Monday 4 August 2014 marked the hundredth anniversary of the start of Britain’s involvement in the First World War. To commemorate this landmark centenary, each week we will be publishing extracts from Whitaker’s Almanack recorded in the 1915 edition (which covers events for the years 1914–15). Entitled ‘Diary of the European War’, the excerpt accurately records each significant event as World War One progressed during its first month in August 1914, eventually culminating in the most tragic and fatal conflict the world had yet seen.
As recorded in the 1915 edition:
‘The European conflagration broke out towards the end of July, and by the beginning of August practically the whole of the Continent was under arms, if not actually engaged in warfare. It speedily became clear, indeed, that the German plans of campaign and the completeness of the vast military organisation had been the deliberate work of years. War was declared upon Russia by Germany on Aug. 1, and on the 2nd French territory was entered at Ciréy by German troops, while Russian forces crossed the German frontier. On Aug. 3 the British fleet was mobilised, and Germany sent an ultimatum to Belgium, which led to the British ultimatum to Germany on Aug. 4, on which day, at 11 p.m., war was declared between Great Britain and Germany.’ (cont. Diary of the War)
NEWSFLASH Whitaker’s 2015 to be published 20 November 2014
Preparation of the 2015 (147th) edition of Whitaker’s is well underway. In order that we can include the results of the Scottish independence referendum in this edition the publication date has been pushed back slightly to 20 November 2014.
One of the last jobs the editorial team does just prior to going to press is to decide on the front cover images. The main image usually tries to encapsulate an event of national or international importance, while for the four images that run across the top, we try to pick something to represent different fields of interest: from Sport, the Arts, an international event or an iconic figure that has died during the previous year. The image to the left is a mock-up to illustrate the sort of thing that we consider. As you can imagine, it is hard, with just five images, to find something that truly summarises the year that has gone before.
Keeping all this in mind, if you have any suggestions as to what the cover images should be on the forthcoming edition then we would love to hear from you. Please email your suggestions by the end of August 2014, and you never know, you may even get to see your suggestion on the front of the 2015 edition!
Publishing simultaneously on 20th November this year is a facsimile edition of the very first Whitaker’s Almanack, originally published in 1869. A fascinating insight into the Victorian world it features remarkable anecdotes, facts and figures from a bygone age, yet those who are familiar with Whitaker’s will recognise that today’s almanack still carries the key aspects of this very first edition. Joseph Whitaker states in his preface, written in December 1868,
‘The Almanack is essentially a Household Book. From it is derived the knowledge ordinarily possessed of the Course of the Seasons, and other Astronomical Phenomena, the nature of our Constitution, and the statistics of our Ecclesiastical, Legal, Naval, and Military systems. In addition to all such information, herein given in an unusually full and complete manner, the reader will discover other and important features not hitherto easily obtainable. He is referred, for instance, to the summaries of the Public Income and Expenditure, the proceedings of Parliaments during the last Session; to Scientific Discoveries and Inventions of the Year; to the Trade, Commerce, and Finance of the Kingdom; and to the particulars of our Municipal and Social Institutions…a clear and concise account of India, Australia, Canada and other possessions, together with a similar description of Foreign Countries.’
Which, I think you would agree (old-fashioned language nothwithstanding!), still provides an accurate description of the contents of Whitaker’s today.
Whitaker’s 2015 ISBN 978-1-4729-0929-9 Price £50.00 (1184 pages plus 32 pages full-colour maps and infographics)
Whitaker’s Almanack 1869 ISBN 978-1-4729-0708-0 Price £19.99 (384 pages)
BOTH PUBLISHING 20 NOVEMBER 2014
WHITAKER’S 2014 – OUT NOW!
Whitaker’s 2014 is the ultimate single-volume reference book. It is a treasure trove of facts and figures about today’s ever-changing world — from detailed information on the UK monarchy, government departments, health and education systems to extensive and authoritative data on every country in the world.
Despite the decision to drop ‘almanack’ from the title, Whitaker’s remains as it has always been, an invaluable historical record and the definitive guide to the forthcoming year.
Whitaker’s 2014 is published by Bloomsbury. Click here for further details about the brand new edition of Whitaker’s.
“If you want to know it … it’s here” - John Humphrys
“A mighty work of reference” - Sir Trevor McDonald, OBE
“A standard relaxation for me is to open the Almanack at random, and ease myself into the hypnotic world of eclectic information” – Tim Waterstone
“Whitaker’s is the place for things that everybody needs but nobody publishes – nobody else” – Matthew Parris
“Settler of argument, provider of spurious historical parallels, goad to the weary hack’s mind … I become so engrossed I forget what I was trying to look up in the first place” – Libby Purves
£1,000 Quiz – The 2014 winner is Brian Abrams from Pinner!
208 pages (including colour and black and white illustrations)
To purchase Whitaker’s Britain direct from the Bloomsbury website click here
To purchase the ebook version of Whitaker’s Britain direct from the Bloomsbury website click here
On 22 July 2013 the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s son, HRH Prince George (Alexander Louis) of Cambridge, was born at 4.24pm, weighing 8lb 6oz, at St Mary’s Hospital, Paddington.
Whitaker’s 2014 (published 7 November 2013), recorded this birth, as it has done for every royal birth since it was first published in 1868:
BIRTH OF THE PRINCE OF WALES
Nov. 14.  Birth of Prince Charles: Princess Elizabeth safely delivered of a Prince at Buckingham Palace. Official announcement added that Her Royal Highness and her son were both doing well. Crowd waiting outside Palace received news with enthusiasm. 15. Cabinet and City of London sent congratulations on birth of the Prince. Royal Salute of 41 guns was fired in Hyde Park, salutes were fired at Edinburgh and other places, and peals of bells were rung. President Truman sent cable of congratulations, and throughout the British Commonwealth and Empire news was received with jubilation. 16. Bulletin stated that the Princess was making satisfactory progress and that infant Prince continued to do well. Both Houses of Parliament carried loyal address of congratulation to King and Queen, Princess Elizabeth and Duke of Edinburgh unanimously. 18. Palace bulletin announced that the infant Prince was a healthy baby. 19. Final bulletin said Princess and her son were maintaining steady and satisfactory progress. Whitaker’s Almanack 1950
BIRTH OF THE DUKE OF CAMBRIDGE
June 21.  The Princess of Wales gave birth to a 7 lb 1½ oz. boy, who became second in line to the throne, in St Mary’s Hospital, Paddington at 9.03 p.m.
28. Buckingham Palace announced that the baby son of the Prince and Princess of Wales was to be named William Arthur Philip Louis and would be known as Prince William of Wales. Whitaker’s Almanack 1983
This and other fascinating insights into the royal family and other major historical events can be found in Whitaker’s Britain, published on 26 September 2013. With extracts taken from the extensive Whitaker’s archive, dating back to 1868,
Whitaker’s Britain provides a unique historical perspective of the last 150 years.
WHITAKER’S SHORTS 2014
Whitaker’s ebook editions featuring selected themed sections of the main edition of Whitaker’s 2014.
Whitaker’s Almanack is available in ebook format. There are six titles to choose from:
- Banking and Finance
- Law and Order
- The Year in Review
- Five Years in Review
Head to the ebook tab at the top of the page to find out more and to make a purchase, or click here.
WHITAKER’S LITTLE BOOK OF KNOWLEDGE
Whitaker’s Little Book of Knowledge is a unique ready-reference containing fascinating facts for every trivia buff while providing a unique insight into the world from the 19th century to the present day.
Whitaker’s Almanack Quiz and Sports Quiz Apps – for your iPhone
- Over 1,000 questions per app
- Multiple choice, Guess the Year and Matching Pairs quiz modes
- General Knowledge questions from all specialities: Art & Design, Business, Entertainment, Geography, History, Language & Literature, Music, The Natural World, Philosophy & Religion, Politics, Science and Sport
- Dedicated Sports Quiz App, including subjects as diverse as Sporting Rivalries, Football, Curling, Darts, Incredible Comebacks, Rugby, Golf – and everything in between
- Choose level of difficulty – novice, skilled, genius
- Score sharing and global rankings
Whitaker’s Almanack Quiz Apps have the authority of their sister print publication Whitaker’s Almanack, which has been published annually since 1868.
Whitaker’s Almanack Quiz Apps – the ultimate challenge!