Britain in 1846
Focusing on one critical year, this study identifies the developments that paved the way for the prosperity of Victorian Britain. It demonstrates how, amid widespread poverty and disease, industry flourished and railways spread across the land, bringing millions from the countryside to the cities, while Robert Peel’s abolition of the Corn Laws split the Tory party and ushered in an era of free trade.
A Star is Born
The Moment an Actress Becomes an Icon
Vivien Leigh's performance in Gone with the Wind or Anita Ekberg's in La Dolce Vita were pivotal moments in cinema, when a relatively unknown actress was transformed into a major international star. With full-page portraits and brief biographies, this film history identifies the breakthrough moments of 75 leading actresses from Greta Garbo in Mata Hariand Grace Kelly in High Noon to Jane Fonda in Klute and Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman.
A Year in the Life of Plantagenet England
The year 1215 is remembered for King John’s reluctant granting of Magna Carta, but the famous meeting at Runnymede is just one episode in the year’s story of political, constitutional and religious upheaval. The author of The Hollow Crown here combines a narrative of high politics and civil war with the evidence for everyday life to show how these transformative months were experienced by people at different levels of English society.
The Throwaway Children
When Rosie and Rita’s father fails to return from the Second World War, ‘Uncle Jimmy’ moves in. Soon their mother, pregnant with his child, is persuaded to give up her little girls, not realizing it will be for good. Cast into a local orphanage, nine-year-old Rosie vows to look after her five-year-old sister, but will she be able to fulfil her promise once the pair find themselves shipped off to Australia? Off-mint.
The Final Chapter
In July 1991, nine skeletons were exhumed near Ekaterinburg, Siberia. Were these the remains of Nicholas II and his family, executed by Bolsheviks 73 years earlier? This investigative history follows the efforts of DNA experts from Russia, America and the UK to establish the truth. Framed by an intimate account of the Romanovs’ last days, the narrative presents a cast of modern scientists and investigators determined to solve one of history’s most intriguing mysteries.
Pretty Jane and the Viper of Kidbrooke Lane
A Victorian Murder Mystery Solved
The brutal murder of Jane Clouson in Eltham, South London in 1871 became a press sensation: the police investigation and the trial kept the public enthralled and the accused's acquittal – after legal rulings disallowed key evidence – caused outrage. This re-examination of the case and the subsequent libel trials fought by the prime suspect reviews the evidence in the light of 21st-century procedure and finally identifies the killer.
Peace and War:
Britain in 1914
This discerning cultural history presents a portrait of a nation on the eve of war. While it details the social and political issues of the day, including the Ulster crisis, suffragettes, labour disputes and the anxiety of approaching war, it also highlights the nascent modernism of contemporary artists and poets, including Ezra Pound and Wyndham Lewis, who anticipated the end of the Edwardian era and the ‘cosy certainties’ that belied the social conflicts of a troubled Britain.
The Lives and Times of Four Captains of England
The four England captains discussed in this history of post-war English football are Billy Wright, Bobby Moore, Gary Lineker and David Beckham. Each a world famous and long-serving skipper, they represent their times: from the hard-working Wright and the glamorous Moore, embodiment of the social mobility of the 1960s, to Lineker, the savvy exploiter of the new media age and Beckham, the global celebrity. Slightly off-mint.
Ten Entrepreneurs Who Built Britain
Britain’s wealth and power was built not by kings and queens, soldiers and politicians, but by its entrepreneurs. Beginning with the Tudor merchants who created the first companies, this history charts the rise of British business through the careers of men such as Thomas Pitt, the saviour of the East India Company, the financier Nathan Rothschild, the Quaker-capitalist George Cadbury, the imperial buccaneer Cecil Rhodes, and William Lever, the philanthropist and creator of Britain’s first multinational.
Death Descends On Saturn Villa
While Sidney Grice, a Personal Detective in 1880s London, is away, his goddaughter March Middleton accepts an invitation from a long-lost uncle to visit Saturn Villa and then – apparently – murders him. Grice must return to Gower Street, rescue March and unravel the baffling mystery.
The Dead Duke, His Secret Wife and the Missing Corpse
In 1897, 20 years after the death of the reclusive Duke of Portland, a Mrs Druce made the extraordinary claim that her father-in-law, Thomas Charles Druce, who supposedly died in 1864, was in fact the 5th Duke, and her son was heir to his millions. This book follows the legal contortions of the sensational Druce-Portland case.