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The Roman Iron Industry in Britain

Dr David Sim is an archaeologist who has combined studies of the technology of the Roman Empire with his skills as a blacksmith to provide an interesting and insightful study of ancient iron production and is invaluable to students of archaeology and professional archaeologists alike.

This book is particularly useful as a sourcebook or a point for further research as it gives a different perspective to most archaeology books as it is based more on experimental archaeology, allowing us to understand production in a new way. The appendix gives a list of iron artifacts in British museums, thus providing excellent assistance for finding further information. 

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0 Comments | Posted in Blogs By Joe Medhurst and The History Press

Roman Chester: Fortress at the Edge of the World


Mason provides here a very important addition to understanding the Roman Empire and especially Roman Britain. His work gives a chronological analysis of the foundation, growth and decline of the Roman fortress and town throughout and just after the Roman period, and provides a context by discussing what was happening in Britain at the time. Mason's book is not for the uninitiated - you have to have some knowledge of Rome and how she was governed and defended before approaching this book but, once you have that knowledge, you will find reading this book a very rewarding experience, as Mason comprehensively details the life and times of the Roman garrison and later town at Deva.

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0 Comments | Posted in Blogs By Joe Medhurst and The History Press

History’s Narrowest Escapes


In September 1983 the Third World War broke out when the USSR and the USA unleashed their formidable nuclear arsenals against each other.  Eleven months later, the British Prime Minister was among those assassinated by a terrorist bomb during the Conservative party conference. Over four centuries earlier, in January 1536 to be precise, King Henry VIII was thrown from his horse which then fell on top of him, and he was killed.

Neither of these three events actually happened, but had it not been for a twist of fate they surely would have come to pass.  This extremely entertaining, informative volume presents fifty chapters on the above three episodes, plus many more close shaves from the 1st century AD to the present day. 

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0 Comments | Posted in Blogs By John Van der Kiste and The History Press

Great War Fashion: Tales from the History Wardrobe

 

We all know that, next year, in 2014, we are going to be thinking a great deal about the First World War. We’ll spend a lot of time reflecting on the causes, the battles and the aftermath of that terrible conflict. Lucy Adlington’s Great War Fashion, then, is well timed. It offers a well-researched perspective on women’s contributions during that difficult time, but it also offers an alternative point of view from the standard war history, since it’s more about how life went on beyond the shells and trenches and how it went on for women, in particular. 

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0 Comments | Posted in Blogs The Real First World War By Sue Creed and The History Press

The Duchess of Northumberland's Little Book of Poisons, Potions and Aphrodisiacs

 

The luxuriant purple cover itself conveys the promise of potions and this delightful little book does not disappoint.

Drawing as it does on the archives of the present Duchess of Northumberland, creator of the renowned Poison Garden at Alnwick Castle, the Little Book of Poisons, Potions and Aphrodisiacs is indeed a “distillation of centuries of information” about the properties of plants, packaged in neat excerpts taken from the archives of Alnwick Castle.

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0 Comments | Posted in Blogs By Katherine Taylor and The History Press

The Mitford Girls' Guide to Life


When I finished reading Lyndsy Spence’s 
The Mitford Girls’ Guide to LifeI tried to compile a list of adjectives to describe these intriguing sisters. But the list became too long and unwieldy, since the Mitford girls were an interesting bunch with wildly varying personalities and views.

But what I took away from my reading was that underneath this family’s determinedly maintained veneer of light-heartedness lay many sad experiences and challenging circumstances. Some readers might consider that the Mitford girls, born into privilege, were fortunate. But what emerges from Spence’s book is that disappointment, embarrassment, heartbreak and trouble can occur in anyone’s life, privileged or otherwise.

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0 Comments | Posted in Blogs By Sue Creed and The History Press

The Cities of Roman Africa by Gareth Sears

The Roman province of Africa was one of richest in the Empire and as a result has some of the most spectacular remains. "The Cities of Roman Africa" examines the development of urban space and cultural life in this province from the beginnings of Roman rule in the second century BC to the fall of the province of Africa to the Vandals in AD 439.

In this engaging and strikingly illustrated new book, Gareth Sears considers the incorporation of Roman culture into Africa, and its use by African populations and, in particular, their elites. The author also explores the persistence of pre-Roman cultures, and how these factors affected the evolution of the cities, intellectual life and even entertainment under the Republic and Empire.

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0 Comments | Posted in Blogs By Joe Medhurst and The History Press

Mabel Keeps Calm and Carries On


I’ve always known Mabel Lucie Atwell as an illustrator of children’s books. There’s a widely held belief that those who write for children should be opinion-formers, since young readers are the future grown-ups in any society. It’s fitting, then, that an artist linked with many children’s classics should also be doing her bit for the war effort during the two major conflicts of the first half of the twentieth century.

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0 Comments | Posted in Blogs By Sue Creed and The History Press

The Final Whistle


'A moving and educational read '

Stephen Cooper’s book traces the lives of 15 men from Rosslyn Park rugby club who ‘did not live to hear the final whistle’ in 1918. The number of players lost to the London club was significantly higher. Rosslyn Park attracted many young men whose stay in the capital was likely to have been brief. Cooper’s detailed researches put the number of  war casualties as over 70 with  others yet to be traced and, using the sporting analogy, ‘sitting on the bench’. The ages of those already discovered ranged from 20 to 49. Many of their bodies were never recovered with their names recorded on war memorials across the globe. Stephen Cooper, a club man through and through, was moved by the lack of a tangible club memorial and thus set himself the task of presenting a ‘team’s worth’ of case studies.

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0 Comments | Posted in Blogs The Real First World War By Keith Gregson and The History Press

The Piltdown Man Hoax: Case Closed By Miles Russell

 

Miles Russell presents here a fun and interesting account of Charles Dawson, the man behind one of the greatest archaeological frauds in history. He shows us a devious, intelligent man who conducted a host of deceptions leading to fame, property and, had he lived longer, possibly even a knighthood.


The book starts with a brief look at the background of the man himself, his origins, family and motives and what may have led him down the path of deception instead of honest hard research.

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0 Comments | Posted in Blogs By Joe Medhurst and The History Press

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