in ancient and medieval artefacts and texts, this catalogue describes 86 Chinese books ranging in date from the 1st to the 19th centuries and divided into sections of manuscripts from Dunhuang, sacred texts, works of literature and history, science, illustrated books and two books from Korea. Each work is represented by one or more reproductions of pages, together with descriptive details and a scholarly commentary.
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.
Two streams in South Lanarkshire vie for the title of the source of the Clyde, which then flows through moor and farmland, down the Falls of Clyde – a UNESCO World Heritage Site – to Glasgow and the Firth of Clyde. Through a selection of photographs, commentary and guided walks, this book explores the history, culture and geography of the river from source to sea.
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.
The Michelin Men
Driving an Empire
After taking over the family rubber business, Edouard Michelin's striking innovation, in 1891, was a removable pneumatic bicycle tyre. This idea, together with brother André's marketing genius, was the foundation of a phenomenal rise in the company's fortunes. This highly readable history tells the story of how the two brothers' groundbreaking efforts built a global empire and helped to create a tourist industry around motoring with their famous Michelin guides and maps. Off-mint.
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.