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.
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
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.
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 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
From his Limerick origins, through memorable film roles from This Sporting Life (1963) to Gladiator (2000) and real-life hell-raising, this is the biography of Richard Harris (1930–2002): ‘a giant in stature, personality and presence both on and off the screen’.
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
Over half the staff of the Allied Central Interpretation Unit were women, and unusually for the time they were ranked equally with their male colleagues. In an ornate Victorian manor overlooking the Thames, they studied reconnaissance aerial photographs of occupied Europe in minute detail 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.
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. Although 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.