History books 2021 small

History books

A comprehensive (see notes) list of history books published in the UK. Books we have reviewed have a pink background and are put at the top! Icons pop up when you hover over (or hold down your finger on) the covers, linking to Amazon (πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ and πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ) and also our review (πŸ“) if available. If you want to filter this list by period, region, sphere or country click here (you will need to view on a desktop for full filtering functionality).

Dress Codes: How the Laws of Fashion Made History

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Dress Codes: How the Laws of Fashion Made History
A Story of Us: A New Look at Human Evolution

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A Story of Us: A New Look at Human Evolution
Making Deep History: Zeal, Perseverance, and the Time Revolution of 1859

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Making Deep History: Zeal, Perseverance, and the Time Revolution of 1859
Norse America: The Story of a Founding Myth

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Norse America: The Story of a Founding Myth
Empire of Silver: A New Monetary History of China

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Empire of Silver: A New Monetary History of China
The Horde: How the Mongols Changed the World

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The Horde: How the Mongols Changed the World
Checkmate in Berlin: The Cold War Showdown that Shaped the Modern World

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Checkmate in Berlin: The Cold War Showdown that Shaped the Modern World
About Time: A History of Civilization in Twelve Clocks

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About Time: A History of Civilization in Twelve Clocks
The Last Embassy: The Dutch Mission of 1795 and the Forgotten History of Western Encounters with China

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The Last Embassy: The Dutch Mission of 1795 and the Forgotten History of Western Encounters with China
Himalaya: A Human History

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Himalaya: A Human History
The Battle of Hastings: The Fall of the Anglo-Saxons and the Rise of the Normans

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The Battle of Hastings: The Fall of the Anglo-Saxons and the Rise of the Normans
The Werewolf in the Ancient World

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The Werewolf in the Ancient World
Icebound: Shipwrecked at the Edge of the World

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Icebound: Shipwrecked at the Edge of the World
The Last Slave Ships: New York and the End of the Middle Passage

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The Last Slave Ships: New York and the End of the Middle Passage
Moscow Monumental: Soviet Skyscrapers and Urban Life in Stalin's Capital

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Moscow Monumental: Soviet Skyscrapers and Urban Life in Stalin's Capital
The Volga: A History

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The Volga: A History
Past and Prologue: Politics and Memory in the American Revolution

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Past and Prologue: Politics and Memory in the American Revolution
Legions of Pigs in the Early Medieval West (Yale Agrarian Studies Series)

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Legions of Pigs in the Early Medieval West (Yale Agrarian Studies Series)
The Dignity of Labour: Image, Work and Identity in the Roman World

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The Dignity of Labour: Image, Work and Identity in the Roman World
Relations of Power: Women's Networks in the Middle Ages

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Relations of Power: Women's Networks in the Middle Ages
Formation: The Making of Nigeria from Jihad to Amalgamation

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Formation: The Making of Nigeria from Jihad to Amalgamation
Peace, Poverty and Betrayal: A New History of British India

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Peace, Poverty and Betrayal: A New History of British India
Codebreaker Girls: A Secret Life at Bletchley Park

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Codebreaker Girls: A Secret Life at Bletchley Park
An Infinite History: The Story of a Family in France over Three Centuries

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An Infinite History: The Story of a Family in France over Three Centuries
Empireland: How Imperialism Has Shaped Modern Britain

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Empireland: How Imperialism Has Shaped Modern Britain
China 1949: Year of Revolution

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China 1949: Year of Revolution
Britain Alone: The Path from Suez to Brexit

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Britain Alone: The Path from Suez to Brexit
The Ghost of Galileo: In a forgotten painting from the English Civil War

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The Ghost of Galileo: In a forgotten painting from the English Civil War
Athens After Empire: A History from Alexander the Great to the Emperor Hadrian

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Athens After Empire: A History from Alexander the Great to the Emperor Hadrian
The Blood of the Colony: Wine and the Rise and Fall of French Algeria

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The Blood of the Colony: Wine and the Rise and Fall of French Algeria
Empire and Righteous Nation: 600 Years of China-Korea Relations: 14 (The Edwin O. Reischauer Lectures)

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Empire and Righteous Nation: 600 Years of China-Korea Relations: 14 (The Edwin O. Reischauer Lectures)
Epic Iran: 5000 Years of Culture

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Epic Iran: 5000 Years of Culture
The First Kingdom: Britain in the age of Arthur

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The First Kingdom: Britain in the age of Arthur
Princes of the Renaissance

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Princes of the Renaissance
Dog's Best Friend: A Brief History of an Unbreakable Bond

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Dog's Best Friend: A Brief History of an Unbreakable Bond
London and the Seventeenth Century: The Making of the World's Greatest City

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London and the Seventeenth Century: The Making of the World's Greatest City
Roman Britain's Missing Legion: What Really Happened to IX Hispana?

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Roman Britain's Missing Legion: What Really Happened to IX Hispana?
The Last Shah: America, Iran, and the Fall of the Pahlavi Dynasty (Council on Foreign Relations Books)

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The Last Shah: America, Iran, and the Fall of the Pahlavi Dynasty (Council on Foreign Relations Books)
George Washington: The Political Rise of America's Founding Father

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George Washington: The Political Rise of America's Founding Father
White Freedom: The Racial History of an
  Idea

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White Freedom: The Racial History of an Idea
River Kings: A New History of Vikings from Scandinavia to the Silk Roads by Cat Jarman

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River Kings: A New History of Vikings from Scandinavia to the Silk Roads by Cat Jarman
Queens of Jerusalem: The Women Who Dared to Rule

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Queens of Jerusalem: The Women Who Dared to Rule
Inventing the World: Venice and the Transformation of Western Civilization

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Inventing the World: Venice and the Transformation of Western Civilization
The Enlightenment: The Pursuit of Happiness, 1680-1790

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The Enlightenment: The Pursuit of Happiness, 1680-1790
Life after Gravity: Isaac Newton's London Career

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Life after Gravity: Isaac Newton's London Career
What Britain Did to Nigeria: A Short History of Conquest and Rule

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What Britain Did to Nigeria: A Short History of Conquest and Rule
The Western Front: A History of the First World War

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The Western Front: A History of the First World War
The Wood Age: How one material shaped the whole of human history

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The Wood Age: How one material shaped the whole of human history
Ceramic, Art and Civilisation: Art and Civilization

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Ceramic, Art and Civilisation: Art and Civilization
The Gun, the Ship, and the Pen: Warfare, Constitutions and the Making of the Modern World

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The Gun, the Ship, and the Pen: Warfare, Constitutions and the Making of the Modern World
Four Lost Cities: A Secret History of the Urban Age

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Four Lost Cities: A Secret History of the Urban Age
Fugitive Freedom: The Improbable Lives of Two Impostors in Late Colonial Mexico

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Fugitive Freedom: The Improbable Lives of Two Impostors in Late Colonial Mexico
The World Before Us: How Science is Revealing a New Story of Our Human Origins

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The World Before Us: How Science is Revealing a New Story of Our Human Origins
The Handshake: A Gripping History

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The Handshake: A Gripping History
The Bookseller of Florence: Vespasiano da Bisticci and the Manuscripts that Illuminated the Renaissance

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The Bookseller of Florence: Vespasiano da Bisticci and the Manuscripts that Illuminated the Renaissance
Loot: Britain and the Benin Bronzes

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Loot: Britain and the Benin Bronzes
The Florentines: From Dante to Galileo

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The Florentines: From Dante to Galileo
The Plague Cycle: The Unending War Between Humanity and Infectious Disease

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The Plague Cycle: The Unending War Between Humanity and Infectious Disease
The Musical Human: A History of Life on Earth

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The Musical Human: A History of Life on Earth
The Making of a King: Antigonus Gonatas of Macedon and the Greeks

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The Making of a King: Antigonus Gonatas of Macedon and the Greeks
A Short History of Humanity: How Migration Made Us Who We Are

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A Short History of Humanity: How Migration Made Us Who We Are
Nuclear Folly: A New History of the Cuban Missile Crisis

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Nuclear Folly: A New History of the Cuban Missile Crisis
To Kidnap a Pope: Napoleon and Pius VII

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To Kidnap a Pope: Napoleon and Pius VII
The Hunt for Mount Everest

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The Hunt for Mount Everest
The Red Prince: The Life of John of Gaunt, the Duke of Lancaster

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The Red Prince: The Life of John of Gaunt, the Duke of Lancaster
Henry VII and the Tudor Pretenders: Simnel, Warbeck, and Warwick

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Henry VII and the Tudor Pretenders: Simnel, Warbeck, and Warwick
Barbarossa: How Hitler Lost the War

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Barbarossa: How Hitler Lost the War
King and Collector: Henry VIII and the Art of Kingship

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King and Collector: Henry VIII and the Art of Kingship
Year 1: A Philosophical Recounting

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Year 1: A Philosophical Recounting
The Ever-Changing Past: Why All History Is Revisionist History

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The Ever-Changing Past: Why All History Is Revisionist History
The Bomber Mafia: A Story Set in War

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The Bomber Mafia: A Story Set in War
Blood and Diamonds: Germany’s Imperial Ambitions in Africa

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Blood and Diamonds: Germany’s Imperial Ambitions in Africa
Doom: The Politics of Catastrophe

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Doom: The Politics of Catastrophe
Never Greater Slaughter: Brunanburh and the Birth of England

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Never Greater Slaughter: Brunanburh and the Birth of England
Bretons and Britons: The Fight for Identity

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Bretons and Britons: The Fight for Identity
Alexandria: The Quest for the Lost City

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Alexandria: The Quest for the Lost City
Silchester Revealed: The Iron Age and Roman Town of Calleva

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Silchester Revealed: The Iron Age and Roman Town of Calleva
The Sumerians: Lost Civilizations

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The Sumerians: Lost Civilizations
An Inky Business: A History of Newspapers from the English Civil Wars to the American Civil War

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An Inky Business: A History of Newspapers from the English Civil Wars to the American Civil War
The Anglo-Saxons: A History of the Beginnings of England

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The Anglo-Saxons: A History of the Beginnings of England
The Ground Breaking: The Tulsa Race Massacre and an American City's Search for Justice

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The Ground Breaking: The Tulsa Race Massacre and an American City's Search for Justice
The King's Painter: The Life and Times of Hans Holbein

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The King's Painter: The Life and Times of Hans Holbein
Latitude: The astonishing journey to discover the shape of the earth

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Latitude: The astonishing journey to discover the shape of the earth
Ancestors: A prehistory of Britain in seven burials

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Ancestors: A prehistory of Britain in seven burials
The Viking Great Army and the Making of England

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The Viking Great Army and the Making of England
Madhouse at the End of the Earth: The Belgica’s Journey into the Dark Antarctic Night

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Madhouse at the End of the Earth: The Belgica’s Journey into the Dark Antarctic Night
Midnight's Borders: A People's History of Modern India

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Midnight's Borders: A People's History of Modern India
William Blake vs the World

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William Blake vs the World
Wake: The Hidden History of Women-Led Slave Revolts

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Wake: The Hidden History of Women-Led Slave Revolts
France: A Short History

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France: A Short History
The Idea of Europe: A Critical History

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The Idea of Europe: A Critical History
Condemned: The Transported Men, Women and Children Who Built Britain's Empire

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Condemned: The Transported Men, Women and Children Who Built Britain's Empire
Forget the Alamo: The Rise and Fall of an American Myth

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Forget the Alamo: The Rise and Fall of an American Myth
Trading with the Enemy: Britain, France, and the 18th-Century Quest for a Peaceful World Order

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Trading with the Enemy: Britain, France, and the 18th-Century Quest for a Peaceful World Order
An Atlas of Extinct Countries

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An Atlas of Extinct Countries
The Sacred Band: Three Hundred Theban Lovers Fighting to Save Greek Freedom

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The Sacred Band: Three Hundred Theban Lovers Fighting to Save Greek Freedom
Architecture: From Prehistory to Climate Emergency

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Architecture: From Prehistory to Climate Emergency
Cairo 1921: 10 days that made the middle east

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Cairo 1921: 10 days that made the middle east
Voyagers: The Settlement of the Pacific

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Voyagers: The Settlement of the Pacific
The History of Christianity in Britain and Ireland: From the First Century to the Twenty-First

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The History of Christianity in Britain and Ireland: From the First Century to the Twenty-First
Minerva's French Sisters: Women of Science in Enlightenment France

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Minerva's French Sisters: Women of Science in Enlightenment France
Geniuses at War: Bletchley Park, Colossus, and the Dawn of the Digital Age

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Geniuses at War: Bletchley Park, Colossus, and the Dawn of the Digital Age
Time's Witness: History in the Age of Romanticism

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Time's Witness: History in the Age of Romanticism
Ethel Rosenberg: A Cold War Tragedy

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Ethel Rosenberg: A Cold War Tragedy
We Shall Be Masters: Russian Pivots to East Asia from Peter the Great to Putin

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We Shall Be Masters: Russian Pivots to East Asia from Peter the Great to Putin
The Adventures in Time: The Six Wives of Henry VIII: The Wives of Henry VIII

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The Adventures in Time: The Six Wives of Henry VIII: The Wives of Henry VIII
Central Asia: A New History from the Imperial Conquests to the Present

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Central Asia: A New History from the Imperial Conquests to the Present
The Florentines: From Dante to Galileo: The Transformation of Western Civilization

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The Florentines: From Dante to Galileo: The Transformation of Western Civilization
Meet the Georgians: Epic Tales from Britain’s Wildest Century

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Meet the Georgians: Epic Tales from Britain’s Wildest Century
Fallen Idols: Twelve Statues That Made History

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Fallen Idols: Twelve Statues That Made History
Raised from the Ruins: Monastic Houses after the Dissolution

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Raised from the Ruins: Monastic Houses after the Dissolution
The Invention of Sicily: A Mediterranean History

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The Invention of Sicily: A Mediterranean History
The Science of Abolition: How Slaveholders Became the Enemies of Progress

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The Science of Abolition: How Slaveholders Became the Enemies of Progress
Drunk: How We Sipped, Danced, and Stumbled Our Way to Civilization

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Drunk: How We Sipped, Danced, and Stumbled Our Way to Civilization
Daughters of Edward I

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Daughters of Edward I
Kings as Judges: Power, Justice, and the Origins of Parliaments

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Kings as Judges: Power, Justice, and the Origins of Parliaments
Women and Weapons in the Viking World: Amazons of the North

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Women and Weapons in the Viking World: Amazons of the North
In the Forest of No Joy: The Congo-OcΓ©an Railroad and the Tragedy of French Colonialism

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In the Forest of No Joy: The Congo-OcΓ©an Railroad and the Tragedy of French Colonialism
Until Proven Safe: The History and Future of Quarantine

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Until Proven Safe: The History and Future of Quarantine
In Search of a Kingdom: Francis Drake, Elizabeth I, and the Perilous Birth of the British Empire

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In Search of a Kingdom: Francis Drake, Elizabeth I, and the Perilous Birth of the British Empire
Going to Church in Medieval England

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Going to Church in Medieval England
The Story of Work: A New History of Humankind

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The Story of Work: A New History of Humankind
From Rebel to Ruler: One Hundred Years of the Chinese Communist Party

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From Rebel to Ruler: One Hundred Years of the Chinese Communist Party
The Fall of Robespierre: 24 Hours in Revolutionary Paris

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The Fall of Robespierre: 24 Hours in Revolutionary Paris
The Irish Assassins: Conspiracy, Revenge and the Phoenix Park Murders That Stunned Victorian England

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The Irish Assassins: Conspiracy, Revenge and the Phoenix Park Murders That Stunned Victorian England
The Viking Heart: How Scandinavians Conquered the World

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The Viking Heart: How Scandinavians Conquered the World
Scenes from Prehistoric Life: From the Ice Age to the Coming of the Romans

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Scenes from Prehistoric Life: From the Ice Age to the Coming of the Romans
Antwerp: The Glory Years

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Antwerp: The Glory Years
Lives Between the Lines: A Journey in Search of the Lost Levant

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Lives Between the Lines: A Journey in Search of the Lost Levant
Tunnel 29: Love, Espionage and Betrayal: the True Story of an Extraordinary Escape Beneath the Berlin Wall

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Tunnel 29: Love, Espionage and Betrayal: the True Story of an Extraordinary Escape Beneath the Berlin Wall
All the Frequent Troubles of Our Days: The True Story of the Woman at the Heart of the German Resistance to Hitler

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All the Frequent Troubles of Our Days: The True Story of the Woman at the Heart of the German Resistance to Hitler
The Making of Oliver Cromwell

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The Making of Oliver Cromwell
The Last Prince of Bengal: An Indian Family's Journey from Royalty to Obscurity in the Age of Empire

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The Last Prince of Bengal: An Indian Family's Journey from Royalty to Obscurity in the Age of Empire
Hidden Heritage: Rediscovering Britain’s Lost Love of the Orient

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Hidden Heritage: Rediscovering Britain’s Lost Love of the Orient
A Brief History of Motion: From the Wheel, to the Car, to What Comes Next

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A Brief History of Motion: From the Wheel, to the Car, to What Comes Next
Children of the Night: The Strange and Epic Story of Modern Romania

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Children of the Night: The Strange and Epic Story of Modern Romania
Empire and Jihad: The Anglo-Arab Wars Of 1870-1920

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Empire and Jihad: The Anglo-Arab Wars Of 1870-1920
Hero of Two Worlds: The Marquis de Lafayette in the Age of Revolution

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Hero of Two Worlds: The Marquis de Lafayette in the Age of Revolution
History Of The Caucasus Volume 1

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History Of The Caucasus Volume 1
Woodsmoke And Sage: The Five Senses 1485-1603: How The Tudors Experienced The World

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Woodsmoke And Sage: The Five Senses 1485-1603: How The Tudors Experienced The World
Dancing with Stalin: A True Story of Love and Survival in Soviet Russia

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Dancing with Stalin: A True Story of Love and Survival in Soviet Russia
Blood and Ruins: The Great Imperial War, 1931-1945

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Blood and Ruins: The Great Imperial War, 1931-1945
Powers and Thrones: A New History of the Middle Ages

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Powers and Thrones: A New History of the Middle Ages
Lily's Promise: How I Survived Auschwitz and Found the Strength to Live

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Lily's Promise: How I Survived Auschwitz and Found the Strength to Live
The Dawn of Language: The story of how we came to talk

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The Dawn of Language: The story of how we came to talk
Conclave 1559: The Papal Conclave

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Conclave 1559: The Papal Conclave
Between Two Hells: The Irish Civil War

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Between Two Hells: The Irish Civil War
Index, a History of The: A Bookish Adventure

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Index, a History of The: A Bookish Adventure
Josiah Wedgwood: The Man Who Designed Britain

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Josiah Wedgwood: The Man Who Designed Britain
The Last Viking: The True Story of King Harald Hardrada

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The Last Viking: The True Story of King Harald Hardrada
The Free World: Art and Thought in the
  Cold War

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The Free World: Art and Thought in the Cold War
The Rich and the Pure: Philanthropy and the Making of Christian Society in Early Byzantium

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The Rich and the Pure: Philanthropy and the Making of Christian Society in Early Byzantium
Cuba: An American History

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Cuba: An American History
Century Of Deception: The Birth Of The Hoax In The Eighteenth Century

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Century Of Deception: The Birth Of The Hoax In The Eighteenth Century
The Italian Renaissance and the Origin of the Humanities: An Intellectual History, 1400 to 1800

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The Italian Renaissance and the Origin of the Humanities: An Intellectual History, 1400 to 1800
The Falls of Rome: Crises, Resilience, and Resurgence in Late Antiquity

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The Falls of Rome: Crises, Resilience, and Resurgence in Late Antiquity
Theatres of Restoration: The Palaces, Lives and Loves of the Stuart Kings

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Theatres of Restoration: The Palaces, Lives and Loves of the Stuart Kings
The Making of a King: Antigonus Gonatas of Macedon and the Greeks

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The Making of a King: Antigonus Gonatas of Macedon and the Greeks
What Is History, Now?

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What Is History, Now?
The Chinese Question: The Gold Rushes and Global Politics

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The Chinese Question: The Gold Rushes and Global Politics
Twelve Caesars: Images of Power from the Ancient World to the Modern

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Twelve Caesars: Images of Power from the Ancient World to the Modern
The Story of the Country House: A History of Places and People

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The Story of the Country House: A History of Places and People
Innovation: History of England

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Innovation: History of England
Devil-Land: The English Under Siege, 1588-1688

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Devil-Land: The English Under Siege, 1588-1688
Black Gold: A History of How Coal-Mining Made Britain

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Black Gold: A History of How Coal-Mining Made Britain

Notes (return to top)

  • The purpose of this list is to give you a good feel for all the history books published in hardback in the UK. It is a reasonably exhaustive list but…
  • The list is limited to books which are sold on Amazon.co.uk. This means that some publishers that don’t sell on Amazon will be missed but the vast majority are included.
  • It also uses the date published (for the hardback version of the book) entered onto Amazon.co.uk to determine the publication year.
  • Books shown roughly in date published order, with the ones we have reviewed put right to the top.
  • I have excluded military history books which I see as a category all on its own (and would if included have swamped the non-military history books).
  • I have excluded history books that I see as too “local” eg the many books on particular aspects of the US Civil War, or the many books focussing on relatives of medieval English kings.
  • Finally I might have missed some interesting history books! If you think we have, contact us to let us know.