Historical Events & Topics Books
Published to commemorate the 75th anniversary of D-Day on 6 June, this hardback tome sheds light on the planning, execution and aftermath of the most momentous event of World War II.
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Published in association with the Imperial War Museum and written by respected military historian Richard Holmes, this authoritative and comprehensive account highlights the sheer scale of the invasion through the reproduction of over 25 rare documents including maps, diaries, memos, reports and logbooks.
The D-Day battle involved over a million men from Britain, the US, Canada, France, Poland and Germany and helped seal the fate of Hitler's Third Reich. With archive photographs and powerful accounts of the battle, this is a fitting commemoration of the event that marked the beginning of the liberation of north west Europe.
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.
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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.
This flexibound book contains a hand-picked selection of quotes, off-the-cuff remarks, retorts and announcements that have helped shape our history.
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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.
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.
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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!
Written by nine eminent historians, this eye-opening book focuses on the men and women who lived and died during the Second World War.
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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.
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.
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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.
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.
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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.
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.
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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.
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.
- RRP £25.00
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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.
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.
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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.
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.
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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.
Shortlisted for the Jhalak Prize and the James Tait Black Prize 2019, this is a searing modern polemic from BAFTA and MOBO award-winning musician and political commentator, Akala.
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From the first time he was stopped and searched as a child, to the day he realized his mum was white, to his first encounters with racist teachers - race and class have shaped Akala's life and outlook. In this unique book he takes his own personal experiences and widens them out to look at the social, historical and political factors that have left us where we are today.
Covering everything from the police, education and identity to politics, sexual objectification and the far right, Natives will speak directly to British denial and squeamishness when it comes to confronting issues of race and class that are at the heart of the legacy of Britain's racialised empire.
Bart van Es' The Cut Out Girl is the winner of the Costa Biography Award 2018 - and has now been published in paperback for the first time.
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The last time Lien saw her parents was in the Hague when she was collected at the door by a stranger and taken to a city far away to be hidden from the Nazis.She was raised by her foster family as one of their own, but a falling out well after the war meant they were no longer in touch.
What was her side of the story, Bart van Es - a grandson of the couple who looked after Lien - wondered? What really happened during the war, and after? Bart managed to track down Lien (now in her 80s) living in Amsterdam. Reluctantly, she agreed to meet him, and eventually they struck up a remarkable friendship.
This page-turning biography is powerful recreation of Lien's harrowing childhood and a story about the love and challenges foster families face.
The first five volumes from the landmark BBC radio series This Sceptred Isle. Christopher Lee's epic history tells the story of Britain from the Romans to the death of Victoria. This collection includes the original first five volumes: 55BC-1087: Julius Caesar to William the Conqueror. From Britannia under the Romans to the Dark Ages and the invasions of Angles, Saxons, Danes, and Norwegians. 1087-1327: The Making of the Nation The Crusades, Welsh and Scottish rebellions and the foundations of the modern state - including Magna Carta and the fledgling English Parliament. 1327-1547 The Black Prince to Henry VIII The Hundred Years' War, the Peasants' Revolt, the Wars of the Roses and the reign of Henry VIII. 1547-1660 Elizabeth I to Cromwell Elizabeth I's long reign; the Civil War, the execution of Charles I and the establishment of Cromwell as Lord Protector. 1660-1702 Restoration and Glorious Revolution The return of Charles II, the Great Plague and Great Fire of London, and a ruler from a different country on the throne: William of Orange. Narrated by Anna Massey, with extracts from Sir Winston Churchill's A History of the English-speaking Peoples read by Paul Eddington and Peter Jeffrey, this is the definitive radio account of the events and personalities that have shaped our nation. CD 1 includes a special PDF file featuring the original booklets from each volume. Its duration: 15 hours approx.
- RRP £45.00
They were famous queens, unrecognised visionaries, great artists and trailblazing politicians. They all pushed back boundaries and revolutionised our world. Jenni Murray presents the history of Britain as you've never seen it before, through the lives of twenty-one women who refused to succumb to the established laws of society, whose lives embodied hope and change, and who still have the power to inspire us today.
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Peter Ackroyd presents the latest instalment in his History of England with Revolution, a book covering the years between 1688 and 1815.
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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.
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.
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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.
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.
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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.
On 30th April 1945 Germany is in chaos...Russian troops have reached Berlin. All over the country, people are on the move - concentration camp survivors, Allied PoWs, escaping Nazis - and the civilian population is fast running out of food. The man who orchestrated this nightmare is in his bunker beneath the capital, saying his farewells. This is the gripping story of Hitler's final hours, as seen through the eyes of those who were with him in the bunker; those fighting in the streets of Germany; and those pacing the corridors of power in Washington, London and Moscow. It was a day of endings and beginnings when ordinary people were placed in extraordinary situations. 30th April 1945 was a day that millions had dreamed of, and millions had died for.
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Without Churchill's inspiring leadership Britain could not have survived its darkest hour and repelled the Nazi menace. Without his wife Clementine, however, he might never have become Prime Minister. By his own admission, the Second World War would have been 'impossible without her'. Clementine was Winston's emotional rock and his most trusted confidante; not only was she involved in some of the most crucial decisions of war, but she exerted an influence over her husband and the Government that would appear scandalous to modern eyes. Yet her ability to charm Britain's allies and her humanitarian efforts on the Home Front earned her deep respect, both behind closed doors in Whitehall and among the population at large. That Clementine should become Britain's 'First Lady' was by no means pre-ordained. Born into impecunious aristocracy, her childhood was far from gilded. Her mother was a serial adulteress and gambler, who spent many years uprooting her children to escape the clutches of their erstwhile father, and by the time Clementine entered polite society she had become the target of cruel snobbery and rumours about her parentage. In Winston, however, she discovered a partner as emotionally insecure as herself, and in his career she found her mission. Her dedication to his cause may have had tragic consequences for their children, but theirs was a marriage that changed the course of history. Now, acclaimed biographer Sonia Purnell explores the peculiar dynamics of this fascinating union. From the personal and political upheavals of the Great War, through the Churchills' 'wilderness years' in the 1930s, to Clementine's desperate efforts to preserve her husband's health during the struggle against Hitler, Sonia presents the inspiring but often ignored story of one of the most important women in modern history.
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An extraordinary tale of the remarkable bond between one man and his dog during the Second World War. The two friends huddled close together, each of them the other's saving grace in a world gone to hell ...There was nothing terribly unusual about POWs suffering horribly at the hands of their Japanese captors. All across the Pacific theatre, Allied captives were experiencing similar punishment. But there was one thing unusual about this particular duo of prisoners. One of them was a dog. Flight technician Frank Williams and Judy, a purebred pointer, met in the most unlikely of places: a World War II internment camp. Judy was a fiercely loyal dog, with a keen sense for who was friend and who was foe, and the pair's relationship deepened throughout their captivity. When the prisoners suffered beatings, Judy would repeatedly risk her life to intervene. She survived bombings and other near-death experiences and became a beacon not only for Frank but for all the men, who saw in her survival a flicker of hope for their own. Using a wealth of new material including interviews with those who knew Frank and Judy, letters and firsthand accounts, Robert Weintraub expertly weaves a narrative of an unbreakable bond forged in the worst circumstances. Judy's devotion to the men she was interned with, including a host of characters from all around the world, from Australia to the UK, was so powerful that reports indicate she might have been the only dog spared in these camps - and their care for her helped keep them alive. At one point, deep in despair and starvation, Frank contemplated killing himself and the dog to prevent either from watching the other die. But both were rescued, and Judy spent the rest of her life with Frank. She became the war's only official canine POW, and after she died at the age of fourteen, Frank couldn't bring himself to ever have another dog. Their story of friendship and survival is one of the great sagas of World War II.
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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.
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- Just £1.66 per book
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.
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...
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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'.
Commemorating 50 years since the death of Winston Churchil, this is a unique illustrated biography for anyone interested in the history of Britain.
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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.