Category: NHTB

Black Victorians: Hidden in History

A landmark work of revisionist history exploring and celebrating the lives of Black Victorians.

Our vision of Victorian Britain tends to the monolithic – white, imperialist, prurient, patrician. However, though until very recently overlooked in our textbooks, there was another, more diverse Britain, populated by people of colour marking achievements both ordinary and extraordinary.

In this deeply researched, dynamic and revelatory history, Woolf and Abraham reach back into the archives to recentre our attention on marginalised Black Victorians, from leading medic George Rice to protestor William Cuffay to attention-grabbing abolitionists Henry ‘Box’ Brown and Sarah Parker Remond; from pre-Raphaelite muse Fanny Eaton to composer Samuel Coleridge Taylor. Black Victorians shows how Black lives were visible, present and influential – not temporary presences but established and rooted; and how paradox and ambivalence characterised the Victorian view of race.

PRAISE FOR THE WONDERS

A promising young historian’ Stephen Fry

Nuanced and complex, Woolf deftly shows there are stories of empowerment alongside those of exploitationBBC History magazine

John Woolf’s book will dazzle you with details of extraordinary lives, long underestimated by history’ Matthew Sweet, author of Inventing the Victorians

Hotbed: Bohemian New York and the Secret Club that Sparked Modern Feminism

The dazzling story of the early feminists who blazed a trail for the movement’s most radical ideas

New York City, 1912: in downtown Greenwich Village, a group of women gathered, all with a plan to change the world.

This was the first meeting of ‘Heterodoxy’, a secret social club. Its members were passionate advocates of women’s suffrage, labour rights, equal marriage and free love. They were socialites and socialists; reformers and revolutionaries; artists, writers and scientists. Hotbed is the never-before-told story of the club whose audacious ideas and unruly acts transformed an international feminist agenda into a modern way of life.

For readers who loved Mo Moulton’s Mutual Admiration Society and Francesca Wade’s Square Haunting.

Scheisse! We’re Going Up!

THE EXTRAORDINARY STORY OF A CLUB ON THE RISE AND A CITY IN FLUX. THIS IS UNION BERLIN.

No football club in the world has fans like Union Berlin. The underdogs from East Berlin have stuck it to the Stasi, built their own stadium, and even given blood to save their club. But now, they face a new and terrifying prospect: success.

Scheisse! tells the human stories behind the unexpected rise of this unique club. But it’s not just about football. Union’s tale is interwoven with a witty cultural history of contemporary Berlin that shines a light on the social issues which still define the German capital thirty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Scheisse! will appeal to readers who are captivated by sports biographies such as Raphael Honigstein’s Das Reboot and social history like John Kampfner’s Why The Germans Do It Better.

Vagabonds: Life on the Streets of Nineteenth-century London – by BBC New Generation Thinker 2022

Compelling, moving and unexpected portraits of London’s poor from a rising star British historian – the Dickensian city brought to real and vivid life.

Until now, our view of bustling late Georgian and Victorian London has been filtered through its great chroniclers, who did not themselves come from poverty – Dickens, Mayhew, Gustave Doré. Their visions were dazzling in their way, censorious, often theatrical. Now, for the first time, this innovative social history brilliantly – and radically – shows us the city’s most compelling period (1780–1870) at street level.

From beggars and thieves to musicians and missionaries, porters and hawkers to sex workers and street criers, Jensen unites a breadth of original research and first-hand accounts and testimonies to tell their stories in their own words. What emerges is a buzzing, cosmopolitan world of the working classes, diverse in gender, ethnicity, origin, ability and occupation – a world that challenges and fascinates us still.

And The Show Went On

In June 1940, Paris fell to the Nazis who made the world’s cultural capital their favourite entertainment ground. Music halls and cabarets thrived during the occupation, providing plenty of work for actors, singers and musicians except for the Jews. The likes of Maurice Chevalier and Edith Piaf, who had entertained the French troops, now unabashedly provided amusement to the Germans.

After the invasion of France, those artists still in Paris had to find ways to survive. Although Matisse and others kept out of view, Picasso could not avoid Nazi visitors. A few, like Beckett, joined the Resistance. Some were arrested and died in German hands. Others entertained the enemy. The theatres reopened, the movie cameras rolled, galleries sold paintings looted from Jewish families, pro-German writers and their rivals fought in print. Told through the experiences of renowned creative figures and witnesses of the times, And the Show Went On is an authoritative account of how Paris’s artistic world lived through the Occupation during which some suffered Nazi oppression while others prospered through collaboration.

One Kiss or Two?

Every encounter begins with a greeting. Be it a quick ‘Hello!’ or the somewhat longer and gracious ‘Sula manchwanta galunga omugobe!’ shaking hands or shaking, well, rather more private parts of our anatomy, we have been doing it many times daily for thousands of years. It should be the most straightforward thing in the world, but this apparently simple act is fraught with complications, leading to awkward misunderstandings and occasionally even outright violence.

In the illuminating and entertaining One Kiss or Two? Andy Scott goes down the rabbit hole to take a closer look at what greetings are all about. In looking at how they have developed, he discovers a kaleidoscopic world of etiquette, body-language, evolution, neuroscience, anthropology and history. Through in-depth research and his personal experiences, and with the help of experts, Scott takes us on a captivating journey through a subject far richer than we might have expected.