Social & Industrial History
Britain in Pictures: ‘40s, ‘50s, ‘60s
(three volume set)
Compiled from The Press Association’s archives, these visual histories of Britain in the mid 20th century evoke the spirit of each decade through reportage photographs of prominent personalities, events and scenes of everyday life, arranged chronologically and accompanied by detailed captions. The titles included in this set are: The 1940s (Read more...) The 1950s (Read more...) The 1960s (Read more...)
Britain in Pictures: ‘70s, ‘80s
(two volume set)
Compiled from the Press Association’s archives, these visual histories of Britain in the 1970s and 1980s evoke the spirit of each decade through reportage photographs of prominent personalities, events and scenes of everyday life, arranged chronologically and accompanied by detailed captions. The two items included in this set are:The 1970s (Read more...) The 1980s (Read more...)
How to Dine in Style
The Art of Entertaining, 1920
First published in 1920, this manual reveals a golden age of elegant dining. Advice on table settings and decorations, etiquette, food and wine is complemented by menus for breakfasts, al-fresco luncheons, wedding receptions and garden parties. A chapter on ‘freak dinners given by wealthy people’ offers a glimpse into the decadent world of the Jazz Era.
The Huns Have Got My Gramophone!
Advertisements from the Great War
Extolling the virtues of motorcycles for ‘lady war workers’ and ‘absolutely waterproof’ trench coats for soldiers, the advertisements collected and discussed here illustrate how the First World War offered companies new commercial opportunities and fundamentally changed British society.
How to Behave Badly in Renaissance Britain
Nothing reveals as much about a society as its bad behaviour, and if Shakespeare’s England is remembered for courtly ceremony, it was also an age of brawling, boozing and badmouthing. Drawing on contemporary behaviour manuals, court cases and sermons, Ruth Goodman, the presenter of Victorian Farm, reveals what most upset and infuriated our forebears. Her entertaining survey dishes the dirt on ninny-hammers, wittols, stinkards and draggletails, and offers practical advice on how to handle yourself in a fight.
An English Odyssey
The Pendleburys of Lancashire and London: Nine Generations of a Working Family
The Pendleburys were an English family of alehouse keepers, cotton workers, parish clerks, soldiers, washerwomen and warehousemen, whose genealogical records can be traced back to the 1600s. This history, written by a descendant of the family, follows their fortunes from the social and religious turmoil of the 17th century through the cotton boom of 18th-century Lancashire to the unforgiving streets of Victorian London.
The Art of Dining
A History of Cooking & Eating
From the cavernous kitchens of medieval manors to the relatively sophisticated technology of Victorian houses, this magnificent volume draws on the records of National Trust properties to show how cooking and dining habits evolved through the centuries. The book is illustrated with reproductions of paintings from each period and photographs of surviving kitchens and, to bring it all to life, each chapter includes practical modern adaptations of historical recipes.
Beside the Sea
Britain's Lost Seaside Heritage
The building of the railways made seaside holidays a possibility for workers in Britain's industrial cities and transformed a host of small coastal towns into glamorous entertainment centres. Using archive photographs and ephemera and the memories of people who worked and holidayed in places such as Margate, Scarborough and Blackpool, this nostalgic history recalls the culture of donkey rides, lidos and variety shows that was the pleasure of millions until air travel drew people away from the traditional resorts.
Country House Life
A Century in Photographs
With an engaging commentary and over 250 photographs of the people who lived and worked in houses such as Polesden Lacey, Lacock Abbey and Castle Drogo, this book offers an authentic picture of life in the English country house during its heyday. Drawn from family albums and collections and covering the period from the 1840s to 1945, the photographs record everyday life for the families and staff as well as family celebrations, garden parties, sporting events and the occasional visit by royalty.
From Cabin 'Boys' to Captains
250 Years of Women at Sea
For centuries the sea was considered a male preserve. Using interviews and unpublished sources, this book traces the lives of women seafarers, from 18th century pirates such as Anne Bonney, and girls disguised as cabin boys, to the cruise-liner and container-ship captains of today.
A Powerful True Story
Returning to Ireland after 50 years, Gordon Lewis began to investigate the secrets of his childhood, only to be told not to go ‘digging up that old stuff’. Brought up in the 1950s in a secretive Catholic hostel for unmarried women, he had little idea of the hardships his mother had suffered, or her determination to keep her child, in defiance of an intolerant society.
Memories of a Rascal's 1950s Childhood
With a turbulent home life, the young Peter Stockley found adventure and a sense of belonging with his gang, ‘the Scallywags’. Free to roam Liverpool’s streets, they explored bombed-out houses, swam in rat-infested canals and hung on to the backs of speeding lorries. Although some of Stockley’s adventures had serious consequences, this nostalgic memoir tells his story with wit and humour. Slightly off-mint.
The Forgotten Children
Fairbridge Farm School and its Betrayal of Britain's Child Migrants
Between 1938 and 1974, thousands of British children were sent to Australia for a better life. Drawing on survivors’ testimonies, this exposé uncovers the grim reality that met them: inadequate education, poor quality food, and physical and sexual abuse.
A Royal Christmas
With privileged access to the Royal Archives, Jeremy Archer has uncovered personal accounts of the royal family at Christmastime. His anthology reveals how monarchs have celebrated the festival -from 1066, when William I was crowned on Christmas Day, to the Queen's Christmas broadcast 2011. In themed chapters, Archer quotes at length from his royal sources as he explores Christmases at home and abroad, in times of crisis and conflict, and family rituals of feasts, pastimes and the exchange of gifts.
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.
Slap and Tickle
The Unusual History of Sex and the People Who Have It
This irreverent guide takes a peek at a perennially fascinating subject. A romp through the biological mechanics and history of human intercourse is spiced up with intimate true stories, public scandals, censorship, sex toys, fetishes, and a concise glossary of filthy language. Eclectic, entertaining and original, it reveals everything you always wanted to know about sex – and quite a few things you probably didn’t. Sexually explicit.
Through the Keyhole
Sex, Scandal and the Secret Life of the Country House
From around 1760 to the 1830s, stories about the sex lives of the rich and powerful were guaranteed to increase the readership of popular printed literature. Papers were so packed with salacious tales of secret sex that there seemed to be an epidemic of adultery among the aristocracy. This study explores the personal stories of men and women involved in adulterous affairs and compares their accounts of infidelity and its sometimes tragic consequences with the stereotypes of dissolute aristocrats in the popular press.
Peace and War:
Britain in 1914
This discerning cultural history presents a portrait of a nation on the eve of war. While it details the social and political issues of the day, including the Ulster crisis, suffragettes, labour disputes and the anxiety of approaching war, it also highlights the nascent modernism of contemporary artists and poets, including Ezra Pound and Wyndham Lewis, who anticipated the end of the Edwardian era and the ‘cosy certainties’ that belied the social conflicts of a troubled Britain.
The Secret World of the Victorian Lodging House
Throughout the burgeoning cities of Victorian Britain, lodging houses provided shelter to those who flocked from the countryside in search of work. Crowded, insanitary and often disreputable, they aroused the horror of respectable society, and were viewed as hotbeds of crime and disease. Drawing on contemporary accounts, newspaper reports and court cases, this fascinating social history shines a light into the shadowy world of itinerant labourers, criminals, street entertainers, peddlers, prostitutes, abandoned children, and families fallen on hard times.
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.
Secret Histories of Britain's Rebels and Revolutionaries
Alarmed by the French Revolution, the rulers of Georgian Britain established a network of spies and informers to infiltrate and monitor radical groups at home. Drawing on official records and contemporary accounts, this compelling history probes the shadowy world of government agents pitted against Irish rebels, Luddites, the Pentrick uprising of 1817 and the 1820 plot to murder the cabinet. In vivid prose, the book recreates a climate of fear and repression, in which even peaceful reformers risked arrest.
Early Victorian Railway Excursions
The Million Go Forth
The first railway entrepreneurs considered that their real business would be in freight, the tremendous demand for passenger travel coming as something of a surprise. This well-researched history challenges the traditional notion of rail travel as a middle-class activity in the first decades of steam, exploring the cheap excursions that were promoted to the working classes by enterprising tour operators and railway companies, and revealing the appalling conditions, often in open carriages, that the day trippers had to endure.
Britain Yesterday & Today
Like their modern counterparts, Britons of the 19th century visited the seaside, ate fish and chips, attended football matches and cheered royal processions, but today these activities look rather different and other aspects of British life have changed beyond recognition. This collection of photographs compares images of similar scenes, a century or more apart, to present a nostalgic look at the changing times and the unchanging traditions of British life.
Why the English Sailed to the New World
During the 17th century unprecedented numbers of people left England. They were on their way to new lives in the Caribbean and the North American colonies – but what were their motivations for undertaking such a perilous transatlantic voyage? Using contemporary letters, diaries and court records, Evans tells the personal stories of men and women who left their homeland in search of a fortune, for political and religious reasons or because their desperate poverty meant they had little to lose.
The Farmer's Wife
The Life and Work of Women on the Land
Agriculture is widely perceived as a male endeavour, yet throughout history, farmers’ wives have been central to the running of many farms. In addition to their responsibilities for children and the home, women worked the land, milked the cows and took care of the business side. Illustrated with more than 250 historic photographs, this book records and celebrates the life and work of rural women from the Middle Ages until the coming of mechanization after the First World War.
How the Women of Paris Lived, Loved, and Died Under Nazi Occupation
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. American-cut pages.
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.
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.
British Nannies & the Great War
How Norland's Regiment of Nannies Coped with Conflict & Childcare in the Great War
Founded in 1892, the Norland Institute trained educated working- and middle-class young women to be nannies, and quickly won the patronage of British and European royalty. Drawing on Norland archives and the nannies’ own accounts, this book tells their story of caring for children on the home front, behind enemy lines, and in distant parts of the British Empire, or volunteering as nurses during the First World War.
Sixty Years in Waifdom
or, The Ragged School Movement in English History
Organized into the Ragged School Union with Lord Shaftesbury as President in 1844, the ‘ragged schools’ aimed to teach and relieve the distress of Britain’s street children. In this 1904 account, Montague looks at the schools’ role within 19th-century society and argues that, by providing education and basic amenities, they also helped prevent violent uprisings against the class inequality of the era. Reprinted with a new introduction in 1970. No jacket and slightly off-mint.
Same Sex Love 1700–1957
A History and Research Guide
Family history is often seen as concerned with the traditional heterosexual unit. But what of ancestors who were attracted to same-sex partners? This first history of gay relationships aimed specifically at family historians offers valuable insights into those often seen as outcasts. Empathetic and meticulously researched, it charts the ways in which gay men and women lived their lives, from the Mollies and Sapphists of Georgian England to the Wolfenden Report of 1957.
Breach of Promise to Marry
A History of How Jilted Brides Settled Scores
Hiding from daylight in her mouldering wedding dress, Dickens’s Miss Havisham is the classic literary image of the jilted bride. But thanks to the 18th-century law of breach of promise, many women had more attractive options. This entertaining social history uncovers more than a thousand cases in which wronged fiancées employed no-win-no-fee lawyers to gain substantial financial redress for their disappointment – and adventuresses extracted money from men ‘they cannot possibly want as husbands’.
Corsets & Codpieces
A Social History of Outrageous Fashion
With tales both tragic (the 2,500 deaths from crinoline fires in 1864) and amusing (the horse that ate the stuffing from a race-goer’s bustle), Bowman takes readers on a lively journey from Roman times to 1940s Britain, examining some of the more unusual trends that have been deemed fashionable at one time or another. From the style that was invented to mask disease, to a 1920s hairdo that ended relationships, there’s more to fashion that first meets the eye.
Tales from the Big House: Normanby Hall
400 Years of its History and People
Normanby Hall has been the seat of the Sheffield family since it was built in the 1820s. In this social history, Stephen Wade charts the hall’s role in local industry and during two world wars, when it was used as a military hospital and a personnel base. The tales of the resident family, guests and staff include that of the charismatic Lady Grosvenor, who astonished servants by arriving in a gypsy caravan.
The Thames Ironworks
A History of East London Industrial and Sporting Heritage
Located in the heart of London’s Docklands, the Thames Iron Works pioneered metal-hulled ships in the mid 19th century, providing employment for much of the East End. Though it closed in 1912, its spirit lives on through the company's football team, which became West Ham United.
Life in the Victorian Kitchen
Culinary Secrets and Servants' Stories
Life in a 19th-century kitchen could be tough and exacting, and staff below stairs needed a broader range of skills than ever before, as new and exotic ingredients were arriving from around the Empire. Using case studies and detailed research, Karen Foy examines Victorian cuisine through the seasons (with some recipes), and discusses useful tools and the sourcing of ingredients as well as introducing early cookery writers, including Catherine Dickens.
Britain's Secret Army: The Munitions Women of World War II
With the outbreak of war in 1939, many factories were turned over to the war effort, while new ones were quickly built to manufacture munitions. Millions of women worked arduous shifts, day and night, dealing with dangerous materials, often after being forced to leave home and live in uncomfortable and unfamiliar surroundings. Based on extensive interviews, this book recounts the experiences of nine 'bomb girls', revealing the hardships that they endured and their often-unrecognized contribution to the Allied victory.
Voices from the Past
In the full knowledge that hostilities would end at 11am, some units were still sent into battle on the morning of 11th November 1918, and some soldiers were reportedly keen to fire the very last shots. From the first attempts to negotiate a peace to the final battles and the moment of ceasefire itself, this book tells the story of the conclusion of the First World War through contemporary newspaper reports and the words of politicians, military leaders and ordinary soldiers.