The Dark Side of East London
The alleyways and estates of Tower Hamlets were rife with poverty and crime in the 18th and 19th centuries. Local historian David Charnick tells dark tales of murders, poisonings and abductions that occurred there, using them to reveal aspects of everyday life before and during the encroachment of London’s East End. A specially commissioned section of black and white photographs shows the locations of many of the events.
Yorkshire Women at War
Story of Women's Land Army Hostels
The thousands of women who volunteered to take on agricultural work in Yorkshire during the Second World War were housed in a network of hostels, where they slept in shared dormitories and were often provided with only basic facilities. With first-hand accounts and contemporary photographs, this local history describes life under the sometimes-domineering wardens and out on the farms during the war and throughout the 1940s.
War! Hellish War! Star Shell Reflections 1916–1918
The Illustrated Great War Diaries of Jim Maultsaid
Jim Maultsaid was injured on the Somme in 1916, after which he was commissioned into the Chinese Labour Corps, directing these foreign recruits in non-combatant support work and manual labour. His unusual war diaries include his frank but often upbeat observations about his experiences as well as drawings, satirical cartoons and scrapbook photographs which give a unique insight into his everyday activities and the characters he encountered.
Tracing Your Ancestors Through Letters and Personal Writings
A Guide for Family Historians
Family papers and annotated books can contain a treasure trove of information about your ancestors, especially those from the Victorian period onwards, when greater literacy and social mobility inspired increasing written communication. Ruth Symes, a genealogical expert, details the ways that family historians can interpret and research unpublished writings, from postcards, diaries and poetry to humble signatures.
The Real Guy Fawkes
Guy Fawkes is among British history’s most recognizable figures, burned in effigy every November to celebrate the Gunpowder Plot’s failure. His early life is less familiar though, and so this biography focuses on his youth as a Protestant in York and the motivations that led him to fight as a mercenary and to plan mass murder for the Catholic cause, asking whether he was ‘a fanatic, a fool, or a freedom fighter’.
The Human Skeleton as Evidence for Conflict in the Past
‘Human remains are not only one of the most common forms of archaeological evidence, but also arguably the richest in terms of what they can tell us’, and Smith goes on to argue that for the study of human conflict in the past, they are more reliable than contemporary chroniclers. For the very distant past, bones and their injuries are our only witnesses to violence between people. Examining evidence that ranges from Stone Age aggression to 19th-century firearms, this book offers an accessible introduction to conflict archaeology.
A History of the 12th (Pioneers) King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry 1914–1918
The British Army’s Pioneer battalions were formed in 1914 in order to provide logistical support including the construction and repair of roads and the laying of barbed wire to protect the front line. This history of one battalion, originally published in the 1920s, gives an eyewitness account of movements around the war zone and shows how Yorkshire miners and engineers applied civilian skills in the new arena of industrialized warfare.
Lost to the Sea
Britain's Vanished Coastal Communities: The Yorkshire Coast and Holderness
In the centuries since the Roman occupation, Yorkshire’s coastline has moved more than three miles inland, while the mudflats at the mouth of the Humber have grown. This social history of the changing coast uses oral and documentary sources to tell how communities have lived with the threat of erosion and have attempted to protect their towns and villages by slowing down the relentless advance of the North Sea.
The Life of Henrietta Anne
Daughter of Charles I
Melanie Clegg offers a detailed biography of the youngest daughter of Charles I. Her prestige enhanced by her dramatic escape from parliamentary forces during the Civil War, the infant Henrietta Anne was cherished by the court in her mother's native France. As a young woman, her flirtatious reputation belied her political acumen, but the part she played in negotiating the Secret Treaty of Dover in 1670 was a notable highpoint in her short, at times controversial, life.
The Military Use of Massive Weapons
Artillery using gunpowder was first deployed in China during the 11th century; as it spread westwards the new technology quickly rendered existing defences obsolete and prompted the development of larger, more destructive weapons. From early bombards to the atomic cannons of the Cold War, this chronological survey comprises illustrated case studies of the very largest guns, with descriptions of their use in land and sea battles and data on their length, weight, calibre and range.
The Forgotten War Against Napoleon
Conflict in the Mediterranean, 1793–1815
From the blockade and siege of Toulon in 1793, in which Bonaparte first made his name, to his escape from Elba in 1815, naval operations in the Mediterranean were a critical aspect of the Napoleonic Wars. Drawing on an array of primary sources, this study describes the ebbs and flows of the 20-year conflict that included the set-piece battles of the Nile and Lissa and brought to prominence Horatio Nelson.
Empire of Crime
Organised Crime in the British Empire
In an age when our imperial legacy is being reassessed, this is a timely exploration of the illicit narcotics trade across the British Empire, especially following the 1908 ban on sales of opium from India to China. Tim Newark uses government files, personal letters and other documents to show how global trade routes became the setting for a turf war involving Shanghai smugglers, American drugbusters and Afghan criminal gangs.
American Wheeled Armoured Fighting Vehicles
Rare Photographs from Wartime Archives
Armoured fighting vehicles have long been a mainstay of the American military. This illustrated history progresses from the first crude attempts to mount machine guns on cars and the M1, first manufactured in 1931, through the M8 (widely used in the Second World War) on to the more sophisticated vehicles of the Cold War and the desert conflicts of recent decades.
Female Offending in Victorian England
Lucy Williams begins her survey of criminal offences committed by Victorian women with a chapter describing the punishments a woman could expect – imprisonment, transportation to a remote colony or death. Williams goes on to describe crimes ranging from pick-pocketing and street-walking to murder, telling the colourful stories of cases both famous and obscure and setting them against the harsh realities of 19th-century women’s lives.
Edinburgh in the Great War
Your Towns and Cities in the Great War
Like other cities, Edinburgh sent men to the front, cared for war wounded and coped with profound social changes. Personal accounts, letters and newspaper reports give a sense of the experience of living in the capital during the conflict.
One of the RFC's Most Decorated Squadrons
Formed in September 1915 in response to the new threat posed by Germany’s Fokker monoplanes, 20 Squadron saved many lives through its aerial reconnaissance work, with its members winning some 70 gallantry decorations. Sellwood, whose grandfather was killed within a week of joining the squadron, presents the fruits of more than 15 years’ research into its almost daily air battles during the First World War.
Images of War: SS Specialist Units in Combat
Rare Photographs from Wartime Archives
The Waffen-SS deployed their particular combination of risk-taking, aggression and inventive tactics on every German front (excluding North Africa) throughout the Second World War. Following an introductory essay on their role this photographic history collates rarely seen images of the Nazi special forces in action.
The History of the Channel Tunnel
The Political, Economic and Engineering History of an Heroic Railway Project
The first scheme to join Britain and France by an undersea tunnel was proposed to Napoleon in 1806 and serious attempts were made to make a start later in the century. First outlining these precursors, this history of the Channel Tunnel goes on to describe the political and economic tangles that beset the 20th-century project as well as reviewing the considerable engineering achievements and the fortunes of the tunnel since completion in 1994.
An Unexpected General
This military history of Rome during the short reign of Caligula (37–41 CE) analyses the Emperor’s campaigns and personal character through the evidence of contemporary writers such as Suetonius, Tacitus and Josephus. Although only 24 when he came to power, he proved a competent military strategist and despite the accusations of madness, cruelty and sexual perversion, managed to set the groundwork of Roman foreign policy for his successor Claudius.
Badon and the Early Wars for Wessex
Circa 500 to 710
This reappraisal of the early battles of the Britons and Saxons casts doubt on the reliability of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, while proposing explanations, tactical overviews and locations for the battles that established the kingdom of Wessex. It starts with an account of the historical situation after the Roman occupation, before focusing on the crucial Battle of Badon Hill, and using detailed maps, military theory and battle plans to analyse subsequent campaigns.
Anne Boleyn in London
Anne Boleyn was educated in France but in her early twenties she became a member of Henry VIII's court, which led to their ill-fated marriage and her imprisonment in the Tower. Lissa Chapman focuses on Anne's complex role in London society, as a fashion icon and arts patron who was fully engaged in religious and intellectual debates. Examining her contemporary reputation and image, the author casts a light on everyday life, gossip and politics in Tudor London.
The Great War
Through Picture Postcards
Picture postcards were the main way that troops and their families communicated during the 1914‒18 war, and the illustrations and slogans they displayed give us insights into their lives and attitudes. The more than 500 contemporary cards in this collection come from a variety of home fronts and theatres of war around the world. They demonstrate everything from patriotic propaganda and angry satire to startling images of mass graves, proud displays of new weapons and soldiers cheerfully posing in gas masks.
Ferries Across the Humber
The Story of the Humber Ferries and the Last Coal-Burning Paddle Steamers in Regular Service in Britain
Before a bridge was built across the Humber in 1981, ferries had provided the link between East Yorkshire and Lincolnshire. Drawing on archive photographs, ephemera and personal accounts, this illustrated story of the services that plied the waters focuses on the paddle steamers that operated on the river from 1814 up until the 1970s, and in particular on the last vessels in service, Tattershall Castle, Lincoln Castle and Wingfield Castle.
By Train; Murray Naylor - 2 Books
In these two books, Murray Naylor acts as our guide to a selection of cathedrals and churches, all of which are within easy reach of a railway station. He offers an introduction and personal appreciation of the ecclesiastical builders and their contribution to Christian culture, and observations on the railway, past and present, and its engineers. Both books include details and maps of rail routes and around 200 photographs. The two titles included in this set are: England's Cathedrals by Train (Read more...) England's Historic Churches by Train (Read more...)
Fact Files - 4 Books
Each of the titles in Pen and Sword's Fact File series gives an overview of a class of military equipment. Every model or variation is given a separate entry containing a brief history, technical data table, illustrations and photographs, often of it in use. The four titles included in this set are: German Half-Tracks and Wheeled Vehicles (Read more...) German Artillery (Read more...) Panzers of the Wehrmacht (Read more...) German Heavy Artillery Guns (Read more...)
Horse-drawn tramways were superseded by cable and electric systems in the early 20th century, and in the big cities of Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh and Glasgow extensive services operated into the 1950s and 1960s. Focusing on these centres and with nearly 200 images, fleet lists, maps and details of route openings and closures, this volume tells the story of Scotland’s trams up to the costly new line that opened in Edinburgh in 2014.
In order to have enough work to sell at his first exhibition, Jonathan Clay left the backgrounds to some locomotive compositions blank, intending to complete them later. The sale of these canvases helped establish his career as a railway artist and also set a signature style of composition. This collection of 150 paintings includes historic British steam engines, diesels from the BR era and narrow-gauge locos as well as engines from America and elsewhere.
The Siege of Leningrad
The Military History of the Third Reich from Germany Newsreels
Part of the Hitler’s War Machine series tracing the military history of the Third Reich through wartime German newsreels with English translation, this film records the decisive and massively destructive siege of Leningrad, which lasted from September 1941 to the Red Army victory in January 1944.
The Nuremberg Trials
The 1947 Soviet Documentary
This DVD presents a rare film from 1947: the Soviet documentary of the Nuremberg trials, which, despite its partisan nature, is interesting for making the Soviet case against some of the more lenient sentences. World War II from Primary Sources series.
Heinkel He 111
Combat Operations 1939–1944
The He 111 was a primary Luftwaffe medium bomber in service 1939 to 1944. Using subtitled footage from the weekly Wochenschau newsreels, this DVD shows bomber crews preparing for and carrying out raids on Polish cities during the German invasion, along with footage of the destruction.
Hitler's War Machine
The start of Operation Barbarossa is depicted in this collection of subtitled footage from the Wochenschau newsreels. Starting with Hitler’s repudiation of the Non-Aggression Pact, it shows battle scenes, Jewish ghetto clearances and captured Bolsheviks from Russia’s borders with the Baltic States and Eastern Europe.
100 Years War
The Battle of Crécy was the first major conflict in the 100 Years War. The Battlefield History TV team visit its location, and use source material, reconstructions and demonstrations of medieval military equipment to show how the battle established the effectiveness of the longbow in action.
The Women's Army Auxiliary Corps in France, 1917–1921
Women Urgently Wanted
Documenting the experiences of the WAACs who served in France, this study follows the women from enrolment to demobilization, notes the part they played in the Spring Offensive of 1918 and the Armistice, and analyses how the army, the general public and the press viewed them.
William Boyd Dawkins and the Victorian Science of Cave Hunting
Three Men in a Cavern
Among the first ‘cave hunters’ to work within a scientific framework and recognize the long evolutionary context for humans and animals, William Boyd Dawkins (1837–1929) was a renowned, yet controversial geologist, palaeontologist and archaeologist. Mark White sets out to rekindle interest in Dawkins, tracing his life and career from ‘boyhood to burial’, with accounts of his work at Wookey Hole, the Manchester museum, the 1874 Channel tunnel project and ‘one of Victorian archaeology’s darkest hours’, the Creswell Crags excavations of 1875–79.
Whitechapel's Sherlock Holmes
The Casebook of Fred Wensley OBE, KPM - Victorian Crimebuster
Dick Kirby reopens the casebook of Fred Wensley OBE KPM, the Somerset gardener who joined the Metropolitan Police in 1888 and within months began arresting murderers. An enormously successful detective, he cracked high profile cases including the Bessarabian, Odessa and Vendetta gangs; he played a decisive part in the Siege of Sidney Street; and investigated – although unsuccessfully – the serial murders by Jack the Ripper.
A Waste of Blood and Treasure
The 1799 Anglo-Russian Invasion of the Netherlands
In 1799 Britain and Russia joined forces – their first such joint venture – to send a 48,000 strong army to liberate the Netherlands from French occupation. This first study for a generation of an important but neglected campaign explains the diplomatic manoeuvring that preceded it, and the political fallout from its failure. Drawing on eyewitness reports from soldiers, sailors and politicians, and supported by six maps, it also offers descriptions of the major battles.
Victorians and Edwardians Abroad
The Beginning of the Modern Holiday
The Polytechnic Touring Agency (PTA) was created in 1888 to cater for the growing numbers of lower middle-class people who could for the first time afford to holiday abroad. From the PTA archive at the University of Westminster, this book presents the recollections of those who enjoyed ‘Poly holidays’ before 1914. Illustrated with postcards, photographs and promotional items, it records their train journeys to Paris, Switzerland and Italy, and reveals a penchant for mischievous fun.
100 Criminal Lives
The practice of transporting criminals to Australia was abandoned in 1868 and replaced by the convict system: serious offenders were sentenced to ‘penal servitude’ in UK prisons and later released on license. Using information in licensees’ records, this volume presents brief biographies of 100 criminals, arranged in an A–Z, from Samuel Ainge (b.1820) who, after a seemingly blameless life was arrested for embezzlement in 1883, to Mary Wright (b.1853), who drowned her young daughter in 1880.
A Steam Engine Pilgrimage
The broadcaster Anthony Burton shares an account of his experience of travelling around Britain on a variety of different modes of steam-powered transport, framing each of his journeys within its historical context. Among other adventures, he shovels coal into the boiler of an old Clyde Puffer, takes a trip across Windermere on an Edwardian-era launch and hitches a ride in a replica of Richard Trevithick’s ‘Puffing Devil’ with one of the famed engineer's direct descendants.
Six for the Tolpuddle Martyrs
The Epic Struggle for Justice and Freedom
Taking its title from a radical version of the song ‘Green Grow the Rushes, O’, this history explores the lives and politics of the six Dorset farm labourers sentenced to transportation in 1834 for attempting to establish a trade union. It records the struggle against a reduction in agricultural wages that led to their arrest and trial, their experiences in Australia, and the public campaign that brought about their eventual pardon and homecoming.