History Books

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

100 Buildings, 100 Years

100 Buildings, 100 Years

Author: Twentieth Century Society, Tom Dyckhoff, Alan Powers, Timothy Brittain-Catlin Format: Hardback Release Date: 06/11/2014

What are people's favourite buildings of the last 100 years? Created by The Twentieth Century Society this beautifully produced, cloth bound book has chosen a building for each year from 1914 to 2014. The buildings were nominated by their supporters and, along with information on the building, each entry gives the very personal reasons why they have been chosen. Fascinating, if only to find out which has been chosen in your birth year.   The book was edited by Susannah Charlton with Elain Harwood.

1000 Years of Annoying the French

1000 Years of Annoying the French

Author: Stephen Clarke Format: Paperback Release Date: 07/05/2015

NEW UPDATED EDITION Was the Battle of Hastings a French victory? Non! William the Conqueror was Norman and hated the French. Were the Brits really responsible for the death of Joan of Arc? Non! The French sentenced her to death for wearing trousers. Did the French write God Save the Queen ? Non! But that's what they claim. Ten centuries' worth of French historical 'facts' bite the dust as Stephen Clarke looks at what has really been going on since 1066 ... Featuring new annoyances - both historical and recent - inflicted on the French, including Napoleon's banned chamber pot, Louis XIV's painful operation, Anglo-French jibes during the 2012 London Olympics, French niggles about William and Kate's royal wedding, and much more ...

eBooks of the Month
1492 - The Year Our World Began

1492 - The Year Our World Began

Author: Felipe Fernandez-Armesto Format: Hardback Release Date: 01/02/2010

1492- the year pinpointed by the author as the end of the ancient world and the beginning of the modern world – our world. We are taken on a global journey finding out what was taking place in this year; expeditions, collapsing civilisations new empires beginning, Diasporas and discoveries. Using contemporary sources this inventive and highly original history gives us a unique picture of the times.Like for Like ReadingGod’s Philosophers: How the Medieval World Laid the Foundations of Modern Science, James Hannam1491: The Americas before Columbus, Charles C Mann

1599 A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare

1599 A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare

Author: James Shapiro Format: Paperback Release Date: 06/04/2006

This work presents an intimate history of Shakespeare, following him through a single year that changed not only his fortunes, but the course of literature. How did Shakespeare go from being a talented poet and playwright to become one of the greatest writers who ever lived? In this one exhilarating year, we follow what he reads and writes, what he saw, and who he worked with as he invests in the new Globe theatre and creates four of his most famous plays - Henry V , Julius Caesar , As You Like It , and, most remarkably, Hamlet.

eBooks of the Month
1864 The Forgotten War That Shaped Modern Europe

1864 The Forgotten War That Shaped Modern Europe

Author: Tom Buk-Swienty Format: Paperback Release Date: 02/04/2015

The Battle of Dybbol, 1864. Prussian troops lay siege to an outpost in the far south of Denmark. The conflict is over control of the Duchy of Schleswig, recently annexed by Denmark to the alarm of its largely German-speaking inhabitants. Danish troops make a valiant attempt to hold out but are overrun by the might of the Prussian onslaught. Of little strategic importance, the struggle for Schleswig foreshadowed the same forces that, fifty years later, would tear Europe apart. Prussia's victory would not only rejuvenate its nascent militarism, but help it claim leadership of the new German Empire. Told in rich detail through first-hand accounts, Tom Buk-Swienty's magisterial account of the Schleswig conflict tells the story of this pivotal war. 1864 shows how a minor regional conflict foreshadowed the course of diplomacy that led to the First World War and brutally presaged the industrialised future of warfare. But most of all, in its human detail, from touching letters between husbands and wives to heartbreaking individual stories of loss, 1864 is a gripping, epic human drama that shows the effect all wars have on the soldiers, on families and on the individual men and women who must live its realities.

eBooks of the Month
1913 The World Before the Great War

1913 The World Before the Great War

Author: Charles Emmerson Format: Paperback Release Date: 06/02/2014

Forever in the shadow of the war which followed, 1913 is usually seen as little more than the antechamber to apocalypse. Our perspectives narrowed by hindsight, the world of that year is reduced to its most frivolous features - last summers in grand aristocratic residences, a flurry of extravagant social engagements - or its most destructive ones: the unresolved rivalries of the great European powers, the anxieties of a period of accelerated change, the social fear of revolution, the violence in the Balkans. Our images of the times are too often dominated by the faded pastels of upper-class indulgence or by the unmitigated blackness of a world rushing headlong into the abyss of an inevitable war. 1913: The World before the Great War proposes a strikingly different portrait, returning the world in that year to its contemporary freshness, its future still undecided, its outlook still open. Told through the stories of twenty-three cities - Europe's capitals at the height of their global reach, the emerging metropolises of America, the imperial cities of Asia and Africa, the boomtowns of Australia and the Americas - Charles Emmerson presents a panoramic view of a world crackling with possibilities, from St Petersburg to Shanghai and from Los Angeles to Jerusalem. What emerges is a rich and complex world, more familiar than we expect, connected as never before, on the threshold of events which would change the course of global history.

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
1918 and The Last Summer in Russia

1918 and The Last Summer in Russia

Author: Evelyn Lakovsky Format: Paperback Release Date: 06/06/2011

Born in Kiev 1900, Mikhail was shattered to be told in 1910 that the couple he believed were his parents, were only guardians on behalf of his real father – Grand Duke Mikhail Alexandrovich Romanov.  Born out of wedlock from the Grand Duke’s liaison with his sister’s Lady-in-Waiting, who was subsequently banished from Russia as their marriage was forbidden, Mikhail had been placed with the guardians for secrecy. Mikhail’s life changed from then on when he was enrolled into Military Academy and later in the Corps de Pages.  His father then married a divorcee, which caused him to be banished from Russia too, but on the outbreak of WW1, his brother the Emperor allowed him to return to fight for his country.  With the coming of the 1917 Revolution, Mikhail was placed as a Guard of the Imperial Family during their house arrest.  When the Romanovs were moved to Ipatiev House, Mikhail in the guise of a Red Guard was involved with others in a plan to rescue them in 1918.  Sadly during the escape, they were intercepted and taken into the woods, where Mikhail was ordered to shoot the Emperor but refused, then before fleeing the scene, he witnessed the most horrific massacre.Although he was given a new identity in England, it was obvious somebody traced him and made attempts to eliminate him for the rest of his life, and despite continually moving, he still suffered sabotage by fires to his homes and businesses, but tragically family members died as a result, even his 20 month old child who was deliberately set alight whilst sleeping.

1922 Scenes from a Turbulent Year

1922 Scenes from a Turbulent Year

Author: Nick Rennison Format: Hardback Release Date: 18/11/2021

Nick Rennison has quite the résumé as man of letters. Variously a writer, editor and bookseller, he has reviewed for the Sunday Times, The Daily Mail and BBC History Magazine, penned half a dozen anthologies of short stories, written two crime novels and three non-fiction titles and otherwise exercised his particular interest in the Victorian era. With his latest work he delves into more recent history and takes us on a month by month tour of the events that defined this tumultuous year, bookended by the notorious ‘Fatty’ Arbuckle scandal in January and ending with the lesser known, but no less scandalous, Thompson and Bywaters murder and adultery trail. There’s plenty in here of the notable headline happenings; US prohibition, the founding of the BBC, the publications of The Waste Land and Ulysses, Ghandis’ arrest, Tutankhamun’s discovery, the creation of the Soviet Union and much, much more to make this a rich and informative read. But what really sets this apart from being a mere almanack of facts is Rennison’s ability to create colour and tone within each scene so that the whole reads as a gripping account of a world in a state of vibrant flux . In this fascinating, illustrative  - and at times cautionary  - small volume he has created a wonderful jigsaw puzzle where each piece, each small scene, builds to become a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts, and in so doing Rennison provides a timely reminder that our present is future’s history and we will be lauded, or judged, accordingly. 

1938: Hitler's Gamble

1938: Hitler's Gamble

Author: Giles Macdonogh Format: Hardback Release Date: 25/06/2009

This book concentrates on the year when Hitler’s true plans began to unfold. The year of Kristallnacht and the Anschluss. A dark period in history told in great detail, the author having had access to new sources. Just when you think everything has been told about this period more facts come to light. A brilliant account of events.

eBooks of the Month
1965 The Year Modern Britain Was Born

1965 The Year Modern Britain Was Born

Author: Christopher Bray Format: Hardback Release Date: 24/04/2014

There is Britain before 1965 and Britain after 1965 - and they are not the same thing. 1965 was the year Britain democratised education, it was the year pop culture began to be taken as seriously as high art, the time when comedians and television shows imported the methods of modernism into their work. It was when communications across the Atlantic became instantaneous, the year when, for the first time in a century, British artists took American gallery-goers by storm. In 1965 the Beatles proved that rock and roll could be art, it was when we went car crazy, and craziness was held to be the only sane reaction to an insane society. It was the year feminism went mainstream, the year, did she but know it, that the Thatcher revolution began, the year taboos were talked up - and trashed. It was when racial discrimination was outlawed and the death penalty abolished; it marked the appointment of Roy Jenkins as Home Secretary, who became chief architect in legislating homosexuality, divorce, abortion and censorship. It was the moment that our culture, reeling from what are still the most shocking killings of the century, realised it was a less innocent, less spiritual place than it had been kidding itself. It was the year of consumerist relativism that gave us the country we live in today and the year the idea of a home full of cultural artefacts - books, records, magazines - was born. It was the year when everything changed - and the year that everyone knew it.

21 Lessons for the 21st Century

21 Lessons for the 21st Century

Author: Yuval Noah Harari Format: Paperback Release Date: 22/08/2019

**THE NUMBER ONE BESTSELLER** In twenty-one bite-sized lessons, Yuval Noah Harari explores what it means to be human in an age of bewilderment. '21 Lessons is, simply put, a crucial book' Adam Kay How can we protect ourselves from nuclear war, ecological cataclysms and technological disruptions? What can we do about the epidemic of fake news or the threat of terrorism? What should we teach our children? Yuval Noah Harari takes us on a thrilling journey through today's most urgent issues. The golden thread running through his exhilarating new book is the challenge of maintaining our collective and individual focus in the face of constant and disorienting change. Are we still capable of understanding the world we have created? 'Fascinating... compelling... [Harari] has teed up a crucial global conversation about how to take on the problems of the 21st century' Bill Gates, New York Times 'Truly mind-expanding... Ultra-topical' Guardian