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New History & Biography

Fascinating memoirs and illuminating trips into the past (browse related category History & Biography )

The Great Explosion: Gunpowder, the Great War, and a Disaster on the Kent Marshes by Brian Dillon - £9.99
The Great Explosion by Brian Dillon: a masterful account of a terrible disaster in a remarkable place.  In April 1916, shortly before the commencement of the Battle of the Somme, a fire started in a vast munitions works located in the Kentish ... more
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When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi - £12.99
THE NEW YORK TIMES NUMBER ONE BESTSELLER  At the age of thirty-six, on the verge of completing a decade’s training as a neurosurgeon, Paul Kalanithi was diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer. One day he was a doctor treating the dying, the ne ... more
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The Girl from Human Street: A Jewish Family Odyssey by Roger Cohen - £9.99
It has taken me a long time to piece all this together. Memories come not like heavy rain but the drops falling from leaves after it. There were elements missing. At last I knew I would not be whole until I found them...   June Cohen was b ... more
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The Beautiful Struggle: A Memoir by Ta-Nehisi Coates - £9.99
The Beautiful Struggle is an extraordinary memoir from the most important new voice in the US race debate and the author of New York Times bestseller list no. 1 Between the World and Me, hailed by Toni Morrison as “required reading.”   This small a ... more
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Whispering Hope: The True Story of the Magdalene Women by Nancy Costello, Kathleen Legg, Diane Croghan, Marie Slattery and Marina Gambold - £6.99
The harrowing account of five women who were confined in Magdalene Laundries in Ireland. "At the conclusion of my discussions with one group of the Magdalene Women one of those present sang 'Whispering Hope'. A line from that song stays in my mind ... more
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1916: Ireland's Revolutionary Tradition by Kieran Allen - £12.99
A few minutes after noon on the 24th April, 1916, Patrick Pearse stepped outside the newly occupied GPO on Sackville Street with a copy of the Proclamation of the Irish Republic. Reading aloud, he declared a strike for Irish freedom against the world ... more
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Life, Death, and Growing Up on the Western Front by Anthony Fletcher - £12.99
This book was inspired by the author’s discovery of an extraordinary cache of letters from a soldier who was killed on the Western Front during the First World War. The soldier was his grandfather, and the letters had been tucked away, unread and unm ... more
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1956, The World in Revolt by Simon Hall - £20.00
Vibrantly and sympathetically told, this is the story of one remarkable year - a capsule history of exhilarating triumphs and shattering defeats around the world.   1956 was one of the most remarkable years of the twentieth century. All across ... more
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A Nation and Not a Rabble: The Irish Revolution 1913-23 by Diarmaid Ferriter - £12.99
Packed with violence, political drama and social and cultural upheaval, the years 1913-1923 saw the emergence in Ireland of the Ulster Volunteer Force to resist Irish home rule and in response, the Irish Volunteers, who would later evolve into the IR ... more
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The Penguin Lessons by Tom Michell - £9.99
'I was hoping against hope that the penguin would survive because as of that instant he had a name, and with his name came the beginning of a bond which would last a life-time'  Tom Michell is in his roaring twenties: single, free-spirited and see ... more
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If This is A Woman: Inside Ravensbruck: Hitler's Concentration Camp for Women by Sarah Helm - £10.99
The compelling story of the only concentration camp for women by the acclaimed author of A Life in Secrets.  On a sunny morning in May 1939 a phalanx of 800 women - housewives, doctors, opera singers, politicians, prostitutes - were marched through ... more
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Ada's Algorithm: How Lord Byron's Daughter Ada Lovelace Launched the Digital Age by James Essinger - £12.99
Over 150 years after her death, a widely-used scientific computer program was named Ada, after Ada Lovelace, the only legitimate daughter of the eighteenth century s version of a rock star, Lord Byron. Why? Because, after computer pioneers such as ... more
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Open the Cage, Murphy by Paul O'Grady - £20.00
To describe Open the Cage, Murphy as action-packed is a massive understatement. The book takes us on a roller coaster ride through a decade of Paul O’Grady’s life and is stuffed to the gunwales with hilarious stories, extreme situations and outrageou ... more
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Easter 1916: The Irish Rebellion by Charles Townshend - £10.99
Ireland's Easter Rising of 1916 transformed millions of lives and created its own powerful mythology. This remarkable book vividly recreates this extraordinary time when, as Irish insurgents rose up and occupied Dublin, as British artillery retaliat ... more
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Snowden by Ted Rall - £11.99
As many as 1.4 million citizens with security clearance saw some or all of the same documents that would later be leaked by Edward Snowden. Why did he, and no one else, decide to step forward and take on the risks associated with becoming a whistlebl ... more
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A Brief Stop on the Road from Auschwitz by Göran Rosenberg - £9.99
On the 2nd of August 1947 a young man gets off a train in a small Swedish town. He has survived the Lodz ghetto, Auschwitz, and the harrowing slave camps and transports during the final months of Nazi Germany. Now he has to learn to live with his mem ... more
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Jeremy Corbyn: Accidental Hero by W Stephen Gilbert - £9.99
How did modest backbench MP Jeremy Corbyn come virtually out of nowhere to lead the parliamentary opposition, as the most avowedly non-conformist Labour leader in British history? Is his leadership built to last? Will those in the Labour party who re ... more
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Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari - £8.99
THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER  Planet Earth is 4.5 billion years old. In just a fraction of that time, one species among countless others has conquered it. Us.   We are the most advanced and most destructive animals ever to have lived. W ... more
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Unfaithful Music and Disappearing Ink: Notes for a Memoir by Elvis Costello - £25.00
Unfaithful Music & Disappearing Ink is the long-awaited memoir from Elvis Costello, one of rock and roll's most iconic stars.  Born Declan Patrick MacManus, Elvis Costello was raised in London and Liverpool, grandson of a trumpet player on th ... more
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Eleanor Marx: A Life by Rachel Holmes - £12.99
Unrestrained by convention, lion-hearted and free, Eleanor Marx (1855-98) was an exceptional woman. Hers was the first English translation of Flaubert's Mme Bovary. She pioneered the theatre of Henrik Ibsen. She was the first woman to lead the Britis ... more
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My Life on the Road by Gloria Steinem - £14.99
Gloria Steinem had an itinerant childhood. Every fall, her father would pack the family into the car and they would drive across the country, in search of their next adventure. The seeds were planted: Steinem would spend much of her life on the road, ... more
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Empire of Cotton: A New History of Global Capitalism by Sven Beckert - £12.99
Winner of the 2015 Bancroft Prize and the 2015 Philip Taft Prize Finalist for the 2015 Pulizter Prize for History and shortlisted for the 2015 Cundill Prize in Historical Literature  For about 900 years, from 1000 to 1900, cotton was the w ... more
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A Village Christmas: And Other Notes on the English Year by Laurie Lee - £9.99
From the author of Cider With Rosie, Village Christmas is a moving, lyrical portrait of England through the changing years and seasons.   Laurie Lee left his childhood home in the Cotswolds when he was nineteen, but it remained with him throug ... more
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Modernity Britain 1957-1962 by David Kynaston - £14.99
David Kynaston's history of post-war Britain has so far taken us from the radically reforming Labour governments of the late 1940s in Austerity Britain and through the growing prosperity of Family Britain's more placid 1950s. Now Modernity Britain 19 ... more
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Michael Collins: A Biography by Tim Pat Coogan - £10.99
When President of the Irish Republic Michael Collins signed the Anglo-Irish Treaty in December 1921, he remarked to Lord Birkenhead, 'I may have signed my actual death warrant.' And in August 1922 during the Irish Civil War, that prophecy came true - ... more
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De Valera: Long Fellow, Long Shadow by Tim Pat Coogan - £11.99
The history of Ireland for much of the Twentieth century is the history of Eamon De Valera.   From the 1916 Rising, the troubled Treaty negotiations and the Civil War, right through to his retirement after longer in power than any other twent ... more
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Antisemitism: A Very Short Introduction by Steven Beller - £7.99
This Very Short Introduction examines and untangles the various strands of antisemitism seen throughout history, from medieval religious conflict to 'new' antisemitism in the 21st century.  Steven Beller reveals how the phenomenon grew as a political ... more
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People, Places and Passions: "Pain and Pleasure": A Social History of Wales and the Welsh, 1870-1945 by Russell Davies - £19.99
The first of two volumes on the social history of Wales in the period 1870–1948, People, Places and Passions concentrates on the social events and changes which created and forged Wales into the mid-twentieth century.   This volume considers ... more
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New Brighton Lifeboats: An Illustrated History of 150 Years of Life-Saving on the Mersey by Nicholas Leach - £14.99
The New Brighton lifeboat station on the Mersey has a fine record of gallantry. The volunteer lifeboat crews have undertaken hundreds of services, including many notable medal-winning rescues. They have provided a rescue service to shipping and craft ... more
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My Own Story by Emmeline Pankhurst - £7.99
Emmeline Pankhurst grew up all too aware of the prevailing attitude of her day: that men were considered superior to women. When she was just fourteen she attended her first suffrage meeting, and returned home a confirmed suffragist. Throughout the c ... more
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My Story by Steven Gerrard - £20.00
Steven Gerrard - legendary captain of Liverpool and England - tells the story of the highs and lows of a twenty-year career at the top of English and world football.  As the only player ever to have scored in a FA cup final, a league cup fina ... more
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Dancing in the Dark: My Struggle, Book 4 by Karl Ove Knausgaard - £8.99
The fourth part of a sensational literary cycle that has been hailed as ‘perhaps the most important literary enterprise of our times’ (Guardian)  18 years old and fresh out of high school, Karl Ove Knausgaard moves to a tiny fisherman’s village fa ... more
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Travelling to Work: Diaries 1988-1998 by Michael Palin - £12.99
The third volume of Michael Palin's celebrated diaries.   Travelling to Work is a roller-coaster ride driven by the Palin hallmarks of curiosity and sense of adventure. Michael was not the BBC's first choice for the travel series Around the World i ... more
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The Gardens of the British Working Class by Margaret Willes - £12.99
This magnificently illustrated people’s history celebrates the extraordinary feats of cultivation by the working class in Britain, even if the land they toiled, planted, and loved was not their own.   Spanning more than four centuries, from t ... more
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My Grandfather Would Have Shot Me: A Black Woman Discovers Her Family's Nazi Past by Jennifer Teege and Nikola Sellmair - £8.99
An international bestseller, this is the extraordinary and moving memoir of a woman who learns that her grandfather was Amon Goeth, the brutal Nazi commandant depicted in Schindler's List.   When Jennifer Teege, a German-Nigerian woman, happ ... more
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Fighters in the Shadows: A New History of the French Resistance by Robert Gildea - £20.00
The story of the French Resistance is central to French identity, but it is a story built on myths. 'La Résistance française' was not simply a national effort to free the country from German occupation, but a wider struggle, filled with conflicts and ... more
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Goddesses, Whores, Wives and Slaves: Women in Classical Antiquity by Sarah B. Pomeroy - £16.99
"The classic, groundbreaking account of women's lives in Greece and Rome... The first treatment of women in the ancient world reflect the critical insights of modern feminism."(Mary Beard, Times Literary Supplement) What did women do in ancient Gr ... more
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The Monocled Mutineer by John Fairley & William Allison - £10.00
The best-selling book behind the BBC Drama ‘The Monocled Mutineer’, starring Paul McGann as the ‘ringleader’ of the Étaples Mutiny, Percy Toplis, with a new introduction by John Fairley.   In 1917, British, New Zealand and Australian troops st ... more
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England, Arise: The People, the King and the Great Revolt of 1381 by Juliet Barker - £10.99
A fascinating and evocative account of the Peasants' Revolt from the acclaimed author of Agincourt.  The dramatic and shocking events of the Peasants' Revolt of 1381 are to be the backdrop to Juliet Barker's latest book: a snapshot of what ever ... more
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Easter Widows by Sinead McCoole - £14.99
One week in May 1916, seven Irish women became widows. When they had married their husbands they had embarked on very different lives. They married men of the establishment; one married a lecturer, two others married soldiers, another a civil servant ... more
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The Frood: The Authorised & Very Official History of Douglas Adams by Jem Roberts - £9.99
As a wise ape once observed, space is big – vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly so. However, if you look too closely at space, it becomes nothing but lumps of rock and sundry gases. Sometimes it's necessary to take a step back, and let a few billion year ... more
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How to Win a Roman Chariot Race: Lives, Legends and Treasures from the Ancient World by Jane Hood - £8.99
Who first thought of atoms? How much can you learn about archaeology from an oil lamp? Who came up with the theory of the ‘wandering womb’?   Oxford Classicist Jane Hood delves into the history, culture, literature, mythology and philosophy of ... more
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Trans: A Memoir by Juliet Jacques, with an Afterword by Sheila Heti - £14.99
"Six weeks before sex reassignment surgery (SRS), I am obliged to stop taking my hormones. I suddenly feel very differently about my forthcoming operation."(Juliet Jacques) In July 2012, aged thirty, Juliet Jacques underwent sex reassignment surge ... more
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The Blue Touch Paper: A Memoir by David Hare - £20.00
When, in 2000, the National Theatre published its poll of the hundred best plays of the 20th century, David Hare had written five of them. Yet he was born in 1947 into an anonymous suburban street in Hastings. It is a world he believes to be as compl ... more
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Pedigree by Patrick Modiano - £14.99
"It's a book less on what I did than on what others, mainly my parents, did to me"   Taking in a vast gallery of extraordinary characters from Paris' post-war years, Pedigree is an autobiographical portrait of Post-War Paris and a tumultuous ... more
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Philip Larkin: Life, Art and Love by James Booth - £9.99
Philip Larkin was that rare thing among poets: a household name in his own lifetime. Lines such as 'Never such innocence again' and 'Sexual intercourse began / In nineteen sixty-three' made him one of the most popular poets of the last century. &nbs ... more
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Democracy by Alecos Papadatos, Annie Di Donna and Abraham Kawa - £18.99
It is 490BC and Athens is at war. Leander, trying to rouse his comrades for the morrow's battle against a far mightier enemy, begins to recount the story of his own life. Having witnessed the evils of the old tyrannical regimes and the rise of a new ... more
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Stranger Than We Can Imagine: Making Sense of the Twentieth Century by John Higgs - £20.00
The twentieth century should make sense. It's the period of history that we know the most about, an epic geo-political narrative that runs through World War One, the great depression, World War Two, the American century and the fall of the Berlin Wal ... more
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Worktown: The Astonishing Story of the Project That Launched Mass Observation by David Hall - £20.00
The astonishing story of the project that launched Mass Observation.  In the late 1930s the Lancashire town of Bolton witnessed a ground-breaking social experiment. Over three years, a team of ninety observers recorded, in painstaking detail, the eve ... more
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Hiroshima by John Hersey - £1.99
2015 is the 70th anniversary of Hiroshima, when, at 8.15am, an atomic bomb was dropped over the Japanese city, killing one hundred thousand men, women and children in its white fury.   John Hersey's spare, devastating report on the attack was ... more
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Village of Secrets: Defying the Nazis in Vichy France by Caroline Moorehead - £9.99
A SUNDAY TIMES TOP FIVE BESTSELLER SHORTLISTED FOR THE SAMUEL JOHNSON PRIZE 2014   From the author of the New York Times bestseller A Train in Winter comes the extraordinary story of a French village that helped save thousands who were pursued by ... more
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(browse related category History & Biography )