The Gunpowder Plot
The 1605 Gunpowder Plot is one of the best-known events in British history, commemorated on 5 November each year. This book re-evaluates the evidence about the origins, depth and extent of the plot. It profiles the conspirators, including Robert Catesby and Guy Fawkes, and examines their backgrounds, aims and objectives. It follows their trial and execution, and reveals for the first time how close they came to overthrowing the government. Slightly off-mint.
A Roman Frontier Fort in Scotland
Discovered in 1979, the Roman fort at Elginhaugh near Dalkeith is now the most completely excavated timber-built auxiliary fort in the Roman Empire. Here, Professor Hanson describes the discovery, excavation and interpretation of the site and sets the findings in the wider context of the fort’s builders and the lives of its inhabitants.
A Ship Through Time
The Empire Windrush has become a symbol of the generation that came to Britain from the Caribbean in the aftermath of the Second World War, but the story of the ship itself is less well known. Built in Hamburg in 1930, the Monte Rosa transported prisoners to Auschwitz before it was captured by the British and renamed; and after its famous voyage, the ship saw action in the Korean War.
A Century of the East End
From the Sugar Warehouses at West India Docks to the Canary Wharf complex and One Canada Square rising over the old docklands in the 1980s and 1990s, this evocative collection of photographs and detailed captions shows the events, people and streets of London’s East End over the course of the 20th century.
A headless woman rising from the earth near Wellington Barracks; the naked man who runs out of the shadows by Cleopatra’s Needle and jumps into the Thames; a terrible premonition of the terrorist bomb at the Tower of London in 1974 ... James Clark tells the stories of London’s supernatural phenomena, travelling eastward from Kensington to end in Whitechapel with the ghosts of Jack the Ripper’s victims. Slightly off-mint.
John F Kennedy's Special Relationship with Great Britain
Tracking John F Kennedy’s exploits in Britain between 1935 and 1963, from the era of the Great Depression in the USA to the Cold War arms race, Christopher Sandford looks in depth at how Britain shaped JFK throughout his adult life, and how he in turn charmed British society. Set against the Second World War and its aftermath, the story of this ‘special relationship’ suggests how certain experiences of Britain may have influenced Kennedy’s basic thinking as president.
Great Women's Lives
The Times: A Celebration in Obituaries
Beginning with the mathematician Mary Somerville (1789–1872), who was the first woman to receive more than a cursory death notice in The Times, this volume draws on the newspaper’s archives to present 125 obituaries. Among the women are writers, artists, musicians and actors, scientists and scholars, politicians and royalty, arranged chronologically from 1872 to the death of Alice Herz-Sommer, the concert pianist and Holocaust survivor, in 2014. Foreword by Lucy Worsley.
Terror in the Tunnels
Britain's Dangerous Railway History
Box Tunnel in Wiltshire is one of the great engineering feats of the railway age but tragically, up to 100 navvies lost their lives during its construction. This history of the building of Britain’s railway infrastructure investigates the many collapses, explosions, floodings, collisions and other accidents that occurred in the tunnels and how lessons about their dangers were gradually learned.
The Story of Ely
Ely’s impressive collection of monastic buildings has been the backdrop to a rich and varied past embracing gradual development and dramatic change. An Ely-born councillor highlights the contributions of powerful bishops and famous residents as he traces the city’s history from 673, when Etheldreda established her monastery on this large island in the Cambridgeshire Fens, to the award of city status in 1974 and flourishing contemporary innovations including the Eel Festival and Potato Race.
Spy and Counterspy
Secret Agents and Double Agents from the Second World War to the Cold War
A historian with military experience explores the global network of spies during and after the Second World War, when agents of organizations such as MI5, the CIA, the NKVD and Tokko constantly risked exposure or death, often raising the stakes by acting as double or triple agents.
The British Soldier in the First World War
This study of the ordinary British soldier of the First World War focuses on his everyday routines and the equipment, uniform and personal kit that would have been his familiar companions. Covering recruitment, training, life in the trenches and recuperation away from the front, first-hand accounts are complemented by examples of items including mess tins, Mills bombs and the YMCA stationery issued in rest camps, many assembled in historical tableaux that recreate period scenes.
This richly illustrated A–Z guide to Gloucestershire's towns and villages explores enigmatic locations from crumbling manor houses, castles and ruins to ancient woods and trackways with long-forgotten standing stones and tombstones. Added to this are descriptions of hauntings, UFO sightings, crop circles and unsolved murders.
The Mistress of Mayfair
Men, Money and the Marriage of Doris Delevingne
Based on a pursuit of the finer things in life, the marriage of the socialite Doris Delevingne and the gossip columnist Valentine Brown was tempestuous from the start, rocked by affairs with famous figures including Winston Churchill and Diana Mitford. This volume, illustrated with contemporary photographs, charts their relationship during the 1920s and 1930s, offering new insights into the decadent, brittle world of the 'Bright Young Things'.
The Medieval Quest for Arthur
Medieval belief in the Arthurian legends was bolstered by the existence of many alleged artefacts, including the Round Table, Gawain’s skull, Isolde’s robe and even Excalibur itself. The authors investigate the origins of these elaborate fakes and the cultural and political motivations behind their creation. Slightly off-mint.
The True Story of England's Crusader King
The enduring legend of King Richard I, as a noble warrior who selflessly left his kingdom and fought bravely to win back the Holy Land, has its origins in the public image promulgated by his formidable mother, Eleanor of Aquitaine. As this biography reveals, the scandalous reality is very different: Richard ‘the Lionheart’ detested England (which he twice bankrupted), slaughtered defenceless peasants and repeatedly abandoned his supporters to save himself.
Lady Jane Grey
Nine Days Queen
As the great-niece of Henry VIII, Jane Grey was a pawn in the power game of Tudor politics. The dying Edward VI made Jane his heir and, on 6 July 1553, aged 16, she became queen. Her reign lasted nine days: when Mary Tudor claimed the throne, Jane was sent to the Tower and beheaded in 1554. In this compassionate biography, Plowden tells the story of a gifted, scholarly girl, doomed by her royal blood.
Wicketkeeper-batsman Paul Nixon is among the most eccentric cricketers to play for England, Leicestershire or Kent. With forewords from Steve Waugh and Viv Richards, this frank, humorous account of his career addresses issues such as family tragedy, sledging, match-fixing and his battle with mental demons.
Hastings to Culloden
Battles of Britain
This classic survey by two expert military historians looks at every battle fought on British soil since the Norman Conquest. Each campaign is described in detail, with battle plans and sketch maps, and placed in historical context; while details of arms and tactics illustrate the changing nature of warfare between 1066 and 1746.
The Gunpowder Plot
The 1605 Gunpowder Plot is one of the best-known events in British history, commemorated on 5 November each year. This book re-evaluates the evidence about the origins, depth and extent of the plot. It profiles the conspirators, including Robert Catesby and Guy Fawkes, and examines their backgrounds, aims and objectives. It follows their trial and execution, and reveals for the first time how close they came to overthrowing the government.
Remembering 1914–18, Great War Britain
Swindon’s principal employer – the Great Western Railway – expanded its output of rolling stock during the First World War, as well as extending operations to the production of munitions. This review of the conflict’s impact on the town includes archive photographs and ephemera.
Remembering 1914–18, Great War Britain
The King’s Own Royal Lancaster Regiment was the destination for many of Lancaster’s young men in 1914. This study of the city’s experience of the war draws on regimental records as well as first-hand accounts and contemporary documents and photographs.
Remembering 1914–18, Great War Britain
To supplement the workforce manufacturing grenades at the Mills Munition Works, 15,000 people moved to Birmingham. This local history recalls the impact their arrival had on life on the home front and recounts the experiences of the city’s enlisted men.
From Hope to Hatred
Voices of the Falls Curfew
The 36-hour curfew imposed by the British Army on the Catholic Falls Road area from 3–5 July 1970 was a turning point in the Northern Ireland conflict. Drawing on interviews with those on both sides, this history tells how a weapons search escalated into rioting and a gun battle that left four dead and 75 injured, charts the background to the curfew, discusses its legality, and assesses its consequences.
Forget the Anorak
What Trainspotting Was Really Like
During the 1950s and 1960s Michael Harvey was an ardent trainspotter – a hobby which ‘kept us teenagers off the streets of Portsmouth and out of any mischief’. In Diary of a Trainspotter he chronicled his observations of the last years of steam; this book is devoted not to the trains but to the antics and travels of the spotters.
False Starts, Near Misses and Dangerous Goods
Railwaymen's Stories About the Challenges of Running a Railway
The task of running a railway safely is not a simple matter: propelling heavy equipment, passengers and freight cross-country through varying terrains and weather is a major technical and mechanical feat. This collection of anecdotes from railway operators gives a personal view of some of the perils of the business, from derailments and trains spotted with no brakes, to the challenges of transporting lion cubs.
1900–1914 Before the Lights Went Out
In Devon before the First World War the established social order, with aristocrats in their great country estates at the centre of the local community and economy, was under threat. This illustrated history surveys the attitudes and experiences of Devonians of all social levels at this pivotal period as perspectives on class, representative democracy, opportunities for women, and the role of Empire were changing.
Daughters of the KGB
Moscow's Secret Spies, Sleepers and Assassins of the Cold War
In this detailed Cold War history, the ‘daughters’ of the title are the Eastern European countries where organizations such as the Stasi, overseen and trained by the KGB, undertook surveillance of and control of their own citizens, and carried out covert operations and assassinations abroad.
The Life and Times of the Honourable Ivor Montagu – Filmmaker, Communist, Spy
The son of a wealthy peer, Ivor Montagu founded the London Film Society to champion the art form – but his overriding interest was in communism. Based on interviews and archival research, this biography follows these two concerns, recounting a career that included making documentaries about the Spanish Civil War, producing several of Hitchcock’s films and spying for Russia, while remaining blind until the end of his life to the horrors of Stalin’s regime.
The Changing Scene of Merchant Shipping
A Photographic Survey
With a collection 100 photographs and informative captions, Hucknall surveys the merchant shipping industry since the late 1990s in sections on container ships, general cargo vessels, ro-ros, bulk carriers, reefers, passenger ships, tugs and tankers.
The rich history of Bristol has generated hundreds of commemorative plaques across the city, marking the spots of historical events or the dwellings of notable personalities. This guide to the tributes provides their locations, ranging from places associated with the voyage of 15th-century explorer John Cabot to the birthplace of film actor Cary Grant and the site of TV chef Keith Floyd’s first restaurant, and gives background information about the people.
The Authorised Biography of Nicol Williamson
John Osborne hailed him as ‘the greatest actor since Brando’; the New York Times called him ‘the terrible tiger of the English stage’. Nicol Williamson (1936–2011) was as renowned for his hellraising as for his Shakespearian heroes. This biography is based on the recollections of his family and fellow actors and follows his brilliant but chequered career, tracing the origins of his uncompromising and ultimately self-destructive genius in his tough Clydeside upbringing.
The Baby Boomer Generation
A Lifetime of Memories
This blend of memoir and social history explores the experiences of the generation born in the aftermath of the Second World War. Decade by decade, from rationing to the internet, it notes not only events of national and international importance, such as the Cuban missile crisis, but changes to the fabric of everyday life: pop music, ready meals, shell suits and reality TV.
The World's Major Civil Airliner Crashes Since 1950, Sixth Edition
This encyclopedic reference book analyses the most serious aviation accidents of the last seven decades, focusing on incidents in which more than 50 people died. It includes summaries of accident reports, accompanied by insights into the technical details, and diagrams and photographs of the relevant aeroplanes. This approach also demonstrates the way that the nature of accidents has changed over the years, as various hazards were identified and safety features introduced in response.
Ancestors on the Move
A History of Overseas Travel
Many families owe their present location to travel, whether emigration to the USA, transportation to Australia or migration from the Caribbean. This book charts the main sea routes, describes conditions on board ship, and details the records researchers can consult to trace their ancestors’ journey.
Victoria & Abdul
The Extraordinary True Story of the Queen's Closest Confidant
This account of the friendship between a young Indian servant and the elderly queen is based on contemporary journals and letters and has since been made into a film starring Judi Dench. It details Abdul Karim’s controversial role as ‘Munshi’ (teacher) of Urdu and Indian affairs to the Empress, who is revealed as a progressive, passionate woman who defended her ‘Dear Abdul’ to the last. Slightly off-mint.
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 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.
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.