Category

History

Modern communications have driven motorways and pylons through the countryside, dwarfed us with TV and telephone masts and drastically altered the way in which we move around, see and understand Scotland. Recent politics and logistics have established borders and jurisdictions which now seem permanent and impervious. The Fade... read more

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The English see more ghosts than any other nation. From medieval times to the present day, stories have been told about ghosts who avenge injustice, souls who long for peace and spooks who just want to have fun. "The English Ghost" is a treasure trove of such sightings; comical and scary, like all the best ghost stories, thes... read more

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Magic is not simply a matter of the occult arts, but a whole way of thinking, of dreaming the impossible. As such it has tremendous force in opening the mind to new realms of achievement: imagination precedes the fact. It used to be associated with wisdom, understanding the powers of nature, and with technical ingenuity that ... read more

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How did an animal product that spoils easily, carries disease, and causes digestive trouble for many of its consumers become a near-universal symbol of modern nutrition? In the first cultural history of milk, historian Deborah Valenze traces the rituals and beliefs that have governed milk production and consumption since its ... read more

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"From 1960 to 1990, islands across the Pacific gained independence or self-government. In the years following this, Ian Johnstone and Michael Powles interviewed the Pacific people in key leadership positions in the lead-up to and achievement of independence. This book presents a nation-by-nation history of this change from be... read more

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James Grant (1822 - 1887) was a Scottish author. Grant was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, and was a distant relation of Sir Walter Scott. He was a prolific author, writing some 90 books, including many yellow-backs. Titles included Adventures of an Aide-de-camp, One of "The six hundred", The Scottish musketeers and The Scottish... read more

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A groundbreaking history of human interaction with Antarctica, the last continent on earth. For centuries it was suspected that there must be an undiscovered continent in the southern hemisphere. But explorers failed to find one. On his second voyage to the Pacific, Captain James Cook sailed further south than any of his riva... read more

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In a narrative beginning almost 1.5 million years ago with the emergence of Homo erectus, Frank Welsh takes the reader from the Middle Ages to the Enlightenment, from the Industrial Revolution to the age of terrorism. Using his masterly storytelling skills, he recounts the epic story of human growth, survival and achievement ... read more

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It is a story like no other: an epic of endurance against destruction, of creativity in oppression, joy amidst grief, the affirmation of life against the steepest of odds. It spans the millennia and the continents - from India to Andalusia and from the bazaars of Cairo to the streets of Oxford. It takes you to unimagined plac... read more

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A Plotting Duchess, a Mysterious Death and a Castle Full of Intrigue in Catherine Bailey's The Secret Rooms. At 6 am on 21 April 1940 John the 9th Duke of Rutland, and one of Britain's wealthiest men, ended his days, virtually alone, lying on a makeshift bed in a dank cramped suite of rooms in the servants' quarters of his ow... read more

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From the summer of 1938, British women from all walks of life joined the Women's Voluntary Services (WVS). This disparate band of women came together for the common good - to help serve and protect their communities. By 1941 a million women had enrolled. These brave and dutiful women played a vital role in Britain's victory. ... read more

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Swearing is a fascinating thing. Almost everyone does it, or worries about not doing it, from the two year old who has just discovered the power of the potty mouth to the grandma who wonders why every other word she hears is obscene. But more than its cultural ubiquity, swearing is also interesting for what it tells us abou... read more

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Over the last half a billion years, there have been five mass extinctions of life on earth. Scientists around the world are currently monitoring the sixth, predicted to be the most devastating extinction event since the asteroid impact that wiped out the dinosaurs. Elizabeth Kolbert combines brilliant field reporting, the his... read more

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A chronicle of the ways in which women's lives changed during World War I and what the impact has been for women today, 100 years laterIn 1914 the world changed forever. This book details how when World War I broke out and a generation of men went off to fight, women emerged from the shadows of their domestic lives. Now a vis... read more

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Survivor on the River Kwai is the heartbreaking story of one of the last survivors of the Burma Railway. February 1942. A young British soldier is caught up in the worst defeat in the history of the British Army, the fall of Singapore. Reg Twigg spends the next three years in hell, moving from jungle camp to jungle camp and b... read more

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On the eve of the 1943 invasion of Italy, just weeks before Allied bombs nearly destroyed Leonardo da Vinci's Last Supper in Milan, General Dwight Eisenhower empowered a new kind of soldier to protect mankind's greatest cultural treasures. In May 1944, two unlikely American heroes - an artist and a scholar - embarked from Nap... read more

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What caused the Russian Revolution? Did it succeed or fail? Do we still live with its consequences? Orlando Figes teaches history at Birkbeck, University of London and is the author of many acclaimed books on Russian history, including A People's Tragedy, which The Times Literary Supplement named as one of the '100 most influ... read more

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In February 1861, the twelve-year-old son of Arizona rancher John Ward was kidnapped by Apaches. Ward followed their trail and reported the incident to patrols at Fort Buchanan, blaming a band of Chiricahuas led by the infamous warrior Cochise. Though Ward had no proof that Cochise had kidnapped his son, Lt. George Bascom org... read more

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This is the colourful, salacious and sumptuously illustrated story of Covent Garden - the creative heart of Georgian London - from Wolfson Prize-winning author Vic Gatrell. It is shortlisted for the hessell tiltman prize 2014. In the teeming, disordered, and sexually charged square half-mile centred on London's Covent Garden ... read more

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