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Prime Ministers delves into the premiership's 300 year history and unearths a host of fascinating, intriguing and little-known facts about some of the best-known characters in British history, lifting the lid on the top job. Find out about the Prime Minister who only lasted 100 days, another who served for 21 years, or how Downing Street came to be the Premier's residence. Brief, accessible and entertaining pieces on a wide variety of subjects makes it the perfect book to dip in to. "The Amazing and Extraordinary Facts series" presents interesting, surprising and little-known facts and stories about a wide range of topics which are guaranteed to inform, absorb and entertain in equal measure.
During the Second World War aeronautical technology gathered rapid pace. By 1945, bombers had not only greatly increased in engine power and range, but the bombs which they carried rose from 250lbs to 10 tons; the navigator's pencil and rubber of 1939 had been supplemented by infinitely more sophisticated electronic aids. Yet the success or failure of each and every bomber still depended entirely on the efficiency of every member of the crew at his individual position, the interaction and co-operation of all crew members as a body. One member of 617 squadron graphically explained that 'every time we went out, it was seven men against the Reich'.;Drawing on letters, journals and diaries, John Sweetman examines the lives the bomber crews lived, from the highs and lows of their missions to the complexities of their friendships and the impact their place in the war had on the families and loved ones they left behind. Part collective biography, part military history, part social history: this will remain the definitive account of the bomber crews of the Second World War for years to come.
A short but powerful study of one of the great watersheds of European history Although for generations the Reformation was regarded as a major turning point in European history, in recent years its significance has been downgraded. But in this book Professor Collinson sets out to restore a sense of the Reformation as a momentous historical event. He brilliantly explores the complexities and corruption of the late-medieval Catholic Church - and the Europe-wide reform movement which produced Lutherans, Calvinists, Huguenots, Presbyterians and the Church of England, and which profoundly shaped the identity of the emerging nation-states of Europe.
The 'Warzone Collective' began in 1984 in the city of Belfast, Northern Ireland when a few local punks decided to consolidate their efforts and get their own venue, practice & social space. In 1986 the Collective opened its first premises in Belfast called 'Giros'. It provided a vegetarian cafe, practice space, screen printing facilities, etc. Over time the space soon became a focal point for anarchists, punks & other forward thinking individuals. In 1991 the Collective moved to a larger and more ambitious venue, which is where all of the photographs in this book were taken. Over the years thousands of people passed through Giros' doors and were exposed to some amazing bands, and new ideas. A strong D.I.Y. ethic defined the way gigs and events were organized. Over time, a recording studio, screen printing & photographic dark room facilities were set up, along with a vegetarian cafe. It didn't have an alcohol license - Giros was an all ages venue. The 'Warzone Centre' or 'The Centre' as it was called by some, became the counter-cultural alternative hub for the greater Belfast area and beyond. Bands from all over the world came here to play. It soon became infamous as being one of the most credible venues in Europe for D.I.Y. punk. The photographs in this book were taken sporadically over the years somewhere between 1997 - 2003. A small window of time considering the Warzone Collective opened its first venue in 1986. Towards the end of 2003 the Centre closed for a number of different reasons, leaving a huge gap in radical Belfast culture. In 2011, the Warzone Centre reopened after an 8 year hiatus, in a different venue on the opposite side of town. It is still going strong today.
The winner of the 2013 Longman-History Today Book Prize is the gripping and largely untold story of the role of the intelligence services in Britain's retreat from empire. Against the background of the Cold War, and the looming spectre of Soviet-sponsored subversion in Britain's dwindling colonial possessions, the imperial intelligence service MI5 played a crucial but top secret role in passing power to newly independent national states across the globe. Mining recently declassified intelligence records, Calder Walton reveals this `missing link' in Britain's post-war history. He sheds new light on everything from violent counter-insurgencies fought by British forces in the jungles of Malaya and Kenya, to urban warfare campaigns conducted in Palestine and the Arabian Peninsula. Drawing on a wealth of previously classified documents, as well as hitherto overlooked personal papers, this is also the first book to draw on records from the Foreign Office's secret archive at Hanslope Park, which contains some of the darkest and most shameful secrets from the last days of Britain's empire. Packed with incidents straight out of a John le Carre novel, Empire of Secrets is an exhilarating read by an exciting new voice in intelligence history.
On 15 June 1215, rebel barons forced King John to meet them at Runnymede. They did not trust the King, so he was not allowed to leave until his seal was attached to the charter in front of him. This was Magna Carta. It was a revolutionary document. Never before had royal authority been so fundamentally challenged. Nearly 800 years later, two of the charter's sixty-three clauses are still a ringing expression of freedom for mankind: 'To no one will we sell, to no one will we deny or delay right or justice'. And: 'No free man shall be taken or imprisoned or in any way ruined, except by the lawful judgement of his peers or by the law of the land'. 1215 - THE YEAR OF THE MAGNA CARTA explores what it was like to be alive in that momentous year. Political power struggles are interwoven with other issues - fashion, food, education, medicine, religion, sex. Whether describing matters of state or domestic life, this is a treasure house of a book, rich in detail and full of enthralling insights into the medieval world.
The dramatic story of Richard III, England's last medieval king, captured the world's attention when an archaeological team led by the University of Leicester identified his remains in February 2013. The Bones of a King presents the official behind-the-scenes story of the Grey Friars dig from the team of specialists who discovered and identified his remains * The most extensive and authoritative book written for non-specialists by the expert team who discovered and analysed the remains of Richard III * Features more than 40 illustrations, maps and photographs * Builds an expansive view of Richard's life, death and burial, as well as accounts of the treatment of his body prior to burial, and his legacy in the public imagination from the time of his death to the present * Explains the scientific evidence behind his identification, including DNA retrieval and sequencing, soil samples, his wounds and his scoliosis, and what they reveal about his life, his health and even the food he ate * A behind-the-scenes look at one of the most exciting historical discoveries of our time
Since the foundation of the town by King John, Liverpool has had a church by the river. Over the following centuries dozens more churches came and went, but the imprint of the activity of the Parish of Liverpool on the city and people was profound. Particularly until the mid-nineteenth century (and at times afterwards) the history of the town was inseparable from her church, and their unusually strong relationship is not replicated in other cities. Control of the church sat with the corporation (down to the council's instruction to the incumbent in 1612 to get his hair cut!), and the town claimed ownership of the church and its contents. Between the seventeenth and the nineteenth centuries the health and social care for the town was run from the church under the Elizabethan Poor Law. A beautiful book that makes essential and fascinating reading for anyone who loves Liverpool and its rich history.
Covering three centuries of unprecedented demographic and economic changes, this textbook is an authoritative and comprehensive view of the shaping of Irish society, at home and abroad, from the famine of 1740 to the present day. The first major work on the history of modern Ireland to adopt a social history perspective, it focuses on the experiences and agency of Irish men, women and children, Catholics and Protestants, and in the North, South and the diaspora. An international team of leading scholars survey key changes in population, the economy, occupations, property ownership, class and migration, and also consider the interaction of the individual and the state through welfare, education, crime and policing. Drawing on a wide range of disciplinary approaches and consistently setting Irish developments in a wider European and global context, this is an invaluable resource for courses on modern Irish history and Irish studies.
Henry VIII changed the course of English life more completely than any monarch since the Conquest. In the portraits of Holbein, Henry Tudor stands proud as one of the most powerful figures in renaissance Europe. But is the portrait just a bluff? In his brilliant new history of the life of Henry VIII, Derek Wilson explores the myths behind the image of the Tudor Lion. He was the monarch that delivered the Reformation to England yet Luther called him 'A fool, a liar and a damnable rotten worm'. As a young man he gained a reputation as an intellectual and fair prince yet he ruled the nation like a tyrant. He treated his subjects as cruelly as he treated his wives. Based on a wealth of new material and a lifetime's knowledge of the subject Derek Wilson exposes a new portrait of a much misunderstood King. PRAISE FOR DEREK WILSON'S PREVIOUS WORKS: The Uncrowned Kings of England: 'Stimulating and authorative' - John Guy 'Masterly. [Wilson] has a deep understanding of . . . characters, reaching out accross the centuries' - Sunday Times Hans Holbein: Portrait of an Unknown Man: 'Fascinating' Sarah Bradford, Daily Telegraph 'Highly readable . . . The most accurate and vivid portrayal to date' Alison Weir
A delightful memoir of Mary Elizabeth Lucy and her life at Charlecote. Mary Elizabeth Williams, an heiress from North Wales, was only twenty when in 1823 she reluctantly married George Lucy and became mistress of Charlecote Old Hall in Warwickshire. Sixty years later she wrote this engaging account of her life for her grandchildren. It was a life of great happiness, for she grew to love her husband deeply. Her country home, her children, the London season and a tour abroad all brought joy and fulfilment. But her contentment was marred by tragedy as few of her many children survived her. Her words reveal a character of great strength and determination. High-spirited, discerning and delightfully free from prudishness, Mary Elizabeth Lucy draws pen-portraits of the people she met - Queen Victoria and Sir Walter Scott among them - and provides an authentic view of life in fashionable 19th-century society.
The later medieval English church is invariably viewed through the lens of the Reformation that transformed it. But in this bold and provocative book historian George Bernard examines it on its own terms, revealing a church with vibrant faith and great energy, but also with weaknesses that reforming bishops worked to overcome. Bernard emphasizes royal control over the church. He examines the challenges facing bishops and clergy, and assesses the depth of lay knowledge and understanding of the teachings of the church, highlighting the practice of pilgrimage. He reconsiders anti-clerical sentiment and the extent and significance of heresy. He shows that the Reformation was not inevitable: the late medieval church was much too full of vitality. But Bernard also argues that alongside that vitality, and often closely linked to it, were vulnerabilities that made the break with Rome and the dissolution of the monasteries possible. The result is a thought-provoking study of a church and society in transformation.
Access to History Context Each volume provides a wide-ranging overview of the period it covers. Although emphasis is clearly on political history, the major issues affecting the economy, society, religion, culture and ideas are also given appropriate treatment. Sufficient detail is included to ensure that a sound basic knowledge and understanding is acquired. An Introduction to Tudor England, 1485-1603 This title provides an accessible introduction to the Tudor period. Key issues and important developments such as religious change, the changing social structure and the nature of government are examined and placed in relation to the wider European background. Specific events and crises in government are related to the long-term evolution and development of Tudor government and society.
Samuel Mencher spent a year in Great Britain (1965-1966) interviewing leaders of professional medical associations, executives of the health insurance societies, and general practitioners and specialists engaged in private practice. His study of the private medical service twenty years after the passage of the National Health Service Act reviews the changes, problems, and successes of the National Health Service: trends in the amount and types of private medicine, the issues of conflict between private medicine and public policy, and attitudes of the public and of medical professionals.
Eggs or Anarchy is one of the great, British stories of the Second World War yet to be told in full. It reveals the heroic tale of how Lord Woolton, Minister for Food, really fed Britain. As a nation at war, with supply routes under attack from the Axis powers and resources scarce, it was Woolton's job to fulfil his promise to the British people, and Prime Minister Winston Churchill in particular, that there would be food on the shelves each week. Persuading the public to not resort to the black market and to manage on the very limited ration was one thing, but Woolton had to fulfil his side of the bargain and maintain supplies in time of crisis. A grammar school-educated genius, he was a fish out of water in Churchill's cabinet and the PM himself doubted Woolton would survive due to the unstinting criticism he faced from colleagues, the press and public. This is the story of how he battled to save his own career while using every trick in his entrepreneurial book to secure supplies. He battled to outwit unscrupulous dealers on the black market streets of cities within the British Empire - such as Alexandria in Eygpt - persuading customs authorities to turn a blind eye to his import schemes. If Britain had gone hungry the outcome of the war could have been very different. This book, for the first time, finds out the real story of how Lord Woolton provided food for Britain and her colonies and discovers that for him there were days when it was literally a choice of 'eggs or anarchy'.
In 1768, John Witherspoon, Presbyterian leader of the evangelical Popular party faction in the Scottish Kirk, became the College of New Jersey's sixth president. At Princeton, he mentored constitutional architect James Madison; as a New Jersey delegate to the Continental Congress, he was the only clergyman to sign the Declaration of Independence. Although Witherspoon is often thought to be the chief conduit of moral sense philosophy in America, Mailer's comprehensive analysis of this founding father's writings demonstrates the resilience of his evangelical beliefs. Witherspoon's Presbyterian evangelicalism competed with, combined with, and even superseded the civic influence of Scottish Enlightenment thought in the British Atlantic world. John Witherspoon's American Revolution examines the connection between patriot discourse and long-standing debates--already central to the 1707 Act of Union-about the relationship among piety, moral philosophy, and political unionism. In Witherspoon's mind, Americans became different from other British subjects because more of them had been awakened to the sin they shared with all people. Paradoxically, acute consciousness of their moral depravity legitimized their move to independence by making it a concerted moral action urged by the Holy Spirit. Mailer's exploration of Witherspoon's thought and influence suggests that, for the founders in his circle, civic virtue rested on personal religious awakening.
For almost 250 years the Gages of Hengrave Hall, near Bury St Edmunds, were the leading Roman Catholic family in Suffolk, and the sponsors and protectors of most Catholic missionary endeavours in the western half of the county. This book traces their rise from an offshoot of a Sussex recusant family, to the extinction of the senior line in 1767, when the Gages became the Rookwood Gages. Drawing for the first time on the extensive records of the Gage family in Cambridge University Library, the book considers the Gages as part of the wider Catholic community of Bury St Edmunds and west Suffolk, and includes transcriptions of selected family letters as well as the surviving eighteenth-century Benedictine and Jesuit mission registers for Bury St Edmunds. Although the Gages were the wealthiest and most influential Catholics in the region, the gradual separation and independent growth of the urban Catholic community in Bury St Edmunds challenges the idea that eighteenth-century Catholicism in the south of England was moribund and "seigneurial". The author argues that in the end, the Gages' achievement was to create a Catholic community that could eventually survive without their patronage. Francis Young gained his doctorate from the University of Cambridge.
`When I was at primary school, my teacher asked if any of us had heard of Charles Dickens. I was amazed she knew his name, because, until that moment, I had only known him as one of my ancestors.' - Lucinda Hawksley Those who had known Charles Dickens as a child must have been astonished at his rise from being, in his own words, `a little labouring hind' to becoming one of the most famous and adored men in the world. Dickens is often described as the first `modern' author, by which it is meant that he went on book tours and engaged with his public in a manner more considered a twentieth---century phenomenon. Through sheer force of will he propelled himself out of a rather depressing existence into the circle of intelligent, radical, questioning friends who feature in this book. Guests at his parties could expect to meet actors, artists, radical politicians, prison reformers, philanthropists and musicians, as well as writers. Dickens's closest literary friends included Wilkie Collins, Elizabeth Gaskell, William Makepeace Thackeray and Alfred, Lord Tennyson. He also admired and surrounded himself with artists, including two of his oldest friends, Daniel Maclise and Augustus Egg, the celebrity painters Clarkson Frederick Stanfield, William Powell Frith and John Everett Millais, and many of his illustrators: Hablot Knight Browne (aka Phiz), George Cruikshank, and the father and son Frank and Marcus Stone. He worked tirelessly with fellow social reformers including Angela Burdett--- Coutts, Thomas Noon Talfourd and Elizabeth Jesser Reid. Beautifully illustrated with images from the Collection of the National Portrait Gallery, this book explores the man behind the novels and the lives of those around him.
London in the 1790s, Europe is in turmoil and war with France is looming. James Matthews, an Welsh tea merchant and anti war advocate who holds covert meeting with both the English and the French leaders. But Matthews believes that his mind is being controlled by revolutionary terrorists and a secret machine called the Air Loom. He is promptly declared mad and send to Bedlam. Here his delusions are celebrated as the most complex and bizarre ever recorded and strangely many of the incredible events he claims to have been involved in are entirely true.
SHORTLISTED FOR THE 2018 BAILLIE GIFFORD PRIZE A Financial Times Book of the Year A Sunday Times Book of the Year ________________________________________ 'Entertaining and well-paced... Platt's compelling book is a sobering read that should focus the minds of those who like to talk of the achievements of the Victorian age without thinking about how those were achieved, or how they were funded.' Peter Frankopan, Spectator ________________________________________ In 1839 Britain embarked on the first of its wars with China, sealing the fate of the most prosperous and powerful empire in Asia, if not the world. Motivated by drug profiteering and free-trade interests, the Opium War helped shaped the China we know today, sparking the eventual fall of the Qing dynasty and the rise of nationalism and communism in the twentieth century. Imperial Twilight is a riveting and revealing account of the end of China's Golden Age and the origins of one of the most unjust wars in history.
Muriel Newmarch was born in North London in 1903. She died in 2009, aged 106. Judith Bruce is her daughter, and Funny How Things Turn Out- part biography, part memoir - tells the story of both women, which in turn traces the unprecedented changes to women's lives during the 20th Century. The first half of the book chronicles Muriel's world through the Zeppelin raids of WW1, a painfully stilted class system, and marriage and motherhood in the 1930s - then her daughter, Judith, picks up the first-person narrative as a mischievous child in the 1940s and we stay with her until the end of the book. Woven artfully through the episodic chapters are the loves, aspirations and disappointments of two 'ordinary' women. Written with an understated elegance, Judith Bruce brings to life a barely remembered England of satin dresses at Swan & Edgar's, liberty bodices at grammar school, and English summer days where silent fathers mowed the lawn in polished shoes and unsuitable boyfriends smoked Player's Navy Cut. As we move through the post-war years from austerity and to prosperity, and Judith's working life at the BBC, the voice could almost be that of Alan Bennett. Even more so when charting the poignancy of Muriel's fading days, failing body and disappearing memory. A remarkable and accomplished portrait of life, love and changing fortunes.
The South West Peak is a lesser-known part of the Peak District stretching from Lyme Park in Cheshire in the north to Onecote in Staffordshire in the south, and from Macclesfield in the west to Buxton in the east. This landscape area includes tracts of high moorland, fertile valleys, wooded cloughs, picturesque villages and tiny hamlets. The farmers of the South West Peak are the people who have made the landscape what it is today, and it is their personal accounts of working in this often challenging land that form the basis of The Land That Made Us. Edited by local author Christine Gregory and dairy farmer Sheila Hine, and published in partnership with the Farming Life Centre and the Peak District National Park Authority with support from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, this book includes the testimony of over twenty farmers, and it is illustrated with photographs of them and their farming landscapes. We hear stories from across the generations of heroic endeavour in difficult terrain, as well as accounts of day-to-day work and family life spanning eighty years of farming history. The land had been farmed in traditional ways for centuries, but the Second World War changed that, and in succeeding years politics and increasing mechanisation have constantly rewritten the rule book for farmers. There is pride in achievement as well as frustration at the often conflicting demands of food production and wildlife conservation. The Land That Made Us asks what makes for sustainability in the short and the long term. The future of this landscape and of the farming communities that sustain it hangs in the balance, and it is the farmers' turn to reflect on their past and speculate about the future.
For nigh-on half a century, After the Battle has been exploring and photographing the battlefields of the Second World War, but now it is time to look at events nearer to home. Following the fall of France in June 1940, Britain stood alone against Germany until the first American soldiers began arriving in Britain in January 1942. At that time the only active `Battle Front' was in North Africa, yet the Home Front played a vital role in preparing a secure base for the eventual liberation of Europe. The Home Front has been described in many ways but this volume offers a snapshot of life in Britain during 1939 to 1945, illustrated with many `then and now' comparison photos.
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