Absent Through Want of Boots : Diary of a Victorian School in Leicestershire

June 13th 1890: Mrs Bailey found Albert playing truant on Wednesday morning and brought him to school, giving him a good thrashing in the cap room with a stick she brought withher. December 11th 1908: The inclement weather has affected the average. Had two cases of boys not attending through want of boots.

Following the 1870 Forster Elementary Education Act, Albert Road Board School in Leicestershire opened on September 2nd1878, with an average role of 500 children. Drawn from the first-hand accounts of the head teachers in the school logbooks, this book details the diseases and ailments suffered; the struggle of local families to feed and clothe their children, especially during difficult times of strike and war; the introduction of vaccinations and the school health inspector; and comments about the curriculum, staff and leisure activities. Sometimes humorous but often sad, everyday life is captured here: from accounts of overcrowded classrooms and corporal punishment, to squabbles about tending the classroom fires, this book describes the reality of life in a Victorian school.

Alex Through the Looking-Glass : How Life Reflects Numbers and Numbers Reflect Life

From triangles, rotations and power laws, to fractals, cones and curves, bestselling author Alex Bellos takes you on a journey of mathematical discovery with his signature wit, engaging stories and limitless enthusiasm. As he narrates a series of eye-opening encounters with lively personalities all over the world, Alex demonstrates how numbers have come to be our friends, are fascinating and extremely accessible, and how they have changed our world. He turns even the dreaded calculus into an easy-to-grasp mathematical exposition, and sifts through over 30,000 survey submissions to reveal the world’s favourite number.

In Germany, he meets the engineer who designed the first roller-coaster loop, whilst in India he joins the world’s highly numerate community at the International Congress of Mathematicians. He explores the wonders behind the Game of Life program, and explains mathematical logic, growth and negative numbers. Stateside, he hangs out with a private detective in Oregon and meets the mathematician who looks for universes from his garage in Illinois.

Read this captivating book, and you won’t realise that you’re learning about complex concepts. Alex will get you hooked on maths as he delves deep into humankind’s turbulent relationship with numbers, and proves just how much fun we can have with them.

Hudson’s Historic Houses & Gardens, Castles and Heritage Sites

The Yellow Book : The National Gardens Scheme

Published annually in February, The Yellow Book 2014 lists nearly 4,000 gardens open for visiting. It is packed with full-colour photographs and informed comment.

Fully updated and supported by an online database, The Yellow Book 2014 is now easier to use than ever. Look out for sensory gardens, those offering accommodation and delicious treats, and learn how to create your own patch.

Find a garden to visit near you and support the NGS’s vital charity work.

The Valley : A Hundred Years in the Life of a Family

The close-knit villages of the Dearne Valley were home to four generations of the Hollingworth family. Spanning Richard Benson’s great-grandmother Winnie’s ninety-two years in the valley, and drawing on years of historical research, interviews and anecdotes, The Valley lets us into generations of carousing and banter as the family’s attempts to build a better and fairer world for themselves meet sometimes with triumph, sometimes with bitter defeat. Against a backdrop of underground explosions, strikes and pit closures, these are unflinching, deeply personal stories of battles between the sexes in a man’s world sustained by strong women; of growing up, and the power of love and imagination to transform lives.

 

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