Book news and reviews – December 2015

Words by:
Yusef Sayed
Featured in:
December 2015

Scunthorpe based history writer Stephen Wade has published a new book about the developments in the status of women in law occupations and professions – including the story of Grantham’s Edith Smith, the first policewoman ever to be sworn in. The Justice Women is published by Pen and Sword.

The story of one man’s life working on the Grimsby Docks is to find a new audience, with the re-publication of A Fitter’s Life. Compiled by David Evardson and focusing on the experience of his late father John, the book was first published in 1985. To buy a copy, contact David on 01472 693137.

Waterstones High Street Lincoln is hosting FREE Sunday Storytime events for children aged 3 to 6 each week in the run-up to Christmas. The last event currently scheduled is on 13th December, featuring Raymond Briggs’s classic The Snowman. Tel: 01522 540011 for more information.

There are a range of fascinating books about the history and culture of Lincolnshire, as well as novels by local writers, available from the Lincolnshire Life web shop this Christmas. If you are looking for a unique gift for a bookworm who loves the county, you are sure to find what you are looking for. Visit

Published by Halsgrove, Price £16.99 (hbk)

Surveys of the Lincolnshire landscape in all its aspects and the links that the county’s towns, villages and cities have with the past have been undertaken in many previous publications. What will appeal to many readers about this new book, by Peter and Janet Roworth, is the array of striking colour photographs and the succinct textual information that brings things up to date.

The book provides simple introductions to the longstanding landmarks, such as Gainsborough Old Hall and Lincoln’s Cathedral, but the authors also draw attention to recent developments and trends, including the popular ice skating rink enjoyed by thousands of visitors to Lincoln in December, and the annual sausage festival which is held in the Castle grounds.

Putting the emphasis on the different faces of Lincolnshire, where vast open landscapes and glimpses of fading traditions are still very much present, is likely to draw more newcomers to the county. An ideal publication for tourist centres and the county’s accommodation providers to put on the welcome table for visitors. Available from local stockists, or from Halsgrove Direct on 01823 653777 or

Published by Fair Winds Press, Price £14.99 (pbk)

With the party season ahead and Lincolnshire food and drink enthusiasts always eager to involve locally grown produce in their recipes, this new book by Emily Han will provide inspiration for your very own wild drinks and cocktails to spice up your Christmas and New Year gatherings.

Han’s guide focuses on making fantastic tasting and healthy drinks with homegrown or foraged ingredients. There are 100 recipes that range from homemade soda and brewed teas, to tonics, infusions and craft cocktails. More than just a matter of mixing one shop-bought product with another, this book teaches a variety of techniques – a novel way of having fun with friends and family this season and an opportunity to indulge your creative side and your tastebuds.

Lincolnshire readers will be able to put their own spin on Han’s sweet and sour offerings, by substituting locally grown fruits into these recipes, from Strawberry Squash to Mulled Wine. Available from

Published by Society for Lincolnshire History and Archaeology, Price £12.50

As far as special interests go, ‘Public Health, Sewers and Politics in Lincoln, 1848-50’ must rank high. But as a picture of Lincoln’s past – a time when it was highly unsanitary and in the grip of a cholera epidemic – as well as a reflection of contemporary issues regarding public resource administration and lack of farsightedness in city developments, Dennis Mills’s new book might pique more interest than one might at first expect.

The book reproduces a report by engineer George Giles, whose state-of-the-art sewerage scheme as a solution to the city’s dire conditions prompted a fulsome debate in Lincoln. But following two heated public meetings, ratepayers defeated the adoption for the proposals.

Containing detailed maps and biographical information, Mills evokes a moment in Lincoln’s history when public and local government interest was full of life and where the health and safety of everyone was concerned. Not taking at face value the obvious suggestions for the defeat of the bill and the potential of Giles plans, however, Mills uses his research and the benefit of hindsight to draw his own well-informed conclusions about the issue.

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