The Eagle and the Phoenix

Coventry Society member, Sheila Woolf, has published a new book about the history of Coventry aimed at young people.

The book is aimed at children between about nine to twelve years old, telling stories based on episodes in the rich history of Coventry. It begins with the Romans at the Lunt Fort in Baginton, moves through medieval times, goes on to include weavers’ riots and hangings at Gibbet Hill, and concludes with the Sky Blues’ FA Cup win of 1987! Each story is told by an imaginary child, so that the events appear from a young person’s perspective.

This book is a fantastic addition to the City of Culture Year and fills in some of the gaps in the programme for the year.

With Christmas on the horizon, perhaps it could be a stocking-filler for your children or grandchildren?

The book is priced £6.95 and can be ordered via Amazon, Coventry and Nuneaton branches of Waterstones, or directly from the author (which would incur £2 p&p). It has been published by a local firm in Earlsdon, Takahe Publishing.

The press release from the publisher states:


“Coventry has a fascinating history, whether we consider its folk lore, its buildings or its people and their achievements. Few of us perhaps have the time or inclination to delve into the numerous text books on this subject, so how do you make it interesting – especially to children? Well, Sheila Woolf certainly succeeds in her new book: The Eagle and the Phoenix:

“Coventry Stories for Young People. A selection of events from Coventry’s past is presented in a collection of nine short stories, told through the perspective of young people who experienced them.

“The youngsters in the stories are fictional but the historical background is real, giving the reader a chance to view past events through the eyes of the children and their families.

“The stories start with a young lad at the Lunt Fort in Roman times who has a natural affinity with horses but who yearns for his native country. We then move on to Lady Godiva and her famous ride through the streets of Coventry. Other stories include the imprisonment of Mary Queen of Scots in Saint Mary’s Hall in the late 16th  century, riots of the weavers in the 1830s, the destruction of the cathedral during World War II, and the great success of the Sky Blues in winning the 1987 FA Cup.

“The introduction to each chapter is accompanied by an evocative line-art drawing by the talented Earlsdon artist David R. Clarke who captures the mood of the story. The book will appeal to a wide range of ages from 9-12.

“Sheila Woolf was Head of English at King Henry VIII School in Coventry until her retirement. Since then she has written extensively on aspects of Warwickshire history and regularly lectures on local subjects. In this book she wanted to present aspects of Coventry’s history to young people in an interesting and inspiring way. She has certainly succeeded and you don’t have to be a history buff to enjoy these stories … but beware you might want to find out more!

“The Eagle and the Phoenix : Coventry Stories for Young People (ISBN 978-1-908837-17-2) is published by Earlsdon’s Takahe Publishing Ltd and is available from and local bookshops price £6.95.”

CovSoc Member Sheila Woolf with her new book

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