British History Books

20 Products

Take a journey into the past with our collection of English and British history books. We have a wide range of books perfect for the history buff in your life, covering everything from the monarchy to both World Wars. Just use the filters below and delve into the history of the British Isles.

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Private Eye: The 60 Yearbook is a history of the last 60 years, as seen by Britain’s first, most successful and indeed only fortnightly satirical magazine.  From the Beatles to Brexit, JFK to Trump, the Moon landings to the Mars landings, it tells the story of the past six decades as they were recorded in the Eye’s pages. The news stories you remember – and plenty you may have forgotten – are retold in cartoons, covers and the magazine’s legendary spoofs as well as extensive extracts from some of its best-loved features like Mrs Wilson’s Diary, Dear Bill and The Secret Diary of John Major. It is also the story of the headlines Private Eye made itself, from the earliest stirrings of investigative journalism exposing the Poulson Scandal and Ronan Point, through major miscarriages of justice like the Stephen Lawrence case and the Lockerbie cover-up and national scandals that have cost the country billions in dodgy PFI contracts, government mess-ups and secret sweetheart tax deals. Inside are the stories that led to the fall of two cabinet ministers, countless corrupt business figures and even the official in charge of making sure everyone else in Whitehall’s behaviour was above board. It includes writing by such satirical giants as Peter Cook, Richard Ingrams, Craig Brown, Auberon Waugh and Ian Hislop, and pictures by some of the world’s best cartoonists including Michael Heath, Gerald Scarfe, Nick Newman, Willie Rushton, Robert Thompson and Ken Pyne. Product Information: • ISBN: 9781901784695 • Author: Adam Macqueen  • Publisher: Private Eye • Format: Hardback • Pages: 312 • Dimensions: 26 x 21 x 3 cm

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When thinking of the Queen, our first image is one of dignity and authority. She is the very definition of majesty: the British monarch, the Supreme Governor of the Church of England and the head of the Commonwealth. But as anyone who knows her will tell you, in person she has a wicked sense of humour. Occasionally unintentional (when meeting guitar legend Eric Clapton she enquired 'Have you been playing a long time?'), sometimes cannily astute ('I have to be seen to be believed') and at times downright silly (nicely demonstrated when staff at Balmoral discovered the Queen jumping up and down with glee exclaiming 'I've won, I've won!' after hearing that England had beaten Australia in the cricket), her sense of humour is like no other. Revealing a side of the Queen's personality that the public rarely see, this joyous little book is a timely celebration of royal humour as Elizabeth II succeeds Victoria as Britain's longest-serving monarch. Product Information: • ISBN: 9781782433651 • Author: Karen Dolby • Publisher: Michael O'Mara • Format: Hardback • Pages: 158 • Dimensions: 20.5 x 13.5 x 1.5cm

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They were the closest of sisters and the best of friends. But when, in a twist of fate, their uncle Edward VIII decided to abdicate the throne, the dynamic between Elizabeth and Margaret was dramatically altered. From the idyll of their cloistered early life, through their hidden wartime lives, into the divergent paths they took following their father's death and Elizabeth's ascension to the throne, this book explores their relationship over the years. Andrew Morton offers unique insight into these two drastically different sisters - one resigned to duty and responsibility, the other resistant to it - and the lasting impact they have had on the Crown, the royal family and the way it has adapted to the changing mores of the twentieth century. Product Information: • ISBN: 9781789293364 • Author: Andrew Morton • Publisher: Michael O’Mara • Format: Hardback • Pages: 400 • Dimensions: 23.4 x 15.3 x 3.25 cm

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Which were the most powerful African empires? Who were the pioneers of jazz? What sparked the Black Lives Matter movement? This book answers these questions and many more, exploring the rich history of the peoples of Africa and the African diaspora, and the struggles and triumphs of Black communities around the world. The Black History Book provides clear and concise explanations of important events and cultural milestones. It is packed with memorable quotations from Black figures, bold illustrations, and step-by-step diagrams that untangle complex concepts. From the earliest human migrations to modern Black communities, this thought-provoking book presents a vivid overview of Black history. It brings to life the stories of the early kingdoms of Ancient Egypt and Nubia; the powerful medieval and early modern empires; and the struggle against colonization. It also explores Black history beyond the African continent - including the Atlantic slave trade and slave resistance settlements; the Harlem Renaissance and Jazz Age; the Windrush migration; civil rights and Black feminist movements; and Black Lives Matter. Continuing the "Big Ideas" series' trademark combination of authoritative text and bold graphics, The Black History Book uses an innovative visual approach to make the subject accessible to everyone, whether you are eager to discover more about Black history, a history student looking to broaden your knowledge, or an armchair reader. Product Information: • ISBN: 9780241512982 • Author: DK, David Olusoga • Publisher: DK • Format: Hardcover • Pages: 336 • Dimensions: 24 x 20.1 x 2.4 cm

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For over 150 years, Broadmoor has contained the UK's most violent, notoriously psychopathic criminals known. Since 1863, Broadmoor opened as an asylum and has housed perpetrators of some of the most dangerous and outrageous crimes in history - from Jack the Ripper suspect James Kelly , armed robber Charles Bronson, gangster Ronnie Kray and cannibal Peter Bryan. The mysterious happenings behind these walls has been unknown until now. Jonathon Levi and cultural historian Emma French paint the scene at Broadmoor after spending nearly a decade speaking and observing those inside. With various exclusive interviews, Inside Broadmoor is the full story into the minds of Britain's most violent and how they are treated. Product Information: ISBN: 9781788700948 Author: Jonathon Levi & Emma French Publisher: Blink Publishing Format: Blink Publishing Pages: 294 Dimensions: 20 x 13 x 2cm

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The tumult and intrigue of The Wars of the Roses is brought to life through the women of the House of Lancaster and the House of York. Titles in this collection: • The White Queen • The Red Queen • The Lady of the Rivers • The Kingmaker’s Daughter • The White Princess • The King’s Curse The White Queen The White Queen tells the story of a common woman who ascends to royalty by virtue of her beauty, a woman who rises to the demands of her position and fights tenaciously for the success of her family, a woman whose two sons become the central figures in a mystery that has confounded historians for centuries.  The Red Queen The Red Queen tells the story of the child-bride of Edmund Tudor, who, although widowed in her early teens, uses her determination of character and wily plotting to infiltrate the house of York under the guise of loyal friend and servant, undermine the support for Richard III.  The Lady of the Rivers 1435. Rouen. Jacquetta of Luxembourg is left a wealthy young widow when her husband, the Duke of Bedford, dies. Her only friend in the great household is Richard Woodville, the Duke’s squire.  The Kingmaker's Daughter Anne Neville and her sister Isabel are daughters of the most powerful magnate in 15th century England, the Earl of Warwick, the ‘Kingmaker’, born with royal blood in their veins. The White Princess When Henry Tudor picked up the crown of England from the mud of Bosworth Field, he knew he would have to marry the princess of the rival house – Elizabeth of York – in an effort to unify a country divided by war for nearly two decades.  The King's Curse The riveting story of Margaret Pole, daughter of George, Duke of Clarence, and was one of the few surviving members of the Plantagenet dynasty after the Wars of the Roses. Plantagenet, once carried proudly by Margaret like a crown upon her head, is now, at the end of the 15th century. Product Information: • ISBN: 9781471155185 • Author: Philippa Gregory • Publisher: Simon & Schuster ltd • Format: Box Set

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From much-loved historian Neil Oliver, comes this beautifully written, kaleidoscopic history of a place with a story like no other. The British Isles, this archipelago of islands, is to Neil Oliver the best place in the world. From north to south, east to west it cradles astonishing beauty. The human story here is a million years old, and counting. But the tolerant, easygoing peace we enjoy has been hard won. We have made and known the best and worst of times. We have been hero and villain and all else in between, and we have learned some lessons. The Story of the British Isles in 100 Places is Neil's very personal account of what makes these islands so special, told through the places that have witnessed the unfolding of our history. Beginning with footprints made in the sand by humankind's earliest ancestors, he takes us via Romans and Vikings, the flowering of religion, through civil war, industrial revolution and two world wars. From windswept headlands to battlefields, ancient trees to magnificent cathedrals, each of his destinations is a place where, somehow, the spirit of the past seems to linger. Product Information: • ISBN: 9781784165352 • Author: Neil Oliver • Publisher: Transworld  • Format: Paperback • Pages: 448 • Dimensions: 19.6 x 12.9 x 4.7 cm

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1941. The Battle of the Atlantic is a disaster. Thousands of supply ships carrying vital food and fuel from North America to Britain are being torpedoed by German U-boats. Britain is only weeks away from starvation and crushing defeat. In the first week of 1942 a group of unlikely heroes - a retired naval captain and a clutch of brilliant young women - gather to form a secret strategy unit.  The Western Approaches Tactical Unit spends days and nights designing and playing war games in an effort to crack the U-boat tactics. As the U-boat wolfpacks continue to prey upon the supply ships, it is race against time to save Britain. With novelistic flair, investigative journalist Simon Parkin shines a light on this riveting true story of war at sea. Product Information: • ISBN: 9781529353211 • Author: Simon Parkin • Publisher: Sceptre • Format: Paperback • Pages: 320 • Dimensions: 19.6 x 12.8 x 2.8 cm

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Codenamed Operation HUSKY, the Allied assault on Sicily on 10 July 1943 remains the largest amphibious invasion ever mounted in world history, landing more men in a single day than at any other time. The subsequent thirty-eight-day Battle for Sicily was one of the most dramatic of the entire Second World War, involving daring raids by special forces, deals with the Mafia, attacks across mosquito-infested plains and perilous assaults up almost sheer faces of rock and scree. It was a brutal campaign - signalling the beginning of the end of the War in the West. From here on, Italy ceased to participate in the war, the noose began to close around the neck of Nazi Germany, and the coalition between the United States and Britain came of age. Based on his own battlefield studies in Sicily and on much new research over the past thirty years, James Holland's SICILY '43 offers a vital new perspective on a major turning point in World War II. It is a timely, powerful and dramatic account by a master military historian and will fill a major gap in the narrative history of the Second World War. Product Information: • ISBN: 9781787632936 • Author: James Holland • Publisher: Bantam Press • Format: Hardback • Pages: 640 • Dimensions: 24.3 x 16.1 x 4 cm

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Despite the many films and television programmes over the decades since the end of the Second World War that portrays our allied heroes as grown-up men and women, the Battle of Britain was in the main actually fought and won by teenagers.  The average age of an RAF fighter pilot was just twenty years old. Many of the men and women who designed and built their planes were even younger. Based on the hit BBC World Service podcast Spitfire: The People's Story, we use contemporary diaries and memoirs, many of them previously unpublished, to tell the story of the Spitfire through the voices of the teenagers who risked everything to design, build and fly her. Product Information: • ISBN: 9781472281968 • Author: Alasdair Cross • Publisher: Headline • Format: Hardback • Pages: 368 • Dimensions: 23.8 x 16 x 3.8 cm

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The Spitfire is probably Britain's best loved and admired aeroplane. It is also revered around the world. This book looks at the later marques that were modified for various special tasks and differed to a large degree from Supermarine's first early versions that saw action in the early days of World War II. New and more powerful Rolls-Royce engines replaced the well-tried Merlin, but increased the aircrafts performance in terms of speed and operational altitude. Subtle changes to wing design also increased the manoeuvrability and capability of these spectacular models that survived in the operational role until superseded by the introduction of jet-powered flight. Ultimate Spitfires explains the design details, development and flight testing of twelve models as well as their operational roles and history. Product Information: • ISBN: 9781526782298 • Author: Peter Caygill • Publisher: Pen & Sword Aviation • Format: Paperback • Pages: 224 • Dimensions: 23.11 x 15.49 x 2.03 cm

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A whole nation stood paralysed at the news of Princess Diana's tragic death after a car crash in Paris in August 1997. However heartbroken about the accident that took the life of the People's Princess, many people were sceptical about the government's official statements. After in-depth research of the circumstances of that fateful night, investigative writer and former journalist Noel Botham finally reveals what he alleges to be the truth - Princess Diana fell victim to a ruthlessly executed assassination. Twenty years later, the tragedy still shapes Britain as we know it today. How could the Establishment betray the trust of a whole nation? How was the killing executed? Was there really another car in the tunnel at the time of the crash? Reporting from the innermost sanctums of British intelligence and royalty, Botham reveals shocking answers to what he claims is one of the UK's most successfully kept secrets. Product Information: ISBN: 9781786064769 Author: Noel Botham Publisher: John Blake Publishing Ltd Format: Paperback Pages: 288 Dimensions: 19.8 x 2.4 x 12.9cm

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The world has watched Prince William and Prince Harry since they were born. Raised by Princess Diana to be the closest of brothers, how have the boy princes grown into very different, now distanced men? From royal expert and bestselling author Robert Lacey, this book is an unparalleled insider account of tumult and secrecy revealing the untold details of William and Harry’s early closeness then estrangement. It asks what happens when two sons are raised for vastly different futures – one burdened with the responsibility of one day becoming king, the other with the knowledge that he will always remain spare. How have William and Harry each formed their idea of a modern royal’s duty and how they should behave? Were the seeds of damage sowed as Prince Charles and Diana’s marriage painfully unraveled for all the world to see? In the previous generation, how have Prince Charles and Prince Andrew’s lives unfolded in the shadow of the Crown? What choices has Queen Elizabeth II made in marshalling her feuding heirs? What parts have Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle played in helping their husbands to choose their differing paths? And what is the real, unvarnished story behind Harry and Meghan’s dramatic departure? In the most intimate vision yet of life behind closed doors, with the family’s highs, lows and hardest decisions all laid out, this is a journey into royal life as never offered before. Product Information: • ISBN: 9780008408510 • Author: Robert Lacey • Publisher: William Collins • Format: Hardback • Pages: 400 • Dimensions: 24 x 15.9 x 3.6 cm

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The history of the modern SAS is one of the great successes of post-war Britain. Since it was revived in 1950 to combat Communist insurgents, the Regiment has gone from strength to strength and in the process, it has become one of the most indispensable, and at times controversial, units in the British army. Drawing on his extensive network of contacts and his own experiences, Chris Ryan tells the story of the men on the ground. From the earliest patrols in the Malayan jungle, through to the storming of the Iranian Embassy and up-to-minute missions to capture or kill notorious terrorists. This is the gripping, no-holds-barred account of Regiment operations. Above all, it is a story of elite soldiers fighting, and triumphing, against seemingly impossible odds. Product Information: • ISBN: 9781529324686 • Author: Chris Ryan • Publisher: Coronet • Format: Paperback • Pages: 384 • Dimensions: 19.6 x 12.8 x 3.4 cm

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In this vital re-examination of a shared history, historian and broadcaster David Olusoga tells the rich and revealing story of the long relationship between the British Isles and the people of Africa and the Caribbean. This edition, fully revised and updated, features a new chapter encompassing the Windrush scandal and the Black Lives Matter protests of 2020, events which put black British history at the centre of urgent national debate. Drawing on new genealogical research, original records, and expert testimony, Black and British reaches back to Roman Britain, the medieval imagination, Elizabethan ‘blackamoors’ and the global slave-trading empire. It shows that the great industrial boom of the nineteenth century was built on American slavery, and that black Britons fought at Trafalgar and in the trenches of both World Wars. Black and British is vivid confirmation that black history can no longer be kept separate and marginalised. It is woven into the cultural and economic histories of the nation and it belongs to us all. Product Information: • ISBN: 9781529065602 • Author: David Olusoga • Publisher: Picador • Format: Paperback • Pages: 640 • Dimensions: 19.8 x 13.1 x 4.6 cm

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In this updated edition of his acclaimed study of the black presence in Britain during the First World War, Stephen Bourne illuminates fascinating stories of black servicemen of African heritage. These accounts of the fights for their 'Mother Country' are charted from the outbreak of war in 1914 to the conflict's aftermath in 1919, when black communities up and down Great Britain were faced with anti-black 'race riots' despite their dedicated services to their country at home and abroad. With unprecedented access to the wartime personal correspondence of the Jamaican siblings Vera, Norman and Douglas Manley, Bourne helps bring to light the day-to-day trials, tribulations and tragedies of life on the battlefield. Informative and accessible, with first-hand accounts and original photographs, Black Poppies is the essential guide to the military and civilian wartime experiences of black men and women, from the trenches to the music halls. Product Information: • ISBN: 9780750990820 • Author: Stephen Bourne • Publisher: The History Press • Format: Paperback • Pages: 256 • Dimensions: 19.69 x 12.7 x 2.03 cm

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Having endured seven weeks of training with the 2/5th battalion, the Royal Leicestershire Regiment, Horace Greasley was just twenty-years-old when war was declared. Dive into the magificent and true story of the man who escaped the notorious German concentration camp over 200 times to see his love. Horace found himself facing the might of the German Army in a mucky and gloomy field south of Cherbourg, Northern France. But his war didn't last long... on May 1940, Horace was taken to a prisoner-of-war camp in Poland where he fought for survival in a ten-week march to the camp. Left exhausted and broken, all chances of escaping seemed impossible. When Horace met Rosa, the daughter of one of his captors, his whole story changed... Fate had thrown him a lifeline and now he was to risk everything to steal out the camp to see his love and bring back supplies for his fellow prisoners. A powerful true story of love and survival. Product Information: ISBN: 9781789461619 Author: Horace Greasley Publisher: John Blake Publishing Format: Paperback Pages: 313 Dimensions: 20 x 13 x 2.5cm

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Who made modern Britain the country it is today? How do we sum up the kind of people we are? What does it mean to be the new Elizabethans? In this wonderfully told history, spanning back to when Queen Elizabeth became queen in 1953, Andrew Marr traces the people who have made Britain the country it is today. From the activists to the artists, the sports heroes to the innovators, these people pushed us forward, changed the conversation, encouraged us to eat better, to sing, think and to protest. They got things done. How will our generation be remembered in a hundred years’ time? And when you look back at Britain’s toughest moments in the past seventy years, what do you learn about its people and its values? In brilliantly entertaining style and with unexpected insights into some of our sung and unsung heroes, Andrew Marr offers up a first draft of the history we are all living. This is our story as the new Elizabethans – the story of how 1950s Britain evolved into the diverse country we live in today. In short, it is the history of modern Britain. Product Information: • ISBN: 9780008298401 • Author: Andrew Marr • Publisher: William Collins • Format: Hardback • Pages: 512 • Dimensions: 24 x 15.9 x 4.5 cm

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How the miracle on the beaches saved a nation. A gripping account of one of the most famous episodes of the Second World War. In May 1940 British and Allied troops on mainland Europe were in a perilous situation: cut off and surrounded, at the conclusion of the bloody Battle of France they faced complete annihilation. It would be a devastating blow, handing Europe to the Nazis. But over a few frantic days, the greatest evacuation in history managed to salvage hope, saving the total destruction of the army and hundreds of thousands of soldiers lives. It was a pivotal and defining moment in the war, one Churchill described as a 'miracle' in his 'we shall fight them on the beaches' speech. Bestselling author John Harris describes in vivid detail how the evacuation developed on a day-by-day basis, and destroys more than one myth associated with Dunkirk. Packed with authentic atmosphere and first-hand recollections, the retreat and the desperate lifting of the weary British expeditionary force is seen in its tragic but spirited entirety, an epic of courage and confusion without parallel. Product Information: • ISBN: 9781800325616 • Author: John Harris • Publisher: Canelo • Format: Paperback • Pages: 288 • Dimensions: 19.8 x 12.9 x 1.8 cm

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When a close colleague is brutally attacked, DI Rebus is drawn into a case involving a hotel fire, an unidentified body and a long-forgotten night of terror and murder. Pursued by dangerous ghosts and tormented by the coded secrets of his colleague's notebook, Rebus must piece together a jigsaw no one - perhaps not even he - wants completed. Product Information:• ISBN: 9780752883571• Author: Ian Rankin• Publisher: Orion Books• Format: Paperback• Pages: 340• Dimensions: 19.7 x 12.8 x 2cm

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