Jane Struthers looks at the history of wassailing in this extract from The Book of Christmas. English is a fascinating melting pot of languages acquired from other countries, especially those whose kings once occupied our throne. So it’s hardly surprising that the word ‘wassail’ is thought to have come from the Old Norse ves heill, which […]

In this extract from The Book of Christmas, Jane Struthers demystifies the protagonist of a popular Christmas carol. We sing about him every Christmas in the eponymous carol, which tells us that the ‘good king’ and his page ventured out in the snow on the feast of Stephen (26 December) to take food, wine and […]

With a story as dramatic and tragic as the Gothic novels she wrote, Charlotte Brontë’s life was not only fascinating, it was inspiring. The main force driving her family, Charlotte encouraged her sisters as poets and novelists, stepped in to support the family after her brother’s death, travelled Europe, and using her own experiences, crafted trailblazing female characters. In this extract from Charlotte Brontë: A Life, you can catch a glimpse of the unique life that inspired her stories.

Bright Earth examines the vast spectrum of colours we live with, from the illustrious history of monarchic purple to the 17th century attempts to make and define pink. In this extract, author Philip Ball uncovers the history and chemistry behind the infamously patented International Klein Blue.

In Hello World, Alice Rawsthorn explores the relationship design plays in society, and how it influences our lives as one of the most powerful forces that can determine how we feel and what we do, often without our noticing. In this extract, the role of the colour green is explored, from its use as a colour denoting environmental causes, to the irony of it being one of the least natural colours in the man-made world.

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.

To this day, the Ministry of Defence responds to all enquiries about submarine operations with a simple phrase: “The Ministry of Defence does not comment on submarine operations.” Written with privileged access to both documents and personnel, The Silent Deep is the first authoritative history of the British submarine service since the end of the […]