History

Historical Events & Topics Books

  • ETCW
    • £5.99
    • RRP £15.00
    • Save £9.01
    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.
  • March, Women, March - Hardback - 9780233005256 - Lucinda Dickens Hawksley
    MWMA
    • £4.99
    • RRP £16.99
    • Save £12.00
    It is now a hundred years since the suffragette movement helped belatedly gain women (aged over 30 who met certain property qualifications) the right to vote. This must-read book marks the centenary by focusing on the courageous campaigners who refused to accept that men knew what was best for them.

    Based on archive letters, diaries and anecdotes, this hardback will take you from the publication of Mary Wollstencraft's A Vindication of the Rights of Women in 1792 through to the battle cries and slogans of the Suffragette movement during the early 20th century.

    The quest for equal rights changed the world and this compelling and important read - complete with a foreword by Dr. Helen Pankhurst - shows you how. It's an inspiring account of a very important time in our history.
  • SPIG
    • £6.99
    • RRP £20.00
    • Save £13.01
    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.
  • The British Serviceman of the First World War Collection - 3 Books - Collection - 9781784423025
    BSWW
    • £5.99
    • RRP £23.97
    • Save £17.98
    • Just £2.00 per book
    These three books are full of true stories about the heroes who fought in the First World War.

    David and Stuart Hadaway's The British Airman of the First World War covers the pilots, observers and gunners that played a vital part in the Allied war effort; Quintin Colville's The British Sailor of the First World War explores the everyday experiences of those who served in the navy between 1914 and 1918; and Peter Doyle's The British Solder of the First World War goes beyond the familiar picture of soldier in muddy trenches and reveals what it was like to be an average British 'Tommy' - both in battle and at rest.

    All extensively researched, these are incredible books about the humans behind one of the world's most important battles.
    Format: paperback
  • Our Uninvited Guests - Hardback - 9781471152535 - Julie Summers
    UNIN
    • £6.99
    • RRP £20.00
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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.
  • CNTY
    • £5.99
    • RRP £20.00
    • Save £14.01
    Six women who have lived the last hundred years of British history reveal how their lives have changed since the suffragettes won the right for women (over 30 and who met certain property qualifications) to vote in 1918.

    Hailing from locations spread across Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland, Helena, Olive, Edna, Joyce, Ann and Phyllis - The Century Girls - explain what they saw, how they were treated, who they loved, what they did and where they are now. They look back at times as housewives and working and describe the surroundings they grew up in.

    This is a personal account of how women gradually began to build independent lives for themselves in post-Great War Britain and what their day-to-day lives were like and how they changed throughout the following decades.
  • TYHS
    • £4.99
    • RRP £16.99
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    Tiny Histories is the perfect book for anyone with an interest in history. Wittily told, it reveals the seemingly insignificant coincidences, decisions and acts that have helped to shape British history.

    Fun and informative, it reveals how the world we live in is often shaped by trivial events rather than the actions of world leaders and looks at the enormous repercussions that mistakes like a wrong turn and an act of chivalry can have.

    Looking behind the scenes of wars, politics, the arts, food, science and health and safety, this is a great book for history buffs and pub quiz trivia fans.
  • MPSH
    • £10.99
    • RRP £25.00
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    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.
  • Elizabeth's Rival - Hardback - 9781782437499 - Nicola Tallis
    ELRV
    • £6.99
    • RRP £20.00
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    Nicola Tallis unveils the story of Lettice Knollys, one of the most prominent women of the Elizabethan era.

    Cousin to Elizabeth I (and also quite likely to be an illegitimate granddaughter of Henry VIII), Lettice had a life full of both dizzying highs and dreadful lows. She was a darling of the court who became embroiled in a love triangle with Robert Dudley and Elizabeth I.

    She was plagued by scandals of both affairs and murder and eventually lost a husband and son to the executioner's axe. Based on meticulous research, this book looks at the impact Lettice had on the period and her role in some of its defining events.
  • Spitfire Stories - Hardback - 9781782438168 - Jacky Hyams
    SPST
    • £5.99
    • RRP £16.99
    • Save £11.00
    Published in association with Imperial War Museums, this book is packed with tales of courage, heartbreak and humour set against the Spitfire's extraordinary history.

    Based on documents, letters, stories, photographs and articles from the museum's archives, it also uses interviews with designers, engineers, mechanics, ground staff and pilots to explain how this magnificent flying machine helped Britain to victory.

    The most famous plane of World War II and a source of national pride, the Spitfire is one of the most iconic aviation images of all time. This book celebrates the achievements of the people in charge of these planes.
  • QCAW
    • £7.99
    • RRP £20.00
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    Queens of the Conquest is the first in a series of books that finds popular historical author Alison Weir telling the story of England's medieval queens.

    Beginning with Matilda of Flanders, who supported William the Conquerer in his invasion of England in 1066 and ending with Empress Maud's turbulent reign, this book reveals the five Norman queens to be hugely influential figures in history. It also reveals how their lives were interconnected...

    Packed with tragedy, drama and moments of comedy, this book touches on subjects ranging from love to murder and war to betrayal. It's a fascinating page-turner that reveals all about the lives of England's queens after the Norman Conquest.
  • WWII Military Collection - 5 Books - Collection - 9781407251004
    WWMC
    • £8.99
    • RRP £49.95
    • Save £40.96
    • Just £1.80 per book
    From the Dambusters bombing raid to the story that inspired the classic film, The Great Escape, this collection is full of fascinating reads for anyone interested in military history.

    With five books to read through, it will provide hours of reading. The Battle for the Code is the story of how the German Enigma codes were broken (as seen in the Benedict Cumberbatch film The Imitation Game); Ill Met by Moonlight is an adventure story about how the Special Forces kidnapped the General of Crete; and The Great Escape is the story of a mass escape from a WWII German PoW camp.

    This collection also includes Wings on My Sleeve, test pilot Eric Brown's autobiography; and The Dambusters Raid, a definitive account of the most audacious bombing raid of the Second World War.
  • DFTR
    • £6.99
    • RRP £20.00
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    Nicholas Rankin, the bestselling author of Churchill's Wizards, examines how Gibraltar - a lone outpost of the British Empire, riddled with tunnels, spies and secrets - managed to hold off attacks by land, sea and air to help the Allies win the Second World War.

    Two months before his death, Adolf Hitler realised where it had gone wrong - he failed to seize Gibraltar in 1940. A pillar of British sea power since 1704, the Rock of Gibraltar looked formidable but was also very vulnerable.

    Gibraltar was menaced on all sides by Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, Vichy France and Francoist Spain and had to let thousands of people cross its frontier to work every day - many of whom were eager to blow up its 25 miles of secret tunnels.

    Eventually in 1942, Gibraltar became US General Eisenhower's HQ for the invasion of North Africa and it was this campaign that led to the Allies' victory. This revelatory book features the likes of Haile Selassie, Anthony Burgess and General Sikorsi and sets Gibraltar in the wider context of the struggle against fascism. It also covers its role in the Spanish Civil War and its people's rise to independence.
  • TOAH
    • £7.99
    • RRP £25.00
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    On 8 November, 1923, Adolf Hitler stormed into a beer hall in Munich, fired his pistol in the air and declared the start of a revolution.

    Seventeen hours later and he was on the run from the police, with his career seemingly in tatters. All that remained of his bold move was a trail of destruction... Written by historian David King, this is the true story of the monumental criminal proceeding that followed as Hitler and nine other suspects were charged with high treason.

    While reporters from all over the world came to witness the trial, things clicked into place for Hitler and he ended up hailing the fiasco of the beer hall putsch as a victory for the fledgling Nazi Party. This trial thrust Hitler into the limelight and provided him and set him on his journey to power.

    Using trial transcripts, police files and a host of sources, including 500 documents recently discovered from the Landsberg Prison record office, King's The Trial of Adolf Hitler explains how this failure of the justice system changed the world forever.
  • PSCH
    • £8.99
    • RRP £25.00
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    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.
  • TSAR
    • £6.99
    • RRP £25.00
    • Save £18.01
    Nicholas II, the last Tsar of All the Russias, abdicated in March 1917 and the dynasty that had ruled the country's empire for 300 years was forced from power by revolution.

    To mark the hundredth anniversary of the revolution, eminent historian Robert Service examines Nicholas' reign in the year before his abdication and the months between this hugely important date and his death the following year in The Last of the Tsars.

    Making use of unparalleled research and forensic examination of hitherto untapped sources, Service sheds new light on the way Nicholas worked and even gathered access to his diaries and recorded conversations. He reveals Nicholas was actually the kind of ruler he believed himself to be - until the disastrous ending...
  • Terry Deary's Dangerous Days Collection - 3 Books - Collection - 9781407250625 - Terry Deary
    TDDD
    • £4.99
    • RRP £25.97
    • Save £20.98
    • Just £1.66 per book
    With his dark sense of humour and accessible writing style, Terry Deary is one of the nation's favourite children's authors but in this very adult collection he introduces adults to the most shocking secrets of the Roman Empire, Elizabethan England and the Victorian Railways.

    From how the Romans (the first 'civilised' society, remember...) made human killing a sport to the lack of safety on the rails, there are so many shocking facts to absorb and gasp over...

    Please note these books contain strong language.
  • DRTC
    • £7.99
    • RRP £16.99
    • Save £9.00
    One of the BBC's most popular shows, this informative book provides Call the Midwife fans with a nostalgic diary and social history narrative of what life was like for the real-life Doctor Turner.

    Cases portrayed in the series are discussed by Stephen McGann (the actor that plays him) and there are plenty of facts to pore over about our healthcare service and the treatments that were available during the War. From childbirths to polio, meningitis and measles, all the conditions have been depicted on the drama in meticulous detail and this book reveals how local doctors dealt with the cases.

    Stephen has an MA in medical studies, which adds extra integrity to his notes and the beautiful hardback is presented in hardback. It features full-colour stills from the show and an introduction from its creator and award-winning writer, Heidi Thomas.
  • CHAB
    • £5.99
    • RRP £14.99
    • Save £9.00
    Judith Flanders, an acclaimed social historian, looks over the history of Christmas in this cracking book. She reveals how the holiday has always mainly been about food, drink, revelry and presents.

    Among the jaw-dropping facts you'll learn are the reasons why people kiss under mistletoe, how Rudolph came to pull Santa's sleigh and how Coca Cola influenced the aesthetic.

    Perfect for anyone who loves all things Christmassy, this book also reveals when Christmas wrapping paper was first introduced (it's later than you think!) and that Hogmanay actually originates from France!
  • BHOB
    (1)
    • £6.99
    • RRP £25.00
    • Save £18.01
    Inspired by a landmark BBC Two programme, David Olusoga's Black and British: An Untold Story is a vital re-examination of the extraordinarily long relationship between the British Isles and the people of Africa.

    Drawing on new genetic and genealogical research, original records, expert testimony and contemporary interviews, this book provides an unflinching history of black and white Britons and how they have been intimately entwined for centuries.

    From Roman Britain to Shakespeare's Othello and how black people were regarded during the medieval times, this book confronts taboos and reveals some previously unknown scandals.
  • NAGH
    • £4.99
    • RRP £9.99
    • Save £5.00
    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.
  • BOTG
    • £6.99
    • RRP £25.00
    • Save £18.01
    Richard Dannatt is the former head of the British army and in this vivid, extensive and fascinating read, he reveals the history of the military since the end of the Second World War.

    Richard served in the military for over 40 years and in an authoritative and personal style, he talks about how the British army has shaped - and been shaped by - world events from the Cold War to the Good Friday Agreement. He also offers his thoughts on everything from the decolonisation of India to the two invasions of Iraq.

    Britain has had 'boots on the ground' ever since the end of World War II and with the rise of terrorism and the current tensions in the Middle East, this shows no sign of changing anytime soon. This book reveals why the army is so important and how it has evolved and adapted through shifting security and defence policies. It is ideal for anyone with an interest in military history.
  • MPWR
    • £8.99
    • RRP £30.00
    • Save £21.01
    A very poignant and powerful book, Maps of War is a visual survey of how conflict was recorded and planned. It uses archive maps to reveal how warfare and documentation has changed through the centuries.

    Covering the history of military mapping, the book looks at beginning and what impact the invention of printing and introduction of gunpowder had. In the 17th century, military commanders and strategists started to document wars by way of illustration.

    In the 18th century, they started to use maps to chart progress. This chapter reflects the spread of European power and transoceanic conflict and focuses on the American war of Independence. The book then moves on to the 19th and 20th centuries, covering everything from the American Civil War to the World War, Vietnam and the Gulf Wars.
  • ACKR
    (1)
    • £6.99
    • RRP £25.00
    • Save £18.01
    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.