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.
William Beckford's Fonthill
Architecture, Landscape and the Arts
Accused of having an affair with a boy, William Beckford (1760–1844) retired to his estate at Fonthill, Wiltshire, where he constructed a faux-medieval abbey to house his art and antiquities. This book draws on contemporary records to detail his grandiose building plans, and to tell how, having spent his inherited wealth, he was forced to auction both his collection and the building itself, whose huge Gothic tower came crashing down soon after the sale.
A Human History from Hannibal to Heidi and Beyond
Stephen O’Shea overcomes his fear of heights to crest the high Alpine passes and explore the history of the ‘fearsome, gargantuan intrusion of stone inconveniently located not at the edge but square in the middle of Europe’. Travelling west to east, from Lake Geneva to Trieste, he tells the stories of the armies, Crusaders, pilgrims and traders who have crossed the mountains; how the Alps inspired the Romantics, mountaineers and engineers; and how its 1,599 peaks have divided Europe’s languages, cuisine, culture, religion and history.
Histories of the Unexpected
How Everything has a History
‘History is like a maze’, write the authors as they embark on this journey through 30 topics, inspired by their podcast series that promotes non-linear historical thinking. They reveal how our everyday world connects with the past in surprising, thought-provoking ways, including the use of paper clips as an anti-Nazi symbol, cats’ significance for the French Revolution and the links between letters, marriage, the Royal Navy and eggs.
A Frontier Region
The ‘frontier’ between Scotland and the English invaders of medieval times, the principal battlefield of the Wars of Independence, and a region rife with ferocious family feuds, Dumfriesshire had a long and often violent history until the Act of Union in 1707, which brought not only peace, but land improvement, agricultural development and industrialization. Andrew McCulloch, a native of south-west Scotland, presents a comprehensive history of the region, from the Stone Age to devolution and the 2016 Independence referendum.
The Birth of the U.S. Chemical Warfare Service and the Race for the World's Deadliest Weapons
Although German gas attacks on the battlefields of the First World War were greeted with horror, the Allies responded by developing their own chemical weapons. In America, laboratories began engaging in chemical weapon research, eventually amalgamating into the Chemical Warfare Service. This history of the organization brings together the key scientists, politicians and military personnel involved in its establishment, and describes the numerous logistical and ethical challenges they faced in deploying gas against the Germans. Off-mint with felt-tip mark on upper trimmed edge.
Fighting with Allies
America and Britain in Peace and War
In this updated edition of his 1996 study, the former British Ambassador to Washington explores the history and nature of the ‘special relationship’ between the two countries since 1940. Drawing on his own experience as well as official documents, diaries and memoirs, Robin Renwick examines the perspectives of each side during moments of crisis and conflict, including the Second World War, Suez, the Falklands, Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan. With Britain’s role in the world about to be transformed by Brexit, the book assesses the prospects for Anglo-American co-operation.
When Europe Was a Prison Camp
Father and Son Memoirs 1940–1941
Otto Schrag and his son Peter fled Nazi-occupied Belgium in 1939, yet both have very different stories to tell. Otto fled to the South of France where, as a Jew, he was interned in a French concentration camp at Saint-Cyprien; ten-year-old Peter, meanwhile, escaped to Boulogne with his mother and grandmother, sheltering in a cellar while the city was bombed. This book combines Otto’s novel-like recollections, written in 1941, with Peter’s thoughtful memoir compiled 40 years later.
Cities of God
The Bible and Archaeology in Nineteenth-Century Britain
In portraits of nine cities – Troy, Jerusalem, Nineveh, Pithom, Babylon, Sodom, Bethlehem, Ephesus and Rome – this volume examines how archaeology, the study of the Bible and the experience of urbanization intersect in 19th-century Britain.
Captain Cook and the Northwest Passage
Captain Cook is best known for his South Pacific voyages, but his exploration of the American Arctic in pursuit of the elusive Northwest Passage is arguably of equal importance. Published to accompany an exhibition at Anchorage, Alaska, this collection of essays by an international team of scholars assesses the impact of Cook’s journey on Russo-British relations and its legacy for later navigators. The text is lavishly illustrated with contemporary paintings, documents and maps, including Cook’s own charts of the Newfoundland coast.
Aspects of Devon History (Off-Mint)
People, Places and Landscapes
Marking the 40th anniversary of the Devon History Society, this volume brings together 30 essays on a wide range of topics: places such as the medieval landscape of Branscombe and the parish of Parkham in 1841; miscellaneous subjects including fishing, farming, water supply and the coming of electricity; and people from the Saxon thane Ordulf in Tavistock to Dame Georgiana Buller, the only child of Sir Redvers Buller, and her work for disabled people in 20th-century Devon. Off-mint.
The History of the World
From the Dawn of Humanity to the Modern Age
Beginning with the emergence of Homo erectus nearly 1.5 million years ago, this narrative history surveys human growth, survival and achievement across the planet. As well as covering great political and military events and cultural upheavals, from the earliest civilizations to the Industrial Revolution and the War on Terror, it provides insight into the changes in ordinary people's lives brought about by evolving social attitudes and new technologies such as printing and radio.
A Genetic Journey
Since the retreat of the glaciers at the end of the last ice age, Britain has been repopulated entirely by immigrants. The stories of the earliest settlers were lost in millennia of prehistory, but geneticists are now able to uncover these ancient ancestors' geographical origins by analysing modern Britons' DNA. With genetic insights complementing archaeological evidence, this book forms a new people's history of the British which tracks the epic journeys of the pioneering migrants.