How Fat Was Henry VIII?
And Other Questions on Royal History
Beginning with a section of 'Royal Conundrums' such as the nature of Queen Victoria's relationship with John Brown and whether James II's baby son was a changeling, Raymond Lamont-Brown indulges our curiosity about all things royal with very thorough answers. Other sections include Pretenders and Usurpers; Murders, Plots and Assassinations; Palaces, Castles and Love Nests; and finally, Rumour and Scandal - wherein we learn which monarch topped the list for siring royal bastards.
'You've Never Had It So Good!'
Recollections of Life in the 1950s
With full employment, a boom in car sales, and washing machines making housework less of a chore, life in the 1950s certainly seemed better than ever before. Following a theme, such as family life, childhood or the rise of television, each chapter in this compendium brings together recollections of those who lived through the decade, remembering everything from sweet rationing to the meagre contents of a Christmas stocking, and how to find Indian spices.
The Private Diaries and Sketches of Edward Norton, 1922–24
EF ‘Teddy’ Norton was a member of the record-breaking 1922 Everest expedition and leader of the ill-fated 1924 ascent, during which his fellow climbers Mallory and Irvine disappeared. His official account has become a classic, but his private diaries and sketches have never before been published. Edited by his grandson, they provide a gripping account of the triumphs and tragedies of these pioneering expeditions, alongside vivid colour sketches of the landscapes, plants, wildlife and people of pre-war Tibet.
The Victorian Master Criminal
Charles Peace and the Murders of Cock and Dyson
Charles Peace had served several short prison terms for burglary before he killed a policeman during a robbery in Manchester in 1876. Later the same year a second murder provoked a nationwide hunt for Peace, who was only apprehended two years later in London, where he had been living luxuriously on the proceeds of his crimes. This book tells the story of one of Victorian England's most notorious criminals, his trial, eventual confession and execution.
The Tudors in 100 Objects
Beginning with a silver-gilt boar, the emblem of Richard III, retrieved from the site of the Battle of Bosworth and Henry Tudor’s victory, John Matusiak sets himself the task of ‘recreating Tudor England through the medium of 100 objects’. Arranged by theme, and unravelling the stories behind objects as diverse as a birthing chair, a velvet sun mask, a chimney and an executioner’s axe, the book is a fascinating exploration of the social and material world of Tudor times.
The Thieves of Threadneedle Street
The Victorian Fraudsters Who Almost Broke the Bank of England
Although still in his twenties, Austin Bidwell was an experienced international criminal at the time of his arrest for a fraud on the Bank of England in 1873. Based on court transcripts, witness statements, diaries and letters, this book tells the story of the American con man and his four co-conspirators who successfully passed off bills of exchange for large sums before a small mistake led to their arrest and a trial that exposed the fragility of the financial system.
Thatcher's Secret War
Subversion, Coercion, Secrecy and Government, 1974–90
Margaret Thatcher remains one of Britain’s most polarizing prime ministers. This provocative investigation sheds new light on the Iron Lady’s war against the ‘enemies within’: striking miners, trades unionists, anti-nuclear protestors, feminists, gay rights campaigners and poll tax protesters. Drawing on countless news reports, studies and personal recollections, it sifts the real conspiracies from the theories that flourished in a paranoid age, to chart the lasting effects of the growth of the secret state on British society.
The Story of the World's Airshipmen
In 1926 the Italian airship designer Umberto Nobile flew an airship across the Arctic to accomplish the first ever transpolar flight. Aboard the Norge was the famous Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen. Two years later Amundsen would die trying to rescue Nobile from the ice after his airship crashed. This book recalls some of the intrepid pilots of the airship era and their pioneering achievements.
A Signaller's War
The Sketchbook Diary of Pte L Ellis
Underage at 17, Lawrence Ellis joined up to fight in 1915. He served first as a private in the Royal Field Artillery, then in the Corps of Royal Signallers on the Western Front, witnessing the aftermath of the Somme and action at Cambrai. Ellis kept a diary of his wartime experiences, from training to demobilization, to which he later added more detail and over 1,000 sketches: a vivid account of a young volunteer’s coming of age in the trenches.
The Shipwreck Cannibals
Captain John Deane and the Boon Island Flesh Eating Scandal
In August 1710, the Nottingham Galley was wrecked off the New England coast. By ordering his crew to eat their dead shipmates, its captain ensured that ten of them survived. But was he a hero or a bloodthirsty cannibal?
Ships to Remember
1400 Years of Historic Ships
The world’s largest passenger ship when it was launched in 1906, and holder of the Blue Riband transatlantic speed record, the Lusitania was already notable before it was sunk by a U-boat in 1915. Other less grand vessels, including the lifeboats in which Captain Bligh and Ernest Shackleton made spectacular voyages, are also included in this collection of maritime stories, and illustrated with maps and drawings and paintings by Austin Dwyer.
Scotland Yard's History of Crime in 100 Objects
Established in 1875, Scotland Yard's private collection of items gathered from notorious crime scenes, informally known as the Black Museum, represents a history of crime on British soil. Each of the artefacts chosen for this book prompts an exploration of a different area of criminal activity, the objects ranging from the poisoned pellet used to assassinate Georgi Markov in 1978 to the fingerprint-covered ketchup bottle that helped convict the Great Train Robbers in 1964.
The Quest for Speed
Air Racing and the Influence of the Schneider Trophy Contests 1913–31
The Schneider Trophy, a seaplane speed contest held between 1913 and 1931, played an important role in the development of aviation technology between the wars. Manufacturers from rival powers learnt from each other’s innovations and designers developed concepts that would shape the iconic fighters of the Second World War. This book examines each of the competitions and the aircraft entered for them and also assesses how Supermarine’s race-winning planes were developed into the Spitfire.
Passenger Steamers of the River Conwy
Serving the Famous Trefriw Spa
In the 19th century, Trefriw, twelve miles upstream from Conwy in North Wales, began to attract visitors to sample the healing waters of its chalybeate well, which encouraged the foundation of a passenger steamer service to the village. This book explores the tourist steamer fleet that flourished on the route throughout the century and into the Edwardian period, and also the development of Trefriw into a fashionable spa town.
Britain's Secret Wartime Expedition to Antarctica 1944–46
In 1943, Winston Churchill’s War Cabinet met to discuss the opening of a new front – not on the beaches of Normandy or in the jungles of Burma, but amid the blizzards and glaciers of the Antarctic. Operation Tabarin tells the remarkable story of this secret mission to establish British sovereignty in the region, describing how the expedition laid the foundations for decades of government-sponsored scientific research – and would eventually lead to the Falklands War.
One of the Few
A Story of Personal Challenge Through the Battle of Britain and Beyond
One of the most successful RAF squadrons during the Battle of Britain in 1940 was 303 Polish Squadron, manned by exiled Poles but led by Johnny Kent, a Canadian pilot who had joined the RAF in the mid 1930s and had already won the Air Force Cross for his work as a test pilot before the war began. His memoir, first published in the 1970s, is presented here in an expanded edition with additional biographical information and photographs.