Social & Cultural History Books

  • HUND
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    Written by the author of 100 Diagrams That Changed the World, this visual book features a chronological survey of the world's most important and groundbreaking books.

    Scott Christianson and Colin Salter have brought together a collection of impactful books that shape the way we see and think - from religious scriptures and scientific treatises to novels that kick-started literary genres.

    Examples of entries include The Quran (AD 609-632), Shakespeare's First Folio (1623), Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species (1859), Anne Frank's The Diary of a Young Girl (1947) and Stephen Hawking's A Brief History of Time (1988).
  • ETCW
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    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.
  • STMH
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    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.
  • CNTY
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    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.
  • AWLH
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    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'.
  • CHLL
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    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.
  • MPSH
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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.
  • VCAB
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    Tying in with the second series of ITV's hit drama series, Victoria, this book provides an in-depth look at the passionate and complicated relationship the Queen embarked on with Prince Albert.

    Both Victoria and Albert were both strong-willed and although they were brought together by an arranged marriage, this did not dampen the spark between them. They were first cousins but could not have had more different personalities - she was impulsive and emotional while he was cautious and logical. They were a very successful couple and this book looks at the differences between their public persona and their private lives.

    Based on the couple's letters and diaries, this book provides a tantalising glimpse into the life of the couple . It's full of rich historical detail and gives insight into this incredible relationship.

    There are also character profiles, interviews with actors and an overview of the production, costumes and props of the show.
  • WTLW
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    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.
  • TYHS
    (1)
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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.
  • SMIM
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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.
  • Black and British: A Forgotten History - Hardback - 9781447299738 - David Olusoga
    BHOB
    (1)
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    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.
  • Christmas: A Biography - Hardback - 9781509833603 - Judith Flanders
    CHAB
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    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!
  • Elizabeth's Rival - Hardback - 9781782437499 - Nicola Tallis
    ELRV
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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.
  • QCAW
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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.
  • GLBE
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    A compelling portrait of both William Shakespeare and the history of London during his lifetime, this book reveals just how much the Bard's life was affected by the great city.

    From triumphs including the opening of the Globe playhouse in 1599 to the tragic lives of Shakespeare's contemporaries and the ever-present threat of riots, rebellions and even the plague, this book covers a fascinating era in London's history.

    An acclaimed historian, Catharine Arnold also reveals how acting came of age during Shakespeare's lifetime. Using his own plays and contemporary sources, this is a unique and revealing insight into the development of both London and English theatre.
  • AADUU
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    "Orientalism" is one of the greatest and most influential of books of ideas to be published since the end of the European empires. For generations now it has defined our understanding of colonialism and empire and with each passing year its influence becomes if anything even greater. To mark its 25th anniversary, "Orientalism" rightfully takes its place as a Pengun Modern Classic.
  • AVKGG
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    Prerevolutionary Russia was renowned for the glam- orous and luxurious lifestyles of the nobility, with their opulent palaces and glittering social life. Now, this lavish volume reveals the incredible clothing they wore, from everyday dress and ceremonial attire (traditional holidays outfits and military uniforms) to dress for special occasions, including elaborate evening wear for theater and musical events and fancy masquerade balls. Celebrated for luxurious materials and impeccable craftsmanship, the dress of the Russian nobility was haute couture at its finest. With beautiful photog- raphy and details highlighting the hand-spun silks and lace and jeweled embroideries, Russian Splendor highlights the glamour of this gilded age and offers a fascinating window into a vanished world. Essays by Hermitage Museum curators, alongside historic Russian paintings and photographs, place the clothing in a historical context, revealing the rich cultural layers and artistic influences of czarist Russia.
  • BMNXO
    Tim Blanks
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    Since 1954, Supima has dedicated itself to offering the world s finest cottons to the global fashion industry. Cross breeding strains to develop a rare extra-long staple fiber, the brand established a new industry standard adopted by designers as well as world-class brands ranging from Lacoste to Brooks Brothers. In parallel to the formalization of the American fashion industry, Supima developed a uniquely American product sought after around the world. Lush photographs of Supima s growing and refining processes, historical images, and fashions from the early twentieth century to today trace the vibrant history of the fiber and contemporary applications. Portfolios and runway photos from established and emerging designers and fashion schools highlight the fiber s enormous range. Photographers from William Helburn to Roe Ethridge captured the trajectory of Supima from AIGA award-wining campaigns to today s collaborations with top designers and industry innovators, like Uniqlo and Casper. Supima: World s Finest Cottons follows a luxury product s journey from humble fields to an integral part in some of the world s most iconic garments.
  • AZFFJ
    • £112.49
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    Today's world is the product of the late middle ages. In what is now called 'Flanders', a new kind of man emerged. A practical man, an entrepreneur, a critical man who no longer believed what church and nobility tried to tell him. He discovers the world, creates, produces and innovates. In this book young researchers take us back to the middle ages. With attention for top works of art and unknown gems. This art book has a fresh academic point of view: the economical history of the middle ages from the viewpoint of different social groups, with surprising results on cliched thoughts such as the passive countryside, the dark middle ages and the role of women in society.
  • BFXHF
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    This book rewrites the history of jewellery in the age of Victoria. The 'age of Victoria' is taken in its widest sense to encompass jewellery made throughout Europe and America, displayed at the great international exhibitions and distributed through foreign trade, illustrated publications and a burgeoning tourist industry. Throughout, links with other disciplines will provide both the specialist and the non-specialist with the information to understand how jewellery permeated all walks and conditions of life in the 19th century. The focus of the book is on the attitudes of owners to their jewellery and the symbolic weight that it was expected to carry. Rather than concentrating on the major figures at the top end of the jewellery trade, it is oriented towards the social aspects of owning, wearing and displaying jewellery. For example, novelists used jewellery to add a moral or metaphorical dimension to a character, while jewels depicted in portraits often carried multiple messages which could be immediately decoded by the viewer. The achievements of science, the fascination with nature and the Victorian sense of humour are all embodied in jewellery. Topics discussed in depth include the importance of jewellery in the life of the Queen herself, jewellery and dress, the language of jewellery, the cult of novelty, the importance of nationalism in the revival of historical styles, and the contribution of archaeological discoveries. The volume is sumptuously illustrated with contemporary reportage, photographs and portraits as well as examples of jewellery from the British Museum and other collections.
  • APLZC
    • £48.89
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    A new creative sizzle is in the air, establishing the backdrop for a major revival across all of London's creative sectors. Having invented the Swinging '60s, punk rock in the '70s and Cool Britannia in the '90s, London in the 2010s is firing up the engine of growth and renewal yet again. Encompassing a unique, no-holds-barred exploration of the city as the contemporary world's creative centre, London Burning: Portraits from a Creative City seeks to define exactly what it is that makes Britain's capital the international urban HQ for creativity and innovation. Why and how has the city become a creative universe of its own making? How does it continue to regenerate, to renew its creative pulse, to confound the naysayers who pop up on the horizon every decade or so to foretell its decline? Over a hundred intimate, probing interviews reveal not only the private lives and views of some of London's leading creative personalities but also the variegated urban scene they inhabit as observed through the personal prisms of these movers and shakers, whether established or new to the scene, young or old, high-brow or populist. Searching out the city's hidden treasures, unravelling the apparent simplicity defining its urban and semi-rural landscapes, unmasking the frivolous and highlighting tastes from the fantastic to the fastidious, London Burning: Portraits from a Creative City will unlock secret passions, undress social mundanities and address outrageous profanities.
  • AZORB
    • £36.00
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    Relax by the ocean or head to the mountains? This vacation planning debate-starter is actually a fairly recent invention. To people of an earlier era, both options seemed unappealing and nearly impossible to visit. It wasn't until railroads came along that remote areas became accessible, making travel agency founder, Thomas Cook, the inventor of modern tourism as well. Fishing villages turned into swanky beach resorts, out-of-the-way mountain hamlets became hot destinations for hikers and skiers, and humble inns blossomed into grand hotels. Nostalgic Journeys takes you on an unforgettable trip through the last two centuries; ride the Orient Express to the Middle East, cross the Atlantic on an enormous steamship, follow Route 66 through the USA, or break through the sound barrier on the Concorde. Paging through this volume will remind you that traveling was and can be more than just sitting in traffic or enduring security checks. Travel can also be a stylish and sometimes adventurous way to experience the world and return home forever changed by exotic sights and sounds. Bon voyage!
  • BJOZZ
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    Presenting the spirit of Berlin, this book is a photographic journey into the city's history. Devastated by two world wars, divided during the Cold War, and liberated with the destruction of the wall, Berlin has survived extraordinary circumstances over the course of its history and emerged as a center of European power and culture. From 1860 to the present day, this book presents the story of Berlin in photographs, portraits, maps, and aerial views. With nearly 700 pages of emotional, atmospheric images, this is the most comprehensive photographic study on Berlin ever made. More than a tribute to the city and its history, this book especially pays homage to Berlin's inhabitants: full of hope and strength, in their faces is reflected Berlin's undying soul. Also included is: an index of photographers' biographies.