The Story of Britain
From the Romans to the Present Day
This introduction to British history begins with the geographical description of the island itself which, Roy Strong believes, has shaped the nation, its people and its politics. Invasions, migrations, civil wars, and two world wars have all been influenced by Britain’s uneasy relationship with mainland Europe, while a desire for self-sufficiency produced the empire and the Industrial Revolution. This new edition has been extended to cover the years from 1996 to the 2016 EU referendum.
Britain in Pictures: ‘70s, ‘80s
(two volume set)
Compiled from the Press Association’s archives, these visual histories of Britain in the 1970s and 1980s evoke the spirit of each decade through reportage photographs of prominent personalities, events and scenes of everyday life, arranged chronologically and accompanied by detailed captions. The two items included in this set are:The 1970s (Read more...) The 1980s (Read more...)
Utility Furniture of the Second World War
The 1943 Utility Furniture Catalogue
When furniture shortages in Britain hit an all-time high following the Blitz, the government responded by setting up the Utility Furniture scheme. This comprehensive guide, which accompanies a facsimile reproduction of the first catalogue, offers an insight into the privations of the war years and, for those that remember this sturdy furniture, a chance to reminisce.
The Wood for the Trees
One Man's Long View of Nature
In 2011, the scientist Richard Fortey bought four acres of beech woodland in the Oxfordshire Chilterns. His month-by-month account of a year in the woods begins with the appearance of bluebells in April and ends as nature springs back to life in March. In between, he recounts tree-felling in January, moth-hunting in June, explains the complex network of plant and animal life that sustains the wood, and offers recipes for wild mushrooms and other delicacies foraged from the undergrowth.
The English Isles
Cultural Transmission and Political Conflict in Britain and Ireland, 1100–1500
This collection of nine papers originated in a conference that offered new perspectives on the origins of England’s empire, the impact of English medieval imperialism, and the ways in which English cultural norms were transmitted to Ireland, Scotland and Wales after the Norman Conquest. Among the essay topics are 12th- and early 13th-century English views on kingship; Anglicization in medieval Ireland; and post-medieval accounts of the Lordship of the Isles.
Women of the 1960s
More Than Mini Skirts Pills and Pop Music
The clichéd ‘sex, drugs and rock ’n’ roll’ view of the 1960s stands in stark contrast to the experiences of many ordinary women who lived through the decade, particularly those outside London. This illustrated social history is based on interviews with people who were teenagers, students, workers and housewives during the decade, and covers subjects including sex, marriage, motherhood, fashion, finance, travel, women's liberation and the ever-present threat of nuclear war.
100 Criminal Lives
The practice of transporting criminals to Australia was abandoned in 1868 and replaced by the convict system: serious offenders were sentenced to ‘penal servitude’ in UK prisons and later released on license. Using information in licensees’ records, this volume presents brief biographies of 100 criminals, arranged in an A–Z, from Samuel Ainge (b.1820) who, after a seemingly blameless life was arrested for embezzlement in 1883, to Mary Wright (b.1853), who drowned her young daughter in 1880.
Life Below Stairs in Their Own Words 1800–1950
Focusing on the stories of ordinary men and women who worked as servants in the homes of the middle classes, this book gives a ‘warts and all’ history of domestic service. In each of four periods, Michelle Higgs first surveys the work, conditions and social issues of the day before introducing the servants and their testimony, from Mary Ann Ashford, general servant, housemaid and cook in 1800, to Amy Jones, a 14-year-old general servant and nursemaid in 1945.
In Bed with the Georgians
Sex, Scandal and Satire in the 18th Century
The sex trade flourished openly and profitably in Georgian England, particularly in the area around London’s Covent Garden. This illustrated history considers how the ‘oldest profession’ permeated all classes – from the courtesans who plied their trade within the very highest echelons of society right down to the common prostitutes who walked the streets – and examines how the scene was vividly portrayed by the letter writers, journalists, satirists and caricaturists of the time.
Images of the Past: British Seaside
Drawing on the archives of the Mary Evans Picture Library, this collection of photographs, cartoons, illustrations and ephemera tells the story of the British seaside, looking at how the purpose, traditions and character of coastal resorts have developed since the first sea bathing cure destinations opened in the late 18th century. Each image is captioned and accompanied by explanatory text.
Childhood and Death in Victorian England
Sarah Seaton surveys the hazards of childhood in an age when childbirth was fraught with danger, child labour was exploited, there was no adequate protection against disease, and little, if any social support for the poor. As well as these daunting obstacles to health and happiness, the book describes cases of child murder, infanticide and concealment of birth, and explains the often desperate circumstances in which such crimes were committed.
The Case of the Chocolate Cream Killer
The Poisonous Passion of Christiana Edmunds
During the summer of 1871, Christiana Edmunds went on a poisoning spree in Brighton, sending parcels of poison-laced sweets to some of the town’s most prominent citizens. The sensational trial of ‘the Chocolate Cream Killer’ ended with a death sentence, which was later commuted to life imprisonment. Looking at the Edmunds family history as well as the poisonings, Kaye Jones reveals the tragic past that set Christiana on a path to insanity and murder.
Lifting the Lid on Women's Lives
This social history examines the lives of late 19th- and early 20th-century women at home and at work through the changing appearance of the buttons that decorated and fastened their clothes. Lynn Knight explores the role of these accessories as emblems of security, identity and independence and explains how each example represents an era or a vanished way of life, from Victorian mourning attire to Biba’s large statement buttons of the 1970s.
An English Odyssey
The Pendleburys of Lancashire and London: Nine Generations of a Working Family
The Pendleburys were an English family of alehouse keepers, cotton workers, parish clerks, soldiers, washerwomen and warehousemen, whose genealogical records can be traced back to the 1600s. This history, written by a descendant of the family, follows their fortunes from the social and religious turmoil of the 17th century through the cotton boom of 18th-century Lancashire to the unforgiving streets of Victorian London.