Social & Industrial History
The Old Boys
The Decline and Rise of the Public School
To many, public schools are an anachronistic bastion of privilege. This book charts a colourful history of schoolboy revolts, eccentric heads, scandal, decline and renewal, to argue that, on balance, their contribution to national life is a positive one. Slightly off-mint.
A First World War Nurse Tells Her Story
Dorothea Crewdson (1886–1918), a newly trained Red Cross nurse, left for Le Treport in northern France in April 1915. She was to spend nearly four years in France, working in three hospitals and witnessing some of the worst horror of the First World War, yet somehow maintaining her optimism. Dorothea's diaries from those years are a testimony to her indomitable high spirits and offer a rare, intimate glimpse of the heroic work of First World War nurses.
The Autobiography of a Super-Tramp
In the late 19th century, a young Welsh tearaway boarded ship for America, where he lived as a hobo, jumping freight trains and living in doss-houses. After losing a leg in a railway accident, he returned to Britain, determined to make his living as a writer. His autobiography, reprinted here with a new introduction, became an instant classic. Its vivid picture of life on the road and understated account of his own adventures still make gripping reading today.
School Songs and Gymslips
Grammar Schools in the 1950s and 1960s
With tales from the days of indoor sandals and navy knickers, Latin verbs and transistor radios, semolina pudding and O Levels, this light-hearted social history is based on the experiences of pupils from 18 schools around the country and describes how things were for grammar school girls – at school and at home – between about 1955 and 1965.
When Schooldays Were Fun
A Lighthearted Look at 'the Best Days of Our Lives'
In spite of the hard benches, stodgy food and iron discipline that feature prominently in people's memories of education in Britain before about 1970, schooldays from this period are nevertheless often fondly remembered. Covering a period from about 1900 up to the 1970s, this nostalgic miscellany of archive photographs, literary references, poems and first-hand accounts recalls the eccentric teachers, interminable lessons, withering school reports and punishing sporting trials that were once the daily lot of British schoolchildren.
Mrs Miles's Diary
The Wartime Journal of a Housewife on the Home Front
In August 1939 a Surrey housewife began a war journal in which she recorded daily life on the home front. She tells of bombers overhead day and night, ration queues and the influx of evacuees. In 1947, she sent the diary to the Imperial War Museum with a letter describing herself as a housewife and a professional journalist; she was a naturally gifted writer whose diary gives a compelling account of wartime Britain.
Call the Doctor
A Country GP Between the Wars: Tales of Courage, Hardship and Hope
Working as a doctor in London's East End and then on a hospital train and at the Front during the First World War formed Ronald White-Cooper's training for his medical career, which was then spent as a local GP in the South Devon town of Dartmouth. This memoir provides a host of stories and medical anecdotes from the pre-penicillin and pre-NHS world of the first half of the 20th century.