DVD Review – Hitler, a Journey Through His World, Then and Now

D0188

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Emmy AwardTM winning film maker Bob Carruthers takes us on a journey into the world of Adolf Hitler. There has been so much coverage of Hitler, so many biographies from those who claimed to have been close to him, so much propaganda coverage by the Allies, so many attempts by historians to explain and dissect Hitler, that it seems impossible for anything new to emerge or any better telling of a much told story. However, this DVD produces fresh insight in an absorbing presentation. In many respects, Hitler was an unexceptional product of recent German history.

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BookPick: A Visitor’s Guide to Jane Austen’s England

B2135

Now that Thomas Kydd finds himself mingling at the highest levels in English society his horizons have changed immeasurably from those of the humble wig-maker who was press-ganged into the Royal Navy in 1793. Sue Wilke’s book is a very readable eye-witness guide to Kydd’s new world.

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Book Review – The Real Sherlock Holmes, The Hidden Story of Jerome Caminada

B2186

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The author has had many articles published on the topics of family history and discovered Caminada during her research into her own family history. This has resulted in a book that is highly descriptive of life and crime in Manchester in the last three decades of the 19th Century. It is a gripping tale of one extraordinary detective in his attempts to clean up the Manchester underworld. The book will appeal strongly to all those interested in tracing their roots and in past social structures, but it provides a highly entertaining and informative insight into crime and crime fighting. The purist may baulk at the ‘real Sherlock Holmes’ connection because Holmes was a creation seen from an early forensic scientist’s perspective. It laid this view alongside the Victorian interest in ‘detecting’, whereas Caminada is a Victorian policeman who used determination and ‘modern’ techniques to achieve success in fighting real crime and real criminals in the grimy conditions of a major late Victorian city that had experienced large numbers of immigrants who combined with rural Britons drawn from the land to the cities.

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Book Review – Pirate Nation, Elizabeth I and her Royal Sea Rovers

B2139

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This is a thoughtful and provoking account of English seamen who started the process of developing a global Empire, linked by sea routes. As with any provoking history, there will be readers who fully accept the author’s interpretation and those who reject it, but both groups will find much that is of great interest to them, making this a highly desirable book.

This is a thoughtful and provoking account of English seamen who started the process of developing a global Empire, linked by sea routes. As with any provoking history, there will be readers who fully accept the author’s interpretation and those who reject it, but both groups will find much that is of great interest to them, making this a highly desirable book.

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Book Review – Life in the Victorian Kitchen, Culinary Secrets and Servants Stories

B2184

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It has been said that an army marches on its stomach, the kitchen is the heart of the home, and that nations can be judged by their cuisine. The Victorians were at a turning point in the preparation of British food. The author has provided a comprehensive review of the Victorian kitchen and how it was supported, painting a vivid picture of Victorian life and complementing the range of Victorian themed books produced by the publisher. This is a delightful account of the part food played in Victorian life and contains many surprises for most readers.

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Book Review – Warriors of the Sky, Springbok Air Heroes in Combat

B2138

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The author flew two tours with the RAF, flying Mustangs, Typhoons and Kittywakes. After WWII he was a delivery and personal pilot, becoming a South African citizen. In this new book, he tells the under-told story of South African pilots, flying for the RAF and the SAAF there are many photographs through the body of the book to support the text. Many of the photographs are rare or previously unpublished. This is an enjoyable and informatory study of South Africans in air combat that will be appreciated by a wide readership of aviation enthusiasts.

The author has covered the variety of South Africa flyers and experiences through WWII and on into the South African Air Force. What stands out is the courage, determination and esprit de corps of South African airmen. This is a great book and highly recommended.

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Book Review – Whitechapel’s Sherlock Holmes, The Casebook of Fred Wensley OBE KPM Victorian Crime Buster

B2137

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Fred Wensley was the son of a Somerset gardener who travelled London and joined the Metropolitan Police in 1888 and retired 41 years later as Chief Constable of Detectives. His life as a policeman was extraordinary and has been captured very ably in this book. There are some very helpful photo plate sections and this is a most informative book, not just in recounting and extraordinary life, but is exposing the state and development of policing into the forensically driven industry that it is today.

Wensley received the first Police medal to be awarded, was appointed OBE and dubbed “The Greatest Detective of All Time”. The author has brought to life this exceptional policeman in a very readable book.

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Book Review – The Secret World of the Victorian Lodging House

B2136

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The publisher has been expanding a range of books covering topics from Victorian England. This new book compares well with others in the series and provides yet one more set of insights into Victorian society. The industrial revolution and the rapid expansion of Empire brought great riches to the British Isles, but it also saw people drawn from agriculture to the industries and towns, where many lived in appalling poverty. Many turned to drink and opium. The author has provided a graphic view of the Victorian Lodging House and the sights, sounds and smells that surrounded it. Historical research and imagination are combined to present a compelling image of the joys and sorrows of Victorian life.

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Book Review – A Visitor’s Guide to: Jane Austen’s England

B2135

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A delightful book where the author leads the reader through a long lost world that has been immortalized in the writings of Jane Austen. This is a most comprehensive review of the English society in the late 18th and early 19th Century, where the agricultural society was giving way to industry and urban society. There is detail and anecdotes, with a photo plate section in illustration.

The author has captured the amazing environment and drawn the reader into that environment. The reader could ask no more.

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