Amberley Blog

  1. Dark Crimes of Jarrow by Natasha Windham

    So, what is your connection to the once turbulent Tyneside town of Jarrow? Perhaps the roots of your family tree, like mine, are bound to the streets once lined by rows of terraced houses with multiple occupancies? Are your ancestors buried in the walled cemeteries close to the River Don or were their names permanently cast in newspaper print because...
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  2. War Lord: Khalifa Haftar and the Future of Libya by John Oakes

    Since the Arab Spring and anti-Ghaddafi uprising on the streets of Benghazi on 14th February 2011, Libyans have known little or no respite from violence. In the battles to topple Muammar Ghaddafi his enormous ‘Armory of Islam’ was looted, and arms spread both inside Libya and to neighbouring countries. In the vacuum in Libya left by his demise, power shifted...
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  3. Highways to the Highlands by Eric Simpson

    My fascination with the Highlands goes back a long way. Cycle tours in my schoolboy days and then being a keen hillwalker and Munro-bagger intensified my interest in the story of the Highlands and its people. My interest in the history of tourism brought me to consider why tourism became such an important factor in the history of the Highlands...
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  4. 50 Finds of Early Medieval Coinage by John Naylor

    Over the last twenty-five years there’s been a quiet revolution going on in British archaeology. During this time, the evidence from archaeological excavations has been joined by objects discovered by members of the public. These have been recorded of through a project covering England and Wales called the Portable Antiquities Scheme (or PAS for short). Run by the British Museum...
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  5. Keep Out! Britain's Forbidden Places by Edward Couzens-Lake

    There are, at a rough estimate, around 1,575 former Royal Observer Corp facilities scattered throughout Great Britain. The one at the top of Mill Hill in my home village of Brancaster in Norfolk had always held a grim fascination for me, which made it an easy choice to use as an example when I wrote about these ROC sites in...
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  6. A-Z of Truro by John Husband

    I am not Truro born, nor do I live in the city, and my knowledge is confined to its most iconic buildings and celebrated sons.  A survey of the many books about the city, websites and a walking tour with a city guide helped me to compile my list, and the challenge of coming up with entries for every letter...
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  7. Illustrated Tales of Essex by John Wade

    When Amberley Publishing emailed me out of the blue to ask if I would be interested in writing a book for them, it came as a bit of a surprise. It turned out that a commissioning editor had seen some of the articles I had written and illustrated for This England magazine and thought my writing and photography style might...
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  8. Fierce Chemistry: A History of UK Drug Wars by Harry Shapiro

    This book has been about 15 years in the making. Back in 2005, I was Director of Communications for a drug charity called DrugScope. The world of illegal drug use and drug addiction is an extremely emotional and polarised environment in which to work. There are ideological clashes at every turn between doctors, between doctors and clients, between politicians, between...
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  9. 'Make-up Matters' - Painted Faces by Susan Stewart

    Over the centuries, wearing make-up has often been mocked as little more than frippery, on occasions applied with intent to deceive and, in more god-fearing times in history, even downright evil. The truth is cosmetics have always been important. In today’s world, make-up is generally applied with the intention of maximising the aesthetic appeal of the face and body, in...
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  10. Blithe Spirits: An Imaginative History of the Poltergeist by S. D. Tucker

    In an extract from his book Blithe Spirits: An Imaginative History of the Poltergeist, SD Tucker asks whether or not ghosts might be better thought of as being funny than as frightening. We do not think of ghosts as being funny. Scary, yes. Mysterious, of course. Some may even find them rather magical and awe-inspiring in their nature. And yet...
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