Welcome to Poppyland Publishing - East Anglian Specialists
Whether you're living in Norfolk or Suffolk, Cambridgeshire or Essex, planning a visit, interested in local history, tracking down your family history or love the natural history of East Anglia, we hope we'll have some titles - books and DVDs - to interest you.
You can use your credit or debit card to make direct purchases from the site. In addition to Poppyland's own titles, we have the full range of titles in print from the prestigious Centre of East Anglian Studies. To use the 'Product Search' facility above, you only need to enter one word of interest - you don't, for instance, need to use the whole title of a book.
Try the buttons on the left for the different categories of titles we publish. And explore our 'Support and Resource' pages. These are all free - and always growing.
On the right you'll find short presentations about some of our products. To buy, click on the appropriate button in the left column. Ordering from this site is a First Class Royal Mail service direct from the publisher.
A History of Swaffham National Schools
is a title we've added to our Norfolk Documents
series, where we take the original documents from the county's archives and provide them with a context for a wider readership. Norfolk is fortunate in having a wealth of such documents surviving form the past millennium. In this case the author and his colleague bring us the log books of the National Schools of Swaffham from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. To a careful transcription of the texts, he has added introductions to give historical background and adds notes where appropriate; a selection of pictures further helps our understanding. It's available in local shops or for access to our on-line order system, click A History of Swaffham National Schools
The first British shot of the 1914-1918 war at sea was fired not far from the Suffolk coast on the morning of 5th August 1914. It was aimed at the enemy mine layer which had been laying a minefield in the coastal shipping channels. So begins Robert Malster's authoritative account of the maritime war in the North Sea. It was a war that did not end until months after the Armistice, with the need to clear the many minefields laid by both sides.
If you've enjoyed Robert Malster's two book on Norfolk's maritime history - and he's busy with a further title on Suffolk's story - you'll want to add this title to your collection. And if your interest is to look back on stories of the Great War, this is certainly one for you. It acknowledges the much-covered battle of Jutland, but concentrates on the considerable activities of the trawlers and drifters, destroyers and submarines, cruisers and naval aircraft that defended the UK shores from Harwich to Scarborough. Click North Sea War 1914-1919 for our 'Wartime' section, where you can order your copy.
For more than 40 years Mike Page has piloted his own aircraft to capture scenes across East Anglia from the air. Being both flier and photographer gives him to chance to choose the ideals days for using his camera and the results show in the quality of his pictures. This year the selection we've chosen shows Norfolk Country Houses from the Air
in all their glory - and the settings in which they were built.
Many of the pictures will have appear on his web site, in the local press or in other titles, but this book gives a chance to present them around a common theme. We hope you'll enjoy the collection and appreciate yet another angle on the Norfolk countryside. The book is available in shops across Norfolk but if you'd like to order online, simply click on Norfolk Country Houses from the Air, then on the shopping basket and follow through the instructions.
I Walked by Night
and The Rabbit Skin Cap
are perhaps the two best-known of the books Lilias Rider Haggard brought to print. She acknowledged that both were written by countrymen that she knew; she had edited their words as little as possible to bring them to a wider reading audience. Norfolk Life
, Country Life
and Country Scrapbook
were from her own knowledge and experience , bringing an understanding of the English countryside to both her Norfolk readers and an international audience. Her final work was to bring together the story of her father, H. Rider Haggard, in The Cloak that I Left
. His many tales of wild adventures across the British Empire were known to tens of thousands of readers; this new biography Lilias Rider Haggard: Countrywoman
confirms her status as an author in her own right. Click Lilias Rider Haggard
for the section where you can use our on-line ordering facility.
As a disciple of the "don't throw that away 'cos it might come in handy one day" creed, Keith Skipper has a vast collection of pictures, newspaper articles anecdotes as a result of his years working in the print media, on the wireless and as a freelancer. With this new title, his 39th book, he has made a selection from this hoard and spiced it round with his usual humour to provide us with another chuckle or two.
Naturally it is a Norfolk collection. He pays warm tribute to his band of enthusiasts from all over Norfolk who have topped up his magpie's nest at regular intervals over the years. You'll find this latest title in shops across the county but if you'd like to order on-line, you can click on Keith Skipper's Norfolk Scrapbook, click the shopping basket and we'll get the dickey out and bring a copy over to you - or maybe the postman would be quicker!
Authors Pam Inder and Marion Aldis have made a speciality of researching the lives of 19th century women, particularly women who achieved commercial success in a world largely dominated by men. This latter statement was certainly true of the world of artists, but in researching the story of Catherine Nichols of Norwich for a chapter in an earlier title, they became convinced she warranted a biography of her own so A Forgotten Norwich Artist: Catherine Maude Nichols
was written. To purchase a copy of the book, click A Forgotten Norwich Artist: Catherine Maude Nichols
to go to our on-line order page or check out your local bookshop.
Friday 2nd May 1845 was a day of disaster in Great Yarmouth. Crowds had flocked to the suspension bridge across the River Bure to watch Nelson the clown. He was to undertake his usual stunt to promote the visit of Cooke's circus by travelling on the river in a wash tub – pulled by a team of geese .As the many on the bridge saw Nelson approach, they surged to one side and with a crack one of the supporting chains gave way. Hundreds were tumbled into the water and many did not survive.The Fall of the Yarmouth Suspension Bridge
gives an account of the day, what led up to the disaster and life in Yarmouth at that time. Click The Fall of the Yarmouth Suspension Bridge
if you'd like to order a copy on-line, or call at your favourite bookshop.
Doin Different: New Ballads from the East of England
is certainly different for us! It's a collection of 39 ballads telling East Anglia stories - primarily about Norfolk events and legends. Verse, scores and songs from across the region provide their own way of telling our history. From Boudica to Bingo, Cromwell to Cavell, there's a range of subjects to enjoy - and the book leads to many on-line links for the songs and settings to the ballads in audio and video form. Click to go to the order page for Doin Different: New Ballads from the East of England
Breeding Success - My Life as a Norfolk Farmer
(Paperback edition) is the personal account of a family's journey from Scotland to the open pasturelands of east Norfolk and the success of the family members in developing award winning dairy herds of Friesians and then Holsteins. But the story is much more than that, for behind the personal account is that of agricultural development in county a part of its wide heritage in all sorts of farming. Within the story is the background to decision making in terms of cereal or dairy, land acquisition and mechanical development, all information which will add to the understanding of farming in Norfolk in the second half of the 20th century. Clicking on Breeding Success
will take you to the section where you can order the paperback edition of the book
Breeding Success - My Life as a Norfolk Farmer
(Hardback edition) is the personal account of a family's journey from Scotland to the open pasturelands of east Norfolk and the success of the family members in developing award winning dairy herds of Friesians and then Holsteins. But the story is much more than that, for behind the personal account is that of agricultural development in county a part of its wide heritage in all sorts of farming. Within the story is the background to decision making in terms of cereal or dairy, land acquisition and mechanical development, all information which will add to the understanding of farming in Norfolk in the second half of the 20th century. Clicking on Breeding Success
will take you to the section where you can order the hardback edition of the book
'Norfolk in a Nutshell' by the county's own writer, broadcaster and entertainer, muses on what makes Norfolk a bit different. He aims to sum up Norfolk's special qualities, whilst diverting into both wordplay and dialect - of course. It's certainly not a guide to the county, nor is it a considered look at local history - but it's fun to read!
Perhaps the best thing to suggest is that you clik to hear from the author himself and Keith will explain all in his own words. You can then head off to your local bookshop or click Norfolk in a Nutshell and then the shopping basket icon to order on-line.
The Golden Age - The rural crafts of John Golden and the Golden family of Northrepps
is new title from Poppyland Publishing. In this age when we enjoy discovering our ancestors through the many records now available on line, we can often find that the house in which we live can unlock a fascinating past as well. When author Graham Ferguson moved to the village of Northrepps, he became intrigued by the modernised building in which he lived - which contained a number of features illustrating its past as a centre of rural crafts and as a foundry. So began a journey of exploration through memories of villagers, the records kept at the Norfolk Record Office and historical photographs and illustrations of the village.
The result of his research is the book 'The Golden Age', about the Hutson and Golden families who operated the foundries in the village. It is a splendid example of how to tackle local research and how to put it into context which will be of interest to many local historians, those interested in industrial archaeology and to family researchers. Click the basket below to order your copy online: click to hear author Graham Ferguson talk about the book.
In 2013 we published the booklet 'Wells next the Sea: A Little History', to provide the many visitors with a brief history of the town they might be in for just a few days. It became obvious that the considerable research that author Roger Arguile had put into that work warranted a more comprehensive publication, thus Wells next the Sea: A small port and a wide world
came into being.
The town has a story that spans many centuries. Whether your interest is specic to the town or in wider history, it is a book for you. Roger Arguile has skillfully positioned the story in the wider context of feudal power, of the church, of local government and of economic development, so that we can better understand and appreciate Wells next the Sea. Click Wells next the Sea - A small port and a wide world to order the paperback edition online and you can click to hear from author Roger Arguile.
Digging Sedgeford - A people's archaeology
is the first comprehensive review of the archaeological and historical work undertaken over the last nineteen years at the Norfolk village. It contains findings, conclusions and questions raised in the first dozen years and gives an outline of the subsequent work, where analysis and evaluation continues.
SHARP, the Sedgeford Historical and Archaeological Research Project, is the organisation which undertakes the excavation and the historical research and by clicking here you can hear more about the book from two of the team members. To go direct to the page where you can order you copy, click Digging Sedgeford - A people's archaeology.
Through Fire and Flood - Saving Norfolk's Archives
is published on 1st August 2014, 20 years on from the day that Norwich Central Library and its contents were burnt in a disastrous fire. Whilst all current and many historic publications were lost, the original documents representing a thousand years of Norfolk history and kept in the basement, survived. Remarkably it was water from the attempts to put out the fire that caused some damage, rather than the fire itself. Immediately access could be given to that basement where the Norfolk Record Office held its treasures, a rescue operation swung into action.
Author Sara Barton-Wood has interviewed many of those involved in the rescue of the documents and the planning and building of the new Archive Centre to bring us the compelling story of the creation of the splendid facilities the county has today. Your interest may be in a remarkable piece of local history, a story of how local and county decision-making does and doesn't work, or in the professional archiving of our world's history. If so, this is a book you will want to read; click Through Fire and Flood - Saving Norfolk's Archives to order online.
Once the huge fishing fleets of the east coast sailed for their catches; today the industry is a shadow of its former self. Fishing Talk: The Language of a Lost Industry
is a glossary of the language of 19th and 20 century fishing fleets, the words and phrases the crews and their families used in their daily lives. Author David Butcher recorded those words and enables us to recall and understand the times when hundreds of drifters and trawlers sailed from Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft.
Through the 1970s and 1980s the men and women of the fishing industry gladly contributed to David's recordings, an oral history now safely housed in the Suffok Record Office. From those recordings he has produced a series of books and now he adds an illustrated glossary to enable us to understand past lives and hand on their heritage to future readers. Click Fishing Talk - The Language of a Lost Industry to order online. Use our 'Support and Resources' link to hear one of the original recordings.
Dorothy Jewson - Suffragette and Socialist
gives author Frank Meeres the chance to bring to life the story of a remarkable Norwich woman. A controversial figure from a well-known city business family, she was a pacifist and a tireless worker for the disadvantaged. From running a workshop for women through the First World War to her later work for the Independent Labour Party and Norwich City Council, Dorothy made her mark on the city of Norwich and the county of Norfolk, as well as further afield. It's available from all good bookshops or to read more and to order your copy online, click on Dorothy Jewson - Suffragette and Socialist
Maritime Norfolk Part Two
completes Robert Malster's comprehensive study of Norfolk's maritime history. In the first volume, we travelled from Wisbech to Kings Lynn and then round the coast to Caister on Sea. This latest title concentrates on Great Yarmouth, from the first establishment of a herring market on the gradually forming sandbank, through to the gas, oil and wind farm businesses it hosts today. On the journey through the centuries, we see the town's part in England's medieval fleets, the Royal Navy's North Sea Squadron operating from the port, the great days of the drifter fleets and the time of the trawlers fleets of Gorleston - and many more aspects of this part of Norfolk's maritime heritage.
To order your copy, click on Maritime Norfolk Part Two and then on the shopping basket logo. Click to hear direct from author Robert Malster as he introduces this title and goes to some of the sites mentioned in the book.
Nine Norfolk Women - Succeeding in a 19th century man's world
takes individuals and families from across the county who succeeded, succeeded in business and enterprise in a time when such success might not be expected. Money-lending and lighthouse keeping, commercial enterprise in dressmaking and developing a chain of shops, writing and farming are amongst the skills demonstrated by the women featured.
Authors Pamela Inder and Marion Inder also demonstrate how, from iniitial evidence from the light-weight details to be found in census records and local directories can be expanded through dilgient research into chapter length biographies. The subjects of the book are drawn from across the county of Norfolk, form Great Yarmouth in the east to Kings Lynn in the west, from Harleston in the south to Cromer in the north. You can click on Pam Inder and Marion Aldis to hear a bit more from the authors about how they undertook their research. You can order your copy from all good bookshops or online - click for the order page for Nine Norfolk Women.
Storm Warriors of the Suffolk Coast
was first published in 1937. Today's edition adds the new dimensions of updated material and the unique photos of the books original author, Ernest Read Cooper. As Honorary Secretary ( today he'd be called Lifeboat Operations Manager) for the Southwold station and owner of his own yacht, he had an intimate knowledge of the Suffolk coast and of many of the men about whom he writes.
Not only is this a story of wreck and rescue, of tragedy and triumph, it is a picture of life on the beaches of Suffolk when salvage could mean much to the village community but the concern for human life came first as the National Lifeboat Insititution placed its boats around the coasts of Britain. But much was under way in Suffolk well before the national initiative, and Cooper begins the story in those early days of the 19th century as the first lifeboats were placed on station. To hear and see the editor, click Robert Malster; to order your copy online, click for the 'Lifeboats' section.
In just 36 pages but with 40 pictures, Wells-next-the-Sea - A Little History
an ideal introduction to the history of the town over the last millennium. Coal was being brought into the town from the 13th century, wool from the rich Norfolk sheep industry travelled in the opposite direction. As the small ports elsewhere on the Norfolk coast gradually became less accessible, Wells grew in importance and the barley fields of north Norfolk led to the growth of a substantial malting industry. The great flood of 1953 is perhaps the best known of the inundations of the sea, but Wells has had many other occasions on which the ocean has threatened it. With whelking and crabbing and the currently expanding need to service the wind farms of the North Sea, author Roger Arguile illustrates how Wells strives to keep all in balance and remain a pleasant home and holiday destination.
Crabs and Shannocks - The Longshore Fishermen of North Norfolk
is a DVD which tells the story of today's daily hunt for crabs and lobsters from the beaches in and around the towns of Cromer and Sheringham. At the end of the nineteenth century over a hundred boats worked from Sheringham beach and the many more from Cromer. We can pick up evidence of the fishing from Saxon times, with many men venturing far available, as well as the specialisation of the fisheries on the north Norfolk chalk ridge. From ancient documents to the photography of the Victorain age, through historic film and the written record, a story of over a thousand years of maritime history are told in this DVD.
The Crabs and Shannocks DVD runs for 67 minutes and you can click to view a trailer of the DVD. To order your copy online, click for the 'DVDs and Videos' section.