An Adventure History of Paris
Paris is one of the most alluring cities in the world; however well we know it, it never ceases to surprise. Reading this book, which retells its history through the lives of its inhabitants from Balzac to Baudelaire, Sartre to Sarkozy, is like stumbling upon a tiny restaurant frequented by eccentric locals. Robb is both a scholar and an adventurer, and from 250 years of urban history, he weaves a dazzling tapestry of fact and fantasy, memory and myth. Slightly off-mint.
The Age of Elizabeth II
Rocked by Suez and scandal, galvanized by Wilson's 'white heat of technology', tuned into the Beatles and polarized by Thatcher, the reign of Elizabeth II has seen Britain transformed from post-war austerity to the digital age. AN Wilson's ambitious social and cultural history combines broad narrative sweep with telling detail to portray an era in which imperial certainties crumbled before the complex realities of modern multi-cultural society.
Private Detective, The Mysterious Life and Times of the Real Sherlock Holmes
The Victorian sleuth 'Paddington' Pollaky was a contradiction: a man of mystery who craved the limelight; a meddling busybody whose heart was in the right place. This first-ever biography investigates his involvement in the American Civil War, his campaign against sex trafficking and his dogged search for abducted children. It examines his methods – including placing cryptic messages in The Times – and considers whether he was the inspiration for Sherlock Holmes or Hercule Poirot.
The Spy Who Painted the Queen
The Secret Case Against Philip de László
In 1917 Philip de László, a society portrait painter whose sitters included the Pope, Edward VII, the Emperor of Austria and – later – the young Princess Elizabeth, was interned for trading with the enemy. After the war he cleared his name. Now, however, this book examines MI5 records to reveal that an agent, whose anonymity prevented the evidence from being used in court, believed de László was supplying Germany with information on British politics and industry.
Voices from the Dark Years
The Truth About Occupied France 1940–1945
Active collaborators and resisters were equally small minorities of the French population during les années sombres – the dark years of the Second World War; most people simply did what they needed to to survive. Based on interviews and previously unpublished accounts, this book looks beyond the traditional narrative of a defiant nation to reveal stories of compliance and partnership with the new regime as well as resilience in the face of extreme hardship.
Murder and Crime: Stirling
Once the capital of Scotland, Stirling is an ancient city with a long and often bloodthirsty history, the dark streets of its Old Town providing a haven for ne'er-do-wells. Illustrated with a wide range of archive material, this book trawls though the town's grisly catalogue of fraud, robbery, assault and murder. Ten cases are examined in depth, while an appendix explores the work of the Circuit Court of Justiciary.
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 Thames Ironworks
A History of East London Industrial and Sporting Heritage
Located in the heart of London’s Docklands, the Thames Iron Works pioneered metal-hulled ships in the mid 19th century, providing employment for much of the East End. Although it closed in 1912, its spirit lives on through the company's football team, which became West Ham United.
The Life and Rule of England's Nero
In this compelling study of Henry VIII, the Tudor historian John Matusiak takes a fresh approach to the king’s reign, concentrating on Henry’s qualities – or lack of – as a ruler, rather than the usual business of his six wives, to paint a colourful and unforgiving portrait of a man wholly unfit for power.
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 Acid Bath Murders
The Trials and Liquidations of John George Haigh
John Haigh did not deny the murders of which he was accused during his trial in 1949 but claimed insanity, citing a history of disturbing dreams and claiming that he had drunk the blood of his victims before dissolving their bodies in sulphuric acid. This new analysis of the famous case draws on unpublished archive material, including letters that Haigh wrote from prison while awaiting execution.
Blood Cries Afar
The Magna Carta War and the Invasion of England 1215–1217
‘To really understand History’, writes Sean McGlynn, ‘you have to pick up the stone and see what is crawling underneath’. In this book he explores the relationship of war and politics and the nature of warfare in medieval western Europe through a closely detailed study of a much-neglected episode: the invasion of England that was led by Louis, son of the French king Philip Augustus, in 1216, and the civil conflict in England that gave Philip the opportunity to attack.
The Carriage and Wagon Works of the GWR at Swindon
The GWR Swindon Works produced some of the iconic locomotives of the steam era, but its rolling stock - the all-important freight wagons and passenger cars - have received less attention from steam enthusiasts and historians. This study tells the story of the other half of the GWR Works, traces the development of carriage and wagon design and, with the help of archive photographs, explains how carriages and wagons were built at Swindon in its heyday.
Solving the Murder of Dr Helen Davidson
In November 1966, the body of Dr Helen Davidson, a GP in Amersham, was found in Hodgemoor Wood, near her Buckinghamshire home. Police surmised that she had surprised lovers and they had killed her, but no killers were ever found. Fifty years later, Monica Weller reopened this cold case and solved the mystery. In this book she describes her investigation and finally reveals the identity of the murderer.
Murder & Crime: London
Within weeks of breaking auction house records, when bought by a Bond Street art dealer, Gainsborough's portrait of the Duchess of Devonshire was sensationally stolen, not to surface again for 25 years. This compendium of London crime describes 18 notorious felonies in the capital from Guy Fawkes and Jack the Ripper to Crippen and Christie.
Hanged at Winchester
From its opening in 1849, HM Prison, Winchester was the main centre for executions in Hampshire and the neighbouring counties, and the executioners were infamous hangmen including William Marwood, pioneer of the 'long drop', and Albert Pierrepoint. This history examines the cases of each of the 29 hangings that took place there from the 1869 Aldershot army camp murderer to the killers of a Cornish farmer in 1963.
School Songs and Gymslips
Grammar Schools in the 1950s and 1960s
With tales from the days of indoor sandals and navy knickers, Latin verbs and transistor radios, semolina pudding and O Levels, this light-hearted social history is based on the experiences of pupils from 18 schools around the country and describes how things were for grammar school girls – at school and at home – between about 1955 and 1965.
From Cabin 'Boys' to Captains
250 Years of Women at Sea
For centuries the sea was considered a male preserve. Using interviews and unpublished sources, this book traces the lives of women seafarers, from 18th century pirates such as Anne Bonney, and girls disguised as cabin boys, to the cruise-liner and container-ship captains of today.
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.