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Learn all about our past with books covering the history of the world. We have military history to world history books covering life-changing battles, wars, fascinating inventions and discoveries. We have a book covering every era imaginable for armchair historians of all ages.

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History Books

  • The King's War

    Mark Logue

    Product Code: TKWR
    Hardback
    (1)
    Hand-picked favourites
    Peter Conradi and Mark Logue's follow-up to The King's Speech (which was adapted into an Oscar-winning film starring Colin Firth) looks at how George VI and speech therapist Lionel Logue's relationship continued to thrive after the monarch made his speech about the outbreak of war.

    Drawing on exclusive material (diaries, letters and documents) from the Logue archives, this book reveals how the therapist continued to play a vital role in the king's life from the dark days of Dunkirk through to D-Day and beyond.

    It's a fascinating portrait of two men and their respective families - the Windsors and the Logues - as they worked their way through one of the greatest challenges in Britain's history.
    • £1.00
    • RRP £20.00
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  • Bognor and Other Regises

    Caroline Taggart

    Product Code: BAOR
    Hardback
    Hand-picked favourites
    Caroline Taggart will take you on a guided tour of the weird and wonderful places that have been connected to royalty over the past 1,500 years including Bognor Regis and Tunbridge Wells.

    The monarchs have waged war against cousins, created their own religions and married - and divorced - for diplomatic reasons. They have also built stunning summer palaces and formidable fortresses all over Great Britain.

    The history of the royal family is told in Britain's landscapes and castles, churches, battlefields and stained-glass windows all have stories to tell. Bognor and Other Regises amusing and eye-opening book lifts the lid on them...
    • £1.00
    • RRP £14.99
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  • Timekeepers

    Simon Garfield

    Product Code: TIMK
    Hardback
    Hand-picked favourites
    Simon Garfield, a man described by the Observer as 'a one-man Blue Peter team for intelligent adults' evaluates the importance of time and why we place so much emphasis on it in this eye-opening book.

    A book about our attempts to measure, control, sell, film, perform, immortalise and re-invent time, it also discusses why it is so meaningful. Looking back over the past 250 years, it focuses on stories including Roger Bannister's four-minute mile, a British watchmaker competing with the mighty Switzerland ad how a moment of war can be frozen forever.

    Enthusiastically written, this book will help you understand the concept of time in a whole new way. You definitely should set aside some time to read - and devour - this book!
    • £1.00
    • RRP £16.99
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  • Shakespeare's Strangest Tales

    Product Code: SHKT
    Hardback
    Hand-picked favourites
    Published to coincide with the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death, this compelling and entertaining book takes a look at the weird and wonderful stories from the theatres that have played host to the Bard's work.

    From fluffed lines to falls off stages, you'll get to find out about the terrible behaviour of the groundlings at the Globe, learn why the 'rude mechanicals' in A Midsummer Night's Dream were recast as a group of ladies from the WI and discover how Dame Maggie Smith got even with Sir Laurence Olivier.

    Curious and extraordinary, this collection of tales will entertain any fans of the Bard or the stage.
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    • RRP £9.99
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  • 1916: A Global History

    Keith Jeffery

    Product Code: NAGH
    Paperback
    Hand-picked favourites
    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.
    • £1.00
    • RRP £9.99
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  • For the Love of the Air Force

    Norman Ferguson

    Product Code: BHEQF
    Hardback
    * Which long-serving aircraft was known as 'Faithful Annie'? * In what year did the first female jet pilot join the RAF? * Where does the RAF motto, 'Per Ardua ad Astra', come from? For the answers to all these questions and more, take off into this fascinating miscellany and become a true RAF aficionado. With its famous Supermarine Spitfire and the legendary Red Arrows, the RAF has been a pillar of British military operations since its beginnings in 1918. This new miscellany brings together the origins of the RAF, the people who make it tick and the technology that lets it take to the skies, as well as the aviation lingo and time-honoured traditions that characterise the force we know today. Whether you have first-hand RAF experience or you're an enthusiastic supporter from the ground, this remarkable volume will be your guide to the oldest independent air force in the world. Chocks away!
    • £2.00
    • RRP £9.99
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  • 50 People Who Screwed Up Scotland

    Allan Brown

    Product Code: AOPXP
    Paperback
    To be Scottish is to have a lot to live down, and as Allan Brown shows, this lot do the job superbly. Whether it be Robert Burns, indecipherable bard of rustic gibberish or Sean Connery, die-hard advocate of a country he refuses to live in. Or, Alex Salmond, the chortling bullfrog of separatism or Tommy Sheridan, the sexy socialist hardliner. They're all here, and many others; a veritable embassy of bad ambassadors. 50 People Who Screwed Up Scotland is a humorous and chronologically-sequential series of essays, histories and anecdotes that consider those episodes and occurrences in Scotland's political, cultural and social story where, against all odds, defeat was plucked from the jaws of victory.
    • £1.00
    • RRP £8.99
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  • The Volunteer

    Jack Fairweather

    Product Code: CDBKU
    Paperback
    SHORTLISTED FOR THE COSTA BIOGRAPHY AWARD 'Totally gripping'-- Simon Sebag Montefiore 'Pilecki is perhaps one of the greatest unsung heroes of the second world war ... this insightful book is likely to be the definitive version of this extraordinary life' -- Economist Would you sacrifice yourself to save thousands of others? In the Summer of 1940, after the Nazi occupation of Poland, an underground operative called Witold Pilecki accepted a mission to uncover the fate of thousands of people being interned at a new concentration camp on the border of the Reich. His mission was to report on Nazi crimes and raise a secret army to stage an uprising. The name of the detention centre -- Auschwitz. It was only after arriving at the camp that he started to discover the Nazi's terrifying plans. Over the next two and half years, Witold forged an underground army that smuggled evidence of Nazi atrocities out of Auschwitz. His reports from the camp were to shape the Allies response to the Holocaust - yet his story was all but forgotten for decades. This is the first major account to draw on unpublished family papers, newly released archival documents and exclusive interviews with surviving resistance fighters to show how he brought the fight to the Nazis at the heart of their evil designs. The result is an enthralling story of resistance and heroism against the most horrific circumstances, and one man's attempt to change the course of history.
    • £7.19
    • RRP £7.99
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  • The Writing on the Wall

    Mike Read

    Product Code: BMPME
    Hardback
    Written by well know BBC DJ Mike Read The author is Chairman of the British Plaque Trust, the body set up to revive the Blue Plaque scheme Published to coincide with the unveiling of the BBC's plaque to Buddy Holly Major UK publicity and marketing campaign
    • £2.00
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  • Art

    Simon Schama, CBE

    Product Code: CAVFZ
    Paperback
    `Great art has dreadful manners... ...The hushed reverence of the gallery can fool you into believing masterpieces are visions that soothe, charm and beguile, but actually they are thugs. Merciless and wily, the greatest paintings grab you in a headlock and proceed in short order to re-arrange your sense of reality.' In inimitable style, our greatest historian and master storyteller Simon Schama makes an irresistible case for the power of art and its necessary place in our lives, examining art through the prism of the troubling life and works of Italian master painter, and murderer, Caravaggio. Selected from The Power of Art VINTAGE MINIS: GREAT MINDS. BIG IDEAS. LITTLE BOOKS. A series of short books by the world's greatest writers on the experiences that make us human Also in the Vintage Minis 'Great Ideas' series: Religion by Karen Armstrong Science by Ian McEwan
    • £3.19
    • RRP £3.50
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  • British History Timeline Poster

    Product Code: BERJG
    Other
    Supporting the history curriculum at Key Stage 2 and beyond, this stunning and highly informative poster helps pupils to understand the sequence of events that have shaped Britain and to view contemporary events and concerns in a wider perspective. Covering hundreds of thousands of years of history, from the Stone Age to the present, the poster will be a striking addition to your classroom resources. Information is divided into the sections: storyline; law and war; who, what & when; the shaping of our lives.
    • £8.99
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  • Break Point

    Ollie Ollerton

    Product Code: CDBAX
    Paperback
    THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER OLLIE OLLERTON CO-HOSTS SAS: WHO DARES WINS ALONGSIDE ANT MIDDLETON, JASON FOX and MARK BILLINGHAM. THIS IS HIS INCREDIBLE TRUE STORY Where is your break point? Is it here? Facing the gruelling SAS selection process on one leg, with a busted ankle and the finish line nowhere in sight? Or here? Under heavy fire from armed kidnappers while protecting journalists en route to Baghdad. Or is it here? At the bottom of a bottle, with a family in pieces, unable to adapt to a civilian lifestyle, yearning for a warzone? Ex-Special Forces soldier and star of TV's SAS: Who Dares Wins, Ollie Ollerton has faced many break points in his life and now he tells us the vital lessons he has learnt. His incredible story features hardened criminals, high-speed car chases, counter-terrorism and humanitarian heroics - freeing children from a trafficking ring in Thailand. Ollie has faced break points in his personal life too, surviving a freak childhood attack, run-ins with the law as a teenager rebelling against a broken home, his self-destructive battles with alcohol and drug addiction, and his struggles with anxiety and depression. His final redemption as an entrepreneur and mental health charity ambassador has seen him overcome adversity to build a new and better life. 'Everyone has the capacity for incredible achievement, because it's only when it's crunch time, when you're down to your last bullet - when you're at break point - that you find out who you really are.'
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  • Sapiens: A Brief History of Mankind

    Yuval Noah Harari

    Product Code: ANDDK
    Paperback
    Yuval Noah Harari's A Brief History of Mankind will take you all the way through human history and explain how we came to live in the world we do today. From being insignificant apes to the discovery of fire, the beginnings of farming and how money and science make the world go round, it's a truly extraordinary tale and all told in witty and accessible prose.

    This incredible non-fiction book has sold over a million copies and can count individuals as diverse as Barack Obama, Bill Gates and Jarvis Cocker among its fans. It's a book you'll definitely remember reading for the first time.
    • £9.89
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  • Irish History

    Neil Hegarty

    Product Code: CDKKC
    Paperback
    From mesolithic Ireland to the peace process, this little book covers all of the main historical and cultural events, places and figures in Irish history. A must for all lovers of Ireland and the Irish. An excellent, concise guide to how Ireland has come to be what it is today. Some key events, people, topics and places include: * Monastic Ireland, Vikings and Normans * The Irish language, the Book of Kells * Patrick, Colm Cille, Brian Boru, Granuaile (Grace O'Malley) * Colonial Ireland, Emigration * Rebellion, Famine and Partition * The Troubles, Good Friday Agreement and Brexit A helpful index is found at the back of the book. Beautifully produced, Collins Little Book of Irish History is a treasure in itself and makes a perfect gift for any Ireland enthusiast.
    • £5.59
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  • The Five

    Hallie Rubenhold

    Product Code: CDHVH
    Paperback
    WINNER OF THE BAILLIE GIFFORD PRIZE FOR NONFICTION 2019 THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER 'An angry and important work of historical detection, calling time on the misogyny that has fed the Ripper myth. Powerful and shaming' GUARDIAN Polly, Annie, Elizabeth, Catherine and Mary-Jane are famous for the same thing, though they never met. They came from Fleet Street, Knightsbridge, Wolverhampton, Sweden and Wales. They wrote ballads, ran coffee houses, lived on country estates, they breathed ink-dust from printing presses and escaped people-traffickers. What they had in common was the year of their murders: 1888. Their murderer was never identified, but the name created for him by the press has become far more famous than any of these five women. Now, in this devastating narrative of five lives, historian Hallie Rubenhold finally sets the record straight, and gives these women back their stories. PRAISE FOR THE FIVE 'Gripping' New York Times 'At last, the Ripper's victims get a voice... An eloquent, stirring challenge to reject the prevailing Ripper myth.' MAIL ON SUNDAY 'Devastatingly good. The Five will leave you in tears, of pity and of rage.' LUCY WORSLEY 'Dignity is finally returned to these unfortunate women.' PROFESSOR DAME SUE BLACK 'Haunting' SUNDAY TIMES 'What a brilliant and necessary book' JO BAKER, author of Longbourn 'Beautifully written and with the grip of a thriller, it will open your eyes and break your heart.' ERIN KELLY 'An outstanding work of history-from-below ... magnificent' THE SPECTATOR 'Deeply researched' THE NEW YORKER AWARDS FOR THE FIVE - Winner of the Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-fiction 2019 - Hay Festival Book of the Year 2019 - Shortlisted for the Crime Writers' Association Gold Dagger for Non-Fiction - Shortlisted for the Historical Writers' Association Non-Fiction Crown Award - A New York Times, Sunday Times, Daily Mail, GQ, Washington Post, Oprah Winfrey Magazine and Independent Summer read/History Book of the Year
    • £8.99
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  • The Diary of a Young Girl

    Anne Frank

    Product Code: BUNLO
    Paperback
    Anne Frank's The Diary of a Young Girl is an inspiring and tragic account of an ordinary life lived in extraordinary circumstances that has enthralled readers for generations. This Penguin Classics edition is edited by Otto H. Frank and Mirjam Pressler, translated by Susan Massotty, and includes an introduction by Elie Wiesel, author of Night. 'June, 1942: I hope I will be able to confide everything to you, as I have never been able to confide in anyone, and I hope you will be a great source of comfort and support.' In Amsterdam, in the summer of 1942, the Nazis forced teenager Anne Frank and her family into hiding. For over two years, they, another family and a German dentist lived in a 'secret annexe', fearing discovery. All that time, Anne kept a diary. Since its publication in 1947, Anne Frank's diary has been read by tens of millions of people. This Definitive Edition restores substantial material omitted from the original edition, giving us a deeper insight into Anne Frank's world. Her curiosity about her emerging sexuality, the conflicts with her mother, her passion for Peter, a boy whose family hid with hers, and her acute portraits of her fellow prisoners reveal Anne as more human, more vulnerable and more vital than ever. 'One of the greatest books of the twentieth century' Guardian 'A modern classic' Julia Neuberger, The Times
    • £8.09
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  • War Doctor

    David Nott

    Product Code: CDBTH
    Paperback
    'Brave, compassionate and inspiring - it left me in floods of tears' Adam Kay, author of This Is Going to Hurt For more than twenty-five years, David Nott has taken unpaid leave from his job as a general and vascular surgeon with the NHS to volunteer in some of the world's most dangerous war zones. From Sarajevo under siege in 1993, to clandestine hospitals in rebel-held eastern Aleppo, he has carried out life-saving operations and field surgery in the most challenging conditions, and with none of the resources of a major London teaching hospital. The conflicts he has worked in form a chronology of twenty-first-century combat: Afghanistan, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Darfur, Congo, Iraq, Yemen, Libya, Gaza and Syria. But he has also volunteered in areas blighted by natural disasters, such as the earthquakes in Haiti and Nepal. Driven both by compassion and passion, the desire to help others and the thrill of extreme personal danger, he is now widely acknowledged to be the most experienced trauma surgeon in the world. But as time went on, David Nott began to realize that flying into a catastrophe - whether war or natural disaster - was not enough. Doctors on the ground needed to learn how to treat the appalling injuries that war inflicts upon its victims. Since 2015, the foundation he set up with his wife, Elly, has disseminated the knowledge he has gained, training other doctors in the art of saving lives threatened by bombs and bullets. War Doctor is his extraordinary story.
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  • Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls

    Elena Favilli

    Product Code: AXDIA
    Hardback 7 years +
    (5)
    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 was shortlisted for 2018's British Book Award Children's Book of the Year.
    • £18.00
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  • Secrets of Santorini

    Patricia Wilson

    Product Code: BYHHW
    Paperback
    If you love Victoria Hislop, Lucinda Riley and Elizabeth Edmondson, you'll love this perfect holiday read from the author of Islands of Secrets and Villa of Secrets. Sent away to a convent school in Dublin at the age of five, Irini McGuire has always had a strained and distant relationship with her mother, Bridget, a celebrated archaeologist who lives on the paradise island of Santorini. So, when Irini receives news that Bridget has been injured at a dig and is in a coma, she knows it is finally time to return to the island of her birth. Reading through her mother's notes at her bedside, Irini starts to realise how little she knows about Bridget's life. Now, driven by rumours that her mother's injury was no accident, Irini must uncover the dark secrets behind her family's separation. Will she discover the truth about her parents and her past before it is too late? What readers have said about Patricia Wilson's Islands of Secrets and Villa of Secrets: 'Island of Secrets is a book full of raw emotions, family vendettas, hidden secrets and three very strong women. It's a book I enjoyed very much and one which fans of Victoria Hislop and Debbie Rix are sure to enjoy' 'So well written and utterly heartbreaking . . . a story that needs to be told' 'Page-turning, enthralling and heartbreaking by turns' 'Made me laugh and cry, just couldn't put this book down' 'A perfect read' 'Heart-wrenching and heart-warming at the same time' 'What a thoroughly engrossing book' 'Written with such depth and understanding'
    • £7.69
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  • The Spy and the Traitor

    Ben MacIntyre

    Product Code: BXIOU
    Paperback
    *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...
    • £8.69
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  • The Ordnance Survey Puzzle Book

    Ordnance Survey

    Product Code: CBLMT
    Paperback
    (2)
    The Ordnance Survey Puzzle Book was 2018's bestselling Christmas gift book so why not brush up on your map reading skills and crack an array of fiendish puzzles all whilst learning amazing facts so YOU can become the ultimate map-reader! Do you know your trig points from your National Trails? Can you calculate using contours? And can you fathom exactly how far the footpath is from the free house? Track down hidden treasures, decipher geographical details and discover amazing facts as you work through this unique puzzle book based on 40 of the Ordnance Survey's best British maps. Explore the first ever OS map made in 1801, unearth the history of curious place names, encounter abandoned Medieval villages and search the site of the first tarmac road in the world. With hundreds of puzzles ranging from easy to mind-boggling, this mix of navigational tests, word games, code-crackers, anagrams and mathematical conundrums will put your friends and family through their paces on the path to becoming the ultimate map-master!
    • £13.99
    • RRP £14.99
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  • The Worst Children's Jobs in History

    Sir Tony Robinson

    Product Code: AUXUU
    Paperback
    The Worst Jobs in History takes you back to the days when being a kid was no excuse for getting out of hard labour. This book tells the stories of all the children whose work fed the nation, kept trains running, and put clothes on everyone's backs, over the last few hundred years of Britain's history. No longer will you have to listen to your parents, grandparents, uncles, neighbours, and random old people in the Co-op telling you how much harder they had it in their day. Next time you find yourself in that situation, ask them if they were a jigger-turner or a turnip-picker in their young day. No? An orderly boy, perhaps? A stepper? Maybe they spent their weekends making matchboxes? Still no? Then they have no idea about the real meaning of hard work. With profiles and testimonies of real kids in rotten jobs, this book will tell you things you probably didn't want to know about the back-breaking, puke-inducing reality of being a child in the past.
    • £8.39
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  • Take Six Girls

    Laura Thompson

    Product Code: AUPWP
    Paperback
    The eldest was a razor-sharp novelist of upper-class manners; the second was loved by John Betjeman; the third was a fascist who married Oswald Mosley; the fourth idolized Hitler and shot herself in the head when Britain declared war on Germany; the fifth was a member of the American Communist Party; the sixth became Duchess of Devonshire. They were the Mitford sisters: Nancy, Pamela, Diana, Unity, Jessica and Deborah. Born into country-house privilege in the early years of the 20th century, they became prominent as 'bright young things' in the high society of interwar London. Then, as the shadows crept over 1930s Europe, the stark - and very public - differences in their outlooks came to symbolize the political polarities of a dangerous decade. The intertwined stories of their stylish and scandalous lives - recounted in masterly fashion by Laura Thompson - hold up a revelatory mirror to upper-class English life before and after WWII.
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  • Call the Midwife

    Jennifer Worth

    Product Code: AAIGM
    Paperback
    (2)
    Jennifer Worth came from a sheltered background when she became a midwife in the Docklands in the 1950s. The conditions in which many women gave birth just half a century ago were horrifying, not only because of their grimly impoverished surroundings, but also because of what they were expected to endure. But while Jennifer witnessed brutality and tragedy, she also met with amazing kindness and understanding, tempered by a great deal of Cockney humour. She also earned the confidences of some whose lives were truly stranger, more poignant and more terrifying than could ever be recounted in fiction. Attached to an order of nuns who had been working in the slums since the 1870s, Jennifer tells the story not only of the women she treated, but also of the community of nuns (including one who was accused of stealing jewels from Hatton Garden) and the camaraderie of the midwives with whom she trained. Funny, disturbing and incredibly moving, Jennifer's stories bring to life the colourful world of the East End in the 1950s.
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If you want to delve into the history of the world, from ancient eras to modern times, then take a look through our extensive range of history books. Whether you’re a history buff or just starting to explore this interesting topic, we have so many brilliant books on history for you to read.

Fascinating historical figures

Kings, queens, military leaders, writers and more are all given starring roles in our range of brilliant books about history. Our history books are full of revealing accounts of the lives of the people that have impacted our world.

Fierce battles

Discover the causes and outcomes of some of the most significant battles the world has ever seen. Whether you are fascinated by the World Wars or prefer finding out about time periods long before, we have books about history that explore how some of the most brutal battles in history have led us up to now.

Delve into the stories of the past

Uncover stories from the past that have been forgotten or overlooked over the years. From modern history to times long gone, there is much to explore in our best history books.

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