Social & Industrial History
A Kiwi's World Tour to Yorkshire 1939–40
Gwynne Irene Peacock, 'Gwennie', set off from New Zealand in February 1939 on a world tour that took her to Egypt, Europe and, as war approached, every part of Britain. Her diary records the whole trip including the return via America and Pearl Harbor.
A History of the Liverpool Waterfront 1850–1890
The Struggle for Organisation
In an age before steam had ousted the clippers and Liverpool’s quays were still a forest of masts, the city’s 18,000 dock workers – many of them of Irish descent – began to organize themselves into trades unions. Extensively illustrated with historic prints and photographs, this groundbreaking study charts the struggles of these workers to improve their conditions and build self-reliance in the face of increasing mechanization, and vividly recreates the hustle and bustle of the Victorian waterfront.
Glad Tidings of Struggle and Strife
A History of Protest Christmas Cards
Yuletide greetings from the Spanish Civil War and Korea; the Three Wise Men stopped by border patrols; Tony Blair with a sleigh distributing missiles over the desert; David Cameron in a sleigh distributing parcels of cuts ... Presenting some 250 cards from their own collection, Llew and Pam Smith offer an unusual history of British political life, traced through the ways in which political parties, unions and protest groups have spread their message using Christmas cards.
A Visitor's Guide to Shakespeare's London
This time-traveller’s guide takes the reader back to a London not entirely unlike ours, a city of drinking, dining, entertainment and shopping. And though many buildings have been obliterated by fire, Blitz and development, the street plan remains. Like any reliable guidebook, it provides information on when to visit, how to get there – ‘the Gravesend voyage is very difficult and its length depends on the weather’ – where to stay and what to see.
Letters to the Midwife
Jennifer Worth (1935–2011) based her hugely successful books, Call the Midwife, Shadows of the Workhouse and Farewell to the East End, on her own experiences in the East End in the 1950s. This book contains letters from all sorts of people – from other midwives to lorry drivers – responding to the books and telling their own stories. There are also writings by Jennifer herself, a biographical introduction by family members and a foreword by Miranda Hart.
The Wartime Battle for Britain's Health
At the beginning of the Second World War experts feared that rationing, a shortage of medical resources, the spread of disease via evacuation and air-raid shelters, and the psychological impact of bombardment would wreck the nation's health. This eye-opening account tells how, through a combination of planning and improvisation, doctors, nurses, social workers, scientists, nutritionists, Boy Scouts and tea ladies ensured that Britain ended the war in better health than ever before, and paved the way for the NHS and the welfare state.
Through the Keyhole
Sex, Scandal and the Secret Life of the Country House
From around 1760 to the 1830s, stories about the sex lives of the rich and powerful were guaranteed to increase the readership of popular printed literature. Papers were so packed with salacious tales of secret sex that there seemed to be an epidemic of adultery among the aristocracy. This study explores the personal stories of men and women involved in adulterous affairs and compares their accounts of infidelity and its sometimes tragic consequences with the stereotypes of dissolute aristocrats in the popular press.
From Boiled Beef to Chicken Tikka
500 Years of Feeding the British Army
‘An army’, Napoleon famously remarked, ‘marches on its stomach’. But who ensured that its stomach was filled – and what was it filled with? This compelling, meticulously researched book charts the history of British Army catering from Cromwell to the Iraq war, turns up such fascinating details as how to improvise a kebab skewer with a bayonet, and includes 20 recipes to try at home, from Gurkha Chicken Pilau to Game Pie.
Women's Factory Work in World War One
The appointment of two influential women from the Women's Factory Inspectorate to the Women's War Work Subcommittee during the First World War led to a commission to create a photographic documentary archive of women working in factories across Britain. GR Griffiths examines that project and presents a selection from the thousands of images that covered 19 industries and recorded the working conditions of the women and the industrial processes in which they were engaged.
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.
A 1960s East End Childhood
To anyone who remembers playing in traffic-free streets or watching the moon landing on TV, Webb's memoir will be a nostalgic trip back to childhood in the 1960s in London's East End. To anyone younger, it is a picture of life in a different world, where bombsites and die-cast cars were the height of kids' entertainment and 'summer holiday' often meant staying with granny in Basildon.
Dole Queues and Demons
British Election Posters from the Conservative Party Archive
A unique blend of graphic design, bold artwork and cunning psychology, election posters are an unsung art form. Drawing on the Conservative Party archive at the Bodleian Library, this lavishly illustrated book charts 100 years of political advertising, lampooning opponents from Lloyd George to Tony Blair. Its ten chronological chapters chart the political history of Britain, changing ideologies and social attitudes, and fashions in advertising. A foreword by communications guru Maurice Saatchi discusses the posters from a design perspective.
‘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.
From Pre-Raphaelites to Punk
London has always been home to outsiders, people who can't – or won't – abide by the rules of respectable society. This entertaining, anecdotal history charts two centuries of Bohemianism, including such colourful characters as Oscar Wilde and Aubrey Beardsley, the Bloomsburyites and Bright Young Things, and Dylan Thomas boozing through the Blitz. It is also a guide to the places where Bohemia flourished: the Café Royal, the Colony Room and the Gargoyle Club.
Bobby on the Beat
Memories of a London Policeman in the 1960s
Honest, entertaining and packed with colourful stories, this memoir of the author’s time as a copper on the beat in Limehouse provides a real flavour of the life and crimes of London’s East End during the 1960s. Laced with tough cockney humour, it presents a rogues’ gallery of pickpockets, conmen, informants, gangsters and pimps, against a rich backdrop of docklands pubs, markets and cafés.
1956: The World in Revolt
In January 1956, the home of Martin Luther King, the leader of the Montgomery Improvement Association, was bombed; by December, the black citizens’ campaign had ended segregation on the city’s buses. In this survey of 1956, Simon Hall describes how frustration with the post-war order caused ordinary people across the world – in places as far-flung as Algeria, Eastern Europe, South Africa, Cyprus and Cuba – to speak out, take to the streets and sometimes die in the bid for greater freedoms.
Ancestors in the Arctic
A Photographic History of Dundee Whaling
Drawn from the collections of Dundee Art Galleries and Museums, this volume of early photographs shows the sailing ships and the highly skilled crews of the Dundee whaling industry, often set against the dramatic ice seas and landscapes of the Arctic. Offering insights into an almost forgotten aspect of Dundee’s history, the book demonstrates the importance of whaling for the city between the mid 18th century and the First World War.
The Perilous Catch
A History of Commercial Fishing
After an introduction describing some of the worst fishing disasters around the coasts of Britain during the last two centuries, the maritime historian Mike Smylie traces the history of commercial fishing from prehistoric and medieval weirs to today’s super-trawlers. Meticulously detailed, the book covers every aspect of fishing from mud-horse fishing on the Somerset mudflats to open-sea trawling, changes in boat design and safety, women in the industry, and the lives of fishermen and their families.
The Iron Men
The Workers Who Created the New Iron Age
By the early 19th century a second Iron Age had begun, with ships, bridges, trains and industrial machinery being constructed from the newly popular metal. Burton explains the innovations in manufacturing processes that enabled so many advances in technologies using iron and steel, but also focuses on the human cost of this progress, which brought new risks of deadly accident for the workers and ruined the lungs of Sheffield’s knife grinders.
Greasepaint and Cordite
The Story of ENSA and Concert Party Entertainment During the Second World War
During the course of the Second World War, the Entertainments National Services Association put on countless productions for the troops across the world, offering everything from music hall turns to Laurence Olivier. The enormous number of shows meant that the talent was spread thinly and performances were often delivered in difficult circumstances and inhospitable climes. Drawing on interviews with surviving ENSA performers, this book tells the colourful story of this most unusual and complex theatrical enterprise.
Memories of the Yorkshire Fishing Industry
In this series, local historians draw on the memories of ex-fishermen and women and use archive photographs to give detailed, illustrated accounts of what life and work was like in regions where, in the past, fishing supported and shaped communities. Slightly off-mint.
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 absorbing 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.
Stars in Battledress
A Light-Hearted Look at Service Entertainment in the Second World War
Many of the stars of post-war British entertainment cut their teeth in Army entertainment; established artistes as part of ENSA and, braving the front lines, Stars in Battledress using talent drawn from the serving ranks. This book recounts the stories of such members as Charlie Chester and Spike Milligan as well as tales of the post-war Combined Service Entertainment in which Frankie Howerd and Stanley Baxter learned their trade.
Bandaging the Blitz
Phyll Macdonald-Ross was a trainee nurse at Hackney Hospital in London’s East End when war was declared in September 1939. Her memoir recalls the rigid discipline and hard work of nursing, and the harrowing experience of tending the injured and dying during the Blitz in London, but also friendship and mischief, and the beginning of a lifelong love affair. The story was presented in 2015, Phyll’s 95th year, by her grandson ID Roberts.
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.
A History of Blaming Other People
‘Adam blamed Eve, Eve blamed the serpent, and we’ve been hard at it ever since.’ In the aftermath of disaster, people have always tried to absolve themselves of responsibility by saying it was someone else’s fault. This witty, thought-provoking essay looks at the plight of the unfairly targeted – witches, bankers, neighbours, foreigners, politicians, Muslims, Jews, Christians – and warns that irrational blame-mongering is unabated today.
Tom Kipper's Schooldays
Memories of an Irish Childhood in Liverpool
The natural humour and charm of the Irish population of Liverpool contributed greatly to the emergence of the city's idiosyncratic culture and played a part in developing the distinctive Scouse accent. This fictionalized memoir follows the adventures of a small boy growing up in the city's Irish community during the Second World War, getting up to mischief in the streets and learning hard lessons at Saint Joseph's Academy amid a cast of colourful Liverpool characters.
Tyranny and The Lash
Prisoners and Punishment in British History
Medieval people gave little thought to prisoners or to the conditions in which they were kept, but by Victorian times troubling questions were being asked about the purpose and effectiveness of incarceration. Wade traces the evolving nature, use and management of British prisons over the centuries, asks whether changes in practices such as hard labour and solitary confinement have made the prison system more humane and investigates how social changes led to new definitions of criminality.
Take a Cold Tub, Sir!
The Story of the Boy's Own Paper
The Boy's Own Paper was first issued in January 1879, a reputable, informative and entertaining publication to counteract the lurid 'penny dreadfuls' of the day. Publication continued until 1966, and its last Editor is the author of this history. In a narrative full of illustrations from almost 100 years of issues, he traces its evolution from the bracing advice-giver of the Victorian era to the promoter of practical and technical know-how in its final decades. Bears old cover price.
Children's Voices of the Second World War
This poignant oral history presents the Second World War through the memories of those who as children lived through the Blitz, or were parted from their families and evacuated to every corner of the UK. More than 50 first-hand accounts shed light on the dangers faced, the hardships and the wildly different experiences of evacuees, the new understanding forged between urban and rural Britons, and the lifelong friendships created during this time of great upheaval.
London and the Making of the Permissive Society
Did sex really begin, as Philip Larkin wrote, in 1963? This groundbreaking cultural history challenges the orthodox view and uncovers the first stirrings of the sexual revolution amid the austerity of fifties London. Conducting the reader on a peephole tour from Whitehall to the fleshpots of Soho, it shows how a series of scandals involving murder, espionage, prostitution, blackmail and homosexuality reshaped public and private behaviour, and captures a key moment in the making of modern Britain.
Passage to the World
The Emigrant Experience 1807–1940
From the early 19th century, millions of people crossed the seas to escape war, famine or poverty, or were taken against their will as slaves, convicts or indentured labourers. Drawing on original sources and first-hand accounts, this book examines the transition from one life to another: the decision to emigrate, the journey to the port, the perils of the voyage, and the emigrants' reception in the Americas or Australasia.
A 1950s Holiday in Bognor Regis
Tubby Isaacs’s jellied-eels stand in the coach park, shrimping, Punch and Judy on the beach, The Importance of Being Earnest at the Roof Garden Theatre, the Aldwick Hundred Motor Cycle Club ... Drawing on the memories and snapshots of visitors and residents of Bognor, this book looks back to the 1950s and describes the holidays, including getting there, accommodation and entertainments, in Britain’s sunniest southern seaside resort.
Books 3 and 4 (The Certainties of Place and A Thicker Cut), here bound in a single volume, continue Kynaston's extraordinarily evocative narrative, from an ailing King George VI opening the Festival of Britain and the Conservative victory that made Churchill once more Prime Minister, to the Suez crisis, Soviet action in Hungary and bus fares raised in Lowestoft to offset petrol rises. Off-mint.
The Last Foundling
Tom H Mackenzie was one of the last children to be taken into the Foundling Hospital at its Berkhamsted site. Here, he tells the story of his mother, a desperate young woman who had no choice but to give up her illegitimate baby son; and the story of his own life, from a childhood spent in the harsh discipline of the institution, up to 1959 when, aged 20, he met his mother for the first time.
After a brief history of Portobello Market, from the capture of Porto Bello during the War of Jenkins' Ear to the problems facing market traders today, Blanche Girouard presents informal interviews with more than 30 local residents, costermongers and stall-holders selling vintage clothing and antiques. The traders' stories – and the interruptions to serve customers – are full of humour and anecdote that convey the lively traditions of London's last antique street market.
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.
Nations are often regarded as fixed, natural entities, but most nation states have been consciously created in recent centuries, and France is no exception. Divided into three sections covering French history, experience and identity, this study examines the way that revolution, social conflict, war, occupation and resistance, colonialism and decolonization, religion, gender and popular culture have all shaped the evolution and reinvention of France to create the country we know today.
Raising the Dead
The Men Who Created Frankenstein
In 1818 Mary Shelley's Frankenstein horrified readers with the concept of using science to reanimate the dead; yet the idea was almost as old as science itself. This book charts the history of such experiments, from the ancients, through Luigi Galvani's electrification of frogs' legs to the macabre case of the 'Glasgow Frankenstein', in which the brilliant but eccentric scientist Andrew Ure attempted to bring an executed murderer back to life in 1818.
We'll Meet Again
Britain at War
With advances in camera technology, photojournalists were able to record everyday life during the Second World War with much more flexibility than ever before and the home front provided them with unforgettable visual material. From bomb destruction and ration queues to evacuees and women working in heavy industry, this collection of 350 photographs from the Daily Mail archive contains many arresting images and portrays a remarkable sense of cheerfulness in the face of adversity.
A Series of Original Portraits and Character Etchings
Previously a surgeon-barber, John Kay (1742–1826) set up shop as a portrait etcher in Edinburgh in 1785. Published in 1837–8 and commonly called Edinburgh Portraits, this work presents, in no particular order, around 300 of Kay's etchings of people from all walks of Edinburgh life, with 'biographical' sketches and 'illustrative anecdotes' by James Paterson. These volumes are facsimiles of the first edition. Limited edition of 600. Slipcased.
Our Land at War
A Portrait of Rural Britain 1939–45
Duff Hart-Davis examines how, in farms and villages, forestry land and country estates, the 'old ways' of Britain's countryside were challenged by the demands of war. As well as the profound impact of the need to grow more food and the loss of workforce as young men enlisted, the book examines the effects of the new role of women, the Land Girls and Lumber Jills, the requisition of land and houses, and the arrival of evacuees, Americans and prisoners of war.
The Wartime Garden
'Dig for Victory' was one of the most successful campaigns of the Second World War, turning parks into allotments and encouraging people on the home front to dig up the lawn and grow their own dinner. Illustrated with contemporary photographs and advertisements, this book looks at how the nation went about gardening in wartime and surveys other self-sufficiency measures such as keeping livestock and growing morale-boosting flowers.
A History of the Other Woman
What do Nell Gwynn, Marilyn Monroe, Emma Bovary and Camilla Parker-Bowles have in common? Desired and despised in equal measure, the ‘other’ woman enters a shadowy world of secret assignations and fear of discovery. This compelling study examines the role of the mistress throughout history, from Chinese concubines to European royal favourites, in life and literature. It examines the reasons why women become mistresses, the subversive threat they pose to the established order, and the eternal fascination they exert.
City of Sin
London and Its Vices
'If you do not want to dwell with evil-doers', wrote Richard of Devizes in 1180, 'do not live in London'. In her third exploration of the city's history, Catharine Arnold focuses on the sex trade, from slave girls brought to service Roman troops in first century Londinium, through medieval stews, 18th century sex clubs and Victorian male brothels to infamous '60s call girls and the internet 'Belle de Jour'.
Sex and Punishment
Four Thousand Years of Judging Desire
Sex is one of the most powerful human drives, and societies have sought to regulate it since the dawn of history. Meticulous, scholarly, yet laced with spicy anecdote, this chronological survey ranges from the brutal impalement of an adulteress in Mesopotamia to the trials of Oscar Wilde. Peopled with transvestites, rent boys, royal mistresses and gay charioteers, it demonstrates how what is 'normal' in one age is forbidden in another, exposing the futility of such attempts to constrain human sexuality.
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.