World War One Literature

To mark the centenary of the end of WW1, in 2018, we have gathered together a selection of books, fiction and non-fiction, new titles and old ones, to reflect the tragedy of the First World War.

The War to End All Wars …

This year marks 100 years since the end World War One and even though there are now no people alive today who experienced it first-hand, its impact on the world is still apparent today. 

For anyone wanting to experience the stories and history of the war, the events that led to both Great Wars and their aftermath, we have created a special category of carefully selected non-fiction, poetry and fiction.

World War One, WW1, The Great War, 1914-1918, was on a scale previously unknown.  Millions of lives were lost and vast areas of land destroyed. Triggered by the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, on 28th June 1914, in Sarajevo.

The first World War paved the way for major economic, political and social change and the map of Europe was redrawn. In Britain the labour and suffrage movements grew in strength and support.  Our Royal family cut ties with their German ancestry and took the new name of the House of Windsor.

After the armistice on 11 November 1918 The League of Nations was formed with the aim of ensuring such a terrible conflict would never again occur. But with battle-weakened countries unable to defend themselves and rise of fascism, the world was at war once again in 1939.

Peace and War: Britain in 1914

Peace and War: Britain in 1914

Author: Nigel Jones Format: Paperback Release Date: 04/06/2015

1914 dawned with Britain at peace, albeit troubled by faultlines within and threats without: Ireland trembled on the brink of civil war; suffragette agitation was assuming an ever more violent hue; and suspicions of Germany's ambitions bred a paranoia expressed in a rash of 'invasion scare' literature. Then when shots rang out in Sara-jevo on 28 June, they set in train a tumble of diplomatic dominos that led to Britain declaring war on Germany. Nigel Jones depicts every facet of a year that changed Britain for ever. From gun-running in Ulster to an attack by suffragettes on a Velasquez painting in the National Gallery; from the launch of HMHS Britannic to cricketer J.T. Hearne's 3000th first-class wicket; from the opening of London's first nightclub to the embarking for Belgium of the BEF, he traces the events of a momentous year from its benign domestic beginnings to its descent into the nightmare of European war.

eBooks of the Month
The World's War

The World's War

Author: David Olusoga Format: Paperback Release Date: 09/04/2015

A unique account of the millions of colonial troops who fought in the First World War, and why they were later air-brushed out of history. Every major battle fought on the Western Front, from the First Battle of Ypres to the Second Battle of the Marne, was fought by Allied armies that were multi-racial and multi-ethnic. Yet from the moment the guns fell silent the role of non-white soldiers in the 'Great War for Civilization' was forgotten and airbrushed out by later historians. THE WORLD'S WAR quotes extensively from soldiers' diaries and other eye-witness sources, bringing to life the searing experiences of the hundreds of thousands of non-white troops whose bravery contributed to the final Allied victory.

eBooks of the Month
Gallipoli

Gallipoli

Author: Alan Moorehead, Sir Max Hastings Format: Hardback Release Date: 02/04/2015

April 2015 Non-Fiction Book of the Month. The Centenary of Gallipoli, the First World War campaign that was doomed to failure, bringing about the tragic loss of so many men. First published in 1956, Alan Moorehead’s history of Gallipoli still remains as the definitive study. Now republished with a new introduction from Sir Max Hastings, who recalls how Moorehead’s books became an inspiration for his journalistic career and his own writing.  With in-depth analysis of the campaign, the objectives both sides set themselves, and with character sketches of the main players, it brings the complex operation to life, showing how and why it went so terribly wrong and a century on, remains a by word for the loss of human life.   Like for Like Reading Gallipoli, Julian Thompson Gallipoli, Peter Hart

Books of the Month
The Heroes' Welcome

The Heroes' Welcome

Author: Louisa Young Format: Paperback Release Date: 09/04/2015

The sequel to My Dear, I Wanted To Tell You which was set during World War I.  This is 1919 and Riley has returned from the front with part of his face missing.  This damage is obvious but his close friend Peter comes home with shell-shock, a damage not easily seen and certainly not understood in that period.  Peter battles dreadfully with his depression.  Both men have the love of good women, families and friends but adapting to the world after such a horrific time was challenging for all.  This is a tough subject beautifully handled.  

eBooks of the Month
The General

The General

Author: C. S. Forester, Sir Max Hastings Format: Paperback Release Date: 26/02/2015

Forester is now best known for his Hornblower series but this gem is a vivid and visceral depiction of the First World War. Born in 1899 Forester tried to enlist but failed his medical so never saw the horrors of the trenches first hand but having lived through the era was perfectly placed to dissect it. Written in 1936 it follows the career of a very ordinary officer as he rises through the ranks and comes up against the now mythologised horrors of ‘modern’ trench warfare with a Victorian mindset that saw so many soldiers slaughtered. Fascinating and powerful.

eBooks of the Month
The Cartographer of No Man's Land

The Cartographer of No Man's Land

Author: P. S. Duffy Format: Paperback Release Date: 03/03/2015

Moving, convincing and superbly written, The Cartographer of No Man’s Land is a novel you feel privileged to have read. From the stormy turbulent ocean off of Nova Scotia, to the tormented seas of mud that make up No Man’s Land in 1917; the story sucks you in and swallows you whole as you sink into its rich fertile depths. Strong, steadfast Angus and his son Simon Peter battle to keep their connection, their love alive while divided by the sea they live for. You find that you need the two places, the two stories; home becomes an anchor in the storm of war. The author has a deft touch, she is able to describe both the full horror of battle and simultaneously the beauty that an artists eye can capture and create. Written with care, love and attention to detail, this novel will bring a breath of understanding, a surge of respect and the promise of knowledge that you will remember…you won’t forget. ~ Liz Robinson   A 'Piece of Passion' from the author... 'The initial inspiration for this story was an image that came to me of a boy racing over the rocks to his father, drifting offshore, just beyond his reach. I knew it was in Nova Scotia, a place that holds a piece of my heart. That scene, which I didn’t put in the book, led me to imagine a broken relationship between a father and a son who adored him. A few months later, the prologue came to me and I just wrote it down as fast as I could. Some readers have commented that it is meant to be an idyllic prelude to the upheaval of the war. But I wrote it long before I knew the book would be set during the war. The prologue captures a moment out of time, the kind of moment that you carry with you all your life; and for me, it carried the entire book within it. Then came the effort to understand the fractured father-son relationship, which I knew was somehow related to the father’s war experience. Once I began tunneling down from secondary to primary sources on the war, I was caught up in it myself and everything changed. I began to see my characters there, and new ones appeared and the backstory became the actual story, guided always by the prologue—a father and son in a rowboat in a moment out of time.  The story is seen through the eyes of Angus MacGrath on the Western Front and his 13-year-old son, Simon Peter, back home in their coastal village in Nova Scotia. It is 1916, and Angus, a frustrated artist and skilled navigator and sailor, finds himself lost and without clear purpose. When his best friend and wife’s brother, Ebbin Hant, goes missing at the Front, Angus defies his pacifist-leaning father and enlists. Hoping to find information about Ebbin and assured a position as a military cartographer in London, Angus is instead sent to the front lines with the infantry. There he begins a journey with profound consequences for himself and those he loves. At home Simon Peter is coming of age without his father and learning that the world can shift at a moment’s notice.  It is a story about holding steady in the face of the unknown, the delicate balance between truth and lies, and the grace of connection to one’s self and others. The Cartographer of No Man’s Land is a book to take your time with, and one that many people say they want to read again the minute they have finished.' - P.S. Duffy, author of The Cartographer of No Man’s Land

eBooks of the Month
Zeppelin Nights London in the First World War

Zeppelin Nights London in the First World War

Author: Jerry White Format: Paperback Release Date: 05/02/2015

11pm, Tuesday 4 August 1914: with the declaration of war London becomes one of the greatest killing machines in human history. Hundreds of thousands of soldiers pass through the capital on their way to the front; wounded men are brought back to be treated in London's hospitals; and millions of shells are produced in its factories. The war changes London life for ever. Women escape the drudgery of domestic service to work as munitionettes. Full employment puts money into the pockets of the London poor for the first time. Self-appointed moral guardians seize the chance to clamp down on drink, frivolous entertainment and licentious behaviour. As the war drags on, gloom often descends on the capital. And at night London is plunged into darkness for fear of German bombers and Zeppelins that continue to raid the city. Yet despite daily casualty lists, food shortages and enemy bombing, Londoners are determined to get on with their lives and flock to cinemas and theatres, dance halls and shebeens, firmly resolved not to let Germans or puritans spoil their enjoyment. Peopled with patriots and pacifists, clergymen and thieves, bluestockings and prostitutes, Jerry White's magnificent panorama reveals a struggling yet flourishing city.

eBooks of the Month
No Man's Land Writings from a World at War

No Man's Land Writings from a World at War

Author: Pete Ayrton Format: Hardback Release Date: 01/01/2015

Featuring forty-seven writers from twenty different nations, representing all the main participants in the conflict, No Man's Land is a truly international anthology of First World War fiction. Work by Siegfried Sassoon, Erich Maria Remarque, Willa Cather and Rose Macaulay sits alongside forgotten masterpieces such as Stratis Myrivilis's Life in the Tomb, Raymond Escholier's Mahmadou Fofana and Mary Borden's The Forbidden Zone.

eBooks of the Month
Selected Poems and Letters

Selected Poems and Letters

Author: Isaac Rosenberg Format: Hardback Release Date: 20/10/2003

'Death could drop from the dark as easily as song - But song only dropped, Like a blind man's dreams on the sand, By dangerous tides, Like a girl's dark hair for she dreams no ruin lies there, Or her kisses where a serpent hides' - from Returning, We Hear the Larks' Selected Poems & Letters . Isaac Rosenberg's poems, such as Dead Man's Dump and Break of Day in the Trenches , have been included in every significant war anthology and have earned him a place in Poets' Corner.He studied at the Slade School of Art at the same time as Stanley Spencer and Mark Gertler, showing great promise as a painter. His poverty, education and background made him an outsider, yet it was just that experience which equipped him to cope with the horror of war in the trenches: 'I am determined that this war, with all its powers for devastation, shall not master my poeting.' Inexplicably for such a major figure, Rosenberg's work has been out of print for many years. In this Selected Poems and Letters , his biographer Jean Liddiard has made a substantial selection of his finest poems and most revealing letters, providing also an authoritative introduction and a detailed chronology.

Goodbye, Piccadilly War at Home, 1914

Goodbye, Piccadilly War at Home, 1914

Author: Cynthia Harrod-Eagles Format: Paperback Release Date: 04/12/2014

In 1914, Britain faces a new kind of war. For Edward and Beatrice Hunter, their children, servants and neighbours, life will never be the same again. For David, the eldest, war means a chance to do something noble; but enlisting will break his mother's heart. His sister Diana, nineteen and beautiful, longs for marriage. She has her heart set on Charles Wroughton, son of Earl Wroughton, but Charles will never be allowed to marry a banker's daughter. Below stairs, Cook and Ada, the head housemaid, grow more terrified of German invasion with every newspaper atrocity story. Ethel, under housemaid, can't help herself when it comes to men and now soldiers add to the temptation; yet there's more to this flighty girl than meets the eye. The once-tranquil village of Northcote reels under an influx of khaki volunteers, wounded soldiers and Belgian refugees. The war is becoming more dangerous and everyone must find a way to adapt to this rapidly changing world.

eBooks of the Month
The Shadow of War The Great War Series Book 1

The Shadow of War The Great War Series Book 1

Author: Stewart Binns Format: Paperback Release Date: 23/10/2014

The beginning of an ambitious series with a book for each of the four years of World War I so we start just before the outbreak and go into the trenches and on into the now famous Christmas Day football game.  We all know how tragic this period was.  Here it is presented to us through a huge canvas of characters from all walks of life with the political scene running alongside the family stories.  No doubt we will follow the same families throughout the series so get to know them now.  It is not the most riveting of reads but a fascinating portrait of the period which I am sure will build to be thrilling.  If you are reading electronically beware there are a good seventy pages of glossary once the tale is finished.   A 'Piece of Passion' from the author...   Dear Reader, Shadow of War, the first of my new Great War series, is a long way from my quartet set in the distant past of the Anglo-Norman Middle-Ages but it is a journey I felt compelled to make. There are several reasons, not the least of which is that 2014 is the centenary of the outbreak of the war and the next five years may well be the last occasion when the conflict is at the forefront of national consciousness. As Kipling wrote in Recessional (written in 1897 for Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee, not as an epitaph for the Great War), Lord God of Hosts be with us yet,Lest we forget – Lest we forget! But I also had other reasons. I have read a fairly wide range of material about the war, but the almost countless tomes in the enormous library of the conflict, both fiction and non-fiction, contain numerous flaws and have created as many myths as they have offered truths. The Great War is too often sentimentalised, sensationalised, or over-simplified.' Click here to read more.

eBooks of the Month
First World War Poems

First World War Poems

Author: Jane McMorland Hunter Format: Hardback Release Date: 04/07/2014

There are all the famous frontline poets - including Wilfred Owen, Siegfried Sassoon and Edward Thomas - but also civilians writing from the Home Front, including Rudyard Kipling and Vera Brittain. The poems are organised into themed chapters, ranging from the war in the air to the impact on families and sweethearts and even the contribution of animals. Two of the poems are previously unpublished gems by an airman called Eric Simson.

Margot at War Love and Betrayal in Downing Street, 1912-1916

Margot at War Love and Betrayal in Downing Street, 1912-1916

Author: Anne de Courcy Format: Hardback Release Date: 06/11/2014

Margot Asquith was perhaps the most daring and unconventional Prime Minister's wife in British history. Known for her wit, style and habit of speaking her mind, she transformed 10 Downing Street into a glittering social and intellectual salon. Yet her last five years at Number 10 were a period of intense emotional and political turmoil in her private and public life. In 1912, when Anne de Courcy's book opens, rumblings of discontent and cries for social reform were encroaching on all sides - from suffragettes, striking workers and Irish nationalists. Against this background of a government beset with troubles, the Prime Minister fell desperately in love with his daughter's best friend, Venetia Stanley; to complicate matters, so did his Private Secretary. Margot's relationship with her husband was already bedevilled by her stepdaughter's jealous, almost incestuous adoration of her father. The outbreak of the First World War only heightened these swirling tensions within Downing Street. Drawing on unpublished material from personal papers and diaries, Anne de Courcy vividly recreates this extraordinary time when the Prime Minister's residence was run like an English country house, with socialising taking precedence over politics, love letters written in the cabinet room and gossip and state secrets exchanged over the bridge table. By 1916, when Asquith was forced out of office, everything had changed. For the country as a whole, for those in power, for a whole stratum of society, but especially for the Asquiths and their circle, it was the end of an era. Life inside Downing Street would never be the same again.

Cavendon Hall

Cavendon Hall

Author: Barbara Taylor Bradford Format: Paperback Release Date: 06/11/2014

A glorious family saga for Downton Abbey fans. This follows the lives of the aristocratic family of two sons and four daughters of the sixth Earl of Mowbray and the Swann family who serves them. It opens in the summer of 1913. Much occurs before war breaks out and the horrors of that dreadful period wreak havoc on our cast of characters. This is Barbara Taylor Bradford in her element, terrific stuff full of drama, passion, romance and danger.

eBooks of the Month
The War Behind the Wire The Life, Death and Glory of British Prisoners of War, 1914-18

The War Behind the Wire The Life, Death and Glory of British Prisoners of War, 1914-18

Author: John Lewis-Stempel Format: Paperback Release Date: 06/11/2014

On capture, British officers and men were routinely told by the Germans 'For you the war is over'. Nothing could be further from the truth. British Prisoners of War merely exchanged one barbed-wire battleground for another. In the camps the war was eternal. There was the war against the German military, fought with everything from taunting humour to outright sabotage, with a literal spanner put in the works of the factories and salt mines prisoners were forced to slave in. British PoWs also fought a valiant war against the conditions in which they were mired. They battled starvation, disease, Prussian cruelties, boredom, and their own inner demons. And, of course, they escaped. Then escaped again. No less than 29 officers at Holzminden camp in 1918 burrowed their way out via a tunnel (dug with a chisel and trowel) in the Great Escape of the Great War. It was war with heart-breaking consequences; more than 12,000 PoWs died, many of them murdered, to buried in shallow unmarked graves. Using contemporary records - from prisoners' diaries to letters home to poetry - John Lewis-Stempel reveals the death, life and, above all, the glory of Britain's warriors behind the wire. For it was in the PoW camps, far from the blasted trenches, that the true spirit of the Tommy was exemplified.

eBooks of the Month
The Lives of Stella Bain

The Lives of Stella Bain

Author: Anita Shreve Format: Paperback Release Date: 11/09/2014

Hauled in a cart to a field hospital in northern France in March 1916, an American woman wakes from unconsciousness to the smell of gas gangrene, the sounds of men in pain, and an almost complete loss of memory: she knows only that she can drive an ambulance, she can draw, and her name is Stella Bain. A stateless woman in a lawless country, Stella embarks on a journey to reconstruct her life. Suffering an agonising and inexplicable array of symptoms, she finds her way to London. There, Dr August Bridge, a cranial surgeon turned psychologist, is drawn to tracking her amnesia to its source. What brutality was she fleeing when she left the tranquil seclusion of a New England college campus to serve on the Front; for what crime did she need to atone - and whom did she leave behind?

eBooks of the Month
The Last Post Music, Remembrance and the Great War

The Last Post Music, Remembrance and the Great War

Author: Alwyn W. Turner Format: Hardback Release Date: 16/10/2014

From that first traumatic remembrance service at 11am on 11th November 1919, the last post continues to be played to end the two minute silence, most famously at The Cenotaph. Alwyn Turner considers the history of the bugle, the music and the part it plays in creating a memorial to the fallen.   Like for Like Reading Empires of the Dead: How One Man's Vision Led to the Creation of World War One's War Graves, David Crane  The Poppy: A History of Conflict, Loss, Remembrance, and Redemption, Nicholas J Saunders 

Mr Mac and Me

Mr Mac and Me

Author: Esther Freud Format: Hardback Release Date: 11/09/2014

It is 1914, and Thomas Maggs, the son of the local publican, lives with his parents and sister in a village on the Suffolk coast. He is the youngest child, and the only son surviving. Life is quiet - shaped by the seasons, fishing and farming, the summer visitors, and the girls who come down from the Highlands every year to gut and pack the herring. Then one day a mysterious Scotsman arrives. To Thomas he looks for all the world like a detective, in his black cape and hat of felted wool, and the way he puffs on his pipe as if he's Sherlock Holmes. Mac is what the locals call him when they whisper about him in the inn. And whisper they do, for he sets off on his walks at unlikely hours, and stops to examine the humblest flowers. He is seen on the beach, staring out across the waves as if he's searching for clues. But Mac isn't a detective, he's the architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh, and together with his red-haired artist wife, they soon become a source of fascination and wonder to Thomas. Yet just as Thomas and Mac's friendship begins to blossom, war with Germany is declared. The summer guests flee and are replaced by regiments of soldiers on their way to Belgium, and as the brutality of war weighs increasingly heavily on this coastal community, they become more suspicious of Mac and his curious behaviour.

eBooks of the Month
Beating for Light

Beating for Light

Author: Geoff Akers Format: Paperback Release Date: 16/01/2006

A convincing and impressive fictional account using known facts, to portray the life of Isaac Rosenberg, a poet and painter most famous for his provocative poems from the trenches in World War One. The author portrays a socially inept and awkward Rosenberg with a hidden inner core of strength and an ability to see beyond the obvious, to voice thoughts and feelings hidden from the readers comprehension until exploring his work. Although detailing the entirety of his short life, it’s the stark reality of the trenches that’s the real eye-opener, leaving you with the question of what happens to creativity when it can’t continue to comprehend the brutal reality of war. Containing excerpts of letters and poems, this moving book helps to create a link, a connection, a bond to Rosenberg and this eloquent story deserves to be heard. ~ Liz Robinson   For a taste of some World War One poetry from the trenches by Isaac Rosenberg then a great place to start is His Selected Poems and Letters.

White Feathers

White Feathers

Author: Susan Lanigan Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/09/2014

Don’t be tricked into thinking this is a ‘Cinderella’ story, the first part, so gently and simply told by the author, almost lulls you into a false sense of security before World War One sticks it’s fearsome and harrowing boot in. The age old tale of falling in love occurs on the brink of war, when much of the country, (before reality hit) fluttered and flirted with feelings of heroism, romance and enchantment. The controversial giving of white feathers to men not in uniform as a symbol of cowardice, skulks sinisterly in this storyline and is used as a form of blackmail, altering and changing lives forever. This is a story that promises, expands and heightens expectations before the truth of battle has it’s wickedly brutal way. Proving that assault and conflict can be cunningly insidious as well as glaringly obvious, this is an intense and stirring debut novel. ~ Liz Robinson   A 'Piece of Passion from the Publisher... When the publisher asked me to edit Susan’s book, I jumped at the chance – the merest glance at the typescript revealed a writer of enormous talent, and I was struck by her beautiful turns of phrase. In Eva Downey, a nurse during the First World War and particularly the battle of the Somme, Susan has created a character of immense integrity. The moment when Eva finds her own courage and takes responsibility for her actions and for her life gave me goosebumps. Some of the most significant battles are fought, and won, within the home and the heart.' - Liz Hudson, Editor, O'Brien Press

eBooks of the Month
Trains to the Trenches The Men, Locomotives and Tracks That Took the Armies to War 1914-18

Trains to the Trenches The Men, Locomotives and Tracks That Took the Armies to War 1914-18

Author: Andrew Roden, Annie Winsland Format: Hardback Release Date: 30/10/2014

Without the railways for the Great Powers, the most terrible conflict the world has ever known would have taken a very different form - if it had happened at all. In a remarkable historical railway journey through Britain and Europe, author Andrew Roden tells the story of the men and women who manned the tracks and the trains, and who relied on them to get them to battle and back home again. Drawing on diaries, memoirs and archive material he reveals the personal stories of ordinary people doing extraordinary things, and pays tribute to their overlooked contribution. Supported with remarkable illustrations and photography, Roden interweaves memories of his own present day travels by train with diary excerpts of ambulance train nurses, returning POWs, drivers that put their lives in danger for everyone on board and other key voices. Roden takes the reader on a gripping journey, from the secret planning rooms in Berlin, through to the killing fields of the trenches, as well as the home fronts of the key combatants. Looking at defining moments of railway history on both sides of the Great War they build a unique and very human picture of a wartime railway across Europe.

A Short History of the First World War

A Short History of the First World War

Author: Gary Sheffield Format: Paperback Release Date: 04/09/2014

All you need to know about WW1 from one of the world's foremost experts. Accessible and authoritative, this is the ultimate introduction for anyone wanting a clear understanding of what happened and why.

eBooks of the Month
The Telegraph Book of Readers' Letters from the Great War

The Telegraph Book of Readers' Letters from the Great War

Author: Gavin Fuller Format: Hardback Release Date: 28/08/2014

Never before published this collection of letters are from the Daily Telegraph’s letters pages of 1914-1918. They comment on the war’s progress or lack of it, praising and blaming those in charge, writing of their loss and grief, their pride too in the sacrifices and losses on the field, at sea and in the air.   Like for Like Reading: Love Tommy: Letters Home, from the Great War to the Present Day, Andrew Roberts  Letters from the Trenches: A Soldier of the Great War, Bill Lamin Michael O'Mara 

The Fateful Year England 1914

The Fateful Year England 1914

Author: Mark Bostridge Format: Paperback Release Date: 07/08/2014

The Fateful Year by Mark Bostridge is the story of England in 1914. War with Germany, so often imagined and predicted, finally broke out when people were least prepared for it. Here, among a crowded cast of unforgettable characters, are suffragettes, armed with axes, destroying works of art, schoolchildren going on strike in support of their teachers, and celebrity aviators thrilling spectators by looping the loop. A theatrical diva prepares to shock her audience, while an English poet in the making sets out on a midsummer railway journey that will result in the creation of a poem that remains loved and widely known to this day. With the coming of war, England is beset by rumour and foreboding. There is hysteria about German spies, fears of invasion, while patriotic women hand out white feathers to men who have failed to rush to their country's defence. In the book's final pages, a bomb falls from the air onto British soil for the first time, and people live in expectation of air raids. As 1914 fades out, England is preparing itself for the prospect of a war of long duration. Mark Bostridge won the Gladstone Memorial Prize at Oxford University. His first book Vera Brittain: A Life was shortlisted for the Whitbread Biography Prize, the NCR NonFiction Award, and the Fawcett Prize. His books also include the bestselling Letters from a Lost Generation; Lives for Sale, a collection of biographers' tales; Because You Died, a selection of Vera Brittain's First World War poetry and prose; and Florence Nightingale: The Woman and her Legend, which was named as a Wall Street Journal Best Book of 2008 and awarded the Elizabeth Longford Prize for Historical Biography. He is currently consultant on the forthcoming feature film of Vera Brittain's Testament of Youth.

eBooks of the Month
The Country House at War - Fighting the Great War at Home and in the Trenches

The Country House at War - Fighting the Great War at Home and in the Trenches

Author: Simon Greaves Format: Hardback Release Date: 07/08/2014

Country House at War presents a history of the war through the houses and estates maintained by the National Trust. It shows what happened to the people who lived and worked in many great houses, both upstairs and downstairs, and portrays how they were affected by the war and what happened to those estates in its aftermath. The progress and impact of war can be charted through the buildings and their estates - lawns that had once hosted tea parties and croquet given over to machine gun training and convalescent exercises, for example. With many fascinating and poignant personal stories and many hitherto unpublished photographs of the time, this is an important celebration and commemoration of the First World War.

Antiques Roadshow: World War I in 100 Family Treasures

Antiques Roadshow: World War I in 100 Family Treasures

Author: Paul Atterbury Format: Hardback Release Date: 07/08/2014

To mark the centenary of the start of World War I, the Antiques Roadshow team filmed a series of specials at the Somme, where the public brought in their family's war memorabilia and photographs. These 'antiques' weren't financially valuable, or in some cases even very beautiful, but the stories that came attached to these momentoes were priceless. Antiques Roadshow: World War I in 100 Family Treasures takes 100 of the most fascinating and moving stories and shows how they fit in to the wider history that was occurring around them. From Rifleman Frank Edwards, who led the 'big push' in September 1915 kicking a football in front of the troops (and survived to tell the tale) to the formidable Catherine Murray Roy, one of the first 50 nurses to be sent to the front lines in France. The story behind each object paints an intimate portrait of a long-lost relative, and quotes from the modern-day participants in the roadshow provide a moving link between the families then and now. Fully illustrated, and featuring all the stories from the show, this is a truly unique way of telling the story of those ordinary lives that were, by the onset of war in 1914, thrown into the most extraordinary of circumstances.

eBooks of the Month
1914: Fight the Good Fight Britain, the Army and the Coming of the First World War

1914: Fight the Good Fight Britain, the Army and the Coming of the First World War

Author: Allan Mallinson Format: Paperback Release Date: 17/07/2014

'No part of the Great War compares in interest with its opening', wrote Churchill. 'The measured, silent drawing together of gigantic forces, the uncertainty of their movements and positions, the number of unknown and unknowable facts made the first collision a drama never surpassed.in fact the War was decided in the first twenty days of fighting, and all that happened afterwards consisted in battles which, however formidable and devastating, were but desperate and vain appeals against the decision of fate.' On of Britain's foremost military historians and defence experts tackles the origins - and the opening first few weeks of fighting - of what would become known as 'the war to end all wars'. Intensely researched and convincingly argued, Allan Mallinson explores and explains the grand strategic shift that occurred in the century before the war, the British Army's regeneration after its drubbings in its fight against the Boer in South Africa, its almost calamitous experience of the first twenty days' fighting in Flanders to the point at which the British Expeditionary Force - the 'Old Contemptibles' - took up the spade in the middle of September 1914: for it was then that the war changed from one of rapid and brutal movement into the more familiar vision of trench warfare on Western Front. In this vivid, compelling new history, Malliinson brings his experience as a professional soldier to bear on the circumstances, events, actions and individuals and speculates - tantalizingly - on what might have been...

eBooks of the Month
Harry's War

Harry's War

Author: Harry Drinkwater Format: Paperback Release Date: 31/07/2014

'I saw several fellows fall, one fellow coughing up blood and all the time, bullets were hacking about me. I ran for about 70 yards carrying with me all the Lewis gun things I had brought up and dropped breathless into a shell hole headlong onto a German who had been dead for months.' Harold Drinkwater was not supposed to go to war. He was told he was half an inch too short. But, determined to fight for king and country, he found a battalion that would take him and was soon on his way to the trenches of the Somme. As the war dragged on, Harry saw most of the men he joined up with killed around him. But, somehow, he survived. Soldiers were forbidden from keeping a diary so Harry wrote his in secret, recording the horrendous conditions and constant fear, as well as his pleasure at receiving his officer's commission, the joy of his men when they escaped the trenches for the Italian Front and the trench raid for which he was awarded the Military Cross. Harry writes with such immediacy it is easy to forget that a hundred years have passed. He is by turns wry, exhausted, annoyed, resigned and often amazed to be alive. Never before published, Harry's War is a moving testament to one man's struggle to keep his humanity in the face of unimaginable violence.

eBooks of the Month
Anyush

Anyush

Author: Martine Madden Format: Paperback Release Date: 15/05/2014

One of our Books of the Year 2014. A compelling, heartrending tale of love, loss and survival intertwined within the factual base of the Armenian genocide. This thought provoking story is set in a period of atrocities that may not be known to many, yet the author has the ability not only to transport you through time, her vivid descriptions engage all of your senses, shaping the land and people around you. You witness the very best and the very worst of people; while throughout a fledgling love fights to exist, to grow, to survive. The Author’s Notes give insight into some of the actual individuals involved, their stories are equally humbling and inspiring. This is a novel for your book shelves, to read again and mull over, to question - can love really conquer all? ~ Liz Robinson   May 2014 Debut of the Month.   A 'Piece of Passion' from the publisher... 'Transporting her reader to Turkey in 1917, the opening of Martine Madden’s debut epic novel Anyush captures that moment when a young woman has doors opening to her; the world is spreading at her feet, despite the shadows of war.We, the readers, see the portents gathering, but Anyush, the central character, is young and feisty; she has met Jahan, a Turkish officer and their passion is fresh, exciting and forbidden. And Anyush has her dreams, dreams to take her beyond the boundaries of Turkish village life.The author lets us share in Anyush’s dreams and we are lulled and charmed by a vibrant, colourful wedding scene, where the beautiful Anyush is surrounded by friends, family and admirers; she is swept away in the dancing and the music as her friend starts her married life. But before the wedding ends, the war makes itself known and the dark is rising.The novel takes a deeply disturbing turn as we find ourselves caught up in the realities of the Armenian genocide which formed part of WWI. Not only is Anyush in denial but so, too, are many others who fail to grasp the evil which is unfolding. By the time events and the destiny of the Armenian villagers are clear, Anyush is in danger of losing everything and everyone she cares about.Anyush is a heartwrenching odyssey, told in a deceptively simple style, illuminating a shadowy period of WWI history – it is a story of great human suffering which will stay with the reader long after the book has been closed for the very last time.' - Susan Houlden, editor of Anyush

eBooks of the Month
The Moon Field

The Moon Field

Author: Judith Allnatt Format: Paperback Release Date: 08/05/2014

A lovely story, beautifully told and very sad for this is World War I and the tale of a boy, George Farrell, who loved above his station. The descriptions of the war and battlefields in France are vivid and horrific. George is every inch a romantic hero returning home much changed both physically and mentally. Although perhaps a little predictable one does feel deep sympathy for him throughout his dreadful ordeals. A well-written, very good mature read.

eBooks of the Month
Jack of Spies

Jack of Spies

Author: David Downing Format: Paperback Release Date: 16/06/2014

This begins a World War I spy series where, as a luxury car salesman, Jack McColl has perfect cover for travelling the world and so is ideally placed for spying in China, India, Ireland and no doubt plenty of other places as the series develops.  The start is a bit slow.  Jack has a relationship with a girl with Irish connections which was supposed to be a passing fling but develops and is in danger of threatening his double life.  As I’ve said, a slow start but start you should for Downing is a fine author who will no doubt deliver some great books about Jack McColl for he has already written  magnificent World War II spy books, The Station series, starring John Russell.   This is the first in a new series from this accomplished writer, perfect for fans of Wilbur Smith or Frederick Forsyth.

eBooks of the Month
Great Britain's Great War

Great Britain's Great War

Author: Jeremy Paxman Format: Paperback Release Date: 05/06/2014

An in-the-round history of Britain during the first world war examining the experience of a country fighting a world war from humble factory worker to soldier to politician and journalist.  How did people cope both physically and mentally and perhaps the biggest question of all is why, why did the British people go into the war and why did they endure? Jeremy Paxman has a sure grip on the facts revealing the mood and feelings of the period, you may think you know the answers to the questions he poses but be prepared to be challenged and corrected.   Like for Like Reading The Battlefields of the First World War, Peter Barton  The War that Ended Peace: How Europe abandoned Peace for the First World War, Margaret MacMillan 

eBooks of the Month
Last Post The Final Word from Our First World War Soldiers

Last Post The Final Word from Our First World War Soldiers

Author: Max Arthur Format: Paperback Release Date: 19/06/2014

LAST POST is very consciously the last word from the handful of First World War survivors who were left alive in 2004. Now they have passed away, our final human connection with the First World War has been broken. Max Arthur, a skilled interviewer, took the very last chance we had to ask questions of those who were there.

eBooks of the Month
The War That Ended Peace How Europe Abandoned Peace for the First World War

The War That Ended Peace How Europe Abandoned Peace for the First World War

Author: Margaret MacMillan Format: Hardback Release Date: 12/06/2014

It may be that Gavrilo Princep’s gun triggered the descent into war but this examination of the world on the brink weaves together the many other factors that led to the Great War. A meticulous examination of the politics of the era with Margaret MacMillan presenting this many layered history in a seamless narrative.   Like for Like Reading 1913: The World before the Great War, Charles Emmerson The Sleepers: How Europe Went to War in 1914, Christopher Clark

eBooks of the Month
The Spider of Sarajevo

The Spider of Sarajevo

Author: Robert Wilton Format: Hardback Release Date: 05/06/2014

A fast-paced and fascinating tale which draws the reader into the pre-war spying world.  In the months leading up to the declaration of war, four unlikely new agents, three men and one highly intelligent young woman, are recruited by British Intelligence.  We follow their meanderings across Europe as each meets up with Knox, their military liaison officer.  Their mission is to flush out and identify a counter spy referred to as ‘The Spider’.  They are pursued by our arch villain, Hildebrandt, who has an uncanny knack of involving himself in hunting down each of our spies.  All four are eventually drawn to Vienna and an exciting and unexpected denouement.  Initially you are introduced to a plethora of characters, a bit confusing, but that's spying for you.  This is an excellent read.

eBooks of the Month
The Day without Yesterday

The Day without Yesterday

Author: Stuart Clark Format: Paperback Release Date: 03/04/2014

The third in Stuart Clark's accessible and informative Sky's Dark Labyrinth series, where he uses historical fiction to help readers better understand the cosmos. Based on the true story of Albert Einstein and George Lemaître, a devout catholic and physicist who proved, using Einstein’s own maths, the theoretical proof of the Big Bang - a scientific ‘genesis’.   The Sky's Dark Labyrinth series:1. The Sky's Dark Labyrinth2. The Sensorium of God 3. The Day Without Yesterday

eBooks of the Month
A Brief History of the First World War Eyewitness Accounts of the War to End All Wars, 1914-18

A Brief History of the First World War Eyewitness Accounts of the War to End All Wars, 1914-18

Author: Jon E. Lewis Format: Paperback Release Date: 15/05/2014

Jon E Lewis has culled eye-witness accounts from over 180 first-hand witnesses, they come from all nationalities, male and female, at sea, in the trenches or toiling in the fields. Their words echo from 100 years ago, a witness to the horror and waste of war.   Like for Like Reading The First World War: A Very Short Introduction, Michael Howard  World War One: A short History, Norman Stone 

eBooks of the Month
Custard Tarts and Broken Hearts

Custard Tarts and Broken Hearts

Author: Mary Gibson Format: Paperback Release Date: 08/05/2014

Factory girls fight for their loves, lives and rights in World War I Bermondsey. They call them the custard tarts - the girls who work at Pearce Duff's custard powder factory in Bermondsey before the First World War. Conditions are hard but nothing can quench the spirit of humour and friendship - or the rising tide of anger that will finally bring the girls out on strike for a better deal. For one of them, striking spells disaster. Nellie Clark's wages keep her young brothers and sister from starvation, while her father sinks into drunken violence after the death of their mother. While Nellie struggles to keep her family together, two men compete for her love, and over them looms the shadow of the coming war, which will pull London's East End together as never before - even while it tears the world apart.

eBooks of the Month
Noble Endeavours The Life of Two Countries, England and Germany, in Many Stories

Noble Endeavours The Life of Two Countries, England and Germany, in Many Stories

Author: Miranda Seymour Format: Paperback Release Date: 08/05/2014

On the eve of marking the centenary of the opening of the hostilities that devastated the world and changed its history, old wounds gape rawly open. No two countries in Europe possess a stronger history of cultural and familial sympathy, trust and mutual respect than Britain and Germany. This book sets out the diverse stories of some of the people who contributed to the building of a house of shared dreams and aspirations, of mutual enlightenment and fruitful exchange. These are the stories of emperors, kings and queens, of travellers, writers, artists, students and political exiles; of ambassadors, reformers and the families so closely woven into the fabric of both countries that, when war came, divided loyalties ripped them apart. All these people have played their part. All, in their different ways, are remarkable; all deserve to be called noble for what they set out to achieve. All - glimpsed here only at the point where they contribute to the story of England and Germany - have earned their place in a history of the love and mutual admiration that two nations once shared - and that they deserve to share again.

eBooks of the Month
Some Desperate Glory The First World War the Poets Knew

Some Desperate Glory The First World War the Poets Knew

Author: Max Egremont Format: Hardback Release Date: 08/05/2014

A study of the poetry of the First World War, made, not in isolation but set against a history of the war itself, putting the poetry into context. We learn too about the poets, their writing and their role in the war, above all we learn why these men were inspired to write their experiences into verse.   Like for Like Reading The Penguin Book of First World War Poetry, Various The Great War and Modern Memory, Paul Fussell 

The Great War Diary Breathtaking Colour Photographs from a World Torn Apart

The Great War Diary Breathtaking Colour Photographs from a World Torn Apart

Author: Gunnar Dedio, Florian Dedio Format: Hardback Release Date: 29/05/2014

Brutal and cataclysmic, the First World War irrevocably changed the face of Europe. On the centenary of its onset, The Great War Diaries gives a startling and intimate view of life during wartime, through never-before-seen colour photographs from each year of the conflict. Featuring hundreds of newly discovered colour photographs from the collection of August Fuhrmann, Germany's first media tycoon, The Great War Diaries opens up a hidden world. From the horrors of the front line to challenges on the home front, images of strength and suffering, hope and despair, pulse with new life, illuminated by entries from the private diaries of people on all sides of the conflict. Accompanying a landmark BBC series, The Great War Diaries casts the experience of the world's first modern, mechanized conflict in an entirely new light.

eBooks of the Month
Catastrophe Europe Goes to War 1914

Catastrophe Europe Goes to War 1914

Author: Sir Max Hastings Format: Paperback Release Date: 08/05/2014

The end papers of the book testify to the Catastrophe of the title, we start with an idyllic late Victorian boating scene and end with a scene of carnage at the Battle of the Marne. The tragedy of the war is caught brilliantly by Max Hastings who records not just the military and political views and actions but the experiences of the ordinary man and woman whose records brings an added vividness to the narrative. We see political grandstanding, armies coming to terms with the horrors of the new mechanical war and devastating loss of human life. I would also add praise for two things; Max Hastings’ decision to include the battlefronts of Serbia and Galicia thus extending our knowledge of the war and for his ability to separate the fact from the fiction, the amount of fakery and destroyed and corrupt material historians contend with is quite astounding. A remarkable record of a terrible year. Like for Like Reading1913: The World Before the Great War, Charles EmmersonThe War that Ended Peace: How Europe Abandoned Peace for the First World War, Margaret MacMillan

eBooks of the Month
Poppy

Poppy

Author: Mary Hooper Format: Paperback Release Date: 08/05/2014

Women’s roles in the First World War need to be told as frequently as possible. Mary Hooper’s Poppy combines a brilliant insight into how utterly and dramatically the lives of women changed during the conflict as attitudes altered and old social hierarchies were overturned and with a heart-warming romance. How the war affected a girl like Poppy and how she is changed by it is a richly entertaining story.

eBooks of the Month
Back in Blighty British Society in the Era of the Great War

Back in Blighty British Society in the Era of the Great War

Author: Gerard DeGroot Format: Paperback Release Date: 03/04/2014

World War One had a devastating, cataclysmic impact on the world and the British people. As its reverberations were so long-lasting and significant, it is easy to assume that the social consequences were as profound. In this highly readable and moving survey of life back at home during the First World War, Gerard DeGroot challenges this assumption, finding pre-war social structures and ways of life were surprisingly resilient. Despite economic and technological changes, the British people found ways to cling onto their usual ways of life as much as possible in this new world. Back in Blighty has been fully revised to take into account new scholarship and historical perspectives, and is full of fascinating glimpses into everyday life during the war. The lives of ordinary people are illuminated and given historical significance in this powerful portrait of the British people and their culture.

eBooks of the Month
The Poppy A History of Conflict, Loss, Remembrance, and Redemption

The Poppy A History of Conflict, Loss, Remembrance, and Redemption

Author: Nicholas J. Saunders Format: Paperback Release Date: 03/04/2014

Our most obvious connection to the Poppy is as an iconic symbol of the First World War. But as a narcotic, its use reaches back to Ancient Egypt, its value attracting kings and empires, criminals, doctors and addicts. This humble flower, alas rarely seen nodding in corn fields nowadays, has touched and changed history in so many surprising ways – Nature’s dangerous gift.   Like for Like Reading The Opium Wars: Drugs, Dreams and the Making of Modern China, Julia Lovell The Royal British Legion, Matt Croucher

eBooks of the Month
Fighting on the Home Front The Legacy of Women in World War One

Fighting on the Home Front The Legacy of Women in World War One

Author: Kate Adie Format: Paperback Release Date: 10/04/2014

In 1914 the world changed forever. When World War One broke out and a generation of men went off to fight, bestselling author Kate Adie shows how women emerged from the shadows of their domestic lives. Now a visible force in public life, they began to take up essential roles - from transport to policing, munitions to sport, entertainment, even politics. They had finally become citizens, a recognised part of the war machine, acquiring their own rights and often an independent income. Former BBC Chief News Correspondent Kate Adie charts the seismic move towards equal rights with men that began a century ago and asks what these women achieved for future generations. This is history at its best - a vivid, compelling account of the pioneering women who helped win the war as well as a revealing assessment of their legacy for women's lives today.

eBooks of the Month
1914: Poetry Remembers

1914: Poetry Remembers

Author: Carol Ann Duffy Format: Hardback Release Date: 26/10/2013

The First World War holds a unique place in the nation's history; the poetry it produced, a unique place in the nation's hearts. To mark the centenary of the First World War in 2014, the Poet Laureate, Carol Ann Duffy, has engaged the most eminent poets of the present to choose the writing from the Great War that touched them most profoundly: their choices are here in this powerful and moving assembly. But this anthology is more than a record of war writing. Carol Ann Duffy has commissioned these same poets of the present to look back across the past and write a poem of their own in response to the war to end all wars.

eBooks of the Month
The Great War: 1914-1918

The Great War: 1914-1918

Author: Peter Hart Format: Paperback Release Date: 06/02/2014

The Great War was the first truly global conflict, and it changed the course of world history In this magnum opus, critically-acclaimed historian Peter Hart examines the conflict in every arena around the world, in a history that combines cutting edge scholarship with vivid and unfamiliar eyewitness accounts, from kings and generals, and ordinary soldiers. He focuses in particular on explaining how technology and tactics developed during the conflict - and determines which battles were crucial to its outcome. Combatants from every corner of Earth joined the fray, but their voices are rarely heard together. This is a major history of the conflict whose centenary is fast approaching. Published in paperback for the anniversary of the conflict, this is a pioneering and comprehensive account of the First World War, comparable to Anthony Beevor or Max Hastings.

eBooks of the Month
A History of the First World War in 100 Objects In Association with the Imperial War Museum

A History of the First World War in 100 Objects In Association with the Imperial War Museum

Format: Hardback Release Date: 03/03/2014

A History of the First World War in 100 Objects narrates the causes, progress and outcome of the First World War by telling the stories behind 100 items of material evidence of that cataclysmic and shattering conflict. From weapons that created carnage to affectionate letters home and from unexpected items of trench decoration to the paintings of official war artists, the objects are as extraordinary in their diversity and story-telling power as they are devastating in their poignancy. Each object is depicted on a full page and is the subject of a short chapter that 'fans out' from the item itself to describe the context, the people and the events associated with it.

Archduke Franz Ferdinand Lives! A World without World War I

Archduke Franz Ferdinand Lives! A World without World War I

Author: Richard Ned Lebow Format: Hardback Release Date: 07/01/2014

The Great War claimed nearly 40 million lives and set the stage for World War II, the Holocaust, and the Cold War. One hundred years later, historians are beginning to recognize how unnecessary it was. In Archduke Franz Ferdinand Lives!, acclaimed political psychologist Richard Ned Lebow examines the chain of events that led to war and what could reasonably have been done differently to avoid it. In this highly original and intellectually challenging book, he constructs plausible worlds, some better, some worse, that might have developed. He illustrates them with what-if biographies of politicians, scientists, religious leaders, artists, painters, and writers, sports figures, and celebrities, including scenarios where: there is no Israel; neither John Kennedy nor Barack Obama become president; Curt Flood, not Jackie Robinson, integrates baseball; Satchmo and many Black jazz musicians leave for Europe, where jazz blends with klezmer; nuclear research is internationalized and all major countries sign a treaty outlawing the development of atomic weapons; Britain and Germany are entrapped in a Cold War that threatens to go nuclear; and much more.

eBooks of the Month
The First World War Illustrated

The First World War Illustrated

Author: John Keegan Format: Paperback Release Date: 30/01/2014

The First World War created the modern world. A conflict of unparalleled ferocity far beyond its European epicentre, it broke the century of relative peace and prosperity which we associate with the Victorian era. It unleashed both the demons of the twenieth century - pestilence, military destruction and mass death - and the ideas which continue to shape our world today - modernism in the arts, new approaches to psychology and medicine, and radical ideas about economics and society. An event of this scale and complexity needs a great historian to portray it, and in his new book, John Keegan fulfils a life-long ambition to write the definitive book on the war. It was of course foremost a fascinating new interpretations of the military events. But the war also acted as a formidable engine for social change throughout the world, and this too is brilliantly conveyed in Keegan's fascinating and magisterial work.

eBooks of the Month
Love Letters of the Great War

Love Letters of the Great War

Author: Mandy Kirkby Format: Hardback Release Date: 16/01/2014

From the private papers of Winston Churchill to the tender notes of an unknown Tommy in the trenches, Love Letters of the Great War brings together some of the most romantic correspondence ever written. Some of the letters collected here are eloquent declarations of love and longing; others contain wrenching accounts of fear, jealousy and betrayal; many share sweet dreams of home. But in all the correspondence -- whether from British, American, French, German, Russian, Australian and Canadian troops in the height of battle, or from the heartbroken wives and sweethearts left behind -- there lies a truly human portrait of love and war. Each of the letters, many of which have never before been published, is introduced by a brief piece about the characters, some of whom were parted for ever by the tragedy of war; others reunited. A century on from the start of the First World War, these letters offer an intimate glimpse into the hearts of men and women separated by conflict, and show how love can transcend even the bleakest and most devastating of realities.

eBooks of the Month
The Wipers Times The Famous First World War Trench Newspaper

The Wipers Times The Famous First World War Trench Newspaper

Author: Christopher Westhorp Format: Hardback Release Date: 10/09/2013

The Wipers Times went through many names from the original Wipers Times to the final Better Times which ended in December 1918. It was a boon to the men of the trenches, irreverent, satirical and often very funny, Lieutenant Samuel Pepys’ diary being a particularly funny running joke. Here you will find reproduced the complete Wipers Times, a sterling reminder of the resilience and perseverance of the editors, Captain F. J Roberts and Lieutenant J.H. Pearson. Like for Like ReadingTrench Talk: Words of the First World War, Peter Doyle & Julian WalkerTommy's Ark: Soldiers and their Animals in the Great War, Richard van Emden

An Officer's Manual of the Western Front 1914-1918

An Officer's Manual of the Western Front 1914-1918

Author: Stephen Bull Format: Hardback Release Date: 20/09/2008

Every First World War Officer would have been issued with his manual. It covered the very basics of moving troops, how to look after and train them, building – everything from trenches to gun emplacements and latrines, tactics and gun and grenade skills, what to do when machinery breaks down and on, ad infinitum. A real glimpse into how the military bureaucracy expected their officers to behave in their very short lives as a front-line soldier. Like for Like ReadingSix Weeks: The Short and Gallant Life of the British Officer in the First World War, John Lewis-StempelField Service Pocket Book 1914, War Office General Staff

eBooks of the Month
Mapping the First World War Battlefields of the Great Conflict from Above

Mapping the First World War Battlefields of the Great Conflict from Above

Author: Simon Forty Format: Hardback Release Date: 15/10/2013

This title features over 120 large-format illustrations present detailed and fascinating wartime cartography. Key battles such as the Somme, Mons, Gallipoli, Jutland and Ypres are given extensive coverage alongside fascinating detail pieces such as airship raids and stations, communication systems, Orders of Battle, railroad routes and battlefield medical stations. The approach also provides a detailed chronological history of the conflict and will appeal to military historians and family historians alike. The Great War was so devastating - eight million lives were lost globally - that in its aftermath a horrified world expected it to be the final chapter in armed conflict. Mapping The First World War provides a uniquely different perspective on the 'war to end all wars'. An introduction details the causes and progress of the war and is followed by over a hundred maps and charts that show the broad sweep of events, from Germany's 1914 war goals to the final positions of the troops. There are maps depicting movements and battles as well as related documents, such as those on levels of conscription and numbers of weapons. As in all wars, maps were vital to the military organization of all sides during World War I. Before each military event there was the planning, the reconnaissance, and the conjecture as to enemy positions. After the event there would be debriefing, analysis of success and failure, and a redrawing of maps to show new troop positions and boundaries. All of the maps featured in this book have been drawn from the extensive collection held by the National Archives at Kew in west London.

The Last Summer

The Last Summer

Author: Judith Kinghorn Format: Paperback Release Date: 26/04/2012

May 2012 MEGA Debut of the Month. One of our Great Reads You May Have Missed in 2012. An enchanting, sweeping debut of big storytelling, of social and political change spanning the First World War and beyond, perfect for reading groups and fans of Kate Morton and Downton Abbey. It's a glorious read, highly recommended.

eBooks of the Month
To Hell and Back

To Hell and Back

Author: Susanna De Vries Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/04/2007

The book the military censors banned As a young soldier in the battlefields of Gallipoli, Sydney Loch witnessed the horror of war first-hand. On his return to Australia he detailed what he saw in his book, The Straits Impregnable. Hoping to avoid military censorship, his publishers dubbed Sydney's book a novel. But as the war ground on and the numbers of casualties grew, the publisher inserted a note saying the story was factual. The book, which had enjoyed huge literary acclaim, was immediately withdrawn from sale by the censors. Sydney Loch's experiences in the war shaped his life afterwards. With his wife, Joice, he went on to work in refugee camps in Poland and Palestine, and his many subsequent books, set in war-torn countries, reflected his humanitarian beliefs. In To Hell and Back, historians Susanna and Jake de Vries have recovered and edited Sydney's book for a new generation of readers and written a biography of his remarkable life.

eBooks of the Month
Douglas Haig From the Somme to Victory

Douglas Haig From the Somme to Victory

Author: Professor Gary Sheffield, Saul David Format: Hardback Release Date: 19/05/2016

'Well written and persuasive ...objective and well-rounded...this scholarly rehabilitation should be the standard biography', Andrew Roberts, Mail on Sunday 'A true judgment of him must lie somewhere between hero and zero, and in this detailed biography Gary Sheffield shows himself well qualified to make it ...a balanced portrait' The Sunday Times 'Solid scholarship and admirable advocacy' Sunday Telegraph Douglas Haig is the single most controversial general in British history. In 1918, after his armies had played a major role in the First World War, he was feted as a saviour. But within twenty years his reputation was in ruins, and it has never recovered.

An Illustrated Introduction to the Somme 1916

An Illustrated Introduction to the Somme 1916

Author: Robert J. Parker Format: Paperback Release Date: 11/02/2016

The Battle of the Somme epitomised the cruelty of the Western Front. 1 July 1916 witnessed the opening round of the British Army's attempt to break through an eighteen-mile front of heavily defended German lines straddling the River Somme in northern France. Preceded by an artillery bombardment of over 1,500 big guns that lasted a week, the inexperienced members of Lord Kitchener's New Army went 'over the top' and suffered the deadliest day in British military history. On the first day, British losses alone totalled nearly 20,000 dead. In the next four and a half months of combat, over 350,000 British soldiers would become casualties to one of the most intense, lethal, and futile engagements in history.

The Lost Tommies

The Lost Tommies

Author: Ross Coulthart Format: Hardback Release Date: 05/05/2016

 For much of the First World War, the small French village of Vignacourt was always behind the front lines - as a staging point, casualty clearing station and recreation area for troops of all nationalities moving up to and then back from the battlefields on the Somme. Here, one enterprising photographer took the opportunity of offering portrait photographs. A century later, his stunning images were discovered, abandoned, in a farm house. Captured on glass, printed into postcards and posted home, the photographs enabled soldiers to maintain a fragile link with loved ones at home. In 'Lost Tommies', this collection covers many of the significant aspects of British involvement on the Western Front, from military life to the friendships and bonds formed between the soldiers and civilians. With servicemen from around the world these faces are gathered together for what would become the front line of the Battle of the Somme.

eBooks of the Month
Elegy The First Day on the Somme

Elegy The First Day on the Somme

Author: Andrew Roberts Format: Paperback Release Date: 02/06/2016

On 1 July 1916, after a five-day bombardment, 11 British and 5 French divisions launched their long-awaited 'Big Push' on German positions on high ground above the Rivers Ancre and Somme on the Western Front. Some ground was gained, but at a terrible cost. In killing-grounds whose names are indelibly imprinted on 20th-century memory, German machine-guns - manned by troops who had sat out the storm of shellfire in deep dugouts - inflicted terrible losses on the British infantry. The British Fourth Army lost 57,470 casualties, the French Sixth Army suffered 1,590 casualties and the German 2nd Army 10,000. And this was but the prelude to 141 days of slaughter that would witness the deaths of between 750,000 and 1 million troops.

The First World War in 100 Objects

The First World War in 100 Objects

Author: Professor Gary Sheffield Format: Hardback Release Date: 07/09/2017

The First World War was one of the seminal events in world history. The First World War in 100 Objects offers a unique perspective on the world's first truly global conflict.

Letters from Alice

Letters from Alice

Author: Petrina Banfield Format: Paperback Release Date: 09/08/2018

Letters from Alice is an enchanting mix of mystery, social history and family dynamics. It focuses on the work of almoners (usually women), who were the forerunners to modern social workers, responsible for the welfare of hospital patients and their families. Petrina Banfield brings to life the sounds, sights and aromas of 1920s London in a cleverly crafted drama that reads like fiction but is steeped in fact. I was mesmerised by almoner Alice Hudson’s story, which is based on original archive material – reports, newspaper articles, letters, receipts and even weather reports. Letters from Alice was hard to put down, with its realistic colourful characters, a mystery to solve and vivid descriptions of the grit and grime of the poorest parts of London. This is a thought-provoking read and also incredibly moving, highlighting the hardships experienced by many families at that time. Yet despite the sadness of the story, I also found myself full of hope, knowing that these hardworking almoners were fighting for patients’ rights and welfare. If you have an interest in social history (whether non-fiction or fiction), this is a perfect choice for you - a delightful story, a learning experience and a joy to read. Perfect for fans of Call the Midwife and other British dramas.

Sisters of the Somme True Stories from a First World War Field Hospital

Sisters of the Somme True Stories from a First World War Field Hospital

Author: Penny Starns Format: Paperback Release Date: 28/04/2016

With First World War casualties mounting, there was an appeal for volunteers to train as front-line medical staff. Many women heeded the call: some responding to a vocational or religious calling, others following a sweetheart to the front, and some carried away on the jingoistic patriotism that gripped the nation in 1914. Despite their training, these young women were ill-prepared for the anguished cries of the wounded and the stench of gangrene and trench foot awaiting them at the Somme. Isolated from friends and family, most discovered an inner strength, forging new and close relationships with each other and establishing a camaraderie that was to last through the war and beyond.

eBooks of the Month
Somme 1916 A Battlefield Companion

Somme 1916 A Battlefield Companion

Author: Gerald Gliddon Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/02/2016

It includes a day-by-day account of the British build-up on the Somme and the ensuing struggle, British and German orders of battle and a full history of the cemeteries and memorials, both 'lost' and current, that sprang up in the years following the First World War. The author also provides thumbnail biographies of all the senior officers to fall, the winners of the Victoria Cross and those who were 'shot at dawn', as well as Somme 'personalities' such as George Butterworth. This new edition honours the centenary of one of the bloodiest battles of the First World War.

Somme 1916 Success and Failure on the First Day of the Battle of the Somme

Somme 1916 Success and Failure on the First Day of the Battle of the Somme

Author: Paul Kendall Format: Hardback Release Date: 23/11/2015

Much controversy has surrounded the Somme offensive relating to its justification and its impact upon the course of the war. General Sir Douglas Haig's policies have been the subject of considerable debate about whether the heavy losses sustained were worth the small gains that were achieved which appeared to have little strategic value. That was certainly the case on many sectors on 1 July 1916, where British soldiers were unable to cross No Man's Land and failed to reach, or penetrate into, the German trenches. In other sectors, however, breaches were made in the German lines culminating in the capture that day of Leipzig Redoubt, Mametz and Montauban. This book aims to highlight the failures and successes on that day and for the first time evaluate those factors that caused some divisions to succeed in capturing their objectives whilst others failed.

The Somme: A Visual History

The Somme: A Visual History

Author: Anthony Richards Format: Paperback Release Date: 08/06/2016

Between 1 July and 18 November 1916 Britain s new volunteer army took the leading role in a battle on the Western Front for the first time. The Somme off ensive was intended to achieve a decisive victory for the British and French Allies over the Germans, yet the Allies failed to achieve all of their objectives and the war was to continue for another two years.

The Somme: By Those Who Were There

The Somme: By Those Who Were There

Author: Bob Carruthers Format: Hardback Release Date: 30/06/2016

A comprehensive and vivid account of what it meant to play a part in the battle which has become famous for the biggest loss of life suffered by the British Army in a single day.

Too Important for the Generals Losing and Winning the First World War

Too Important for the Generals Losing and Winning the First World War

Author: Allan Mallinson Format: Hardback Release Date: 02/06/2016

'War is too important to be left to the generals' snapped future French prime minister Georges Clemenceau on learning of yet another bloody and futile offensive on the Western Front. One of the great questions in the ongoing discussions and debate about the First World War is why did winning take so long and exact so appalling a human cost? After all this was a fight that, we were told, would be over by Christmas. Now, in his major new history, Allan Mallinson, former professional soldier and author of the acclaimed 1914: Fight the Good Fight, provides answers that are disturbing as well as controversial, and have a contemporary resonance. He disputes the growing consensus among historians that British generals were not to blame for the losses and setbacks in the 'war to end all wars' - that, given the magnitude of their task, they did as well anyone could have. He takes issue with the popular view that the 'amateur' opinions on strategy of politicians such as Lloyd George and, especially, Winston Churchill, prolonged the war and increased the death toll. On the contrary, he argues, even before the war began Churchill had a far more realistic, intelligent and humane grasp of strategy than any of the admirals or generals, while very few senior officers - including Sir Douglas Haig - were up to the intellectual challenge of waging war on this scale. And he repudiates the received notion that Churchill's stature as a wartime prime minister after 1940 owes much to the lessons he learned from his First World War 'mistakes' - notably the Dardanelles campaign - maintaining that in fact Churchill's achievement in the Second World War owes much to the thwarting of his better strategic judgement by the 'professionals' in the First - and his determination that this would not be repeated. Mallinson argues that from day one of the war Britain was wrong-footed by absurdly faulty French military doctrine and paid, as a result, an unnecessarily high price in casualties. He shows that Lloyd George understood only too well the catastrophically dysfunctional condition of military policy-making and struggled against the weight of military opposition to fix it. And he asserts that both the British and the French failed to appreciate what the Americans' contribution to victory could be - and, after the war, to acknowledge fully what it had actually been.

eBooks of the Month
Zero Hour 100 Years on: Views from the Parapet of the Somme

Zero Hour 100 Years on: Views from the Parapet of the Somme

Author: Jolyon Fenwick Format: Hardback Release Date: 02/06/2016

The first day of the battle of the Somme, 1 July 1916, was the most devastating event of the First World War for the British army. In Zero Hour, 14 superlatively photographed panoramas (each one a four-page gatefold, opening to nearly 1 metre wide) show the Somme's major sites as they look today. Taken from the exact viewpoints of the front-line British troops as they began their advance towards the German trenches at 7.30 a.m., these hauntingly peaceful present-day views are annotated (in the handwritten military style of the time) to show the lethal German defensive positions at the moment of the attack.

24 Hours on the Somme My Experiences of the First Day of the Somme 1 July 1916

24 Hours on the Somme My Experiences of the First Day of the Somme 1 July 1916

Author: Edward G.D. Liveing Format: Paperback Release Date: 12/05/2016

There are many accounts of the Battle of the Somme by surviving British soldiers. But the Somme was not a single battle but a series of offensives and small localised attacks fought over four and a half months. What is etched into the British psyche is the huge loss of life suffered by the 'poor bloody infantry' on the first day of the Somme, 1 July 1916. The carnage was such that few survived to tell the tale of that first horrific day and the existing published memoirs are about later in the Battle or by non-infantry troops who while involved in the offensive, didn't actually go 'over the top'. What is also unique about Edward Liveing's vivid and detailed account is that it begins the evening before the attack and ends close to 24 hours later and is entirely focussed on the first day of the Somme. A young junior officer in the London Regiment on the battlefield that infamous day, he was in command of a platoon of about fifty men, when he scaled the crest of his trench into no-mans land.

eBooks of the Month
Somme

Somme

Author: Lyn Macdonald Format: Paperback Release Date: 26/09/2013

2016 is the 100th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme 'There was hardly a household in the land', writes Lyn Macdonald, 'there was no trade, occupation, profession or community, which was not represented in the thousands of innocent enthusiasts who made up the ranks of Kitchener's Army before the Battle of the Somme...' A hundred and fifty thousand were killed in the punishing shellfire, the endless ordeal of attack and counter-attack; twice that number were left maimed or wounded.

eBooks of the Month
Somme Into the Breach

Somme Into the Breach

Author: Hugh Sebag-Montefiore Format: Hardback Release Date: 16/06/2016

No conflict better encapsulates all that went wrong on the Western Front than the Battle of the Somme in 1916. The tragic loss of life and stoic endurance by troops who walked towards their death is an iconic image which will be hard to ignore during the centennial year.

eBooks of the Month
The Missing of the Somme

The Missing of the Somme

Author: Geoff Dyer, Wade Davis Format: Paperback Release Date: 30/06/2016

Republished to mark the centenary of the battle of the Somme Geoff Dyer's classic book is 'the great Great War book of our time' (Observer)

eBooks of the Month
The Memorial to the Missing of the Somme

The Memorial to the Missing of the Somme

Author: Gavin Stamp Format: Paperback Release Date: 31/03/2016

Edwin Lutyens' Memorial to the Missing of the Somme at Thiepval in Northern France, visited annually by tens of thousands of tourists, is arguably the finest structure erected by any British architect in the twentieth century. It is the principal, tangible expression of the defining event in Britain's experience and memory of the Great War, the first day of the Battle of the Somme on 1 July 1916, and it bears the names of 73,000 soldiers whose bodies were never found at the end of that bloody and futile campaign.

eBooks of the Month
First Day of the Somme The Complete Account of Britain's Worst-Ever Military Disaster

First Day of the Somme The Complete Account of Britain's Worst-Ever Military Disaster

Author: Andrew Macdonald Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/04/2016

It took several million bullets and roughly an hour to effectively destroy General Sir Douglas Haig's grand plans for the first day of the Somme, 1 July 1916. By day's end, 19,240 British soldiers were dead, crumpled khaki bundles scattered across pasture studded with the scarlet of poppies and smouldering shell holes. A further 35,493 were wounded. This single sunny day remains Britain's worst-ever military disaster. Responsible were hundreds of German machine guns and scores of artillery batteries that had waited silently to deal death to the long-anticipated attack. Reviewing the day's events fully from, for the first time, both the British and German perspectives, Andrew Macdonald explains how and why this was a disaster waiting to happen. While laying the blame for the butchery squarely on widespread British command failure, he also shows that the outcome was a triumph of German discipline, planning and tactics, with German commanders mostly outclassing their opposite numbers.

The First Day on the Somme

The First Day on the Somme

Author: Martin Middlebrook Format: Paperback Release Date: 31/03/2016

On 1 July, 1916, a continuous line of British soldiers climbed out from the trenches of the Somme into No Man's Land and began to walk slowly towards dug-in German troops armed with machine-guns and defended by thick barbed wire. By the end of that day, as old tactics were met by the reality of modern warfare, there had been more than 60,000 British casualties - a third of them fatalities.

eBooks of the Month

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