A Shadow Above
The Fall and Rise of the Raven
At a time when many British species are being threatened and marginalized by human activity, ravens are returning, after centuries of exile, to their former habitats in the countryside and scavenging city streets. This reflection on the striking and distinctive birds examines their nature and behaviour, considers their significance in our culture as a symbol of evil omen and investigates what lies behind their recent return to former hunting grounds.
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.
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.
Between Stone and Sky
Memoirs of a Waller
In 2009, as a temporary organizer for the Smithsonian Folklife Festival in Washington, Whitney Brown first experienced the satisfaction of manual labour, working with the blacksmiths and dry-stone wallers who were creating the Welsh exhibition area. Eventually she accepted their invitation to travel to Wales and build walls out in the countryside. This is the story of her journey from academic folklorist in America to dry-stone waller in Wales and the friendships forged along the way.
The Spirit of Self-Help
A Life of Samuel Smiles
A worldwide sensation following its publication in 1859, Smiles’ Self-Help still influences our thinking about ‘the search for happiness’ in everyday life. This first biography of the man behind a modern phenomenon draws on his many other writings to trace how his ideas developed throughout his long life. It provides insights into the Victorians’ responses to their fast-changing world but also highlights the relevance of Smiles’ perspectives to today’s pressing questions about progress and freedom.
Memories of a Meltdown
An Egyptian Between Moscow and Chernobyl
Mohamed Makhzangi was an Egyptian doctor studying in Kiev in April 1986 when the nuclear reactor exploded at Chernobyl, just 85 kilometres away. This book is his literary response, as an exile, to the tragedy of radiation and lies that befell the Soviet people.
The Conquest of Death
Violence and the Birth of the Modern English State
‘By the seventeenth century the detection, conviction, and punishment of illegitimate lethal violence were firmly and irrevocably tied to the central government.’ Matthew Lockwood’s study shows how definitions of legitimate and illegitimate violence were negotiated in coroners’ courts from the late 15th century and gradually gave government the power to enforce a monopoly of violence – a basic prerequisite of a modern state.
And How You Can Make it Happen
As Minister for Women and Equalities in the coalition government, Jo Swinson learned the hard way that gender imbalance was ‘the most intractable and biggest of problems to address’ – and not only for government. In this book, she explains how inequality permeates our lives and institutions and, focusing on how power is conferred in favour of men, her ‘call to arms’ offers ways for the individual to make a difference.
The Pug Who Bit Napoleon
Animal Tales of the 18th and 19th Centuries
Animals played an often eclectic role in 18th- and 19th-century life, and this compendium includes the stories of the four-legged friends of famous figures including Samuel Johnson and Charles Dickens, the purloined pet donkey that was the subject of a famous lawsuit, the Regency-era pony who took a ride in a hot air balloon, and the bloodhounds that were hired to hunt Jack the Ripper.
The Forgotten Children
Fairbridge Farm School and its Betrayal of Britain's Child Migrants
Between 1938 and 1974, thousands of British children were sent to Australia for a better life. Drawing on survivors’ testimonies, this exposé uncovers the grim reality that met them: inadequate education, poor quality food, and physical and sexual abuse.
An Italian Immigrant's Search for Respectability in Victorian Bath
Colin Fisher tells the story of Stefan Vallerio Pieroni (1819–1900), a seller of plaster figurines who came to England from Tuscany in 1837. Eventually, he settled in Bath, where he became prominent in the city’s social, cultural and political life.
A Story of Love and Loathing in Modern Britain
For some, the fox is a beautiful, intelligent creature; for others, a ravager of henhouses. Lucy Jones probes these conflicted attitudes, and examines her own family history of foxhunting. She investigates the animal’s behaviour and reputation for cunning, charts attempts to exterminate it from the Tudor ‘Vermin Acts’ onwards, and traces the fox through folklore and literature from Aesop’s fables to Roald Dahl’s Fantastic Mr Fox.
Miss Muriel Matters
The Fearless Suffragist who Fought for Equality
Muriel Matters (1877–1969) is remembered as ‘that daring Australian girl’ who chained herself to a grille in Parliament demanding votes for women. This biography reveals the many causes – prison reform, Montessori schools, socialism – that occupied her long, active life.
All Quiet on the Home Front
An Oral History of Life in Britain During the First World War
First published in 2003, this oral history used interviews with 100 people then in their late nineties, who had lived through the First World War, not as combatants, but as children and young adults on the home front. Their words, along with letters, diary entries and the authors’ linking narrative, offer an unusual view of the war, from fears of the Kaiser’s ambition in the years before its outbreak, to the jubilation, readjustment and mourning following the Armistice.
The Social Animal
A Story of How Success Happens
Arguing that public policy failures result from a simplistic model of human behaviour, Brooks explains what brain research has revealed about the influence of the unconscious mind on our actions. He illustrates these ideas through a fictional story of two ordinary people who led lives fulfilled, not by intelligence, wealth or prestige but through the character and ‘street smarts’ developed in the unconscious realm of emotions, intuitions and social norms.
The Feminist Revolution
The Struggle for Women's Liberation 1966–1988
A visual and narrative ‘celebration of the political, strategic, and cultural diversity of the women’s liberation movement’, this book brings together a diverse range of posters, press cuttings and photographs with histories of feminist movements, campaigns and activists between the 1960s and 1980s. Topics covered include feminist writers, civil rights, women’s bodies, and women in publishing, music and the arts, with a final chapter on feminism in the 21st century and educating the next generation.
Eve and the New Jerusalem
Socialism and Feminism in the Nineteenth Century
First published in 1983, this landmark history shed new light on the struggle for social justice and drew attention to the achievements of many forgotten women activists. Reissued with a new introduction, it remains as relevant as ever today.
A Matter of Breeding
A Biting History of Pedigree Dogs
With retrievers suffering hip dysplasia and some pugs unable to breathe properly, Brandow argues that there is something wrong in the world of pedigree dogs. Having walked, owned, studied and performed with dogs, he combines personal knowledge with social history and research in this exposé of the dog industry and encourages a trip to the local animal shelter to take home a friendly mongrel.
Between the Sheets
Nine 20th Century Women Writers and Their Famous Literary Partnerships
In her accounts of nine 20th-century women and their literary partnerships, Lesley McDowell gives each a role – Hilda Dolittle is the ‘Novice’ in her affair with Ezra Pound, Anaïs Nin the ‘Mistress’ of Henry Miller, Rebecca West ‘Mother’ of HG Wells’s child – but none of them is labelled ‘victim’. These women writers, McDowell argues, ‘chose their own fates knowingly’ to further their own literary ambitions and poetic consciousness.
The Invisible Woman
Taking on the Vintage Years
Following the success of her ‘Vintage Years’ column in the Guardian, Walmsley-Johnson bases this humorous guide around her own roller-coaster life. She tackles topics such as shopping, sex and finances, describes the difficulties of finding work at the age of 45 and discusses how lack of opportunities and the media’s negative attitude can combine to make middle-aged women feel invisible.
Deer and People
Despite deer being central to human cultures throughout time, from hunter-gatherers to post-medieval deer hunting, this is the first multi-disciplinary volume dedicated to research into human–cervid relationships. Covering Europe, North America and Asia, the 24 essays range from the archaezoology of deer to the image of the courtly huntress, and include studies of dispersal patterns, exploitation, symbolic significance, and effects on landscape and land management.
Evolution in a Man-Made World
‘The Pekingese is a tinkered wolf, not redesigned wholesale from its wolf ancestors.’ This study examines recent developments in evolutionary biology through the lens of domestication. The rapid physical and behavioural changes which, through centuries of breeding, have been wrought on pets and farm animals, allow us to see evolutionary processes accelerated, and therefore, Francis argues, to understand them better; particularly their conservative nature, a notion espoused by the fields of genomics and evolutionary developmental biology, which feature prominently here. Slightly off-mint.
The Secret World of the Victorian Lodging House
Throughout the burgeoning cities of Victorian Britain, lodging houses provided shelter to those who flocked from the countryside in search of work. Crowded, insanitary and often disreputable, they aroused the horror of respectable society, and were viewed as hotbeds of crime and disease. Drawing on contemporary accounts, newspaper reports and court cases, this fascinating social history shines a light into the shadowy world of itinerant labourers, criminals, street entertainers, peddlers, prostitutes, abandoned children, and families fallen on hard times.
Return to Fukushima
On 3 March 2011 a powerful earthquake shook northern Japan, killing more than 15,000 people and triggering a tsunami that sent the Fukushima nuclear plant into meltdown. Five years later, survivors were allowed to revisit the evacuated town of Tomioka. Rebecca Bathory accompanied them into the exclusion zone. Her photographs of abandoned streets and schoolrooms vividly convey the human cost of the disaster, and offer a stark warning for the future.
Friends of Alice Wheeldon
The Anti-War Activist Accused of Plotting to Kill Lloyd George
Sheila Rowbotham’s 1986 play Friends of Alice Wheeldon dramatized the trial of a Derby socialist and feminist accused by an undercover agent during the First World War of plotting to kill the prime minister, Lloyd George. This new edition includes a carefully researched historical introduction that describes the interaction between workplace militants and anti-war activists, the intrigues of politicians and the intelligence agencies, and the campaign to clear Wheeldon’s name.
Animal Bodies, Renaissance Culture
Discussing familiar animals – horses, sheep, dogs, cats, rats and moles – in the literary contexts of Renaissance works including Hamlet, Utopia and Romeo and Juliet, Karen Raber argues that ‘there is no such thing as human identity, history, culture, without the prior cooperation, collaboration, habitation, ideological appropriation, consumption of animals, without animals as the "always already" of both materiality and culture itself.’
The Future of Violence: Robots and Germs, Hackers and Drones
Confronting the New Age of Threat
We have been alerted to the threat of cyberterrorism and nerve-agent attacks by hostile states, but the power to wield robotic technology, the internet or biological agents as weapons is increasingly accessible to individuals and small groups as well as national governments. This thoughtful study explores how this possibility has created an entirely new security landscape, assesses how these new threats might be developed as technology advances further, and also discusses possible approaches to dealing with them.
Attack of the 50 Ft Women
How Gender Equality Can Save the World!
Gender equality is good for everyone, so why are fewer than 10 per cent of the world’s leaders women? In this provocative, surprising and inspiring book, Catherine Mayer, who founded the Women’s Equality Party in 2015, combines the insights gained from hands-on political experience with wide-ranging interviews and in-depth research to tackle some of the biggest questions of our age. From business to politics, from the environmental crisis to global conflict, could women hold the key to the planet’s future?
Foreign Citizens in the Old Regime and After
Although the numbers of immigrants seeking naturalization in pre-revolutionary France were insignificant, the process of becoming ‘naturalized foreigners’ – they never attained the full legal status of French ‘naturals’ – offers a unique perspective on the policies and practices of citizenship and nationality. Sahlins’ social, political and legal history of early immigration explores these processes of naturalization before and after the 1789 Revolution.
Animals and Roman Society
Ancient Romans often treated animals in ways that we consider cruel, but in many respects their attitudes were similar to our own. Ferris proposes ‘a way to understand Roman culture through analysing the society’s relationship with animals’. Using literary, visual and archaeological evidence, he shows how animals were kept for farm work and as household pets; how they were slaughtered for food, as sacrifices and as public entertainment; and how Romans presented animals in mythology and as attributes of deities.
Stories of Survival from Europe's Refugee Crisis
Riot police patrol the borders, children’s bodies wash up on beaches, and refugees crowd into makeshift camps; how did the EU, founded on the values of human rights and dignity for all, reach this point? With vigour and compassion, Cast Away reveals the human stories behind the numbing statistics through the first-hand accounts of five people forced to flee their homelands, and forms a scathing indictment of Europe’s political leadership.
Lady Constance Lytton
Aristocrat, Suffragette, Martyr
Raised amid the grandeur of Knebworth House, Lady Constance Lytton was an unlikely radical. Drawing on unpublished family papers, this biography tells her story for the first time: how, witnessing the trial of Emmeline and Christabel Pankhurst, she became convinced that women must win the right to vote; and how, in jail, she discovered that her status afforded her preferential treatment, and on release disguised herself to discover the horrors that other suffragettes were forced to endure.
Psychedelia and Other Colours
The music writer Rod Chapman takes ‘the scenic route’ in his exploration of the history and cultural impact of LSD in the mid 1960s. Starting with earlier experiments with drugs by poets, painters and musicians, Chapman describes what was really going on, from Haight-Ashbury hippies to Charles Manson in the USA, and from ‘Love Me Do’ to the trajectory of the Rolling Stones’ Brian Jones ‘from blues purist to experimentalist to crushed spirit’.
Science, Society and Power
Environmental Knowledge and Policy in West Africa and the Caribbean
Focusing on environment, forestry and conservation sciences, this study explores the transformation in global science and its contrasting effects in Guinea, one of the world’s poorest countries, and the more prosperous Trinidad.
Passage to the World
The Emigrant Experience 1807–1940
From the early 19th century, millions of people crossed the seas to escape war, famine or poverty, or were taken against their will as slaves, convicts or indentured labourers. Based on original sources and first-hand accounts, this book examines the transition from one life to another, beginning with the journey to the port, the perils of the voyage and their reception in the Americas or Australasia.
Britain's Railway Disasters
Fatal Accidents from the 1830s to the Present Day
Ten people died in the Staplehurst train crash of 1865, but accidents were not uncommon at the time and the disaster is now most notable because Dickens was one of the passengers. This history focuses on the most serious accidents on the British network from the beginnings of rail travel to the present day, comparing official reports with contemporary newspaper accounts and examining how attitudes changed as court claims became more common and safety was taken more seriously.
Flight from the Reich
Refugee Jews, 1933–1946
Six million European Jews were murdered during the Holocaust, but three million managed to escape death by fleeing, hiding or simply enduring. From victims of the early discriminations to perilous escapes during the height of the persecution and the resettlement of concentration camp survivors, this book pieces together official documents and personal accounts to examine the experience of Jewish refugees forced to flee to neighbouring countries, to Palestine, to America and ultimately to all corners of the world.
A physician, professor of neurology and author, Oliver Sacks (1933–2015) has been described by the New York Times as 'a kind of poet laureate of contemporary medicine'. His books are made up of case histories of his patients, and explore both their neurological disorders and the strategies they adopted to cope with them. In Seeing Voices, a journey into the world of the profoundly deaf, Sacks examines the consequences of living in silence, including the different ways in which the deaf and the hearing learn to categorize and convey the experience of their respective worlds.
1913: The World before the Great War
While 1913 is often seen as the prelude to an apocalypse, that was not how it felt at the time. Presented largely from the perspective of contemporary travellers and writers, the world presented in this account was wealthier and better connected than ever before. Encompassing 28 cities, it highlights technological progress across the globe, the scale of optimism for the future, and how oblivious people were to the catastrophe that lay ahead.
From Bondage to Liberation
Writings by and about Afro-Americans from 1700 to 1918
Providing insights into the development of American racial thought, Berry's anthology represents both black and white voices of different cultural backgrounds, from the beginnings of American history to the dawn of the Harlem Renaissance.