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The UK’s largest Local and Specialist History Publisher

S pri ng H ig hlig hts 2011

Pauper Ancestors

A Guide to the Records Created by the Poor Laws in England and Wales David T. Hawkings An invaluable guide to the vast collection of records created by the Poor Laws (1601-1948) The Poor Law was one of the first systems of social security designed to help the poor.  The records are an extensive and valuable resource.  Covers people at all levels of society from ratepayers, collectors of rates, workhouse overseers and the staff and inmates of workhouses.  Provides details of the poor who were moved to the North of England, Australia and Canada.  From one of Britain’s leading genealogists and the author of the hugely successful Railway Ancestors and Criminal Ancestors.

January 2011 Hardback 248x172mm 512pp 63 b&w illustrations £30 978-0-7524-5665-2

Crime and Criminals of Victorian England Adrian Gray Frightening, bizarre and forgotten Victorian crimes and the people who committed them Provides a full picture of the range of Victorian crime from the macabre to the humorous, and not just well-known crimes.  Contains a host of human tales, from murder, manslaughter, fraud, smuggling, robbery, prostitution, rioting to poaching.  Conveys the reality of Victorian life and a real insight into the period and the changing nature of crime.  Shows how our laws today have been shaped by what the Victorians considered acceptable – or made illegal.

January 2011 Paperback original 234x156mm 224pp 70 b&w illustrations £14.99 978-0-7542-5280-7

The Real German War Plan 1904-1914 Terence Zuber Reveals the truth behind Germany’s military planning in the decade before the First World War Fundamentally changes our understanding of German military planning before the First World War.  Based on newly discovered or long-neglected documents in German military archives.  Provides the first description of Schlieffen’s war plans in 1904 and 1905 and Moltke’s plans from 1906-1914.  Explodes unfounded myths concerning German war planning and gives the first appraisal of the actual military and political factors that influenced it.  Reveals Moltke’s plan for a war against Russia from 1909-1912.

January 2011 Paperback original 234x156mm 192pp 52 b&w illustrations £14.99 978-0-7524-5664-5

Wellington’s Right Hand Rowland, Viscount Hill Joanna Hill The definitive biography of a great soldier of the Napoleonic Wars and one of the Duke of Wellington’s most trusted aides A compelling portrait of one of history’s forgotten heroes.  Based on the author’s own papers, including correspondence with Wellington.  Traces the career of Rowland, Viscount Hill, who fought at some of the most famous battles in military history including Corunna, Talavera, Bussaco, Almaraz, Vitoria and Waterloo.  The author is Hill’s great-great-great-grand niece and lived in the Hill family home at Hawkstone House having unrivalled access to the family papers.

January 2011 Hardback 235x156mm 256pp 46 b&w illustrations & maps £20 978-0-7524-5917-2

The Celts of Iron Age Europe Olivier Buchsenschutz and Ian Ralston A complete overview of the Celtic Iron Age and Celtic society in Europe Based on the most recent ideas, research and archaeological fieldwork.  Looks at how Celtic society came into existence, its heroes, how it expanded and how it merged with its Mediterranean invaders.  Examines all aspects including agriculture, craftwork, industry, art and religion.  The authors have excavated a range of continental Iron Age sites and are leading experts in Celtic civilisation.  Examines how the Celts have been seen through history and their significance for us today.

January 2011 Paperback 248x172mm 224pp 25 colour & 20 b&w illustrations £17.99 978-0-7524-5655-3

RMS Caronia

Cunard’s Green Goddess William Miller and Brian Hawley A photographic history of one of Cunard’s most beloved liners The latest addition to the successful Classic Liners series.  Known affectionately as the ‘Green Goddess’ because she was painted in shades of green, Caronia ushered in the era of modern cruising when launched in 1949.  Caronia represented the rebirth of the world’s maritime industry after the devastation of World War II.  Includes previously unpublished photographs and rare memorabilia.  An acknowledged world expert on passenger ships, William Miller is known as ‘Mr Ocean Liner’.

February 2011 Paperback original 226x248mm 96pp 110 colour & b&w illustrations £19.99 978-0-7542-5791-8

Flying the Red Duster

A Merchant Seaman’s First Voyage into the Battle of the Atlantic 1940 Morris Beckman A unique memoir of the Battle of the Atlantic by a Merchant Navy veteran After Dunkirk in 1940 Britain was at her most vulnerable and our lifeline was the supplies carried by the civilian Merchant Navy.  This civilian force braved the attacks of the German Navy and enabled Britain to avoid capitulation.  Details the harsh conditions, frequent terrors and occasional humour of life at sea at the mercy of the Kriegsmarine.  Based on the author’s diaries now held by the Imperial War Museum.  Includes many unpublished and unique photographs.

February 2011 Paperback original 234x156mm 192pp 30 b&w illustrations £12.99 978-0-7524-5900-4

Ein Volk, Ein Reich

Nine Lives in the Ruins of Berlin Louis Hagen An important ‘warning from history’ that explores the motivations of Nazi and non-Nazi at the end of World War Two An acknowledged classic back in print after fifty years with a preface from the author’s daughter.  Written by a Jewish refugee - a concentration camp survivor and British Army glider pilot who became a journalist and film producer.  Hagen interviewed nine people he had known before the war - four Nazis, three collaborators, two non-Nazis – and presented their own stories and thoughts.  A record of the German people after the guns fell silent.

February 2011 Paperback 234x156mm 256pp £14.99 978-0-7524-5979-0

Family History for Beginners Karen Foy An ideal introduction to the tools and processes of researching your past Perfect for complete beginners and those wanting a reminder of the basics.  Dabbling in family history is a pastime anyone of any age can enjoy but the proliferation of websites, magazines and books can be baffling.  Provides advice on how to get the most information from living relatives, how to negotiate the vast quantities of census data with ease, and the best way to store, catalogue and present the information you discover.  Shows how to take your research to the next level, beyond the simple facts of birth, marriage and death, with chapters on occupation, emigration and military service.  The author is a regular contributor to many well-known family history magazines.

February 2011 Paperback original 248x172mm 224pp 40 b&w illustrations £14.99 978-0-7524-5838-0

This Rather Stony Path

Donald Campbell’s Last Record Attempt Neil Sheppard The story of Britain’s legendary speed king’s last courageous joust into the unknown Illustrated with over 150 photographs, many never seen before.  Original eye witness research from Campbell Team Members  Uncovers the many trials and tribulations faced by Campbell and his team in this attempt which ended in disaster in January 1967.  Timely release to coincide with the return to Coniston of the rebuilt Bluebird.  Neil Sheppard is an acknowledged authority on the life and times of Campbell.

February 2011 Hardback 248x172mm 160pp 150 b&w photographs £25 978-0-7542-5973-8


A Social History Joel Levy A history of the role poison has played in society, both good and bad Poison as a means of ending a life whether through executions, assassinations, murders or suicide has a history stretching back over 2,000 years.  Poisonous materials often have beneficial properties: hydrogen fluoride is a vital component in the production of herbicides and pharmaceuticals.  Explores the nature of toxicity and reveals how poison has played a crucial and often unheralded role in human history.  Examines a range of poisonous materials and contains case studies of famous and infamous poisonings.

February 2011 Paperback original 210x140mm 224pp 300 colour illustrations £12.99 978-0-7524-5547-1

Thomas Hardy Behind the Mask

Andrew Norman Piercing the veil of secrecy which Hardy deliberately drew over his life, an explanation of the anguish of his personal life and how it influenced his writing Hardy was shy, shunned visitors and publicity and when his first wife Emma died, he burnt her manuscript entitled ‘What I think of my Husband’ along with letters, notebooks and diaries. Why?  Provides evidence that Hardy’s wife suffered from schizophrenia.  Identifies the ‘other man’ with whom she was in love.  Endorsed by one of the original ‘Hardy Players’ (now 103)  Hardy remains one of the most popular ‘classic’ English novelists.

March 2011 Paperback original 234x156mm 224pp 36 b&w illustrations £12.99 978-0-7524-5630-0

Hidden City

The Secret Alleys, Courts & Yards of London’s Square Mile David Long Uncovers the many hidden nooks and crannies of the City of London and the fascinating stories behind them The real London is often not to be found in its more famous streets and squares but in the small and obscure places that so many people miss.  David Long uncovers these forgotten locations and brings to life their fascinating history in his own inimitable style.  Perfect for anyone interested in London’s history and architecture.  David Long is the best-selling author of various London books including Spectacular Vernacular; Tunnels, Towers & Temples and The Little Book of London.  Perfect basis for a walking tour of the City and surroundings.

March 2011 Hardback 263x194mm 240pp 150 photographs £19.99 978-0-7524-5774-1

A Hard Local War

The British Army and the Guerrilla War in Ireland 1919-22 William Sheehan An examination of the experience of British soldiers and the British Army at a regional level in Ireland during the Anglo-Irish conflict The Irish War of Independence through the eyes of the soldiers of the British Army based on new research and unpublished material.  Overturns thirty years of historical consensus on the nature of the conflict and the war’s end that claims there was a military stalemate.  Argues that the British forces were far more effective than has previously been imagined or conceded and both sides were continually innovative and adaptive.  Looks at the experience of the British rank and file, and details their opinions on and attitudes to the IRA and the Irish.

March 2011 Hardback 234x156mm 256pp £20 978-0-7524-5882-3

It’s Great to be Back on Terra Cotta Quirky Quotes About Travel and Transport Aubrey Malone Hilarious travel and transport quotes covering everything from parking tickets to the ash cloud! Contemporary quotes that sum up most people’s experiences of travel.  A hilarious compendium of witticisms for the hardened traveller to savour, including laugh-out-loud observations on the muted joys of getting from A to B – or NOT getting there, as the case may be!  The author is well-known for his witty compilations.  A handy pocket-sized book, illustrated with quirky cartoons and easily readable bite-sized observations.  ‘The average airplane is 16 years old. And so is the average airplane meal.’ (Joan Rivers)

March 2011 Hardback 174x111mm 160pp 40 b&w illustrations £9.99 978-0-7524-5894-6

Shocking Bodies

Life, Death and Electricity in Victorian England Iwan Rhys Morus How electricity emerged during the nineteenth century as a powerful new tool for making sense of ourselves and the world around us It was not until the Victorian era that the potential for electricity began to be realised.  An exploration of what the Victorians thought about electricity and how they tried to use it to answer the fundamental questions about life and death.  Original insights into the history of our bodily relationship with electricity.  The author is an expert in the cultural history of Victorian science.

March 2011 Paperback original 234x156mm 224pp 22 b&w illustrations £12.99 978-0-7524-5800-7

Random Acts of Politeness

Eccentric, Quirky and Occasionally Suicidal Examples of Selflessness and Courtesy Andrew Taylor An engaging and uplifting collection of the bizarre extremes of good manners, from antiquity to the present day Drawn from many sources, it demonstrates that ‘gentlemanly behaviour’ transcends all barriers, from gender and wealth to age and class.  Amusing, sometimes moving and occasionally astounding, this is a tribute to the finest, albeit often overlooked, qualities of humankind.  Selfless, courageous, barking mad and sometimes all three at once.

March 2011 Hardback 198x124.5mm 144pp £9.99 978-0-7524-5977-6


75 Years of Fun! Sylvia Endacott and Shirley Lewis A celebration of 75 years and a nostalgic trip down memory lane for all who know and love the Butlin’s holiday camps Published to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the founding of Butlin’s holiday camps (Skegness opened April 1936).  After successfully developing a series of fun fairs, Billy Butlin opened holiday centres across the UK to provide families with an inexpensive but entertaining holiday.  Features 200 old photographs from the Butlin’s archives illustrating the history of the various camps.  Includes many fond memories from employees and holidaymakers.

March 2011 Paperback original 235x165mm 128pp 16 colour & 200 b&w illustrations £12.99 978-0-7524-5863-2

History on your doorstep The History Press is the UK’s largest local history publisher with approximately 25% market share and over 4,000 titles available. From Aberdeen to Penzance, our local titles cover the width and breadth of the UK.  Grandma’s Pudding to Poole Pirates – personal reminiscences to sporting heroes.  Hauntings to hangings – legends to law breakers.  Our books make you look at where you live in a whole new way.

See your local representative for a full list of local books in your area.

This is a selection of our most popular local history titles. For the full range visit our website at

NEW SERIES The Little Book of …

£9.99, hardback

Funny, fast-paced compendiums containing a range of frivolous, fantastic and simply strange information. Find out about the most unusual crimes and punishments, eccentric inhabitants, famous sons and daughters, royal connections and literally hundreds of wacky facts about where you live.

Also available: Surrey, Dorset, Yorkshire and the East End

The Little Book of the Isle of Wight April 2011 Hardback 198x124.5mm 144pp £9.99 978-0-7524-5817-5


£12.99, paperback Contrasting archive photographs with up-to-date colour shots, this series illustrates some of the dramatic changes and developments that have taken place in our cities during the last century. The images allow the reader to compare and contrast the vistas of yesterday with a colourful view of the city today.

Paperback 248x172mm 96pp colour throughout

Titles available: Portsmouth, Southampton, Birmingham, Liverpool and York

NEW SERIES Book of Days

£9.99, hardback

Taking you through the year day by day this series contains a quirky, eccentric, amusing or important event or fact from different periods of history, many of which had a major impact on the religious and political history of England as a whole.


March 2011 Hardback 168x124mm 368pp £9.99 Canterbury 978-0-7524-5685-0 Portsmouth 978-0-7524-5765-9 Edinburgh 978-0-7524-5841-0

Forensic Archaeology

New Approaches to Crime Scene Investigation Ian Hanson and Paul Cheetham How archaeology is helping to solve murders and cold cases worldwide A popular and detailed study of archaeology as a developing area of forensic science.  An insight into the practice, procedures, theories and cases involving buried evidence.  How does forensic archaeology relate to other forensic sciences? How do forensic archaeologists interact with the police? What can forensic archaeology tell us that other forensic sciences cannot? How can forensic archaeology help with crime prevention?  The authors are acknowledged experts in their field who have worked in Britain and the rest of the world investigating war crimes, genocide, murders and human rights cases.

March 2011 Hardback 248x172mm 192pp 75 b&w illustrations £20 978-0-7524-4876-3

Murder in the Hindu Kush

George Hayward and the Great Game Tim Hannigan The gripping story of the British Victorian explorer George Hayward, and his murder high in the Hindu Kush A story of exploration, treachery, espionage and violent death that took place in July 1870.  Based on archival research at the RGS, India Office Records and Hayward’s own letters and reports.  Includes the conspiracies and controversies that surrounded his death.  The author’s own travels in Hayward’s footsteps reveal how the echoes of the Great Game still reverberate across Central Asia in the twenty-first century.

April 2011 Hardback 234x156mm 256pp 17 b&w illustrations £18.99 978-0-7524-5886-1

Lines into London

London Railways in the Post-War Years Wrenford Thatcher A nostalgic journey through the last years of steam and the early diesels around London This collection of mostly unpublished photographs is divided into Eastern, Southern, Western and Midland regions, revealing the changes occurring on the London railways in the post-war years.  The author is a talented railway enthusiast and photographer.  The images capture the last great days of steam and the early diesels around London and from Euston and Paddington to the suburbs.  Includes a colourful section on preserved steam locomotives on the main lines into London.

April 2011 Hardback 248x172mm 160pp 16 colour & 200 b&w illustrations £19.99 978-0-7524-5892-2

Gilbert of Gilbert & Sullivan His Life and Character Andrew Crowther The life of Sir William Schwenck Gilbert, one half of the famous Gilbert and Sullivan team With Arthur Sullivan, William Gilbert wrote comic operas that defined the age and endure to this day.  It is the story of an angry and quarrelsome man, discontented with himself and the age he lived in, raging at life’s absurdities and laughing at them.  His glorious, contradictory character is explored and brought vividly to life.  29 th May 2011 is the centenary of Gilbert’s death.  The author is secretary of the W.S. Gilbert Society and an expert on Gilbert and Sullivan.

April 2011 Hardback 234x156mm 256pp 12 b&w illustrations £20 978-0-7524-5589-1

Tudor Survivor

The Life and Times of Courtier William Paulet Margaret Scard The remarkable career of a man who endured a bloody half century of Tudor politics Paulet served the courts of Henry VIII, Edward VI, Mary and Elizabeth for 46 years and his life provides a general overview of almost the entire Tudor period.  One of the men responsible for introducing religious, economic and social changes that shaped England.  A window on the everyday life of the Tudor court from bathing and dining to court etiquette.  The story of a wily survivor who held firm to his convictions, contradicting the assertion that he was ‘a willow not an oak’, bending to prevailing policy.

April 2011 Hardback 234x156mm 256pp 20 colour illustrations and maps £18.99 978-0-7524-5942-4

Olympic Class Ships

Olympic – Titanic – Britannic Mark Chirnside The definitive history of the most famous sister ships of all time The story of the White Star Line’s three finest ships built in Belfast and designed to be the fastest and most luxurious floating palaces of their time.  Revised and enhanced edition with full index.  New colour section, including rare paintings and deck-plans, and many new illustrations.  Expanded text, new appendices, and recent developments on the wreck sites.

May 2011 Paperback 248x172mm 384pp 16 colour & 120 b&w illustrations £25 978-0-7524-5895-3

Barbed Wire Disease

British and German Prisoners of War 1914-18 John Yarnall The treatment of both British and German prisoners of war during the First World War By the Armistice in 1918, there were 6.5 million prisoners of war on both sides.  Examines their conditions and the claims and counter-claims relating to their treatment.  Includes the failed first-ever efforts to bring war criminals to justice before international tribunals.  Based on unpublished official files, cabinet papers, published memoirs and official documents.

May 2011 Paperback original 234x156mm 224pp 14 b&w illustrations £12.99 978-0-7524-5690-4

House Histories

The Secrets Behind Your Front Door Melanie Backe-Hansen The UK’s leading house historian uncovers the hidden stories of ordinary and extraordinary houses across the country Reveals the secrets behind the front doors of a wide range of houses from cottages, terraced houses, mansions and London squares.  Full-colour illustrations of sample histories.  Includes an easy-to-use ‘How-to’ section to help us all investigate the history of our own houses.  The author is the first house historian to be employed by an estate agent (Chesterton Humberts) and writes a regular column for various magazines and newspapers.

May 2011 Hardback 236x194mm 244pp 120 colour & 120 b&w illustrations £16.99 978-0-7524-5753-6

History’s Worst Predictions And the People Who Made Them Eric Chaline A light-hearted look at fifty of the grandest predictions ever made and how they proved to be spectacularly wrong Since the dawn of history, those that conceive the future through whatever means often get things spectacularly wrong.  Details the rich vein of absurdity that are humanity’s prophetic utterances in a chronological format.  Lists every aspect of human life – religion, politics, science, economy, technology, culture and war – that has provided material for the most far-fetched and inaccurate of predictions.  Includes innumerable prophecies of the end of the world from the religious to the natural and man-made.

May 2011 Paperback original 227x170mm 256pp 200 colour illustrations £12.99 978-0-7524-5962-2

Hitlers’s Foreign Executioners Europe’s Dirty Secret Christopher Hale How and why more than one million non-Germans joined Hitler’s ‘war of annihilation’ Reveals Himmler’s master plan for Europe without the Nazi Party or Adolf Hitler.  The plan depended on the recruitment of thousands of ‘Germanic’ peoples to build an ‘SS Europa.’  Describes how and why European and Soviet citizens enlisted in the armed forces of the Third Reich to fight a crusade against ‘JewishBolshevism.’  A revelatory exposé of the connections between these SS ‘foreign legions’ (both police and Waffen-SS) and the Holocaust.  Researched in archives all over Europe and using first-hand testimony.

May 2011 Hardback 234x156mm 448pp 20 colour & b&w illustrations £25 978-0-7524-5974-5

Canal 250

The Story of Britain’s Canals Anthony Burton 250 years of Britain’s canal history and heritage Britain’s network of waterways became the lifeblood of the Industrial Revolution.  The story of these canals and of the people who made and used them, including the great engineers and the industrialists who built them, the anonymous navvies who dug the canals and the workers who kept the canals running.  Covers the years of decline caused by competition first from rail then road transport and the renewal of the canals as leisure routes.  Part of the official 250 years celebration of the British canal system by British Waterways.

May 2011 Hardback, 235x156mm 192pp 16 colour & 50 b&w illustrations £17.99 978-0-7524-5952-3


A History of the Silver Darlings Mike Smylie Revealing the little-known history of the herring and the lives of the people who caught them The story of the herring is entwined in the history of commercial fishing.  Looks at the lives of herring fishermen, the superstitions of the fisherfolk, their boats and their communities.  Examines the entire process of catching, processing and selling herrings.  Features a variety of maps, photographs and recipes.  The author (known as ‘kipperman’) is a recognised authority on the fishing industry.

May 2011 Hardback 198x124.5mm 248pp 16 colour & 50 b&w illustrations £12.99 978-0-7524-5951-6

Normandie Front

D-Day to Saint-Lô Through German Eyes Vincent Milano and Bruce Conner The story of how one German Division changed the course of the invasion – and almost the war A new perspective on the bloody events at Omaha beach told from the German standpoint.  Uses unpublished first-hand accounts and unseen photographs from participants.  A new insight into the experience, everyday survival and equipment of both Allied and German infantrymen.  Challenges the traditional thinking of the Normandy campaign.  The reported experience gathered by the authors from German veterans – fewer and fewer in number – is both startling and unique.

June 2011 Hardback 248x172mm 288pp 150 b&w illustrations and maps £20 978-07524-5978-3

A Gentleman’s Guide to Beard and Moustache Management Christopher Martin The essential grooming guide for the bearded or moustachioed gentleman An ideal humorous gift for Father’s Day or for the hirsute man in your life.  Published to coincide with the 2011 World Beard and Moustache Championships.  Answers the pressing question of ‘Do you know how to properly trim your whiskers’?  Grooming tips include how to wax, polish and maintain your face furniture so that it is always in tip top condition.  A guide to famous facial hair acolytes from Karl Marx to Des Lynam, a breakdown of styles, and a perambulation through hirsute history.

June 2011 Hardback 140x140mm 160pp £6.99 978-0-7542-5975-2

Return to Steam

Forty Years of Main Line Steam Roger Siviter A colourful and impressive overview of British main line steam Divided into chapters on each decade since the 1970s.  Displays the full range of steam locomotives active on the main line, some very rare.  2011 is the 40 th anniversary of the return of steam to the main line.  The author is an associate member of the Royal Photographic Society and has been a keen railway photographer for forty-five years. He is also a well-known and respected writer of railway books.

July 2011 Hardback 263x194mm 128pp 200 colour & b&w photographs £19.99 978-0-7524-5899-1

key paperbacks 2011 October 2010 Paperback 198x124.5mm 288pp 80 b&w illustrations £9.99 978-0-7524-5653-9

£12.99, 978-0-7524-5866-3, January 2011

£12.99, 978-0-7524-5939-4, January 2011

£9.99, 978-0-7524-5797-0, February 2011

February 2011 Paperback 198x124.5mm 288pp 80 b&w illustrations £9.99 978-0-7524-5908-0

£9.99, 978-0-7524-5853-3, February 2011

£9.99, 978-0-7509-4787-9, February 2011

£8.99, 978-0-7524-5910-3, February 2011

VCs Series of the First World War The VCs series is ‘compulsive if sobering reading’ The Soldier Comprises thirteen titles detailing all of the major battles, campaigns and theatres of war that saw action during the First World War.  Each book contains personal accounts, diary entries and illustrations that reveal incredible acts of valour.  Written by leading historians.  634 VCs were awarded to First World War soldiers – the largest number for a single combat in history.

£8.99, 978-0-7524-5852-6, March 2011

£14.99, 978-0-7524-5911-0, March 2011

£12.99, 978-0-7524-5833-5, June 2011

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To the best of our knowledge all information in this catalogue is correct at time of going to press. Cover image: pausimausi/stock.xchng

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Spring 2011 Highlights  
Spring 2011 Highlights  

The History Press highlights catalogue showing all new titles for the spring of 2011.