Books of Interest by speakers at our meetings

English Sea Power 871-1100 AD by John Pullen-Appleby Anglo-Saxon Books  Thetford 

Anglo-Saxon rulers understood the concept and strategic importance of sea power and, during the 9th and 10th centuries, it was a powerful offesive weapon against England’s enemies. Citing evidence from the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle and other sources, this study examines English sea power under Edgar, Aethelred II, Cnut, Edward the Confessor and Harold. John Pullen-Appleby looks at the range of seafaring activities taking place, at the resources of the Crown and how expertise and crew were financed and assembled, at the institutons and practices of sea power, tactics and the results of offensive campaigns. Finally, he examines the ships themselves, naval technology, the nature of England’s ports and coastline and how these figured in the activities of the fleet, finding that provision for using a navy existed in most coastal areas.

Matt Lewis

The murder of the Princes in the Tower is the most famous cold case in British history. Traditionally considered victims of their ruthless uncle, there are other suspects too often and too easily discounted. There may be no definitive answer, but by delving into the context of their disappearance and the characters of the suspects Matthew Lewis examines the motives and opportunities, afresh as well as asking a crucial but often overlooked question: what if there was no murder? What if Edward V and his brother Richard, Duke of York, survived their uncle’s reign and even that of their brother-in-law Henry VII? There are glimpses of their possible survival and compelling evidence to give weight to those glimpses, which is considered alongside the possibility of their deaths to provide a rounded and complete assessment of the most fascinating mystery in history.

Paul Rusiecki

The book brings into focus the social, economic, political and religious strains caused by the war. Education was forced to adapt in the face of massive disruption and industry too; the contribution to victory made by firms that switched to war work is analysed.

A picture emerges through the records kept by individuals of how Essex people viewed wartime events both at home and much further afield – the successes and failures of their own government and the actions of both allies and enemies.

Above all, this is the story of how the people of Essex survived the most extraordinary challenges they had ever faced, ultimately emerging with a sense of having earned the right to eradicate the gross inequalities that had marred society for so long.

Paul Rusiecki is a member of the Essex Branch of the Historical Association committee.

Ken Worpole

On Lady Day, 25 March 1943, a group of radical pacifists took possession of a 300-acre farm in Frating, Essex, creating a self-sufficient community of up to 50 adults and children and a sanctuary for refugees and prisoners-of-war, which lasted for twelve years. In No Matter How Many Skies Have Fallen, writer & social historian Ken Worpole recreates the life of Frating Hall Farm through the recorded memories of the children who grew up there, together with archive documents, letters, photographs, recalling the passionate ideals of the back-to-the-land movement in wartime and post-war England. The book is beautifully designed and contains many evocative photographs, maps and testimonies, combined to recreate the ‘lost history’ of one of the most remarkable idealistic rural communities of its kind in the 20th century.

Published by Little Toller Books, May, 2021. £14

 Dr.Vivien Newman’s

Her latest books are all available through Amazon and Pen and Sword:

‘We Also Served – The forgotten Women of the First World War’

Tumult and Tears: The Story of the Great War Through the Eyes and Lives of its Women Poets

‘Regina Diana: Seductress, Singer, Spy

‘Suffragism and the Great War’

Children and War 1914 – 1918′

 Dr.Nicola Tallis

The Crown of Blood: the Deadly Inheritance of Lady Jane Grey

Elizabeth’s Rival: the Tumultuous Tale of Lettys Knollys, Countess of Leicester

The Uncrowned Queen: the Life of Margaret Beaufort