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Our latest books cover a fascinating range of subjects - from royalty to entertainment and transport to military history - our books are the perfect companion through the holiday season.

 

The British Horror Film

By Ian Fryer

When Hammer broke box office records in 1957 with The Curse of Frankenstein, the company not only resurrected the Gothic horror film, but created a particularly British-flavoured form of horror that swept the world. The British Horror Film is your guide to the films, actors and filmmakers who have thrilled and terrified generations of movie fans. In one book, you will find the literary and cinematic roots of the genre to the British films made by film legends such as Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff to Hammer's triumphs starring Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing, and the post-Hammer horrors such as Peter Walker's Frightmare and huge British-made successes, including Alien and the zombie craze of the 21st century. The history, films, stars, directors and studios, all in one fascinating, fun and fact-filled volume. Whether you are an absolute beginner or a seasoned gorehound, you will find everything you ever wanted to know about the British horror movie, but were too bone-chillingly afraid to ask.

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The End of the German Monarchy:
The Decline and Fall of the Hohenzollerns

By John Van der Kiste

In 1871, after three victorious wars against several European nations, King William I of Prussia was proclaimed German Emperor at a grand ceremony in Versailles. By 1900, the empire rivalled Britain as the most powerful nation in Europe in economic and military terms, if not the world. However, by the end of the First World War, the defeated Second Reich had fallen, and with it the ruling Hohenzollern dynasty, with its once-mighty figurehead, William II, an exile in Holland forbidden to enter his old country again. While his and his descendants' chances of restoration to the throne were always slight, throughout the unsettled years of the Weimar republic, the Hitler era and the Second World War, a few members of the family and their most ardent supporters never entirely gave up hope. The End of the German Monarchy examines the rise and fall of the monarchy, the personalities of the emperors and empresses, their relationships with Prince Bismarck and the Imperial chancellors who followed him, and later the republican and Nazi leaders on whom their dreams of a second coming later depended.

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Sustaining Air Power: Royal Air Force Logistics since 1918

By Trevor Stone

The Royal Air Force is the world's oldest independent air arm, yet little has been written about its logistics. This ground-breaking book, which draws on 25 years of original archival research, opens the hangar door on this highly important discipline that has been at the forefront of supporting British air power since 1918. Written by a former senior RAF logistics officer and supplemented by material from veterans and currently serving military personnel, Sustaining Air Power since 1918 explores the fascinating development of RAF logistics. This journey, just short of a century, explores the inter-war years, Second World War, Cold War and the major campaigns the service has been involved in since the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1990. The main narrative ends in 2014 with the RAF's withdrawal from Afghanistan. Dedicated chapters consider the more specialist aspects of logistics such as tactical and expeditionary logistics, fuels and explosives, transport, training, information technology and how the RAF has managed its extensive supply chain. Richly illustrated, its content and style will appeal to a wide readership.

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Vauxhall
Britain's Oldest Car Maker

By Ian Coomber

Vauxhall has been making cars in Britain for longer than anyone else. The first Vauxhall car left a cramped Thames-side works in 1903. Moving to Luton in 1905, Vauxhall became famous as a maker of sporting and luxury cars. Bought by the American giant General Motors, the company entered the era of mass production and, with the addition of Bedford trucks and vans, became one of the top five UK producers. After the Second World War, Vauxhall became the household name it is today with models such as Viva, Astra, Cresta, Victor, Nova, Cavalier and Vivaro. The journey from the Thames to today's plants at Ellesmere Port and Luton is full of twists, turns, dramas and triumphs, and continues with the announcement of the sale of General Motors European operations to the PSA Groupe. The author worked at Vauxhall for 38 years, from apprentice to boardroom. He has told the Vauxhall story with the benefit of years of experience and a lifelong passion for the marque.

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The Earls of Essex
A Tale of Noble Misfortune

By Robert Bard

This is the dramatic, often erratic, and at times unbelievable story of the fortunes and misfortunes over 900 years to the present day of one of England's premier aristocratic families, who in 1661 were given the Earldom of Essex by Charles II. This previously untold story begins just after the Norman Conquest and ends at the present day. Over a period of 400 years, the Capell family built a fortune, and over the next 500 years, lost it due to an incredible number of mistakes, bad judgement calls, and misfortunes. The Earls of Essex examines the rise and fall of this family, providing in-depth analysis and judgement on the reasons behind their decline.

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RAF Liberators Over Burma
Flying With 159 Squadron

By Bill ‘Enoch’ Kirkness and Matt Poole

RAF wireless operator/air gunner Bill 'Enoch' Kirkness flew thirty-two B-24 Liberator bomber sorties, twenty-eight of which were against Japanese targets in Burma. He was credited with downing the night fighter that killed a crewmate and severely damaged his Liberator; his aircraft’s crash landing abruptly ending his first tour. Bill was subsequently awarded a Distinguished Flying Medal. His memoir of Wellington ferry flights, Liberator training, and ops with 159 Squadron typifies aspects of the human spirit, which any young man immersed within such a conflict would have likely experienced. Bill wore his heart, not just his sergeant's stripes, on his sleeve. His story is a compelling, dignified account of an average man’s war from 1942 into 1944 in the UK, the Mediterranean, Africa, and onwards through his first operational tour based in India.

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Hermann Goering
Blumenkrieg, from Vienna to Prague 1938-39

By Blaine Taylor

The year 1938–39 was when Hitler set out on the road of pre-war bloodless conquests, which led to the actual shooting combat over Poland in September 1939. Both willing and unwilling, Hermann Goering was his main acolyte in achieving the peaceful military occupations of Austria and the Czech–German Sudetenland in 1938, followed by that of Bohemia and Moravia. Prior to this, Goering played perhaps the key role in the Nazi overthrow of the Third Reich's conservative military and foreign services, being named field marshal as his reward. A major factor in making the Allies back down to Germany at the infamous Munich Pact Conference, Goering's Luftwaffe was the key bargaining chip that gained these unprecedented territorial acquisitions for Hitler - all without a shot being fired. He also helped achieve alliances with Fascist Slovakia and Italy. The year 1938 also witnessed Goering's role in the aftermath of the Kristallnacht action against German Jews that was a notable way station on the road to the Holocaust.

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The Last Years of Steam Around the East Midlands

By Michael Clemens

The Last Years of Steam Around the East Midlands covers many of the railways across the area and the locomotives that worked over them. In the main, the time period covers the ten years or so from the late 1950s up to the end of steam working in the East Midlands.

In addition to steam locomotives, some of their diesel replacements will also be shown. A number of industrial locations will also be visited, and in particular, the book explores the now-closed Ironstone Railways of the East Midlands.

The photographs, a mixture of colour and black and white, come mostly from those taken by the author and his late father, with the balance coming from his father’s old friends. Most of the photographs have never been published, with all images accompanied by an extensive and informative commentary.

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