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History Books

Intensively researched, lovingly compiled, more accessible than ever, whatever your subject of interest - this is where you’ll find it.

The Victorian City Everyday Life in Dickens' London

The Victorian City Everyday Life in Dickens' London

Author: Judith Flanders Format: Hardback Release Date: 01/10/2012

The nineteenth century was a time of unprecedented transformation, and nowhere was this more apparent than on the streets of London. In only a few decades, London grew from a Regency town to the biggest city the world had ever seen, with more than 6.5 million people and railways, street-lighting and new buildings at every turn. In The Victorian House, Judith Flanders described in intimate detail what went on inside the nineteenth-century home. Now, in The Victorian City, she explores London's outdoors in an extraordinary, revelatory portrait of everyday life on the streets. From the moment Charles Dickens, the century's best-loved novelist and London's greatest observer, arrived in the city in 1822, he obsessively walked its streets, recording its pleasures, curiosities and cruelties. Now, with him, Judith Flanders leads us through the markets, transport systems, sewers, rivers, slums, alleys, cemeteries, gin palaces, chop-houses and entertainment emporia of Dickens' London, to reveal the Victorian capital in all its variety, vibrancy, and squalor. From the colourful cries of street-sellers to the uncomfortable reality of travel by omnibus, via the many uses for the body parts of dead horses or the unimaginably grueling working days of hawker children, no detail is too small, or too strange. No one who reads Judith Flanders's The Victorian City will view London in the same light again.

The Ugly Renaissance

The Ugly Renaissance

Author: Alexander Lee Format: Paperback Release Date: 28/08/2014

Featuring the beauties of Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci, combined with the dark and hidden side of the Renaissance, by an acclaimed historian and expert in the period. Renowned as an age of artistic rebirth, the Renaissance is cloaked with an aura of beauty and brilliance. But behind the Mona Lisa's smile lurked a seamy, vicious world of power politics, perversity and corruption that has more in common with the present day than anyone dares to admit. Enter a world of corrupt bankers, greedy politicians, sex-crazed priests, rampant disease, and lives of extravagance and excess. Enter the world of the ugly Renaissance. Uncovering the hidden realities beneath the surface of the period's best-known artworks, historian Alexander Lee takes the reader on a breathtaking and unexpected journey through the Italian past and shows that, far from being the product of high-minded ideals, the sublime monuments of the Renaissance were created by flawed and tormented artists who lived in an ever-expanding world of bigotry and hatred. The only question is: Will you ever see the Renaissance in quite the same way again?

ebook of the month
The Time Traveller's Guide to Medieval England A Handbook for Visitors to the Fourteenth Century

The Time Traveller's Guide to Medieval England A Handbook for Visitors to the Fourteenth Century

Author: Ian Mortimer Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/10/2009

The past is a foreign country: this is your guidebook. Imagine you could get into a time machine and travel back to the fourteenth century. What would you see? What would you smell? More to the point, where are you going to stay? Should you go to a castle or a monastic guesthouse? And what are you going to eat? What sort of food are you going to be offered by a peasant or a monk or a lord? This radical new approach turns our entire understanding of history upside down. It shows us that the past is not just something to be studied; it is also something to be lived. It sets out to explain what life was like in the most immediate way, through taking you, the reader, to the middle ages, and showing you everything from the horrors of leprosy and war to the ridiculous excesses of roasted larks and haute couture. Being a guidebook, many questions are answered which do not normally occur in traditional history books. How do you greet people in the street? What should you use for toilet paper? How fast - and how safely - can you travel? Why might a physician want to taste your blood? And how do you test to see if you are going down with the plague? The result is the most astonishing social history book you are ever likely to read: revolutionary in its concept, informative and entertaining in its detail, and startling for its portrayal of humanity in an age of violence, exuberance and fear.

ebook of the month
The Third Reich A New History

The Third Reich A New History

Author: Michael Burleigh Format: Paperback Release Date: 06/07/2001

Setting Nazi Germany in a European context, this text shows how the Third Reich's abandonment of liberal democracy, decency and tolerance was widespread in Europe at the time. It shows how a radical, pseudo-religious movement seemed to offer salvation to a Germany exhausted by war, depression and inflation.

ebook of the month
The Tears of the Rajas Mutiny, Money and Marriage in India 1805-1905

The Tears of the Rajas Mutiny, Money and Marriage in India 1805-1905

Author: Ferdinand Mount Format: Hardback Release Date: 12/03/2015

The Tears of the Rajas is a sweeping, epic history of the British in India, seen through the experiences of a single family, the Lows, ancestors of the author, Ferdinand Mount, and also of Prime Minister David Cameron. When he was growing up, Ferdinand Mount used to wonder what stories the various Indian artefacts his family possessed from the days of the British rule of India could tell. Many years before his Aunt Ursie had written a family history of the Lows of India which was largely ignored by the family. When the story of the Lows recently hit the headlines after it transpired that these same relatives were those of David Cameron, and that they were responsible for a number of atrocities in India, Ferdinand Mount set out to uncover the truth behind their lives. What emerged was an evocative, intense and thrilling history of 19th century British rule in India. Vividly and poignantly capturing the lives of one family, Mount tells the story of some of the most dramatic and terrible moments of the Indian Raj, from the mutinies, battles, massacres and famines, to the ineptitude, folly and sometimes deviousness of British rulers themselves. An epic history, full of stories of love, war, treachery and intrigue, Tears of the Rajas will surely become one of the classics of its kind.

History is such a broad and universal subject. After all, we’re all living through it and we all have our own. Here’s where you can get new perspectives on past events, discover a subject you’ve never explored or broaden your existing knowledge.

Our resident expert, Sue Baker, has compiled a wide range of great books covering everything from the major wars, or the creation of nations to the life-journeys of world-changing individuals. From social history (Family Britain by David Kynaston) and the World Wars (Swansong 1945 by Walter Kempowski) to the much loved periods of popular fiction authors (The Wars of the Roses by Dan Jones; The Rise of the Tudors: The Family that Changed Britain by Chris Skidmore): From the realities of often romanticised times (The Knight who saved England by Richard Brooks) to the lives of history’s extraordinary people (Cecily Neville: Mother of Kings by Amy Licence). You’ll find a resource here to fascinate on many levels. History without histrionics.