A History of Britain in Thirty-six Postage Stamps: Book summary and reviews of A History of Britain in Thirty-six Postage Stamps by Chris West

A History of Britain in Thirty-six Postage Stamps

By Chris West

A History of Britain in Thirty-six Postage Stamps
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  • Published in USA  Oct 2013,
    288 pages.

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Book Summary

Stamps tell a story - and Chris West's book is the unique, fascinating tale of Great Britain told through its stamps.

Hailed by The Times of London as "a splendid reminder of the philatelic glories of the past," A History of Britain in Thirty-six Postage Stamps tells the rich, layered, and breathtaking history of England through thirty-six of its fascinating, often beautiful, and sometimes eccentric postage stamps. West shows that stamps have always mirrored the events, attitudes, and styles of their time. Through them, one can glimpse the whole epic tale of an empire unfolding. From the famous Penny Black, printed soon after Queen Victoria's coronation, to the Victory! stamp of 1946, anticipating the struggle of postwar reconstruction—A History of Britain in Thirty-six Postage Stamps is a hugely entertaining and idiosyncratic romp, told in Chris West's lively prose.

On their own, stamps can be curiosities, even artistic marvels; in this book, stamps become a window into the larger sweep of history.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"[T]here is cultural history to be found in these miniature art forms, and West has certainly found it, providing a quirky, and always interesting, overview of modern British history." - Publishers Weekly

"Stamp collectors and Anglophile history buffs alike will enjoy this book - and for the reader who's both, it's a sure bet." - Kirkus

"Each classic, lovingly designed stamp is presented in full color, revealing it to be both a work of art and a tantalizing window into the character and spirit of its era." - The Guardian (UK)

"This kind of remark is typical of West's style, which happily demolishes in a few pages the kinds of questions – did Marx have a point? Did the empire do more harm or good? – that might otherwise consume whole volumes." - The Daily Telegraph (UK)

"An unusual and accomplished project." - The Scotsman

"Chris West's book is like a collection of witty, informative letters about British history. It's as clear and readable as a picture postcard: short and sweet and chatty." - Stephen Clarke, author of the international bestseller A Year in the Merde and 1,000 Years of Annoying the French

"Chris West's gripping book reminds us why philatelists are passionate enough to kill. Oh, by the way, it's a fine portrait of the last 175 years of British history, too." - Alan Bradley, New York Times bestselling author of The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie

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Chris West has written widely in a variety of genres. His titles include a bestselling business guide and a quartet of crime novels. He inherited a love of history from his father and an Edwardian "Lincoln" stamp album from his great-uncle as a child. His love for stamps was revived when he found that same dust-covered album in his attic as an adult. He lives in Cambridgeshire, London.

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