Soane's Favourite Subject
The Story of Dulwich Picture Gallery
The world’s first purpose-built public art gallery, Dulwich Picture Gallery opened in 1811 to house a collection of old masters assembled for the deposed king of Poland. Since then, John Soane’s revolutionary building, which incorporates the mausoleum of its founders, has proved vastly influential. This book tells the story of its creation, includes a chronological catalogue of historic images of the gallery, including the original architectural drawings, and charts the modifications it has undergone over the succeeding two centuries.
The British Olympics
Britain's Olympic Heritage 1612–2012
Before 2012, the Olympic Games had twice been held in London, but sporting festivals in Britain date back centuries earlier – events that encouraged and inspired the foundation of the modern Olympics. This book explores the Much Wenlock and Cotswold Games and other early incarnations, as well as the 1904 and 1948 Games, and the Stoke Mandeville Games, the forerunner of the Paralympic Games.
A History of Britain From Above
Founded in 1919, Aerofilms Ltd married the art of photography to the new technology of powered flight to capture Britain as it had never been seen before: from the air. This volume showcases hundreds of the pioneering firm's aerial photographs, many of them rare or previously unseen, and tells how it survived the Great Depression, helped the war effort at the direct request of Winston Churchill, and charted the reconstruction projects of the 1940s and 1950s.
Friends of Alice Wheeldon
The Anti-War Activist Accused of Plotting to Kill Lloyd George
Sheila Rowbotham’s 1986 play Friends of Alice Wheeldon dramatized the trial of a Derby socialist and feminist accused by an undercover agent during the First World War of plotting to kill the prime minister, Lloyd George. This new edition includes a carefully researched historical introduction that describes the interaction between workplace militants and anti-war activists, the intrigues of politicians and the intelligence agencies, and the campaign to clear Wheeldon’s name.
The A-B-C Guide to London (Old House)
First published in 1905, this illustrated pocket guide offers a fascinating glimpse of London in its Edwardian heyday. Alongside its descriptions of the city’s great monuments are advertisements for gents’ outfitters and details of schools, pubs and omnibus routes.
The Caribbean and the World
From the moment Columbus gazed on the land he mistook for India, the islands of the Caribbean have been the subject of daydreams and fantasy. This absorbing book, the result of ten years’ travel, strips away the myths to reveal the real Caribbean, a region that has produced some of the world’s most influential artists, activists, writers, musicians and sportsmen, as its people speak for themselves about their home and its place in the world.
The Good Old Days
Crime, Murder and Mayhem in Victorian London
The moral tone of Britain's elite may have been high in the 19th century but the reality for many of the people living in the world's richest city was squalor, drunkenness, violence and crime. Drawing on contemporary accounts, this tour of Victorian London lifts the lid on the living conditions of the poor and describes some of the capital's most notorious crimes and criminals. Slightly off-mint.
Call The Midwife
A True Story of the East End in the 1950s
The book that sparked the award-winning TV series details Jennifer Worth’s very real experiences as a young midwife based in a convent amid the chaos of post-war London Docklands. Her true-life stories show how tough conditions were in the East End, especially for women, who often lived in slum accommodation – grateful if they had a cold-water tap – with ten or more children to look after.
The Foundation of Freedom 1215–2015
Described by Lord Denning as ‘the greatest constitutional document of all times’, Magna Carta is widely seen as a guarantor of individual rights and freedom from tyranny. But how is a charter forced on a medieval king by his barons relevant today? This comprehensive, accessible and richly illustrated volume explains its origins, how it has been interpreted through the centuries, and the inspiration it provides to those wishing to build democratic societies across the world.
Last Hope Island
In this epic narrative – a former Mail on Sunday Book of the Year – the American popular historian Lynne Olson focuses on the relationships between Britain and the governments from occupied Europe that found refuge in London during the Second World War. She explores their valuable contributions to the Allied war effort, as well as Britain’s staunch resistance to Hitler, and the exploits of the fighters across Europe who were inspired by the British ‘beacon of hope’.
The Old Vic
The Story of a Great Theatre from Kean to Olivier to Spacey
London’s Old Vic theatre opened in 1818 with a rowdy melodrama and continued with Edward Kean’s Richard III being howled down by an audience of ‘unmitigated brutes’. This richly illustrated book charts its 200-year history – a rollercoaster ride that included spells as a music hall and temperance tavern, dilapidation and war damage, and its magnificent restoration by Ed Mirvish in 2002, and takes in some of the greatest names in theatrical history, from Lilian Baylis to Laurence Olivier.
The Life and Choices of Lady Anne Barnard
Lady Anne Barnard lived at the heart of Georgian society – the Prince of Wales was a friend, and Walter Scott admired her verses – but her defiance of convention made her an outsider. Drawing on her unpublished papers, including six volumes of memoirs, this thrilling biography brings this poet, musician, artist and hostess vividly to life, and tells how she travelled to France to observe the Revolution, married an army officer twelve years her junior, and raised an illegitimate child.
The Tudors in 100 Objects
Beginning with a silver-gilt boar, the emblem of Richard III, retrieved from the site of the Battle of Bosworth and Henry Tudor’s victory, John Matusiak sets himself the task of ‘recreating Tudor England through the medium of 100 objects’. Arranged by theme, and unravelling the stories behind objects as diverse as a birthing chair, a velvet sun mask, a chimney and an executioner’s axe, the book is a fascinating exploration of the social and material world of Tudor times.
Scotland Yard's History of Crime in 100 Objects
Established in 1875, Scotland Yard's private collection of items gathered from notorious crime scenes, informally known as the Black Museum, represents a history of crime on British soil. Each of the artifacts chosen for this book prompts an exploration of a different area of criminal activity, the objects ranging from the poisoned pellet used to assassinate Georgi Markov in 1978 to the fingerprint-covered ketchup bottle that helped convict the Great Train Robbers in 1964.
People at Home
Living in a Warwickshire Village, 1500–1800
Thanks to the availability of three sets of historical documents, this book traces the development of Stoneleigh village in Warwickshire over a period of 300 years. From medieval living conditions to a rebuilding project and the purchase of new 18th-century household items, inventories, plans and black-and-white photographs help to demonstrate how lifestyles gradually changed and improved here at all levels of society, providing an invaluable record of the past.
Great War Britain: Hull & the Humber
Susanna O'Neill offers an insight into Hull’s experiences of the war years, when its factories turned their attention to munitions making, its fishing trade supplied vessels and men, and German Zeppelin aerial attacks killed 47 people between 1915 and 1918.
A Visitor's Guide to Shakespeare's London
This time-traveller’s guide takes the reader back to a London not entirely unlike ours, a city of drinking, dining, entertainment and shopping. And though many buildings have been obliterated by fire, Blitz and development, the street plan remains. Like any reliable guidebook, it provides information on when to visit, how to get there – ‘the Gravesend voyage is very difficult and its length depends on the weather’ – where to stay and what to see.
The Grand Old Duke of York
A Life of Prince Frederick, Duke of York and Albany, 1763–1827
Although commander-in-chief of the British army during the Napoleonic Wars and a reformer responsible for transforming the British military, Prince Frederick, Duke of York and Albany is remembered now as the bungling ‘Grand Old Duke’ of the nursery rhyme. This biography shows him to be far from incompetent; it offers a new assessment of Prince Frederick’s distinguished career as a general and administrator, a full account of his scandalous private life – and the origins of that nursery rhyme.
The Disappearance of Maria Glenn
A True Life Regency Mystery
The sudden disappearance of 16-year-old Maria Glenn in Taunton in 1817 gripped the nation. She and her alleged abductors gave such different versions of what happened that one of them had to be lying. This rollercoaster story of deceit and betrayal tells how the reputed heiress to West Indian plantations was kidnapped by a local farming family hoping to force her to marry one of their sons. Maria was rescued and four defendants imprisoned…but then the townspeople turned on Maria.
Bicycles, Bloomers and Great War Rationing Recipes
The Life and Times of Dorothy Peel OBE
Dubbed the Nigella Lawson of her day, Dorothy Peel wrote novels and household books and devised recipes for the Ministry of Food during the First World War. This volume, put together by her great-great-granddaughter, is divided into two parts. The first tells of her life, with sections on parties, food and fashion and realities of war; the second includes recipes ¬– Bacon Pudding, Potato Cheese, Feather Pie – from before, during and after the war, all tried, tested and adapted for today’s kitchen.
Henry Cockburn (1779–1854) was a judge of the Court of Session and a leading personality in 19th-century Edinburgh, best remembered now for his posthumous literary works, Memorials of His Time (1856), Journal (1874) and Circuit Journeys (1888). This selection of 180 letters written by Cockburn provides new information about his career as judge, Whig activist, family man and pioneer of building conservation. With introduction, notes and index.
The English and Their History
In this much-acclaimed work, Tombs narrates the story of England’s development from ‘an idea’ to a kingdom, a country, a people and a culture, and he makes collective memory an inherent part of the story. The roles of memory creators and carriers such as language, literature, law, religious and political institutions, and historical writing are emphasized; and Tombs focuses on four ‘memory themes’: the aftermath of the Norman Conquest; the Civil War; empire; and the recent sense of the nation in decline. American-cut pages and felt-tip mark on lower trimmed edge.
From Crimea to Afghanistan: the Real Lives of Women Behind the Men of Uniform
Through the centuries, army wives have had to contend with anxiety, separation, injury, bereavement, post-traumatic stress, and the struggle to maintain a normal home life in abnormal circumstances. Using interviews, letters and diaries, this remarkable history gives them a voice, sometimes for the first time. It traces their experiences from the Crimean War – the last in which wives followed their husbands to the front – to the new breed of independent women supporting their men through the war in Afghanistan.
Although denied the privileged status of men, medieval women had a great variety of roles and vocations, and their lives were shaped by many different geographical, political, legal and religious factors. This volume draws on the riches of the British Library’s manuscript collection to explore, through texts and miniatures, the diversity within medieval women’s experience. Whether aristocrats or servants, it looks at women in their roles as lovers, wives, mothers, intellectuals, women of God and patrons of literature.
Medieval & Renaissance Interiors
In Illuminated Manuscripts
Illuminated manuscripts are an invaluable resource for understanding medieval and early modern life in castles, palaces and ordinary households, both urban and rural. Reproducing 140 little-known illuminations, mostly from the British Library’s collections, this book shows how these miniatures reflect medieval domestic interiors and how they provide information on topics ranging from the security of dwelling places to creature comforts such as heating and lighting, hygiene, beds and bedrooms, and the display of wealth and treasured possessions.
Foreign Citizens in the Old Regime and After
Although the numbers of immigrants seeking naturalization in pre-revolutionary France were insignificant, the process of becoming ‘naturalized foreigners’ – they never attained the full legal status of French ‘naturals’ – offers a unique perspective on the policies and practices of citizenship and nationality. Sahlins’ social, political and legal history of early immigration explores these processes of naturalization before and after the 1789 Revolution.
Bully Beef & Biscuits
Food in the Great War
Rations for the three million men of the British Army in the First World War were plentiful enough, but the monotony of stew, biscuits, tinned meat and tea made the men cherish their parcels of cake and sweets from home. This analysis of wartime food draws on first-hand accounts and covers rationing on the home front as well as provisions for officers and men on active service.
A Social and Economic History of Horse Racing
Before Sandown Park was enclosed and required everyone to pay to enter in 1875, race meetings had been open to spectators, charging only those who sat in the stands or viewed from private carriages. This history of horse-racing, first published in 1976, traces the origins and development of flat racing in Britain and examines its social and economic impact as an ever more professional sport, a spectator attraction and the heart of the gambling industry.
Strangers to That Land
British Perceptions of Ireland from the Reformation to the Famine
In two parts, covering the periods 1540–1660 and 1660–1850, this volume presents first-hand descriptions of Ireland by English, Scottish and Welsh writers who visited the country, and provides notes on the authors and the historical context of their writings. Among the great range of writers represented are Edmund Campion (visiting in 1570), John Wesley (c.1750), Thomas de Quincey (c.1800), Thomas Carlyle (1849) and Queen Victoria (1870).
The Fun of the Fifties
Ads, Fads and Fashion
British consumer culture in the 1950s reflected a newly optimistic nation, eager to be seduced by such luxuries as cars, household gadgets, toys, records and a host of exciting branded groceries. Robert Opie, the founder and curator of the Museum of Brands, celebrates the era with evocative descriptions and nostalgic images ranging from chocolate bars, cigarette packets and magazines to advertisements for washing machines, televisions and aspirational holiday destinations.
Great crowds attended public services and ceremonies following the assassination of Abraham Lincoln on 15 April 1865; this study explores personal as opposed to public responses to the president’s death. Using letters, diaries and other contemporary records of people’s reactions and sentiments rather than memoirs written with hindsight, the book gives a human dimension to this crucial event in American history.
Peacock or Enigma?
Philosopher or poseur, aristocrat or democrat, austere classicist or flamboyant eccentric? More than 200 years after Beau Brummell dazzled London with his elegance, the dandy remains an enigma. This entertaining, richly anecdotal history charts the evolution of dandyism from London to Paris, St Petersburg to Hollywood. Along the way, we meet a long line of men – Byron, Disraeli, Oscar Wilde, F Scott Fitzgerald, and Noël Coward among them – who dedicated their lives to making a stand against drab conformity.