Social & Industrial History
My Life as a Nurse in the 1950s
Exchanging her native Belfast for Cumbria, Patricia Jordan worked as a midwife and district nurse in Borrowdale during the 1950s. This memoir recalls her tough nursing training in London, tells how a romance with a patient took her to the North West and recounts her many heart-warming and sometimes heartbreaking experiences as her work took her into people's homes at times of crisis and celebration.
From Crimea to Afghanistan: the Real Lives of Women Behind the Men of Uniform
Through the centuries, army wives have had to contend with anxiety, separation, injury, bereavement, post-traumatic stress, and the struggle to maintain a normal home life in abnormal circumstances. Using interviews, letters and diaries, this remarkable history gives them a voice, sometimes for the first time. It traces their experiences from the Crimean War – the last in which wives followed their husbands to the front – to the new breed of independent women supporting their men through the war in Afghanistan.
A Dance Through Time
Images of Western Social Dancing from the Middle Ages to Modern Times
Where depictions of peasant revels may be exuberant and unfettered, the stately codes of formal dance before the modern era created a tension between sobriety and decorum and underlying emotion or sexual tension. This art history curates images of dance from the Bodleian Library and explores their different meanings and themes, including how artists have conveyed the movement of dance technically and the social and historical information that can be gleaned from depictions of dancing, instructional illustrations and satirical sketches.
How the Women of Paris Lived, Loved and Died in the 1940s
How did the women of Paris survive the grim years of German occupation – and how, in the aftermath of liberation, did they come to terms with their actions? This first in-depth account of the lives of ordinary women in the occupied city charts the experiences of collaborators and resisters, actresses and prostitutes, teachers and writers, Nazis and Jews, in an atmosphere where sex became currency and life-or-death decisions were faced every day.
1956: The World in Revolt
In January 1956, the home of Martin Luther King, the leader of the Montgomery Improvement Association, was bombed; by December, the black citizens’ campaign had ended segregation on the city’s buses. In this survey of 1956, Simon Hall describes how frustration with the post-war order caused ordinary people across the world – in places as far-flung as Algeria, Eastern Europe, South Africa, Cyprus and Cuba – to speak out, take to the streets and sometimes die in the bid for greater freedoms.
Ancestors in the Arctic
A Photographic History of Dundee Whaling
Drawn from the collections of Dundee Art Galleries and Museums, this volume of early photographs shows the sailing ships and the highly skilled crews of the Dundee whaling industry, often set against the dramatic ice seas and landscapes of the Arctic. Offering insights into an almost forgotten aspect of Dundee’s history, the book demonstrates the importance of whaling for the city between the mid 18th century and the First World War.
Scottish Arctic Whaling
Between 1750 and 1900, Scottish whalers, sailing in extraordinarily hazardous conditions, caught around 20,000 bowhead whales in the seas around East Greenland, Davis Strait and Baffin Bay. By the mid 19th century, Scots had a near monopoly on Arctic oil and bone, but depleted stocks and the First World War ended its profitability. Sanger’s study gives a detailed account of this previously little-known but important Scottish industry.
The Perilous Catch
A History of Commercial Fishing
After an introduction describing some of the worst fishing disasters around the coasts of Britain during the last two centuries, the maritime historian Mike Smylie traces the history of commercial fishing from prehistoric and medieval weirs to today’s super-trawlers. Meticulously detailed, the book covers every aspect of fishing from mud-horse fishing on the Somerset mudflats to open-sea trawling, changes in boat design and safety, women in the industry, and the lives of fishermen and their families.
The Iron Men
The Workers Who Created the New Iron Age
By the early 19th century a second Iron Age had begun, with ships, bridges, trains and industrial machinery being constructed from the newly popular metal. Burton explains the innovations in manufacturing processes that enabled so many advances in technologies using iron and steel, but also focuses on the human cost of this progress, which brought new risks of deadly accident for the workers and ruined the lungs of Sheffield’s knife grinders.
Miller of Dee
The Story of Chester Mills and Millers, their Trades and Wares, the Weir, the Water Engine and the Salmon
Corn mills on the River Dee by the King’s Pool were built in the eleventh century and that part of Chester and Handbridge became one of the most important medieval and post-medieval industrial sites in Britain. In this illustrated industrial history, Roy Wilding presents a detailed look at the many wares besides flour – leather goods, paper, snuff and needles – that were produced by the mills; and he also describes fishing in the Dee.
A Colourful History of Cosmetics
From prehistoric body art and ancient Egyptian anti-ageing preparations, through lethal white lead and crocodile dung (both used to make the face paler) in Roman times, medieval pomanders and the painted faces of 16th-century aristocrats, to radium night cream in the 1930s, Susan Stewart traces the history of cosmetics and the ideals of beauty that inspired men and women to take such terrible risks in the fight against time and the wrinkle.
When the Massachusetts Bay authorities responded to months of accusations by executing 14 women, five men and two dogs for witchcraft, they made the name of Salem synonymous with murderous mass hysteria. In her vivid narrative of this seminal episode in American history, Pulitzer-winner Schiff profiles the leading figures, takes the reader into Salem’s houses, taverns, streets and courtrooms and explores how the adolescent girls at the centre of the crisis responded to their repressive Puritan surroundings. Felt-tip mark on lower trimmed edge. American-cut pages.
Horse-Drawn Transport in Leeds
William Turton, Corn Merchant and Tramway Entrepreneur
Although steam power was transforming the nation's transport in the 19th century, the horse-drawn tram survived in cities long enough to be replaced in most areas by electric traction, rather than by steam. This history examines the introduction of these early urban transport systems from the 1870s through the career of Yorkshire entrepreneur William Turton, who founded the Leeds Tramways Company and ran horse tramway services in major cities across the north of England.
The Justice Women
The Female Presence in the Criminal Justice System 1800-1970
Today we are accustomed to seeing female police officers, barristers and judges, but this only came about through more than a century of struggle. This absorbing book traces the history of the fight for equality and professional status through the lives of pioneering women in the legal system. They include Edith Smith, the first woman police officer to be sworn in, Lilian Wyles, the first female chief inspector, and the remarkable judge Rose Heilbron.
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.
Smuggling in Devon & 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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'.
Our Finest Hours: 1939-1953
This evocative collection features 80 photographs of Britain taken between the invasion of Poland and the Queen's coronation, an event described as 'the real end of the war' because of the change in the national mood after the enduring social impact of the conflict. Female factory workers, Blitz-battered buildings, evacuees, ration queues, ENSA performances, VE Day, jitterbugging, the Festival of Britain and the creation of the NHS all feature in this portrait of a country under pressure.
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.