History Books

  • SPFR
    (2)
    • £5.99
    • RRP £20.00
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    This brilliant hardback book provides a heartfelt tribute to one of the most magnificent flying machines of all time - the iconic Spitfire.

    Written by bestselling author and former Royal Air Force pilot John Nichol, it looks over the history of the vehicle and its various innovations and updates and contains stories and first-hand accounts from those who flew them.

    From the Spitfire's deployment during World War II to its role on the D-Day beaches, this is an accessible and high-flying account of battling pilots who had to bail out over occupied territory, aristocratic female flyers and mechanics who braved the Nazi onslaught to keep the crafts in battle-ready condition.
  • RFTS
    • £4.99
    • RRP £15.99
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    Celebrate the centenary of the Royal Air Force with this book packed full of facts and figures.

    From who flew the most sorties to the pilot with the longest career and the weight of the heaviest bomb, there are so many facts for military history enthusiasts to pore over.

    Illustrated with infographics and stunning photographs, this eye-catching book also offers biographies of the RAF's most famous pilots. It's packed with facts and myth busters for armchair historians to dip into.
  • SOBI
    • £8.99
    • RRP £25.00
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    This evocative book is written by one of television's best-loved archaeologists and presenters, Neil Oliver. Neil beautifully writes a personal account of what makes the British Isles so special and why he believes it is the best place in the world.

    Told through the places that have witnessed the unfolding of British history, this book begins with the footprints of humankind's earliest ancestors and continues through to the development of religion, the transition of the industrial revolution and the outbreak of two World Wars.

    Stunningly written, Neil's book features majestic recounts of history, spanning from windswept headlands and battlefields to ancient trees and magnificent cathedrals.
  • WWCW
    • £5.99
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    Learn how incredible women including Marie Curie, Virginia Woolf and Michelle Obama have made a difference with this inspirational and informative book.

    With its flexi-bound leatherette jacket, this book celebrates the women who have made a mark on the 20th century. It reveals how the actions of these women and their extraordinary breakthroughs have changed the course of history.

    Covering those who have made a difference in humanity, science, medicine, technology, space and the environment, politics, culture and society and the arts, each woman is highlighted on a double-page spread with one page offering a brief overview of their achievements and the other a more in-depth profile.
  • HUND
    • £4.99
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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).
  • TOBH
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    Peter and Dan Snow, two of Britain's most popular historians, discuss the importance of 50 key documents in this incredibly informative hardback tome.

    Presented in eye-catching style, this book finds Peter and Dan offering an authoritative commentary explaining each document's criteria for selection and an examination of their pertinent details.

    From the Magna Carta to Hitler's letter to Chamberlain agreeing he'd never go to war and the official design for the FA Cup, these documents have been researched from the collections of The National Archives, The British Museum, The British Library and the National Records of Scotland.

    A must for all history enthusiasts!
  • ALMH
    • £6.99
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    In this tale of courage and determination, David Guss looks back over the Second World War exploits of PoW Lt Alastair Cram.

    Cram was taken prisoner in North Africa in November 1941 but ended up living in 10 different camps and three Gestapo prisons. However, Cram was a serial escapee - and found his way to freedom no fewer than 21 times.

    Cram met David Stirling, the legendary founder of the SAS in Gavi (known as the 'Italian Colditz') and together they laid the groundwork for the 'Cistern Tunnel' escape - one of the most audacious and also little-known escape attempts of the entire War.
  • OTDY
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    This fact-filled book gives armchair historians the chance to learn all about the world-changing events that happened on every day of the year.

    Looking back over the past 2,000 years of history, it covers births, deaths and landmark occasions from the worlds of politics, sport, the arts, economics and science.

    This eye-opening book also includes evocative black and white images as it recalls the likes of the rise of the vote for women in the UK and Cooke's discovery of Hawaii.

    Find out what happened on your birthday!
  • DHEV
    (1)
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    • RRP £25.00
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    Peter Ackroyd continues his History of England series with Dominion. This impressive hardback tome will delight any armchair historian.

    This book takes us from post-Battle of Waterloo Britain in 1815 though to the last years of the Regency and death of Queen Victoria in 1901. Ackroyd casts his eye over William IV's reign that saw the modernisation of the political system and the abolition of slavery, the accession of Queen Victoria and technological progress including the invention of steam railways and the first telegram.

    This richly detailed book also looks at industrialisation and the sheer amount of great literature that was written during this era (Byron, Shelley, Wordsworth and, of course, Dickens). It celebrates a time when Britannia really did seem to rule the waves.
  • GLDN
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    From the author of The Secret Lives of Colour, this fascinating book explores the history of civilization and human creativity: from the mummies of Ancient Egypt and the silken dragon robes of Imperial China to the woollen sails of Viking longboats and the Indian calicoes.

    Kassia St Clair studied the history of women's dress and masquerade during the 18th century and uses her knowledge and wit to argue that fabrics have changed and shaped the world we live in today.

    Packed with compelling stories from around the world and spanning thousands of years of human ingenuity, this book is sure to change the way you see the world.
  • KHWD
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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.
  • WHKG
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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.
  • WTHI
    (1)
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    I Never Knew That About London author Christopher Winn takes you on a series of walks through central London that will open your eyes to the events that happened in the city during the Victorian era.

    Among the little-known facts he reveals are the 300-foot bell tower at the Houses of Parliament; a hidden chapel in Bloomsbury that was described by Oscar Wilde as 'the most delightful private chapel in London'; and the best Victorian loos in the world that are located near Old Street.
  • BTCH
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    Armchair historians can read about the most famous battles from the past 3,000 years in this compelling hardback.

    Featuring a foreword from Sir Tony Robinson, it covers ancient battles, Medieval battles, naval battles, the American Civil War, both World Wars, the Cold War and much more beyond. It covers leaders including Alexander the Great, Napoleon and Rommel and also the weapons and strategies that are used.

    This detailed book is packed with maps, paintings and photographs and analyses of how fateful decisions led to glorious victories or crushing defeats.
  • TSWW
    • £10.99
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    Written by nine eminent historians, this eye-opening book focuses on the men and women who lived and died during the Second World War.

    This tome draws on contemporary documentation, private writings and historical research to show what life was like for people ranging from soldiers to factory workers and civilians.

    This is an evocative and essential account of the period between 1939 and 1945 that changed the world forever.
  • AGTJ
    (1)
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    Robert Hutton tells the incredible story of Eric Roberts, the MI5 agent codenamed Jack King who helped flush out the Nazi sympathisers on British soil as part of Operation Fifth Column in June, 1940.

    Recruited into the world of espionage by Maxwell Knight, Roberts had the ability to make people trust him with their darkest secrets and received so many secrets from Nazi sympathisers who believed him to be a Gestapo officer...

    Drawing on newly declassified documents and private family archives, this book reveals just how close Britain was to succumbing to fascism during the Second World War - and how the actions of brave and brilliant people like Robert Hutton managed to avoid this.
  • LBBH
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    Ian Crofton's The Little Book of Big History will take you all the way from the beginning of our planet through to what's in store for our future. It's a concise, accessible and authoritative account of humanity.

    It incorporates everything from the Big Bang to modern day theories and will help you understand the entire story of the cosmos in an accessible way.

    Breaking down the main themes of the universe, this is an informative and essential guide for anyone interested in space and the universe. It includes a timeline that explains how we came to be.
  • BGHI
    • £9.99
    • RRP £25.00
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    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.
  • ETCW
    • £5.99
    • RRP £15.00
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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.
  • 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.
  • STMH
    • £5.99
    • RRP £15.00
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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.
  • SPIG
    (1)
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    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.
  • Our Uninvited Guests - Hardback - 9781471152535 - Julie Summers
    UNIN
    • £6.49
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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.
  • STBR
    (3)
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    Smoky was a four-pound Yorkshire terrier with a big heart. One of the heroes of the Second World War, she was found in mysterious circumstances and adopted by Corporal William 'Bill' Wynne, a member of the US Air Force.

    This book, written by acclaimed historian and war reporter Damien Lewis and based on the recollections of 93-year-old Wynne himself, tells the heart-warming and inspirational story of Smoky's life. He looks over all the air and sea rescue missions she embarked on and the awards she won. He also talks about how she used to parachute using a special rig!

    This book looks over Smoky's most heroic exploit - running a cable through a 70-foot pipe that enabled phone lines to reach a nearby occupied airbase in Luton. Smoky's efforts saved so many lives.