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Newcastle The Biography by Bill Purdue

Newcastle The Biography

Part of the The Biography Series

RRP £16.99

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Newcastle The Biography by Bill Purdue

The story of the city of Newcastle, from its earliest origins in Roman Britain to the present day. Newcastle's history begins with Pons Aelius, a Roman bridge and fort to the eastern end of Hadrian's Wall. The town took its name from the 'new castle' built after the Norman conquest around which a settlement nestled for protection. Its position, as the guardian of the main eastern route between England and Scotland, gave it considerable military significance. The town's great moments, when it was besieged and taken by the Scots in 1642 under General Leslie and when Charles l was imprisoned there, are all recounted in full evocative detail. A central theme is Newcastle's vibrant social and cultural history for this was both an innovative and pleasure-loving society, known its inventiveness and its promotion of the arts and sciences, but also for its robust and occasionally riotous popular culture. A bye-law regulating the dress of apprentices of 1554 inveighed against the gambling and 'typling, danncing and brasenge of harlots' that was said to be characterise the life-style of the apprentices. A puritanical observer of the town's twenty-first century night life might feel that little had changed -

About the Author

Bill Purdue was until his recent retirement Senior Lecturer in History at the Open University. He has been active in Newcastle politics for over 30 years and has also written extensively on the history of the city and the North East. His books includes THE SHIP THAT CAME HOME: THE STORY OF A NORTHERN DYNASTY, MERCHANTS AND GENTRY IN NORTH-EAST ENGLAND 1650-1830, THE SECOND WORLD WAR and A HISTORY OF CHRISTMAS. He was born in Newcastle and now lives in Hexham, just outside the city.

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Book Info

Publication date

15th October 2011


Bill Purdue

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Amberley Publishing


352 pages


Local history



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