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Our world history books cover general history and tell you everything you need to know about the world's past. From life-changing battles and wars to fascinating inventions and discoveries.

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World History Books

Our world history books cover general history and tell you everything you need to know about the world's past. From life-changing battles and wars to fascinating inventions and discoveries.

  • LBEH

    English History (Paperback)

    Robert Peal

    Hand-picked favourites
    This little Collins book covers all the key people, places and events from English history, from the Battle of Hastings and the World Wars to the rise of the Beatles and Brexit.

    Presented in an accessible format, this concise guide shows how England became what it is today and will be enjoyed by visitors to England and history enthusiasts alike!
    •   2 for £5 Offer details
      Offer only applies to products with the 2 for £5 messaging. The Book People reserves the right to remove or amend this promotion. Offer subject to stock availability. Not to be used in conjunction with any other offer. For UK and Euro customer use only.
    • £2.99
    • RRP £6.99
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  • SPFR

    Spitfire (Hardback)

    John Nichol

    (4) Hand-picked favourites
    This brilliant hardback book provides a heartfelt tribute to one of the most magnificent flying machines of all time - the iconic Spitfire.

    Written by bestselling author and former Royal Air Force navigator John Nichol, it looks over the history of the vehicle and its various innovations and updates and contains stories and first-hand accounts from those who flew them.

    From the Spitfire's deployment during World War II to its role on the D-Day beaches, this is an accessible and high-flying account of battling pilots who had to bail out over occupied territory, aristocratic female flyers and mechanics who braved the Nazi onslaught to keep the crafts in battle-ready condition.
    • £5.99
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  • Clearance
    SPIG

    Secret Pigeon Service (Hardback)

    Gordon Corera

    (1) Hand-picked favourites
    BBC security correspondent Gordon Corera reveals the story of MI14 and the Secret Pigeon Service during the Second World War for the first time in this compelling read.

    Using extensive original research and declassified documents, he reveals the inner workings of 'Columba' - an operation that saw 16,000 plucky homing pigeons dropped in an arc from Bourdeaux to Copenhagen in an effort to bring back intelligence from those living under Nazi occupation.

    The messages came flooding back from France, the Netherlands and Belgium - all written on tiny pieces of rice paper that has been tucked into canisters and tied to the legs of the birds - and these authentic missives ranged from the comic to the tragic and occasionally invaluable, giving the British Intelligence advance notice of German troop movements, weapons and more.

    Corera also looks at the people behind this mission, not many of whom were trained agents or experienced in spying. He focuses in particular on the Leopold Vindictive network, a small group of Belgian villagers - led by priest Joseph Raskin - who were always prepared to risk everything. This is a powerful and tragic tale of wartime espionage that looks at a quirky and quarrelsome band of spy masters and their unique operations.
    • £5.99
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  • TOBH

    The Treasures of British History (Hardback)

    Peter Snow

    Hand-picked favourites
    Peter and Dan Snow, two of Britain's most popular historians, discuss the importance of 50 key documents in this incredibly informative hardback tome.

    Presented in eye-catching style, this book finds Peter and Dan offering an authoritative commentary explaining each document's criteria for selection and an examination of their pertinent details.

    From the Magna Carta to Hitler's letter to Chamberlain agreeing he'd never go to war and the official design for the FA Cup, these documents have been researched from the collections of The National Archives, The British Museum, The British Library and the National Records of Scotland.

    A must for all history enthusiasts!
    • £7.99
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  • LZPC

    History of London Collection - 3 Books (Collection)

    Hand-picked favourites
    Covering the Victorian and Elizabethan eras alongside Dr. Johnson's time, these three books from Liza Picard provide a vivid social history of London through the ages.

    Victorian London covers everything from rag-gatherers to royalty and fish knives to freemasons as it explains how ordinary people lived in this important time; Elizabeth's London starts by focusing on the River Thames and its role in the city's history. It then moves on to describe the streets, houses and gardens that were popular during this time.

    Dr. Johnson's London focuses on the years between 1740 and 1770, when the gin craze was just starting to gain ground. She also looks back at the clothes, hobbies, houses and etiquette of the era.

    Format: Paperback
    • £8.99
    • RRP £38.97
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  • Clearance
    UNIN

    Our Uninvited Guests (Hardback)

    Julie Summers

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    Social historian Julie Summers looks over the period during the Second World War when thousands of families had to make the heartbreaking decision to leave everything they knew and start a new life in a location where Hitler's Luftwaffe could not reach them - and the role Britain's country houses had to play in this.

    Based on extensive research and interviews, Julie conveys the problems these families faced during the early years of the conflict and examines the locations that they were sent to. She also looks at the problems and social stigmas they had to face and overcome in each different area.

    This hardback shines a light on a previously untold story from the Second World War. It looks at how people from all walks of life found themselves in these most esteemed surroundings and how the juxtaposition of splendour and opulence was at odds with their temporary residents' needs.
    • £3.99
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  • LBBH

    The Little Book of Big History (Hardback)

    Ian Crofton

    Hand-picked favourites
    Ian Crofton's The Little Book of Big History will take you all the way from the beginning of our planet through to what's in store for our future. It's a concise, accessible and authoritative account of humanity.

    It incorporates everything from the Big Bang to modern day theories and will help you understand the entire story of the cosmos in an accessible way.

    Breaking down the main themes of the universe, this is an informative and essential guide for anyone interested in space and the universe. It includes a timeline that explains how we came to be.
    • £4.99
    • RRP £12.99
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  • ACKR

    Revolution (Hardback)

    Peter Ackroyd

    (1) Hand-picked favourites
    Peter Ackroyd presents the latest instalment in his History of England with Revolution, a book covering the years between 1688 and 1815.

    From William of Orange's accession following the Revolution to the Regency when England once again found itself at war with France (a war that ended with the defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo), this looks at life during the late Stuart and Georgian eras.

    During this time, the Bank of England and stock exchange were founded and the Church of England was fully established as the guardian of the spiritual life of the nation. Newspapers also first flourished during this era and the English novel was born. It was also a time when coffee houses, playhouses and shops began to pop up in towns and villages all across the nation.

    The industrial revolution also occurred in this period and this was a time when England transformed from a country of blue skies and farmland to one of soot and steel and coal.
    • £6.99
    • RRP £25.00
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  • STMH

    Speeches That Made History (Paperback)

    Hand-picked favourites
    This flexibound book contains a hand-picked selection of quotes, off-the-cuff remarks, retorts and announcements that have helped shape our history.

    From as early as 73 BC through to the modern day, these speeches from figures as diverse as Karl Marx, Gandhi and Barack Obama offer a wealth of opinions, statements and ideologies.

    From lengthy and impassioned pleas to the shorter soundbites that make our world go round today, these speeches are all thought-provoking and tackle subjects ranging from history and love to science, sports and war.
    • £5.99
    • RRP £15.00
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  • WHKG

    White King (Hardback)

    Leanda de Lisle

    Hand-picked favourites
    As the man in charge at the time the nation entered the Civil War, Charles I's reign is one of the most dramatic in history. However, Charles as a man was an elusive individual. He is often regarded as weak and his wife, Henrietta Maria, as spoilt but Leanda de Lisle's thoroughly researched biography reveals him to be principled and brave but also blinkered.

    Charles I is revealed to be a complex man who pays the price for bringing radical change; Henrietta Maria a warrior queen and political player as impressive as any Tudor. This book also focuses on the cousins who befriended and betrayed the royal couple - the peacocking Henry Holland, whose brother engineered the king's fall and the 'last Boleyn girl' Lucy Carlisle.

    This is an almost unbelievable story that ties in everything from populist politicians and religious war to a new media and reshaping of the nation where women vied with men for power.
    • £6.99
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  • TKWR

    The King's War (Hardback)

    Mark Logue

    (1) Hand-picked favourites
    Peter Conradi and Mark Logue's follow-up to The King's Speech (which was adapted into an Oscar-winning film starring Colin Firth) looks at how George VI and speech therapist Lionel Logue's relationship continued to thrive after the monarch made his speech about the outbreak of war.

    Drawing on exclusive material (diaries, letters and documents) from the Logue archives, this book reveals how the therapist continued to play a vital role in the king's life from the dark days of Dunkirk through to D-Day and beyond.

    It's a fascinating portrait of two men and their respective families - the Windsors and the Logues - as they worked their way through one of the greatest challenges in Britain's history.
    • £6.99
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  • CHLL

    Churchill (Hardback)

    Christopher Catherwood

    Hand-picked favourites
    Leading Winston Churchill scholar Dr. Christopher Catherwood reveals what the former prime minister - a man often declared the greatest statesman to have ever lived - was like as a man in this painstakingly researched biography. It's packed with photographs and artefacts from the former PM's life.

    Drawing on archive interviews, artworks and personal notes for some of Churchill's most famous and inspiring wartime speeches, this book explores his hidden history in detail. From being homesick while at boarding school to his successes and failures (he disastrous Gallipoli campaign and his blind spot over India), it reveals him to be a powerful, colourful and remarkable character.

    This is a must-read for anyone who is fascinated in political history and those who have gained an interest in the politician after seeing John Lithgow in The Crown or Gary Oldman's Oscar-winning performance in The Darkest Hour.
    • £7.99
    • RRP £20.00
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  • MPSH

    Mapping Shakespeare (Hardback)

    Jeremy Black

    Hand-picked favourites
    This visual exploration of the time in which William Shakespeare lived is filled with jaw-dropping facts and observations. It considers what The Bard was like as a man and covers the cultural changes that took place during his lifetime - 1564-1616.

    From the time of the Tudors to Elizabeth I's reign and the first of the Stuart kings, this book reflects the political changes that were reflected in his works and explains how he worked through maps and illustrations to look at how powerful people viewed their positions in the world.

    Author Jeremy Black also explores the locations of Shakespeare's plays and examines the reasons why he chose to set them in these locations.
    • £10.99
    • RRP £25.00
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  • BGYUB

    The Secret Diaries of Miss Anne Lister (Paperback)

    Anne Lister

    These remarkable diaries are a piece of lost lesbian history. Anne Lister defied the role of womanhood seen in the novels of Jane Austen: she was bold, fiercely independent, a landowner, industrialist, traveller - and lesbian. She kept extensive diaries, written partly in code, of her life and loves. The diaries have been edited by Helena Whitbread, who spent years decoding and transcribing them. '[Anne Lister's] sense of self, and self-awareness, is what makes her modern to us. She was a woman exercising conscious choice. She controlled her cash and her body. At a time when women had to marry, or be looked after by a male relative, and when all their property on marriage passed to their husband, Anne Lister not only dodged the traps of being female, she set up a liaison with another woman that enhanced her own wealth and left both of them free to live as they wished ...The diaries gave me courage' Jeanette Winterson 'Engaging, revealing, at times simply astonishing: Anne Lister's diaries are an indispensable read for anyone interested in the history of gender, sexuality, and the intimate lives of women' Sarah Waters
    • £8.69
    • RRP £10.99
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  • BTXIO

    Chernobyl (Paperback)

    Serhii Plokhy

    Award-winning historian Serhii Plokhy's Chernobyl: History of a Tragedy is the winner of the Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-Fiction 2018. It's a must-read for anyone with an interest in modern history and those who have been compelled - and shocked - by the stunning Sky Atlantic TV series Chernobyl starring Jared Harris.

    On 26 April 1986 at 1.23am, a reactor at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Soviet Ukraine exploded. While the authorities scrambled to understand what was occurring, workers, engineers, firefighters and those living in the area were abandoned to their fate - and the blast put the world on the brink of nuclear annihilation.

    This book draws on recently opened archives to recreate events in all their drama, providing a moment-by-moment account of the heroes, perpetrators and victims of the Cold War tragedy.
    • £7.99
    • RRP £9.99
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  • ANDDK

    Sapiens: A Brief History of Mankind (Paperback)

    Yuval Noah Harari

    Yuval Noah Harari's A Brief History of Mankind will take you all the way through human history and explain how we came to live in the world we do today. From being insignificant apes to the discovery of fire, the beginnings of farming and how money and science make the world go round, it's a truly extraordinary tale and all told in witty and accessible prose.

    This incredible non-fiction book has sold over a million copies and can count individuals as diverse as Barack Obama, Bill Gates and Jarvis Cocker among its fans. It's a book you'll definitely remember reading for the first time.
    • £7.99
    • RRP £10.99
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  • BUMQW

    Gentleman Jack (Paperback)

    Katy Derbyshire

    The extraordinary life of history's first modern lesbian who inspired the television series Gentleman Jack Anne Lister's journals were so shocking that the first person to crack their secret code hid them behind a fake panel in his ancestral home. Anne Lister was a Regency landowner, an intrepid world traveller ... and an unabashed lover of other women. In this bold new biography, prizewinning author Angela Steidele uses the diaries to create a portrait of Anne Lister as we've never seen her before: a woman in some ways very much of her time and in others far ahead of it. Anne Lister recorded everything from the most intimate details of her numerous liaisons through to her plans to make her fortune by exploiting the coal seams under her family estate in Halifax and her reaction to the Peterloo massacre. She conducted a love life of labyrinthine complexity, all while searching for a girlfriend who could provide her with both financial security and true love. Anne Lister's rich and unconventional life is now the subject of the major BBC TV drama series Gentleman Jack.
    • £7.89
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  • BIJWP

    Queen Victoria's Children (Paperback)

    John Van der Kiste

    Queen Victoria and Albert, Prince Consort had nine children who despite their very different characters, remained a close-knit family. Inevitably, as they married into European royal families their loyalties were divided and their lives dominated by political controversy. This is not only the story of their lives in terms of world impact, but also of their own personal achievements, their individual contributions to public life in Britain and overseas and in their roles as the children of Queen Victoria and the Prince Consort.
    • £8.99
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  • BYIGM

    On Chapel Sands (Hardback)

    Laura Cumming

    Laura Cumming's On Chapel Sands is a book of mystery and memoir.

    Two narratives run through it: the mother's childhood tale; and Cumming's own pursuit of the truth. Humble objects light up the story: a pie dish, a carved box, an old Vick's jar. Letters, tickets, recipe books, even the particular slant of a copperplate hand give vital clues. And pictures of all kinds, from paintings to photographs, open up like doors to the truth.

    Above all, Cumming discovers how to look more closely at the family album - with its curious gaps and missing persons - finding crucial answers, captured in plain sight at the click of a shutter...
    • £14.99
    • RRP £16.99
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  • BXZSF

    The Quest for Queen Mary (Paperback)

    James Pope-Hennessy

    'A scary portrait of put-upon servants and potty aristos ... this is arguably the most riotously funny volume published this year' Max Hastings, Sunday Times 'One of the funniest, most eccentric books of the year' Craig Brown, Mail on Sunday When James Pope-Hennessy began his work on Queen Mary's official biography, it opened the door to meetings with royalty, court members and retainers around Europe. The series of candid observations, secrets and indiscretions contained in his notes were to be kept private for 50 years. Now published in full for the first time and edited by the highly admired royal biographer Hugo Vickers, this is a riveting, often hilarious portrait of the eccentric aristocracy of a bygone age. Giving much greater insight into Queen Mary than the official version, and including sharply observed encounters with, among others, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, the Duke of Gloucester, and a young Queen Elizabeth, The Quest for Queen Mary is set to be a classic of royal publishing.
    • £8.79
    • RRP £10.99
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  • BXKEW

    Spitfire (Paperback)

    John Nichol

    THE SUNDAY TIMES NON FICTION BESTSELLER 'The best book you will ever read about Britain's greatest warplane.' Patrick Bishop, bestselling author of Fighter Boys. `A rich and heartfelt tribute to this most iconic British machine. By focussing on the men (and women) who flew the Spitfire, John Nichol has brought a fresh and powerful perspective to the story. And by recording their bravery, humility, camaraderie, tragedy and sheer joy in flying their beloved Spits he has done them - and us - a valuable service' Rowland White, bestselling author of Vulcan 606 'As the RAF marks its centenary, Nichol has created a thrilling and often moving tribute to some of its greatest heroes.' Jon Dennis, Mail on Sunday magazine. 'A stirring portrait of a piece of aviation art in motion flown by the bravest of the brave. Nichol's Spitfire is still a sky-borne prima ballerina that kicks like Bruce Lee.' The Royal Air Force Times. 'A superb and compelling book. Brilliantly written with some incredible and astonishing stories; it is gripping, moving, emotional and sometimes humorous - just perfect' Squadron Leader (Ret) Clive Rowley, former Officer Commanding RAF Battle Of Britain Memorial Flight 'A superb journey through the remarkable tale of that British icon, the Spitfire. Brilliantly and engagingly written, this is the most readable story of the aircraft and her pilots that I have ever had the pleasure to read in a period spanning some forty-odd years of personal study and research. Truly stunning.' Andy Saunders, Editor, Britain at War Magazine. The perfect complementary narrative to the bestselling memoir by Geoffrey Wellum - First Light. Achtung, Spitfire! The iconic Spitfire found fame during the darkest early days of World War II. But what happened to the redoubtable fighter and its crews beyond the Battle of Britain, and why is it still so loved today? In late spring 1940, Nazi Germany's domination of Europe had looked unstoppable. With the British Isles in easy reach since the fall of France, Adolf Hitler was convinced that Great Britain would be defeated in the skies over her southern coast, confident his Messerschmitts and Heinkels would outclass anything the Royal Air Force threw at them. What Hitler hadn't planned for was the agility and resilience of a marvel of British engineering that would quickly pass into legend - the Spitfire. Bestselling author John Nichol's passionate portrait of this magnificent fighter aircraft, its many innovations and updates, and the people who flew and loved them, carries the reader beyond the dogfights over Kent and Sussex. Spanning the full global reach of the Spitfire's deployment during WWII, from Malta to North Africa and the Far East, then over the D-Day beaches, it is always accessible, effortlessly entertaining and full of extraordinary spirit. Here are edge-of-the-seat stories and heart-stopping first-hand accounts of battling pilots forced to bail out over occupied territory; of sacrifice and wartime love; of aristocratic female flyers, and of the mechanics who braved the Nazi onslaught to keep the aircraft in battle-ready condition. Nichol takes the reader on a hair-raising, nail-biting and moving wartime history of the iconic Spitfire populated by a cast of redoubtable, heroic characters that make you want to stand up and cheer.
    • £5.99
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  • BWKQI

    Vietnam (Paperback)

    Max Hastings

    Sir Max Hastings has authored twenty-six books, some of which have become bestsellers and have been translated all over the world. This masterful chronicle covers one of the most devastating conflicts of the 20th century, the tragedies of Vietnam.

    Hastings spent the past three years interviewing participants and researching a multitude of American and Vietnamese documents to create this epic narrative that covers all events from 1945 through to 1975. He portrays the battle of Dienbienphu, the Tet offensive, the air blitz, as well as less familiar events such as the bloodbath at Daido.

    This magnificent volume is able to blend a political and military narrative of the entire conflict using heart-stopping personal experiences. He marshals testimony from warlords, peasants, statesmen, and soldiers to create this extraordinary record of tragedy.
    • £6.99
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  • BXYZF

    The Adventures of Maud West, Lady Detective (Hardback)

    Susannah Stapleton

    Maud West ran her detective agency in London for more than thirty years, having started sleuthing on behalf of society's finest in 1905. Her exploits grabbed headlines throughout the world but, beneath the public persona, she was forced to hide vital aspects of her own identity in order to thrive in a class-obsessed and male-dominated world. And - as Susannah Stapleton reveals - she was a most unreliable witness to her own life. Who was Maud? And what was the reality of being a female private detective in the Golden Age of Crime? Interweaving tales from Maud West's own `casebook' with social history and extensive original research, Stapleton investigates the stories Maud West told about herself in a quest to uncover the truth. With walk-on parts by Dr Crippen and Dorothy L. Sayers, Parisian gangsters and Continental blackmailers, The Adventures of Maud West, Lady Detective is both a portrait of a woman ahead of her time and a deliciously salacious glimpse into the underbelly of `good society' during the first half of the twentieth century.
    • £14.99
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  • BXKIV

    The Adventures of Alexander von Humboldt (Hardback)

    Andrea Wulf

    Meet Alexander von Humboldt: the great lost scientist, visionary, thinker and daring explorer; the man who first predicted climate change, who has more things named after him than anyone else (including a sea on the moon), and who has inspired generations of writers, thinkers and revolutionaries . . . In The Adventures of Alexander von Humboldt, 88-year-old Humboldt takes us on a fantastic voyage, back through his life, tracing his footsteps around the rainforests, mountains and crocodile-infested rivers of South America when he was a young man. Travel with him to Venezuela, to Lake Valencia, the Llanos and the Orinocco, and follow him during his time in Cuba, Cartagena, Bogota and his one-year trek across the Andes, as he climbs the volcano Chimborazo, explores Inca monuments, and visits Washington D.C. to meet Thomas Jefferson and campaign for the abolition of slavery. With encounters with indigenous peoples, missionaries, colonists and jaguars, and incorporating Humboldt's own sketches, drawings and manuscripts, this is a thrilling adventure story of history's most daring scientist.
    • £16.00
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Explore the world through the historical events that made it what it is today with our brilliant world history books.

Discover the world through its rich history

Whatever time period or part of the world interests you, you’ll find loads of fascinating facts and stories in our extensive range of international history books.

History across continents and time periods

Discover all the stories the world has to offer across the seas and continents. Whether you love the history of home or want to explore events from across the globe, there is so much to find in our books on general history.

Incredible stories of war, revolution and unusual reigns

The defining moments of history are detailed and examined in our world history books, including true stories of the most famous monarchs and most frightening battles.