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Pen & Sword Books

The origin of Pen and Sword Books is closely linked with its sister company, the Barnsley Chronicle; one of the UK’s oldest provincial newspapers – established in 1858 – and one of the few weeklies still in private ownership. The first books published by the company were in response to public demand following a series of articles published in the newspaper. Dark Peak Aircraft Wrecks told the story of crash sites in the Dark Peak area of the Peak District National Park, and a further weekly feature on the history of two Kitchener battalions, known as the Barnsley Pals, aroused a thirst for more information. Over the years these books have been reprinted a number of times and have collectively sold around 20,000 copies.

Following on from the success of Dark Peak Wrecks and Barnsley Pals books, a number of local history paperbacks were produced along with a series of battlefield guide books. Battleground Europe proved immediately successful and as more and more titles were produced the company made the decision to launch a book publishing arm of the group.

The company acquired the Leo Cooper military history imprint and “Pen and Sword” was born. Leo Cooper, the husband of the famous novelist Jilly, had established a strong reputation for publishing military history titles and had some famous books on his list. With the Leo Cooper imprint and its backlist, Pen and Sword became established as one of the UK’s leading military history publishers.

Over recent years Pen and Sword has continued to grow and has added new imprints to its core area of military history, as well as publishing the majority of its catalogue digitally in eBook format. Pen and Sword specialises in all areas of military history, naval and maritime, aviation, local history, genealogy, social history, transport, discovery and exploration, archaeology, nostalgia, and true crime. In 2017, a new lifestyle imprint named White Owl was launched, which publishes books on areas such as health and diet, hobbies and sport, gardening and wildlife and space.

With over 350 books published every year, Pen and Sword has established itself as a specialist book publisher.




Artist / Author

As a survivor of a brutal attack by the Yorkshire Ripper, this book gives fresh insight into the consequences of being labeled a victim of this notorious serial killer.

Mo was followed home by Peter Sutcliffe who a hit her over the head repeatedly with a hammer. She was stabbed with a screwdriver leaving her with life threatening injuries.

It reveals how Mo Lea has wrestled with the past and never quite come to terms with the well-trodden, morbid narrative. She has written a new, fresh perspective for the present day.

Her writing offers an alternative account, for her to be repositioned as a survivor with a success story.

April 2, 2021

About the Interview:

Interview with author Mo Lea about her book Facing the Yorkshire Ripper

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Historian / Author

Yorkshire born and living in Northamptonshire I have been involved in writing true crime for over twenty years. I tend to focus on murder cases between 1850-1960. The aim always to tell a good story, understand the characters involved and, where possible, give a personal view of the case and those affected. For me it is essential to be very aware of just how much a murder case, regardless of time past, would have impacted upon family and friends.  Murder, by its very nature, is an appalling crime. It is also often hard to understand. My intention when I begin writing is to do justice to the known facts and tell a truthful, factual story.

April 1, 2021

About the Interview:

Interview with author Kevin Turton about his Books! 



Historian / Author

Jacki Hill-Murphy has spent the last 10 years researching female explorers of the 18th and 19th centuries and recreating their expeditions.
She does so as faithfully as possible, at the same time of year with similar forms of transport where possible.
This episode is a little different to the others, because as well as the incredible adventures and journeys Jacki goes on, part of the fascination for me was in the stories of these women. In an era where they had almost no rights of their own; were expected to marry; wear dresses and corsets, they decided to take on arduous, dangerous journeys with very little experience.

March 31, 2021

About the Interview:

Interview with author Jacki Hill-Murphy about her Books! 



Historian / Author

I'm an archivist who writes history books about mental health.

My first book, Broadmoor Revealed, is an introduction to the Victorian hospital and some of its patients.

My second book is called Life in the Victorian Asylum. It provides an immersive experience in the day-to-day world of Victorian public asylums, including Broadmoor

March 30, 2021

About the Interview:

Interview with author Mark Stevens about his Books! 

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Historian / Author

Freelance writer, world traveller, adventurer. Lived in Canada, US, England and France. Now residing in London. Claims to fame -- no cavities and married in hostel for homeless women. Worked in charity communications for Save the Children, Green America, Rainforest Foundation, Mayday Trust, and British Asian Trust, a Prince’s Charity. Passionate about getting female adventurers ‘back on the map’. Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and a Churchill Fellow specializing in support for people fleeing war and violence.

March 29, 2021

About the Interview:

Interview with author Rosemary J. Brown about her Books! 



Historian / Author

I am the author of over twenty non-fiction books, chiefly social history, as well as forty westerns. The non-fiction books, with publishers which include UCL IOL Press, Pen & Sword Books and The History Press.  I write too for various newspapers and magazines. I am also engaged from time to time by television and film companies as a consultant on historical matters.
I have a particular interest in, and extensive knowledge of;  terrorism in Victorian and Edwardian Britain, capital punishment and home education.

March 25, 2021

About the Interview:

Interview with author Simon Webb about his Books! 




Stephen Wade was born in Leeds and educated at the universities of Wales and Leeds.
He taught in further and higher education for many years, and this was followed by six years as a writer working in prisons. He has written over fifty books, mainly in non-fiction, and he also lectures part-time at the University of Hull

In Stephen Wade's casebook, Murder in Mind he looks at his favourite investigations in his home county of Yorkshire, rich with villainous acts, painstaking investigations and outright injustices. Read about Leeds' most notorious female killer Louie Calvert and why he believes her conviction and hanging could have been a travesty; famous hangmen, Chartist rebels, and the many cases open to fresh investigation such as those of Bill o' Jacks, Mr Blum and Emily Pye

March 23, 2021

About the Interview:

Interview with author Stephen Wade about his Books! 

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