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 objects gathered from notorious crime scenes, informally known as the Black Museum, represents a history of crime on British soil. Each of the objects 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A Dublin Memoir
Having been born in Wexford, the young John Banville found Dublin ‘all the more alluring’ and the novelist’s memories stretch back to childhood trips in the 1950s, when the city, although poverty-stricken at the time, held magical promise for a boy. In this combination of vignettes from his own past, his historical investigations of Dublin and Paul Joyce’s photographs, Banville asks ‘What transmutation must the present go through in order to become the past?’
How the Women of Paris Lived, Loved and Died in the 1940s
How did the women of Paris survive the grim years of German occupation – and how, in the aftermath of liberation, did they come to terms with their actions? This first in-depth account of the lives of ordinary women in the occupied city charts the experiences of collaborators and resisters, actresses and prostitutes, teachers and writers, Nazis and Jews, in an atmosphere where sex became currency and life-or-death decisions were faced every day.
From Pre-Raphaelites to Punk
London has always been home to outsiders, people who can't, or won't, abide by the rules of respectable society. This entertaining, anecdotal history charts two centuries of bohemianism, including such colourful characters as Oscar Wilde and Aubrey Beardsley, the Bloomsburyites and Bright Young Things, and Dylan Thomas boozing through the Blitz. It is also a guide to the places where Bohemia flourished: the Cafe Royal, the Colony Room and the Gargoyle Club.
A Dance Through Time
Images of Western Social Dancing from the Middle Ages to Modern Times
Where depictions of peasant revels may be exuberant and unfettered, the stately codes of formal dance before the modern era created a tension between sobriety and decorum and underlying emotion or sexual tension. This art history curates images of dance from the Bodleian Library and explores their different meanings and themes, including how artists have conveyed the movement of dance technically and the social and historical information that can be gleaned from depictions of dancing, instructional illustrations and satirical sketches.