Oh Happy Day

By Carmen Callil

"Carmen Callil's ancestors arrived in Australia on emigrant ships and convict transports, forced from their homeland by destitution or the penal code. In Oh Happy Day she uncovers their story, her research impelled by wonder and indignation that lights up every page. It's fierce, personal, revelatory history." - Hilary Mantel
A compelling tale of 'poverty, social injustice, Empire and migration', the book tells the story of Carmen Callil's family, tracing back their origins to the Midlands in the early 19th century. Uncovering the journey of Sary, her great-great-grandmother, a poor stocking frame worker, and George, a canal worker and father of one of her children convicted for stealing a piece of hemp and sent to Australia, Callil brings to life the past and draws important parallels with the present.


Island Dreams

By Gavin Francis

"Island Dreams by Gavin Francis is a beautiful book from an original mind: it explored the place of islands in our psyche, and its glowing illustrations make it an ideal present for anyone who has missed travelling this year." - Hilary Mantel
Described as 'a simple but sincere cartography of my own obsession with the twinned but opposing allures of island and city, of isolation and connection', Island Dreams explores the appeal of islands in our consciousness by recounting some of the author's own travels and some popular voyages from literature.


The Haunting Of Alma Fielding

By Kate Summerscale

"We all need a winter ghost story: in The Haunting of Alma Fielding, Kate Summerscale investigates the plague of poltergeists that broke over England just before World War II. It's a sombre, thoughtful book, full of insight into material darker than you might imagine." - Hilary Mantel
Alma Fielding is an ordinary housewife in 1938 London, who finds herself suddenly haunted. Nandor Fodor is a Jewish-Hungarian refugee and chief ghost hunter for the International Institute for Psychical Research, who, intrigued by the case, begins to investigate. What he uncovers is not what he was expecting... Kate Summerscale digs into historical archives to craft a tale of modern haunting.