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.
All Quiet on the Home Front
An Oral History of Life in Britain During the First World War
First published in 2003, this oral history used interviews with 100 people then in their late nineties, who had lived through the First World War, not as combatants, but as children and young adults on the home front. Their words, along with letters, diary entries and the authors’ linking narrative, offer an unusual view of the war, from fears of the Kaiser’s ambition in the years before its outbreak, to the jubilation, readjustment and mourning following the Armistice.
The Women's Army Auxiliary Corps in France, 1917–1921
Women Urgently Wanted
Documenting the experiences of the WAACs who served in France, this study follows the women from enrolment to demobilization, notes the part they played in the Spring Offensive of 1918 and the Armistice, and analyses how the army, the general public and the press viewed them.
The Lengthening War
The Great War Diary of Mabel Goode
Having lived in Germany for a time before the outbreak of the First World War, middle-aged, middle-class diarist Mabel Goode knew 'the enemy nation' as many Britons did not, which adds an extra dimension to her contemporary account of the years 1914–1916. She records enrolment, rationing, the collapse of domestic service and the growth of war work, the Zeppelin attacks over Yorkshire, the ever-mounting casualty lists and a growing disillusionment with a lengthening conflict.
Making Monte Carlo
A History of Speculation and Spectacle
Monaco was an obscure, impoverished principality until, in 1855, it legalized gambling, and Monte Carlo was born. Blending research, storytelling and scandal, this account describes how princes, profiteers and press agents created the first modern casino resort, how it flourished in the Belle Époque and how, after the First World War, it was reinvented for the Jazz Age. Its cast of characters includes Karl and Harpo Marx, Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, Picasso and Cole Porter.
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.
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 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.
Going beyond the familiar stories of children in wartime, usually dominated by evacuation, Longden deals with children as active participants in the Second World War. He tells the stories of child soldiers who lied about their age to enlist, but also of the Royal Navy's 14-year-old boy buglers serving on battleships, teenagers in the Merchant Navy, Boy Scouts and Girl Guides helping victims of the bombing, and the children who stayed in the cities during the Blitz.
Dogs of Courage
When Britain's Pets Went to War 1939–45
From 1939, when people were advised that if they couldn't send their pets to the country in wartime, 'it really is kindest to have them destroyed', to the Dickin Medals awarded at the end of the war, Clare Campbell tells the story of the dogs' war effort, whether conscripted to serve on the battlefields as messengers or mine detectors, or as rescue dogs working in the rubble of bombed buildings, sniffing out survivors on the home front.
The People Behind the Power
Traversing all of Russia – his mother’s home country – from West to East, journalist Gregory Feifer interviews hundreds of people, from oligarchs to beggars. Their stories and opinions reveal a society steeped in the traditions of the past and often out of step with Western thinking. Yet despite authoritarianism, secrecy and corruption, and a leadership often on the verge of collapse, the overall picture is one of vitality and a deep capacity for loyalty. Slightly off-mint and felt-tip mark on lower trimmed edge.
Voices from the Dark Years
The Truth About Occupied France 1940–1945
Active collaborators and resisters were equally small minorities of the French population during les années sombres – the dark years of the Second World War; most people simply did what they needed to to survive. Based on interviews and previously unpublished accounts, this book looks beyond the traditional narrative of a defiant nation to reveal stories of compliance and partnership with the new regime as well as resilience in the face of extreme hardship.
The Home Front in the Great War
Aspects of the Conflict 1914–1918
The Great War was the first to have a deep impact on every aspect of civilian life. This book examines its effects on society at home, from recruitment drives and rationing to Zeppelin raids and the return of wounded servicemen. Drawing on personal accounts and newspaper and magazine articles, and extensively illustrated with period photographs, it explores the war's effects on industry, employment, labour relations, the press, the class system and the role of women. First published in 2003.
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.
Childhood and Death in Victorian England
Sarah Seaton surveys the hazards of childhood in an age when childbirth was fraught with danger, child labour was exploited, there was no adequate protection against disease, and little, if any social support for the poor. As well as these daunting obstacles to health and happiness, the book describes cases of child murder, infanticide and concealment of birth, and explains the often desperate circumstances in which such crimes were committed.
The Post Book
This illustrated account of postal history by the professional philatelist Vincent Schouberechts focuses on 50 archival documents from across Europe, such as a letter written by the Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I in 1506, a piece of military correspondence sent during the Battle of Waterloo in 1815 and the first mail delivered in space in 1969. It is accompanied by bilingual (English/French) explanatory text.
Love Among the Ruins
A Memoir of Life and Love in Hamburg, 1945
The author and activist Harry Leslie Smith recalls how, as an RAF serviceman stationed in Hamburg, he met the love of his life, a young German woman named Frieda. In a city reduced to rubble by Allied bombing, and populated with refugees, black-marketeers, corrupt businessmen and cynical soldiers, their relationship flourished, despite suspicion and disapproval on both sides. Slightly off-mint.