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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

  • The King's War

    Mark Logue

    Product Code: TKWR
    Hardback
    (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.
    • £1.00
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  • Bognor and Other Regises

    Caroline Taggart

    Product Code: BAOR
    Hardback
    Hand-picked favourites
    Caroline Taggart will take you on a guided tour of the weird and wonderful places that have been connected to royalty over the past 1,500 years including Bognor Regis and Tunbridge Wells.

    The monarchs have waged war against cousins, created their own religions and married - and divorced - for diplomatic reasons. They have also built stunning summer palaces and formidable fortresses all over Great Britain.

    The history of the royal family is told in Britain's landscapes and castles, churches, battlefields and stained-glass windows all have stories to tell. Bognor and Other Regises amusing and eye-opening book lifts the lid on them...
    • £1.00
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  • 1916: A Global History

    Keith Jeffery

    Product Code: NAGH
    Paperback
    Hand-picked favourites
    In this eye-opening book, Keith Jeffery looks at how the events of the First World War affected the rest of the world.

    Covering the 12 months of 1916, he picks out 12 key moments and reveals the impact they had on the rest of the world. As well as famous battles including Gallipoli and the Somme, the author also examines the Easter Rising, the Italian Front and the killing of Rasputin and explains how all of these related to the War.

    Thoroughly researched using a host of military, social and cultural sources, this book looks at just how much the war dramatically altered the state of so many nations.
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  • 50 People Who Screwed Up Scotland

    Allan Brown

    Product Code: AOPXP
    Paperback
    To be Scottish is to have a lot to live down, and as Allan Brown shows, this lot do the job superbly. Whether it be Robert Burns, indecipherable bard of rustic gibberish or Sean Connery, die-hard advocate of a country he refuses to live in. Or, Alex Salmond, the chortling bullfrog of separatism or Tommy Sheridan, the sexy socialist hardliner. They're all here, and many others; a veritable embassy of bad ambassadors. 50 People Who Screwed Up Scotland is a humorous and chronologically-sequential series of essays, histories and anecdotes that consider those episodes and occurrences in Scotland's political, cultural and social story where, against all odds, defeat was plucked from the jaws of victory.
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  • The Writing on the Wall

    Mike Read

    Product Code: BMPME
    Hardback
    Written by well know BBC DJ Mike Read The author is Chairman of the British Plaque Trust, the body set up to revive the Blue Plaque scheme Published to coincide with the unveiling of the BBC's plaque to Buddy Holly Major UK publicity and marketing campaign
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  • British History Timeline Poster

    Product Code: BERJG
    Other
    Supporting the history curriculum at Key Stage 2 and beyond, this stunning and highly informative poster helps pupils to understand the sequence of events that have shaped Britain and to view contemporary events and concerns in a wider perspective. Covering hundreds of thousands of years of history, from the Stone Age to the present, the poster will be a striking addition to your classroom resources. Information is divided into the sections: storyline; law and war; who, what & when; the shaping of our lives.
    • £8.99
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  • Sapiens: A Brief History of Mankind

    Yuval Noah Harari

    Product Code: ANDDK
    Paperback
    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.
    • £9.89
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  • Irish History

    Neil Hegarty

    Product Code: CDKKC
    Paperback
    From mesolithic Ireland to the peace process, this little book covers all of the main historical and cultural events, places and figures in Irish history. A must for all lovers of Ireland and the Irish. An excellent, concise guide to how Ireland has come to be what it is today. Some key events, people, topics and places include: * Monastic Ireland, Vikings and Normans * The Irish language, the Book of Kells * Patrick, Colm Cille, Brian Boru, Granuaile (Grace O'Malley) * Colonial Ireland, Emigration * Rebellion, Famine and Partition * The Troubles, Good Friday Agreement and Brexit A helpful index is found at the back of the book. Beautifully produced, Collins Little Book of Irish History is a treasure in itself and makes a perfect gift for any Ireland enthusiast.
    • £5.59
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  • The Diary of a Young Girl

    Anne Frank

    Product Code: BUNLO
    Paperback
    Anne Frank's The Diary of a Young Girl is an inspiring and tragic account of an ordinary life lived in extraordinary circumstances that has enthralled readers for generations. This Penguin Classics edition is edited by Otto H. Frank and Mirjam Pressler, translated by Susan Massotty, and includes an introduction by Elie Wiesel, author of Night. 'June, 1942: I hope I will be able to confide everything to you, as I have never been able to confide in anyone, and I hope you will be a great source of comfort and support.' In Amsterdam, in the summer of 1942, the Nazis forced teenager Anne Frank and her family into hiding. For over two years, they, another family and a German dentist lived in a 'secret annexe', fearing discovery. All that time, Anne kept a diary. Since its publication in 1947, Anne Frank's diary has been read by tens of millions of people. This Definitive Edition restores substantial material omitted from the original edition, giving us a deeper insight into Anne Frank's world. Her curiosity about her emerging sexuality, the conflicts with her mother, her passion for Peter, a boy whose family hid with hers, and her acute portraits of her fellow prisoners reveal Anne as more human, more vulnerable and more vital than ever. 'One of the greatest books of the twentieth century' Guardian 'A modern classic' Julia Neuberger, The Times
    • £8.09
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  • Take Six Girls

    Laura Thompson

    Product Code: AUPWP
    Paperback
    The eldest was a razor-sharp novelist of upper-class manners; the second was loved by John Betjeman; the third was a fascist who married Oswald Mosley; the fourth idolized Hitler and shot herself in the head when Britain declared war on Germany; the fifth was a member of the American Communist Party; the sixth became Duchess of Devonshire. They were the Mitford sisters: Nancy, Pamela, Diana, Unity, Jessica and Deborah. Born into country-house privilege in the early years of the 20th century, they became prominent as 'bright young things' in the high society of interwar London. Then, as the shadows crept over 1930s Europe, the stark - and very public - differences in their outlooks came to symbolize the political polarities of a dangerous decade. The intertwined stories of their stylish and scandalous lives - recounted in masterly fashion by Laura Thompson - hold up a revelatory mirror to upper-class English life before and after WWII.
    • £8.39
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  • A Short History of Europe

    Simon Jenkins

    Product Code: BXVNE
    Paperback
    The first short narrative history of the continent, from the author of the bestselling A Short History of England Europe is an astonishingly successful place. In this dazzling new history, bestselling author Simon Jenkins grippingly tells the story of its evolution from warring peoples to peace, wealth and freedom - a story that twists and turns from Greece and Rome, through the Dark Ages, the Reformation and the French Revolution, to the Second World War and up to the present day. Jenkins takes in leaders from Julius Caesar and Joan of Arc, to Wellington and Angela Merkel, as well as cultural figures from Aristotle to Shakespeare and Picasso. He brings together the transformative forces and dominant eras into one chronological tale - all with his usual insight, colour and authority. Despite the importance of Europe's politics, economy and culture, there has not been - until now - a concise book to tell this story. Covering the key events, themes and individuals, Jenkins' portrait of the continent could not be more timely - or masterful. 'Full of stand-out facts ... absolutely fascinating' - Richard Bacon, BBC Radio 2, on 'A Short History of England' 'Masterly, perhaps a masterpiece' - Independent, Books of the Year on England's Thousand Best Churches 'Jenkins is, like all good guides, more than simply informative: he can be courteous and rude, nostalgic and funny, elegant, convincing and relaxed' - Adam Nicolson on 'England's Thousand Best Houses', Evening Standard 'Full of the good judgements one might hope for from such a sensible and readable commentator, and they alone are worth perusing for pleasure and food for thought' - Michael Wood on 'A Short History of England', New Statesman 'Any passably cultured inhabitant of the British Isles should ask for, say, three or four copies of this book' - Max Hastings on 'England's Thousand Best Houses', Sunday Telegraph
    • £8.89
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  • The Forgotten Highlander

    Alistair Urquhart

    Product Code: ABIDD
    Paperback
    Alistair Urquhart was a soldier in the Gordon Highlanders captured by the Japanese in Singapore. He not only survived working on the notorious Bridge on the River Kwai , but he was subsequently taken on one of the Japanese 'hellships' which was torpedoed. Nearly everyone else on board died and Urquhart spent 5 days alone on a raft in the South China Sea before being rescued by a whaling ship. He was taken to Japan and then forced to work in a mine near Nagasaki. Two months later a nuclear bomb dropped just ten miles away ...This is the extraordinary story of a young men, conscripted at nineteen and whose father was a Somme Veteran, survived not just one, but three close encounters with death - encounters which killed nearly all his comrades.
    • £8.79
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  • The Battle of the Ypres-Comines Canal 1940

    Jerry Murland

    Product Code: CBYLI
    Paperback
    Known in some accounts as the Battle of Wijtschaete, the confrontation along the Ypres-Comines Canal in 1940 is still hardly remembered in this country and, apart from the battle honours displayed proudly on the colours of the regiments who took part - many no longer in existence, very little has been written about the four days which probably saved the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) from almost complete destruction. This is quite surprising, given the pivotal nature of the battle, for without the sacrifice of the battalions on the canal there would probably have been no evacuation from Dunkerque on the scale to which we have become accustomed, and the war may well have taken on a different outcome. Although there was fighting north of Ypres along the Canal Van Ieper Naar De Ijzer, where 151 Brigade and the 3rd Division were deployed, the actual Battle of the Ypres-Comines Canal took place to the south, where the three divisions of General der Infantry Viktor von Schwedler's IV Korps were pitted against three British brigades along the disused canal which runs from Comines in the south to Ypres in the north. The book looks in detail at the order of battle of the British and German units engaged and focuses on the four British brigades that fought on the canal. The mainly territorial 143 Brigade was positioned in the south, 13 Brigade was in the middle and 17 Brigade held the northern end of the line up to Zillebeke Lake. Apart from the 12/Lancers and a few tanks from 3/RTR, Ypres itself was largely defended by 150 Brigade. Major General Franklyn's instructions were to hold the line for as long as possible to allow the remainder of the BEF to strengthen the Dunkerque Perimeter. With over 150 contemporary and modern black and white photographs, ten maps, and visits to eight CWGC Cemeteries, the book enables the battlefield tourist to explore the area and undertake three car tours together with two short walks. Visitors will no doubt wish to combine a visit to the First World War sites around Ypres with the fighting along the canal in 1940, recognizing many places that were fought over in both wars
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  • The Diary of a Young Girl

    Anne Frank

    Product Code: AELVP
    Paperback
    This is the 70th Anniversary Edition. In the summer of 1942, fleeing the horrors of the Nazi occupation, Anne Frank and her family were forced into hiding in the back of an Amsterdam warehouse. Aged thirteen when she went into the secret annexe, Anne kept a diary in which she confided her innermost thoughts and feelings, movingly revealing how the eight people living under these extraordinary conditions coped with the daily threat of discovery and death, being cut off from the outside world, petty misunderstandings and the unbearable strain of living like prisoners. An intimate record of tension and struggle, adolescence and confinement, anger and heartbreak, this is the definitive edition of the diary of Anne Frank.
    • £8.09
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  • Gentleman Jack

    Katy Derbyshire

    Product Code: BUMQW
    Paperback
    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.
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  • Chernobyl

    Serhii Plokhy

    Product Code: BTXIO
    Paperback
    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.
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  • William I (Penguin Monarchs)

    Marc Morris

    Product Code: BPZUO
    Paperback
    Part of the Penguin Monarchs series: short, fresh, expert accounts of England's rulers - now in paperback On Christmas Day 1066, William, duke of Normandy was crowned in Westminster, the first Norman king of England. It was a disaster: soldiers outside, thinking shouts of acclamation were treachery, torched the surrounding buildings. To later chroniclers, it was an omen of the catastrophes to come. During the reign of William the Conqueror, England experienced greater and more seismic change than at any point before or since. Marc Morris's concise and gripping biography sifts through the sources of the time to give a fresh view of the man who changed England more than any other, as old ruling elites were swept away, enemies at home and abroad (including those in his closest family) were crushed, swathes of the country were devastated and the map of the nation itself was redrawn, giving greater power than ever to the king. When, towards the end of his reign, William undertook a great survey of his new lands, his subjects compared it to the last judgement of God, the Domesday Book. England had been transformed forever.
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  • William III & Mary II (Penguin Monarchs)

    Jonathan Keates

    Product Code: BPZUN
    Paperback
    The acclaimed Penguin Monarchs series: short, fresh, expert accounts of England's rulers - now in paperback William III (1689-1702) & Mary II (1689-94) (Britain's only ever 'joint monarchs') changed the course of the entire country's history, coming to power through a coup (which involved Mary betraying her own father), reestablishing parliament on a new footing and, through commiting Britain to fighting France, initiating an immensely long period of warfare and colonial expansion. Jonathan Keates' wonderful book makes both monarchs vivid, the cold, shrewd 'Dutch' William and the shortlived Mary, whose life and death inspired Purcell to write some of his greatest music.
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  • Edward I (Penguin Monarchs)

    Andy King

    Product Code: BPZAD
    Paperback
    The acclaimed Penguin Monarchs series: short, fresh, expert accounts of England's rulers - now in paperback Edward I (1272-1307) is one of the most commanding of all English rulers. He fought in southwest France, in Wales, In Scotland and in northern France, he ruled with ruthlessness and confidence, undoing the chaotic failure of his father, Henry III's reign. He reshaped England's legal system and came close to bringing the whole island of Great Britain under his rule. He promoted the idea of himself as the new King Arthur, his Round Table still hanging in Winchester Castle to this day. His greatest monuments are the extraordinary castles - Caernarfon, Beaumaris, Harlech and Conwy - built to ensure his rule of Wales and some of the largest of all medieval buildings. Andy King's brilliant short biography brings to life a strange, complex man whose triumphs raise all kinds of questions about the nature of kingship - how could someone who established so many key elements in England's unique legal and parliamentary system also have been such a harsh, militarily brutal warrior?
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  • Henry II (Penguin Monarchs)

    Richard Barber

    Product Code: BPYZT
    Paperback
    The acclaimed Penguin Monarchs series: short, fresh, expert accounts of England's rulers - now in paperback Henry II (1154-89) through a series of astonishing dynastic coups became the ruler of an enormous European empire. One of the most dynamic, restless and clever men ever to rule England, he was brought down both by his catastrophic relationship with his archbishop Thomas Becket and his debilitating arguments with his sons, most importantly the future Richard I and King John. His empire may have ultimately collapsed, but in Richard Barber's vivid and sympathetic account the reader can see why Henry II left such a compelling impression on his contemporaries. Richard Barber has written for Penguin The Penguin Guide to Medieval Europe, The Holy Grail and Edward III and the Triumph of England. He is a major figure in medieval studies, both as a writer and as a publisher.
    • £4.49
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  • Ancient Rome

    David Pickering

    Product Code: BJUAX
    Paperback
    From the Colosseum to Hadrian's Wall, Gem Ancient Rome shows us how Rome's vast empire laid the foundations of today's civilisation. From aqueducts to baths, from gladiators to emperors, the fascinating history of and mythology of ancient Rome are brought to life in this entertaining and highly-readable guide. With their sophisticated army, monuments and roads, the Romans literally paved the way to modern Europe. Learn about the hand-to-hand combat at gladiatorial shows, rediscover the myths and legends of the Roman gods and find out how and why Rome became the conquering superpower that it did. History will come to life in this engaging and comprehensive introduction to one of the most fascinating and influential places the world has ever known. Includes: * Geography - map of the Roman Empire * History - a timeline with the accomplishments of the emperors * Culture - what the Romans did for us * Religion - Gods and Festivals * Mythology - Virgil's Aeneid, Romulus and Remus * Daily life in Ancient Greece - different levels in society, the jobs, family life, leisure activities * Politics - transition from Republic to Dictatorship * Learning and knowledge - Law, Science, Architecture, Literature, Art * War - important wars, the Empire, the army and navy * Rome Today - temples, archaeology, and modern tourist sites
    • £5.89
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  • The Churchill Factor

    Boris Johnson

    Product Code: AOIER
    Paperback
    'The must-read biography of the year.' Evening Standard 'He writes with gusto...the result is a book that is never boring, genuinely clever ...this book sizzles.' The Times 'The point of the Churchill Factor is that one man can make all the difference.' On the eve of the fiftieth anniversary of Winston Churchill's death, and written in conjunction with the Churchill Estate, Boris Johnson explores what makes up the 'Churchill Factor' - the singular brilliance of one of the most important leaders of the twentieth century. Taking on the myths and misconceptions along with the outsized reality, he portrays - with characteristic wit and passion - a man of multiple contradictions, contagious bravery, breath-taking eloquence, matchless strategizing, and deep humanity. Fearless on the battlefield, Churchill had to be ordered by the King to stay out of action on D-Day; he embraced large-scale strategic bombing, yet hated the destruction of war and scorned politicians who had not experienced its horrors. He was a celebrated journalist, a great orator and won the Nobel Prize for Literature. He was famous for his ability to combine wining and dining with many late nights of crucial wartime decision-making. His open-mindedness made him a pioneer in health care, education, and social welfare, though he remained incorrigibly politically incorrect. Most of all, as Boris Johnson says, 'Churchill is the resounding human rebuttal to all who think history is the story of vast and impersonal economic forces'. The Churchill Factor is a book to be enjoyed not only by anyone interested in history: it is essential reading for anyone who wants to know what makes a great leader.
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  • Mary Queen of Scots

    Angela Royston

    Product Code: CDBEP
    Paperback
    Mary Queen of Scots is perhaps the most romantic and tragic figure in British history. Was her tragic life a product of bad luck, bad advice, or ambition? Destined to marry the Dauphin of France and reign as his queen, his early death changed Mary's life. As claimant then in France, England and Scotland, there are many mysteries and unanswered questions in the tragedies that befell her. This fascinating book looks at Mary Queen of Scot's life and death. Angela Royston examines Mary's early life as the Infant Queen before her childhood in France, moving onto her time in Scotland and her scandalous marriage to Lord Darnley, and Mary's imprisonment and execution after being charged with treason. A must for any student of history or visitor to England, this revised edition of a Pitkin classic is filled with colour photographs and reproductions of historical artworks and artefacts to illuminate the life of Mary Queen of Scots.
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  • The Holocaust

    Thomas Cussans

    Product Code: CCYGO
    Hardback
    The Holocaust is an attempt to explain the inexplicable - the systematic murder of millions of Europe's Jews by the Nazis and their collaborators during the Second World War. It includes facsimile documents that have been carefully selected to remind readers that the horrifying statistics represent not numbers but people. This illustrated volume describes Jewish life before the spread of Nazism in Europe and Nazi ideologies. The author discusses the mass murder, the death camps such as Auschwitz, the perpetrators, the witnesses, the escapees, the refugee havens and the 10,000 Kindertransport youngsters who were given safe haven in Britain. The Holocaust records stories of resistance and acts of heroism, and tells us of the survivors and those who risked their lives to save the Jews. Finally, it describes the liberation of the camps, the resettlement of the Jews and how the events are remembered now. Published in partnership with the Memorial de la Shoah, which contains the biggest collection of documents on the subject in Europe and is dedicated to preserving the memory of the Holocaust and educating future generations.
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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.

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