Unusual history books

18 Tiny Deaths

18 Tiny Deaths

Bruce Goldfarb

The unlikely tale of Frances Glessner Lee and her revolutionary work in forensic science through the creation of the Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death, a series of dollhouse-sized crime scene dioramas that she used to teach...

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More: The 10,000-Year Rise of the World Economy

More: The 10,000-Year Rise of the World Economy

Philip Coggan

A panoramic history of trade, industry and economic thought, from prehistoric times to the present.

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The Mathematics of the Gods and the Algorithms of Men

The Mathematics of the Gods and the Algorithms of Men

Paolo Zellini

A masterful cultural history of mathematics from bestselling Italian mathematician and philosopher Paolo Zellini.

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Thrust: A Spasmodic Pictorial History of the Codpiece

Thrust: A Spasmodic Pictorial History of the Codpiece

Michael Glover

A laugh-out-loud visual history of the strangest piece of men's clothing ever created: the codpiece.  

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Magdalena: River of Dreams

Magdalena: River of Dreams

Wade Davis

From the bestselling author and winner of the Samuel Johnson Prize: the epic story of Colombia's Rio Magdalena and of the country's past, present and future

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 Read reviewDifficult Women: A History of Feminism in 11 Fights

Difficult Women: A History of Feminism in 11 Fights

Helen Lewis

The first book by the acclaimed journalist Helen Lewis - the imperfect and unfinished story of the battles for women's rights

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The Five: The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper

The Five: The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper

Hallie Rubenhold

Miscast in the media for nearly 130 years, the victims of Jack the Ripper finally get their full stories told in this eye-opening and chilling reminder that life for middle-class women in Victorian London could be full of social...

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 Read reviewThe Lost Pianos of Siberia

The Lost Pianos of Siberia

Sophy Roberts

Fusing history, nature writing and travelogue, The Lost Pianos of Siberia is a captivating exploration of an extraordinary and largely unknown part of the world and its unexpected musical legacy.

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The Mystery of the Exploding Teeth and Other Curiosities from the History of Medicine

The Mystery of the Exploding Teeth and Other Curiosities from the History of Medicine

Thomas Morris

Blending fascinating history with lacerating wit, The Mystery of the Exploding Teeth will take you on a tour of some of the funniest, strangest and most wince-inducing corners of medical history.   

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The Secret Lives of Colour

The Secret Lives of Colour

Kassia St Clair

The unforgettable history of colours and the vivid stories behind them in a beautiful multi-coloured volume

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A History of the World in 21 Women: A Personal Selection

A History of the World in 21 Women: A Personal Selection

Jenni Murray

The inimitable Jenni Murray celebrates great women from around the world - rescuing some from obscurity and shining a new light on familiar names

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Blitzed: Drugs in Nazi Germany

Blitzed: Drugs in Nazi Germany

Norman Ohler, Shaun Whiteside

The sensational German bestseller on the overwhelming  role of drug-taking in the Third Reich, from Hitler to housewives. 

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The Butchering Art

The Butchering Art

Lindsey Fitzharris

In The Butchering Art, historian Lindsey Fitzharris recreates a critical turning point in the history of medicine, when Joseph Lister transformed surgery from a brutal, harrowing practice to the safe, vaunted profession we know...

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Blue Lake

Blue Lake

David Sornig

I'm here already, in the bleak, awful hour on Dudley Flats in which the final dereliction of Elsie Williams will come to pass. I'm beginning with it, so you won't be under any illusion as to how it ends.

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James Hardy Vaux's 1819 Dictionary of Criminal Slang

James Hardy Vaux’s 1819 Dictionary of Criminal Slang

Simon Barnard

From the award-winning author and illustrator Simon Barnard comes an embellished version of Australia's first ever dictionary, published on its 200-year anniversary

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Wanderlust: A History of Walking

Wanderlust: A History of Walking

Rebecca Solnit

A profound and meandering modern classic about the historical, political and philosophical paths traced by walkers, their routes and the act of walking

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Operation Babylift

Operation Babylift

Ian W. Shaw

The dramatic and heart-warming story of the last-minute evacuation of hundreds of orphaned babies from South Vietnam in the dying days of the Vietnam War and of the brave Australian nurses who made it happen.

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Other Minds: The Octopus and the Evolution of Intelligent Life

Other Minds: The Octopus and the Evolution of Intelligent Life

Peter Godfrey-Smith

What if intelligent life on Earth evolved not once, but twice? The octopus is the closest we will come to meeting an intelligent alien. What can we learn from the encounter?

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Defeating the Ministers of Death

Defeating the Ministers of Death

David Isaacs

The compelling story of vaccination.

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Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind

Yuval Noah Harari

Planet Earth is 4.5 billion years old. In just a fraction of that time, one species among countless others has conquered it. Us. We are the most advanced and most destructive animals ever to have lived. What makes us brilliant?...

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1947: Where Now Begins

1947: Where Now Begins

Elisabeth Asbrink, Fiona Graham

As the clock strikes the end of the war, the time begins to turn towards a new age - the one we call now.

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 Read reviewThe Future is History: How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia

The Future is History: How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia

Masha Gessen

Putin's bestselling biographer reveals how, in the space of a generation, Russia surrendered to a more virulent and invincible new strain of autocracy.

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 Special priceThe Witch: A History of Fear, from Ancient Times to the Present

The Witch: A History of Fear, from Ancient Times to the Present

Ronald Hutton

Why have societies all across the world feared witchcraft? This book delves deeply into its context, beliefs, and origins in Europe's history

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