BACKGROUND READING FOR LOCAL HISTORIANS

Back to Homepage

To paraphrase the celebrated seventeenth-century metaphysician, John Donne, no local historian is an island, no local history is entire of itself; every piece of local research is part of a broader, more complex picture.  To isolate a local history project within its own tight boundaries would be to do little more than collate 'readily obtained information culled at random".

As John Campbell-Kease puts it, there "is nowhere than can be written about in isolation, for each place is bounded by other places... everything that lies within it, has been shaped by, and is related to, things which occurred beyond".1

To aspire beyond the writing of mere "parish pump" pulp, the local historian needs a reasonable acquaintance with the wider historical backcloth.  The following bibliography does not pretend to be an exhaustive compilation of appropriate reference volumes, nor is it suggested that every volume recommended must form part of all bookshelves.  It is more a reflection of the author's personal bookshelves, with suggested additions from correspondents, but it does attempt to offer reading recommendations to cover the salient eras of English history.  Others are welcome to email their recommended reading.

Julian Bielewicz 2001

 

 

PRE-HISTORY

Barrett, Don, Bryce, Trevor & Kanowski, Max, A Map History of the Ancient World (Longman Cheshire, 1987)

Bone, Robert, G., Ancient History (New jersey, 1968)

Childe, Gordon V., Prehistoric Communities in the British Isles (London, 1940)

Dyer, J., Penguin Guide to Prehistoric England and Wales (London, 1981)

Hawkes, J. & Hawkes, C., Prehistoric Britain (Penguin, 1958)

Haywood, John, et. al., Atlas of the Ancient World, 4 000 000-500 BC (Cassells, 1998)

Haywood, John, et. al., Atlas of the Ancient World, 500 BC-AD 600 (Cassells, 1998)

Megaw, J.V.S. & Simpson, D.D.A., Introduction to British Prehistory (Leicester, 1979)

Muir, R. & Welfare, H., Prehistoric and Roman Britain (London, 1983)

Oliphant, Margaret, The Atlas of the Ancient World (Marshall Publications, 1997)

Ordnance Survey, Ancient Britain map

ROMAN ERA (c. 40 BC - c. AD 500)

Collingwood & Myres, Roman Britain and the English Settlements (Oxford, 1936)

Cornell, T. & Matthews, J., An Atlas of the Roman World (Phaidon, 1982)

Ellis, Peter Beresford, Celt and Roman (Constable, 1998)

Ordnance Survey, Roman Britain map

Richmond, I.A,. Roman Britian (Penguin Books, 1955 (Vol 1 in The Pelican History of England)  Salway, Peter, Roman Britain (Oxford, 1981)

Wacher, John, The Towns of Roman Britain (Batsford, 1974)

DARK AGES (c. 500- c. 1066)

Alcock, Leslie, Arthur's Britain (Pelican Books, 1973)

Bede, Venerable, A History of the English Church and People (Penguin Books, various editions)

Blair, Peter Hunter, An Introduction to Anglos-Saxon England (Cambridge, 1971)

Brnsted, Johannes,  The Vikings (British Academy, 1927)

Brown, David, Anglo-Saxon England (The Bodley Head, 1978)

Chadwick, Nora, The Celts (Pekican Books, 1970)

Collingwood & Myres, Roman Britain and the English Settlements (Oxford, 1936)

Hill, David, An Atlas of Anglo-Saxon England (1984)

Myres, J.N.L., Oxford History of England: The English Settlements (Oxford, 1986)

Ordnance Survey, Britain Before the Norman Conquest map

Page, R.I., Life in Anglo-Saxon England (Batsford, 1970)

Savage, Anne, The Anglo-Saxon Chronicles (London, 1982)

Stenton, F.M., The Danes in England (British Academy, 1927)

Stenton, F.M., Anglo-Saxon England (Oxford, 1989)

Swanton, Michael, The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle (London, 1996)

Whitelock, Dorothy, The Beginnings of English Society (Vol. 2 in The Pelican History of England, London, 1952)

Whitelock, Douglas & Tucker, The Anglo-Saxon Chronicles: A Revised Translation (London, 1961)

THE MIDDLE AGES (c. 1066-c. 1485)

Barlow, Frank, The Feudal Kingdom of England, 1042-1216 (London, 1955)

Barrow, G.W.S., Feudal Britain (London, 1981)

Beresford, M.W, & St Joseph, J.K.S. Medieval England: An Aerial Survey (Cambridge, 1979)

Davies, Rex (ed) Magna Carta: Icon of Liberty (Dean & Chapter of Lincoln, 1988)

Fossier, Robert, The Cambridge Illustrated History of the Middle Ages Vol. 2 950-1250 (Cambridge, 1997)

Fossier, Robert, The Cambridge Illustrated History of the Middle Ages Vol. 3 1250-1520 (Cambridge, 1986)

Hindley, Geoffrey, The Book of the Magna Carta (Constable, 1990)

Jacob, E.F. The Fifteenth Century, 1399-1485 (Oxford, 1961, reprinted 1976)

McKisack, Mary, The Fourteenth Century, 1307-99 (Oxford, 1959, reprinted 1976)

Myers, A.R., England in the Late Middle Ages (vol 4 in The Pelican History of England, London, 1952)

Poole, A.L. Doomsday Book to Magna Carta (Oxford,1955, reprinted 1975)

Powicke, Sir Maurice, The Thirteenth Century (Oxford, reprinted 1970)

Reynolds, Susan, Fief and Vassals: The Medieval Evidence Reinterpreted (Oxford, 1994)

Rowley, Trevor, The Norman Heritage (London, 1983)

Saul, Nigel, The Batsford Companion to Medieval England (London, 1983)

Saul Nigel, The Oxford Illustrated History of the Middle Ages (Oxford, 1997)

Savage, Anne, The Anglo-Saxon Chronicles (London, 1982)

Stenton, Doris May, English Society in the Early Middle Ages (vol 3 in The Pelican History of England, London, 1951)

Swanton, Michael, The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle (London, 1996)

Whitelock, Douglas & Tucker, The Anglo-Saxon Chronicles: A Revised Translation (London, 1961)

TUDORS & STUARTS (c.1485-c. 1714)

Ashley, Maurice, England in the Seventeenth Century (Vol. 6 in The Pelican History of England, London, 1967)

Bindoff, S.T., Tudor England (Vol. 5 in The Pelican History of England, London, 1950)

Black, J.B., The Reign of Elizabeth (1558-1603) (Oxford,1959)

Clark, Sir George, The Later Stuarts (Oxford, 1961) 

Davies, Godfrey, The Early Stuarts (Oxford, 1959)

Dickens, A.G. The English Reformation (Batsford, 1964)

Haigh, Christopher, The English Reformation Revised (Cambridge, 1987)

Hill, Christopher, The Century of Revolution (London, 1967)

Mackie, J.D., The Early Tudor (Oxford, 1951)

Morrill, John (ed), The Impact of the English Civil War (History Today, date unknown)

Wilkinson, B., The Tudor Age (London, date unknown)

MODERN ERA (c. 1714- current )

Marshall, Dorothy, Eighteenth Century England (London. date unknown)

Plumb, J.H., England in the Eighteenth Century (Vol. 7 in The Pelican History of England, London, 1950)

Thomson, David, England in the Nineteenth Century (Vol. 8 in The Pelican History of England, London, 1950)

Thomson, David, England in the Twentieth Century (Vol. 9 in The Pelican History of England, London, 1950)

Watson, J. Steven, The Reign of George III (in the Oxford History of England series, Oxford, 1960)

Woodward, Sir Llewellyn, The Age of Reform (in the Oxford History of England series, Oxford, 1962)

SOCIAL & ECONOMIC HISTORY

Briggs, Asa, The Age of Improvement (London, 1959)

Chambers, J.D., Population, Economy amd Society in Pre-Industrial England, (Oxford, 1972)

Checkland, S.G., The Rise of Industrial Soci inety England, 1815-1885 (Longman, 1964)

Evans, Eric J., The Forging of the Modern State: Early Industrial Britain, 1783-1870 (London, 1983)

Gregg, Pauline, A Social and Economic History of Britain, 1760-1950 (London, 1952)

Hallam, H.E., Rural England, 1066-1148 (London, 1981)

May, Trevor, An Economic and Social History of Britain, 1760-1970 (Longman, 1987)

Platt, C., The English Medieval Town (London, 1976)

Platt, Colin, Medieval England: A Social History and Archaeology from the Conquest to 1660 (London, 1978)

Postan, M.M., The Medieval Economy and Society (Penguin Book, 1975)

Titzow, J.Z., English Rural Society, 1200-1350 (London, 1969)

Thompson, E.P. The Making of the English Working Class (Penguin, 1968)

Trevelyan, G.M. English Social History: A Survey of Six Centuries, Chaucer to Queen Victoria (Penguin Books, 1967)

White, L., Medieval Technology and Social Change (Oxford, 1962)

GENERAL WORKS

Campbell-Kease, John, A Companion to Local History Research (London, 1989)