The English and Their History
In this much-acclaimed work, Robert Tombs traces England’s development from ‘an idea’ to a kingdom, a country, a people and a culture, and he makes collective memory an inherent part of the story. Emphasizing the role of memory creators and carriers such as language, literature, law, religious and political institutions, and historical writing, Tombs focuses on four ‘themes’: the aftermath of the Norman Conquest; the English Civil War; empire; and the recent sense of the nation in decline. American cut pages and felt-tip mark on lower trimmed edge. Off-mint.
Our History of the 20th Century
As Told in Diaries, Journals and Letters
From Queen Victoria’s journal entry for 1 January 1900, (‘full of anxiety & fear of what may be before us!’) to MP Oona King’s lament at spending the end of the millennium in a queue, Elborough’s compilation presents personal, contemporary and candid responses to world history as it happened. The book features over 100 diarists and provides one or more writers’ reaction to every major event or trend, whether a world war, the 1975 Europe Referendum or the latest Star Wars movie.
The World in Motion
The year 1616 brought such notable events as the arrival of a samurai in the Vatican, the Inquisition’s investigation of Galileo, the deaths of Shakespeare and Cervantes, the visit of Matoaka (‘Pocahontas’) to London, and the first stage appearance of Father Christmas. In this illustrated history of the year Christensen interweaves stories from around the world, highlighting themes relating to the global economy, international travel, women’s emerging roles and developments in art and science as the modern age was being born.
Into the Abyss
The Story of the First World War, Volume One
Volume one of this authoritative account of the First World War covers 1914 and 1915, examining the machinations of the belligerent parties, from the Habsburgs and the Serbs to the Hohenzollerns and the Ottoman Turks, in the 34 days leading up to outbreak. Each chapter presents extensive background information on people, places and events, including the French and British military commanders, pre-war London and Paris, the war at sea, and the technology that assured both deadlock and mutual destruction.
The Illustrated History
In this authoritative yet very approachable exploration of the Tudor dynasty and the politics of personal monarchy, Richard Rex presents a series of essays on the five monarchs, their public lives and such details of their private lives as were of intense interest to their subjects. Through these royal profiles, each richly illustrated with reproductions of contemporary paintings, Rex provides a vivid narrative of the Tudor era and its crucial role in the emergence of the English state.
Last Hope Island
In this epic narrative – a former Mail on Sunday Book of the Year – the American popular historian Lynne Olson focuses on the relationships between Britain and the governments from occupied Europe that found refuge in London during the Second World War. She explores their valuable contributions to the Allied war effort, as well as Britain’s staunch resistance to Hitler, and the exploits of the fighters across Europe who were inspired by the British ‘beacon of hope’.
Tales from Gombe
Made famous by the long-term studies conducted by Jane Goodall, the chimpanzees of the Gombe National Park by Lake Tanganyika in Tanzania have revealed previously unknown behaviours, such as the use of tools and meat-eating, and have shown that the apes have complex social relationships and individual personalities. This large-format photographic study captures the chimps over a period of more than ten years and contains notes on the history of the community and the lineages of its prominent dynasties.
Albion's Glorious Ile
The Shyres of England & Wales in IV Volumes
Each of these four volumes begins with verses from Poly-Olbion – a 17th-century poem by Michael Drayton – accompanied by black-and-white maps of the various regions of England, showing geographical features represented by gods, nymphs and faeries. These are colouring books, but not in the contemporary sense: the black-line images should be carefully washed over with watercolours, according to cartographic tradition. Slipcased.
The Most Beautiful Universities in the World
From the ancient Italian and Spanish universities of Bologna and Salamanca, to the ultramodern Rolex Learning Centre, part of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology opened in 2010, the architecture of universities has reflected a striving for cultural and intellectual excellence. In this selection of 23 universities from 15 countries, Guillaume de Laubier presents photographic studies of their facades, libraries, ceremonial halls and teaching buildings, while writer Jean Serroy outlines the history of each institution and its architecture.
Living on Paper
Letters from Iris Murdoch 1934–1995
The philosopher and novelist Iris Murdoch (1919–1999) would spend up to four hours a day on her correspondence, writing to friends, lovers, students, fans and even casual acquaintances. This selection of her letters, edited and introduced by Avril Horner and Anne Rowe, gives a kaleidoscopic portrait of a life lived to capacity and marked by numerous emotional imbroglios and intense friendships with fellow philosopher Philippa Foot and novelist Brigid Brophy, alongside a long and stable marriage to John Bayley.
The Master's Muse
Artists' Cats and Dogs
Matisse’s dogs dance in a circle, Turner’s dog walks with his master into a vortex of fiery light, while Rachel Whiteread’s dog sits mournfully in front of a cast of his kennel. Thinking about what Marc Chagall’s dog might look like prompted Barratt to begin his paintings and prints of dogs and cats, each executed in the style of the animal’s owner. Altogether there are 99 cat or dog portraits, poking gentle fun at artists from Holbein to Tracy Emin.
Epitaphs of The Great War: Passchendaele
Inscriptions on the graves of the First World War dead were limited to 66 characters; a restriction that drove many to create compact, original and profound epitaphs, often relying on quotation or allusion. This book presents 100 headstone inscriptions for the dead of Passchendaele, giving details of the deceased, quoting the biblical or literary passages alluded to and explaining the contemporary meaning of the words, whether plain ‘He did his bit’, or the poetic ‘While the light lasts I shall remember. Georgina’.
Abbotsford to Zion
The Story of Scottish Place Names Around the World
Despite the A–Z of the title, this book takes a thematic approach as it tells the stories behind a selection of Scottish names of far-flung places. Starting with the explorers and pioneers who opened up wilderness lands, from Sir Alexander Mackenzie in Canada to Dundee Island in Antarctica, chapters describe the Scottish traders and migrants to North America, Australia and New Zealand who named places after themselves, their heroes or their homeland.
Thinker, Failure, Soldier, Jailer
An Anthology of Great Lives in 365 Days
With character portraits, anecdotes and tales of the unexpected, and including adventurers and criminals along with the MPs and archbishops, the obituary page of the Telegraph established by Hugh Massingberd in 1986 is now a much-loved institution. Gleaned from those columns, here are obituaries for every day of the year, from the Coronation Street actress Margot Bryant (1 January 1988) to Geoffrey Van-Hay, manager of El Vino, the Fleet Street journalists’ bar (31 December 2009).
Evolving English Wordbank
A Glossary of Present-Day English Dialect and Slang
Jonathan Robinson curates the British Museum's archive of sound recordings illustrating British accents and dialects. He has compiled this quirky yet fascinating glossary by using such audio material collected from present-day dialect speakers, as well as old dictionaries' evidence of historical usage, so that the Wordbank not only provides a snapshot of vernacular English in the early 21st century but also reveals the ancient origins of many words and phrases in use today.
The Reluctant Ambassador
The Life and Times of Sir Thomas Chaloner, Tudor Diplomat
After serving in the household of Thomas Cromwell during the reign of Henry VIII, Thomas Chaloner became a diplomat in France, Scotland, Flanders and finally, in 1559, he was made resident ambassador at the court of Phillip II in Madrid. This biographical study examines Chaloner as a prime example of an educated, but not aristocratic man, a humanist, the translator of Erasmus’ The Praise of Folly, and astute enough to weather the storms of four Tudor monarchs.
A Capital History
This wide-ranging and extensively illustrated survey explores every aspect of London’s politics, not only in its position as the capital of the nation, seat of the monarchy and home of Parliament, but in all its diversity. Richard Tames charts the development of the city’s often contentious local government, its long-standing function as a magnet for exiled revolutionaries, and its role as an arena of conflict for strikers, suffragettes, Fenians and fascists.
The Modern Explorers
Any idea that our planet has been completely tamed is dispelled by the 39 thrilling expeditions in this book. Discover what it is like to be dragged, hanging from a balloon, through a rainforest, to inch up a sheer rock-face, or to trek through a desert as the water runs out. Illustrated with more than 250 breathtaking colour photographs, these gripping first-hand accounts demonstrate that the spirit of adventure is very much alive in the 21st century.
The New Army to the Somme
Lord Kitchener recognized the need for recruitment on an unprecedented scale in 1914 and his call for 'the First Hundred Thousand' was quickly met by enthusiastic volunteers. Local regiments were then created, encouraging brothers, friends and workmates to join up in companionable 'pals' battalions, but eventually the government was forced to introduce conscription. This study of these early volunteer soldiers, dubbed by the original regulars of 1914 as Kitchener's Mob, includes illustrations of recruitment literature, archive photographs and military memorabilia.
City of London in the Great War
Your Towns and Cities in the Great War
Throughout the First World War, London played a major part in the conflict; the seat of government and centre of finance, it was the target of bombing raids by Zeppelins and Gotha biplanes. This absorbing history charts the city’s spirited response – the establishment of recruiting centres, women’s war work, the treatment of 11,396 wounded servicemen at St Thomas’s Hospital, and the execution of twelve German spies in the Tower.
Things That Are
Encounters with Plants, Stars and Animals
Amy Leach’s debut collection of creative non-fiction displays a remarkable fusion of enchanting poetic language, quirky humour and factual information relating to the natural world and our communion with it. From lilies and peas, frogs and beavers to the moon, constellations and exploding stars, each of these 26 short pieces is filled with what Olivia Laing has called a ‘tumultuous, incantatory rejoicing in the astonishing multiplicity of the Earth’.
The Word Detective
A Life in Words: From Serendipity to Selfie
The former chief editor of the Oxford English Dictionary, John Simpson spent almost four decades immersed in the intricacies of language. His memoir describes the career of a lexicographer who revels in the excitement of historical dictionary work. It is also a celebration of the English language, describing how words come and go; how culture shapes the language we use; and how technology has transformed not only the way we speak and write but also how words are made.
Peacock or Enigma?
Philosopher or poseur, aristocrat or democrat, austere classicist or flamboyant eccentric? More than 200 years after Beau Brummell dazzled London with his elegance, the dandy remains an enigma. This entertaining, richly anecdotal history charts the evolution of dandyism from London to Paris, St Petersburg to Hollywood. Along the way, we meet a long line of men – Byron, Disraeli, Oscar Wilde, F Scott Fitzgerald, and Noël Coward among them – who dedicated their lives to making a stand against drab conformity.
Britain's Great War Experience
Life at Home and Abroad 1914–1918
Beyond the horrors of the Western Front, the First World War sent Britons to the far corners of the globe and affected all aspects of life on the home front. This portfolio of contemporary photographs, documents, letters and ephemera (first published as The Worst Ordeal in 1994) takes the broadest view of the conflict – from the experiences of soldiers, sailors and airmen and their families to dealing with strikes, volunteer work, rationing, conscientious objectors and the Irish rebellion at home.
When the Office Went to War
War Letters from the Men of the Great Western Railway
When men from the Great Western Railway’s audit division left to fight in the First World War, they began to correspond with staff back home in the Paddington office where their letters were compiled into monthly ‘newsletters’. Twelve of these newsletters are arranged chronologically in this touching collection, in which a group of colleagues bound together by work, yet scattered across France, Belgium, the Dardanelles, Greece, India and Egypt, pour out their thoughts and reflections about life on the front.
The Secret Lives of Hair
As well as wigs, toupees and extensions, there are many uses for and beliefs about human hair. Indian traders call it ‘black gold’; in China a protein derived from it was once used in soy sauce; and in 1920s America there was a craze for using it to make ‘invisible’ hairnets. Anthropologist Emma Tarlo travelled the world to search out the facts and here presents the many remarkable hair-related stories she uncovered.
A History and Celebration of Swimming the River Thames
It is now illegal to swim in the Thames through London, where the busy river traffic and dangerous currents are more immediate dangers than the health threat from the water. However, once there were beaches, diving pontoons and swimming clubs along the capital's waterfront as well as along the river's 200-mile journey from Gloucestershire. This book celebrates the history of swimming in the Thames from recreational bathers and champion racers of past centuries to the wild swimmers of today.
Domestic Life, Devastation and Survival 1900–1950
From 1917 to 1945, Paul Ginsborg views great events and transitions through the lens of family life, examining the role of families (and radical alternatives to families) in the social and political life of the nation-state. The book focuses on five nations: revolutionary Russia and the Soviet Union; Turkey in the transition from Ottoman Empire to republic; Italy under Fascism; Spain during and after the Civil War; and Germany from the failure of the Weimar Republic to the Nazi state.
Fleeing from the Führer
A Postal History of Refugees from the Nazis
Between 1933, when the Nazis came to power, and the end of the Second World War in 1945, displacement, enforced emigration and deportation became commonplace for families, particularly Jewish families, across Europe. Based on a collection of postcards, envelopes and other ephemera, and covering post from alien internment camps, refugee organizations, refugees in China and Japan, and displaced persons after 1945, this book explores how postal communication – often the only remaining link between separated family members – was achieved in wartime.
The Summer of '45
Stories and Voices from VE Day to VJ Day
The events of the months between the fall of Germany in May 1945 and the surrender of Japan in August would dictate the world order for generations. Combining archive material and original interviews with eyewitnesses, this people's history tells the story of civilians, soldiers, victors and vanquished across the globe during a fateful summer – from the VE celebrations in London and the continued fighting in the Pacific to the elation of VJ Day and the terrible aftermath of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
The Course of History
Ten Meals That Changed the World
World-changing decisions have been made over dinner, from the post-Napoleonic Congress of Vienna to Nixon’s historic meeting with Zhou Enlai. This enlightening book not only reveals the importance of dining to diplomacy, it enlists the acclaimed restaurateur Tony Singh to recreate the menus, from the Capon Stuffed with Virginia Ham eaten by Hamilton, Madison and Jefferson as they discussed the new US capital to the Poached Salmon Trout with Caviar consumed by Churchill, Stalin and Roosevelt in Tehran.
A Tommy in the Family
First World War Family History and Research
The First World War touched the life of everyone in Britain in one way or another and many families hold treasured mementos in the form of medals, letters home and war diaries. This book explores 20 different human stories revealed by investigating such keepsakes connected with the author's own extended family, and also provides tips and advice about discovering and analysing ancestral information so that readers can research their own families.
The Workers' War
British Industry and the First World War
Despite early optimism that the First World War would be swiftly concluded and cause little disruption to British life, the long struggle in fact turned British industry on its head, encouraging technological and organizational advances and a rethinking of traditional gender roles as women took the place of men in the factories. This book examines how different industries coped with the demands of the war and the heroic efforts made by ordinary men and women to keep industry moving.
Prisoners, Lovers, and Spies
The Story of Invisible Ink from Herodotus to Al-Qaeda
Kristie Macrakis begins by describing how she unearthed a formula for invisible ink in the Stasi archives, which inspired her to pen this history of secret writing, from the simple but ingenious techniques used in ancient Greece and Rome to the newest opportunities for concealment provided by computer files and DNA microdots. In an appendix she offers a selection of recipes for invisible inks derived from such everyday ingredients as porridge and tonic water.
The Science and Showbiz of Hypnosis
An Olivier award-winning performer, accredited hypnotherapist and the first-ever artist in residence at the British Library, Christopher Green presents an illustrated history of hypnosis, covering both the reputable side of the subject – brain imaging, clinical trials, hypnotherapy etc – and the smoke and mirrors of stage ‘mesmerists’ and hypnotists. ‘I love hypnosis’, writes Green, ‘I don’t know of any other subject that is at once so erudite and yet so trashy’.
The Society Doctor Who Held Victorian London Spellbound
Physician John Elliotson and his friend Thomas Wakley, founding editor of The Lancet, were well-known medical pioneers in Victorian London. Yet when Elliotson championed the new ‘science’ of mesmerism, which purported to dull surgical pain, their friendship – and Elliotson’s credibility – were severely tested. Against a backdrop of Victorian lecture theatres and hospital wards, the two distinguished men publicly clashed over a technique which, for all its successes and failures, is still little understood.
Trials of Passion
Crimes in the Name of Love and Madness
In judging ‘crimes of passion’, where should we draw the line between the ‘mad’ and the ‘bad’? This question featured prominently at several sensational trials between 1870 and 1914 as lawyers began to argue with psychiatrists over the inner lives of murderers. Focusing on three such trials in different countries, this book uses court and asylum records, letters and newspaper accounts to highlight the social debates prompted by the mind doctors’ new concepts of insanity.
Tyranny and The Lash
Prisoners and Punishment in British History
Medieval people gave little thought to prisoners or to the conditions in which they were kept, but by Victorian times troubling questions were being asked about the purpose and effectiveness of incarceration. Wade traces the evolving nature, use and management of British prisons over the centuries, asks whether changes in practices such as hard labour and solitary confinement have made the prison system more humane and investigates how social changes led to new definitions of criminality.
For nearly 4,000 years Egyptians skilfully embalmed both human and animal bodies in accordance with beliefs about their destiny in the afterlife; many mummies are still so well preserved that we can extract evidence about ancient people's lives and even gaze on their faces. Presenting examples of the embalmer's art now in the British Museum, Taylor explains the mummification and burial processes and the techniques used to study mummies today.
An Illustrated Introduction to Ancient Egypt
Choosing to describe different aspects of how ancient Egyptian people lived rather than present a chronological account, Charlotte Booth begins with the environment in which Egyptian civilization arose and endured for 3,500 years; then goes on to deal with religion, village life, childhood, and disease, death and the afterlife.
An Illustrated Introduction to Ancient Rome
This concise and accessible guide outlines the political and social history of ancient Rome, from the foundation myth of Romulus and Remus to the coming of Christianity and the end of the Western Roman Empire. With evidence drawn from the archaeological remains of the ancient city, it shows what we can learn about the lives and beliefs of ordinary citizens as well as the reigns of the greatest – and most infamous – emperors.
An Illustrated Introduction to the Stuarts
Arranged chronologically from the accession of James I in 1603 to the death of Queen Anne in 1714, this book describes an era of unprecedented change and turmoil. The Stuart century saw wars of religion, the Civil War and the plague, but also the flourishing of art, literature, philosophy and science.
On 5 Deben A Day
You have travelled back to 1250 BCE, to the land of the pharaohs – but how will you know which sights to see and what to do? Based on contemporary sources, this entertaining guide offers an archaeologist's advice on the local customs, food and drink, religious festivals and the vibrant cities of Memphis and Thebes. It also teaches such useful phrases as 'Mer pay-ee aa' ('My donkey is ill').
Andrea Carandini, who supervised excavations in Rome for two decades, presents here the archaeological and textual evidence behind his provocative theory about the city's origins in the eighth century BCE. Arguing that Rome did not grow up gradually and anonymously, as scholars have usually believed, he suggests that the legend of Romulus reflects aspects of the truth – that the city was indeed inaugurated, by a king, in a one-day ceremony on the traditional date of 21 April.
The Romance of the Middle Ages
With tales ranging from King Arthur’s Round Table to Alexander the Great’s journeys in the Far East, romance was the most fertile narrative form of the Middle Ages. This book presents treasures from the Bodleian Library to introduce the literary genre of romance and the manuscripts that preserve its texts. The authors also discuss later responses to the tradition: Pre-Raphaelites’ aesthetic appreciation, the enthusiasm of Sir Walter Scott and CS Lewis and the affectionate mockery found in Cervantes and Monty Python.
Blood Cries Afar
The Magna Carta War and the Invasion of England 1215–1217
‘To really understand History’, writes Sean McGlynn, ‘you have to pick up the stone and see what is crawling underneath’. In this book he explores the relationship of war and politics and the nature of warfare in medieval western Europe through a closely detailed study of a much-neglected episode: the invasion of England that was led by Louis, son of the French king Philip Augustus, in 1216, and the civil conflict in England that gave Philip the opportunity to attack.
Graven with Diamonds
The Many Lives of Thomas Wyatt
In her award-winning biography, Nicola Shulman tells the story of enigmatic Tudor courtier Sir Thomas Wyatt and his lyric verse amid the bloody events of Henry VIII’s reign, and describes how his poetry was a means of communication at a time when indiscreet words could cost a man his life. Shulman reveals how Wyatt’s poetry was used and why he wrote, and discusses the changing purpose of his verse ‘at a time when poetry made things happen’.
The Great Mirror of Folly
Finance, Culture, and the Crash of 1720
Inspired by the world’s first major stock-market crash, the South Sea and Mississippi Bubbles, Het groote tafereel der dwaasheid (‘The Great Mirror of Folly’) was published in Amsterdam in late 1720. The book was a compilation of written and visual documents that had circulated during the ‘bubble’. In the present volume, 16 illustrated essays discuss aspects of the Tafereel and the light it sheds on finance and human folly; while a section of plates reproduces 69 of its original pages.