Social history for family historians

I am the author of eight social history books for adults. I'm passionate about history, especially social history which I became interested in while researching my family tree. I believe it's the seemingly insignificant, small details which really bring the past to life.

Domestic service in Britain 1800-1950

My latest book, Servants' Stories: Life Below Stairs in their Own Words 1800-1950, is a collection of 21 true tales of domestic service which tell what it was really like to work below stairs, mostly in middle-class households. The stories are written in the servants' own words - warts and all! The testimonies come from memoirs, oral histories, diaries, newspapers and interviews with ex-servants. Many have never been published before. The stories are put into context with background chapters on topics such as the 'servant problem' and domestic service between the wars. If you like Downton Abbey and/or you're interested in Victorian servants or Edwardian servants, this book is for you.

Exploring Victorian England

I wrote A Visitor's Guide to Victorian England as a stand-alone for Pen & Sword. It includes everything readers would need to know to make the most of a visit to the Victorian era from fending off pickpockets, fastening corsets correctly, getting on the right omnibus and avoiding indigestion. It is aimed at social history fans, costume drama lovers, history students and anyone with a keen interest in the 19th century.

Victorian institutions

I have written three books about Victorian institutions: Life in the Victorian and Edwardian Workhouse, Prison Life in Victorian England and Life in the Victorian Hospital, all published by The History Press. They are aimed at non-academic readers and are written specifically for people tracing their family history who wish to find out more about Victorian times and what life was really like for their ancestors. I undertake detailed, original research for every book, supplemented by as many stories as possible of real people.

Tracing your ancestors

Two of my books are for Pen & Sword's Tracing Your Ancestors series. They are Tracing Your Medical Ancestors and Tracing Your Servant Ancestors. They are aimed specifically at family historians, assuming no previous knowledge of genealogical research. These titles delve into the social history of the medical professions and servants, and describe in detail the sources which can be used to research them.

Collecting Christmas cards

My very first book, Christmas Cards, was part of the Shire Collecting series for Shire Books. It covers the history of Christmas cards and how to go about collecting them. It is well illustrated with examples of cards from my own collection.

My next goal is to write a non-fiction book for children, something which has always been a long-held ambition.

Click on the front cover images to find out more about my books.