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.
The Dark Side of East London
The alleyways and estates of Tower Hamlets have always been rife with poverty and crime: focusing on the 18th and 19th century, local historian David Charnick tells dark tales of murders, poisonings and abductions, 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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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 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.
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 charts 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.
British Aristocrats in the American West 1830–1890
From the 1830s onwards, a succession of British aristocrats headed for the American West, taking with them their valets, their dogs – and their prejudices. This sparkling account describes the newcomers' experiences as they crossed the country to meet Native Americans, hunt buffalo and build cattle empires. Packed with lively incident and colourful personalities, it also charts their reception by Americans often less than pleased at the return of their former colonial overlords.
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.