World History

British & Irish History

  • TYHS
    Dixe Wills
    • £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.
  • UNIN
    Julie Summers
    • £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.
  • WHKG
    Leanda de Lisle
    • £6.99
    • RRP £20.00
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    As the man in charge at the time the nation entered the Civil War, Charles I's reign is one of the most dramatic in history. However, Charles as a man was an elusive individual. He is often regarded as weak and his wife, Henrietta Maria, as spoilt but Leanda de Lisle's thoroughly researched biography reveals him to be principled and brave but also blinkered.

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

    This is an almost unbelievable story that ties in everything from populist politicians and religious war to a new media and reshaping of the nation where women vied with men for power.
  • THCN
    Robert Lacey
    • £8.99
    • RRP £20.00
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    Starring Claire Foy and Matt Smith, Netflix's The Crown is one of the streaming services most critically acclaimed and popular (not to mention, most expensive!) Originals and this companion hardback follows the journey of Britain's longest-reigning monarch, Queen Elizabeth II.

    Written by royal biographer Robert Lacey, this book looks back at the Queen's reign, explaining how, after the sudden death of her father, she had to learn her duties very quickly. She was already a wife and mother when she had her coronation and there were also wider issues throughout Britain as the country tried to lift itself after the end of the war.

    Elizabeth also had various personal issues to deal with: her mother doubted her marriage; her husband resented the sacrifice of his career and family name; and her sister had an affair that threatened to destroy the close bond between the church and the crown. Despite all this, she always made sure she came out on top. Fully researched, this is an intimate and informative account of Elizabeth II ? both as a private person and as a public figure.
  • SMIM
    Nicholas Shakespeare
    • £7.99
    • RRP £20.00
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    Historian Nicholas Shakespeare reveals how Winston Churchill almost didn't become prime minister following the fall of Neville Chamberlain's government in May, 1940...

    Showing how easily events could have gone in a different direction, this biography explains how Churchill was to blame for a disastrous battle in Norway before then going on to rise to the most powerful post in the country just weeks later.

    Based on fascinating new research that delves deep into the backgrounds of all the key players in the government during World War II, this book offers a new perspective on Churchill's election and leadership (as well as the personal issues that appeared) while also covering the dramatic action that took place on the battlefield in Norway.
  • LMOD
    Mychael Barratt
    • £7.99
    • RRP £20.00
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    3 December 1976 - London learns that pigs really can fly as Pink Floyd's inflatable mascot breaks free from Battersea Power Station
    For the past few years, Canadian-born, London-based artist Mychael Barratt has been tweeting jaw-dropping facts about London's history on a daily basis and this keepsake book has one for every day of the year.

    Based around events and characters that have lived in or affected the famous city, you will learn when the first bowler hat was created and when the Cenotaph on Whitehall was unveiled.

    This is a light-hearted look at London for any fact lover.
  • QCAW
    Alison Weir
    • £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.
  • The British Serviceman of the First World War Collection - 3 Books - Collection - 9781784423025
    • £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
  • Elizabeth's Rival - Hardback - 9781782437499 - Nicola Tallis
    Nicola Tallis
    • £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.
  • BHOB
    David Olusoga
    • £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.
  • Terry Deary's Dangerous Days Collection - 3 Books - Collection - 9781407250625 - Terry Deary
    • £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.
  • MPWR
    Jeremy Black
    • £8.99
    • RRP £30.00
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    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.
  • FTEH
    • £7.99
    • RRP £20.00
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    A companion to the brilliant Channel 4 series of the same name, The Freedom Trails: Escaping Hitler tells the incredible story of some of the brave individuals who managed to escape Nazi Germany.

    Over 5,000 British, Commonwealth and American servicemen made the journey over the Pyrenees, the Slovenian mountains and the Italian alps and many died en route. However, the brave men and women of the resistance still managed to defy the odds and keep the routes open.

    Among those you'll read about are Blondie Haslar, the leader of the Cockleshell Heroes, US airman Chuck Yaeger (whose story was retold in The Right Stuff) and Andree de Jongh, a young woman who risked her life to smuggle men through occupied France and survived being sent to two concentration camps.

    Based on in-depth research and interviews with survivors as well as his own experiences walking the trails, broadcaster and former Royal Marine Monty Halls book is dramatic and gripping from first page to last.
  • ACKR
    Peter Ackroyd
    • £6.99
    • RRP £25.00
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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.

    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.
  • FLSA
    Peter Ginn
    • £8.99
    • RRP £25.00
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    Accompanying a BBC Two series, Full Steam Ahead: How the Railways Made Britain provides a glorious insight into life in the country during the Industrial Revolution of the late 19th and early 20th century - using rail transportation as the backdrop to the changes in social attitudes and culture that occurred.

    Revealing just how much of today's world was shaped by the rail network, authors Peter Ginn and Ruth Goodman chart the evolution of railways and reveals the stories of the men, women and children who built many of the tracks and trains. They also explore how the railway impacted everything from food and medicine to warfare and the class system.

    Covering the rise of the working class, women's rights, industrial growth and economic decline, this illustrated book provides an insight into one of the key periods of Britain's social history.
  • King John: Treachery, Tyranny and the Road to the Magna Carta - Hardback - 9780091954239 - Marc Morris
    • £7.99
    • RRP £25.00
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    The 800th anniversary of Magna Carta made headlines across the world in 2015 and this biography provides a compelling portrait of King John, the supposed tyrant leader who issued - and consequently rejected - the famous document that bound him and his successors to better behaviour.

    Extensively researched and written by Marc Morris, author of A Great and Terrible King and The Norman Conquest, the book examines whether King John was the familiar figure we all know from Robin Hood - a monarch who was greedy, cowardly, despicable and cruel.

    Throughout the book, the historian draws on contemporary chronicles and the king's own letters to show what John was really like. He argues he was dynamic, inventive and relentless, but also a very flawed individual whose rise to power involved treachery, rebellion and murder.

    The book also looks at the invasions by Wales, Scotland and Ireland that occurred under John's reign and the civil war and foreign invasion that brought upon his downfall.
  • HLVC
    Kevin Sampson
    • £4.99
    • RRP £12.99
    • Save £8.00
    On 15 April 1989, the world witnessed one of the worst football disasters occur at the Hillsborough Stadium in Sheffield. 96 people were crushed to death and another 766 injured in a tragedy that was later admitted to have been exacerbated by police failures.

    Written by Kevin Sampson - a man who was actually in the stands on that fateful day and who has close connections with the Justice campaign - this book contains exhaustive and exclusive interviews with people who have become familiar public figures and many who are telling their heart-rending stories for the first time.

    From the tragic events of the day itself to the shocking aftermath that has taken years to resolve, this book interweaves the views of the people who were there with the families and friends of those who died, along with the observations of the people who played key roles in the long search for the truth.
  • AGIN
    Sir Ranulph Fiennes, Bt OBE
    • £3.99
    • RRP £20.00
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    For centuries, many of Sir Ranulph Fiennes' ancestors were key players for both sides in the turbulent Anglo-French relationship. In this book, the much-loved explorer reveals how they affected one of the most significant turning points in our history.

    It's now over 600 years since the Battle of Agincourt and this book brings a personal and authoritative voice to the proceedings. On 25 October 1415, four men from the English army sheltered from the rain and prepared for battle - they were all English knights and all Ran's ancestors. Across the valley, four of Ran's ancestors from France were confident that Dauphin's army would win the day.

    This highly readable book finds Sir Ranulph examining one of the bloodiest periods in medieval history in detail, providing details on the battle plans, weaponry and human drama of Agincourt. A must-read for any historian!
  • KHWD
    Josephine Wilkinson
    • £6.99
    • RRP £20.00
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    Katherine Howard was Henry VIII's Fifth Queen and this biography provides an in-depth look at her life right up until her beheading in 1542 for crimes of adultery and treason - one of the biggest scandals of the Tudor era.

    Having first come to court as a young girl of 14 years old, Katherine's fate was sealed from an early age. This book looks beyond the traditional story of her sexual exploits before she married the king and instead reveals a life blighted by child abuse, family ambition, religious conflict and political and sexual intrigue.

    Revealing Katherine as a bright and intelligent woman who tried to be a good wife to Henry, the book reveals how she was really no more than a child in a man's world - and the tragic victim of those who held positions of authority over her.
  • DIKN
    Peter Clark
    • £2.99
    • RRP £9.99
    • Save £7.00
    Charles Dickens perfectly captured the spirit of London throughout many of his books and Peter Clark's Dickens's London showcases just how much the place meant to him and how it impacted on his life, his journalism and his fiction.

    This cloth-bound book provides information on five walks through central London, complete with maps, and as the route is discussed, Clark illuminates the settings and what role they played both in Dickens's life and in his writing. He also explores the First Suburbs of Camden Town, Chelsea, Greenwich, Hampstead, Highgate and Limehouse as they feature in Dickens's writing.
    Sir Max Hastings
    • £26.69
    • RRP £30.00
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    Examining the espionage and intelligence stories of World War II, on a global basis, bringing together the British, American, German, Russian and Japanese histories. Spies, codes and guerrillas played critical roles in the Second World War, exploited by every nation in the struggle to gain secret knowledge of its foes, and to sow havoc behind the fronts. In 'The Secret War', Max Hastings presents a worldwide cast of characters and some extraordinary sagas of intelligence and Resistance, to create a new perspective on the greatest conflict in history. Here are not only Alan Turing and the codebreaking geniuses of Bletchley Park, but also their German counterparts, who achieved their own triumphs against the Allies. Hastings plots the fabulous espionage networks created by the Soviet Union in Germany and Japan, Britain and America, and explores the puzzle of why Stalin so often spurned his agents, who reported from the heart of the Axis war machine. The role of SOE and American's OSS as sponsors of guerrilla war are examined, and the book tells the almost unknown story of Ronald Seth, an SOE agent who was 'turned' by the Germans, walked the streets of Paris in a Luftwaffe uniform, and baffled MI5, MI6 and the Abwehr as to his true loyalty. Also described is the brilliantly ruthless Russian deception operation which helped to secure the Red Army's victory at Stalingrad, a ruse that cost 70,000 lives. 'The Secret War' links tales of high courage ashore, at sea and in the air to the work of the brilliant 'boffins' at home, battling the enemy's technology. Most of the strivings, adventures and sacrifices of spies, Resistance, Special Forces and even of the codebreakers were wasted, Hastings says, but a fraction was so priceless that no nation grudged lives and treasure spent in the pursuit of jewels of knowledge. The book tells stories of high policy and human drama, mingled in the fashion that has made international bestsellers of Max Hastings' previous histories, this time illuminating the fantastic machinations of secret war.
    Richard Aldrich
    • £29.79
    • RRP £30.00
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    'The Black Door' explores the evolving relationship between successive British prime ministers and the intelligence agencies, from Asquith's Secret Service Bureau to Cameron's National Security Council. At the beginning of the 20th Century the British intelligence system was underfunded and lacked influence in government. But as the new millennium dawned, intelligence had become so integral to policy that it was used to make the case for war. Now, covert action is incorporated seamlessly into government policy, and the Prime Minister is kept constantly updated by intelligence agencies. But how did intelligence come to influence our government so completely? 'The Black Door' explores the murkier corridors of No. 10 Downing Street, chronicling the relationships between intelligence agencies and the Prime Ministers of the last century. From Churchill's code-breakers feeding information to the Soviets to Eden's attempts to assassinate foreign leaders, from Wilson's paranoia of an MI5-led coup d'etat to Thatcher's covert wars in Central America, Aldrich and Cormac entertain and enlighten as they explain how our government came to rely on intelligence to the extent that it does today.
    Julie Summers
    • £8.89
    • RRP £8.99
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    The compelling true story that inspired the forthcoming major ITV drama series HOME FIRES. The Second World War was the WI's finest hour. The whole of its previous history - two decades of educating, entertaining and supporting women and campaigning on women's issues - culminated in the enormous collective responsibility felt by the members to 'do their bit' for Britain. With all the vigour, energy and enthusiasm at their disposal, a third of a million country women set out to make their lives and the lives of those around them more bearable in what they described as 'a period of insanity'. Through archive material and interviews with many WI members, Julie Summers takes us behind the scenes, revealing their nitty-gritty approach to the daily problems presented by the conflict. Jambusters is the fascinating story of how the Women's Institute pulled rural Britain through the war with pots of jam and a spirit of make-do-and-mend.
    Simon Jenkins
    • £8.89
    • RRP £9.99
    • Save £1.10
    This is the definitive concise account of our remarkable past. Which battle was fought 'For England, Harry and St George'? Who demanded to be painted 'warts and all'? What - and when - was the Battle of the Bulge? In "A Short History of England", bestselling author Simon Jenkins answers all these questions - and many more - as he tells the tumultuous story of a fascinating nation. From the invaders of the dark ages to today's coalition, via the Tudors, the Stuarts and two world wars, Jenkins weaves together a gripping narrative with all the most important and interesting dates in his own inimitable style. Until now there has been no short history of England covering all significant event themes and individuals: this bestselling book, published in association with the National Trust, will be the standard work for years to come.