The term ‘wasteland’ can refer to land that is unoccupied and unmodified by human civilization, but it is also applied – with increasing frequency – to land left abandoned, polluted or damaged by industrial or military activity. This illustrated cultural history explores that shift in meaning and the concept of landscape underlying it, tracing the change in perception back to ‘a particular convergence of beliefs, technologies, institutions and individuals’ in 17th- and 18th- century Britain.
English Military News Pamphlets
David Randall presents transcriptions of 15 military news pamphlets, ranging from an account of Henry VIII’s invasion of France in 1513 to Philip Vincent’s True Relation of the Late Battel fought in New England (1637); and argues for their value as a source for the conduct of military campaigns and for various aspects of military life in Renaissance Europe.
Lifting the Curtain on the Freak Show, Circus and Victorian Age
On both sides of the Atlantic, the 19th-century public flocked to see dwarfs, giants, bearded ladies and other ‘freaks’. Drawing on recently discovered material, this book uncovers the stories of the individuals who were exploited and then marginalized in histories of the showmen. Through the lives of stars such as the conjoined twins Chang and Eng and ‘Queen Victoria’s pet’ Tom Thumb, it explores the birth of celebrity culture and our fascination with ‘otherness’.
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.
The Intelligent Woman's Guide
to Socialism, Capitalism, Sovietism and Fascism
In 1924, asked by his sister-in-law Mary Cholmondeley for ‘a few of [his] ideas of socialism’, George Bernard Shaw produced this panoramic survey of the competing ideologies of the day. Hailed by the Labour leader Ramsay MacDonald as ‘the most important book that humanity possesses’ after the Bible, it outlines Shaw’s belief that British institutions, from the state to the family, were ‘corrupted at the root by pecuniary interest’, and required not piecemeal reform but radical change.
Women of the 1960s
More Than Mini Skirts Pills and Pop Music
The clichéd ‘sex, drugs and rock ’n’ roll’ view of the 1960s stands in stark contrast to the experiences of many ordinary women who lived through the decade, particularly those outside London. This illustrated social history is based on interviews with people who were teenagers, students, workers and housewives during the decade, and covers subjects including sex, marriage, motherhood, fashion, finance, travel, women's liberation and the ever-present threat of nuclear war.
Britain's Best-Known Brand
As Britain’s longest-reigning monarch, the Queen is seen by many as a calm, reassuring presence in an era of restless change. But what of the institution she represents? This revelatory book takes a glimpse behind the scenes at the machinery that sustains the monarchy today: its constitutional role, its leadership of the Church of England, its finances. It also takes a clear-eyed view of its future, and the pressures that will face an heir to the throne. Slightly off-mint.
When They Call You a Terrorist
A Black Lives Matter Memoir
Patrisse Khan-Cullors was labelled a terrorist when, after the acquittal of Trayvon Martin’s killer in 2013, she co-founded the activist movement Black Lives Matter. In this account, she recalls the experiences that shaped her journey, including racism in her Los Angeles childhood and her arrest at the age of twelve.
Lifting the Lid on Women's Lives
This social history examines the lives of late 19th- and early 20th-century women at home and at work through the changing appearance of the buttons that decorated and fastened their clothes. Lynn Knight explores the role of these accessories as emblems of security, identity and independence and explains how each example represents an era or a vanished way of life, from Victorian mourning attire to Biba’s large statement buttons of the 1970s.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Butcher, the Baker, the Candlestick Maker
The Story of Britain Through its Census, Since 1801
At the start of each decade since 1801, the national census has offered a snapshot of the British Isles. Drawing on this resource, as well as letters, newspaper reports and other documents, Roger Hutchinson tells the stories of the nation’s men and women in the context of contemporary events – from the Napoleonic Wars, through the Industrial Revolution and two world wars, to the age of the internet – and highlights the valuable contribution of the census to the history of modern Britain.
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.
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.
The Great British Dream Factory
The Strange History of Our National Imagination
Britain has maintained a strong influence worldwide on popular culture for many years. 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.
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.
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.
What the Suffragists Did Next
How the Fight for Women's Rights Went On
The suffragists of the National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies (NUWSS) - as distinct from the suffragettes - did not disband in 1917 when the vote was given to some women. Although franchise had been their primary goal, they had other aims for women. This book looks at the lives of eight suffragists and how they continued the struggle for equality in various fields, among them Eleanor Lodge in higher education, Ellen Wilkinson in Socialist politics and Dr Isabel Emslie Hutton in medicine.