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 Wars of the Roses and England's Most Infamous Family
Members of the Woodville family – particularly Jacquetta and Elizabeth Woodville – are well known to readers of historical fiction, and myths and unsubstantiated rumours about the family abound. This book presents a well-researched account of the Woodvilles and their important roles in 15th-century English history, from 1437 when Richard Woodville married Jacquetta, a widow and a duchess, well above Richard's social status, to the death of Katherine, wife of Jasper Tudor, Duke of Bedford, in 1497.
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.
Old East Enders
A History of the Tower Hamlets
The area covered by the modern borough of Tower Hamlets is London's oldest suburb. Once a scattering of cottages amid market gardens and windmills, it had expanded by Victorian times into a sprawling, largely impoverished district as populous as Berlin. Drawing on the latest archaeological and documentary research, and enlivened by many previously unpublished illustrations, this authoritative yet entertaining book charts its development from Roman times to the present, illuminating its little-told medieval and early modern history.
Who Betrayed the Jews?
The Realities of Nazi Persecution in the Holocaust
In The Other Schindlers Agnes Grunwald-Spier wrote of the many unsung individuals who helped the Jews during the Nazi persecution; in this study she uncovers the individuals and groups who betrayed them. Quoting extensively from survivors' accounts, and in sometimes shocking detail, she examines betrayals made for ideology or greed, but also the 'commercial betrayals' by the railway companies who transported Jews and the industries that used forced labour, and the betrayals made in fear and desperation.
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.
Seadogs Aboard an English Galleon
English ships of the 1520s were built principally for coastal sailing but over the following century, designs, and the life of the men aboard, changed rapidly as Elizabethan mariners ventured far beyond home waters. Drawn from accounts of hundreds of 16th century and early 17th century ocean voyages, including the words of Drake and Ralegh, this book explores how these intrepid seamen coped with tropical heat, violent storms, bad water, rotten food, disease, navigational problems and enemy fire.
Happy and Glorious
The Revolution of 1688
Less than 30 years after Charles II was restored to the throne, his brother James II was forced to make way for his son-in-law, William of Orange. Describing momentous days that shaped the nation's future, this narrative history tells of a stubborn and bigoted king at odds with his subjects, of religious conflict and political intrigue, and shows how the Revolution of 1688 created a constitutional monarchy and paved the way for modern parliamentary democracy.
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.
The Derby Book of Days
The very first day of 1756 was an important one for Derby: William Duesbury, china-maker and founder of Royal Crown Derby, moved to the town. December events were less auspicious, Bridget Kelly dying of lockjaw in 1875; and there were 47,000 paupers in the area at the end of 1900. No jacket.
A Tommy in the Family
First World War Family History and Research
The First World War touched the life of everyone in Britain in one way or another and many families hold treasured mementos in the form of medals, letters home and war diaries. This book explores 20 different human stories revealed by investigating such keepsakes connected with the author's own extended family, and also provides tips and advice about discovering and analysing ancestral information so that readers can research their own families.
The Workers' War
British Industry and the First World War
Despite early optimism that the First World War would be swiftly concluded and cause little disruption to British life, the long struggle in fact turned British industry on its head, encouraging technological and organizational advances and a rethinking of traditional gender roles as women took the place of men in the factories. This book examines how different industries coped with the demands of the war and the heroic efforts made by ordinary men and women to keep industry moving.
A History of Britain in Thirty-Six Postage Stamps
From the world's first postage stamp, the 1840 Penny Black, to the First Class stamp 2012, Chris West's selection of 36 stamps – 'some beautiful, some quirky, some baffling, some stained with blood' – are the inspiration for his idiosyncratic and entertaining history of Britain. Among his collection are the 1881 Penny Lilac (33 billion printed); the first decimal set (1971); and a single foreign stamp telling a story of reparations and hyperinflation: a 1923 German 200 mark stamp, overprinted 2 million.
The First Three Centuries
The city founded by Peter the Great in 1703 and variously known as Sankt Peterburg, Petrograd and Leningrad has been home to some of Russia's greatest cultural figures, including Pushkin, Tchaikovsky and Nijinsky. Well known too for its physical appearance, with baroque palaces, bridges and promenades, the city nonetheless suffered depredations in the 1905 Revolution and the Nazi siege. Arthur George, who lived in St Petersburg for several years, charts the high and low points of this most European of Russian cities. Off-mint.
Masters and Servants in Tudor England
Life in Tudor England was ordered in a very strict social hierarchy, and the divisions between the classes were firmly maintained: it was understood that everyone, apart from the monarch, served someone, and service was valued rather than denigrated. Drawing on a wealth of contemporary sources, Tudor expert Alison Sim investigates the role of service at every level of society, and provides an informative and entertaining account of the lives of the people who kept the wheels of daily life turning.
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.