Social & Industrial History
How British Aristocrats Staked a Claim to the American West 1830–1890
From the 1830s onwards, a succession of British aristocrats headed for the American West, taking with them their valets, their dogs – and their prejudices. This sparkling account describes the newcomers' experiences as they crossed the country to meet Native Americans, hunt buffalo and build cattle empires. Packed with lively incident and colourful personalities, it also charts their reception by Americans often less than pleased at the return of their former colonial overlords.
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.
The Great British Dream Factory
The Strange History of Our National Imagination
Britain’s empire has gone, but popular culture is one area in which it is still a superpower. JK Rowling has sold more than 400 million books, Doctor Who is watched in almost every developed country, and James Bond is the longest-running film series in history. This entertaining, thought-provoking book explores the roots, meaning and global success of Britain’s popular culture, and asks what there is in the national imagination that has given birth to such riches.
Perfect Wives in Ideal Homes
The Story of Women in the 1950s
What did it feel like to be a young woman in the 1950s? Virginia Nicholson examines the pressures under which women lived in a post-war culture characterized by sex discrimination, inhibition, conservatism and hierarchy, and in thrall to the ideals of marriage, home and the perfect wife. With the emphasis on real women's experience, she explores topics from coronation fever, through 'how to get your man' manuals, housework and paid employment to the pervasive fear of atomic war. Slightly off-mint.
Glad Tidings of Struggle and Strife
A History of Protest Christmas Cards
Yuletide greetings from the Spanish Civil War and Korea; the Three Wise Men stopped by border patrols; Tony Blair with a sleigh distributing missiles over the desert; David Cameron in a sleigh distributing parcels of cuts ... Presenting some 250 cards from their own collection, Llew and Pam Smith offer an unusual history of British political life, traced through the ways in which political parties, unions and protest groups have spread their message using Christmas cards.
Moustaches, Whiskers & Beards
The extravagant whiskers of prominent Victorians such as Charles Darwin and WG Grace seemed impossibly archaic until the recent 'hipster' fashion reinvented the wearing of long beards for young men for the first time since the hippies of the 1960s. This book traces the history of fashions in facial hair from the ancients to the present day.
Great American Billboards
100 Years of History by the Side of the Road
Early in the 20th century, as Americans climbed into their Model-Ts and took to the open road, American manufacturers and retailers discovered miles and miles of new advertising space, and the audaciously oversized billboard was born. For a century, billboards have recruited, congratulated, teased, sold, and seduced us, promoting everything under the sun, from hosiery to war bonds, presidential candidates to rock shows.
Life and Culture in the West, 1918–1938
Europe emerged from the First World War broken and traumatized, its beliefs shattered by four years of carnage. This wide-ranging history charts the social, political and intellectual climate of the age, as citizens of the West turned their energies towards the hedonism of the Jazz Age while artists, scientists and philosophers grappled with the question of how to live without certainties, and sinister new ideologies emerged from the wreckage of the old order.