Lance Cole: Bugatti Blue

 Published by Pen and Sword 10th January 2019

904psaThe British have had an affair with Bugatti for decades and perhaps Prescott is the place where that have relationship has reached its highlights across the decades. This collection of photographic images captures the brilliance of Bugatti design amid Bugatti blue at Prescott’s wonderful natural amphitheatre in the Cotswolds – to which visitors, Bugatti owners, enthusiasts and addicts have travelled from all over the world for decades. The author is a designer, photographer and writer who has spent years around old cars and years visiting Prescott and the Bugatti Owners Club. In this collection of photographs, much of the masterworks of Molsheim are captured in action and at rest at the altar of British Bugatti enthusiasm. Herein are moments and memories of old Bugattis, their owners and drivers, and other vintage and classic cars in action at this revered location. This new collection of stunning images, created over a number of years, allied to a concise narrative and with assistance from Bugatti experts, should provide the Bugatti and vintage car enthusiast with something new to accompany their own memories of Bugatti amid a record of Prescott and the Bugatti Owners Club events and VSSC days.

I have never heard of Prescott despite having lived for fifteen years in the Cotswolds… Lance Cole’s book about probably the most famous racing car of all time is packed with brilliant photographs and an unmissable history of the beautiful machine. Modern cars pale into insignificance…

 

Richard Wormser: Yellowlegs

 Published by Pen and Sword 30th January 2019

904psbThe story of America’s cavalry is extraordinarily rich in colourful, and often flamboyant, personalities and exciting action. Indeed, much of the early military history of the United States is dominated by the exploits of its horse-soldiers. In this comprehensive and lively account, the author – who was himself an enthusiastic horseman – narrates the major events and characters of the US Cavalry’s formative, and, some might say fruitful, years. From the American Revolution and the exploits of men such as Henry ‘Light-Horse Harry’ Lee III and Francis Marion, the first of the guerrillas, the author follows on with Stephen Kearny, the ‘Father of the Cavalry’ whose Dragoons went West to California on mules, and his nephew Philip, who organized the famed Gray Horse Troop of the Mexican War. Other famous names that feature in this narrative are those of Jonathan ‘Stonewall’ Jackson, George Crook, who admired the Indians it was his duty to hunt down, and George Armstrong Custer. A United States Army officer and cavalry commander who served with distinction in the American Civil War, Custer is most commonly remembered for leading more than 200 of his men to their deaths in the Battle of the Little Bighorn in June 1876\. Also known as ‘Custer’s Last Stand’, Bighorn was part of the Black Hills War against a confederation of Plains Indians, including the Cheyenne and Dakota Sioux. It remains one of the most controversial battles in American history. Roosevelt’s Roughriders and Black Jack Pershing, who led his troops in an automobile, complete the narrative – one which is undoubtedly a saga of daring raids, of epic marches, and of gruelling battles. As the author reveals, the story of the US Cavalry is also the story of the birth and growth of America itself.

This is social history at its absolute best as Richard Wormser traces the origins of the American cavalry horse. Packed with historical facts, this is a brilliant exercise in painstaking research and fascinating storytelling.

 

Rob Harper: Fighting The French Revolution

 Published by Pen and Sword 30thJanuary 2019

904pscIn 1793 France was facing foreign invasion along its borders and a fierce political war was raging in Paris when a large-scale revolt, centred on the western Department of the Vendee, suddenly erupted, almost bringing the new-born French Republic to its knees. The immediate trigger for this Great War of the Vendee, barely known outside of France, was the attempted imposition of conscription but the region seethed at the erosion of its traditional values and way of life. The persecution of the Catholic Church and killing of the king symbolized to the Vendeens how dangerous the new Republic had become; in a matter of weeks tens of thousands had flocked to fight for the ‘Catholic and Royal’ cause. This is the story of the new Republic’s ferocious military campaigns against the armies of the Vendee, which fiercely defied them between March and December 1793, tying down hundreds of thousands of troops desperately needed on the frontiers. Napoleon later called it ‘The War of Giants’ and it directly led to the implementation of some of the Republic’s most extreme laws.

Rob Harper’s book tells the fascinating story of one particular incident that occurred when the French revolution had more or less finished and the various factions were jockeying for position in the new Republic. Fascinating stuff.

 

Stephen Wynn: The Channel Islands in the Great War

 Published by Pen and Sword 6th February 2019

904psdBefore the outbreak of the First World War, the Channel Islands were viewed as they are today; scenic, sunny and relaxing holiday destinations, where it was possible to briefly escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. As soon as the fighting began, the immediate worry was the threat of a German invasion to the Islands, which are much closer to the coast line of France than they are to the southern coast line of Great Britain. Both men and women alike played their part. Men by either joining one of the islands’ Militia or enlisting in one of the numerous regiments of the British Army, including the ‘Jersey Pals’, and the men who served with the Royal Irish Fusiliers, the Royal Irish Rifles and the Royal Irish Regiment. The book looks at the pride in the commitment and achievements of the Channel Islands’ very own Royal Guernsey Light Infantry, formed in December 1916. The Islands’ women volunteered in their droves to serve with the British Red Cross’ Voluntary Aid Detachments, but not just throughout the Channel Islands, but to mainland Great Britain, and further afield in Belgium and France and other similar theatres of war. As far as most people are aware, the first time German soldiers stepped foot in the Channel Islands, was when their troops landed unopposed in June 1940 during the Second World War. However, between 1915 and 1917, some 2,000 German prisoners of war, were held captive at the Les Blanches Banques camp. The book closes by taking a look at the men from all of the Islands who voluntarily went off to war, and ended up paying the ultimate price and didn’t make it back home to their loved ones.

Stephen Wynn’s superb account of the Channel Islands from the outbreak of hostilities in 1914 is essential reading for social historians and occupants of the islands.

 

Kathryn Coase: 2000 Years of Manchester

 Published by Pen and Sword 4th February 2019

904pseThis is not a chronological history of Manchester with lists of facts and figures. Rather, it is an eclectic mix of fact, fiction, legend and myth which presents the history of Manchester from its beginnings as a Roman settlement, then as an insignificant market town, to its place as a city at the heart of the Industrial Revolution and beyond. The author has attempted to capture not only the often tragic lives, times, struggles and beliefs of the city s ever-expanding population, but also its resilience and humour. Including photographs, illustrations, poems and quotes, the book ranges from the humorous, including the stories of Spanking Roger and the Manchester Mummy to the tragic stories of Cholera and Mary Bradley , together with the bizarre Pig Tales and the criminal Scuttlers and Purrers . This is a well-researched, well-written and, most importantly, entertaining and informative read, presented in an unusual yet accessible and easy-to-read format, intended to appeal to the widest audience.

Mancunians and people from all over the world will be fascinated by Kathryn’s portrait of one of the major British cities and the one that has produced perhaps the ost fanous football club in the world…

 

Howard Pilz: Mainline Railway Stamps

 Published by Pen and Sword 11th February 2019

904psfFor this second book in the Transport Philately series on public transport issues featured on postage stamps, once again the author will combine two of his life-long hobbies as he looks at railways around the world on standard gauge tracks that encompasses the majority of the western worlds major railway arteries. The book will also illustrate railways on other, similar gauges of track where they constitute a countrys major arteries, but it is not an exhaustive survey encompassing every country and every issue for that one needs to refer to major catalogue issues by such well-known authorities as Stanley Gibbons Plc. There have been many and varied reasons why postal authorities have issued stamps featuring railway subjects, varying from major anniversaries to national pride, the latter often from the former Eastern-bloc countries but that is not by all means. The Royal Mail in the UK has certainly not ignored railways, especially in later years, and the author will visit probably more of his native country’s stamps than most other countries, but hes biased. The author often looks in his albums to try to understand why a particular country will sometimes be represented by bulging sections, whilst others are represented by but one or two stamp. And so, the book follows the story around the world in roughly an eastern journey, learning about some of the national histories on the way and admiring the attentions of some extremely accomplished artists that mean philatelists and rail-lovers alike can enjoy many beautiful miniature works of art.

In my youth I had a respectable collection of staps, just as every other 1950s schoolboy did, but for the life of me I cannot remember ever having a stamp in my collection featuring railways. This is a beautifully illustrated collection of railway stamps from all over the world. A collectors’ item…

 

Gerard E Cheshire: Grden Wildlife

 Published by Pen and Sword 31st January 2019

904psgGarden Wildlife is a book that looks at the habitats in our gardens from the point of view of wild animal and plants. If we understand our gardens in this way, then we can appreciate that different parts of our gardens essentially mimic wild habitats in microcosm. This means that we can provide places for wild animals and plants to flourish in our gardens, whether they happen to be in rural, suburban or urban settings. Above all, we need to get away from the current obsession with tidiness and sterility in our gardens, and allow odd corners to go wild, so that our native species can live alongside us in the modern world. Without wildlife to discover and observe in our gardens, our lives are impoverished, so we have a duty to ourselves and our children to invite nature back into our outside spaces.

A superb, practical look at how everyone can encourage wildlife into their gardens with just a few well-planned actions, from bird feeders to log piles for insects. Lovely photos and lots of brilliant, practical advice.

 

Kate Bradbury: The Wildlife Gardener

 Published by Pen and Sword October 2017

904psh“A joyous book”- Alan Titchmarsh. Bright, colourful and boundlessly enthusiastic, this is also a practical guide to making your garden a refuge for wildlife to fit all plots. – Chris Packham ‘The Wildlife Gardner’ is a book which helps you to create wildlife habitats in your very own garden, and is very handily split into sections on shelter, food and water. Kate gives advice on the best nectar and pollen plants to grow, dos and don’ts of bird feeding and organic methods of pest control.There are also 10 step-by-step projects that will help encourage wildlife into your garden, such as: creating a bumblebee nester, making a green roof and building a hedgehog box. With step-by-step pictures to help you follow the instructions, these homely creations are all achievable in a weekend and are suitable for even the smallest gardens. Also included is a mini field guide, which will help you to identify the birds and other creatures that you are likely to spot in your garden. Kate gives tips on particular species, explaining what to look out for and how to cater for specific birds, mammals, bees, butterflies, moths and pond life. ‘The Wildlife Gardener’ is a passionately written, practical book that is essential reading for those who would like to make homes for wildlife in their garden.

If you can’t get old of the previous book for whatever reason, ate’s will serve just as well. Beautiful illustrations and plenty of great, practical advice in this one too. Why not get both titles?

 

Julian Whitehead: Crowell’s Women

 Published by Pen and Sword 30th January 2019

904psiOliver Cromwell, a pivotal and often contentious character, has long been the focus of many historical works that chart his meteoric rise from being a middle-aged farmer from East Anglia with no previous military experience, who rose to command the army and become one of England’s greatest generals. Like him or loath him, Oliver Cromwell is a giant of English history. With a deft hand and strong narrative, Whitehead guides us through the remarkable life and career of Oliver Cromwell from a unique perspective. He explores not only the effect the women in Cromwell’s life had on him, but how his career in turn dramatically altered their lives. We learn of his close relationship with his mother, who lived with him throughout her long life, and of his deep attachment to his wife Elizabeth, who he married at 22 and without whom it is doubtful he would have achieved all he did.

They say that behind every great man is a woman, even if she is rarely seen or known about, especially from such turbulent times as the British civil wars. Cromwell has long been a favourite historical person of mine, I can’t help thinking the UK would have been so different had they not restored the monarchy, but instead allowed Cromwell’s sweeping reforms to take effect. Julian Whitehead’s book concentrates on another side of Cromwell, the women in his life, who undoubtedly influenced him and aided his thought processes. A remarkable, very readable book.

 

Carol Lovejoy Edwards: Struggle and Suffrage in Nottingham

 Published by Pen and Sword 28th February 2019

904psjStruggle and Suffrage in Nottingham is the story of many women across the generations and their struggle for equality. This was not just a struggle for the vote but also for equality in the workplace and even in their own homes. Women gave a great deal to this country and still do. This book is a celebration of just some of those women whose stories as a whole are too many to tell. We owe our privileges today to those many women who struggled for the freedoms we are allowed to take for granted today. The centenary that is the subject of this book covers two world wars where women took on men’s jobs, with many sacrificing their lives along the way. These women suffered humiliation and force feeding in their quest for the vote and yet continued working towards their dream. This is the first book to concentrate solely on this period in women’s history in our county and shows the struggle women endured at a time when equality was rare among men as well. A woman’s job was seen to be purely looking after the house and raising children. Many men felt threatened by any woman who wanted more. Using many primary sources, including minutes of Nottingham women’s many social groups, this book tells of the women of Nottingham and their work, until now largely hidden behind the prominent men of Nottingham and its county. It tells of their welfare work, their war work, their political efforts and the hardships endured in their own homes. Included are the stories of Helen Watts suffragette; Lady Laura Ridding, wife of the Bishop of Southwell; and Lady Maud Rolleston, who followed her husband to the Boer War, as well as ordinary women undertaking war work, some of whom were Canary Girls in the munitions factories who lost their lives in an explosion in 1918. Nottingham is a city known for its rebellious acts, this centenary in women’s history was no different. This book is merely a place to start when looking at this period in our local history. It cannot cover but a small amount of the work carried out in our city by innumerable women over the centuries.

latest in Pen and Sword’s remarkable series on women’s suffrage around the UK sees Carol Lovejoy Edwards examining the women of Nottingham as they joined the biggest struggle in British history. The women included in Carol’s excellent book read like characters from the BBC’s Up The Women, which is good, because it makes them real, and one can imagine their passions and their determination by imagining them as being played by actresses such as one has seen on TV. A brilliant book.

 

Paula Greenspan: Understanding and Treating Your Migraine

 Published by Pen and Sword 5th November 2018

904pslWhat is a migraine? If you asked five different migraine sufferers, you’d probably get five different answers. Why? Because migraines are different for everyone. Your migraine attacks are as unique as your fingerprints and the experience you have during an attack won’t be the same as anyone else’s. As there’s no one way to get a migraine, there’s also no one way to prevent or treat them. Researchers used to think migraine was a vascular condition, or one related to the blood vessels, but it’s now classed as neurological, which means it’s related to the nervous system. What’s more, they don’t yet know what causes you to get migraines, and there’s no test you can have to get diagnosed. So migraines are a bit of a mystery. Frustrating, right? Don’t worry. You don’t need to know why you suffer from migraines to understand how to reduce the number of attacks you get or even avoid them altogether. The aim of this book is to help you figure out the best way to prevent your migraines. The first step is to try to understand your own experience. Then you’ll be able to figure out how to reduce your attacks, or even stop them altogether.

I started to get migraines in my early teens in the form of flashing lightswhich were probably brought on by something I was not aware of at the time – stress. My aunt suffered from migraines that  laid her low for days at a tie – I assumed that she experienced the same symptoms as I did, only for a longer and more intense period. Paula’s book reveals that migraines take many different forms and gives practical advice on how to alleviate the symptoms. At school, with the onset of a migraine, I went home tomy Gran’s house, where she would knock me up a yorkshire pudding and gravy, but of course, after a seven mile journey home, my migraine had almost always gone! This is a great book that will certainly help any people to overcome some of their problems!

 

Robert Jackson: T-54/55

 Published by Pen and Sword 20th February 2019

904psmDuring the Cold War, the T-54/55 series of tanks represented the most serious threat to Nato land forces in Europe. Available in huge quantities, it formed the core of the Warsaw Pact armoured warfare doctrine, which envisaged massed tank attacks against the weakest point in Nato’s front-line defences. Yet the T-54/55 could be stopped by smaller numbers of tanks which had the benefit of better technology and training, as was demonstrated during the Yom Kippur War of 1973 when Israeli tanks dealt out appalling punishment to T-55s of the Syrian army. Despite these limitations, the T-54/55 was one of the most successful tanks ever produced, and this volume in the TankCraft series by Robert Jackson is the ideal introduction to it. As well as tracing the history of the T-54/55, his book is an excellent source of reference for the modeller, providing details of available kits and photographs of award-winning models, together with artworks showing the colour schemes applied to these tanks. Each section of the book is supported by a wealth of archive photographs.

The latest in Pen and Sword’s profile books of military vehicles and motorised weapons looks at the T-54/55 by Robert Jackson. Superb illustrations and amazing statistics.

 

Jenny Tschiesche: Gut Health and Probiotics

 Published by Pen and Sword 1st August 2018

904psnA simplified explanation of probiotics and what they can do for and to the human body is long overdue. Despite the fact that people use the term probiotics a lot in the media as well as in everyday life there appears to be some confusion as to whether probiotics are something that occurs naturally in a healthy human gut or ‘biome’, something that is added to your yogurt or whether it’s simply a pot of pills that you need to take when you’re ill. Gut Health and Probiotics will take readers on a quest to understand what both probiotics and prebiotics can do for their long term gut health and how this might affect a broad range of body systems from skin health to mental health. Along the way readers will discover how useful probiotics are in both preventing and curing specific ailments, as Jenny explains just how simple it is to feel great from the inside-out.

Jenny Tschiesche’s book on the human gut is brilliant – if, like me, you attended a school that allowed you to drop science in favour of languages, you will find it fascinating and absorbing, a really good comprehensive explanation of the human gut and how it operates on the food we feed it. Plenty of brilliant illustrations, but the text is what matters, and it really does educate and inform. Superb.

 

David Doyle: Images of War M1 Abrams

 Published by Pen and Sword 8th January 2019

904psoThe M1 Abrams has been the principle main battle tank of the US military since 1980. Conceived to counter the threat of a massive Soviet armored incursion in Europe, the tank gained considerable fame during the Persian Gulf War of 1991, and its combat record has continued to climb. With such a long service life, the Abrams has undergone continual improvements and upgrades, which are illustrated in great detail in this volume. The unique features of the various models are detailed in stunning color photos, and the combat use of these fearsome vehicles is richly illustrated through previously unpublished photos.

Another fascinating slice of military history, this time featuring the US army’s main battle tank, the M1 Abrams, in a series of amazing photographs from its frst use in the 1980s through to the Iraq War of 1991.

 

 

Norman Hill: King’s Cross Second Man

 Published by Pen and Sword 11th February 2019

904pspLate in 1964 the author made a career change from the Midland Region railway clerical grades, to the Eastern Region Motive Power Department at King’s Cross, initially as a locomotive cleaner. This was the realisation of an ambition held for some ten years and by the end of December 1964, he became eligible for second man duties. On 28 December 1964, he was second man on a return trip to Peterborough, and determined to keep a record of the run; locomotive employed, the driver he accompanied, the rostered diagram and the actual circumstances of the diagram. Norman duly recorded this shift, along with all shifts worked during his employment as second man. Norman realised that such a record would be of great interest to both railway enthusiasts and employees, past and present. Especially those who worked on the southern section of the East Coast Main Line or those with a special interest in the railways of the 1960s a formative period of railway modernisation when 150 years of steam-powered railway locomotion gave way to more modern means of motive power. This book will use Norman’s records of 1964-68 as a basis for an account in which he will show the slow and difficult transition of Britains railway from its traditional steam-powered world into the modern world of diesel and electric traction. Norman’s work as second man took him to places and railway installations in North London that no longer exist, and which have taken their place in railway history, and sometimes even within the broader fabric of the history of London, and of England itself. Through the medium of Norman’s records of 1960’s railway working, he looks back and rediscovers these forgotten places and so contrasts nineteenth-century railways and industrial history with operating practices on todays modern British railways.

An informative and fascinating first hand account of a “second man”‘s experiences and duties on Kings Cross diesel engine passenger runs. Michael Portillo would be thrilled to read this, as was I!

 

Martin Derry and Neil Robertson: Hawker Hunter in British Service

 Published by Pen and Sword 1st December 2018

904psqThe Hawker Hunter is one of Britain’s classic post-war jet aircraft. Initially introduced in 1954 as a swept-wing, transonic, single-seat day interceptor, it rapidly succeeded the first-generation jet fighters in RAF service such as the Gloster Meteor (see Flight Craft 13) and the de Havilland Venom. Powered by the then newly developed Rolls-Royce Avon turbojet, the Hunter’s performance transformed the RAF’s day fighter squadrons from the mid-1950s until the advent of the English Electric Lightning from the early 1960s (see Flight Craft 11). Even then, as successively improved variants of the type were produced with increasingly more capable engines and expanded fuel capacity, the Hunter successfully transitioned into a strike/ground attack fighter-bomber and fighter reconnaissance platform. Two-seat variants were developed for training and other secondary roles with the RAF and the Royal Navy and a few remained in use until 2001, albeit with specialised MoD Test and Evaluation units – well over forty years after the type’s initial introduction. Hunters were also famously used by two RAF display teams, the ‘Black Arrows’, who looped a record-breaking twenty-two Hunters in formation, and later the ‘Blue Diamonds’ as well as the Royal Navy’s ‘Blue Herons’. The Hunter saw combat service with the RAF in a range of conflicts including the Suez Crisis as well as various emergencies in the Middle East and Far East. The Hunter was also widely exported, serving with many foreign air forces, in which it also saw active service, which unfortunately lies outside the scope of this particular publication. Almost 2,000 Hunters were manufactured by Hawker Siddeley Aviation, as well as being produced under licence overseas and will remain one of the UK’s most iconic aircraft designs of all time.

I had an Airfix model of the Hawker Hunter in the 1950s, just one of dozens I collected and assembled – it was what we did. Martin and Neil’s super book documents its development and service years brilliantly – this is clearly their passion!

 

Erin Lawless: Forgotten Royal Women

 Published by Pen and Sword 14th February 2019

904psrGreat women are hidden behind great men, or so they say, and no man is greater than the king. For centuries, royal aunts, cousins, sisters and mothers have watched history unfold from the shadows, their battlefields the bedchamber or the birthing room, their often short lives remembered only through the lens of others. But for those who want to hear them, great stories are still there to be told: the medieval princess who was kidnapped by pirates; the duchess found guilty of procuring love potions; the queen who was imprisoned in a castle for decades. This collection of bite-sized biographies lifts thirty of these royal women out of the footnotes of their family histories and brings them centre-stage, out of the shadows. It tells fascinating, forgotten tales and shines some much needed light into the darkened corners of women s history.

At a time when women are still having to fight for their rightful place in our societies, this book is a fascinating and readable reminder of the great Royal women who have lived through previous centuries. I always think it is such a shame that our country has so far had two women prime ministers and both have turned out to be shameless and shamefully evil and disastrous – maybe it will be third time lucky for us? A superb book.

 

Roger R Brooks: The Handley Page Victor

 Published by Pen and Sword 1st October 2018

904pssSome aircraft inspire passion, others nostalgia, but others, often the unsung heroes, are more of a connoisseur’s choice. The Handley Page Victor easily falls into this last category. In this follow-up to The Handley Page Victor: The History and Development of a Classic Jet, Roger Brooks extends his earlier historical narratives, this time offering an action-packed and riveting memoir of a career spanning forty years. The book charts changes as they occurred in the aeronautical industry from the 1950’s onwards and, as such, it should appeal to both individuals who were caught up in events at the time as well as students of the era. In addition to the aircraft itself, Roger worked extensively with tankers, refuelling the Victor as it took part in a variety of operations in the fraught Cold War era. He brings all aspects of his career to life across these pages, offering the kind of details that can only be gained by first-hand experience.

Another brilliant book about another iconic British warplane in which author Roger Brooks continues his meoirs about this beautiful aircraft.

 

Judith Wills: The Food Bible

 Published by Pen and Sword 18th February 2019

904pstThis latest, completely revised edition of the bestselling The Food Bible contains the most up-to-date research and information from the world s top authorities on every aspect of food and diet, making it an indispensable reference book. It discusses all the important food issues – from the vegan versus meat debate to modern food farming and processing; from from the high carb to high protein debate to which oil to choose for health protection. It guides you through the minefield of contradictory dietary advice with clear nutritional information. Beginning with an explanation of the basic elements that make up food proteins, fats, carbohydrates, fibre, vitamins, minerals and the new non-nutrients such as probiotics, the book explains how to combine them for balanced, healthy eating. The Food Bible takes an in-depth look at all the common ailments and health problems, and discusses which foods to avoid and which can help prevent or alleviate them. There is a wealth of useful information on what to eat at every stage of your life and how best to keep your weight under control. The book contains a collection of tempting, healthy and nutritious recipes for all occasions and a final chapter containing invaluable, detailed analysis of over 300 everyday foods.

This amazing book is something of an eye opener about food. I learnt more from this book than from all the BBC2 documentaries that have been on during the past decade. Clear, colourful images, charts and tables tell you everything you need to know about the food you’ve been eating and what it is doing to you. Essential reading for just about everyone.

 

Kathryn Atherton: Suffragette Planners and Plotters

 Published by Pen and Sword 30th September 2018

904psuEmmeline and Frederick Pethick-Lawrence were an extraordinary couple and theirs is an extraordinary political and personal story. Emmeline was treasurer of Mrs Pankhurst’s militant Women s Social and Political Union. Fred was the only man to achieve leadership status in the organisation. Without their wealth, determination and skills we might never have heard of the suffragettes . Emmeline was always at Mrs Pankhurst’s side whilst Fred was the Godfather who stood bail for a thousand women. Both were imprisoned and force-fed. They provided the militant movement with its colours, its home, and much of its vision, and it was their associates who initiated the hunger strike and who brought force-feeding to national attention. But in 1912 the couple were dramatically ousted from the organisation by the Pankhursts in a move that has often been misrepresented. This book is a portrait of the couple and their relationship with the Pankhursts, and of their inspirational fight, not just for the vote for women, but for freedom and equality across the world. The Pethick-Lawrences were once as well known as the Pankhursts. But they have been neglected by history. This is the first book to give the Pethick-Lawrences the recognition that their part in the fight for the vote deserves, shedding new light on the development of the militant campaign. It is also the first to address in detail the complexities of the dramatic split with the Pankhursts which has been misunderstood for a hundred years.

Yes, everyone knows the Pankhursts and the parts they played in the fight for women’s suffrage. But this book chronicles the lives of the Pankhursts’ friends and assistants, the Pethuck-Lawrences, and a fascinating story it is too. For anyone interested in British social history, this is a terrific addition to the body of work on suffrage.

 

Jessica Groenendijk: The Giant Otter

 Published by Pen and Sword 25th February 2019

904psvThe aptly named giant otter is exceptionally well adapted to life in rivers, lakes and wetlands in tropical South America. Known in Spanish as lobo del rio or ‘river wolf’, it can be as long as a human is tall, and is the most social of the world’s thirteen otter species. Each individual is identifiable from birth by its pale throat pattern, as unique as your fingerprint. Giant otters are top carnivores of the Amazon rainforest and have little to fear… except man. There are many reasons why scientists and tourists alike are fascinated by this charismatic species. Spend a day in the life of a close-knit giant otter family and you’ll realise why. Learn about their diet and hunting techniques, marking and denning behaviour, and breeding and cub-rearing strategies, including shared care of the youngest members. Become familiar with the complex life histories of individual otters over their 15-year lifespans. And accompany a young disperser during the trials and tribulations of a year spent looking for a mate and a home of its own. Although giant otters have few natural enemies, they became the target of the international pelt trade in the 1940s, and by the early 1970s had been hunted to the brink of extinction. Today, illegal hunting is a minor hazard. So why is the giant otter still endangered? Find out about current threats to the species and discover how a variety of conservation actions are benefiting the otters over the last decades. Then be a part of the solution by acting on the steps we can all take to help further giant otter conservation.

This is a charming and beatiful book about an animal species we don’t get in Britain but will nevertheless captivate and charm its readers.

 

Mark Hiller: The Luftwaffe Battle of Britain Fighter Pilot’s Kitbag

 Published by Pen and Sword 11th February 2019

904pswReichsmarschall G ring told Hitler that it would take less than a month for his much-vaunted Luftwaffe to conquer the RAF and pave the way for the German invasion of Great Britain. His prediction was to prove disastrously wrong, but for four long months his pilots and aircrew fought for their lives in the skies above the UK. From their bases in continental Europe, the Luftwaffe s fighter pilots escorted the great bomber fleets that sought to destroy the RAF s airfields and installations, and tackled the Spitfires and Hurricanes deployed to defend Britain s towns and cities. Whilst much has been written on the titanic struggle for supremacy fought throughout the summer of 1940 and of the men and machines of both sides, little attention has been paid to what the pilots wore and carried with them in the air. All the objects that a Luftwaffe fighter pilot was issued with during the Battle of Britain are explored in this book in high-definition colour photographs, showing everything from the differing uniforms, to headgear, personal weapons, gloves, goggles, parachute packs and the essential life jacket. Each item is fully described and its purpose and use explained. Fly with the Messerschmitt Bf 109s and Bf 110s across the Channel and see what the Luftwaffe aircrew wore as they took on Fighter Command in what was justly called the Battle of Britain.

This book is as good as a museum visit, the photographs are that good!

 

Sinead Spearing: A History of Women in Medicine

 Published by Pen and Sword 7th January 2019

904psx‘Witch’ is a powerful word with humble origins. Once used to describe an ancient British tribe known for its unique class of female physicians and priestesses, it grew into something grotesque, diabolical and dangerous. A History of Women in Medicine: From Physicians to Witches? reveals the untold story of forgotten female physicians, their lives, practices and subsequent demonisation as witches. Originally held in high esteem in their communities, these women used herbs and ancient psychological processes to relieve the suffering of their patients. Often travelling long distances, moving from village to village, their medical and spiritual knowledge blended the boundaries between physician and priest. These ancient healers were the antithesis of the witch figure of today; instead they were knowledgeable therapists commanding respect, gratitude and high social status. In this pioneering work, Sinead Spearing draws on current archeological evidence, literature, folklore, case studies and original religious documentation to bring to life these forgotten healers. By doing so she exposes the elaborate conspiracy conceived by the Church to corrupt them in the eyes of the world. Turning these women from benevolent therapists into the embodiment of evil required a fabricated theology to ensure those who collected medicinal herbs or practiced healing, would be viewed by society as dealing with the devil. From this diabolical association, female healers could then be labeled witches and be justly tortured and tried in the ensuing hysteria known today as the European witch craze.

This is not really about early women in medicine, but morean examination of how and why women who healed prior to being accepted into the medical profession were classed as witches and treated so badly by society. Fascinating and compelling reading.

 

Mark Perry: The South Irish Horse in the Great War

 Published by Pen and Sword 1st November 2018

904psyOn 12 June 1922 King George V received at Windsor Castle representatives of the six disbanded Irish regiments. While five had long and distinguished service records, the South Irish Horse (SIH) had only been raised in 1902, as a result of the second Boer War, but too late to take part. On the outbreak of The Great War a single squadron of the SIH was sent to Flanders which was involved in the retreat from Mons and the Marne and the early battles of Ypres, Neuve Chapelle. The remainder of the Regiment followed and over the next four years, won ten battle honours including Loos 1915, Somme 1916 and 1918, Albert, St Quentin, Courtrai and finally France and Flanders 1915-1918. Losses were severe and there were many acts of gallantry. This book, while not an official history, fills a void by describing the achievements of this unique and short-lives regiment and the colourful characters who served in it. Certainly there is a fine story to tell and it will be invaluable to those researching former members.

This I was expecting this boo to be about a particular breed of horse, but South Irish Horse refers to a regiment and the part they played in the Great War. As such, it is another brilliant account, highly detailed, about this particular regient, and is utterly enthralling.

 

Jens Muller: The Great Escape from Stalag Luft III

 Published by Pen and Sword 4th February 2019

904psz“It took me three minutes to get through the tunnel. Above ground I crawled along holding the rope for several feet: it was tied to a tree. Sergeant Bergsland joined me; we arranged our clothes and walked to the Sagan railway station. ‘Bergsland was wearing a civilian suit he had made for himself from a Royal Marine uniform, with an RAF overcoat slightly altered with brown leather sewn over the buttons. A black RAF tie, no hat. He carried a small suitcase which had been sent from Norway. In it were Norwegian toothpaste and soap, sandwiches, and 163 Reichsmarks given to him by the Escape Committee. We caught the 2:04 train to Frankfurt an der Oder. Our papers stated we were Norwegian electricians from the Labour camp in Frankfurt working in the vicinity of Sagan.’ Jens Muller was one of only three men who successfully escaped from Stalag Luft III in March 1944 – the break that later became the basis for the famous film the “Great Escape”. Muller was no. 43 of the 76 prisoners of war who managed to escape from the camp. Together with Per Bergsland he stowed away on a ship to Gothenburg. The escapees sought out the British consulate and were flown from Stockholm and were flown to Scotland. From there they were sent by train to London and shortly afterwards to ‘Little Norway’ in Canada. Muller’s book about his wartime experiences was first published in Norwegian in 1946, titled, ‘Tre kom tilbake’ (Three Came Back). This is the first translation into English and will correct the impression – set by the film and Charles Bronson – that the men who escaped successfully were American and Australian. In a vivid, informative memoir he details what life in the camp was like, how the escapes were planned and executed and tells the story of his personal breakout and success reaching RAF Leuchars base in Scotland.

With the 75th anniversary of the “Great Escape” having just been celebrated in the media, this book is the perfect accompaniment to the legend. See also Jonathan Vance’s The True Story of the Great Escape, further down this page…

 

Vice Admiral B B Schofield: With The Royal Navy in War and Peace

 Published by Pen and Sword 12th December 2018

904psaaThe Royal Navy that Brian Bethen Schofield joined at the beginning of the Twentieth Century truly ruled the waves. Safe anchorages spanned the globe and faster, better armoured ships with revolutionary weaponry were coming into service. After serving as a midshipman in The Great War, Schofield qualified as a navigator and interpreter in French and Italian. At the outbreak of The Second World War he was Naval Attache in The Hague and Brussels before becoming Director of Trade Division (Convoys) during the critical years 1941-1943\. While commanding the battleship King George V he witnessed the Japanese surrender in Tokyo Bay in August 1945. O’er The Deep Blue Sea is a superbly written memoir offering a fascinating insight into a bygone era. Anyone with more than a passing interest in British naval history will enjoy the Author’s graphic yet modest account of an exceptional career.

A brilliant personal history of the modern Royal Navy which looks back at Britain’s pride of place as the world’s leading naval power at the turn of the 20th century through to its place in the modern world. Utterly fascinating.

 

John Broom: Opposition to the Second World War

 Published by Pen and Sword 19th November 2018

904psabAs Europe lurched towards war during the 1930s, many people in Britain, with the memories of the horrors of the First World War painfully fresh, set out to build groups opposed to the idea of a future war. Despite current notions of the Second World War as being a time when Britons pulled together with a unity of purpose, many of these organisations continued their work in either campaigning against the conduct of the war, or to alleviate its more destructive effects. The people who went against the political and cultural climate of the time have been somewhat airbrushed from history. This book brings them back into focus and demonstrates the myriad ways in which they lived out the slogan ‘I Renounce War’.

This With literarlly thousands of books on the subject of how the British people pulled together to resist Hitler and the Nazis, this book chronicles the work of the pacifists, the other side of the story and equally fascinating.

 

Melanie Clegg: Margaret Tudor – The Life of Henry VIII’s Sister

 Published by Pen and Sword 19th November 2018

904psacWhen the thirteen year old Margaret Tudor, eldest daughter of Henry VII and his wife Elizabeth of York, married King James IV of Scotland in a magnificent proxy ceremony held at Richmond Palace in January 1503, no one could have guessed that this pretty, redheaded princess would go on to have a marital career as dramatic and chequered as that of her younger brother Henry VIII. Left widowed at the age of just twenty three after her husband was killed by her brother s army at the battle of Flodden, Margaret was made Regent for her young son and was temporarily the most powerful woman in Scotland – until she fell in love with the wrong man, lost everything and was forced to flee the country. In a life that foreshadowed that of her tragic, fascinating granddaughter Mary Queen of Scots, Margaret hurtled from one disaster to the next and ended her life abandoned by virtually everyone: a victim both of her own poor life choices and of the simmering hostility between her son, James V and her brother, Henry VIII.

A truly superb account of the life and times of Margaret Tudor, the sister of Henry VIII.

 

Gerard E Cheshire: Indoor Wildlife

 Published by Pen and Sword 6th March 2019

904psadIndoor Wildlife is a book that looks at our houses and other buildings from the point of view of wild animals and plants. Some come indoors to hibernate, some come indoors to find food and others come indoors to set up home. Still others use the walls and roofs of our homes, as well as our garages, sheds and outhouses. All-in-all, we share our homes with all kinds of fauna and flora. Some species can be tolerated, while others can be a nuisance or even harmful. Ultimately, our homes offer artificial habitats to these species, so they accept the invitation. Controlling them is a matter of understanding their ecological requirements.

There are some really horrific photos of the kinds of wildlife we share our homes with in this sometimes terrifying book!

 

 

 

Chris Goss: Focke-Wulf Fw190

 Published by Pen and Sword 30th January 2019

904psaeThe Focke-Wulf Fw 190 was widely regarded as the Luftwaffe’s finest fighter. It first saw service in France in August 1941, immediately proving itself at least the equal of the then latest Spitfire variant, the Mk.V. There were a number of characteristics which contributed to the Fw 190’s success. The first of these was that it had been designed from the outset to be a weapons platform, rather than an aircraft to which weapons were added, as was the case with previous fighters. This meant that it could carry a wide range of armament in the form of various combinations of bomb racks, cannon pods and, later, unguided rockets. It was also built to withstand heavy punishment, with the extensive use of electrically-powered equipment instead of the hydraulic systems which, used by most aircraft manufacturers of the time, were more susceptible to failure if damaged by gunfire. The relatively small diameters of electrical wires were much less likely to be hit by gunfire than larger hydraulic pipes. Another element in the Fw 190’s construction which added to its durability was its wide-tracked, inwards-retracting landing gear, as opposed to the much narrower, outwards-retracting landing gear of the Messerschmitt Bf 109\. This gave the Fw 190 much greater stability on the ground which resulted in far fewer ground accidents than experienced by the Bf 109. The Fw 190’s BMW 801 D-2 radial engine also produced 1,677 horse power, giving the early Focke-Wulf 190 A-8 a top speed of more than 400 miles per hour – which was considerably faster than the early variant Spitfires. It was the Spitfires with which the Fw 190 pilots frequently had to contend when in combat over the English Channel, and particularly during the Allied raid on Dieppe in August 1942, when more than 100 Focke-Wulfs (from Jagdgeschwaders JG 2 and JG 26) engaged Spitfires and Hawker Typhoons, claiming sixty-one Allied aircraft ‘kills’ against just twenty-five losses of their own. The Fw 190’s weapons capability also saw it used as a fighter-bomber. The Fw 190 A-3/U3 Jabo was used with considerable effect against Allied shipping in the Channel and against the south-eastern coasts of England in 1942 in tip-and-runs raids. These fast, low-level attacks proved very difficult for the defending RAF squadrons to counter and only one Fw 190 was lost on these operations. In this illuminating study of the early service of the Fw 190, Chris Goss has assembled a unique collection of photographs illustrating the wide use of this highly versatile aircraft.

This book celebrates another of my Airfix models from the 1950s – Germany’s greatest fighter aircraft, the F1 190. Britain’s Spitfire and Hurricane pilots didn’t have it all their own way!

 

David F Walford & Catherine Rayner: Haworth and the Brontes Literary Trails

 Published by Pen and Sword 6th March 2019

904psafThis light-hearted but deeply researched book offers interest and guidance to walkers, social historians and lovers of the Bronte family; their lives and works. Set in and around the town of Haworth it gives a dual introduction to walkers and lovers of literature who can explore this unique area of Yorkshire and walk in the footsteps of those who knew and loved this town and its moorlands two hundred years ago. With guided tours around special buildings as well as outdoor walks and the history of people and places who lived and worked in Haworth over centuries, it offers an insight into life and death in the melee of the Industrial Revolution. Its joint authors have combined their lifelong interests in Victorian literature and social history with writing, walking, photography and cartography and have included quotes from Bronte poetry and novels.

A beautifully illustrated guide to the areas of Yorkshire in which the Brontes lived and worked.

 

Charles Messenger: Stalag Luft III

 Published by Pen and Sword 4th March 2019

904psagIn early 1942 the Third Reich opened a maximum security Prisoner Of War camp in Lower Silesia for captured Allied airmen. Called Stalag Luft III, the camp soon came to contain some of the most inventive escapers ever known. The escapers were led by Squadron Leader Roger Bushell, code-named ‘Big X’. In March 1944, Bushell masterminded an attempt to smuggle hundreds of POWs down a tunnel build right under the notes of their guards. In fact, only 79 Allied airmen clambered into the tunnel and only three made successful escapes. This remarkable escape would be immortalised in the famous Hollywood film THE GREAT ESCAPE, in which the bravery of the men was rightly celebrated. Behind the scenes photographs from the film are included in this definitive pictorial work on the most famous POW camp of World War II.

Amazing photographs of the inmates of Stalag Lufy III, the POW camp that inspired the story of the Great Escape. See also below, The True Story of the Great Escape…

 

Jonathan F Vance: The True Story of the Great Escape

 Published by Pen and Sword 28th February 2019

904psahIt shows the variety and depth of the men sent into harms way during World War II, something emphasised by the population of Stalag Luft III. Most of the Allied POWs were flyers, with all the technical, tactical and planning skills that profession requires. Such men are independent thinkers, craving open air and wide-open spaces, which meant than an obsession with escape was almost inevitable’- John D Gresham Between dusk and dawn on the night of March 24th-25th 1944, a small army of Allied soldiers crawled through tunnels in Germany in a covert operation the likes of which the Third Reich had never seen before. The prison break from Stalag Luft III in eastern Germany was the largest of its kind in World War II. Seventy nine Allied soldiers and airmen made it outside the wire – but only three made it outside Nazi Germany. Fifty were executed by the Gestapo. Jonathan Vance tells the incredible story that was made famous by the 1963 film, The Great Escape. The escape is a classic tale of prisoner and their wardens in a battle of wits and wills.The brilliantly conceived escape plan is overshadowed only by the colourful, daring (and sometimes very funny) crew who executed it – literally under the noses of German guards. From their first days in Stalag Luft III and the forming of bonds key to such exploits, to the tunnel building, amazing escape and eventual capture, Vance’s history is a vivid, compelling look at one of the greatest ‘exfiltration’ missions of all time.

I have always been a huge fan of author Paul Brickhill, who seemed to write the book versions of all the great 1950s films I saw, such as The Dam Busters, Reach For The Sky and The Great Escape. I wasn’t bothered thathis books may not have been factually correct – for all I know, they may have been – but the fact was, they were thrilling adventure stories for a young teenager, many of whose Grammar School teachers would have been returning World War 2 veterans. The Second World War was recent enough to have a huge influence on the way young boys thought and acted – we played at war, we read about war in our books and comics, and the exploits of the men involved in the war inspired and moved us, just as Jonathan Vance’s “true story of the great escape” does. This is superlative nonfiction, coming as it does at the 75th anniversary of the Great Escape. It is inspirational, motivational, and above all, moving. A stunning book.

 

Anthony Richards: The Lusitania Sinking

 Published by Pen and Sword 4th March 2019

904psai“We went up on deck and were looking around when the awful crash came. The ship listed so much that we all scrambled down the deck and for a moment everything was in confusion. When I came to myself again I glanced around but could find no trace of Mr Prichard. He seemed to have disappeared.” – Grace French The sinking of the Lusitania is an event that has been predominantly discussed from a political or maritime perspective. For the first time, The Lusitania Sinking tells the story in the emotive framework of a family looking for information on their son’s death. On 1 May 1915, the 29-year-old student Preston Prichard embarked as a Second Class passenger on the Lusitania, bound from New York for Liverpool. By 2pm on the afternoon of 7 May, the liner was approaching the coast of Ireland when she was sighted by the German submarine U-20. A single torpedo caused a massive explosion in the Lusitania’s hold, and the ship began sank rapidly. Within 20 minutes she disappeared and 1,198 men, women and children, including Preston, died. Uncertain of Preston’s fate, his family leaped into action. His brother Mostyn, who lived in Ramsgate, travelled to Queenstown to search morgues but could find nothing. Preston’s mother wrote hundreds of letters to survivors to find out more about what might have happened in his last moments. The Lusitania Sinking compiles the responses received. Perhaps sensing his fate, Prichard had put his papers in order before embarking and told a fellow student where to find his will if anything happened to him. During the voyage, he was often seen in the company of Grace French, quoted above. Alice Middleton, who had a crush on him but was too shy to speak to him throughout the entire voyage, remembered that he helped her in reaching the upper decks during the last moments of the sinking: “[The Lusitania] exploded and down came her funnels, so over I jumped. I had a terrible time in the water, 41/2 hours bashing about among the wreckage and dead bodies… It was 10.30 before they landed me at the hospital in an unconscious condition. In fact, they piled me with a boat full of dead and it was only when they were carrying the dead bodies to the Mortuary that they discovered there was still life in me.”

What the Germans hoped to gain from sinking a great passenger liner such as the Lusitania is beyond me, so one has to put aside motive and concentrate on the extraordinary stories of the survivors, which Anthony Richards does magnificently in this “eyewitness accounts” book. It’s not a disaster mover in the sense of the Poseidon Adventure, but it is moving and powerful, and that is what books such as this one should be about. Superb.

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