The Nazis Nuremberg Rallies

The Nazis Nuremberg Rallies by James Wilson and published by Pen & Sword Books. £19.99

I've always been fascinated in the Nuremberg Rallies because we've all seen the newsreel clips and Hitler can be seen talking to many thousands of people and they all seem to be at his command. I suppose I'm always fascinated by how he captured their attention and what was he saying to command their attention and it all seemed so loyal.

This book by James Wilson is excellent in that it goes into great detail, such as the organisation of the events, the layout, how things displayed and what was said. The book really does bring each and every rally to life, the book also has some rare photos that I haven't seen before and it also displays posters and postcards designed for the events. So you get to see the propaganda on multiple levels, which is great if your interested in seeing how things are branded or portrayed.

So important were these rallies that you can even see how some of today's politicians have copied the rhetoric, stance and how the words are spoken. The book is also complimented by some short biographies of all the Nazi power players, which helpfully adds some depth to the events. Overall this is a very good book and you get a real understanding of the events themselves, it would be nice to see another book similar to this that shows of some more of the publicity/propaganda.

The 19th Century Underworld

Written by Stephen Carver and published by Pen & Sword History.

Now for me anyway this is one of those books you get and you can't wait to get home and start reading it. Mainly because I have a love for a bit of crime and underworld, especially from the 19th century because it was a time when crime fighting hadn't been sorted out really, and some of the things that went on were really grim and deplorable. Now this book looks at lots of different things, the things that stick in my mind are the bodysnatchers, setting up the start of a crime bureau, children getting a very rough time, funerals and just the sheer number of different jobs that were around at the time There is the obligatory section that covers Jack the Ripper, a crime that will never be solved.

What makes this book apart from the writing and content is that it is so well written that it makes you fell a bit grimy and dirty too. Especially as the Dickesian era was such a dark and grim time. If I had one negative note about the book, it's that it is very London centric but then that it is very much what we know when reading about this time in history. Because London was so big and everything happened there, it's only normal that most authors gravitate towards the capital. This book is very well written and big thumbs up to the author and Pen & Sword Books. The book is absolutely fantastic and I will give it my highest mark in 5 stars out of 5.

Bloody Mary - Tudor Terror

Written By Phil Carradice and published by Pen & Sword History

For someone who had a short reign Mary Tudor certainly packed enough into life, despite having much of her life going against her due to her position in life and her beliefs. In my life anyway, I hadn’t really ever looked deeply into the subject of Mary Tudor, and to be honest at school and university she was always glossed over or seen as someone who was unimportant. Now this book published by Pen & Sword History although short, it is high in information and quality.

The author of the book Phil Carradice books writes a very well written book that seems very well researched and writing. As a newcomer to the subject I thoroughly enjoyed taking in all the facts in what turned out to be a very bloody reign. We are taken through the growing up period and then the reign but it doesn’t shy away from anything, and you read all about the religion, burnings and conflicts that Mary Tudor went through. I would recommend this book especially as a newcomer to the subject and the book is very well written and I personally would give it a 4 stars out of 5.

The History of Women's Lives in Oxford

A History of Women’s Lives in Oxford is written by Nell Darby and published by Pen & Sword Books, one of a series of books looking at the lives of women in various towns and cities around the country.

Now you would expect a book about the history of women’s lives in Oxford to be a little dry and a tad bit boring, I mean when you think about what is Oxford famous for and you’ll probably say universities. But far from it indeed this is a very informative and interesting book looking at mainly the last 150 years, it covers various subjects from health to prisons and work life to education. It’s not just about middle class women who can attend university it’s is about many classes of women and how life has affected them in Oxford.

I probably enjoyed the chapter about work life the most as I always find this section the most interesting and there is usually more written about women in their work life than any other. While you would expect life in Oxford to quite appealing or a little non-descript, women who lived in Oxford had a hard life too, maybe not as much in other British cities like Liverpool of London, but women did still have to fight their way to the top here too.

This book is very good and informative, it also benefits the reader a lot in that it has a list of primary sources and references listed which gives that added quality feel to it that makes you think the book has been very well researched and sourced by the author Nell Darby.

This book is one I would recommend to others along with the other books in this series that has been published by Pen & Sword Books.

Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet

Written by Chris Paton and published by Pen & Sword History.

The author Chris Paton has provided an excellent guide and resource for conducting Irish research online. This book is so much more than a superficial list of obvious websites. The author has gone into great detail about the various resources available in both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. It's also broken into geographical sections to help you hone into a specific location. Another good thing that the book does is that it lists companies and trades to help you find what you need.

Don't expect a quick survey of what's available. This work is filled with a plethora of Irish websites and history, all described with clarity and purpose. This book is for the researcher who wants to leverage the tools of online research. Having previously done my own family history, which was Welsh and suffers the same as Irish names in that a majority can found under one surname. You need that little extra help in pushing you in the right direction.

I would strongly recommend this title if you are willing to do some serious Irish research on your ancestors, it will certainly get you that one step ahead of the rest.


Royal Women

Written By Erin Lawless and published by Pen & Sword History

Forgotten Royal Women is beautiful and well written book that looks back over the lives of women in the background of royal life. Some of the wives, mothers, sisters and cousins, the women who get forgotten about or written about. It’s like bringing their lives out of the cupboard for a change rather than just concentrating on the male protagonists. The author of the book looks at about 30 women and writes short, explanations and stories of their lives. Some down to earth and ‘normal’ and some rather surprising stories. These are all very well written but also interspersed with some little bits of humour.

What is also good about the book is that it is not just about English women there is information about English, Scottish, Welsh and Irish women which helps give the book a wider spectrum rather than it being dominated by English royalty. Unlike the majority of royal books about Kings and Queens, where your informed of all the battles, politics and ruling of various crowns. This book tells us of the stories and politics that went on in the background surrounding the female members of the families of the time. What also makes the book ideal is that it covers such a long time span from Scota 1400BC to Princess Charlotte in 1796.

In conclusion, I would recommend this book to anyone with an interest in royal history or women’s history. I would say that it is fascinating to read all the little biographies, with some that you can quite sympathise with. If there is anything that I would have liked, would have been that the biographies were a little longer or more in-depth, on the odd occasion just as you were getting to a story it was ending. I would give this book a 4 out of 5 stars.