Social & Industrial History
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.
Eggs or Anarchy
The Remarkable Story of the Man Tasked with the Impossible: To Feed a Nation at War
Battling unscrupulous dealers, blockades and sinking ships, Minister for Food Lord Woolton was tasked with feeding the nation during the Second World War. Despite Churchill’s misgivings, Woolton – a working-class boy turned business tycoon – rose to the challenge, making a huge contribution to the war effort and improving the health of the nation to boot. Award-winning food writer William Sitwell draws on personal letters and diaries to reveal this previously untold story.
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 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.
When the Children Came Home
Stories from Wartime Evacuees
On 1 September 1939 Operation Pied Piper began, evacuating one and a half million children, pregnant women and school teachers from Britain's industrial cities, beyond the reach of the Luftwaffe. It was a varied experience - children went to British foster families or abroad; some stayed weeks, others years; while some enjoyed it, others hated it; and homecoming was not always easy. Using interviews and memoirs, Julie Summers weaves together evacuees' stories to give a children's perspective on wartime Britain.
Life in Shakespeare's London
The career of England's greatest playwright is inextricably linked with the history of its capital. Drawing on Shakespeare's works and other contemporary sources, Globe paints a vivid picture of Elizabethan London. It tells how James Burbage carried the timbers of his Shoreditch theatre across the river to build the Globe among the brothels of Bankside, how it burned down during a performance of Henry VIII, and how it rose again 300 years later.
A Country Miscellany
Gleaned from the pages of Country Life magazine, from 1889 to around 1950, this is a selection of articles and readers’ letters, with their original illustrations, discussing rural customs, history and curiosities. It includes tales of horse fairs and mummers, cheese-rolling and smuggling silk, the Cerne Abbas giant and Stonehenge, and practical aspects of country living such as hedging and ditching, dry-stone-walling and ‘the plough in wartime’.
Letters to the Editor
A Miscellany from the Pages of Country Life
Few subjects arouse such strong feelings as the rituals of rural England, so it is no surprise that the letters pages of Country Life are a treasure trove of eccentric pursuits, well-meaning advice and splenetic outrage. Variety is to the fore in this collection, with topics as diverse as lizards as pets, whether dogs see ghosts, and shooting burglars.
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. Slightly off-mint.
This candid autobiography provides a unique insight into the lives of girls born into traveller communities in the 1970s. After spending her early years enjoying the freedom of the peripatetic life in Ireland, Roxy Freeman relocated with her family to England, where she encountered hostility, prejudice and sexual abuse.