Tag Archives: History Book

A Very Short Introduction to World War I by Michael Howard

I have purchased several of the books in this series recently. They were recommended (at least the historical ones), when I was doing my degree as short and sweet introductory texts to historical periods written by specialist academics.

Screen Shot 2018-08-03 at 12.20.30Readable and small

The thing is, they’re jolly readable. If you want a pocket-sized quick read to carry around with you in the dark recesses of your bag for any happenstance where you’re left stranded somewhere (like I do, because I’ve had one too many cars breakdown and like to be prepared), then these books are baby gems.

Questions about WWI

I’ve always wanted to learn about World War I. I did learn about the Great War when I was in primary school, I think, but that was a long time ago and you don’t necessarily learn the key things you want to know when you’re older.

Like why did it start?

Who was on which side?

Why did it become a World War?

How many people really died?

What and where were the eastern and western fronts?

Screen Shot 2018-08-03 at 12.20.21

A pocket-sized read

All these questions bubbling around in the stream of my thoughts and finally an easily readable book to give me the base level facts, figures and theories. The best part about it being that it’s not just another ‘popular’ history, it’s published by the trusted Oxford University Press.

So what better time to choose to crack on and read this bad boy than as part of my ‘book a month’ challenge?

Everyone should read this

I just can’t recommend this book enough if you want an overview of World War I. And I just can’t recommend it enough if you don’t, because what I’ve learned from reading it, is that we should always remember. People are right when they sell poppies and say ‘Lest we forget’ around the 11th November every year.

The sheer loss of life is incomprehensible. I’d heard that before, but I couldn’t help repeatedly exclaiming it to anyone who was near me at the times I was reading this book. It is shocking and honestly makes you question the human race. It makes you thankful for those who gave their lives, for those who still do, and it makes you think we should always remember.

Next read

You can probably guess that I’ve bought the World War II equivalent to this. I read the above one first for obvious reasons, and because I know WWI had such a profound impact on the starting of WWII (which I know a tad more about but not a lot, I’m not much of a modern historian), I wanted to really get my head around it.

I won’t lie, I don’t remember a great deal of what I read in the World War I book because there is just SO much. I’ll need to read it again soon. But I can say I’m very glad I read it.


Castles, Customs & Kings – STOP The Presses….actually….START All The Presses!

Now I have been remiss, no, not just remiss, I have been appallingly, devastatingly, rubbishly, remiss in telling anyone about the wonderful book Castles, Customs and Kings (Madison Street Publishing, 2012), which contains, among the hundreds of finely penned articles, an historical article by yours truly!

So exciting, and why haven’t I mentioned this properly before? Well, I could bore you with excuses of holidays, starting back to university, helping my husband repaint our ENTIRE house (he did most of it mind), and numerous other compelling events which came to pass and disrupted my flow of information to all you dazzling bloggerites, however I won’t (even though I basically just did), I will merely get onto the pressing matter at hand.

Castles, Customs and Kings, Edited by Debra Brown & M. M. Bennetts

Castles, Customs and Kings, Edited by Debra Brown & M. M. Bennetts

Castles, Customs and Kings is a book for history lovers of all ages, shapes and sizes. It, in short, is the compilation of the first year of articles posted on the English Historical Fiction Authors website. Now these articles have all been written by authors of historical novels. You might say, “But all novellists do is make stuff up and base characters on vexating people they know” but, aha! That is not all we historical fiction authors do, in fact, we spend rather a large jolly chunk of time researching things about the time period we are writing in.

For instance, you can’t have your heroine arriving at a Regency ball in the back of a Renault Clio – or any other car make for that matter. You have to know about the vehicles, the roads, what buildings were built, how long it took to get somewhere by horse and carriage, what clothes were worn, what fabrics were available and above all, the most important thing in my opinion, what everyone ate!

So this is what we do, we research, and actually it’s all rather fascinating. This book is a culmination of loads of intriguing tidbits from the Romans to the twentieth century gathered by authors like me in their pursuit of a novel. You can learn about Boadicea, about the beginnings of the knights Templar, who William the Conquerer was before he was a Conquerer, about witches and princesses, about the three weddings of James I of England, about metrosexuals in Georgian England, about Mr. Darcy stripping off, about class distinctions in Regency England (my article, by the way 😉 ), about Victorian remedies, about Downtown Abbey and many more tidbits from the immense and fantastical stream that is the ever-flowing past.

This is the kind of book that is perfect to delve into any part of history at any time. It’s great for all you people who just love your historical facts and to be honest, it’s the perfect coffee table book which can be picked up for a few minutes to read an article and then left lovingly on the table again until next time.

The calibre of authors contributing to this book is incredibly high and I shall be purchasing one, not just because I have an article included, but because this is a great book for authors and readers alike with so many fascinating articles included.

Check it out on Amazon UK and Amazon USA now and buy your copy – I guarantee you will not be disappointed and if you’re unsure, then you can view a sample of the book by clicking on the cover and you can have a read of a few of the articles and examine the contents for yourself.

So go, be gone from my blogsite, purchase your copy and enjoy everyoneeeeee!!! xxx