Norwich History Books

As MyriadLifeBooks is located in Norfolk UK it makes perfect sense to affiliate for the brilliant Bittern Books who stock beautiful and interesting books from local authors, historians and photographers who like me, are plainly in love with this fascinating county.

Through the books seen here you can delve into the history of this incredible place no matter where you live. Norfolk inspires writers with its stunning landscapes, coastline, ancient sites and architecture. Norwich is known as the city of stories and a UNESCO city of literature.

If you have never been to Norfolk, these books will surely encourage you to visit!

By buying these books via my website you help me earn a little extra so I can keep producing my Norfolk Notebooks and carry on writing stories as PetraKidd

Simply click on the book title/image or price to buy.

The books on this page are all related to Norwich, to see books about the wider county of Norfolk please click here.

How Norwich Fought Against the Plague


The global pandemic of 2020-21 has upset the lives of millions throughout the world bringing into stark reality the fragility of our way of life or even human existence. It has highlighted how well we react in a crisis and how the decisions taken by civic authorities can ensure the safety or otherwise of the population.

In this book Norwich historian Frank Meeres, through a close examination of surviving records from different periods, looks at the outbreak of bubonic plague in the city from the first wave in 1348-1349 to its last in 1666-67. The reader will find that they used familiar ways of combating the disease: isolation, lockdown, shielding, movement restrictions, closure of schools and places of entertainment and social distancing. There was also a recognition that certain ‘key workers’ were needed to ensure society continued to function as normally as possible. While some made fortunes, the devastating effect on the economy, with the poorest in society being the worst hit, is perhaps the least well documented.

Some historians argue that plague heralded in seismic changes as a ‘new normal’ led to rapid social change: this book shows how decisions made at the time affected the city of Norwich in many ways.

Buy here £9.95


Tim Holden’s new telling of the Robert Kett story is riveting and captures both the hardships of daily life and the political realities of Tudor England.   The characters are brought to life, adding a fictional interpretation to the historical events that took place around Wymondham and Norwich in 1549.

Two years after the death of King Henry VIII, England is a turbulent realm. His son, Edward, the child monarch is too young to rule, and the government is factious. The nobility jostle for personal power and prestige. The treasury is empty and the elite of wealthy landowners are bent on exploiting the poor.

When a yeoman farmer from Norfolk, Robert Kett, finds himself at the centre of a local dispute, his impulsive actions plunge him into a precarious alliance with the dissenting commoners.  To prevail, Kett must bring order to the chaos, impose his own justice, overcome the deception and betrayal that surrounds him and stay true to his cause. As events spiral and disobedience sparks rebellion, can his leadership withstand the dangers and opportunities of a country struggling to leave its past and discover its future?

Buy here £7.99


As we grow older, memories become more vivid and people and places from the past come alive again.  So when Fred discovered some old sketches of France, he began to look back on his life and write this book.

Frederick George Goodson Cobb (Fred) was born in Norwich in 1896. Apart from military service in World War One and a ten year ‘exile’ in Ipswich, he lived his entire life in Thorpe, Norwich. He retired in 1961 after a fifty year career with the railways — initially the Great Eastern Railway (GER) which merged to become part of London and North East Railway (LNER) in 1923 and finally part of British Railways after nationalisation in 1948.

One of his main hobbies was writing and between 1929 and 1937 he was a regular contributor to the London & North Eastern Railway Magazine. Following his retirement, he contributed a number of articles of local interest to the Eastern Daily Press and Eastern Evening News. “Whiffler”, a columnist in the Eastern Evening News, once described him as a writer of “no mean journalistic ability” and “a really good writer” — these words of commendation encouraged him in 1973 to write this autobiography.

He typed the original manuscript and several photocopies were taken and distributed around the family. The consensus was that the work was of sufficient quality and interest to deserve a wider audience.

Fred died in 1977 at the age of 80 and nothing further was done about the book until the autumn of 2018 when  Fred’s nephew, Alan Cobb, then at the age of 92, started the lengthy process of digitising the book by reading the entire contents into his computer (initially saving the work onto 85 different files!).

Alan’s son, Chris, and Fred’s daughter, Janette and other family members then took over and carried out the fact checking, proof reading, obtaining the necessary permissions to reproduce photographs, researching printers, cover design and multitude of other tasks to arrive at the finished book.

Buy here £14.00

The Days of the Norwich Trams


Transforming Streets, Transforming Lives

In 1900 the first trams ran in Norwich. They were greeted with awe, as a technological wonder of the age. Their arrival not only revolutionised travel, but also radically changed streets, as buildings were demolished, roads widened, and tracks installed.

This book combines newspaper articles, anecdotes, atmospheric photographs and contemporary documents to vividly illustrate the pivotal role trams played in both the development of Norwich and the lives of its people. It is the story about so much more than a vehicle; it is the story about
how that vehicle transformed a city.

Buy here £12.50

The Old Courts and Yards of Norwich


A story of people, poverty and pride.

Buy here £9.95

Harriet Kettle: Pauper, Prisoner, Patient and Parent in Victorian Norfolk


Harriet Kettle (c1838-1916) was a rebel against authority in Victorian times. She lost her mother and, abandoned by her father, grew up in the workhouse. Imprisoned several times and committed as a lunatic on five separate occasions she eventually got married and had four children. Stating on one occasion that, ‘no man would conquer her’, her final act was to take a wealthy businessman to court. A case she won.

This book explores in depth the contexts in which Harriet’s life was lived: the village of Cranworth, Gressenhall Workhouse, the courts and yards of Norwich, Walsingham and Wymondham Houses of Correction, the Norfolk County Lunatic Asylum, the Bethlem Hospital in London and Toftwood, a suburb of East Dereham. In so doing, it provides a vivid picture of the grittier sides of life in Victorian times.

Buy here £10.95

Norwich 1144 a Jews’s Tale


Norwich 1144 A Jew’s Tale is a novel based on the first modern accusation of the ritual murder of a Christian child by Jews, what was to become known as the Blood Libel.

Buy here £10.00

Norwich In The 1950’s


NORWICH in 1950 was a different place. Still scarred by war the city was coming to terms with itself. Children played in the rubble of bomb sites, and workers strove to build a prosperous peace on building sites. By the end of the decade the retail heart of the city would be reconstructed, new building programmes would be changing domestic life, and the manufacturing industries would be making world-class products with household names. Birthplace of Barclays, Aviva, Start-rite, Caleys and Colman’s, the citywas ready to embark on another chapterin its long history of commercial and cultural development. From post-war austerity to the threshold of the consumer society, Norwich embraced the 1950s as a decade of change.

Buy here £14.99

Norwich in the 1970s


For some the 1970s meant punk rock and political unrest. For others it was a time of ABBA and affluence. The decade’s dual identity was as striking in Norwich as it was nationally. While once-familiar streets were demolished, new buildings sprang up. Different brand names appeared in the city centre and with them came a new era of shopping and eating out. For those who remember the steakhouses and nightclubs, the football and the fashions of the 1970s, this book is a fascinating flashback to a different Norwich. Following his incredibly popular Norwich in the 1950s and Norwich in the 1960s, Pete Goodrum’s look at the 1970s shines a light on another decade in the city’s history. From the ‘old’ Odeon to the Garlands fire, from Bonds to the ‘Berni’, this is how we lived in Norwich in the 1970s.

Buy here £14.99

Murder & Crime in Norwich


This absorbing collection delves into the villainous deeds that have taken place in Norwich and its surrounding areas. Cases of murder, robbery, assault and fraud are all examined as the darker side of the city’s past is exposed. From cases as famous as the murder of William of Norwich, which led to the expulsion of the Jewish race from England in 1290, to little-known crimes such as the tragic case of a man suffering from depression murdering his fiancée, this book sheds a new light on the city’s criminal history. Illustrated with a wide range of archive material and modern photographs, Murder & Crime Norwich is sure to fascinate both residents and visitors alike as these shocking events of the past are revealed for a new generation.

Buy here £9.99