Social & Industrial History
Smuggling in Devon and Cornwall 1700-1850
During the 18th-century heyday of smuggling, the people of Devon and Cornwall were largely in favour of a business that provided such a boost to the local economy. This history of the illicit trade examines activity in the secret coves and remote villages around the peninsula (with notes for modern visitors) from the Carter family's stronghold at Prussia Cove, near Penzance, to Lundy Island off the north coast.
The Life of Two Countries, England and Germany, in Many Stories
Two world wars have all but erased the memory that Britain and Germany were once the best of friends. This absorbing history charts three centuries of cooperation between allies bonded by blood, religion and culture. Wide-ranging and richly anecdotal, it also recounts the stories of individuals – from the royal family through writers and musicians to ordinary people working abroad – whose lives straddled two nations, and how their loyalties were put to the test after 1914.
Somerset Born, Somerset Bred
Growing up in Bridgwater in the 1950s, Roger Evans's early years were spent in a house without electricity, hot water or an indoor toilet. This memoir recalls the simpler way of life of the era: weekly baths, strict schooling and unsupervised play, as well as the gradual arrival of technological marvels, such as television, that changed the way people lived for ever.
Images of Lincolnshire Farming
The fertile soils of Lincolnshire have made it one of England’s most productive agricultural areas, with a long tradition of arable and livestock farming. Illustrated with more than 130 historic images gathered from the county’s farming families, this book charts the way its people have met the challenges and opportunities created by the changing face of agriculture over the past century, as horses gave way to the tractor.
A Downstairs History of Britain from the Nineteenth Century to Modern Times
From the large staff running an Edwardian estate to the harried housemaid of a cramped middle-class home, servants were once an integral part of British life. Richly entertaining and impeccably researched, this fascinating history uses letters and diaries to bring to life the day-to-day experience of men and women whose lives were dedicated to providing for their employers’ personal needs and social status, and reflects on why, in a more egalitarian age, we look back on those times with nostalgia.
From Boiled Beef to Chicken Tikka
500 Years of Feeding the British Army
‘An army’, Napoleon famously remarked, ‘marches on its stomach’. But who ensured that its stomach was filled – and what was it filled with? This compelling, meticulously researched book charts the history of British Army catering from Cromwell to the Iraq war, turns up such fascinating details as how to improvise a kebab skewer with a bayonet, and includes 20 recipes to try at home, from Gurkha Chicken Pilau to Game Pie.
Stars in Battledress
A Light-Hearted Look at Service Entertainment in the Second World War
Many of the stars of post-war British entertainment cut their teeth in Army entertainment; established artistes as part of ENSA and, braving the front lines, Stars in Battledress using talent drawn from the serving ranks. This book recounts the stories of such members as Charlie Chester and Spike Milligan as well as tales of the post-war Combined Service Entertainment in which Frankie Howerd and Stanley Baxter learned their trade.
Dirty Old London
The Victorian Fight Against Filth
With mud and horse dung filling its streets, and soot, smoke and the stench of rotten food in the air, Victorian London was infamous for its squalor. As he guides the reader through the filthy underbelly of the vast metropolis, Lee Jackson describes how reformers struggled to stem the tide of pollution, from the dustmen who made huge profits by recycling waste to Joseph Bazalgette, whose great 82-mile network of sewers still serves the modern city.
Unemployment and the State in Britain
The Means Test and Protest in 1930s South Wales and North-east England
During the depression of the 1930s, the household Means Test for the long-term unemployed, introduced by the National Government in 1931, became the most debated aspect of social policy across the political spectrum, and caused the biggest street protests of the period. This comparative study of the means test in two regions examines its administration, its effects and the response to it; and considers its lasting political and cultural significance.
Voices of the First World War
A crucially important port during the First World War, the city of Liverpool also reflected the domestic political problems of the day with industrial unrest and Irish home rule both pertinent topics for the large working class and Irish populations. Through letters and diaries, this book highlights the experiences and attitudes of people living and working in the city during the period as well as Merseysiders serving abroad.
A History of Blaming Other People
‘Adam blamed Eve, Eve blamed the serpent, and we’ve been hard at it ever since.’ In the aftermath of disaster, people have always tried to absolve themselves of responsibility by saying it was someone else’s fault. This witty, thought-provoking essay looks at the plight of the unfairly targeted – witches, bankers, neighbours, foreigners, politicians, Muslims, Jews, Christians – and warns that irrational blame-mongering is unabated today.
Tom Kipper's Schooldays
Memories of an Irish Childhood in Liverpool
The natural humour and charm of the Irish population of Liverpool contributed greatly to the emergence of the city's idiosyncratic culture and played a part in developing the distinctive Scouse accent. This fictionalized memoir follows the adventures of a small boy growing up in the city's Irish community during the Second World War, getting up to mischief in the streets and learning hard lessons at Saint Joseph's Academy amid a cast of colourful Liverpool characters.
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.
Vintage People on Photo Postcards
Since photography was invented, weddings have been a favourite subject, their black-and-white ceremonial garb especially suited to the medium. The couples in these touching images, as the curator Giles Waterfield (1949-2016) points out in his introduction, are captured in a moment of happy if nervous anticipation.
Women and Hats
Vintage People on Photo Postcards
Hats, now rare, were ubiquitous in the heyday of the photo postcard. The images in this book reflect changing fashions from wide-brimmed Edwardian headpieces piled with flowers, through the flapper's cloche, to the 1940s pillbox. With an introduction by the milliner Philip Treacy.
Vintage People on Photo Postcards
By 1900 the bicycle had become a popular means of transport, allowing city workers to escape to the countryside. It was on such jaunts that many posed with their trusty steeds for the photographs in this book. With an introduction by the award-winning cycling journalist William Fotheringham.
Vintage People on Photo Postcards
As the novelist David Lodge reminds us in his introduction, the 19th century saw a massive expansion in literacy. The featured sepia photographs capture people from all walks of life reading newspapers, books and Bibles by the fireside, in gardens and on the beach.
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.
Tyranny and The Lash
Prisoners and Punishment in British History
Medieval people gave little thought to prisoners or to the conditions in which they were kept, but by Victorian times troubling questions were being asked about the purpose and effectiveness of incarceration. Wade traces the evolving nature, use and management of British prisons over the centuries, asks whether changes in practices such as hard labour and solitary confinement have made the prison system more humane and investigates how social changes led to new definitions of criminality.
Solving Genealogy Problems
How to Break Down 'Brick Walls' and Build Your Family Tree
The genealogical researcher often comes up against difficult areas and dead ends, but this book provides advice, information and extra techniques to take the family tree back past apparently insurmountable difficulties. Drawing on his own long experience of research in the British Isles, Davis suggests new ways of looking at problems, offers advice on finding new and unusual records and gives additional ideas on using the census and census substitutes.
Divorced, Beheaded, Sold
Ending an English Marriage 1500-1847
How could English people end unhappy marriages before divorce was readily available? As the colourful stories in this book reveal, the options ranged from quietly but bigamously remarrying to selling an unwanted wife to the highest bidder at market. The author also examines a 1594 case in which neighbours helped a woman retrieve property from her husband, and occasions when wives successfully sued for legal separation. The appendix focuses on Henry VIII's marital arrangements.
Take a Cold Tub, Sir!
The Story of the Boy's Own Paper
The Boy's Own Paper was first issued in January 1879, a reputable, informative and entertaining publication to counteract the lurid 'penny dreadfuls' of the day. Publication continued until 1966, and its last Editor is the author of this history. In a narrative full of illustrations from almost 100 years of issues, he traces its evolution from the bracing advice-giver of the Victorian era to the promoter of practical and technical know-how in its final decades. Bears old cover price.
A Lark for the Sake of Their Country
The 1926 General Strike Volunteers in Folklore and Memory
During the 1926 General Strike, many upper- and middle-class young people volunteered to drive buses, trucks and trains. Drawing on interviews conducted with almost 100 survivors during the 1980s, this first book to focus specifically on their experiences uses folklore, anthropology and social history to reveal how their behaviour was rooted in the fancy-dress parties and treasure hunts of universities and country houses, and how memories of the strike have continued to shape British identity.
of the Second World War
This poignant oral history presents the Second World War through the memories of those who as children lived through the Blitz, or were parted from their families and evacuated to every corner of the UK. More than 50 first-hand accounts shed light on the dangers faced, the hardships and the wildly different experiences of evacuees, the new understanding forged between urban and rural Britons, and the lifelong friendships created during this time of great upheaval.
London and the Making of the Permissive Society
Did sex really begin, as Philip Larkin wrote, in 1963? This groundbreaking cultural history challenges the orthodox view and uncovers the first stirrings of the sexual revolution amid the austerity of fifties London. Conducting the reader on a peephole tour from Whitehall to the fleshpots of Soho, it shows how a series of scandals involving murder, espionage, prostitution, blackmail and homosexuality reshaped public and private behaviour, and captures a key moment in the making of modern Britain.
A 1950s Holiday in Bognor Regis
Tubby Isaacs’s jellied-eels stand in the coach park, shrimping, Punch and Judy on the beach, The Importance of Being Earnest at the Roof Garden Theatre, the Aldwick Hundred Motor Cycle Club ... Drawing on the memories and snapshots of visitors and residents of Bognor, this book looks back to the 1950s and describes the holidays, including getting there, accommodation and entertainments, in Britain’s sunniest southern seaside resort.
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.
The New Arrival
The Heartwarming True Story of a 1970s Trainee Nurse
When 17-year-old trainee nurse Sarah Hill arrived at Hackney General Hospital in 1969, she had no idea what she was letting herself in for. In this warm, funny and moving memoir, she recalls the slum conditions that sent mothers and babies into hospital time and time again, local villains doing business over bedside card games, eating by candlelight during the three-day week, and the colourful characters who were her patients.
Women's Factory Work in World War One
The appointment of two influential women from the Women's Factory Inspectorate to the Women's War Work Subcommittee during the First World War led to a commission to create a photographic documentary archive of women working in factories across Britain. GR Griffiths examines that project and presents a selection from the thousands of images that covered 19 industries and recorded the working conditions of the women and the industrial processes in which they were engaged.
The Last Foundling
Tom H Mackenzie was one of the last children to be taken into the Foundling Hospital at its Berkhamsted site. Here, he tells the story of his mother, a desperate young woman who had no choice but to give up her illegitimate baby son; and the story of his own life, from a childhood spent in the harsh discipline of the institution, up to 1959 when, aged 20, he met his mother for the first time.
The Story of a Guinness House
Hidden amid a 5,000-acre estate in a secluded Irish valley is the exquisite 18th-century house Luggala. In 1937 Ernest Guinness presented it to his daughter Oonagh, who made it a vibrant meeting place for artists and writers - a tradition her son Garech Browne, the founder of Claddagh Records, has continued. The book is lavishly illustrated with colour photographs of the house, its breath-taking setting and its famous guests, from Brendan Behan and Seamus Heaney to Mick Jagger, Marianne Faithfull and Michael Jackson.
After a brief history of Portobello Market, from the capture of Porto Bello during the War of Jenkins' Ear to the problems facing market traders today, Blanche Girouard presents informal interviews with more than 30 local residents, costermongers and stall-holders selling vintage clothing and antiques. The traders' stories - and the interruptions to serve customers - are full of humour and anecdote that convey the lively traditions of London's last antique street market.
The Rise and Fall of a British Grocery Giant
Though few now remember its name, Sanders Bros was a retail giant once as familiar as Tesco is today. Established in 1887, the flour, biscuit and grocery chain had 154 shops in London and its suburbs, and a market value higher than Marks & Spencer by the 1920s. This absorbing history charts the company's remarkable growth, its inter-war heyday, and its sudden demise at the hands of a shadowy cartel of investors.
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 Servants' Story
Managing a Great Country House
This recreation of what it was like to live and work as a servant in a grand household during the mid-19th century is based on the Sutherland Collection, the papers of the Leveson-Gowers family, once the largest private landlords in the United Kingdom. While Trentham, their house in Staffordshire, stands in ruins, the family archive is extraordinarily intact, affording a detailed picture of the social structure, administration and working conditions within the highly complex community of Trentham.
Necropolis City of The Dead
Undercliffe Victorian Cemetery
A ‘vast, sprawling and unique landmark that is Bradford’s very own Grade II listed Victorian necropolis’, the Undercliffe Cemetery is the city’s history written in stone monuments. Mark Davis presents a photographic essay with informative notes on the burial ground - the final resting place of the city’s 19th century industrialists in their elaborate tombs, but also the victims of industrial accidents in unmarked graves, a multitude of babies, and the Nonconformists confined to the unconsecrated eastern sections of the cemetery.
The Great Stink of Paris and the Nineteenth-Century Struggle Against Filth
In the summer of 1880 a disgusting stench afflicted the city of Paris, provoking a popular outcry and a minor political crisis. There was a widespread belief - among experts and ordinary folk - that the foul odour would cause disease; yet in 1895, when another great stink arose, Parisians were offended, but not unduly worried about disease. This study explores that shift opinion and tells the story of how public health knowledge and practice changed over those 15 years.
Nations are often regarded as fixed, natural entities, but most nation states have been consciously created in recent centuries, and France is no exception. Divided into three sections covering French history, experience and identity, this study examines the way that revolution, social conflict, war, occupation and resistance, colonialism and decolonization, religion, gender and popular culture have all shaped the evolution and reinvention of France to create the country we know today.
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.
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.
Wartime Nursery Rhymes
Originally published in 1918, Nina Macdonald’s patriotic and satirical versions of traditional nursery rhymes were designed to instruct British children about wartime conditions and instil a healthy hatred of Kaiser Bill. Republished in 2014, the collection offers a rare insight into children’s experience on the Home Front.
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.