The Devil’s Tinderbox: 70 Years Since the Dresden Bombings

It was the 70th anniversary of the Dresden bombings last week.

Controversy still rages about the Allied decision to bomb Dresden, as proven by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Most Rev Justin Welby, when he was accused of ‘apologising’ for the attacks at the 70th anniversary commemoration last weekend (via Daily Mail).

Allied forces dropped 1,400 loads of explosives on the city, in attacks that lasted over two days. 90% of the city was destroyed and around 25,000 people died in the raids, which began on the eve of Friday 13th February 1945.

These incredible composite images from The Independent show how much work had to be done to re-build the city, by merging pictures of the past and present.

Souvenir Press publishes The Devil’s Tinderbox, the only book to present the personal descriptions of eye-witnesses, not only of the survivors in the city but the air-crews, both British and American, who flew on the bombing mission and observed the appalling impact of their attacks.

Alexander McKee carefully assesses the political and military decisions that led to the raids, drawn from official sources and archive material in the only oral history to be published. The Devil’s Tinderbox also includes contemporary photographs that bear witness to the devastating effect of an attack that reduced Dresden to rubble.

Meticulously researched and skilfully told, The Devil’s Tinderbox is gripping, shocking and deeply moving.

Devil's Tinderbox cover

“McKee has gathered a series of harrowing eyewitness accounts which give us a graphic picture of a wartime hell.”
‘Mail on Sunday’

“Alexander McKee specialises in a distinct and most valuable form of contemporary history…He is less concerned to name names than to reconstruct the mood in which the raid took place, to explain why the destruction and loss of life in Dresden was so heavy and to record the experience of those who survive… likely to linger for good in the memory.”
‘New Statesman’

(eBook only) Get a copy of The Devil’s Tinderbox here.


Flour Power: It’s Pancake Day!

Happy Shrove Tuesday everyone!

If, like me, you will be gorging on lots of pancakes later on, why not opt for a healthier option (same pancake-y goodness, less bad stuff)? Rita Greer has come up with a delicious gluten-free pancake recipe, perfect for Pancake Day!

The recipe comes from Rita Greer’s best-selling, easy to use gluten-free handbook, Simply Gluten Free.

And what’s more, we’re publishing it for you right here.

Tweet and send us pictures of your best pancakes! (@SouvenirPress)

And finally, enjoy!pancake recipe

*Twit Twoo* Our Valentine’s Day 2015 Gift Ideas…

It’s one week to go until the big day, but no fear! SP are here with a list of some of our more romantically-inclined books for you to treat your special loved one with….

*note* These books are guaranteed to make your partner much happier than a Fifty Shades of Grey ticket.

1. Love Letters in the Sand by Khalil Gibran

Love Letters in the Sand, composed of extracts from some of Gibran’s most famous works, including The Prophet, is a collection of beautiful poems by one of the world’s greatest mystics. They evoke that special joy and excitement in the newness of love and the desire it awakens in you.


2. She Comes First by Ian Kerner

Continually recommended by Suzi Godson, sex columnist for The TimesShe Comes First, by Ian Kerner, is a witty, well-researched and revealing guide to bringing a woman to orgasm every time through cunnilingus. Oral sex has long been regarded as foreplay, a mere prelude to intercourse; now, Ian Kerner ushers in a new sexual era where it can be the focus of sexual “coreplay”. Essential to both beginners and experienced lovers.

She Comes First cover

3. Victoria by Knut Hamsun

This beautiful and moving story of young love is a classic of European literature, by Nobel Prize winning author Knut Hamsun.

It follows Johannes, the miller’s son, and Victoria, daughter of the lord of the manor, as they enjoy a brief moment of ecstasy that is as transitory as their dreams. They are forever separated by their class, and circumstances force them into perverse cruelty to each other.

Yet, Victoria cannot live without her Johannes.


4. Talk Dirty To Me by Sallie Tisdale

Published as part of our celebrated Independent Voices collection, Talk Dirty to Me is a frank, funny, and provocative journey through gender and desire. It ranges from romance and pornography, prostitution and morality, to fantasies and orgasm. Sallie Tisdale guides us through her research of peep shows, sex shops, and even the pornography collection of the British Library.

Talk Dirty To Me

5. The Life That I Have by Leo Marks

This poignant, haunting poem, originally written for the author’s fiancée Ruth who died in a plane crash in 1943, was given to the SOE agent Violette Szabo as her code poem, before she was dropped into occupied France in 1944. It afterwards became famous through the film of her life, Carve Her Name With Pride, starring Virginia McKenna, and has been a source of inspiration ever since for loved ones everywhere.


See some of Elena Gaussen Marks’ beautiful illustrations below…


6. Love: The Joy That Wounds by Rumi

The love poems by the great thirteenth-century Persian poet, Jelaluddin Rumi, founder of the Whirling Dervishes of Sufism, are both mystical and a mystery. Are they addressed to his mentor, the wandering Shams of Tabriz (who converted him to a life of joy when he was thirty-eight), or to God, or to a lover?

Reflecting the complexities and paradoxes of love and devotion – separation, cruelty, and break-up – they are poems of great power and emotional intensity, of exuberant passion and overflowing imagination.


Happy Valentine’s! (You can thank us later….)

#timetotalk Day: Ending the stigma surrounding Mental Health

Did you know that 1 in 4 people are affected by mental illness every year?

Today is Time For Change’s #timetotalk day, where people are encouraged to spend five minutes having a conversation about mental health.

The day hopes to end the stigma surrounding mental health, which people fear will affect their jobs and relationships.

Once you’ve had your five minute conversation, don’t forget to log your five minutes here.

Souvenir Press publishes a number of books that help to support those living with mental illness, and those who simply want to learn more about mental health.

Undoing Depression by Richard O’Connor

Rated 4.8/5 stars on Amazon, Richard O’Connor’s Undoing Depression teaches us how to replace depressive patterns of thought and behaviour with new, positive skills. Anyone who has taught themselves to live with depression can teach themselves to live without it. Recognising that medication is not a magic cure, it offers a range of therapies, from exercise to self-help and psychotherapy, and includes entirely new chapters on using meditation and the role of stress in depression.

“A clear understanding of the nature of depression and the struggles associated with it…the most important measure of this book will be whether the reader finds it helpful in recovery; I am confident that many will.”
Depression Alliance

Layout 1

Living with Mental Illness by Liz Kuipers

This helpful, practical book has established itself as an essential resource for all who care for the severely mentally ill, providing advice on how to cope day-to-day and what resources and services are available.

Written by a clinical psychologist and psychiatrist Living with Mental Illness explains what it feels like to be mentally ill, and the extensive resource section has been updated to make it a topical guide available to families and professionals. It looks at the new drug and psychological treatments now available and discusses legislation and the statutory rights of the mentally ill.

Sympathetic, comprehensive and understanding, this invaluable book can play a major role in helping those caring for anyone with a mental illness, easing the difficulties of those caught in what may seem a hopeless situation.

“Its aim is to provide information and practical advice to carers on mental illness, services, treatment, legal matters and benefits… it is well-ordered and clearly written.”
‘Mental Health Care’

Cognitive Therapy in Action by Ivy-Marie Blackburn and Vivien Twaddle

Cognitive therapy is the established method of helping people to overcome states of depression, anxiety or other emotional conditions.

With an introduction to the development and application of cognitive therapy, Cognitive Therapy in Action goes on to outline how it can work for a therapist or counsellor. Covering cases from depression and panic disorder to bulimia and obsessive-compulsive disorder, giving details of the process of the therapy in each case.

This is an invaluable practical guide to how cognitive therapy works for clinical psychologists, students, social workers, nurses and psychiatrists.

“It is so clearly written that I am certain a novice therapist would not feel overwhelmed by the content… If you are learning or practicing cognitive therapy and only purchase one book this year, this is the one to buy.”
‘British Journal of Medical Psychology’