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The Blitz of 1940-41 is one of the most iconic periods in modern British history - and one of the most misunderstood. The 'Blitz spirit' is celebrated by some, whereas others dismiss it as a myth. Joshua Levine's thrilling biography rejects the tired arguments and reveals the human truth: the Blitz was a time of extremes of experience and behaviour. People werepulling together and helping strangers, but they were also breaking rules and exploiting each other. Life during wartime, the author reveals, was complex and messy and real. From the first page readers will discover a different story to the one they thought they knew - from the sacrifices made by ordinary people to a sudden surge in the popularity of nightclubs; from secret criminal trials at the Old Bailey to a Columbine-style murder in an Oxford college. There were new working opportunities for women and the appearance of unfamiliar cultures: whilst prayers were offered up in a south London mosque, Jamaican sailors were struggling to cross the country.Unlikely friendships were fostered and surprising sexualities explored - these years saw a boom in prostitution and even the emergence of a popular weekly magazine for fetishists. On the darker side, racketeers and spivs made money out of the chaos, and looters prowled the night to prey on bomb victims. From the lack of cheese to the decreased suicide rate, this astonishing and entertaining book takes the true pulse of a 'blitzed nation'. And it shows how social change during this time led to political change - which in turn has built the Britain we know today.
`Victorians Undone is the most original history book I have read in a long while' Daily Mail A SUNDAY TIMES BOOK OF THE YEAR * AN OBSERVER BOOK OF THE YEAR A groundbreaking account of what it was like to live in a Victorian body from one of our best historians. Why did the great philosophical novelist George Eliot feel so self-conscious that her right hand was larger than her left? Exactly what made Darwin grow that iconic beard in 1862, a good five years after his contemporaries had all retired their razors? Who knew Queen Victoria had a personal hygiene problem as a young woman and the crisis that followed led to a hurried commitment to marry Albert? What did John Sell Cotman, a handsome drawing room operator who painted some of the most exquisite watercolours the world has ever seen, feel about marrying a woman whose big nose made smart people snigger? How did a working-class child called Fanny Adams disintegrate into pieces in 1867 before being reassembled into a popular joke, one we still reference today, but would stop, appalled, if we knew its origins? Kathryn Hughes follows a thickened index finger or deep baritone voice into the realms of social history, medical discourse, aesthetic practise and religious observance - its language is one of admiring glances, cruel sniggers, an implacably turned back. The result is an eye-opening, deeply intelligent, groundbreaking account that brings the Victorians back to life and helps us understand how they lived their lives.
Elizabeth Woodville, The White Queen(2009), Margaret Beaufort, The Red Queen(2010), and Jacquetta, Lady Rivers, The Lady of the Rivers (2011) are the subjects of the first three novels in Philippa Gregory's Cousins' War series, and of the three biographical essays in this book. Philippa Gregory and two historians, leading experts in their field who helped Philippa to research the novels, tell the extraordinary 'true' stories of the life of these women who until now have been largely forgotten by history, their background and times, highlighting questions which are raised in the fiction and illuminating the novels. With a foreword by Philippa Gregory - in which Philippa writes revealingly about the differences between history and fiction and examines the gaps in the historical record - and beautifully illustrated with rare portraits, The Women of the Cousins' Waris an exciting addition to the Philippa Gregory oeuvre.
The forty-seventh volume of Anglo-Saxon England begins with a record of the eighteenth conference of the International Society of Anglo-Saxonists, and ends with a fourth supplement to the Hand-list of Anglo-Saxon Non-Runic Inscriptions. Other articles in this volume cover a diverse range of subjects, including Skaldic art in Cnut's court, alliteration in Old English poetry, the northern world of an Anglo-Saxon mappa mundi and the Germanic context of Beowulf. Religious matters are given particular consideration in this volume: new light is shed on the lost St Margaret's crux nigra, and on Anglo-Breton contact between the tenth and twelfth centuries through an examination of St Kenelm and St Melor. Also included are an account of Archbishop Wulfstan's forgery of the 'laws of Edward and Guthrum', and an edition of the four sermons attributed to Candidus Witto. Each article is preceded by a short abstract.
The surprising, deliciously dramatic, and ultimately heartbreaking story of King George III's radical pursuit of happiness in his private life with Queen Charlotte and their 15 children
In the U.S., Britain's George III, the protagonist of "A Royal Experiment," is known as the king from whom Americans won their independence and as "the mad king," but in Janice Hadlow's groundbreaking and entertaining new biography, he is another character altogether--compelling and relatable.
He was the first of Britain's three Hanoverian kings to be born in England, the first to identify as native of the nation he ruled. But this was far from the only difference between him and his predecessors. Neither of the previous Georges was faithful to his wife, nor to his mistresses. Both hated their own sons. And, overall, their children were angry, jealous, and disaffected schemers, whose palace shenanigans kick off Hadlow's juicy narrative and also made their lives unhappy ones.
Pained by his childhood amid this cruel and feuding family, George came to the throne aspiring to be a new kind of king--a force for moral good. And to be that new kind of king, he had to be a new kind of man. Against his irresistibly awful family background--of brutal royal intrigue, infidelity, and betrayal--George fervently pursued a radical domestic dream: he would have a faithful marriage and raise loving, educated, and resilient children.
The struggle of King George--along with his wife, Queen Charlotte, and their 15 children--to pursue a passion for family will surprise history buffs and delight a broad swath of biography readers and royal watchers.
The Blitz was a defining moment of the Second World War when civilians faced total war from the air with bombing raids over Britain. This title brings back the effect of the chilling wail of the air-raid siren followed by anxious, sleepless nights and stories of bravery from ordinary people in extraordinary situations. Well-illustrated with contemporary photographs, this book explores the Blitz and its effect on places and people.
Retaining well-loved features from the previous editions, Stuart Britain and the Crisis of Monarchy has been approved by AQA and matched to the 2015 specifications. This textbook covers AS and A Level content together and covers in breadth issues of change, continuity, and cause and consequence in in this period of British history through key themes such as how far did the monarchy change during Stuart Britain, why were there disputes over religion, how effective was opposition, and how important were ideologies and individuals. Its aim is to enable you to understand and make connections between the six key thematic questions covered in the specification. Students can further develop vital skills such as historical interpretations and source analyses via specially selected sources and extracts. Practice questions and study tips provide additional support to help familiarize students with the new exam style questions, and help them achieve their best in the exam.
A friend once said of Churchill "He is a man of simple tastes; he is quite easily satisfied with the best of everything." But dinners for Churchill were about more than good food, excellent champagnes and Havana cigars. "Everything" included the opportunity to use the dinner table as a stage on which to display his brilliant conversational talents, and an intimate setting in which to glean gossip and diplomatic insights, and to argue for the many policies he espoused over a long life. In this riveting, informative and entertaining book Cita Stelzer draws on previously untapped archival material, diaries of guests, and a wide variety of other sources to tell of some of the key dinners at which Churchill presided before, during and after World War II - including the important conferences at which he used his considerable skills to attempt to persuade his allies, Franklin Roosevelt and Joseph Stalin, to fight the war according to his strategic vision. With fascinating new insights into the food he ate, the champagnes he loved, as well as original menus, seating plans and unpublished photographs, Dinner with Churchill is a sumptuous treat. The next best thing to being there yourself.
Bletchley Park was where one of the war's most famous - and crucial - achievements was made: the cracking of Germany's "Enigma" code in which its most important military communications were couched. This country house in the Buckinghamshire countryside was home to Britain's most brilliant mathematical brains, like Alan Turing, and the scene of immense advances in technology - indeed, the birth of modern computing. The military codes deciphered there were instrumental in turning both the Battle of the Atlantic and the war in North Africa. But, though plenty has been written about the boffins, and the codebreaking, fictional and non-fiction - from Robert Harris and Ian McEwan to Andrew Hodges' biography of Turing - what of the thousands of men and women who lived and worked there during the war? What was life like for them - an odd, secret territory between the civilian and the military? Sinclair McKay's book is the first history for the general reader of life at Bletchley Park, and an amazing compendium of memories from people now in their eighties - of skating on the frozen lake in the grounds (a depressed Angus Wilson, the novelist, once threw himself in) - of a youthful Roy Jenkins, useless at codebreaking, of the high jinks at nearby accommodation hostels - and of the implacable secrecy that meant girlfriend and boyfriend working in adjacent huts knew nothing about each other's work.
True-life recollections from the Channel Islanders who were the only British subjects to live under Nazi rule in WWII.
In the summer of 1940, Britain stood perilously close to invasion. One by one, the nations of Europe had fallen to the unstoppable German Blitzkrieg, and Hitler’s sights were set on the English coast. And yet, following the success of the Battle of Britain, the promised invasion never came. The prospect of German jackboots landing on British soil retreated into the realm of collective nightmares. But the spectre of what might have been is one that has haunted us down the decades, finding expression in counterfactual history and outlandish fictions. What would a British occupation have looked like?
The answer lies closer to home than we think, in the experiences of the Channel Islanders – the only British people to bear the full brunt of German Occupation. For five years, our nightmares became their everyday reality. The people of Guernsey, Jersey and Sark got to know the enemy as those on the mainland never could, watching in horror as their towns and villages were suddenly draped in Swastika flags, their cinemas began showing Nazi propaganda films, and Wehrmacht soldiers goose-stepped down their highstreets.
Those who resisted the regime, such as the brave men and women who set up underground newspapers or sheltered slave labourers, encountered the full force of Nazi brutality. But in the main, the Channel Islands occupation was a ‘model’ one, a prototype for how the Fuhrer planned to run mainland Britain. As a result, the stories of the islanders are not all misery and terror. Many, in fact are rather funny – tales of plucky individuals trying to get by in almost impossible circumstances, and keeping their spirits up however they could. Unlike their compatriots on the mainland, the islanders had no Blitz to contend with, but they met the thousand other challenges the war brought with a similar indomitable spirit. The story of the Channel Islands during the war is the history that could so nearly have come to pass for the rest of us. Based on interviews with over a hundred islanders who lived through it, this book tells that story from beginning to end, opening the lid on life in Hitler’s British Isles.
Retaining well-loved features from the previous editions, Wars and Welfare has been approved by AQA and matched to the new 2015 specification. This textbook explores in depth a transformative period of British history, during which democratically elected government faced a series of challenges, and British society underwent fundamental change. It focuses on key ideas such as reform, patriotism and pacifism, and covers events and developments with precision.Students can further develop vital skills such as historical interpretations and source analyses via specially selected sources and extracts. Practice questions and study tips provide additional support to help familiarize students with the new exam style questions, and help them achieve their best in the exam.
`Intensely alive to the landscape; its pasts, people and creatures' Robert Macfarlane Take a journey into our ancient past. Explore a long-lost landscape and gradually discover the minds, beliefs and cultural practices of those souls who lived on these lands thousands of years before you. Travelling the length and breadth of Britain, James Canton pursues his obsession with the physical traces of the ancient world: stone circles, flint arrowheads, sacred stones, gold, and a lost Roman road. He ponders the features of the natural world that occupied ancient minds: the night sky, shooting stars, the rising and setting sun. Wandering to the furthest reaches of the islands, he finds an undeciphered standing stone north of Aberdeen and follows the first footsteps on the edge of a long-lost Ice Age land in the North Sea. As Canton walks the modern terrain, slowly understanding the ancient signs that lie within and beneath it, he weaves a gentle tale of discovery, showing how, beyond the superficial differences of life-style and culture, the ancient inhabitants of the British Isles were much closer to the present-day one than we might imagine.
Drawing on the War Cabinet papers, other government documents, private diaries, newspaper accounts, and memoirs,Never Surrender tells the story of summer of 1940, the summer of the 'Supreme Question' of whether or not the British were to surrender to the impending threat of Hitler's invasion. The events, individuals, and institutions that influenced the War Cabinet's deliberations offer a panoramic view of the summer of 1940. Impressive in scope but attentive to detail, Kelly takes readers from the battlefield to Parliament, to the government ministries, to the British high command, to the desperate Anglo-French conference in Paris and London, to the American embassy in London, and to life with the ordinary Britons. Bringing vividly to life one of the most heroic moments of the twentieth century and intimately portraying some of its largest players - Churchill, Lord Halifax, FDR, Joe Kennedy, Hitler, Stalin and others - Never Surrenderis a character-driven narrative of a crucial period in World War II history and the men and women who shaped it.
On 1 September 1939 Operation Pied Piper bgan to place the children of Britain's industrial cities beyond the reach of the Luftwaffe. 1.5 million children, pregnant women and schoolteachers were evacuated in 3 days. A further 2 million children were evacuated privately; the largest mass evacuation of children in British history. Some children went abroad, others were sent to institutions, but the majority were billeted with foster families. Some were away for weeks or months, others for years. Homecoming was not always easy and a few described it as more difficult than going away in the first place. In When the Children Came Home Julie Summers tells us what happened when these children returned to their families. She looks at the different waves of British evacuation during WWII and explores how they coped both in the immediate aftermath of the war, and in later life. For some it was a wonderful experience that enriched their whole lives, for others it cast a long shadow, for a few it changed things for ever. Using interviews, written accounts and memoirs, When the Children Came Homeweaves together a collection of personal stories to create a warm and compelling portrait of wartime Britain from the children's perspective.
No Englishman has made more impact on the history of his nation than Oliver Cromwell; few have been so persistently maligned in the folklore of history. The central purpose of Antonia Fraser's book is the recreation of his life and character, freed from the distortions of myth and Royalist propaganda. Cromwell was a man of contradictions and surprising charm. The ruthless Psalm-singing General of the battlefields was also a country gentleman who, after his victory at Worcester paused to hawk in the fields nearby; the stern Puritan was also an exceptionally doting father; the most decisive and ruthless of commanders was also the passionate connoisseur of music; the strong man of England was prey to exhausting prolonged bouts of irresolution and as Lord Protector kept England on tenterhooks for a week while he wrestled with his conscience whether to accept the Crown. Of Cromwell's fitness for high office, both military and civil, this text leaves no doubt. Under his rule English prestige abroad rose to a level unequalled since Elizabeth I. Yet - as Antonia Fraser's assessment shows - his campaign in Ireland has cast a shadow over his reputation. This biography displays insight into t
Portrays Elizabeth I's turbulent life and times and the achievements of the talented men of the time, among them Sir Francis Drake, Sir Walter Raleigh and William Shakespeare. Look out for more Pitkin Guides on the very best of British history, heritage and travel.
'Brilliantly entertaining and historically priceless' Spectator 'Fascinating ... as much a contribution to royal legend as to the history of the war' Daily Telegraph As Assistant Private Secretary to four monarchs, 'Tommy' Lascelles had a ringside seat from which to observe the workings of the royal household and Downing Street during the first half of the 20th century. These fascinating diaries begin with Edward VIII's abdication and end with George VI's death and his daughter Elizabeth's Coronation. In between we see George VI at work and play, a portrait more intimate than any other previously published. This compelling account also includes Princess Margaret's relationship with Peter Townsend, and throws an intriguing new light on the way in which King George VI and Winston Churchill worked together during the Second World War. Lascelles was a fine writer - like most of the best diaries his are a delight to read as well as being invaluable history.
Retaining all the well-loved features from the previous editions, The English Revolution has been approved by AQA and matched to the 2015 specification. With a strong focus on skills building and exam practice, this book covers a period of major change in-depth, focusing on key ideas, events and developments with precision. Students can further develop vital skills such as historical interpretations and source analyses via specially selected sources and extracts. Practice questions and study tips provide additional support to help familiarise students with the new exam style questions, and help them achieve their best in the exam.
'Julie Summers has an amazing instinct for unearthing good stories and telling quotes.' Craig Brown, The Mail On Sunday. 'This is an enjoyable book, peppered with examples of under-reported wartime heroism.' Robert Leigh-Pemberton, The Daily Telegraph 'It's hard to believe that there are still untold stories about Britain and World War II, but Julie Summers has unearthed a fascinating one that she tells with great verve and style. All in all, Uninvited Guests is a sheer delight.' Lynne Olson, author of Citizens of London and Last Hope Island A remarkable narrative set against the dark days of World War Two, from one of the country's foremost social historians. Our Uninvited Guests perfectly captures the spirit of upheaval at the beginning of the Second World War when thousands of houses were requisitioned by the government to provide accommodation for the armed forces, secret services and government offices as well as vulnerable children, the sick and the elderly, all of whom needed to be housed safely beyond the reach of Hitler's Luftwaffe. Julie Summers gives the reader a behind-the-scenes glimpse of life in some of Britain's greatest country houses that were occupied by people who would otherwise never have set foot in such opulent surroundings.Blenheim Palace was colonised by schoolboys who slept in the Long Library; Polish special agents trained in the grounds of Audley End House, learning to forge and lie their way into occupied Europe in the old nursery. Brocket Hall, former home of Queen Victoria's favourite Lord Melbourne, was used as a maternity home for women from the East End of London, and the Rothschilds' magnificent French chateau-inspired Waddesdon Manor housed a hundred children under five. The Northern Highlands, where the fierce warriors of Scotland's past developed their unconventional military skills, played host to the most extreme form of warfare, training agents in the fine arts of sabotage, subterfuge and assassination. The juxtaposition of splendour and opulence with the everyday activities of people whose needs were at odds with their new surroundings is at the heart of this book. This thought-provoking and evocative narrative captures a crucial period in the social history of Britain. Praise for Julie Summers: 'Superb...highly recommended' Who Do You Think You Are Magazine 'A remarkable collection of stories...a rich and moving book' Mail on Sunday 'Summers is a good and knowledgeable writer...powerful, emotional stuff' Independent 'A poignant, lingering account' BBC History Magazine 'A revelation - full of information, reminiscences, humour and social history. Reading it not only gave me great pleasure but also made me proud to be a member of such a long lasting, valuable and vital organisation' Helen Carey OBE, former chairman of the National Federation of Women's Institutes
1927. Britain's heritage is vanishing. Beautiful landscapes are being bulldozed. Historic buildings are being blown up. Stonehenge is collapsing. Enter Ferguson's Gang, a mysterious and eccentric group of women who help the National Trust to fight back. The Gang raise huge sums, which they deliver in delightfully strange ways: Victorian coins inside a fake pineapple, a one hundred pound note stuffed inside a cigar, five hundred pounds with a bottle of homemade sloe gin. Their stunts are avidly reported in the press, and when they make a national appeal for the Trust, the response is overwhelming. Ferguson's Gang is instrumental in saving places from Cornwall to the Lake District, a legacy of incalculable value. Yet somehow these women stay anonymous, hiding behind masks and bizarre pseudonyms such as Bill Stickers, Red Biddy, the Bludy Beershop and Sister Agatha. They carefully record their exploits, their rituals, even their elaborate picnics, but they take their real names to the grave. Now Sally Beck and Polly Bagnall can reveal the identities of these unlikely national heroes and tell the stories of their fascinating and often unconventional lives. With the help of relatives, colleagues and friends, we can finally get to know the women who combined a serious mission with such a sense of mischief.
Established in June 1940, the Long Range Desert Group was the inspiration of scientist and soldier Major Ralph Bagnold, a contemporary of T.E Lawrence who, in the inter-war years, explored the North African desert in a Model T Ford automobile. Mortimer takes us from the founding of the LRDG, through their treacherous journey across the Egyptian Sand Sea and beyond, offering a hitherto unseen glimpse into the heart of this most courageous organisation, whose unique and valiant contributions to the war effort can now finally be recognized and appreciated. Praise for Gavin Mortimer: "With unparalleled access to SBS's archive, Mortimer draws on private papers to produce the definitive account of the SBS's extraordinary exploits in WWII." Sunday Telegraph "The SBS is finally being recognised thanks to a remarkable new book. Author Gavin Mortimer spent more than a decade interviewing veterans, scrutinising SBS archives and poring over recently declassified documents to write The SBS in World War 2." Daily Mirror "This gripping first-hand account of the raid is one of many previously unpublished resources that Mortimer's book draws on." The Times "Mortimer deserves full credit for assembling a mountain of material and presenting it with lucidity and balance" Philip Ziegler, Daily Mail
Winner of the St Ermin's Intelligence Book of the Year Award. 'One of the great biographies of 2015.' The Times Fully updated edition including recently released information. A Guardian Book of the Year. The Times Best Biography of the Year. Mail on Sunday Biography of the Year. Daily Mail Biography of Year. Spectator Book of the Year. BBC History Book of the Year. 'A remarkable and definitive portrait ' Frederick Forsyth 'Andrew Lownie's biography of Guy Burgess, Stalin's Englishman ... shrewd, thorough, revelatory.' William Boyd 'In the sad and funny Stalin's Englishman, [Lownie] manages to convey the charm as well as the turpitude.' Craig Brown Guy Burgess was the most important, complex and fascinating of 'The Cambridge Spies' - Maclean, Philby, Blunt - all brilliant young men recruited in the 1930s to betray their country to the Soviet Union. An engaging and charming companion to many, an unappealing, utterly ruthless manipulator to others, Burgess rose through academia, the BBC, the Foreign Office, MI5 and MI6, gaining access to thousands of highly sensitive secret documents which he passed to his Russian handlers. In this first full biography, Andrew Lownie shows us how even Burgess's chaotic personal life of drunken philandering did nothing to stop his penetration and betrayal of the British Intelligence Service. Even when he was under suspicion, the fabled charm which had enabled many close personal relationships with influential Establishment figures (including Winston Churchill) prevented his exposure as a spy for many years. Through interviews with more than a hundred people who knew Burgess personally, many of whom have never spoken about him before, and the discovery of hitherto secret files, Stalin's Englishman brilliantly unravels the many lives of Guy Burgess in all their intriguing, chilling, colourful, tragi-comic wonder.
A pocket-sized guide to around 140 of Ireland's most dramatic castles and strongholds, all of which are open to the public, with structures from across the whole island of Ireland. A handy 8-page map of all locations featured is included. Historical background and architectural details for each of the castles, accompanied by a beautiful colour photograph. Includes all major sites. Contains an introduction on Ireland's castles - history, description of classification of building type with examples. Includes details on the property's custodianship, a description of the gardens where relevant, location, website and phone number.
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