History Books

  • BGHI
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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.
  • 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.
  • RAFS
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    Published to commemorate the centenary of the Royal Air Force, this keepsake hardback features archive photographs and uses official documents and personal experiences to tell the story of the people, the planes and missions of the RAF.

    Written by world-renowned broadcaster James Holland, this book covers everything from its beginnings after the First World War through to its role in the infamous Battle of Britain during the Second World War.

    It also looks at the life-saving missions and the men, women and aircraft that have made such an impact on this great British institution.

    Due to circumstances beyond our control, this book was advertised with the wrong jacket in catalogue 358. The image on our website is correct. We apologise for any inconvenience.
  • 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.
  • ALMH
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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.
  • 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
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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
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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.
  • WTHI
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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.
  • Our Uninvited Guests - Hardback - 9781471152535 - Julie Summers
    UNIN
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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.
  • Spitfire Stories - Hardback - 9781782438168 - Jacky Hyams
    SPST
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    • RRP £16.99
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    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.
  • STBR
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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.
  • RCHD
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    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...
  • MRQU
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    Petrolheads will be revving up to work their way through this cool book from the AA. It's a compendium of over 90 famous car logos and emblems from the past 120 years.

    From Alfa Romeo to Porsche, the marques are arranged alphabetically and are accompanied by a detailed history that reveals all their hidden meanings. Detailed artwork also captures each badge's evolution from initial design to the present day.

    A great present for car and design fans of all ages, the diagrams in this book are annotated to show their specific design details .
  • 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.
  • March, Women, March - Hardback - 9780233005256 - Lucinda Dickens Hawksley
    MWMA
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    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.
  • 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.
  • The Times: Complete History of the World - Hardback - 9780007950911
    THTW
    • £14.99
    • RRP £70.00
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    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
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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'.
  • FTEH
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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.
  • 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.
  • FRAI
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    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
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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.
  • The British Serviceman of the First World War Collection - 3 Books - Collection - 9781784423025
    BSWW
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    • 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