British History Books

23 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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Five brutal murders shocked London in the summer and autumn of 1888. They have never been forgotten. The Jack the Ripper case has never been solved - the killer remains a blood-spattered silhouette. Although 'Jack' as an entity was almost certainly invented by an unscrupulous journalist, he became an archetype - decked in the top hat and cloak of a Victorian melodrama villain, stalking the fog-wreathed streets of the old East End. The numerous Ripper theories which emerged at the time tell us more about Victorian attitudes than they do about the killer's true identity. Jack the Ripper follows the grim homicidal trails that have permeated popular culture since the Whitechapel murders of 1888. Conspiracy theories and myths that swirl around the case to this day, from black magicians to the royal family, are considered, as is the modern forensic view of the Ripper murders, with reference to disturbing modern cases such as that of the 'Plumstead Ripper'. Product Information: • ISBN: 9781800329898 • Author: Gavin Baddeley, Paul Woods • Publisher: Canelo • Format: Paperback • Pages: 368 • Dimensions: 19.8 x 12.9 x 2.2 cm

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April, 1943: a sardine fisherman spots the corpse of a British soldier floating in the sea off the coast of Spain and sets off a train of events that would change the course of the Second World War. Operation Mincemeat was the most successful wartime deception ever attempted, and the strangest. It hoodwinked the Nazi espionage chiefs, sent German troops hurtling in the wrong direction, and saved thousands of lives by deploying a secret agent who was different, in one crucial respect, from any spy before or since: he was dead. His mission: to convince the Germans that instead of attacking Sicily, the Allied armies planned to invade Greece. This is the true story of the most extraordinary deception ever planned by Churchill's spies: an outrageous lie that travelled from a Whitehall basement all the way to Hitler's desk. Product Information: • ISBN: 9781526653550 • Author: Ben Macintyre • Publisher: Bloomsburg Publishing • Format: Paperback • Pages: 432 • Dimensions: 19.2 x 12.8 x 0.3cm

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Soldiers is a very personal gathering of sparkling, gripping tales by many writers, about men and women who have borne arms. The nearly 350 stories illustrate what it is like to fight in wars, to live and die as a warrior, from Greek and Roman times through to recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Here you will meet Jewish heroes of the Bible, Rome’s captain of the gate, Queen Boudicca, Joan of Arc, Cromwell, Wellington, Napoleon’s marshals and the modern SAS. There are tales of great writers who served in uniform including Cobbett and Tolstoy, Edward Gibbon and Siegfried Sassoon, Marcel Proust and Evelyn Waugh, George Orwell and George MacDonald Fraser. Here are also stories of the female ‘abosi’ fighters of Dahomey and heroic ambulance drivers of World War I, together with the new-age women soldiers who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan. This is a book to inspire in turn fascination, excitement, horror, amazement, occasionally laughter. Max Hastings mingles respect for the courage of those who fight with compassion for those who become their victims, above all civilians, and especially in the twenty-first century, which some are already calling ‘the Post-Heroic Age’. Product Information: • ISBN: 9780008454227 • Author: Max Hastings • Publisher: William Collins • Format: Hardback • Pages: 496 • Dimensions: 24 x 15.9 x 3.8 cm

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£12.00 Was £20.00 RRP £30.00 Save £18.00 (60% Off RRP)

A sparkling celebration of our much-loved Queen Elizabeth II for her Platinum Jubilee including special writings and illuminating insights around key moments in her 70-year reign, introduced and edited by her biggest fan Joanna Lumley. In 2022 Queen Elizabeth II celebrates seventy years as Queen and Head of the Commonwealth. She is Britain's longest reigning monarch and the very first to celebrate a Platinum Jubilee. A Queen For All Seasons, edited and introduced by Joanna Lumley, is a perceptive, touching and engaging tribute to this unique woman. A treasure chest of first-hand writings, insights and snapshots of the Queen during key moments of her reign to form a vibrant portrait of the woman herself and the extraordinary role she plays. Joanna Lumley guides us as we meet Princess Elizabeth in 1952, aged just twenty-five, and about to become Queen, and brings us through to the present day when, as our matriarch, the Queen keeps the national ship steady, including in moments of crisis and suffering. Here are unique perspectives into some of the most fascinating aspects of the Queen's life - her role as head of state at home and abroad, her private passions and public interests and a bird's-eye look at key events that have held the nation together and the Queen in our affection throughout Britain and beyond. This book is a special and unique portrait of our constant Queen in an ever-changing world. Product Information: • ISBN: 9781529375923 • Author: Joanna Lumley • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton • Format: Hardback • Pages: 320 • Dimensions: 23.6 x 16 x 3.2 cm

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One of the most powerful monarchs in British history, Henry VIII ruled England in unprecedented splendour. In this remarkable composite biography, Alison Weir brings Henry's six wives vividly to life, revealing each as a distinct and compelling personality in her own right. Drawing upon the rich fund of documentary material from the Tudor period, The Six Wives of Henry VIII shows us a court where personal needs frequently influenced public events and where a life of gorgeously ritualised pleasure was shot through with ambition, treason and violence. Product Information: • ISBN: 9781529196054 • Author: Alison Weir • Publisher: Vintage • Format: Paperback • Pages: 656 • Dimensions: 19.71 x 12.98 x 4.29 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 riveting exploits of a fighter aircraft - and an underrated aerial hero of the Second World War. The Hawker Hurricane was flying on the outbreak of war in 1939. Six years later, having saved Britain, it was still playing a major part in the war effort. Widely remembered in its fighter role and unjustly left in the shade of the Spitfire, the Hurricane's role was varied and pivotal: as a fighter, fighter-bomber, anti-tank aircraft and used at sea. Nor was its theatre of operations any less wide: it saw action in France from the beginning of the Phoney War to the outbreak of the Blitzkrieg, in the Battle of Britain, and then as far afield as Russia, Sumatra and Madagascar. In this intensely readable, spirited and classic account, Adrian Stewart describes all the Hurricane's roles, adventures and achievements. He recounts the exploits of the aircraft's outstanding pilots who contributed so much towards mastery of the skies and eventual victory. Product Information: • ISBN: 9781800325326 • Author: Adrian Stewart • Publisher: Canelo  • Format: Paperback • Pages: 400 • Dimensions: 19.8 x 12.9 x 2.4cm

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A magnificent tribute to the life and reign of Queen Elizabeth II, and a celebration of the British royal family. A stunning pictorial biography of Queen Elizabeth II, recounting her childhood, succession to the throne, and her dutiful service as the reigning monarch of Britain. This biography of the Queen also includes the history of the Royal family and the house of Windsor. Queen Elizabeth II and the Royal Family 3rd Edition features accounts of most of the royal household including the Queen and Prince Philip's children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren! Inside the pages of this biography you'll find: - The complete history of the kings and queens of England and Scotland, explaining the story of succession to the throne over more than 1,000 years - Special features profile royal residences, including Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle - Dazzling photographic galleries showcasing royal regalia, artefacts as well as rare, restricted and exclusive photographs - Visual timelines at the start of each chapter highlight the key milestones in the history of the monarchy For almost 70 years the Queen has been beloved and admired by the British public, the commonwealth, heads of states and many others. Following her ascent to the throne at the age of 27, she's spent her entire life in service of the public and state. This biography celebrates her life through photographs and profiles and provides the reader with insight into the world's most famous royal family members. Teaming with dazzling galleries of royal artefacts, photographic tours, royal residences, and the Royals up close makes this the perfect book for fans of the royal family or anyone interested in the history of the British monarchy. Product Information: • ISBN: 9780241487433 • Author: DK • Publisher: DK • Format: Hardback • Pages: 328 • Dimensions: 29 x 24.4 x 2.6cm

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£15.00 RRP £25.00 Save £10.00 (40% Off RRP)

We often think of Britain springing from nowhere with the arrival of the Romans. But in Ancestors, pre-eminent archaeologist, broadcaster and academic Professor Alice Roberts explores what we can learn about the very earliest Britons, from burial sites and by using new technology to analyse ancient DNA. Told through seven fascinating burial sites, this ground breaking prehistory of Britain teaches us more about ourselves and our history: how people came and went and how we came to be on this island. It explores forgotten journeys and memories of migrations long ago, written into genes and preserved in the ground for thousands of years. This is a book about belonging: about walking in ancient places, in the footsteps of the ancestors. It explores our interconnected global ancestry, and the human experience that binds us all together. It’s about reaching back in time, to find ourselves, and our place in the world. Product Information: • ISBN: 9781471188046 • Author: Alice Roberts • Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK • Format: Paperback • Pages: 448 • Dimensions: 20.6 x 14.9 x 2.8cm

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This is a unique collection of strange laws, heroic deeds, surprising revelations and other quirky stories that have shaped the unique history of Scotland. Scotland's long history is an extraordinarily rich source of amazing facts, whether your interest is political, social, architectural or historical. Product Information:• ISBN: 9781910821145• Author: Douglas Skelton• Publisher: Rydon Publishing• Format: Hardback• Pages: 144• Dimensions: 18 x 14 x 1.5cm

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It took a certain type of courage to serve in a tank in the Second World War. Encased in steel, surrounded by highly explosive shells, a big and slow-moving target, every crew member was utterly vulnerable to enemy attack from all sides. The Sherwood Rangers were one of the great tank regiments. They had learned their trade the hard way, in the burning deserts of North Africa. From D-Day onwards, they were in the thick of the action til the war's end. They and their Sherman tanks covered thousands of miles and endured some of the fiercest fighting in Western Europe. Their engagements stretch from the Normandy beaches to the bridges at Eindhoven. They were the first British unit into Germany, grinding across the Siegfried Line and on into the Nazi heartland. Through compelling eye-witness testimony and James Holland's expert analysis, Brothers In Arms brings to vivid life the final bloody scramble across Europe and gives the most powerful account to date of what it was really like to fight in the dying days of World War Two. Product Information: • ISBN: 9781787633940 • Author: James Holland • Publisher: Bantam Press • Format: Hardback • Pages: 592 • Dimensions: 24 x 16.2 x 4 cm

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Queen Elizabeth II is the longest-serving monarch in British history. She has been a towering presence in British national life and throughout the world for almost 70 years and it is this extraodinary life that former BBC correspondent Jennie Bond explores and celebrates. On February 6, 1952, Princess Elizabeth, Duchess of Edinburgh, became Queen on the death of her father, King George VI. The reign that was to see major changes both in the country and Commonwealth and in the role of the monarchy began far away from Britain in a game reserve in Kenya. Elizabeth: A Celebration in Photographs, looks at this remarkable period in the history of Britain's monarchy in lavish and fascinating detail, featuring over 240 photographs. Constantly under scrutiny ever since she took the throne, this book presents a balanced and absorbing account of the Queen's life and of her role as the head of state in a country and a world that have changed almost beyond recognition in the seventy years since she inherited the throne. Product Information: • ISBN: 9781787394803 • Author: Jennie Bond • Publisher: Welbeck Publishing • Format: Hardback • Pages: 224 • Dimensions: 27.94 x 23.5 x 1.91 cm

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In this entertaining and insightful biography, award-winning writer Andrew Morton takes you behind the scenes to uncover the woman and her world. Only twenty-five when she became Queen after the premature death of her father, King George Vl, Elizabeth has become the stuff of superlatives: the longest reigning, most travelled and, for a shy woman, the Queen who has shaken more hands and made more small talk than any other monarch in history. She has been seen and believed by millions, either in person, on television or film. In 1936, her uncle David, King Edward VIII, wanted to marry a twice-divorced American, Wallis Simpson. When he couldn't he abdicated. Since that national trauma, divorce and the fall-out from divorce has shaped her reign. She has witnessed her sister Margaret, three of her children and several grandchildren divorce. And she has lived long enough to see the wheel turn full circle, watching as another American divorcee, Meghan Markle, walked down the aisle with her grandson Prince Harry. While her reign has been defined by divorce, her private life has been moulded by an irascible husband, an extravagant mother and a querulous eldest son. In the winter of her reign she refereed a war between two of her grandsons, brothers William and Harry who were once inseparable friends. As she celebrates her platinum anniversary, the first monarch to reign for seventy years, she has, during a once in a lifetime pandemic, become the reassuring face of hope and optimism, the grandmother to the nation. Product Information: • ISBN: 9781789294484 • Author: Andrew Morton • Publisher: Michael O'Mara • Format: Hardback • Pages: 432 • Dimensions: 23.4 x 15.3 x 3.25 cm

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D-Day and the Battle for France. Renowned World War Two historian James Holland presents an entirely new perspective on one of the most important moments in recent history, unflinchingly examining the brutality and violence that characterised the campaign, and totally recalibrating our understanding of this momentous event. D-Day and the 76 days of bitter fighting in Normandy that followed have come to be seen as a defining episode in the Second World War. Its story has been endlessly retold, and yet it remains a narrative burdened by both myth and assumed knowledge. In this reexamined history, James Holland challenges what we think we know. Drawing on unseen archives and testimonies from around the world, introducing a cast of eye-witnesses from foot soldiers to bomber crews, sailors, civilians and resistance fighters. Product Information: • ISBN: 9780552176118 • Author: James Holland • Publisher: Corgi • Format: Paperback • Pages: 864 • Dimensions: 19.8 x 12.8 x 3.8 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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A fascinating introduction to the British involvement in the First World War. Covering some of the most important aspects of the War, including the life in the trenches, the Battle of the Somme, the home front and the invention of tanks. Illustrated with a wide variety of different pictures including contemporary photographs, posters and cartoons. Features maps, and quotes from major figures and popular songs. Product Information: • ISBN: 9781409570240 • Author: Henry Brook, Ian McNee • Publisher: Usborne Publishing Ltd • Format: Paperback • Pages: 64 • Dimensions: 24 x 17.3 x 0.7 cm

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Bestselling author James Morton tracks the changing face of the East End from the 1870s to now, through opium dens and racecourse gangs, crime on the docks and organised prostitution to the major players of today. The East End has always held a malign fascination for the general public. East End Gangland looks at this phenomenon from the days of the unsolved murders committed by Jack the Ripper to the 1960s when the Kray Twins held the reins of the Underworld, to the present and how the structure of crimes and criminal gangs has changed. Product Information: • ISBN: 9780751584486 • Author: James Morton • Publisher: Sphere • Format: Paperback • Pages: 512 • Dimensions: 19.6 x 12.7 x 3.8 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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£3.00 RRP £9.99 Save £6.99 (70% Off RRP)

It took a certain type of courage to serve in a tank in World War Two. Encased in steel, surrounded by highly explosive shells, a big and slow-moving target, every crew member was utterly vulnerable to enemy attack from all sides. Living - and dying - in a tank was a brutal way to fight a war. The Sherwood Rangers were one of the great tank regiments. They had learned their trade on the battlefields of El Alamein and Alam el Halfa. By the time they landed on Gold Beach on D-Day, they were toughened by experience and ready for combat. From that moment on, the Sherwood Rangers and their Sherman tanks covered thousands of miles and endured some of the fiercest fighting in Western Europe. The first British unit to cross into Germany, their engagements stretch from the Normandy beaches, to the bridges at Eindhoven, and the grinding crossing of the Siegfried Line and on into the Nazi heartland. Through compelling eye-witness testimony and James Holland's expert analysis of the war in the West, Brothers In Arms gives the most powerful account to date of what it was really like to fight in the dying days of World War Two. Product Information: • ISBN: 9780552177917 • Author: James Holland • Publisher: Penguin • Format: Paperback • Pages: 400 • Dimensions: 19.7 x 12.9 x 3.5 cm

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As Britain emerges into the mid-twentieth century, change is afoot. Cities are beginning to shift from smog-filled industrial hubs to more efficient metropolitan centres of commerce and, despite the country once again being blighted by war, society is beginning to shift towards a more modern, forward-thinking era. But change is not only limited to regular men and women; under the shifting tides of development, the criminal underbelly, too, is evolving, anxious for new avenues of exploitation and expansion . . . And so, in the third instalment, historian Carl Chinn examines this new era in the landscape of Britain's gangs. After the violent reign of the Peaky Blinders, the intimidation of the Birmingham gang and frequent gang wars up and down the country, from the wreckage new groups are emerging with new ways of making money and causing trouble, and, like those who came before them, they leave havoc and destruction in their wake. Product Information: • ISBN: 9781789464511 • Author: Carl Chinn • Publisher: John Blake • Format: Paperback • Pages: 336 • Dimensions: 19.69 x 12.7 x 2.03cm

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