The World Corrupted from Slavery to Obesity
How did a commodity that was once the prized monopoly of kings become an essential ingredient of everyday life and then the cause of a global health epidemic? James Walvin traces the history of how the demand for sweetness has been met, from early Mediterranean sugar plantations, to the immense human and environmental cost of the Caribbean plantations and the slave system, the industries that followed, and the dawning awareness of the obesity problem.
Eggs or Anarchy
The Remarkable Story of the Man Tasked with the Impossible: To Feed a Nation at War
Battling unscrupulous dealers, blockades and sinking ships, Minister for Food Lord Woolton was tasked with feeding the nation during the Second World War. Despite Churchill’s misgivings, Woolton – a working-class boy turned business tycoon – rose to the challenge, making a huge contribution to the war effort and improving the health of the nation to boot. Award-winning food writer William Sitwell draws on personal letters and diaries to reveal this previously untold story.
Mistress to the King
‘My great-grandmother was the mistress of your great-great-grandfather,’ Camilla Parker-Bowles once told Prince Charles. ‘So how about it?’ Camilla’s great-grandmother was Alice Keppel, and Edward VII was by no means the first rich, influential man she courted in her pursuit of wealth, power and status. In charting the irresistible rise of Mrs Keppel, this frank biography lifts the lid on a hidden world of scandal, decadence and debauchery beneath the respectable surface of the English aristocracy.
Headline Britons 1926–1930
Seen Through Seven Unique Figures of the Time
An outline of the major events of 1926–1930 – the return to the Gold Standard and the General Strike – introduces profiles of seven notable figures: Virginia Woolf, Radclyffe Hall, John Logie Baird, the car manufacturer William Morris, Ramsay MacDonald, Noël Coward and W Somerset Maugham.
Headline Britons 1921–1925
Seen Through Six Unique Figures of the Time
Along with a sketch of the social and economic background and a timeline of events, this volume profiles the lives and achievements of Robert Baden-Powell, the fraudster Horatio Bottomley, Marie Stopes, David Lloyd George, Lord Reith and Bertrand Russell.
What Regency Women Did for Us
Women in early 19th-century England had few rights and little access to education. Rachel Knowles tells the inspiring stories of twelve women who overcame these obstacles to achieve greatness in business, science and the arts. Alongside Jane Austen are historical novelist Maria Edgeworth, fossil hunter Mary Anning; astronomer Caroline Herschel, actress Sarah Siddons, prison reformer Elizabeth Fry, and six others, all of whom helped shape the world we inhabit.
Tracing Your Ancestors' Lives
A Guide to Social History for Family Historians
Once you have tracked down the names, dates and places in your family tree, this handbook will help you to explore further by investigating the day-to-day experience of your forebears. It contains advice on the best sources and methods for research into British social history and presents a variety of case studies that illustrate topics of special interest to family historians, such as economic and demographic change, domestic life and education.
Tales from the Big House: Normanby Hall
400 Years of its History and People
Normanby Hall has been the seat of the Sheffield family since it was built in the 1820s. In this social history, Stephen Wade charts the hall’s role in local industry and during two world wars, when it was used as a military hospital and a personnel base. The tales of the resident family, guests and staff include the charismatic Lady Grosvenor, who astonished servants by arriving in a gypsy caravan.
Same Sex Love 1700–1957
A History and Research Guide
Family history is often seen as concerned with the traditional heterosexual unit. But what of ancestors who were attracted to same-sex partners? This first history of gay relationships aimed specifically at family historians offers valuable insights into those often seen as outcasts. Empathetic and meticulously researched, it charts the ways in which gay men and women lived their lives, from the Mollies and Sapphists of Georgian England to the Wolfenden Report of 1957.
Ribbons Among the Rajahs
A History of British Women in India Before the Raj
During the 18th and early 19th centuries, legions of women made the long, costly and hazardous journey to India, some accompanying husbands, others seeking a husband or employment, others still from a sense of adventure; but while the women of the Raj are familiar from literature, these pioneers are generally forgotten. Between the voyage out and their deaths in India, Patrick Wheeler’s social history offers an account of everyday life for these ‘Indian British’ women during the pre-imperial era.
Rebellion in the Reign of Charles II
Despite the positive aspects of Charles II’s reign, with its freedom and flourishing of science and the arts, this study shows how ‘the euphoria of the Restoration soon evaporated as the deep problems, divisions and distrust of the past re-emerged’. With the insight of a former government intelligence officer, Whitehead describes the numerous plots, uprisings and subversive activities of the period, and the covert operations and general dirty tricks that enabled the king to overcome opposition and intrigue.
Growing Up in the Not-So-Friendly 'Baby Boomer' Years
Looking back to children’s education, play, home life and health in the 1950s, Simon Webb paints a grim picture of childhood, often at odds with baby boomers’ own memories of those years. Drawing on documented evidence and examples, he discusses topics including sexual abuse, juvenile crime, playground hazards, and fears about the new media of television and comics in the post-war decade, arguing that children’s lives today are far safer, healthier and happier.
Digging in the Dark
A History of the Yorkshire Resurrectionists
‘It is nature that teaches us to use the bodies of the dead to preserve the bodies of the living,’ argued a solicitor’s clerk found guilty of body snatching in 1831. He is just one of the Yorkshire grave-robbers, from many walks of life, who appear in this compendium of grim tales. Johnson vividly describes the resurrectionists’ macabre methods, the violent public protests against their activities and the private anguish of their victims’ families.
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.
Informal Justice in England and Wales, 1760–1914
The Courts of Popular Opinion
Examining ‘unofficial justice as visited upon malefactors by the collective actions of private citizens’, Stephen Banks gives a scholarly account of public shaming rituals, or ‘rough music’, and the punishments imposed for crimes such as wife-beating or informing.
Health and the City
Disease, Environment and Government in Norwich, 1200–1575
In 1559, the physician William Cunningham published The Cosmographical Glasse, focusing on Norwich as an exceptionally ‘healthfull and pleasant city’. Isla Fay’s book explores the philosophy that linked a city’s location and landscape with its health, and the practical realities of Norwich’s ‘vibrant, native culture of urban hygiene’.
Earthquakes, Nations and Civilization
Throughout history, humans have rebuilt settlements destroyed by earthquakes, so that today as many as 60 of the world’s largest cities lie in areas of major seismic activity. Robinson considers how we live with this risk and respond to its challenges: he identifies opportunities for post-disaster renewal and analyses the wider political and economic ramifications of earthquakes, with case studies ranging from the great uprising by ancient Sparta’s subject peoples to debates about nuclear power following the 2011 Fukushima meltdown.
Dashing for the Post
The Letters of Patrick Leigh Fermor
Handsome, spirited and erudite, Patrick Leigh Fermor (1915–2011) was a war hero and one of the greatest travel writers of his generation. He was also a spectacularly entertaining letter writer. This judiciously edited selection of his correspondence spans almost 70 years, and includes letters to Nancy Mitford, Diana Cooper, Lawrence Durrell and his lifelong companion Joan Rayner. They sparkle with his humour, zest for life, unending curiosity, lyrical descriptive powers – and his tendency to get into scrapes. Off-mint.
The Spanish Flu of 1918 and How it Changed the World
The influenza pandemic of 1918–20, which infected a third of the global population, killed 50–100 million people (probably more than the First and Second World Wars combined), yet it barely figures in the collective memory. This story of how the virus ‘emerged, swept the planet and receded’ also investigates human coexistence with flu viruses over the past 12,000 years, and looks at how societies might best combat another pandemic. Felt-tip mark on lower trimmed edge.