Social & Industrial History
Raising the Dead
The Men Who Created Frankenstein
In 1818 Mary Shelley's Frankenstein horrified readers with the concept of using science to reanimate the dead; yet the idea was almost as old as science itself. This book charts the history of such experiments, from the ancients, through Luigi Galvani's electrification of frogs' legs to the macabre case of the 'Glasgow Frankenstein', in which the brilliant but eccentric scientist Andrew Ure attempted to bring an executed murderer back to life in 1818.
We'll Meet Again
Britain at War
With advances in camera technology, photojournalists were able to record everyday life during the Second World War with much more flexibility than ever before and the home front provided them with unforgettable visual material. From bomb destruction and ration queues to evacuees and women working in heavy industry, this collection of 350 photographs from the Daily Mail archive contains many arresting images and portrays a remarkable sense of cheerfulness in the face of adversity.
Working for Victory
As in other areas of the country, Lancashire's out-of-uniform population was turned to war production in 1939, producing the Hampden, Halifax and Lancaster bombers, ships from the Cammell Laird yard at Birkenhead and black-out curtains, uniforms and the like from the old cotton mills. This local history draws on hundreds of previously unpublished first-hand accounts to chronicle life on the Home Front in Lancashire during the Second World War.
A Series of Original Portraits and Character Etchings
Previously a surgeon-barber, John Kay (1742-1826) set up shop as a portrait etcher in Edinburgh in 1785. Published in 1837-8 and commonly called Edinburgh Portraits, this work presents, in no particular order, around 300 of Kay's etchings of people from all walks of Edinburgh life, with 'biographical' sketches and 'illustrative anecdotes' by James Paterson. These volumes are facsimiles of the first edition. Limited edition of 600. Slipcased.
War and Welfare
British Prisoner of War Families, 1939-45
During the Second World War some 250,000 British servicemen were taken captive by the Axis powers. As a result, their wives and families became completely dependent on the military and civil authorities for news of their loved ones and for financial and material support. This book outlines the nature of their plight and shows how they attempted to overcome the particular difficulties they faced during and immediately after the war.
Amusing the Victorians
Leisure, Pleasure and Play in Victorian Britain
We tend to think of the Victorians as humourless, hard-working people, yet the era witnessed an increase in spare time for many British workers, and the creation of a new phenomenon: the amusement industry. This eye-opening social history charts the unprecedented expansion of leisure activity between 1837 and 1901; the creation of parks, libraries, art galleries and museums; and the proliferation of sport, gardening, the music hall, pubs, fashion, fairs and excursions.
Wartime Nursery Rhymes
'Old Kaiser William / Marched into Belgium, / That's how the War began; / He thought he'd cross over / From Ostend to Dover, / Just fancy the cheek of the man!' This book is a new edition of a collection of nursery rhymes first published in 1918 that was designed to make Britain's children aware of the war and shape their thinking appropriately.
Books 3 and 4 (The Certainties of Place and A Thicker Cut), here bound in a single volume, continue Kynaston's extraordinarily evocative narrative, from an ailing King George VI opening the Festival of Britain and the Conservative victory that made Churchill once more Prime Minister, to the Suez crisis, Soviet action in Hungary and bus fares raised in Lowestoft to offset petrol rises. Off-mint.
Our Land at War
A Portrait of Rural Britain 1939-45
Duff Hart-Davis examines how, in farms and villages, forestry land and country estates, the 'old ways' of Britain's countryside were challenged by the demands of war. As well as the profound impact of the need to grow more food and the loss of workforce as young men enlisted, the book examines the effects of the new role of women, the Land Girls and Lumber Jills, the requisition of land and houses, and the arrival of evacuees, Americans and prisoners of war.
Water Power and Watermills
An Historical Guide
A mill dating to 150 CE at Ickham in Kent is the earliest evidence of the harnessing of water power in Britain, and the technology was in common use throughout the Middle Ages before providing the power behind the mills, pumps and forges of the early Industrial Revolution. This illustrated history examines the development of water power - from simple water wheels and dams to modern hydroelectric power generation and systems developed to exploit energy from waves and tides.
Nella Last in the 1950s
Further Diaries of Housewife, 49
For more than a quarter of a century Barrow-in-Furness housewife Nella Last worked on an extraordinary 10-million-word diary as part of the Mass Observation Project. Her account of the war years inspired the TV film Housewife, 49; now a third volume of selections covers the period 1950-52, when she feared nuclear war, tracked the progress of the 1951 election campaign and reflected on changes in society that would shape our modern world.
The Mistresses of Cliveden
From its dawn in the 1660s to its twilight in the 1960s, Cliveden was an emblem of elite misbehaviour and intrigue. Created by the Duke of Buckingham as a retreat for his affair with the Countess of Shrewsbury, the house was later the backdrop of the Profumo scandal. By turns historical epic, political thriller and family drama, this book recounts its 300-year history, and the lives of the women who made and broke governments from within its walls. Silk marker.
Sugar in the Blood
A Family's Story of Slavery and Empire
The descendant of both European planters and African slaves, Andrea Stuart brings to life the contrasting experiences of both sides of her family as she traces its history since George Ashby's journey to Barbados in the late 1630s. Her story reflects the region's social history - families which mostly started out as ethnically white and became, over time, predominantly black - but also demonstrates the inequality in a society where white families' histories are recorded, and slaves 'leave only very faint footsteps'.
The Wartime Garden
'Dig for Victory' was one of the most successful campaigns of the Second World War, turning parks into allotments and encouraging people on the home front to dig up the lawn and grow their own dinner. Illustrated with contemporary photographs and advertisements, this book looks at how the nation went about gardening in wartime and surveys other self-sufficiency measures such as keeping livestock and growing morale-boosting flowers.
Sir Watkin's Tours
Excursions to France, Italy and North Wales, 1768-71
Sir Watkin Williams Wynn (1749-89) is a shadowy figure often relegated to the footnotes, but as a patron of artists, architects, musicians and landscape gardeners, his influence on 18th century taste was significant. Within a biographical overview, this revealing study focuses on his grand tour of France and Italy and his own landholdings in North Wales. Illustrated with 49 colour plates, it records how this flamboyant Welsh connoisseur almost bankrupted himself in the pursuit of elegance.
Whores, Harlots and Wanton Women
The Story of Illicit Sex
Although we might like to think otherwise, our ancient ancestors were much more tolerant and accepting of human sexuality than modern Western society. This entertaining and eye-opening book traces the history of 'unconventional' sexuality and changing reactions to gay and lesbian people, prostitutes, adulterers and widows, from the earliest known female deities to Aquinas' view that women could have intercourse with Satan and the invention of 'homosexual' and 'heterosexual' identities in the 19th century.
A 1960s East End Childhood
To anyone who remembers playing in traffic-free streets or watching the moon landing on TV, Webb's memoir will be a nostalgic trip back to childhood in the 1960s in London's East End. To anyone younger, it is a picture of life in a different world, where bombsites and die-cast cars were the height of kids' entertainment and 'summer holiday' often meant staying with granny in Basildon.
Aristocrats: Power, Grace and Decadence
Britain's Great Ruling Classes from 1066 to the Present
For almost a millennium, Britain was governed by a small coterie of aristocrats whose power could make or break kings, forged an empire and created the world's first industrial nation. This colourful narrative history traces this network of interlinked families, examining its code of honour and public duty, its acquisitiveness and greed. It also demonstrates how, despite having relinquished much of its power, the aristocracy has shaped the nation, and continues to fascinate and appal in equal measure. Previously sold in Postscript in hardback edition.
City of Sin
London and Its Vices
'If you do not want to dwell with evil-doers', wrote Richard of Devizes in 1180, 'do not live in London'. In her third exploration of the city's history, Catharine Arnold focuses on the sex trade, from slave girls brought to service Roman troops in first century Londinium, through medieval stews, 18th century sex clubs and Victorian male brothels to infamous '60s call girls and the internet 'Belle de Jour'.
Sex and Punishment
Four Thousand Years of Judging Desire
Sex is one of the most powerful human drives, and societies have sought to regulate it since the dawn of history. Meticulous, scholarly, yet laced with spicy anecdote, this chronological survey ranges from the brutal impalement of an adulteress in Mesopotamia to the trials of Oscar Wilde. Peopled with transvestites, rent boys, royal mistresses and gay charioteers, it demonstrates how what is 'normal' in one age is forbidden in another, exposing the futility of such attempts to constrain human sexuality.
Going beyond the familiar stories of children in wartime, usually dominated by evacuation, Longden deals with children as active participants in the Second World War. He tells the stories of child soldiers who lied about their age to enlist, but also of the Royal Navy's 14-year-old boy buglers serving on battleships, teenagers in the Merchant Navy, Boy Scouts and Girl Guides helping victims of the bombing, and the children who stayed in the cities during the Blitz.
King's Cross Kid
A London Childhood Between the Wars
Victor Gregg (b.1919) joined the army in 1937 and in Rifleman (2011), he told the story of his service in the Rifle Brigade in Palestine, Alamein and Arnhem. Here, he goes back to his childhood and teenage years on the 'mean streets' of King's Cross, Soho and Bloomsbury. Victor's memoir evokes how, abandoned by his father and living in poverty, the family struggled and survived in the familiar, yet strange world of London between the wars. Slightly off-mint.
Life in Cosmopolitan London
In this study of Soho and its residents and habitues, Walkowitz poses the question: how did this tiny area on the eastern edge of London's fashionable West End become a potent incubator of metropolitan change? Discussing the restaurants, clubs and clothing stalls, political emigres and various ethnic groups, the book examines how Soho became known as a 'relaxed zone of freedom and toleration ... where the usual rules did not apply'.
Jack Tar's Story: The Autobiographies and Memoirs
Examining the autobiographical writings of antebellum American sailors, and how they remembered and interpreted experiences such as the War of 1812 and British impressment, this study explores contested meanings of manhood and nationalism in the early republic.
Marital Litigation in the Court of Requests 1542-1642
Camden Fifth Series. Vol 32
This volume transcribes 20 cases of married couples suing each other in defiance of the common law prohibition against litigation between spouses, and provides an intimate view of attitudes and behaviour as well as legal rights during this period. No jacket.
A Real Life Upstairs, Downstairs Romance
Slightly off-mint.Margaret Powell (1907-84) was a former kitchen maid whose first account of life in the great houses of wealthy families, Below Stairs, was a national bestseller. In this second warm and funny memoir of her days 'in service', she tells the story of Rose, the Wardham family maid, who shocked people upstairs and downstairs by eloping with the family's only son, Gerald.
Growing Up in Wartime Britain
In 1939, Geoffrey Lee Williams and his twin Alan, age 9, were evacuated to Hartley in Kent - the first of their four evacuations between the outbreak of war and 1944. Between billets they returned to London and during the final phase of the Blitz they enrolled as National Fire Service messengers. Above all, the book conveys the intense desire of the boys to contribute to the war effort and their growing awareness of unfolding events.
Two Centuries of Dirt, Dust and Disease in the Metropolis
Victorian London was dominated by sinister mounds of rubbish, graphically described by Dickens in Our Mutual Friend, where hundreds of workers eked a meagre living by sifting the dust for items that could be sold. Today, Londoners do their own recycling. This pioneering book explores the changes in the management of London's rubbish over two centuries, revealing the political and economic forces at work, and our social and moral attitudes to waste.
Holidays in Victorian England
Images of the Past
Margaret B was an ordinary middle-class English girl of the late Victorian era whose family made trips all over southern England. Their visits to places such as Brighton, Broadstairs, Exeter and Ilfracombe were recorded in Margaret's photographs. Accompanied by Thorburn's informative commentary, her pictures of the countryside and seaside, architectural splendours and quaint villages reveal the typical holiday for middle-class Victorians in an England untouched by cars and car parks.
Village Schooling in Somerset
Learn 'em Hard
Little schooling had been available in England's rural areas until the 1870 Education Act, although significant efforts had been made in Somerset prior to this by philanthropists such as Hannah More and the Rev. John Poole. This study considers the development of village schools in the county in the 19th and 20th centuries, examining the experience of the pupils, the curricula and the school management, from staffing and funding to the layout of the buildings.
Greasepaint and Cordite: The Story of ENSA
and Concert Party Entertainment During the Second World War
During the course of the Second World War, the Entertainments National Services Association put on countless productions for the troops across the world, offering everything from music hall turns to Laurence Olivier. The enormous number of shows meant that the talent was spread thinly and performances were often delivered in difficult circumstances and inhospitable climes. Drawing on interviews with surviving ENSA performers, this book tells the colourful story of this most unusual and complex theatrical enterprise.
The Dark Box
A Secret History of Confession
It was not until the 13th century that adult Catholics were required to confess their sins in private once a year; in recent decades the custom has been virtually abandoned. The Dark Box is a history of the rise and fall of this often controversial practice, drawing on Cornwell's own experience and focusing on reforms which sought to protect the Catholic faithful but actually increased opportunities for psychological oppression and sexual abuse. Slightly off-mint.
A Local and Global History
How and why have people in Western Europe and North America become so attached to cow's milk? That is the question with which Deborah Valenze begins her history of milk. Spanning over 3,000 years of human history, from Isis worship in ancient Middle Eastern societies to industrial dairy farming in 21st century America, the book tells the story of milk through centuries of 'mystery, myth and impassioned debate' to its status as a commodity today.
All In! All In!
Children's traditional street-games play an important role in the folk culture of a country. The Dublin children's folklore gathered by Eilis Brady (1927-2007) is now part of the National Folklore Collection at University College, Dublin. A selection of the games and rhymes from that collection are presented here, with music where appropriate, photographs and a short introduction to the background language.
The Englishman Who Posted Himself
and other Curious Objects
In 1898, W Reginald Bray (1879-1939) purchased a copy of the Post Office Guide and began to study the regulations. Thereafter he started to experiment by sending strange objects through the post. He posted items including a turnip, seaweed and his Irish terrier, he posted himself more than once and he sent thousands of strange postcards and autograph requests. Illustrated with many of Bray's postal curios, this book explores the intriguing hobby of a rather eccentric Englishman.
Private Life in Britain's Stately Homes
Masters and Servants in the Golden Age
Michael Paterson revisits the British country house in the years before the First World War, looking at the history of the aristocracy's domestic arrangements as well as the lifestyles of the people living and working - and staying as guests - in these great houses. He explores the myths and the realities of life for owners and servants in the so-called 'golden age', and ends by discussing the changes wrought by war and economics.
The Illustrated Sinking of the Titanic
Such was the sensation caused by the Titanic tragedy,publishers raced to bring out commemorative volumes. This book is a republication of an edition produced within a month of the sinking and contains information about the ship and its passengers, and numerous accounts of the disaster. The dramatically written content inevitably contains inaccuracies and inflations but the book is nevertheless a valuable contemporary document and contains 80 illustrations, photographs and artists' impressions.