History Books

  • BGHI
    • £9.99
    • RRP £25.00
    • Save £15.01
    With stunning visual timelines and special CGI reconstructions, this huge book from DK shows you history's greatest events in ways you have never seen before.

    Taking you from the formation of the universe right up to the present day, the brilliantly illustrated book looks at the major events that have changed the course of life on Earth. Bringing together a range of perspectives, it's a celebration of the human race's incredible journey.

    Containing a foreword from Professor David Christian, whose Big History TED talk had over 5 million views, this huge book will help you not only understand how and why we got where we are today, but also how we should view our place in history. It's aligned with Bill Gates' online Big History Project.
  • SPIG
    Gordon Corera
    • £6.99
    • RRP £20.00
    • Save £13.01
    BBC security correspondent Gordon Corera reveals the story of MI14 and the Secret Pigeon Service during the Second World War for the first time in this compelling read.

    Using extensive original research and declassified documents, he reveals the inner workings of 'Columba' - an operation that saw 16,000 plucky homing pigeons dropped in an arc from Bourdeaux to Copenhagen in an effort to bring back intelligence from those living under Nazi occupation.

    The messages came flooding back from France, the Netherlands and Belgium - all written on tiny pieces of rice paper that has been tucked into canisters and tied to the legs of the birds - and these authentic missives ranged from the comic to the tragic and occasionally invaluable, giving the British Intelligence advance notice of German troop movements, weapons and more.

    Corera also looks at the people behind this mission, not many of whom were trained agents or experienced in spying. He focuses in particular on the Leopold Vindictive network, a small group of Belgian villagers - led by priest Joseph Raskin - who were always prepared to risk everything. This is a powerful and tragic tale of wartime espionage that looks at a quirky and quarrelsome band of spy masters and their unique operations.
  • 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.
  • SPST
    Jacky Hyams
    • £5.99
    • RRP £16.99
    • Save £11.00
    Published in association with Imperial War Museums, this book is packed with tales of courage, heartbreak and humour set against the Spitfire's extraordinary history.

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

    The most famous plane of World War II and a source of national pride, the Spitfire is one of the most iconic aviation images of all time. This book celebrates the achievements of the people in charge of these planes.
  • RCHD
    Chris Skidmore
    • £8.99
    • RRP £25.00
    • Save £16.01
    Written by historian Chris Skidmore, Richard III reveals how the last Plantagenet king was one of the most significant figures from medieval times and how his actions and behaviour underlined the true nature of power during this era.

    Richard III is one of the most famous and controversial monarchs of all time. A loyal and dedicated nobleman, his personality was forged by experiences in exile and in combat. He was ambitious and successful and stunned the nation when he seized the throne and disinherited his nephews following the death of his brother, Edward IV.

    His two-year reign would end up being tumultuous and terrifying, culminating in his death on the battlefield at Bosworth. This extensively researched biography highlights Richard III as his contemporaries knew him...
  • CNTY
    Tessa Dunlop
    • £5.99
    • RRP £20.00
    • Save £14.01
    Six women who have lived the last hundred years of British history reveal how their lives have changed since the suffragettes won the right for women (over 30 and who met certain property qualifications) to vote in 1918.

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

    This is a personal account of how women gradually began to build independent lives for themselves in post-Great War Britain and what their day-to-day lives were like and how they changed throughout the following decades.
  • MWMA
    Lucinda Dickens Hawksley
    • £4.99
    • RRP £16.99
    • Save £12.00
    It is now a hundred years since the suffragette movement helped belatedly gain women (aged over 30 who met certain property qualifications) the right to vote. This must-read book marks the centenary by focusing on the courageous campaigners who refused to accept that men knew what was best for them.

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

    The quest for equal rights changed the world and this compelling and important read - complete with a foreword by Dr. Helen Pankhurst - shows you how. It's an inspiring account of a very important time in our history.
  • The Times: Complete History of the World - Hardback - 9780007950911
    • £14.99
    • RRP £70.00
    • Save £55.01
    The most comprehensive, authoritative and accessible work on history available, this bestselling book takes readers from the origins of mankind right through to the technological advancements of the modern day.

    The book with all the answers, it is very visually enticing and covers everything from the cavemen to the Cold War and Alexander the Great to global warming.

    The ultimate work of historical reference, it also contains short biographies of 100 of the world's key figures from history.
  • AWLH
    Allison Vale
    • £3.99
    • RRP £12.99
    • Save £9.00
    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'.
  • FTEH
    • £7.99
    • RRP £20.00
    • Save £12.01
    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.
  • 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.
  • FRAI
    • £4.99
    • RRP £12.99
    • Save £8.00
    Historian Bill Laws celebrates the impact that railways have had on the history of the world in this eye-opening book.

    Beautifully presented, it explains how the likes of the Metropolitan line of the London Underground (the world's first underground railway) and the Pacific Railroad in North America (the first transcontinental railways) had a major impact on modern civilisation.

    Each railway featured in this book is judged by its influence on engineering, society, commerce, politics and the military, while famous figures including George Stephenson, Doctor Richard Beeching and Rev. W.W. Awdry are also critiqued.
  • KHWD
    Josephine Wilkinson
    • £6.99
    • RRP £20.00
    • Save £13.01
    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.
  • 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
  • WWII Military Collection - 5 Books - Collection - 9781407251004
    • £8.99
    • RRP £49.95
    • Save £40.96
    • Just £1.80 per book
    From the Dambusters bombing raid to the story that inspired the classic film, The Great Escape, this collection is full of fascinating reads for anyone interested in military history.

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

    This collection also includes Wings on My Sleeve, test pilot Eric Brown's autobiography; and The Dambusters Raid, a definitive account of the most audacious bombing raid of the Second World War.
  • QCAW
    Alison Weir
    • £7.99
    • RRP £20.00
    • Save £12.01
    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.
  • TYHS
    Dixe Wills
    • £4.99
    • RRP £16.99
    • Save £12.00
    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.
  • THCN
    Robert Lacey
    • £8.99
    • RRP £20.00
    • Save £11.01
    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.
  • 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.
  • SMIM
    Nicholas Shakespeare
    • £7.99
    • RRP £20.00
    • Save £12.01
    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.
  • TCKG
    Charles Spencer
    • £7.99
    • RRP £20.00
    • Save £12.01
    Charles Spencer's thrilling sequel to Killer of the King tells an old story with new eyes as it recalls the manhunt for Charles II that followed the rebellion that spurred his father's beheading in 1649.

    A true story packed with action and adventure, Spencer has thoroughly researched the events and uses Samuel Pepys account to reveal what happened.

    He explains how Charles relied on a variety of hiding places to hide Catholics from lethal persecution while on the run from Oliver Cromwell's armies and how in the 1650s, they returned the favour by saving his life...
  • Tales from the Captain's Log - Hardback - 9781472948663 - The National Archives
    The National Archives
    • £9.99
    • RRP £25.00
    • Save £15.01
    From Captain James Cook's notes of his discovery of the South Pacific and Australia to archive logs, diaries and letters that cover naval battles including Trafalgar and Waterloo, this fantastically presented book provides a glimpse into history's greatest nautical voyages.

    From the National Archives, the commanders' journals cover everything from exploring unknown lands to engaging in war and general trade and provide breathtaking descriptions of all the incredible things these seafarers saw on their travels.

    Armchair historians will find accounts of attempts to stop piracy in the Caribbean, notes about newly discovered exotic plants and animals and medical reports of those who sailed. This keepsake book also features maps, drawings and facsimile documents that were found alongside the logs in the archives.
  • LMOD
    Mychael Barratt
    • £7.99
    • RRP £20.00
    • Save £12.01
    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.
  • JRNY
    • £10.99
    • RRP £25.00
    • Save £14.01
    All the way from Ancient Persian couriers to the invention of Concorde and journeys into space, this coffee table book provides an illustrated account of human's greatest journeys.

    With a foreword by Simon Reeve, it's a fantastic book for every armchair historian and reveals how journeys range from manners of impulse to migration and hunts for food. It even focuses on quests for adventure and pilgrimages made out of scientific curiosity.

    Covering all of humanity's most famous, significant and thrilling journeys, this book has biographies of conquerers, explores and travellers.