Call The Midwife
A True Story of the East End in the 1950s
The book that sparked the award-winning TV series details Jennifer Worth’s very real experiences as a young midwife based in a convent amid the chaos of post-war London Docklands. Her true-life stories show how tough conditions were in the East End, especially for women, who often lived in slum accommodation – grateful if they had a cold-water tap – with ten or more children to look after.
How have gay men and women lived, loved, and coped with prejudice through the ages? This chronological survey ranges from two men of ancient Egypt to the Cuban writer and dissident Reinaldo Arenas (1943–1990), taking in such celebrated figures as Sappho, Michelangelo and Oscar Wilde. With 128 illustrations, 56 in colour, it presents a rich tapestry of gay life from the unknowable relationships of the distant past to the frankest affirmations of modern sexuality. Slightly off-mint.
Attack of the 50 Ft Women
How Gender Equality Can Save the World!
Gender equality is good for everyone, so why are fewer than 10 per cent of the world’s leaders women? In this provocative, surprising and inspiring book, Catherine Mayer, who founded the Women’s Equality Party in 2015, combines the insights gained from hands-on political experience with wide-ranging interviews and in-depth research to tackle some of the biggest questions of our age. From business to politics, from the environmental crisis to global conflict, could women hold the key to the planet’s future?
The Future of Violence: Robots and Germs, Hackers and Drones
Confronting the New Age of Threat
We have been alerted to the threat of cyberterrorism and nerve-agent attacks by hostile states, but the power to wield robotic technology, the internet or biological agents as weapons is increasingly accessible to individuals and small groups as well as national governments. This thoughtful study explores how this possibility has created an entirely new security landscape, assesses how these new threats might be developed as technology advances further, and also discusses possible approaches to dealing with them.
A Critical Introduction
Like modern art, psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan’s work is famously difficult to decipher. Accordingly, this study takes an original approach, peering at the man through a prism of ideas, stories and associations drawn not only from Lacan’s theoretical influences, including Hegel, Freud and Saussure, but also from his emotional and professional life. The result is a pleasing matrix of ideas revealing Lacan to be as wilful as he is complex.
Jung: The Key Ideas
An Introduction to Carl Jung's Pioneering Work on Analytical Psychology, Dreams and the Collective Unconscious
This accessible and methodical introduction to Karl Jung’s analytical psychology offers concise explanations of his key concepts, from archetypes and the collective unconscious to dream analysis and the eight psychological types. Illustrated with humorous cartoons, the book also explores his main influences, including his relationship with Freud and his deep interest in Eastern religion, as well as examining the numerous approaches he devised to help understand the human psyche.
Wilde's Last Stand
Scandal, Decadence and Conspiracy During the Great War
In January 1918 the Imperialist newspaper made the startling claim that Britain was losing the war because the German secret service was blackmailing 47,000 ‘sexual deviants’ in the British establishment. This account reveals how the ensuing libel trial drew Oscar Wilde’s friends into a posthumous battle for his reputation, and illuminates a twilight world of MPs and dancing girls, drug clubs in London and transvestites in the trenches.
A History and Celebration of Swimming the River Thames
It is now illegal to swim in the Thames through central London, but in the past there were beaches, diving pontoons and swimming clubs along the river's course. From Trewsbury Mead in Gloucestershire to Crowstone on the estuary, Caitlin Davies swims herself and describes the recreational bathing and champion racers of past centuries and today’s wild swimmers.
The Science and Showbiz of Hypnosis
An Olivier award-winning performer, accredited hypnotherapist and the first-ever artist in residence at the British Library, Christopher Green presents an illustrated history of hypnosis, covering both the reputable side of the subject – brain imaging, clinical trials, hypnotherapy etc – and the smoke and mirrors of stage ‘mesmerists’ and hypnotists. ‘I love hypnosis’, writes Green, ‘I don’t know of any other subject that is at once so erudite and yet so trashy’.
A History of Marriage
Marriage is at once the most public and most intimate of institutions, and one we generally assume has always taken its now familiar form – yet its long and complex history has included arranged marriages, dowries, child brides and same-sex marriages. This lucid, entertaining and impressively researched study asks what marriage meant to ordinary people 100 or 500 years ago, how long the average marriage lasted, and what were a couple’s alternatives to staying together.
Dinner with a Cannibal
The Complete History of Mankind's Oldest Taboo
In this thorough examination of human cannibalism, a palaeoanthropologist analyses the evidence, from ancient fossils to recent genetic findings, that marks us all as descendants of cannibals. Investigating when and why humans have eaten their own kind, she identifies cannibalism as an ancient, natural strategy used by early humans to survive periods of food scarcity, but also considers the religious and culinary contexts in which it has been practised in historical times.
Fat, Gluttony and Sloth PB
Putting the current obesity epidemic in historical perspective, this study explores fatness in art, literature and the history of medicine, from the Venus of Willendorf to Monty Python’s Mr Creosote. Starting with the medical understanding of obesity, the authors discuss topics such as the history of food and drink; fat people on show; diet drugs; the deadly sins of gluttony and sloth; and how the desirable body shape has changed over time.
An Anthropology of Britain
What does it mean to live in Britain and to be ‘British’, and is an anthropology of Britain even a legitimate undertaking? Ranging across subjects as diverse as achieving collective identity on the Isle of Man, the London dance scene, leisure and change in a post-mining mining town, and Armenian and other diasporas, this volume of 15 essays establishes that an anthropology of Britain can set excellent standards of subtle ethnography and complex analysis.
In this second, updated edition of a pioneering work in the social history of Britain and the Welfare State, Welshman explores the idea that an underclass has been successively reinvented since 1880, in Britain and the US. After discussing general ideas such as the undeserving poor and the lumpenproletariat, the study examines the continuities and differences in concepts ranging from the ‘social residuum’ of the 1880s, through the ‘problem family’ of the 1950s to today’s ‘troubled families’.
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.
How a Century of War Changed the Lives of Women
Part of the Counterfire series, which presents radical perspectives on history, society and current affairs, this volume discusses the ways in which conflicts, from the First World War to the War on Terror, have changed women’s lives and given them a central role in anti-war and peace movements. As well as analysing the two world wars as catalysts for social change, the study examines how the changing nature of war involves civilians, and particularly Muslim women, in new ways.
Britain's Best-Known Brand
As Britain’s longest-reigning monarch, the Queen is seen by many as a calm, reassuring presence in an era of restless change. But what of the institution she represents? This revelatory book takes a glimpse behind the scenes at the machinery that sustains the monarchy today: its constitutional role, its leadership of the Church of England, its finances. It also takes a clear-eyed view of its future, and the pressures that will face an heir to the throne. Slightly off-mint.
The Good Old Days
Crime, Murder and Mayhem in Victorian London
The moral tone of Britain's elite may have been high in the 19th century but the reality for many of the people living in the world's richest city was squalor, drunkenness, violence and crime. Drawing on contemporary accounts, this tour of Victorian London lifts the lid on the living conditions of the poor and describes some of the capital's most notorious crimes and criminals. Slightly off-mint.