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Our historical events and topics books cover history through the ages and focus on all the different eras and events that have impacted our world.

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Historical Events & Topics Books

Our historical events and topics books cover history through the ages and focus on all the different eras and events that have impacted our world.

  • LEAD

    Leaders Who Changed History (Hardback)

    DK

    Hand-picked favourites
    This fully illustrated DK hardback looks at the leaders who have had a lasting impact on the history of the world - from presidents to prophets and conquerers to CEOs.

    It features accessible biographical profiles of good, evil, successful and tragic figures alongside specially commissioned portraits in eye-catchingly bold artwork styles and also contains photographs and infographics any armchair historian will be happy to pore over.

    Among the leaders and legacies you can learn about are Alexander the Great, Genghis Khan, Elizabeth I, Cleopatra and Emmeline Pankhurst. This immersive book covers their lives, motivations, achievements and innovations.
    • £5.99
    • RRP £17.99
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  • Clearance
    WTHI

    Walk Through History (Hardback)

    Christopher Winn

    (1) Hand-picked favourites
    I Never Knew That About London author Christopher Winn takes you on a series of walks through central London that will open your eyes to the events that happened in the city during the Victorian era.

    Among the little-known facts he reveals are the 300-foot bell tower at the Houses of Parliament; a hidden chapel in Bloomsbury that was described by Oscar Wilde as 'the most delightful private chapel in London'; and the best Victorian loos in the world that are located near Old Street.
    • £2.99
    • RRP £9.99
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  • URCH

    Churchill: The Life (Hardback)

    Max Arthur

    Hand-picked favourites
    Commemorating 50 years since the death of Winston Churchil, this is a unique illustrated biography for anyone interested in the history of Britain.

    It includes rare and previously unpublished images from the vaults of the Churchill Archive Centre and family pictures from the Broadwater collection. Written by historian Max Arthur, the book covers everything from Churchill's youth and early military career through to the First and Second World Wars and his post-war life.

    Endlessly fascinating, it includes timelines, speech drafts, telegrams and insights into Churchill's key influences, acquaintances and family.
    • £3.99
    • RRP £25.00
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  • PSCH

    Passchendaele (Hardback)

    Nick Lloyd

    (1) Hand-picked favourites
    The Battle of Passchendaele took place between July and November 1917 and is widely regarded as one of the worst battles of both World Wars.

    Fought by the Allies against the German Empire in a small corner of Belgium, it was a horrific event that ended with over 500,000 men killed, maimed, gassed or drowned - and many bodies were never found.

    This book marks the centenary of the event. Historian Nick Lloyd references previously unexamined German documents to explain how the offensive put the Allies nearer to a major turning point in the war than anyone has ever imagined...

    It's a fascinating and poignant read for anyone with an interest in military history, trench warfare or past wars.
    • £4.99
    • RRP £25.00
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  • Clearance
    AWLH

    A Woman Lived Here (Hardback)

    Allison Vale

    (1) Hand-picked favourites
    Only 111 of the 903 Blue Plaques that honour Londoners belong to women. This, despite thousands of truly remarkable women making significant and lasting impacts on every aspect of modern life...

    From politics and social reform to arts, medicine, science, technology and sport, this book celebrates those women whose achievements have largely went unnoticed and explains how their actions, ideas and inventions helped make the world a richer place to live in.

    Some of these women went about their lives and worked quietly with courage, conviction, skill and compassion, while others were fearless trailblazers who shattered the status quo of a 'man's world'.
    • £3.99
    • RRP £12.99
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  • WTLW

    Writers: Their Lives and Works (Hardback)

    DK

    Hand-picked favourites
    Bookworms and literature lovers will delve into this compendium full of over 100 biographies of the world's greatest writers including Jane Austen, William Shakespeare and Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

    Each author, playwright and poet's profile is accompanied by a stunning portrait and a critical evaluation of their key ideas, themes and techniques.

    From the Middle Ages through to contemporary writers, this book offers a captivating insight into the lives, loves and influences of a number of extraordinary writers.
    • £7.00
    • RRP £20.00
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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
    • RRP £20.00
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  • TSWW

    The Second World War (Hardback)

    David Horner

    (1) Hand-picked favourites
    Written by nine eminent historians, this eye-opening book focuses on the men and women who lived and died during the Second World War.

    This tome draws on contemporary documentation, private writings and historical research to show what life was like for people ranging from soldiers to factory workers and civilians.

    This is an evocative and essential account of the period between 1939 and 1945 that changed the world forever.
    • £10.99
    • RRP £30.00
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  • IWMH

    Imperial War Museum's History Collection - 3 Books (Collection)

    (1) Hand-picked favourites
    Published in conjunction with the Imperial War Museum, this three-book collection brings together a fascinating and authoritative social history of the Second World War.

    A Prayer for Gallipoli covers the Great War from the point of view of a chaplain. Kenneth Best had no military training, so to fulfil his pastoral role, he had to get close to the front line and work with troops as they were under fire. As his empathy for the troops grew larger, he became more and more disgusted with their leaders. These diaries provide an insight into the horrific realities of trench warfare.

    The Secret History of the Blitz by Joshua Levine looks at the people that are not normally mentioned during accounts of the War - those spivs, outcasts and unsung heroes who were in the shadows; and D-Day to Victory features the diaries of a British tank commander as the war finally came to an end.

    All written using archive and primary sources, these are candid and compelling reads about the triumphs and tragedies of war.
    • £4.99
    • RRP £24.97
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    • Just £1.66 per book
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  • Clearance
    OTDY

    On This Day (Paperback)

    (1) Hand-picked favourites
    This fact-filled book gives armchair historians the chance to learn all about the world-changing events that happened on every day of the year.

    Looking back over the past 2,000 years of history, it covers births, deaths and landmark occasions from the worlds of politics, sport, the arts, economics and science.

    This eye-opening book also includes evocative black and white images as it recalls the likes of the rise of the vote for women in the UK and Cooke's discovery of Hawaii.

    Find out what happened on your birthday!
    • £5.99
    • RRP £20.00
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  • Clearance
    ETCW

    Events that Changed the World (Paperback)

    Hand-picked favourites
    This book looks at how the world has changed since the beginning of the 20th century and how various major events have shaped the way we live. It has sections dedicated to humanity and liberty, culture and society, technology, medicine, science, space and the environment and politics and war.

    From the optimistic excitement at the start of the century when extraordinary scientific breakthroughs and new inventions were promising so much to the tumultuous and violent battles that followed, it's a whirlwind read through modern history.

    Covering culture, humanity, war, science and space among many other elements, this book covers everything from the sinking of the Titanic and the assassination of JFK to the release of the first personal computer. Other events include The Beatles releasing 'Please Please Me', the moon landing and the Chernobyl Disaster.
    • £5.49
    • RRP £15.00
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  • Clearance
    UNIN

    Our Uninvited Guests (Hardback)

    Julie Summers

    Hand-picked favourites
    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
    • RRP £20.00
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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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  • 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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  • BXIOU

    The Spy and the Traitor (Paperback)

    Ben MacIntyre

    *Shortlisted for the 2018 Ballie Gifford Prize* 'THE BEST TRUE SPY STORY I HAVE EVER READ' JOHN LE CARRE A thrilling Cold War story about a KGB double agent, by one of Britain's greatest historians On a warm July evening in 1985, a middle-aged man stood on the pavement of a busy avenue in the heart of Moscow, holding a plastic carrier bag. In his grey suit and tie, he looked like any other Soviet citizen. The bag alone was mildly conspicuous, printed with the red logo of Safeway, the British supermarket. The man was a spy. A senior KGB officer, for more than a decade he had supplied his British spymasters with a stream of priceless secrets from deep within the Soviet intelligence machine. No spy had done more to damage the KGB. The Safeway bag was a signal: to activate his escape plan to be smuggled out of Soviet Russia. So began one of the boldest and most extraordinary episodes in the history of spying. Ben Macintyre reveals a tale of espionage, betrayal and raw courage that changed the course of the Cold War forever...
    • £5.99
    • RRP £8.99
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  • AXDIA 7 years +

    Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls (Hardback)

    Elena Favilli

    (4)
    What if a princess didn't marry went on to become an astronaut? And what if the queen was the one really in charge of the kingdom?

    Illustrated by 60 female artists from every corner of the globe, this essential book introduces children to 100 remarkable women including Ada Lovelace to Malala, Elizabeth I to Serena Williams.

    A truly empowering, moving and inspirational read.

    This title has been shortlisted for 2018's British Book Award Children's Book of the Year.
    • £16.00
    • RRP £20.00
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  • BRKLK

    The Choice (Paperback)

    Edith Eger

    This incredible memoir is an award-winning international bestseller written by Holocaust survivor, Edith Eger.

    Edith was sixteen years old in 1944 when she and her family were sent to Auschwitz during the Second World War. After being separated from her parents on arrival, she endured unimaginable experiences including being made to dance for the infamous Josef Mengele.

    When the camp is finally liberated, she is pulled from a pile of bodies, barely alive. The horrors of the Holocaust didn't break Edith. In fact, they helped her learn to live again with a life-affirming strength and a truly remarkable resilience. The Choice is her unforgettable story. It shows that hope can flower in the most unlikely places.
    • £7.19
    • RRP £8.99
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  • BUNSW

    The Feminism Book (Hardback)

    DK

    Exploring more than 100 of the most important ideas, organizations, and events to have defined the feminist movement, this is an essential introduction to feminism. The latest entry in DK's bestselling Big Ideas series, The Feminism Book is a complete study of feminism. Trace the subject from its origins, through the suffrage campaigns of the late 19th century, to recent developments such as the Everyday Sexism Project and the #MeToo movement. Examine the ideas that underpin feminist thought through crucial figures, from Simone de Beauvoir to Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, and discover the wider social, cultural, and historical context of their impact. Find out who campaigned for birth control, when the term "intersectionality" was coined, and what "postfeminism" really means in this comprehensive book. Using the Big Ideas series' trademark combination of authoritative, accessible text and bold graphics, the most significant concepts and theories have never been easier to understand. Packed with inspirational quotations, eye-catching infographics, and clear flowcharts, The Feminism Book is a must-have for anyone with an interest in the subject.
    • £14.39
    • RRP £17.99
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  • AWXZZ

    Hidden Figures (Paperback)

    Margot Lee Shetterly

    #1 New York Times Bestseller NOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE Oscar Nominated For Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay Set amid the civil rights movement, the never-before-told true story of NASA's African-American female mathematicians who played a crucial role in America's space program. Before Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, a group of professionals worked as 'Human Computers', calculating the flight paths that would enable these historic achievements. Among these were a coterie of bright, talented African-American women. Segregated from their white counterparts, these 'colored computers' used pencil and paper to write the equations that would launch rockets, and astronauts, into space. Moving from World War II through NASA's golden age, touching on the civil rights era, the Space Race, the Cold War, and the women's rights movement, Hidden Figures interweaves a rich history of mankind's greatest adventure with the intimate stories of five courageous women whose work forever changed the world.
    • £7.89
    • RRP £8.99
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  • AWQHD

    A People's Tragedy (Paperback)

    Orlando Figes

    Unrivalled in scope and brimming with human drama, A People's Tragedy is the most vivid, moving and comprehensive history of the Russian Revolution available today. "A modern masterpiece". (Andrew Marr). "The most moving account of the Russian Revolution since Doctor Zhivago". (Independent). Opening with a panorama of Russian society, from the cloistered world of the Tsar to the brutal life of the peasants, A People's Tragedy follows workers, soldiers, intellectuals and villagers as their world is consumed by revolution and then degenerates into violence and dictatorship. Drawing on vast original research, Figes conveys above all the shocking experience of the revolution for those who lived it, while providing the clearest and most cogent account of how and why it unfolded. Illustrated with over 100 photographs and now including a new introduction that reflects on the revolution's centennial legacy, A People's Tragedy is a masterful and definitive record of one of the most important events in modern history.
    • £15.89
    • RRP £20.00
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Explore the history of the world through the events and individuals that shaped it. In this category you’ll find books on all manner of fascinating historical topics, from wars to monarchies to information on social history and maps. Become an armchair historian with our brilliant historical events and topics books.

Immerse yourself in the cultural history of the world

Learn all about the art, literature and style of the past from all around the world in our cultural history books. Or, take a peek into what society was like in days gone by in our social history books.

War and revolutions

Some of the most important and influential events in history have been linked to wars, revolutions, rebellions and battles and in our range of history books you can read all about these incredibly important historical events.

Discover your own family history

Become your own personal genealogist and map out your family history with our genealogy books. See what unexpected ancestors you can discover.