It's All a Game
A Short History of Board Games
Board games have existed for millennia and, despite the allure of smartphones, remain hugely popular, even giving birth to the recent phenomenon of board-game cafés. From the ancient Egyptian Senet (‘a playable guide to the afterlife’), via such classics as Monopoly (which originally used a circular board), this book explores why they captivate us and traces their development up to the latest innovative ‘Eurogames’.
Cops and Robbers
The Story of the British Police Car
A former police constable turned car builder, Ant Anstead presents a lively history of the British Police Force’s relationship with the car, from chasing pioneer motorists on bicycles and the realization that they needed to be quicker than the offenders, to the high spec supercars in use today. Anstead traces the car’s changing role in policing with the emphasis on the motors, whether Morris Minor panda cars or powerful Subaru Impreza Turbos.
Darkness Over Germany
A Warning from History
As a young Christian teacher, Amy Buller made several visits to Germany in the 1930s to foster dialogue and international understanding. First published in 1943, this book recounts her conversations with Nazis and anti-Nazis, Catholics, Protestants and Jews. It offers a chilling insight into how an authoritarian regime can establish itself, and how the general population can be persuaded to support it.
Famous Brand Names and Their Origins
From Bovril and Vaseline to Cluedo and John Lewis, our homes and high streets are full of products and companies with famous names, just as they were in the past. This history explains the origins of many of the best-known brands, with facts, period advertising and nostalgic images of the original versions of everyday household favourites.
The Social Life of Books
Reading Together in the Eighteenth-Century Home
Starting with the example of William and Dorothy Wordsworth’s cosy evening in a tavern reading ‘an odd volume of Congreve’s plays’, as recorded in Dorothy’s diary, Abigail Williams sets out to show how ‘a history of sociable reading puts books back into the lives and homes, enabling us to see literature in the round’. Discussing topics such as verse at home, drama and recital, the rise of the novel, non-fiction and religious reading, the book offers fresh insights into middle-class domestic life.
The Greeks in Asia
Surveying artistic, archaeological and literary sources, Boardman demonstrates the extent of ancient Greek cultural interactions with the much older civilizations of Central Asia, India and Western China. He discusses how the Greeks ‘came to leave a very distinctive imprint on the lives and arts of many distant peoples’, not least through the enduring influence of their art on the Buddhist Gandhara sculptural style.
Secrets of the Russian Ballet from the Rule of the Tsars to Today
For over two centuries, Moscow’s Bolshoi Ballet has been the pride of Russian culture, a source of national prestige under tsars and communists alike; yet the shocking acid attack on its artistic director Sergei Filin in 2015 was but the latest in a long line of scandals. Here, the musicologist Simon Morrison charts the Bolshoi’s history of political manipulation and artistic rivalry, with the focus always on the ballet, ‘the cruellest and most wondrous of the arts’.
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. Slightly off-mint.
From Infamy to Greatness
Craig Nelson gives a vivid account of the Japanese surprise attack on the American naval and air forces on 7 December 1941. Blending archival research with the individual stories of sailors, soldiers, pilots, diplomats and leaders, he describes the situation in Japan and the US prior to the attack, the immediate result, and the unforeseen consequences that continue to linger.
The Fraternity of the Estranged
The Fight for Homosexual Rights in England, 1891–1908
Against the background of the 1885 Act that criminalized male homosexuality and led to the imprisonment of Oscar Wilde, two young scholars, Edward Carpenter and John Addington Symonds, began writing and campaigning for the rights of gay men. Drawing on primary sources, this book explores their pioneering ideas, the personal cost to themselves, and their connection with Havelock Ellis, whose Sexual Inversion (1897) became the first English study of homosexuality.
Voices from the Blue
Since London's first women police officers went into operation in 1919, the glass ceiling has been broken to the extent that the Met now has a female Police Commissioner, Cressida Dick. This oral history of a century of service is told through the voices of the women who fought inequality, sexism and prejudice, while winning widespread respect for fighting crime and maintaining order in the capital.
The Treasures and the Collectors
Built in Wiltshire during the reign of Elizabeth I, Longford Castle, seat of the Earls of Radnor, houses an important art collection – the majority of the paintings still hanging within the magnificently furnished home. This study of Longford, its collectors and its paintings is illustrated by 119 photographs of the interior and reproductions of works by artists including Velázquez, Gainsborough and Van Dyck, and masterpieces now in the National Gallery, among them The Ambassadors by Hans Holbein the Younger.
Victorians in Camera
The World of 19th Century Studio Photography
Whether it was an expensive daguerreotype, a piece of studio trickery, or a carte de visite, the Victorians were fascinated by photography, and by portraits in particular. Using contemporary texts and images, Robert Pols describes the experience of the 19th-century photographic studio from the subjects’ point of view, exploring why and how they chose a photographer, pose or style, and their uses for the finished products.
Salvador Dalí at Home
From his family homes in Cadaqués and Figueres in the Catalan Alt-Empordà region, to Madrid and Paris, ‘camping out’ in America, and back to his beloved Catalonia, this book follows Salvador Dalí through the various lifestyles and landscapes that shaped his life and informed his work. With over 130 illustrations, both reproductions of paintings and photographs of the artist, the book offers an insight into the influence of people and surroundings on the great Surrealist.
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.
Deeds Not Words
The Story of Women's Rights, Then and Now
The suffragette descendant and activist Helen Pankhurst records the changes in the lives of women since 1918 – the year in which, with certain caveats, those over the age of 30 won the right to vote in national elections. In the context of themes including politics, money, identity, violence, culture and social norms, she celebrates landmark successes and little-known victories, and considers how far women still have to go to achieve true equality. 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.
The Canary Islands
A Cultural History
An award-winning journalist and native Canarian explores every island in the archipelago to describe their geology, ecology, history, mythology, folklore and cuisine. Earlier writings, and the recollections of older generations remembered from his youth, depict the islands before mass tourism.
Can Democracy Work?
A Short History of a Radical Idea from Ancient Athens to Our World
From ancient Greeks to Donald Trump, people have argued about what democracy means. This concise history surveys its many incarnations, as expressed in the French and American revolutions and 19th-century radicalism, and assesses the challenges it faces today.
Britain's Living Past
A Celebration of Britain's Surviving Traditional Cultural and Working Practices
Beginning, as befits a maritime nation, on a covered slipway where shipwrights continue to build and repair wooden vessels, Anthony Burton describes British traditional crafts, working practices, sports and entertainments that are still very much alive. Photographed in action by Rob Scott, here are rope-makers, wheelwrights, farriers at the Appleby Horse Fair and engineers maintaining the Manx Steam Railway; lace making and caber tossing; and the book ends on a fiery note, with Shetland’s Up Helly Aa festival.
A Theatre and its City
From the opening of Liverpool Playhouse in 1911 under the artistic directorship of Basil Dean, to 2011, this book offers a sense of the rebellion and energy that have characterized this great repertory theatre through the words of the people who have worked there; and in photographs that show the range of performances and the many distinguished actors who began their careers at the Playhouse.
The Licensed City
Regulating Drink in Liverpool, 1830–1920
Examining ‘how drunkenness came to be written into the image that the port city presented to the nation’, Beckingham focuses on how Victorian Liverpool’s reputation as one of the most drink-sodden cities in Britain prompted municipal regulation in an attempt to salvage civic pride. Tracing Liverpool’s progress from degradation to temperance, the study offers a more general discussion of the place of drink in British society.
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.
Journeys from the Abyss
The Holocaust and Forced Migration from the 1880s to the Present
Focusing on women, children, and ‘illegal’ boat migrants, Tony Kushner examines Jewish refugee movements before, during and after the Holocaust and places them in a longer history of forced migrations, from the 1880s to the present.
The Animal's Companion
People and their Pets: A 26,000-Year-Old Love Story
Starting with the earliest known evidence of ‘our role as an animal’s companion’ – the paw- and footprints of a boy and a dog walking in a cave 26,000 years ago – this is a history, not of pets, but of pet owners. Discussing individuals from aristocrats to rat-catchers, Harvey examines our relationship to the animals that we regard as pets, whether goldfish or wombats: how we name them, communicate and connect with them, care for them and mourn their deaths.
The Dandy at Dusk
Taste and Melancholy in the Twentieth Century
Dispelling the notion that dandyism can be defined as an extravagance of dress, and seeing it more as an art form, this social history explores its relationship to modernity and issues of identity. Through profiles of six 20th-century dandies, including the Duke of Windsor, Quentin Crisp and the film director Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Philip Mann shows how their dedication to style is linked intrinsically to their aesthetic values and attitudes.
Yorkshire Women at War
Story of Women's Land Army Hostels
The thousands of women who volunteered to take on agricultural work in Yorkshire during the Second World War were housed in a network of hostels, where they slept in shared dormitories and were often provided with only basic facilities. With first-hand accounts and contemporary photographs, this local history describes life under the sometimes-domineering wardens and out on the farms during the war and throughout the 1940s.
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’.
Lost to the Sea
Britain's Vanished Coastal Communities: The Yorkshire Coast and Holderness
In the centuries since the Roman occupation, Yorkshire’s coastline has moved more than three miles inland, while the mudflats at the mouth of the Humber have grown. This social history of the changing coast uses oral and documentary sources to tell how communities have lived with the threat of erosion and have attempted to protect their towns and villages by slowing down the relentless advance of the North Sea.
Wingfield College and its Patrons
Piety and Prestige in Medieval Suffolk
Wingfield College was founded in the mid-14th century in a bid for power by a fast-rising mercantile family. This collection of papers combines research into the site’s history and archaeology, with a DVD featuring reconstructions of both college and castle.
Leprosy and Charity in Medieval Rouen
Between the 12th and 15th centuries, leprosy and its sufferers had a distinctive impact on the society and religious culture of Rouen, at that time the leading city of Normandy. This detailed study of Rouen’s medieval leper houses sheds light on many aspects of economic, political and devotional life as well as issues such as charity and responses to disease and need.
Children and Asceticism in Late Antiquity
Continuity, Family Dynamics and the Rise of Christianity
Concentrating on the late fourth and early fifth centuries, Vuolanto’s study examines how the rise of Christianity and, with it, asceticism raised issues of sexuality, marriage, family and celibacy, challenging the traditional norms and practices of a culture in which to remain unmarried had not been an option.
Experiences of Charity
Examining the experience of charity and the complex motivations that prompted charitable endeavour in the period c.1100 to 1650, this volume of 13 essays includes case studies relating to England, France and the Low Countries. The topics under discussion include charity towards lepers; bequests for the poor in 15th-century Norwich wills; monastic poor relief in late medieval England; and Huguenot charity in London.
Supernatural and Secular Power in Early Modern England
With case studies ranging from alchemist John Dee at the Elizabethan Court to popular pamphlets describing witches’ sexual behaviour, this interdisciplinary collection explores how early modern ideas about the supernatural threatened authority but were also used to reinforce social norms.
The Hanoverian Succession
Dynastic Politics and Monarchical Culture
During the 123-year rule of the four Georges and William IV, Britain acquired an empire and began to forge its parliamentary democracy. These essays examine their self-presentation as a stable Protestant dynasty, and their relation to the aristocracy, the military and the Church.
Going to Market
Women, Trade and Social Relations in Early Modern English Towns, c.1550–1650
David Pennington argues that women were central to the commercial life of early modern English towns. His study attempts to reconstruct the kinds of work trading women did and their official, business and personal relationships. The History of Retailing and Consumption series.
The Darksome Bounds of a Failing World
The Sinking of the Titanic and the End of the Edwardian Era
Gareth Russell grew up listening to tales of the Titanic from his great-grandfather, who watched the ship rise above the Belfast skyline. Drawing on letters, newspapers and eyewitness reports, he describes the construction of the liner, charts its maiden voyage, and recounts the lives and fates of six first-class passengers: a countess, an actress, the managing director of the Harland & Wolff shipyard, a railroad magnate and his son, and an American philanthropist.
A Comprehensive Guide for Locals and Visitors
Famous for jute, jam and journalism, the city on the Firth of Tay was a 19th-century industrial powerhouse and is now a vibrant hub of the arts and education. Fully illustrated and featuring colour maps, this first modern guide to the city explores the central area around the High Street before surveying its historic suburbs, museums and galleries, parks and gardens, and its five castles.
The Forgotten Suffragettes
The long struggle for women's suffrage involved thousands of campaigners and activists from every walk of life. While some protested peacefully, others, exasperated with the government's indifference to their demands, burned down football stadiums or refused to pay their taxes. This compendium tells the stories of 48 lesser-known figures in the movement including the arsonist Edith Rigby, the Irish nationalist Mary Hayden and the Communist Ellen Wilkinson.
The Mystery of King John's Treasure
In October 1216, during troubled times of rebelling barons and threatened invasion, King John was crossing the East Anglian Fenlands by a secret route, carrying with him the royal treasure, including the crown jewels: somewhere near the Wash, the king’s hoard was lost. None of those searching for it, whether archaeological projects or hopeful detectorists, have ever found the riches. This book delves into the mystery of John’s fateful journey and his lost treasure, and his death soon after.
The Mistress of Mayfair
Men, Money and the Marriage of Doris Delevingne
Based on a pursuit of the finer things in life, the marriage of the socialite Doris Delevingne and the gossip columnist Valentine Brown was tempestuous from the start, rocked by affairs with famous figures including Winston Churchill and Diana Mitford. This volume, illustrated with contemporary photographs, charts their relationship during the 1920s and 1930s, offering new insights into the decadent, brittle world of the 'Bright Young Things'.
Lady Jane Grey
Nine Days Queen
As the great-niece of Henry VIII, Jane Grey was a pawn in the power game of Tudor politics. The dying Edward VI made Jane his heir and, on 6 July 1553, aged 16, she became queen. Her reign lasted nine days: when Mary Tudor claimed the throne, Jane was sent to the Tower and beheaded in 1554. In this compassionate biography, Plowden tells the story of a gifted, scholarly girl, doomed by her royal blood.
False Starts, Near Misses and Dangerous Goods
Railwaymen's Stories About the Challenges of Running a Railway
The task of running a railway safely is not a simple matter: propelling heavy equipment, passengers and freight cross-country through varying terrains and weather is a major technical and mechanical feat. This collection of anecdotes from railway operators gives a personal view of some of the perils of the business, from derailments and trains spotted with no brakes, to the challenges of transporting lion cubs.
The Little Girl Who Fought the Great Depression
Shirley Temple and 1930s America
During the 1930s Shirley Temple became the biggest box office star in the world: this is the story of her film career, with a strong focus on the wider cultural and political impact of her movies. Supported by contemporary photographs and visual material, it also explores the way that huge merchandise sales boosted jobs and local economies, and how the cinema reflected the mood of the nation during the Depression and FDR’s New Deal.
The Corner Shop
Shopkeepers, the Sharmas and the Making of Modern Britain
Growing up in a Reading corner shop, the BBC television newsreader Babita Sharma was witness to a changing world and its impact on customers’ lives and opinions as well as the products they bought. In this volume, she links her recollections of shop life with the last fifty years of British history, reflecting on an institution that, despite the creep of supermarkets, online shopping and home delivery, has found a way to evolve and survive.