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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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’ – in May, 1940 Winston Churchill's reputation as Britain's greatest statesman was by no means certain

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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.

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The History of the Kings of Britain book

The History of the Kings of Britain

Geoffrey of Monmouth

A thrilling narrative of heroic kings and monsters, dramatic sea-scapes and dark forests, of battles, blood and prophecies. Above all, however, as its name suggests, it is a highly influential work of history to rival Bede or Livy.

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Longitude book

Longitude

Dava Sobel

A fascinating story of perilous seas and brilliant innovation, accompanied by wonderful colour photographs.

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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 Victorians book

The Victorians

A. N. Wilson

An epic portrait presented in an exquisite edition.

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The Age of Illusion book

The Age of Illusion

Ronald Blythe

Britain between the wars is brilliantly and entertainingly chronicled in this book by the author of Akenfield.

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Between Two Worlds book

Between Two Worlds

Malcolm Gaskill

The story of how the English settled in America, revealed through hundreds of contemporary letters, journals, books and more.

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Colditz: The Full Story book

Colditz: The Full Story

Major P. R. Reid

Historian James Holland introduces a richly illustrated edition.

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The Deeds of the English Kings book

The Deeds of the English Kings

William of Malmesbury

Malmesbury’s fascinating, ebullient history is presented anew in a beautifully designed edition featuring full-page illuminations.

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The Diary of a Country Parson book

The Diary of a Country Parson

The Reverend James Woodforde

An idyllic existence brought to life in the famously charming diary of Parson Woodforde.

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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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Elizabeth I and Her Circle book

Elizabeth I and Her Circle

Susan Doran

An insightful look into the inner life of one of England’s most famous queens, with particular emphasis on the relationships that would prove to have the greatest impact on her life.

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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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The Elizabethan Underworld book

The Elizabethan Underworld

Gāmini Salgādo

A lively study of the seamier side of Shakespeare’s London, revealing in brilliant detail its dangers and delights

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