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.
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.
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.
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.
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 the uses their uses for the finished products.
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.
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
Dandyism is often thought to be about extravagance of dress. Combining biography, social history and men’s fashion, this study reveals it to be something different: an austere, almost religious dedication to style. Through profiles of six 20th-century dandies – the Duke of Windsor, the architect Adolf Loos, Bunny Roger, Quentin Crisp, Jean-Philippe Melville and the film director Rainer Werner Fassbinder – it probes issues of identity, nostalgia and the self-created persona.
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.
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.
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.
Emily Wilding Davison
The Martyr Suffragette
Emily Davison’s death beneath the king’s horse at the 1913 Derby has overshadowed the life that led up to it. Drawing on her own words and those of people who knew her, this biography records the formative experiences of this intelligent, resourceful and determined woman: an education thwarted by lack of money, work as a governess, and involvement in campaigns about the injustices faced by women that resulted in her imprisonment and force-feeding.
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 biography brings the 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.
Last Children of the Raj
British Childhood in India, Volume 2: 1939–1950
Focusing on how the contributors fared during the Second World War and its aftermath, volume two of Laurence Fleming's anthology is organized chronologically and features accounts of perilous voyages out to India to escape the blitz in Britain, fleeing from Burma, the 1942 Bengal famine, and the horrors of partition. It includes a biography of each contributor and numerous black and white photographs.
Last Children of the Raj
British Childhoods in India, Vol I 1919 – 1939
From anecdotes about snakes in Madras and Christmas time in Bengal to memories of boarding school in Bombay and houseboat holidays in Kashmir, this first volume of Laurence Fleming's anthology is organized geographically and describes the trials and thrills that were integral to a British-Indian childhood during the final era of the Raj. It includes a biography of each contributor and numerous black and white photographs.
Behind Closed Doors
At Home in Georgian England
Georgian houses are admired for their elegance, but less attention has been given to what it was like to live in them. In a ‘nosy, gossipy, and utterly engaging’ study of English homes, Vickery examines a wide range of accommodation and types of household, using sources ranging from personal diaries to court records. She investigates not only how homes were furnished and decorated but also how social and cultural changes revolutionized the use of domestic space. Slightly off-mint.
The Dark Stuff
Stories from the Peatlands
Blending memoir, travelogue and natural history, The Dark Stuff investigates a unique, often undervalued resource. Recalling his childhood on the moorland of Lewis, Murray explores the story of peat-cutting for fuel and compost. He visits peatlands from Ireland to Australia, examines the role of peat in folklore and the ancient bodies preserved in it, and explains the environmental threats faced by peat landscapes.
A Mind at Play
The Brilliant Life of Claude Shannon, Inventor of the Information Age
One of the key thinkers of the computer age, Claude Shannon worked as a cryptanalyst during the Second World War and his contributions to digital circuit design and information theory in the 1930s and 1940s made modern computing possible. This biography explores his life, academic achievements and influential personal projects, such as a maze-solving mouse (one of the first experiments in artificial intelligence) and the first design for a chess-playing computer.
Maud Allan and the Myth of the Femme Fatale
In 1918 the dancer Maud Allan brought a libel case against Noel Billing MP for claiming in print that she was a lesbian. Drawing on a wealth of archival material, Wendy Buonaventura explores Allan’s controversial career, and examines the way the case embodied early 20th-century attitudes to ‘dangerous’ women, whose independence, freedom from convention, and erotic allure were seen as a threat to the fabric of society, and even a cause of the First World War.
Rooms with a View
The Secret Life of Grand Hotels
The world’s grandest hotels offer luxury, service and splendour, and each has its own story of love affairs conducted and revolutions fomented beneath its roof. Arranged geographically, this book visits 50 of the greatest, including New York’s Algonquin, where Dorothy Parker held court; the Dorchester in London, favoured by Hitchcock and Hemingway; and the Imperial in Delhi, where the details of India’s independence were negotiated.
West Like Lightning
The Brief, Legendary Ride of the Pony Express
As their nation stood on the brink of Civil War, Americans were captivated by a new postal service that, for just 18 months, carried mail almost 2,000 miles across the continent using a relay of daring young horseback riders. In this book the coauthor of American Sniper explores the origins and development of the Pony Express, debunks myths that quickly grew up around it and considers its lasting relevance as a symbol of American enterprise. Slightly off-mint with felt tip mark on upper trimmed edge. American-cut pages.
Customs in Common
Conceived as a companion to The Making of the English Working Class, this study describes the culture of working people in the 18th and early 19th centuries. Discussing themes including law and agrarian practice, the ‘moral economy of the crowd’, work, and rough music, Thompson describes the gradual disappearance of working-class customs during the period of industrialization and economic change. First published in 1993. Slightly off-mint.
Anne Boleyn in London
Anne Boleyn was educated in France but in her early twenties she became a member of Henry VIII's court, which led to their ill-fated marriage and her imprisonment in the Tower. Lissa Chapman focuses on Anne's complex role in London society, as a fashion icon and arts patron who was fully engaged in religious and intellectual debates. Examining her contemporary reputation and image, the author casts a light on everyday life, gossip and politics in Tudor London.
White Boots and Miniskirts
A True Story of Life in the Swinging Sixties
From the author of Bombsites and Lollipops, this is a memoir of the Swinging Sixties, recounting how Jacky grew up as a free-spirited, hedonistic girl in search of adventure and independence. The decade’s music, fashion and culture has become iconic, but this is a more personal look at a world of souped-up Minis, conmen, typewriters, bed-hopping, tragic romances, flat-sharing, Soviet spies and the smoke-filled pubs of Fleet Street. Slightly off-mint.
The Golden Thread
How Fabric Changed History
From the fibres our ancient ancestors wove from plants to the invention of the synthetic material that enabled humans to venture into space, fabric has played many roles throughout history, far beyond offering warmth and protection, demarcating status and providing an outlet for self-expression. This collection of essays considers topics such as the linen used by the ancient Egyptians to wrap their dead, the craft that inspired Vermeer to paint The Lacemaker and recent innovations in sports textiles.
The National Theatre Story
Drawing on the National Theatre’s own archives, Daniel Rosenthal traces its history from the early campaigners of the mid-19th century to the passing of the National Theatre Bill in 1949, the inaugural performance of Hamlet at the Old Vic in 1963 and the opening of the South Bank complex in 1976. He goes on to describe 60 key productions and draws on interviews with playwrights, actors, directors and administrators to tell the story of the National up to the present day.