No catches, no fine print just unadulterated book loving, with your favourite books saved to your own digital bookshelf.
New members get entered into our monthly draw to win £100 to spend in your local bookshop Plus lots lots more…Find out more
This is an epic history of the people who laid the foundations of the Christian faith in a Viking-ravaged land, forged a new identity in a time of tragedy and miracles, then rebelled against what they saw as corruption of their Faith and Church. It covers the two counties of Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire showing how their peoples interconnected and spread ideas. In a story running from the early 7th Century until 1660, Adrian Gray places great and intriguing figures in the context of their times and in an unfolding story of spiritual change, rebellion and sometimes death. You will meet again some well-known figures such as Saint Hugh of Lincoln, Thomas Cranmer the architect of the Church of England, and the mercurial George Fox from Mansfield who formed the Quakers; you will learn more about the first leaders of the Baptist Church and those who became the 'Mayflower' Pilgrims, but the text also restores to our attention many more fascinating and often radical figures who have been forgotten over time. These include a range of characters stretching from Guthlac, whose supernatural experiences in the Fens became the first English biography, to Elizabeth Hooton, the Nottinghamshire Quaker who travelled the world and escaped death many times. Often, these people were motivated by a quest for a better Faith and Church, leading them from the 'heresy' of Lollardism to be champions of the Reformation and ultimately leaders of the Civil War against King Charles I. Many died for their beliefs. The story also has its fair share of 'villains' including corrupt and venal bishops, despotic leaders who sent those who disagreed with them to the stake or the gallows, on both sides of the Atlantic, and one of Elizabethan England's most sinister torturers.
In this comprehensive work, familiar Dickensian themes of grisly murders and ragged street urchins are joined by other dramatic cases, which show patterns of crime and illustrate the causes and effects of changes in criminal law. The author shows how both pure greed and genuine mental illness were responsible for unpleasant cases - such as the murder of an elderly aristocrat in his bed or the poisoning of a series of 'working girls'. Changes in the law are charted, showing how new offences were created from old customs, and how the law was updated to deal with modern problems such as motor cars.In a book that covers the complete range of crime, the reader will meet many colourful characters including Courvoisier, a murderous butler. With many gruesome details and excellent illustrations, this book will appeal to London and Victorian historians as well as the macabre-minded.
Written by Adrian Gray, a former Executive Committee member. It shows that school inspection has been a key factor in the European educational landscape for 200 years. The book also explains how inspection and evaluation approaches have changed and developed, especially over the last fifty years, reflecting changing ideas about school leadership and accountability - and also responding to technical changes such as new data and exam systems. This is an important step for SICI as they seek to grow and extend their influence on best inspection practice. They will be developing a number of conference presentations around the content of the book which will be adapted to the needs of audiences such as policymakers, school leaders and new school inspectors. The content will be of great value for education policymakers and inspectors globally as we see how inspection works in different contexts.
Lincolnshire has a great tradition of story-telling and myth-making, reflecting its true character as one of the most mysterious and rural of the English counties. Stories of saints, demons, wicked men and nocturnal goings-on proliferate, perhaps more than any other county. These entertaining, informative and often humorous stories broadly reflect the old battles if Light versus Dark in stories of Vikings against monks, saints against devils, romantic lovers against wicked parents, with the odd pirate, lustful friar, and mad politician mixed in for good measure.
A small circle drawn around North Nottinghamshire and West Lincolnshire, centred on Retford/Gainsborough, encompasses the origins of most of the important English-speaking Protestant denominations. With Thomas Cranmer born just to the south, this area of market towns and quiet villages has produced generation after generation of radical Christians who have changed the shape of the Faith across the World.The first generation of puritans gave birth to separatists, Congregationalists and the 'Mayflower' Pilgrims. With them came the first Baptists, then the Quakers, the Wesleys and Methodism, whilst recent years have also produced some significant global Christian leaders. In between this area gave rise to calls for religious freedom for all, and had a significant impact on the America Constitution. Since 1800, missionaries have left this quiet countryside to explore locations as diverse as Fiji, Papua New Guinea and southern Africa.Adrian Gray's book tells the stories of the people, their struggles and sacrifice, showing how even humble folk from unimportant villages could change whole cultures. But it is also a story of great noble men and women who used their money to spread the Word and some who paid for their beliefs with their lives at the stake, on the gallows, in a prison cell or even in a cannibal's pot.The villages are arranged alphabetically throughout the book.
Dark and foggy Victorian streets, the murderous madman, the arsenic-laced evening meal - we all think we know the realities of Victorian crime. Adrian Gray's thrilling book recounts the classic murders, by knife and poison, but it also covers much more, taking the reader into less familiar parts of Victorian life, uncovering the wicked, the vengeful, the foolish and the hopeless amongst the criminal world of the nineteenth century. Here you will encounter the women who sold their children, corrupt bankers, smugglers, highwaymen, the first terrorists, bloodthirsty mutineers and petty thieves; you will meet the 'mesmerists' who fooled a credulous public, and even the Salvation Army band that went to gaol. Gray journeys through the cities, villages, lanes, mills and sailing ships of the period, ranging from Carlisle to Cornwall, showing how our laws today have been shaped by what the Victorians considered acceptable - or made illegal.
The Forest of Sherwood combines many of the most romantic elements of English history in one place. The ruthless Norman monarchs hunted here, but the Forest was still full of peasant life while great events were taking place at Clipstone's royal 'palace'. The Norman barons, fearing death and judgement, gifted land to the monasteries, and the monks became the first great owners of Sherwood besides the king. When the monasteries were swept away their place was quickly taken by acquisitive landowners who, through marriage and payment, became the new aristocracy. Some say they actually stole what was left of Sherwood from the Crown itself. For a brief time these gilded nobles ruled the Forest and the whole country, building political dynasties on local wealth and influence, with grand houses to match. The discovery of coal seemed to offer an even grander future of limitless wealth but it all vanished in barely two generations as stiffer taxation, combined with excessive gambling, womanising and wasteful living, threw away wealth that had taken generations to build up. Today Sherwood and the Dukeries has a different economy, increasingly based on tourism, as visitors come to see a Forest that is more legendary now than it ever was in centuries gone by. There have been many books about the Dukeries, but they have usually concentrated on one family or one house. Adrian Gray weaves together the story of places and people that have made the area special, although not necessarily in the way that tourists imagine.