Menus, Munitions and Keeping the Peace
The Home Front Diaries of Gabrielle West 1914–1917
Gabrielle West worked variously as a Red Cross volunteer, a cook and a police officer during the First World War. Her diary entries, now part of the Imperial War Museum archives, note the discrimination she encountered as a woman in a position of responsibility, and the dangers posed by the Zeppelin raids over London. They paint a lively picture of her experience of the British Home Front and are illustrated with her drawings and family photographs.
Images of the Past: British Seaside
Drawing on the archives of the Mary Evans Picture Library, this collection of photographs, cartoons, illustrations and ephemera tells the story of the British seaside, looking at how the purpose, traditions and character of coastal resorts have developed since the first sea bathing cure destinations opened in the late 18th century. Each image is captioned and accompanied by explanatory text.
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.
Rebuilding Post-War Britain
Latvian, Lithuanian and Estonian Refugees in Britain, 1946–1951
After the Second World War, 25,000 Latvians, Lithuanians and Estonians, displaced by conflict and invasion, were recruited to fill labour shortages in Britain. Drawing on interviews and documentary sources, Emily Gilbert brings this little-known episode to life, and charts the refugees’ contribution to British society.
Maladies and Medicine
Exploring Health and Healing 1540–1740
In Early Modern England, it was believed that tiny worms caused tooth cavities and that inflammation of the blood triggered smallpox. Those unlucky enough to fall ill would often find themselves subjected to 'cures' such as herbal infusions, skin blistering and blood letting. This guide looks in detail at the most common medical conditions of the period and analyses sources including contemporary physicians' notes, journals and letters to investigate how patients reacted to their treatment.
Victorians and Edwardians Abroad
The Beginning of the Modern Holiday
The Polytechnic Touring Agency (PTA) was created in 1888 to cater for the growing numbers of lower middle-class people who could for the first time afford to holiday abroad. From the PTA archive at the University of Westminster, this book uncovers the recollections of those who enjoyed ‘Poly holidays’ before 1914. Illustrated with postcards, photographs and promotional items, it records their train journeys to Paris, Switzerland and Italy, and reveals a penchant for mischievous fun.
The Mighty Healer
Thomas Holloway's Victorian Patent Medicine Empire
Selling the ‘cure-alls’ he made by bottling leftover cooking grease in the kitchen of his parent's Cornish pub set Thomas Holloway on the road to becoming one of the richest self-made men in Victorian England. Here the author (a distant cousin) explores the rise and fall of his patent medicine empire and reveals how he used his millions to build the enormous Gothic college that still bears his name.
Digging Up the Untold Stories of Britain's Resurrection Men
From the mid-1700s onwards, as the number of people entering the medical profession in England and Scotland increased, so too did the demand for cadavers to examine as part of their training. This led to a rise in ‘bodysnatching’ – a macabre profession that is investigated here through the examination of contemporary documents and newspaper reports, revealing the stories of some of the trade’s lesser-known figures.
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.
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.
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.
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’.
Digging in the Dark
A History of the Yorkshire Resurrectionists
‘It is nature that teaches us to use the bodies of the dead to preserve the bodies of the living,’ argued a solicitor’s clerk found guilty of body snatching in 1831. He is just one of the Yorkshire grave-robbers, from many walks of life, who appear in this compendium of grim tales. Johnson vividly describes the resurrectionists’ macabre methods, the violent public protests against their activities and the private anguish of their victims’ families.
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.
A History of Adoption in England and Wales
Gill Rossini traces the social history of adoption from the ‘fallen woman’ and makeshift arrangements for unwanted children and orphans of the 19th century, through the 1926 Adoption of Children Act to the shift in attitudes that followed the NHS release of the contraceptive pill in 1961. Rossini’s study uses real stories; deals with topics such as charitable institutions, baby farming, the First World War, and the 1945 illegitimate baby boom; and ends with a guide to resources for researching an adoption.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. The book recreates a climate of fear and repression, in which even peaceful reformers risked arrest.
Growing Up in the Not-So-Friendly 'Baby Boomer' Years
Looking back to children’s education, play, home life and health in the 1950s, Simon Webb paints a grim picture of childhood, often at odds with baby boomers’ own memories of those years. Drawing on documented evidence and examples, he discusses topics including sexual abuse, juvenile crime, playground hazards, and fears about the new media of television and comics in the post-war decade, arguing that children’s lives today are far safer, healthier and happier.
Tracing Your Ancestors' Lives
A Guide to Social History for Family Historians
Once you have tracked down the names, dates and places in your family tree, this handbook will help you to explore further by investigating the day-to-day experience of your forebears. It contains advice on the best sources and methods for research into British social history and presents a variety of case studies that illustrate topics of special interest to family historians, such as economic and demographic change, domestic life and education.
Divorced, Beheaded, Sold
Ending an English Marriage 1500–1847
How could English people end unhappy marriages before divorce was readily available? As the colourful stories in this book reveal, the options ranged from quietly but bigamously remarrying to selling an unwanted wife to the highest bidder at market. The author also examines a 1594 case in which neighbours helped a woman retrieve property from her husband, and occasions when wives successfully sued for legal separation. The appendix focuses on Henry VIII's marital arrangements.
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.