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By Stephen E Harding, David Griffiths, Elizabeth Royles. Pbk. 204 pages – 12 colour & 80 B/W illustrations. CRC Press 2014. ISBN 9781482207576. £31.39.
In Search of Vikings presents a collection of papers from experts in a broad range of disciplines, including history, archaeology, genetics, and linguistics, to provide a detailed understanding of the Vikings in peace and in war. This book focuses on one particularly exciting area of the Viking world, namely the north-west region of England, where they are known to have settled in large numbers. North-west England was the crossroads between Ireland, Scotland, Wales, the Isle of Man, and the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms. It was a battleground for distant powers and dynasties, and its Irish Sea coastline created opportunities for trading and settlement. Silver hoards, burials, and Old Norse place-names attest to the Viking presence, and Scandinavian DNA is detectable amongst the modern population. The 12 integrated studies in this book are designed to reinvigorate the search for Vikings in this crucial region and to provide must-reading for anyone interested in Viking history.
To order online see http://www.crcpress.com/product/isbn/9781482207576
By Susan Chambers. Pbk. 160 pages. Barnsley: Pen & Sword Books 2015. ISBN 9781783463534. £12.99 plus £4.00 p&p.
This book tells the story of the city and its people throughout the long years of the First World War, from the carefree days of Spring 1914, to the solemn tones of the first Remembrance Day in November 1919. At the outbreak of war, Chester was transformed from a county market town with pleasant shops and day-trippers to a bustling, frantically busy military centre. As its men departed, the city settled down to the hard work of dealing with their absence in so many vital jobs a challenge eventually tackled by many of the city’s women.
Although it soon became clear that many men would never return, life in the city went on and everyone played their part; the cinemas and theatres stayed open, as did the pubs (though with reduced hours). Concerts kept the public entertained and raised vital funds, while news films kept people up-to-date with the latest from the Front.
As well as life on the Home Front, the book also looks at the men of the various sections of the Cheshire Regiment, including the 1st Battalion, who played a vital role in the Battle of Mons.
Illustrated with over eighty period photographs, this book will appeal to military and social historians alike.
Available from the publishers at www.pen-and-sword.co.uk or call 01226 734222.
By Prof Emeritus Graeme J White. Pbk. xiv + 353 pages. Chester: University of Chester Press 2014. ISBN 9781908258199. £14.99.
Although there has only been a University of Chester since 2005, its predecessor, Chester College, dates back further than most UK universities, having been founded in 1839. This books celebrates its 175th anniversary in 2014. Its story is a remarkable one of survival and success. The early college was a pioneering venture and it still houses the first buildings in England specifically designed for the training of teachers. However, it came near to closure three times, only to emerge intact and stronger than before.
This fascinating book tells the little known story of one of Chester’s major institutions. For information on how to order see http://www.chester.ac.uk/node/25540.