Local Books

Books about Colchester and the surrounding area are particularly important for us here at Red Lion Books. We aim to hold in stock all books currently available on our locality and its history. Some key titles are highlighted below and new books will be added as they are released.

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River Stour Festival - various authors

The River Stour Festival runs events and exhibitions throughout the year. Just published is a small anthology celebrating the river, its culture, people and surrounding landscape. An essay by John Thorne examines how John Constable developed his gloriously accurate portrayal of clouds and skies by meticulous observation and recording of weather conditions as he sketched … Continue reading Stour

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The East Country

Jules Pretty

The author might be a Professor of Environment and Society at the University of Essex but this book is no dry academic text. In rich evocative prose Jules Pretty explores the landscape of Essex and Suffolk through the seasons. Mixing history, autobiographical sketches and personal reflections into his description of the natural history of our … Continue reading The East Country

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Radical Essex

editd by Hayley Dixon and Joe Hill

Home to Essex girls and Basildon Man, our county has suffered from unfair stereotyping as a place of fake tans, boy racers, chavs and bling. Part of a long-term project, ‘Radical Essex’ is a book which overturns that warped view of our county. For Essex has always been a place of new ideas, pioneering communities, … Continue reading Radical Essex

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Really Useful Knowledge – Colchester’s lifelong learning legacy.

Alan Skinner

From the exclusive organisations of the eighteenth century to the open-access adult education opportunities that have developed through the last hundred years the people of Colchester have enthusiastically used and supported lifelong learning in the many forms it has taken. This book traces the way in which education in adult life developed in the town … Continue reading Really Useful Knowledge – Colchester’s lifelong learning legacy.

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Colchester’s Historic High Street

Dave Stenning, Richard Shackle and Jane Greatorex

Walking down the High Street, it is the enticing displays in the shop windows and the colourful cafes and restaurants that tend to attract our attention. But look up and you will see some really characterful architecture. In fact, hidden behind some of the rebuilt frontages are centuries old timber framed buildings. This little book … Continue reading Colchester’s Historic High Street

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Prostitution in Victorian Colchester

Jane Pearson and Maria Raynner

In the mid nineteenth century the army camp was built just outside Colchester and soon it was the largest garrison in the country. The town benefitted from an economic boom but with It came problems. There was drunkenness, brawling and, with only 7% of soldiers allowed to marry, prostitution rocketed.  Colchester’s existing red-light district could … Continue reading Prostitution in Victorian Colchester