Recommended Reading

These are our current recommended reading books, all available via hotlinks to Amazon.

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This is a list of all the Swansea History pages; and here's some free samples from the subscription collection.

 

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Recommended Reading:

Seizing the Enigma by David Kahn

You can obtain a copy of this book by using our association with  In Association with Amazon.co.uk

Just click on the book title or cover picture!

David Kahn is both an excellent writer and a superb historian. In telling the story about the U boat Enigma he manages to write a history book that doubles as a thriller. I honestly can't tell you how many times I've read my copy of this book but the spine has broken and the pages are falling out. During my U boat research years this book was a constant companion. The author's attention to the detail that matters is masterful and the superb referencing guided me on U boat events in the Bristol Channel on a number of occasions.

If you are interested in the U boat war start with this book, it will save you a lot of time and effort in understanding the milestone events of the U boat battles. The one thing I don't understand is how so much quality information is sold in such a cheaply priced book. (Nigel Robins)

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Recommended Reading:

The Luftwaffe: 1933-45 Strategy for Defeat by Williamson Murray

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If you want to understand the European air war of WW2 then this is the book for you. Written in an emphatically clear style and backed up by superb referencing, this book cuts away all of the misleading propaganda that has marked much British work about the air war. I first came across this book as a reference in an American Air Force journal and there lies the clue to the clarity of this work, it wasn't written as sentimental history it was meant to be a manual of what not to do if you find yourself in a crucial management position. The author examines the creation of the Luftwaffe in fine detail and explains the origins of the various strategies used against the Allies during the course of the war. If you want to understand what happened and why, then this book will tell you.

The book remains my constant companion whilst researching the air war over South Wales. The author's scholarly insights into the workings of the German Luftwaffe have proved priceless in guiding my own research. You will find this book far clearer and easier to read than many books about the Battle of Britain which look so much prettier and cost so much more. (Nigel Robins)

 

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Recommended Reading:

The Parish Chest by W. E. Tate

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This is the essential tool you must have sight of if you want to understand the workings of a parish community in England and Wales before the twentieth century. The author explains the background to the records you will find in most if not all record offices. A good understanding of the Poor Law is essential for any local historian and this book is undoubtedly the place to start. You will also find superbly detailed accounts of the records of highway maintenance and enclosure. Widely acknowledged as a classic, it is both very readable and scholarly with superb referencing and some extremely useful appendices including a wonderful glossary of the terms andd phrases you will come across in parish records and a very useful list of the pricipal acts and statutes used to govern the parishes of England and Wales.

If you want to be a local historian you must understand the parish, and to understand the parish you must have this book. (Nigel Robins)

 

Order from Amazon.co.uk

Recommended Reading:

The Forgotten Trade by Nigel Tattersall

You can obtain a copy of this book by using our association with In Association with Amazon.co.uk

Just click on the book title or cover picture!

Although this is mainly a book about a Dartmouth slave trader, I found it to be of immense value in understanding local life at sea in the early 1700s. The heart of the book is the log of the merchant vessel Daniel and Henry which set out on a slave trading voyage between Dartmouth, the Guinea Coast, and Jamaica in 1700. The author makes the most of a tremendously detailed log which helps him recreate the preparation, the voyage and the dramas that took place. He also manages to reconstruct in very clear style the essentials of the slave trade as practiced by British traders. But beyond this, he paints a picture of north Atlantic trade and the difficulties of the small west coast ports in wonderful detail. I learned far more about eighteenth century seafaring from this book than from any other, and it is still the one I refer to on a regular basis.

The detailed schedules and accounts of the goods traded on the African coast give you an excellent picture of the local industries that surrounded the ports of the west coast. The book is superbly referenced which has often pointed me in the right direction for local research of my own. One final jewel; the book has an excellent glossary of eighteenth century trade terms which has proved priceless time after time. (Nigel Robins)

 

 

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