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Anything and everything archives-related.

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  • 03/28/17--00:14: Sharing your family stories
  • I want to highlight some of the titles where writers choose a public forum for their private family secrets to great and very readable effect…

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  • 04/25/17--00:35: Lives on the ocean waves
  • This month I thought we might impart a nautical flavour to our reading recommendations…

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    Discover five books focused on the history of withcraft and magic, and the figure of the witch…

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    'Human lives are marked out in meals,' observes food historian Annie Gray…

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  • 07/25/17--01:02: Something about Jane
  • With the bicentenary of Austen’s death, we look at Austen-related books in our shop...

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  • 08/15/17--05:33: Dunkirk on film and in print
  • Have you seen Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk and now want to explore the history in more depth?

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  • 09/12/17--07:44: Reading about railways
  • Trains cause frustrations at times but where would we be without them?

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    Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat… I know you are in denial, we all are. But Guy Fawkes night has passed and it is high time you knuckled down...

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    It’s getting closer… Not so close that you need to panic: there’s still plenty of time to buy presents. But it is close enough that you need to grasp the...

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    Winston Churchill said in June 1940, ‘We shall fight on the beaches’… and so we did, but we also fought in the huts at Bletchley Park, one of Winston’s best-kept secrets. It was a den of Foreign Office recruits: men and women from all walks of life from chess players to mathematicians to debutantes. This is […]

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    The centenary commemoration of Women’s Suffrage has cast a spotlight of the lives of extraordinary women in the last 100 years. However, today I’d like to go a little further back and look at mother and daughter Mary Wollstonecraft and Mary Shelley. Mary Wollstonecraft was a radical and free thinker. She authored one of the books that form […]

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    When we think about war, it is usually to remember the men and women fighting on the battlefields. Sometimes we forget the animals who served alongside the soldiers, making the difference between life and death, winning or losing. In the First World War, thousands of horses across the country were requisitioned and taken from farms, […]

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  • 03/27/18--01:45: Our mothers’ stories
  • During this Suffrage commemoration year there are increasing numbers of women’s stories appearing on the shelves (hooray). Some of the most intriguing are those written by daughters or granddaughters exploring their female ancestors. They may not always be the most balanced: the relationship between mothers are daughters can be fraught. Sometimes we are too different, or too […]

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    Words have always been a vital part of how we communicate on many levels of human emotion. They can make you feel good, sad, and angry, they can make you laugh and even cry. Cultural and social change in society can also create and establish new words or phrases. We may dismiss these as ‘slang’ […]

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  • 05/22/18--02:44: Summer reading
  • For many people the sudden advent of summer weather means an opportunity to get out to the beach, go for a swim, set out for a run or play some tennis. For committed bibliophiles it means swapping the cup of tea for a G&T and the armchair by the fire for a sun-lounger, and getting our fill […]

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    Over the last May Bank Holiday there was banging and crashing in The National Archives as we worked refresh the layout of the shop. If you have not visited yet, please do come and have a look round. We have taken out the front window and closing doors to open up the floor area and create […]

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  • 07/17/18--01:45: The Home Guard
  • In June 1940, following a scrambled evacuation of troops at Dunkirk, the Second World War was brought home to Britain. As Hitler’s Luftwaffe initiated its bombing campaign on the RAF in the Battle of Britain, destroying some of our major cities in the Blitz, the threat of invasion grew daily. A secondary defence force of […]

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  • 08/14/18--01:45: A Georgian autumn
  • As we move inside, dazed and somewhat sun-struck from our amazing run of totally un-British weather, there is nothing like the prospect of a good solid historical drama to perk up our autumn nights. And this September promises something very special: Thackeray’s ‘Vanity Fair’. We will feast on seven episodes performed by a stellar cast. […]

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    Are you a plan-ahead-with-military-precision type of person? Or more of a go-with-the-flow-embrace-your-inner-spontaneity sort? Just asking, as we have our 2019 diaries and calendars in stock now. There is a great selection this year: classical, practical or ever-so pretty, depending on your taste. If you are already planning first quarter events you should buy one now. […]

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    While the main focus this year has been on anniversaries associated with the First World War and with Suffrage, 2018 also marks the 250th anniversary of the beginning of James Cook’s journeys to the Pacific. As a New Zealander myself, I have a soft spot for Cook. Yes, I know he didn’t ‘discover’ New Zealand. But he […]

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