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Regional and General

Regional and General ~ Recent Titles

John Taylor, Travels and Travelling, 1616-1653, edited by John Chandler

John Taylor (1578-1653), known in his lifetime and ever since as the ‘Water-Poet’, wrote some two hundred pamphlets on every conceivable subject of interest to his contemporaries. A native of Gloucester who became a London waterman, he employed his ebullient wit and facility with words to make a reputation, if not a fortune, from his writing in prose and verse. His descriptions of the fourteen journeys he made between 1616 and 1653 around Britain (and twice to the continent), are not only entertaining to read, but an important source for anyone interested in travel, places and society before, during and just after the Civil Wars. This expanded edition of a work first published in 1999 includes the two foreign adventures and a group of pamphlets describing carriers, coaches, inns and taverns, with brief introductions to each work, annotations and an index of places and people.

October 2020, 512pp, paperback, £18.95, ISBN 978-1-906978-91-4.

John Leland Itinerary: a Version in Modern English edited by John Chandler

John Leland’s Itinerary is one of the key documents of English local history, offering eye-witness descriptions of hundreds of towns and villages, castles, monasteries and gentry houses during the reign of Henry VIII, by one of the most intelligent and learned observers of his era. But it is not straightforward – Leland became insane before he had time to organise his notes into a coherent and systematic account of his journeys. He left for posterity a jumbled mass of material, written partly in Latin, partly in robust Tudor English, to be plundered, damaged and in some cases lost by later antiquaries, and not published until the eighteenth century. John Chandler’s modern English version, based on the standard edition by Lucy Toulmin Smith of 1906-10, was first published in 1993 and has been long out of print. In it he identified place and personal names, and rearranged everything of topographical interest into historic English counties, with maps and a detailed introduction. For this new edition he has corrected the text, added parts of the material relating to Leland’s travels in Wales, revised the introduction, and established a reliable chronology for the surviving accounts of five journeys which Leland undertook between 1538 and 1544. While Leland’s actual words will continue to be quoted by historians of the places he visited, this rendering into modern English offers an accessible and absorbing window on the world of our towns and countryside almost five centuries ago. April 2022, liv, 529pp, maps, paperback, £25.00, ISBN 978-1-914407-29-1.

Debt of Honour: Winchester City’s First World War Dead, by Jen Best

Incorporating notes and appendices, including a reprint of the Winchester War Service Register of those from the city who served. Edited, with an Introduction by Tom Beaumont James. Winchester city men served and died in all three services and in all theatres of war in the Great War. They joined a wide range of units from home and the colonies. However they have no engraved memorial of their names, unlike those from other towns and villages in Hampshire. Why? Through a brief introduction and reconstructed biographies under their names and their Winchester addresses this book commemorates their sacrifice, repaying a ‘Debt of Honour’ to these forgotten men a century on. The memorial biographies are accompanied by a reprint of the War Service Register for the city of Winchester which was a record published by the city in 1921 and believed to be a full record of those who served and died. November 2018, lvi, 407 pages, paperback, £14.95, ISBN 978-1-906978-65-5 (also available casebound, £19.95, ISBN 978-1-906978-66-2).

Riverwatch: the waterside diaries of a naturalist angler, by Mark Everard

A celebration and insight into the wonders of Britain’s diverse river life as it changes with the turn of the seasons.  It comprises a collection of vignettes about nature revealing itself month by month to the patient river-watcher, touching upon the many values that rivers confer upon us and pausing for some deeper musings en route.  These observations and insights are gleaned from a lifetime in thrall to rivers, enriched by many hours spent beside them as a scientist, naturalist and angler. The author, an associate professor at the University of the West of England, is an authority on water ecosystems and lives in north Wiltshire. August 2018, 170 pages, illustrations, paperback, £9.95, ISBN 978-1-906978-57-0.

Roman Britain: the Frontier Province. collected papers by Mark Hassall

Studies in the history of Roman Britain based on the documentary sources. During a distinguished academic career Mark Hassall, Emeritus Reader in Roman Archaeology at the UCL Institute of Archaeology, has published extensively on Roman Britain, and this collection brings together twenty of his most significant articles, encompassing early and later military history, the frontier and the province; and including subjects such as the army, administration, towns, religion, education and trade.  It serves as a valuable and broad-ranging resource for students of the Roman province, and specifically considers the literary and epigraphic record of Britannia across four centuries. December 2017, 291 pages, illustrated, casebound, £18.00, ISBN 978-1-906978-42-6.

Flesh and Bones, of Frome Selwood and Wessex, by Annette Burkitt

It is the year 934. A winter court of King Athelstan of Wessex is being held at Frome in Somerset, a market town in the forest of Selwood. The church of St John the Baptist, the Saxon monastery founded by St Aldhelm and the nearby royal palace are the settings for the court’s continuing attempts to merge British and Saxon kingdoms into a single nation. In the relic room of the monastery a clerk, Nonna, delves into the deep past of the local landscape and the Britons of the former kingdom of Dumnonia. Britons and Saxons, Heaven and Hell, relics and reliquaries, jealousy and intrigue, fiction and fact are woven into a story of Wessex in the 10th century. Based upon original documentation, secondary sources and recent historical thought, Flesh builds a fictional story on a synthesis of the Bones of archaeology, history, folklore and place-name research. It aims to bridge the gap between the academic and the general reader, for whom the Dark Ages are still, sadly, just that. December 2017, 388 pages, with author’s illustrations, paperback, £12.95, ISBN 978-1-906978-50-1.

Bristol’s Stage Coaches, by Dorian Gerhold.
Groundbreaking study of all aspects of coaching between Bristol, Bath and London, and Bristol and other destinations, by the acknowledged authority on pre-railway road transport. A scholarly but readable treatment which penetrates the romantic veneer to provide the key to understanding the stagecoach system as a whole. October 2012, 326 pages, illustrations, maps and tables, paperback, £17.95, ISBN 978-1-906978-15-0.

Shot for a White-Faced Deer: Life at the New Forest Edge, 1837-1914, by Stephen Ings.

This eloquent and finely observed social history charts the lives of a rural population whose horizons were defined by the Hampshire and Wiltshire countryside between Salisbury, Romsey and Fordingbridge. Their unassuming stories of joy and celebration, mingled with sadness and poverty, are told with great insight and sympathy, and make a significant contribution to our understanding of the Victorian and Edwardian world so wholly removed from our own. It is a profoundly moving and sensitive account, expertly told in the finest tradition of English country writing. October 2010, 229 x 152mm, 222 pages, illustrations, paperback, £12.95, ISBN 978-1-906978-00-6.

The Pump Room Orchestra, Bath, by Robert Hyman and Nicola Hyman.

This is a pioneering and entertaining history of the City of Bath’s Pump Room Band over three centuries. It explores the triumphs and tragedies of the musicians who took to the stage of the famous Pump Room and the audience who followed them. It is co-written by a current Pump Room Trio violinist, with a Foreword by Tom Conti. Illustrated throughout. November 2011, 214 pages + 8 pages of colour, £14.95. ISBN 978-0-946418-74-9.

A Wessex Nativity: Celebrating Midwinter in Somerset, Dorset and Wiltshire, compiled by John Chandler.

Every year it creeps up on us. We love it or hate it, but we cannot ignore it. Christmas and all its wintry associations – old customs, merry-making, feasting and worshipping – have inspired some of the finest, most intriguing, most memorable writing in the English language. And much of it emanates from the counties of Somerset, Dorset and Wiltshire, the area that has come to be known as Wessex. For two decades John Chandler has been collecting Christmas poetry, fiction, folklore and traditions from all over Wessex – the odd and obscure alongside all the old favourites. And here it all is, a sumptuous Christmas banquet served up with all the trimmings, to delight anyone interested in the history of Wessex, or the history of our winter celebrations. November 2010, 229 x 152mm, 420 pages, illustrations, paperback, £14.95, ISBN 978-1-906978-22-8.


The Floss on the Mill: the re-awakening of a watermill, by Desna Greenhow.

Otterton Mill, in rural East Devon, was derelict and neglected when the author moved into the Mill House next door. This book celebrates a 25-year plus adventure of restoring it to working order and creating in its buildings an extraordinary centre for arts and crafts, natural foods, education and entertainment. 2004, 144-page illustrated (by Jed Falby) paperback, £8.95, ISBN 0-946418-20-9.

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