The Country House at War
Fighting the Great War at Home and in the Trenches
In August 1914 few realized the effects that war would have on every part of society. Simon Greaves explores the experiences of the men and women who lived and worked at properties that are now part of the National Trust. Drawing on unpublished letters, diaries and memoirs, and illustrated with period images, the book evokes life at stately homes as they became military hospitals and training camps, and the fate of those who left them to fight in the trenches.
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.
The Georgian Art of Gambling: Being A Miscellaneous
Collection of Fashionable Card Games and Diverse Pastimes
Claire Cock-Starkey's miscellany of Georgian pastimes – and addictions – covers everything from cards in the drawing room to wagers on cock-fighting and the ruination of gambling-addicted aristocrats.
The Perilous Catch
A History of Commercial Fishing
Fishing has always been a dangerous occupation but the Moray Firth disaster of 1848, costing the lives of 100 men and wrecking 124 boats, was an exceptional event that led to improvements in the design of vessels and harbours along the east coast. This history of commercial fishing begins with a discussion about the earliest practitioners of the ancient world before exploring the development of the industry in British waters up to the modern era.
A Nun's Story
The Deeply Moving True Story of Giving Up A Life of Luxury in A Single Irresistible Moment
Shirley Leach lived a life of comfort and privilege and her calling from God took her by surprise. Nevertheless, a few months later she became Sister Agatha, and her faith in this life-changing decision never faltered. At the age of 85, she recounts how her belief cost her her family but gave her life a deeper meaning.
The World Corrupted: From Slavery to Obesity
How did a commodity that was once the prized monopoly of kings become an essential ingredient of everyday life and then the cause of a global health epidemic? James Walvin traces the history of how the demand for sweetness has been met, from early Mediterranean sugar plantations, to the immense human and environmental cost of the Caribbean plantations and the slave system, the industries that followed, and the dawning awareness of the obesity problem.
The Butcher, the Baker, the Candlestick Maker
The Story of Britain Through its Census, Since 1801
At the start of each decade since 1801, the national census has offered a snapshot of the British Isles. Drawing on this resource, as well as letters, newspaper reports and other documents, Roger Hutchinson tells the stories of the nation’s men and women in the context of contemporary events – from the Napoleonic Wars, through the Industrial Revolution and two world wars, to the age of the internet – and highlights the valuable contribution of the census to the history of modern Britain.
The True Story of Life Behind the Counter
In the 1960s, over a million women worked in shops, nearly a fifth of the female workforce. The number had grown steadily from the early 19th century as industrialization had drawn people to the cities and created a demand for, and supply of, consumer goods. Originally published to accompany the BBC TV series, this book explores the life of the shopgirl from the strict propriety of Victorian department stores to the boutiques of the 1960s.
No Milk Today
From doorstep delivery and money collection to amorous liaisons and dog attacks, this nostalgic social history takes an affectionate look at a great British institution, examines the changes that have taken place over the years, and laments the demise of the industry. Rich with stories and reminiscences, the book documents and celebrates the figure who not only delivered milk but also acted as community worker, handyman and family friend.
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.
The Great British Dream Factory
The Strange History of Our National Imagination
Britain has maintained a strong influence worldwide on popular culture for many years. 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
When the USSR seized control of eastern Germany, Nina Willner’s mother escaped to the West, while her family remained in the East. Here Nina tells the story of how, as the Berlin Wall came down 40 years later, she rediscovered her lost family.
Octavia, Daughter of God
The Story of a Female Messiah and Her Followers
Jane Shaw describes how, in the aftermath of the First World War, a group of Englishwomen led by Mabel Barthrop – who was known as Octavia and believed to be the daughter of God – set about building a new Jerusalem in Bedford. Off-mint.
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.
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, and describes traditions that have disappeared or are under threat.
The Last Horsemen
A Year at Sillywrea, Britain's Only Horse-Powered Farm
First published in 2001, this study 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.