Non-Fiction set in York

From cookery to history – enjoy some non-fiction written and set in York!

→ If you’re looking for non-fiction for kids or teens, click here.
→If you’d like to invite any of these authors to your book group/school/festival etc., or would like to find out more about them, click on their name below to reach their York Authors profile page.
→ If you’re a York writer and you’d like to join us and have your work featured here, please email York Authors.

Surdhar - Bloody History YorkChristina Surdhar
Bloody British History – York
The History Press 2013
This is the history of York as you have never encountered it before! Travel back to a time when Erik Bloodaxe was resident monarch, or when William the Conqueror was in the middle of his relentless ‘harrying of the north’. There are no tea rooms or hanging baskets in this York, but the severed heads on the walls have a certain decorative effect and there are plenty of places to stay if you don’t mind risking cholera, and the plague. York has been the backdrop to some of the most significant and bloody events in British history. Read on if you dare!
Buy from: Amazon

Cover of Shaw - Out of MeFiona Shaw
Out of Me: The Story of a Postnatal Breakdown
Penguin,1997. Paperback/e-book
Genre: Autobiography
Set in York? Yes
Description: A loving husband, dream cottage, new baby. But ten days later hospitalised in a psychiatric unit with severe postnatal depression.
Fiona describes the descent into hell and months of despair which nearly destroyed her. Only when she produced this startling testimony could she take back her life again.
Reviews: ‘An exceptional memoir, written with a discipline that outfaces chaos. At times, it makes… The Bell Jar ring hollow.’ Observer
‘The hell [described] in this extraordinary testament does have an exit, but she had to make it out of thin air… She remade herself memory by memory, word by word.’ Guardian
Find out more and buy from: Author’s website l Amazon

Cover of Paths Not Taken - John ScottJohn Scott
Paths Not Taken
Alston Books, 2014. Paperback
Description: This is a lively personal account of the growth of York from a forgotten backwater of a city after World War Two into the bustling tourist attraction it is today. It is seen through the eyes of a young National Serviceman returning home to his sleepy cathedral city and finding it dingy and shabby from the war. He becomes a reporter on the local  paper chronicling events as the city slowly shakes itself back to life.
Find out more and buy from:  Amazon (paperback) | Amazon (Kindle)The author

Scott - University at LastJohn Scott
University at Last

Alston Books, 2010. Paperback.
 Description: Sixty-year-old grandad decides to get himself an education and becomes an undergraduate at York University. However, happily drifting along on academic Cloud Nine and constantly forgetting the household chores causes marital tensions.
Find out more and buy from: Amazon (Kindle) | Amazon (paperback) l The author
Scott - Does he speak WelshJohn Scott
Does He Speak Welsh

Red ‘n’ Ritten, 2008. Paperback
Description:   A schoolboy account of the German bombing raid on York after being a lonely evacuee in Wales where everyone around him spoke Welsh and his only escape was to become the town’s baker boy  helping his Uncle Bob make and deliver the town’s bread.
Find out more and buy from: Amazon | The author
Cover of Oma GoodnessRosl Schatzberger (Foreword by Victoria Wood)
Oma Goodness! Austrian magic in an English kitchen
Jessie’s Fund, 2008
Genre:  Cookery (+ autobiography)
Set in York? Partially.
Description: ‘Oma, can I have the recipe for …?’ This oft-heard plea from her grandchildren prompted Rosl Schatzberger to write her cookery book, which not only shares an expert cook’s favourite recipes, but also recaptures fascinating nuggets from a pre-war childhood in Vienna, and entertaining anecdotes from her life since. The book is sold to raise funds for the York-based charity Jessie’s Fund. Jessie, the inspiration behind Jessie’s Fund, was Rosl’s granddaughter.
Find out more from:Jessie’s Fund website
Buy from: Jessie’s Fund website | Amazon

Cover of Sandie - Just One StreetElizabeth Sandie
Just One Street
Elizabeth Sandie, 2011.  Paperback
Genre: Local history/ oral history/life stories
Set in York? Yes
Description:  Reveals the origins of an Edwardian York terrace and its first occupants followed by sketches of the lives of thirty residents interviewed in 2010. Covering a wide range of age, backgrounds, occupations and circumstances, these stories weave a very different portrait of life at the beginning of the twenty first century.
Reviews:  ‘Fascinating comparisons between when the houses were built and now. What richness and diversity! And what stories!’ Freda Waldapfel
‘Wonderful hybrid structure –  Meticulous research – Connections accumulate and histories echo between these extraordinary lives – as likely to have found their way from Yorkshire as Japan, Hungary, or India’    JT Welsch, Writing in Education 2012
Awards: Just One Street won a commission from Creative North Yorkshire’s Celebrating Place project.
Find out more from: Author’s website
Buy from: Amazon

Cover of Bunnell: The Disappearing HedgehogToni Bunnell
Disappearing Hedgehog

Independent Network Publisher, 2014. Paperback
Genre: Nature
Set in York? Yes
Description: This book provides clear descriptions of what to do if you find a sick hedgehog and how to create a hedgehog-friendly garden. Unless we act now the hedgehog will soon disappear. Stories from York Hedgehog Rescue Centre describe why hedgehogs are under threat and how we can help them.
Reviews: ‘Brilliant. If you are seriously interested in saving these amazing, interesting little guys this book is a must. It tells you everything you want to know. It’s lovely.’ ‘An excellent, clearly written and authoritative book.’ ‘I highly recommend it.’
Find out more and buy from: Author’s website

Nathen Amin
York Pubs
Amberley, 2016. Paperback and e-book
Genre: Local History
Set in York? Yes
Description: York Pubs catalogues 40 of the most intriguing and historic of the city’s pubs and provides the reader an introduction to a fascinating alehouse-based history of York.
Find out more and buy from: Author’s website   Amazon 

Nathen Amin
House of Beaufort
Amberley, 2017. Hardback and e-book
Genre: British History
Set in York? Partially
Description: House of Beaufort is the first full-length biography of the Beaufort dynasty, tracking their origins as illegitimate children to John of Gaunt, through Agincourt and the Wars of the Roses to the ascendancy of the Beaufort-blooded Tudors in 1485.
Find out more and buy from: Author’s website   Amazon

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