The Rupert Annual
First appearing in the 1920s, the enduringly popular Rupert the Bear comic strip still features in the Daily Express today, and this is his 82nd annual. The stories include an adventure from 1939, as well as a brand new tale, ‘Rupert and the Christmas Birds’, and there are games and instructions for making Christmas decorations. Age 7+
A Boy Called Christmas
Young Nikolas lived in the second smallest cottage in Finland, his life was hard, and his only toy was a doll carved out of a turnip, but Nikolas believed in magic and grew up to be Father Christmas. Matt Haig’s wonderful book, with pictures by Chris Mould, tells the story of young Nikolas and his journey to the realm of elves where ‘an impossibility is just a possibility you don’t understand yet’. Age 7+
The Art of Winnie-the-Pooh
How EH Shepard Illustrated an Icon
Forming one of the earliest author and illustrator partnerships, AA Milne and EH Shepard worked closely together in the 1920s to create some of the world’s best-loved children’s characters. This illustrated volume reveals the depth of that partnership, and incorporates many of Shepard’s previously unpublished sketches, letters, photos and even a personal Christmas card. The real inspiration for Winnie-the-Pooh is revealed to be Shepard’s son’s teddy bear, Growler, still owned by granddaughter Minette Shepard, who provides the introduction.
Plague, Fire, Revolution
Samuel Pepys was born in London in 1633 and died there in 1703, having lived through revolution and Restoration, the Dutch raid, notable scientific advances, plague and fire. All of this he recorded in his diary and letters. The National Maritime Museum exhibition in 2015 presented 158 objects and paintings, and with essays by contributing scholars, this accompanying volume explores Pepys’s career and varied interests while illuminating aspects of 17th-century London life ranging from surgical procedures to Stuart portraiture.
Where to See Wildlife in Britain and Ireland
Over 800 Best Wildlife Sites in the British Isles
The 10,000 acres of saltmarsh and 65,000 acres of tidal sandbanks and mudflats around the Wash on the east coast are a haven for wildlife, with about 500,000 wildfowl wintering there and common seals breeding there in summer, when the saltmarsh is abundant with wildflowers. This practical guide focuses on 800 wildlife-rich locations in the UK and advises on what to see, when to visit and how to get there, with detailed mapping and over 500 photographs.
A Dictionary of Scottish Phrase and Fable
From da Aald Rock (Shetlanders’ name for their native islands) and all things Aberdonian, to Zeenty-teenty (an old children’s rhyme that involves slicing and frying mice), Ian Crofton presents a miscellany of colourful and interesting words, phrases, names and stories that together offer a kaleidoscopic view of Scottish legends, customs and culture past and present. Above all, the Dictionary is wonderfully diverting, with cross-references, and hundreds of quotations from prose, poetry and song.
Vintage Paper Toys
64 French Models to Make at Home
First made popular in the 19th century, designing paper toys can be likened to an art form; and putting them together can be enjoyed by both children and adults. These vintage cut-outs include circus acts, a merry-go-round, dress-up dolls and a church with wedding guests. Follow the instructions on the design, cut out the pieces with scissors and a craft knife, and glue together.
The Curious Map Book
The creation of maps is often a serious business in which accuracy takes precedence over the imagination. This delightful book offers 100 unusual maps, from the British Library collection, in which the equation is reversed and fantasy comes to the fore. Here are nations portrayed as humans or animals: the British bulldog, the ‘Lion of the Low Countries’, the Russian bear. Many satirize the politics of their time; some depict fictional countries; while others are board games or jigsaw puzzles.
Arranged by region from North West to South West, this selection of over 1,300 photographs from the Historic England collection presents a visual narrative of the built environment and people's lives within it, from the age of horse-drawn trams to that of trolley buses. Introduced and captioned by Philip Davies, the images show a vast range of English life in town and country – from the commercial grandeur of Liverpool's 'Three Graces' to a blacksmith at work in a Cornish village.
The Haunted Beauty
With superb colour photographs, Julian Beecroft’s book is a pictorial tour of the world’s least visited places, inaccessible for reasons ranging from military secrecy and political paranoia to the sheer difficulty of getting there. Places covered include isolated monastic settlements such as Skellig Michael off the coast of Ireland; the closed cities of the former USSR; enclaves of elites and ghettoes of minorities; Cold War bunkers; and locations remote even today, such as the Berber towns of the Maghreb.
Earth is a desert planet. Nearly half its land area is either cold or hot desert, but these areas are rarely seen by residents of the outside world. Documentary photographer Michael Martin has ridden his motorbike across the Sahara and Atacama deserts, and traversed the ice-fields of Greenland and Spitsbergen by dog sledge. This volume charts his travels through more than 400 photographs, gripping reportage, scientifically exact maps and environmental analysis from contributing experts.
Monasteries and Monastic Orders
2000 Years of Christian Art and Culture
The history and culture of Europe have been shaped by monasticism, which has left a rich legacy of religious art and architecture. This magnificent volume charts the history of monasticism from late antiquity through its peak in the Middle Ages to the present day. Lavishly illustrated with colour photographs, paintings and illuminated manuscripts, the book describes the traditions, regulations and daily life of the different orders, profiles famous abbots and abbesses, and celebrates the continuing appeal of the contemplative life.
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.
London Hidden Interiors
Philip Davies's selection of 180 London interiors, all beautifully photographed by Derek Kendall, reveals the architectural riches – and eccentricities – hidden behind inscrutable London facades or tucked away in sidestreets: houses such as 11 Bedford Row, with its magnificent Georgian painted staircase; hidden gems such as the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology in Malet Street; and the complete 18th-century dining room by Robert Adam, removed from Bowood House in Wiltshire and reconstructed on the ninth floor of the Lloyd's Building.
Visions of Fuji
Artists from the Floating World
Mount Fuji, with its majestic cone and snow-capped summit, has inspired artists and writers for centuries. This lavish volume, with an embossed foil cover, discusses its continuing influence, and focuses on the series of views of the mountain by the giants of Japanese woodblock art, Katsushika Hokusai (1760–1849) and Utagawa Hiroshige (1797–1858). Hundreds of reproductions show this emblem of perfection, symmetry, spiritual balance and endurance in all its many guises, while the text follows the evolution of the artists' work.
The Story of the World
A much-travelled historian, WB Bartlett is firm in his conviction that 'history matters' and that nations across the globe are shaped, and sometimes haunted, by their history. Following the grand sweep of events – yet noting in passing such landmarks as the first Sherlock Holmes story – Bartlett eschews the Eurocentric approach and introduces many forgotten cultures, movements and events in this lively and thoughtful introduction to world history.
Our History of the 20th Century
As Told in Diaries, Journals and Letters
From Queen Victoria’s journal entry for 1 January 1900, (‘full of anxiety & fear of what may be before us!’) to MP Oona King’s lament at spending the end of the millennium in a queue, Elborough’s compilation presents personal, contemporary and candid responses to world history as it happened. The book features over 100 diarists and provides one or more writers’ reaction to every major event or trend, whether a world war, the 1975 Europe Referendum or the latest Star Wars movie.
The English and Their History
In this much-acclaimed work, Robert Tombs traces England’s development from ‘an idea’ to a kingdom, a country, a people and a culture, and he makes collective memory an inherent part of the story. Emphasizing the role of memory creators and carriers such as language, literature, law, religious and political institutions, and historical writing, Tombs focuses on four ‘themes’: the aftermath of the Norman Conquest; the English Civil War; empire; and the recent sense of the nation in decline. American cut pages and felt-tip mark on lower trimmed edge. Off-mint.
Manners for Millionaires
Aimed at readers who still have fewer than 17 spare bedrooms, this satirical guide from 1900 explains the best ways to progress through the more elevated ranks of late-Victorian society. Its tips range from money-making schemes for paupers to the easiest means for the rich to rid themselves of those cumbersome spare millions. The book is surreally illustrated with woodcuts depicting (alleged) British fish.
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 Café Royal, the Colony Room and the Gargoyle Club.
Panoramas of Lost London
Work, Wealth, Poverty and Change 1870–1945
Following on from the bestselling Lost London 1870–1945, this book presents some 280 photographs originally commissioned by the London County Council to record streets and neighbourhoods on the threshold of redevelopment. Enlarged and cropped, the photographs reveal the built environment and life within it in great detail. They are, as Dan Cruickshank writes in his foreword, 'photographs which record not just the appearance of the building but also, in some uncanny way, its atmosphere, its grand but crumbling soul'.
Featuring more than 500 mostly unpublished photographs from the London County Council archive, this richly evocative book opens a window on a vanished past. Spanning 75 years, from 1870 to 1945, it charts the transition from a Dickensian world of coaching inns to the devastation of the Blitz, revealing the architectural beauty that London has lost, explaining why some buildings have survived while others have perished, and sounding a clarion call to save what remains.
British Town Maps
Towns are complex, sophisticated creations that have stretched cartographers' ingenuity over time. Well-illustrated in colour, this book tells the story of the mapping of urban Britain from the late Middle Ages until modern times. Some of the maps it reproduces are well known, while others languished in archives until revealed by the 20 years of research on which this project, and the accompanying online Catalogue of British Town Maps, is founded.
First used in medieval Venice and prized for its manoeuvrability, the gondola evolved over the centuries into today's sleek, asymmetrical black boat. Illustrated with reproductions of views of Venice, Donna Leon's little book offers 'a new way to enter into the life of the city' through the stories of the gondola, its history, its makers and its songs. A CD of gondoliers' barcarole accompanies the book, recorded by Il Pomo d'Oro, with a special track by Cecilia Bartoli.
Great War Fashion
Tales from the History Wardrobe
This attractively designed social history rummages through the wardrobes of women in the years before the First World War to reveal the lives and fashions of the real women behind the stiff, mono-bosomed ideal of Edwardian high society, and closes with the newly liberated breed who donned trousers and overalls to work in munitions factories, uniforms to tend the wounded and widow's weeds to mourn a generation of men. The wide-ranging text is highly illustrated.
Some Sunny Day
Born in 1917, Dame Vera Lynn was 92 when she realized that her great age gave a better perspective (she wrote her first autobiography in her fifties) and she had to 'get everything down on paper in a final account'. Here then is the life of 'an ordinary girl from an ordinary family with a voice that you could recognize' – but also an embodiment of British spirit during the Second World War.
The Home Front in the Great War
Aspects of the Conflict 1914–1918
The Great War was the first to have a deep impact on every aspect of civilian life. This book examines its effects on society at home, from recruitment drives and rationing to Zeppelin raids and the return of wounded servicemen. Drawing on personal accounts and newspaper and magazine articles, and extensively illustrated with period photographs, it explores the war's effects on industry, employment, labour relations, the press, the class system and the role of women. First published in 2003.
Poetry of the First World War
Edited and with a substantial introduction by Marcus Clapham, this anthology is arranged alphabetically by poet and includes both obscure soldier-poets and the great writers of the war years such as Edward Thomas, Siegfried Sassoon, Isaac Rosenberg and Wilfred Owen. A final section provides brief biographical notes on the poets.
The Word at War
World War Two in 100 Phrases
From 'concentration camps' to 'Germanophobia', the authors' selection of words and phrases born of the Second World War (and some left over from the First) has been arranged chronologically to follow the course of the conflict through its linguistic inventions. In each of the 15 chapters, they explore the derivations and the stories behind the popular terms and phraseology of the period – in European and Axis nations as well as Britain and the USA.
Bandaging the Blitz
Phyll Macdonald-Ross was a trainee nurse at Hackney Hospital in London’s East End when war was declared in September 1939. Her memoir recalls the rigid discipline and hard work of nursing, and the harrowing experience of tending the injured and dying during the Blitz in London, but also friendship and mischief, and the beginning of a lifelong love affair. The story was presented in 2015, Phyll’s 95th year, by her grandson ID Roberts.
Botanical Wall Chart
Art from the Golden Age of Scientific Discovery
This magnificently illustrated volume celebrates a convergence of disciplines – art, science and education – that flourished in the late 19th and early 20th centuries to produce the botanical wall chart. Arranged alphabetically by plant family, from Amaryllis to Vitaceae (Grape), and reproduced in colour, with texts examining their pedagogical use and their historical, botanical and artistic contexts, this collection of around 120 charts from countries across the world represents some of the finest botanical illustration of the period.
Wildlife photography typically aims to capture animals in their natural environments, inviting us to study their behaviour as unseen observers. This portfolio takes a different tack, bringing tame or trained animals into the studio for controlled portraits. The resulting pictures frame each subject against a pure black background, focusing attention on their form and texture and drawing us to engage with the eyes and face of a kangaroo, a giraffe or a tiger as we would with a human subject.
National Birds of the World
From Angola's Red-Crested Turaco to Zimbabwe's African Fish-Eagle, more than 90 avian species have been adopted as official symbols of national identity. Each bird is pictured and described in this comprehensive guide, which features data such as size, diet and habitat alongside an explanation of reasons for the bird's use as a national emblem, information on its conservation status and examples of its prevalence in the stamps, coats of arms and wider culture of its country. Foreword by Chris Packham.
The Natural Heritage of the World
The Most Beautiful National Parks, Protected Areas and Biosphere Reserves on Earth
The world’s wild places offer a refuge for endangered species, an information bank for scientists, and a priceless gift to the human spirit. Illustrated with colour photographs, this book explores all 229 areas of natural beauty on UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites, from Lapland’s Arctic wastes to the Amazon rainforests, from the Great Barrier Reef to the reserves of East Africa, and from the primeval beech forests of the Carpathians to the natural parks of North America.
The Enlightened Imbiber's Guide to Alcohol
The authors, both drinks journalists with years of imbibing experience, advise us to ‘Drink Less. Drink Better’. In lavishly illustrated chapters on beer and cider, wine, each of the spirits, aperitifs and digestifs, they offer recommendations of their chosen few, along with the history and culture of each type of drink, its legends, ‘heroes’ (Humphrey Bogart and gin, Vincent van Gogh and absinthe) and movie stardom (Whisky Galore, The Big Lebowski), and recipes for its finest cocktails.
The Times Great Letters
A Century of Notable Correspondence
Siegfried Sassoon decrying ‘political errors and insincerities’ in 1917; leg-theory in cricket; John Betjeman speaking up for threatened churches; the eccentricities of quartermasters’ vocabulary and syntax; and Theresa May on the first ascent of the Matterhorn... Covering a vast range of topics with erudition, opinion and a very British wit, this anthology of over 300 letters demonstrates why The Times letters page is renowned as a forum of debate, whether the topic be the future of education or dyed kippers.
A Collection of Epigrams and Epitaphs Serious and Comic
Originally published in 1933, this little book of witty epigrams and epitaphs by the English writer and poet Martin Armstrong (1882–1974) is illustrated with wood-engravings by Eric Ravilious (1903–1942). The subjects of the verses are 54 professionals or types, ranging from a judge to a snuff-taker and a ‘boarding-house lift man’; and each one is accompanied by its own woodcut.
The Complete Collection
'When Edward Bear said that he would like an exciting name all to himself, Christopher Robin said at once, without stopping to think, that he was Winnie-the-Pooh. And he was.' This slipcased set contains the four children's classics by AA Milne, all with their original line drawings by EH Shepard: Winnie-the-Pooh, The House at Pooh Corner, When We Were Very Young and Now We Are Six.
The Enid Blyton Faraway Tree and Wishing-Chair Collection
(six volume set)
Joe, Beth and Frannie's adventures in strange and exciting lands begin when they discover the mysterious Enchanted Wood and, deep within it, the magical Faraway Tree. Mollie and Peter's amazing adventures start closer to home – in their nursery is a Wishing Chair that can grow wings and transport them to fantastic places. This set contains three books from each series. First published between 1937 and 1950. Age 6+
The Mysteries Collection
6 Classic Mysteries (six volume set)
The nostalgic stories in this collection will keep young readers occupied for many long hours. The Five Find-Outers, plus Buster the dog, embark on exciting adventures investigating the emptying of a cottage on Holly Lane, a missing ventriloquist's dummy, a cunning thief, the disappearance of an Eastern prince and a robbery in a local theatre. The wholesome fun is told with plenty of lively dialogue. Age 8+
The Photography Book
An A-Z of over 550 photographers, this volume spans the entire history of the medium - from Fox Talbot and Daguerre to reportage, fashion and advertising photographers working today - and includes historic images such as Mathew B Brady's portrait of General Sherman and Robert Capa's Death of a Loyalist Soldier from his coverage of the Spanish Civil War. Each photographer is represented by one of their finest images, and the editors provide commentary setting the photograph in context.
The Philosophy of Cats
Federica Sgarbi combines her passions for philosophy and felines in this account of her successful project to rehome all 78 residents of her local cattery. She tells how she wrote 'lonely-cat ads' for them, and describes their character and appearance before reflecting on what their stories teach us about our relationship with animals, as theorized by philosophers from Plutarch and Schopenhauer to contemporary thinkers on animal rights.
World Encyclopaedia of Racing Drivers
The Definitive Reference to the Lives and Achievements of 2,500 International Racing Drivers
Covering winners, losers, has-beens and hopefuls in a great range of races and championships, from Grand Prix to stock car racing, this is the definitive reference to the lives and achievements of some 2,500 international racing drivers. Arranged alphabetically, from Rauno Aaltonen (a rare cross-over from rallying to racing) to the 2005 Formula Atlantic winner, Charles Zwolsman Jr, the Encyclopaedia lists each driver’s principal race wins and gives a concise account of his or her life and career. Slipcased.
Malcolm Root's Transport Paintings
Best known for his atmospheric railway scenes, Malcolm Root has earned a reputation for meticulous attention to period and engineering detail in his nostalgic paintings. This collection of his work encompasses all forms of British transport in realistic historic settings from an Edwardian tram and an Empire flying boat in the 1930s to a Dodge fire engine going out on call in the 1950s and a Massey Ferguson tractor working the fields in the 1960s.
The British Olympics
Britain's Olympic Heritage 1612–2012
Before 2012, the Olympic Games had twice been held in London, but sporting festivals in Britain date back centuries earlier – events that encouraged and inspired the foundation of the modern Olympics. This book explores the Much Wenlock and Cotswold Games and other early incarnations, as well as the 1904 and 1948 Games, and the Stoke Mandeville Games, the forerunner of the Paralympic Games.
The Baffle Book
Fifteen Fiendishly Challenging Detective Puzzles
If you revel in armchair criminal investigation, this book is just your cup of poisoned orange pekoe. Here are 15 old-fashioned 'detective puzzles', the unravelling of which requires well-honed powers of observation and deduction. In words, charts and diagrams, the authors put you at the crime scene and present you with the facts established by the police. Solving the questions that each case poses is your challenge. Answers at the back – if you must. Slightly off-mint.
Crack the Code
In four progressively more difficult chapters – Amusements, Diversions, Challenges, and Enigmas – Dr Gareth Moore presents over 200 puzzles, including codes to break, conundrums, several types of Sudoku and unusual vocabulary games. The puzzles range from simple to mystifying, but there is another twist – the instructions range from explicit to mere suggestions of how to proceed. Solutions are at the back.
How to Draw Mr Men
With How to Draw Book, Stencils, Sketchbook and Stickers!
Look at the step-by-step instructions in the How to Draw book, and practise drawing the characters on the blank pages of the sketch book. You’ll soon be ready to colour and add details to the sketchbook pictures with the help of the stencils and stickers. Age 5+