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The following books provide information about the history of Bristol, and some of the themes referred to during the Great Reading Adventure.

Not all of these are still in print but it may be possible to find loan copies through the library service. Bristol Central Library, for example, has an extensive local studies section on the first floor. Visit the Family History and Local Studies website here.


Peter Aughton (2000) Bristol: a people’s history Carnegie Publishing

Kathleen Barker (1979) Early Music Hall in Bristol Bristol Branch of the Historical Association

Kathleen Barker (nd) Entertainment in the Nineties Bristol Branch of the Historical Association

J H Bettey (1986) Bristol Observed Redcliffe Press
Keith Brace (1971) Portrait of Bristol Robert Hale

Bristol Branch of the Historical Association (2000) Post-war Bristol 1945-1965 Historical Association

H G Brown and P J Harris (1964) Bristol, England Burleigh Press

Shirley Brown and Dawn Dyer (2002) 100 Women of Bristol Bristol City Council

Angus Buchanan and Michael Williams (1982) Brunel's Bristol Redcliffe Press

John Sansom (2007) Children's Bristol Redcliffe Press
GC Collard (1992) Up to Scratch: the story of Bristol's bareknuckle champions Roger Packer

Rupert E Davies (1960) The Church in Bristol John Wright & Sons

Madge Dresser and Philip Ollerenshaw (editors) (1996) The Making of Modern Bristol Redcliffe Press

Madge Dresser (2007) Slavery Obscured: the social history of the slave trade in Bristol Redcliffe Press

Madge Dresser et al (2008) Bristol: ethnic minorities and the city, 1000-2001 Philmore

Michael Dunnill (2006) Dr William Budd: Bristol's most famous physician Redcliffe Press
Christine Eicklemann and David Small (2004) Pero: the life of a slave in 18th century Bristol Redcliffe Press

Peter Fleming and Kieran Costello (1998) Discovering Cabot's Bristol: life in the medieval and tudor town Redcliffe Press Ltd

Andrew Foyle (2004) Bristol: Pevsner Architectural Guide Yale University Press

J S Fry and Sons Ltd (1945) English City: the growth and the future of Bristol University of London Press Ltd

Gil Gillespie (2004) The Naked Guide to Bristol Naked Guides Ltd

Francis Greenacre and Sheena Stoddard (1986) The Bristol Landscape: the watercolours of Samuel Jackson 1794-1869 City of Bristol Museum and Art Gallery

Alistair Heys (ed) (2005) From Gothic to Romantic: Thomas Chatterton's Bristol Redcliffe Press

Andrew Kelly and Melanie Kelly (ed) (2006) Brunel: in love with the impossible BCDP

Julian Lea-Jones (2007) Bristol Curiosities Birlinn

Bryan Little (1991) The Story of Bristol Redcliffe Press

Michael Manson (1988) Bristol Beyond the Bridge Past and Present Press

Ronald Mayo (1985) The Huguenots in Bristol Bristol Branch of the Historical Association

John Penny (2005) Bristol at Work Breedon Books Publishing

Helen Reid (1992) A Chronicle of Clifton & Hotwells Redcliffe Press

Derek Robinson (2005) A Darker History of Bristol: swindles, scandals, and skulduggery Countryside Books

Rev S Paul Shipley & Beryl Thornborough (reprint 1989) Bristol Siren Nights Redcliffe Press

Michael Quinton Smith (1995) St Mary Redcliffe: an architectural history Redcliffe Press

Sheena Stoddard (2001) Bristol Before the Camera: the city in 1820-30 Redcliffe Press

Anne Stott (2003) Hannah More: the first Victorian Oxford University Press

Sally Watson (2002) Secret Underground Bristol Broadcast Books

Rita Youseph (1994) The Black Population of Bristol in the 18th Century Bristol Branch of the Historical Association


(1991) Bristol Heritage: a walking guide to Bristol's churches Redcliffe Press

Dresser, Madge et al (1998) Slave Trade Trail around Central Bristol Bristol's Museums, Galleries and Archives

The Long John Silver Trust (2006) The Bristol Treasure Island Trail Broadcast Books

Connie Smith and Richard Harris (2004) Rural Rambles Near Bristol and Bath Countryside Books

Nigel Vile (1994) Pub Walks Near Bristol and Bath Countryside Books

Nigel Vile (1999) Waterside Walks Near Bristol and Bath Countryside Books


Redcliffe Press
Download a list of the top 50 Redcliffe Press books about Bristol here.

Bristol Writing
Download the Bristol Writing section of the guide here.

Close to Home
Go to the Writing page for details of this Bristol Libraries promotion of novels set in Bristol.

Bristol Short Story Prize
Click here for news of an annual writing competition that offers writers a chance to get into print. Closing date 31 March 2008.

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