18th June 2013
In Broadmoor Revealed, Mark Stevens uncovers what life was like for the criminally insane, over one hundred years ago. From fresh research into the Broadmoor archives, Mark has uncovered the lost lives of patients whose mental illnesses led them to become involved in crime.
"Historian Mark Stevens, author of a new book on Broadmoor, says: ‘It was built not just to house these people but to try to rehabilitate them. And the Victorian doctors were surprisingly compassionate. Today, Broadmoor houses many of Britain’s most high-profile criminals, such as Yorkshire Ripper Peter Sutcliffe. The Victorian regime seems somehow gentler by comparison.
Stevens, through his access to archives at the Berkshire Record Office, has researched the fascinating stories of the patients."
17th May 2013
Sir Michael Beetham enjoyed a long and distinguished career in the Royal Air Force. He joined the RAF as a pilot in 1941 and was awarded the DFC whilst serving with Bomber Command during 1943/44. Remaining in the post-war RAF, a number of flying and staff appointments followed
Read more about his supremely successful military career in Stay the distance at the special price of £19.00.
23rd April 2013
A public poll produced a shortlist of 5 battles from a list of 20: Waterloo, Aliwal, D-Day/Normandy, Rorke's Drift and Imphal/Kohima.
The day of debate was held on Saturday, 20 April during which 5 historians each gave a 40-minute presentation making a case for one of the contenders. The contest aimed to gauge the battles in terms of their historical impact and the tactics employed.
Imphal and Kohima were named as the greatest ever battles involving British forces, their case was presented by Dr Robert Lyman, author of Japan's Last Bid to Victory and Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.
To read more about the Battle of Kohima we recommend two books: Fighting Through to Kohima and Not Ordinary Men.
7th March 2013
Pen & Swords Praetorian Press imprint has one of its titles shortlisted for this year's British Army Military Book of the Year: Correlli Barnett's 'The Lords of War'.
Previous winners of this award include Antony Beevor, Patrick Bishop, James Fergusson, Andrew Roberts, Fergal Keane, and, most recently Rodric Braithwaite. A panel of Army reviewers will read all 6 nominations in the coming months and each will rank them by merit; merging their scores will determine the winner, in the Autumn.
4th February 2013
Human remains found in the resting place of Richard III have been identified as those of the king.
Archaeologists from the University of Leicester searching for the grave of King Richard III discovered an intriguing skeleton beneath one of the city's car parks in August 2012. Archeologists have now confirmed beyond reasonable doubt that these remains are of Richard III.
Peter Hammonds book Richard III is a lucid, authoritative and readable new history. This title will be essential reading for anyone who is intrigued by the short, unhappy reign of Richard III and the trial of strength that destroyed him.
28th January 2013
A full-size statue, costing £50,000, will stand on a plinth outside Trinity Foyer in Church Street. This statue will honour the gallant Captain, the first to be killed in the Charge of the Light Brigade in 1854.
Captain Louis Nolan delivered the order that produced one of the most famous blunders in all military history - the Charge of the Light Brigade. He was initially blamed for the disaster, in which 600 men found themselves fired on by Russian artillery from three sides.
Messenger of Death is a fresh and perceptive study, in which David Buttery attempts to set the record straight. He reassesses the man and looks at his military career, for there was much more to Louis Nolan than his fatal role in the Charge. This sympathetic account of his life throws new light on the Victorian army and its officer class, and on the conduct of the war in the Crimea.
To see our full list of Crimean War titles click here.
4th January 2013
Since the war of 1982, the 3,000 people who live in the remote Falkland Islands have replaced traditional colonial rule with their own autonomous government, and become wealthy from the sale of fishing licences. Now oil has been discovered, and it promises almost unimaginable wealth. Money has already transformed this tiny society – not always for the better. But home-grown challenges are as nothing compared to the threat from their neighbour, Argentina.
The oil discoveries have fuelled Argentina’s ambitions to take the Islands that they believe were stolen from them almost 180 years ago. Buenos Aires is making the ‘Malvinas’ a regional issue involving other South American countries, and has established an economic blockade of the Islands, virtually cutting them off from the continent. It is a policy they say they will continue until London agrees to discuss a transition to Argentine rule. In response, the Prime Minister has stated that Britain will support the Islanders’ right to remain British.
These factors are analysed by Falkland's historian, Graham Bound in his latest book Fortress Falklands, which provides a clear understanding of the Falklands conflict.
Click here to see all of our Falklands titles.
23rd November 2012
Pen and Sword Digital and Battlefield History TV formed their partnership in 2008 to provide our customers with a wide variety of specialist programmes presented by well-known battlefield historians and qualified guides. The subjects they cover in detail are the First and Second World Wars, The Waterloo Campaign and Peninsular War and they even go back as far as the Dark Ages. Each DVD will be of interest to military enthusiasts, wargamers, battlefield tourists, re-enactment groups, students of particular battles or campaigns and military modellers.
Click here for a full list of Pen and Sword/BHTV titles.
21st November 2012
A special debate was held in the House of Commons on Tuesday 20th November, in which MPs were calling for a review of SAS soldier Sergeant Danny Nightingale's conviction for possessing a pistol given to him as a "war gift", for which he is currently serving an 18 month jail sentence.
The debate was lead by Julian Brazier MP (whose grandfather's memoirs
XD Operations were published in 2004) and Julian Lewis (MP and author of
8th November 2012
By Carolyn Miller, Merlin’s chief executive.
Merlin’s health workers stay on after emergencies and we work to help ministries of health around the world set up or strengthen health systems. Somehow, in this laudable aim, our words have lost their urgency even though our efforts continue to save lives. Quite rightly, the aid industry has embraced greater governance, donor compliance and some of the better aspects of the business world; key performance indicators, return on investment and the like.
So, as Merlin turns 20 (we were founded in 1983), Richard’s book is a great reminder of why we started – to save lives in an emergency. In this case it was to meet the medical needs of people caught up in the atrocities in Bosnia. We do still respond to manmade disasters as well as headline-grabbing floods and earthquakes and when we do we need people who are ready, willing and able.
Gladly for Merlin, and for the people he treated and the emergency responses he led, Richard was all of these things.
His SAS background and clinical skills were a perfect combination. The ability not to be frightened by the presence of armed men stood him in good stead in Haiti and Libya where the rule of law did not exist, or at least not in the way we know it.
His military experience and no-nonsense approach enabled him to get field hospitals up and running with the most basic of supplies.
Winged Scalpel gives an insight – through a remarkable indvidual – into what it takes to save lives in an emergency.
It is not as simple as being flown in with a surgical kit. Far from it. Richard’s book shows the reader the many steps that are taken between donations landing in Merlin’s bank account and life-saving treatment being given.
In most cases, the time between the two is negligible. Or, in a significant disaster, we would get to work and worry about the money later.
The fact that Winged Scalpel shows some of the logistical or political difficluties to getting aid programmes started only serves to underline the determination to battle through these problems, overcoming obstacles as they arise.
As Richard himself says: “We shared a common goal – to put the patients first. Healthcare systems around the world have a lot to learn from Merlin’s selfless staff. I was proud to have been one of their number.”
We were proud to work with Richard too and even prouder that his and our endeavours have been so brilliantly recorded in Winged Scalpel.
Merlin (www.merlin.org.uk) is an international health charity, saving lives in the world’s toughest places. Merlin responds with healthcare when people are overwhelmed by natural disaster, conflict or disease. After the immediate crisis, Merlin stays on to assist recovery –building resilience so that those at risk of future health disasters are better prepared.
6th November 2012
The program producers and Wally have been trying endlessly, both in the UK and the Netherlands to try and find an image of Harold Wyer, and have had no success. That was until we managed to locate a a picture in one of our recently reprinted titles "Hill 112".
This story will feature in the fifth episode, shown on Friday 9th November at 9.15am on BBC 1.
12th October 2012
Michael Lucas, author of The Journey's End Battalion, held a talk at The Surrey History centre last week. The event was thoroughly enjoyed by all and he has been invited back to hold the talk again.
Michael’s initial interest in the 9th East Surrey was sparked off by family connections, and he has made an in-depth study of the history of the battalion - and of the part that R.C. Sherriff played in it. As well as consulting a wide range of published and archive sources, he has contacted descendants of soldiers who served in the battalion.
20th August 2012
WW2 DIG, presented by Pen and Sword author Dan Snow (The Confusion of Command) is a three part primetime TV documentary investigating the history of the Second World War in Northern Ireland. Dan Snow will be participating in archaeological digs and dives of military sites across the country, many of which have gone unnoticed or are now buried - but were central to the defense of the UK and Europe.
'The Confusion of Command' is the never-before-published papers of General Sir Thomas D’Oyly. They provide a remarkable insight into the mindset of the Great War commanders. This first edition of his letters and memoirs – published exactly 70 years after his death – has been introduced by his great grandson, the broadcaster and author Dan Snow.
"Very well written and illuminating."
2nd July 2012
If you wish to submit a proposal, we require a synopsis (a general idea of the overall content along with any ideas you have for the book) along with a sample chapter emailed to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We'll then forward to the relevant commissioning editor who will respond to you directly.
4th June 2012
The show takes place on 10th June 2012 at Swallows Leisure Centre, Sittingbourne, Kent and tickets are just £3.00!
For more information please visit The Milton Hundred Wargames Club website: mhwc.co.uk/broadside-2012.
20th May 2012
Thursday 17th May, Gurka Museum
In his 92nd year, Pat Spooner is celebrating the publication of his book "A Talent For Adventure", in which he recounts stories of prison camps, daring escapes and rescues, missions hardly mentioned before now.
He held his book launch on Thursday the 17th May at the Gurkha museum.
On active service with the 8th Gurkha Rifles and Intelligence Services in several campaigns from 1941 to 1948, Pat demonstrated much adventurous talent during challenging times earning the rank of Lieutenant Colonel and many awards including the Burma Star and military MBE.
17th May 2012
Around 80 aircraft will take part in an impressive, tri-service fly-past, Over Windsor Castle, paying tribute to the Monarch during her Jubilee year.
The fly-past compromises of two aircraft formations - Typhoon fighter jets will open the event, followed by a large mixed formation which is to include formations of Tucano and Hawk aircraft; The Red Arrows; and aircraft from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.
16th April 2012
Designed as the technological marvel of her age, RMS Titanic claimed to be the largest, strongest, safest ship of the early 20th Century; a triumph of centuries of Great Britain's unrivalled shipbuilding expertise. Yet nothing could be further from the truth.
First published in hardback ten years ago, Daniel Allen Butler's "Unsinkable" is one of the best selling books on the Titanic, selling over 100,000 copies worldwide. This highly readable step-by-step account of what happened, is now available in paperback for the first time.
For those seeking a more controversial approach, Who Sank The Titanic? by Robert Strange, is unique book which is already attracting media interest. Robert is a forensic crime investigator and has uncovered new documents relating to the sinking of the Titanic which are likely to change the epic tale as we know it. Most shocking of all is the trail of evidence Robert has found relating to the cost cutting and the role of key figures such as Winston Churchill, in diminishing the safety of this ill-fated ship.
For modellers and others interested in the concept and design of the Titanic, we have two great books that can help illustrate how the Titanic looked and give guidance on how to recreate her classic lines. New to the Shipcraft series is Titanic and Her Sisters Olympic and Britannic, whilst RMS Titanic: a Modelmaker's Manual is a must for anyone interested in the design of this ill-fated ship.
To commemorate this anniversary we have put together a special gift pack including the four products below for only £35. Click here to add all of these products to your shopping cart.
12th April 2012
The thirtieth anniversary of the Falklands War gives us the opportunity to review the dramatic recapture of the disputed islands, but also now with Argentina adopting a new level of aggressive diplomacy, some say we are now once again closer to war than at any point in the preceding thirty years. These factors are analysed by Falkland's historian, Graham Bound in his latest book, Fortress Falklands.
Also new to our Falklands list, and currently our best selling Falklands title, is Ian Gardiner's The Yompers, which looks at 45 Commandos role in the War. From the Paras' perspective, we are delighted to publish the first biography of Falklands Hero Ian Mckay, VC winner at Mount Longdon. This fascinating book, written in conjunction with Ian's family, reveals his story for the first time.
At the beginning of the war, Nick Barker, Captain of HMS Endurance, the ice patrol vessel, describes how it all started from his perspective in Beyond Endurance. We also have Invasion 1982 by Graham Bound, who tells us from the Falkland Islanders' perspective what it was like to be invaded and occupied.
A range of other biographies by men who served in the Falklands also include:From the Front Line, RAF Harrier Ground Attack Falklands, Special Forces Pilot, Reasons in Writing, RAF Tanker Navigator, Bomb Alley - Falklands Island 1982 and Ordeal by Exocet
We also have some classic accounts from some of the British Commanders including Julian Thompson's 3 Commando Brigade in the Falklands, Commodore Clapp's Amphibious Assault and Nick Vaux's March to the South Atlantic.
Other titles look at the key role some of the most famous ships played, such as The Age of Invincible and HMS Fearless.
There are three titles which look at more specific actions, namely Pebble Island, Mount Longdon and 5th Infantry Brigade in the Falklands War.
Finally, we have some good general descriptions of the events of 1982 starting with Martin Middlebrook's two-volume study from the British perspective in The Falklands War and the opposing forces in Argentine Fight for the Falklands. Lastly, we have popular Falklands Commando, Nick van der Bijl’s action packed Nine Battles to Stanley and Victory in the Falklands.
6th April 2012
Pen and sword author Dennis Gosling, sadly passed away on the 6th April 2012. The Yorkshireman joined the RAF on May 24 1940. Pen and Sword published his fascinating autobiography Night Fighter Navigator in 2010.
About his autobiography, Dennis stated: "I want my readers to relive my experiences as they happened to me - to take their hands and have them walk beside me. I want them to feel the joy and the pain, share the laughs and the heartache, take pleasure in the triumphs, agonise with me when things went wrong and understand why my Service years influenced so much of my life."
He has succeeded magnificently.
18th March 2012
5th March 2012
By Siân Price
Just over three years ago, I started work on a Radio 4 documentary with a colleague Siobhan McClelland. It was to be a montage of soldier’s farewell letters –partly inspired by a letter Siobhan’s uncle had written before deploying to Northern Ireland. I’d grown up with a passion for military history and had made a number of military history programmes so it was a subject that immediately gripped my imagination. In the 3 years since that programme, it has utterly consumed me. I realised that farewell letters had a much longer history than I’d imagined and that soldiers had been writing these poignant missives for centuries. It led me on a global journey in search of farewell (or ‘in the event of my death’ letters) and the stories of the men who had written them. I searched for letters across the world – in public record offices and libraries, regimental archives, and military museums including the Imperial War Museum, National Army Museum, Australian War Memorial, the Chiran Peace Museum and Canadian War Museum. As well as British letters, I included those from America, New Zealand, Canada, Australia, Italy, Germany, South Africa, Austria, France and Japan - it became a world-wide quest to find unpublished letters and tell all sides of the war story. I also appealed to individuals and families who would share their letters with me, and found families coming forward with letters they had never shared – from WW1, WW2, the Falklands, Iraq, Afghanistan and even Vietnam. Finally I was lucky enough to talk to hundreds of servicemen and women who had written farewell letters (and survived) about the emotions of penning a letter like that.
Discovering the letters was a difficult and emotional journey. Many of these letters were never intended to have a public audience and most men fervently hoped they would never have to be read. Upon reading these letters, one became privy to intensely private thoughts and emotions, poured out under the most unimaginable and difficult of circumstances. Meeting families and being there as they re-lived their loss was both powerful and humbling. All talked of the farewell letter not only as priceless but as a tangible link with their loved one. To touch a physical piece of paper was to touch their loved one. I featured letters from different ranks and different nationalities. Whilst each conflict over the three centuries on which I focussed produced farewell letters with distinct themes, every single farewell was unified by a message of love - the simple words ‘I will always love you’ capturing a lifetime of memories in a single line.
It would be impossible to single out a favourite letter. All are incredibly moving, offering a remarkable and unique snapshot into hearts and minds. In writing the book I wanted to shine a light behind the grim statistics of warfare and put human stories at the foreground. In doing so, I hope I paid tribute in some small way to the fallen.
26th January 2012
His Royal Highness, The Prince Of Wales visited Barnsley on January 24, 2012. This is the first time Prince Charles has visited the town and the first royal visit to Pen & Sword Books.
During his visit he stopped by at the Pen & Sword offices, where he had the chance to see our work, meet our staff and he took away some of our best selling books as a souvenir.