A New History of the Bubonic Plagues of London
From its onset in the 6th century AD, bubonic plague has excited fear and revulsion like no other disease, so hideous are its symptoms and so small the chance of survival. Crowded, insanitary London was badly hit in 1347 and 1665, and plague pits are still being uncovered, for example during Crossrail construction works. This readable history combines documentary sources with the latest scientific evidence to convey the full horror of the plague and the conditions in which it thrived.
The Story of Civilian Volunteers in the First World War
The scale of support given by volunteers and charities during the First World War to troops, prisoners of war, refugees and the wounded is often overlooked. Hundreds of thousands of men, women and children (but mainly women) from all backgrounds devoted time and energy to fundraising and practical help, many risking their lives on the front line. This history of their efforts, which involved the making and packaging of ‘comforts’, nursing, driving ambulances and entertaining, acknowledges their compassion and generosity.
Witchcraft and Witch Hunting in the West
Why were witch hunts so prevalent in Europe during the 16th and 17th centuries, apparently a period of increasing confidence and rationality? This study explores the motivations – social, personal and political – behind accusations of witchcraft; contemporary beliefs about ‘assaults of Satan’; and connections between witch trials and the medieval persecution of heretics. The author also describes more recent responses to fears of satanic influence and identifies the lessons we can still learn about the need to re-examine our preconceived ideas.
‘I Was Transformed’
Frederick Douglass: An American Slave in Victorian Britain
In the summer of 1845 Frederick Douglass, a young slave catapulted to fame by his bestselling autobiography, arrived in Liverpool for a two-year tour of Britain and Ireland. Drawing on a wide range of sources on both sides of the Atlantic, this absorbing history explores the ‘liberating sojourn’ that bought Douglass’s freedom, paid for by British supporters. It charts his return to the USA as an international celebrity, and his later life through the Civil War and its aftermath.
Voices of the First World War
A crucially important port during the First World War, the city of Liverpool also reflected the domestic political problems of the day with industrial unrest and Irish home rule both pertinent topics for the large working class and Irish populations. Through letters and diaries, this book highlights the experiences and attitudes of people living and working in the city during the period as well as Merseysiders serving abroad.
The Servants' Story
Managing a Great Country House
This recreation of what it was like to live and work as a servant in a grand household during the mid 19th century is based on the Sutherland Collection, the papers of the Leveson-Gowers family, once the largest private landlords in the United Kingdom. While Trentham, their house in Staffordshire, stands in ruins, the family archive is extraordinarily intact, affording a detailed picture of the social structure, administration and working conditions within the highly complex community of Trentham.
A Cultural History of Dustmen, 1780–1870
In this first study of the cultural representation of the dust trade during the 19th century, Brian Maidment shows the ways in which London dustmen were associated with ideas of contamination, dirt, noise and violence. He uses literary, dramatic and graphic evidence to explain how the image of the dustman emerged from late 18th-century assumptions about his work and habits, and discusses Dusty Bob's appearance in the work of Victorian caricaturists, social analysts and writers, notably Mayhew and Dickens.
Everyday Life in Tudor London
Stephen Porter describes the practicalities and personalities of Tudor London; from 1485, when the victorious Henry Tudor arrived after Bosworth with an army so unruly, the Mayor proclaimed a curfew, to 1600, by which time overcrowding and congestion in the city streets had led to parking restrictions. With a wealth of detail, Porter evokes a bustling trading city, the hub of England's political and cultural life, and home to royalty, rogues, churchmen, tradespeople and, by all accounts, beautiful women.
The Unconventional King
Edward II, who ruled from 1307 until 1327, when he was forced to abdicate, was undeniably a failure as a king and as a war leader. Kathryn Warner's biography accepts Edward's many failings, but seeks to provide a fuller portrait than the usual portrayal of the wayward and ineffectual ruler. She explores Edward's personality and contemporary perceptions of him, demolishes the myths, and reveals an erratic person, who was born into an hereditary monarchy and had no choice but to be king.
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.
Spangles, Tiddlywinks and The Clitheroe Kid
Childhood in the 1950s was very different from what it is today. With no video games and few televisions, children played conkers, climbed trees, constructed go-karts and built dens on bomb sites. This book recaptures that lost era, bringing to life the experiences of home and school, childhood illnesses, simple toys, sweets, comics, films and music of the period, along with games such as 'It' and 'Knock Down Ginger'.
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.
The People's History of Native Americans
Discovered after the death of the distinguished American historian Page Smith (1917–1995), and published posthumously, this volume was intended as the final part of Smith's People's History of America. The narrative traces the Native American story from the first encounter with Europeans to the end of the Indian Wars at Wounded Knee in 1890, but rather than a comprehensive history, Smith aims to explore the nature of the interchange between white settlers and the indigenous peoples of North America.