Social & Industrial History
Around the Village Green
The Heart-Warming Memoir of a World War II Childhood
In this memoir, the author recalls growing up with her coal miner father, mother and siblings in a Derbyshire village and describes how the outbreak of war and the nearby PoW camp and American base changed life for everyone.
Britain's Greatest Generation
How Our Parents & Grandparents Made the Twentieth Century
A depression, wars and unprecedented new technology created challenging conditions for Britons in the first half of the 20th century. Drawing on the first-hand accounts of people born into the devastated world of the 1920s, this book analyses the experiences of the generation that lived through the Second World War and built a new society after it, from a Jewish refugee coming to Britain in 1939 to Jimmy Perry, who served in the Home Guard and later created Dad's Army.
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.
How British Aristocrats Staked a Claim to the American West 1830–1890
From the 1830s onwards, a succession of British aristocrats headed for the American West, taking with them their valets, their dogs – and their prejudices. This sparkling account describes the newcomers' experiences as they crossed the country to meet Native Americans, hunt buffalo and build cattle empires. Packed with lively incident and colourful personalities, it also charts their reception by Americans often less than pleased at the return of their former colonial overlords.
The Oldest Hatred
John Mann, the Labour MP, has brought together essays, speeches and articles by a variety of public figures who have spoken against anti-Semitism and racism, from George Washington's letter to the Hebrew Congregation in Newport (1790) and Émile Zola's defence of Dreyfus in 1898 to a campaign speech by Barack Obama in 2008. Among another 30 writers represented are Maxim Gorky, Elie Wiesel, John F Kennedy and Winston Churchill, and for each author Mann provides a substantial historical introduction.
From Crimea to Afghanistan: the Real Lives of Women Behind the Men of Uniform
Through the centuries, army wives have had to contend with anxiety, separation, injury, bereavement, post-traumatic stress, and the struggle to maintain a normal home life in abnormal circumstances. Using interviews, letters and diaries, this remarkable history gives them a voice, sometimes for the first time. It traces their experiences from the Crimean War – the last in which wives followed their husbands to the front – to the new breed of independent women supporting their men through the war in Afghanistan.
'You've Never Had It So Good!'
Recollections of Life in the 1950s
With full employment, a boom in car sales, and washing machines making housework less of a chore, life in the 1950s certainly seemed better than ever before. Following a theme, such as family life, childhood or the rise of television, each chapter in this compendium brings together recollections of those who lived through the decade, remembering everything from sweet rationing to the meagre contents of a Christmas stocking, and how to find Indian spices.
The Great British Dream Factory
The Strange History of Our National Imagination
Britain’s empire has gone, but popular culture is one area in which it is still a superpower. JK Rowling has sold more than 400 million books, Doctor Who is watched in almost every developed country, and James Bond is the longest-running film series in history. This entertaining, thought-provoking book explores the roots, meaning and global success of Britain’s popular culture, and asks what there is in the national imagination that has given birth to such riches.
A Family's Story of Courage and Survival on Both Sides of the Berlin Wall
As the Second World War ended and the Soviets seized control of eastern Germany, Hanna, a teacher’s daughter, escaped to the West. Her parents and siblings remained in the East, and the family was separated. Forty years later, as the Berlin Wall was torn down, her daughter Nina, now a US intelligence officer, rediscovered her lost family. In this poignant memoir, she tells their remarkable story against the backdrop of events that shaped the world.
Octavia, Daughter of God
The Story of a Female Messiah and Her Followers
In the aftermath of the First World War, a group of Englishwomen came up with a solution to the world’s grief: a new religion. Led by Mabel Barthrop, whom they called Octavia and believed to be the daughter of God, they set about building a new Jerusalem in Bedford. Drawing on the group’s painstakingly preserved archive, this book charts the forgotten history of a utopian community that once had thousands of members and ministered to 10,000 people around the globe.
When the Massachusetts Bay authorities responded to months of accusations by executing 14 women, five men and two dogs for witchcraft, they made the name of Salem synonymous with murderous mass hysteria. In her vivid narrative of this seminal episode in American history, Pulitzer-winner Schiff profiles the leading figures, takes the reader into Salem’s houses, taverns, streets and courtrooms and explores how the adolescent girls at the centre of the crisis responded to their repressive Puritan surroundings. Felt-tip mark on lower trimmed edge and American-cut pages.
Miller of Dee
The Story of Chester Mills and Millers, their Trades and Wares, the Weir, the Water Engine and the Salmon
Corn mills on the River Dee by the King’s Pool were built in the eleventh century and that part of Chester and Handbridge became one of the most important medieval and post-medieval industrial sites in Britain. In this illustrated industrial history, Roy Wilding presents a detailed look at the many wares besides flour – leather goods, paper, snuff and needles – that were produced by the mills; and he also describes fishing in the Dee.
A Dance Through Time
Images of Western Social Dancing from the Middle Ages to Modern Times
Where depictions of peasant revels may be exuberant and unfettered, the stately codes of formal dance before the modern era created a tension between sobriety and decorum and underlying emotion or sexual tension. This art history curates images of dance from the Bodleian Library and explores their different meanings and themes, including how artists have conveyed the movement of dance technically and the social and historical information that can be gleaned from depictions of dancing, instructional illustrations and satirical sketches.
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.
Horse-Drawn Transport in Leeds
William Turton, Corn Merchant and Tramway Entrepreneur
Although steam power was transforming the nation's transport in the 19th century, the horse-drawn tram survived in cities long enough to be replaced in most areas by electric traction, rather than by steam. This history examines the introduction of these early urban transport systems from the 1870s through the career of Yorkshire entrepreneur William Turton, who founded the Leeds Tramways Company and ran horse tramway services in major cities across the north of England.
The Last Shepherds
A Vanishing Way of Life on Britain's Traditional Hill Farms
Shepherds were ubiquitous from pre-biblical times, their occupation a way of life – some even had their own language for counting sheep. Today, among other things, fewer sheep and quad bikes contribute to dwindling shepherd numbers. First published in 2004, this account follows three shepherds through their year, witnessing lambing, haymaking, sheep fairs and the training of a puppy to become a working sheepdog; it describes age-old traditions that are fast becoming things of the past.
The Last Horsemen
A Year at Sillywrea, Britain's Only Horse-Powered Farm
First published in 2001, this study of a disappearing way of life took place over three years, on the last farm in Britain still reliant on horse power rather than machinery. Sillywrea Farm has belonged to the same family for over 150 years, and the book follows two of the family’s recent farmers and their five Clydesdale horses through four seasons, ploughing, haymaking and training a young foal.
The Society Doctor Who Held Victorian London Spellbound
Physician John Elliotson and his friend Thomas Wakley, founding editor of The Lancet, were well-known medical pioneers in Victorian London. Yet when Elliotson championed the new ‘science’ of mesmerism, which purported to dull surgical pain, their friendship – and Elliotson’s credibility – were severely tested. Against a backdrop of Victorian lecture theatres and hospital wards, the two distinguished men publicly clashed over a technique which, for all its successes and failures, is still little understood.
The Secret Lives of Hair
As well as wigs, toupees and extensions, there are many uses for and beliefs about human hair. Indian traders call it ‘black gold’; in China a protein derived from it was once used in soy sauce; and in 1920s America there was a craze for using it to make ‘invisible’ hairnets. Anthropologist Emma Tarlo travelled the world to search out the facts and here presents the many remarkable hair-related stories she uncovered.
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.
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.
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.
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 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.