Sometimes there’s nothing we love more than to delve into the past, whether it is to read about one of our favourite authors, to take a trip through our great British heritage, or in remembrance of turbulent times. Here are our top titles for all the history buffs out there.
Simon Schama brings Britain to life through its portraits, and reveals the truth behind the nation’s most famous portrayals of power, love, fame, the self, and the people. Illustrated with more than 150 images from the National Portrait Gallery, this is sure to delight anyone who looks for the hidden story behind the picture.
A book about the meaning of Britain’s modern popular culture, the one area where we can legitimately claim superpower status. Covering everything from Bond and the Beatles, to heavy metal and Coronation Street, taking in Damien Hirst, The X Factor, and Harry Potter along the way. Ideal for pop culture fans and quiz night enthusiasts.
James Holland challenges some of the too-long-held assumptions about the war that shaped our world, having spent twelve years conducting new research, interviewing survivors, visiting battlefields and archives that have never before been accessible. While there is no doubt that the Second World War is the most cataclysmic and violent sequence of events in recent times, Holland presents new information in a way that will intrigue any history fan.
While we’re on the subject of war, The Silent Deep is the first authoritative history of the Submarine Service from the end of the Second World War to the present. It gives the most complete account yet published of the development of Britain’s submarine fleet, its capabilities, weapons, infrastructure, operations and, from the testimony of many submariners, what life is like on board for the denizens of the silent deep.
Acclaimed literary biographer Claire Harman celebrates the 200th anniversary of Charlotte Brontë’s birth with this definitive account of her life, containing all the drama and tragedy of the great Gothic novels it inspired, making it the perfect gift for those wanting to while away the winter’s evenings.
Detailing the astonishing clash of arms that was the battle at Agincourt, interlacing eyewitness accounts, background chronicle and documentary sources with a new interpretation of the battle’s onset, the reader is taken into the heart of this extraordinary battle, a pivotal moment in the Hundred Years War and the history of warfare in general.
A radical reframing of the Holocaust that challenges prevailing myths and draws disturbing parallels with the present, Black Earth is a deep exploration of the ideas and politics that enabled the worst to happen.
At the beginning of the 1650s, England was in ruins – wrecked by plague and civil war, yet shimmering on the horizon was a vision of paradise. Adventurers and exiles had found a land of unimaginable freedom and natural beauty, but as planters and traders followed explorers, and mercenaries and soldiers followed political dissidents, it would become a place of terror and cruelty. This is the untold story of the rise and fall of Willoughbyland