British and Irish History

Discover the individuals, movements and events that have shaped the story of the British Isles, from the Celts to the British Empire, from Irish rebellions to medieval Scottish Kings – the Folio Society publishes a wide selection of books on British and Irish history. Each book includes beautiful illustrations or carefully researched photographs. See below for the full list of Folio British and Irish History books.

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Dickens' London book

Dickens' London

Charles Dickens

This selection of celebrated essays by Charles Dickens conjures up a peerless, eyewitness account of the 19th-century capital, from the rarefied world of Whitehall to working-class conviviality and blighted slums.

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The Elizabethan Age book

The Elizabethan Age

A. L. Rowse

Often called the golden age of English culture, the Elizabethan age saw an unprecedented explosion of creativity in the arts and commerce. In this rich portrait of the time, Rowse examines English society under Elizabeth and the lasting influence of the era, still resonating today.

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Five Days in London, May 1940 book

Five Days in London, May 1940

John Lukacs

A ‘political turncoat, a dangerous adventurer’; a ‘delightful rogue who lacked political judgement’ – today few people would guess that these were descriptions of one of the most admired statesmen of the 20th century – Winston Churchill. Yet as historian John Lukacs points out, when Churchill took over as Prime Minister in May 1940, he was not well-liked.

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God's Englishman book

God's Englishman

Christopher Hill

This exhilarating book has never been surpassed as a portrait of Oliver Cromwell and his times. Introduced by Tristram Hunt MP.

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The History of England from the Accession of James II book

The History of England from the Accession of James II

Thomas Babington Macaulay

One of the greatest and most influential works of history, Macaulay's History of England covers the period from 1685 to 1702. Beginning with James II's troubled reign, Macaulay unravelled the complex web of 17th-century politics setting a new standard for future historians, both in terms of scholarship and style.

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History of the English Church and People book

History of the English Church and People

Bede

Bede, the father of English history, created a dramatic narrative which remains the most valuable chronicle of Anglo-Saxon England in existence and an unrivalled account of the early days of Christianity.

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The History of the Kings of Britain book

The History of the Kings of Britain

Geoffrey of Monmouth

In his seminal chronicle, Geoffrey of Monmouth traces the history of Britain, ‘best of islands’, from its legendary foundation by the Trojan king Brutus, through the Roman occupation, to the heroic age of Arthur and the coming of the Saxons. Presented and read at the time as a historical account, it is in fact a beguiling mixture of fact, myth and legend.

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Holinshed: Chronicles book

Holinshed: Chronicles

Raphael Holinshed

A feat of Elizabethan scholarship and printing, this towering work traces the history of Great Britain – from the bravery of Boudicca to the troubled reign of Mary, Queen of Scots. This Folio edition includes all the most famous and significant passages.

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Letters To Vicky book

Letters To Vicky

Edited by Andrew Roberts

Queen Victoria was 39 when her daughter Vicky left home as the bride of Prince Frederick of Prussia. Edited by Andrew Roberts for The Folio Society, this edition of their extraordinary correspondence provides an unparalleled insight into the lives and times of two queens.

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Pax Britannica book

Pax Britannica

Jan Morris

In the magisterial and highly acclaimed Pax Britannica trilogy, Jan Morris traces the decline and fall of this greatest of empires, from Victoria's accession to the death of Winston Churchill in 1965. Spanning six continents and covering more than a century, this superb work compares with Gibbon’s Decline and Fall, both for its scholarship and wit.

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Restoration London book

Restoration London

Liza Picard

A marvellous, kaleidoscopic social history of London during the 1660s, from Pepys to the Great Fire. Introduced by Jenny Uglow.

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Rural Rides book

Rural Rides

William Cobbett

Rural Rides is a classic portrait of rural life from one of the remarkable characters of the 19th century: William Cobbett, a noted journalist, farmer and fiery voice calling for reform. Praised by writers from Matthew Arnold to A. J. P. Taylor, his account of his journeys around southern England has never been out of print since it was first published in 1830.

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Enigma: The Battle for the Code book

Enigma: The Battle for the Code

Hugh Sebag-Montefiore

No episode in the history of the Second World War has captured the imagination more vividly than the deciphering of the Enigma code messages by a group of eccentric boffins at Bletchley Park.

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The Wars of the Roses book

The Wars of the Roses

Desmond Seward

Claiming the lives of thousands, including three kings and eight dukes, the bloody conflict between the Houses of York and Lancaster fuelled three decades of turbulence. Desmond Seward’s engrossing work focuses on five individuals from both sides, including Yorkist hero William Hastings and Jane Shore, disgraced mistress of Edward IV.

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The Wooden World book

The Wooden World

N. A. M. Rodger

In this ground-breaking social history, Nicholas Rodger explodes the Victorian myth of the Georgian Navy as a ‘floating hell’ to reveal how the navy became the greatest sea power in the world.

Out of print Price: US$ 79.95

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