The Reliant Robin
Britain's Most Bizarre Car
The three-wheeled Reliant Robin became something of a joke in British motoring during the 1980s but its practical design, low running costs and competitive price tag had proved a successful formula in the 1970s for both private motoring and light commercial use. This account of the thirty-year career of the innovative fibreglass car also explores the company's other surprising models such as the sporty Bond Bug and the luxury Scimitar sports estate.
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 Using interviews and unpublished sources, this book traces the lives of women seafarers, from 18th century pirates such as Anne Bonney, and girls disguised as cabin boys, to the cruise-liner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 Man Called Harris
The Life of Richard Harris
Richard Harris was well suited to his first starring role in the 1963 film This Sporting Life having been a promising rugby player as a teenager in his native Limerick. His interest in the theatre can be traced to touring productions of the Irish actor Anew McMaster, who would lodge with the family of one of Harris's rugby buddies when visiting the area. This biography charts his acting and musical achievements as well as his off-screen hell-raising.
The Dumfries Book of Days
From 1 January, and a stern message about alcohol from the Kirk Session in 1649, to 31 December 1822, when Cook’s Grand Exhibition (attractions included the Gigantic Youth) came to Dumfries, this Book of Days provides an intriguing piece of local history for every day of the year.
Nelson's Lost Jewel
The Extraordinary Story of the Lost Diamond Chelengk
After the Battle of the Nile in 1798, Sultan Selim III presented Horatio Nelson with a chelengk – a diamond-studded turban ornament, its central star rotated by clockwork. Worn in the admiral's hat, it became his emblem. This book tells the story of its creation, and how it passed down through the family to be exhibited at the Royal Maritime Museum in Greenwich, where it was stolen in a 1951 burglary and never seen again.
Women of Intelligence
Winning the Second World War with Air Photos
In an ornate Victorian manor overlooking the Thames, the staff of the Allied Central Interpretation Unit, over half of whom were women and unusually for the time were ranked equally with their male colleagues, studied to the minutest detail reconnaissance aerial photographs of occupied Europe to discover the enemy’s activities. They were sworn to secrecy and it is only recently that their stories have emerged, presented here in their own words.
Where Did That Regiment Go?
The Lineage of British Infantry and Cavalry Regiments at a Glance
The first significant reorganization of British Army formations took place in 1881, reducing 110 infantry regiments to 69. Since then several further revisions have taken place as well as new units formed. With notes outlining the engagements and events that shaped the Army's history, this reference work provides lineage charts tracing the evolution of all infantry and cavalry regiments from 1660 to the present.
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. Though it closed in 1912, its spirit lives on through the company's football team, which became West Ham United.
London's 100 Most Extraordinary Buildings
Lifting the lid on a hidden London, Spectacular Vernacular tells the stories behind 100 of the capital’s strangest buildings. This selection includes a medieval crypt under a City office block, an arts centre built of shipping containers, castles real and fake, ancient livery halls, grand private clubs, wartime bunkers, ‘ghost’ Tube stations, and London’s only lighthouse. Illustrated with black-and-white photographs, this volume describes the origins and adaptation of each building, and the often eccentric personalities associated with it.
The Solitary Spy
A Political Prisoner in Cold War Berlin
A graduate of Britain’s top-secret Joint Services School for Linguistics, Douglas Boyd was posted to an RAF airbase in Berlin in 1958 to spy on the armed forces of Warsaw Pact countries. He was subsequently arrested and imprisoned in solitary confinement in Potsdam, where he was interrogated by the KGB. In this memoir, Boyd describes his work as a signals interceptor in Berlin, where he listened in on pilots flying over East Germany, and his encounters with key security personnel.
Slaughter on the Eastern Front
Hitler and Stalin's War 1941–1945
This review of the bitter conflict between Russian and German forces during the Second World War argues that the leaders of both nations made catastrophic errors that shaped the campaign. Following the fighting from the initial swift victories of the Wehrmacht to the fall of Berlin, the analysis reveals how Stalin's initial miscalculations cost him the initiative and how Hitler clung on to a flawed strategy in retreat that inevitably was doomed to failure.
The Reichstag Fire
The Case Against the Nazi Conspiracy
By thoroughly re-examining all available evidence, this investigation into the arson attack on the German parliament building in 1933, four weeks after Hitler’s appointment as Reich chancellor, seeks to resolve the controversy over who started the Reichstag fire, debunking claims that it was the Nazis themselves, and concluding that Marinus van der Lubbe, a communist sympathiser, was the lone perpetrator of a crime that arguably led to the worst atrocities of the 20th century.
The PG Wodehouse Miscellany
PG Wodehouse’s amiable eccentrics – Psmith, Ukridge, Lord Emsworth and, of course, Jeeves and Wooster – remain as popular today as ever. But what of their creator? Including many quotations from the stories, this concise biography identifies their real-life prototypes. With a foreword by Stephen Fry.
An Outsider Inside No 10
Protecting the Prime Ministers, 1974–79
John Warwicker, a former Special Branch officer, tells the story of his six years in charge of security at No 10 Downing Street, protecting Prime Ministers Wilson, Callaghan and Thatcher during an era in which the Cold War and the IRA were ever-present threats.
Loyal to Empire
The Life of General Sir Charles Monro, 1860–1929
Charles Monro commanded divisions in France during the First World War and ordered the evacuation of Gallipoli in 1915 before being appointed Commander in Chief of India. This biography describes his contributions to the Army and the governance of the Empire.
Looking Down the Corridors
Allied Aerial Espionage Over East Germany and Berlin 1945–1990
Between 1945 and 1990, the Western Allies flew modified transport aircraft along the Berlin Air Corridors and Control Zone, gathering intelligence on Soviet and East German military targets. Illustrated with 66 photographs from the period, this book presents the first detailed account and analysis of this Allied aerial espionage over East Germany and Berlin, 1945–1990.
Long Live the King
The Mysterious Fate of Edward II
The brutal murder of Edward II with a red-hot poker at Berkeley Castle is perhaps the most infamous of all royal deaths – but is it true? A remarkable document discovered in a Montpellier archive more than a century ago claims that he escaped to Ireland before making his way to Italy, where he lived as a hermit. This historical investigation charts his reign and his downfall, before carefully evaluating all the evidence for and against his survival.
From Smithfield to Portobello Road
This concise guide takes the reader on a tour of London’s many markets, both covered and on the streets. From Camden to Petticoat Lane, it charts the history of each, describes the commodities – meat, fish, fruit, vegetables, or money – traded, and recounts tales of the famous and infamous Londoners who have populated them. A final chapter visits the sites of markets that have disappeared.