The Leeds Philosophical
and Literary Society

Registered Charity 224084 Company Registered in England 177204

Registered Office: c/o Leeds City Museum, Cookridge Street, Leeds LS2 8BH


The Society has published scholarly works for many years. It now concentrates on subjects connected with Leeds or its region. It invites suggestions for publications both from its members and from others. The Society also invites proposals from authors and publishers for joint publication.


Until recently, the Society published books on a wider range of topics. Recent publications which are still in print are listed below - most are available directly from the Society, but some are now available only from commercial distributors - see the annotations to each title. The prices given apply to single copies of books ordered directly from the Society and include postage & packing. For prices for overseas orders, please contact the Assistant Secretary. Unless indicated otherwise, orders for publications should be sent to Mr Norman Madill, LPLS Assistant Secretary, ( or at Leeds Philosophical and Literary Society, c/o Leeds City Museum, Cookridge Street, Leeds LS2 8BH, accompanied by a cheque for the amount shown.

The Society also awards grants to support the publication by other publishers (commercial and non-commercial) of academic works. For details see the Grants page  

Publications in print  


Walks Round Red Brick, by Maurice Beresford. A New Edition (2012) with additional text by Christopher Hammond and photographs by Ruth Baumberg. Published jointly with The Thoresby Society and the University of Leeds. 106 pp, 64 colour & b/w illustrations. Softback. ISBN 9780900741715  Price 12.99 


Professor Maurice Beresford's Walks Round Red Brick, published by the University of Leeds Press in 1980, has become a much sought after classic for its wealth of information based on his meticulous and pioneering scholarship. In this New Edition, Christopher Hammond has followed in his footsteps to bring the history of the University of Leeds campus and its immediate environs up to date. The new text reflects the changes both in function and appearance of the buildings Beresford describes as well as taking into account the fine new buildings and landscaping which have progressively enriched the campus over the past thirty years. This new edition is greatly enhanced by new colour photographs taken by Ruth Baumberg and also includes a new map, biographical note on Maurice Beresford by Kevin Grady and Jim Morgan and suggestions for further reading.


This new edition can be enjoyed on the ground or in front of the fire by all those interested in the detailed history of our built environment.

Sales of this title are  being handled by: Jeremy Mills Publishing, 113 Lidget Street, Lindley, Huddersfield, West Yorkshire HD3 3JR.  Tel.: 01484 463340.

For more details of this title, click here: Walks Round Red Brick - Jeremy Mills Publishing


R.D.Chantrell (1793-1872) and the architecture of a lost generation, by Christopher Webster. (2010). Published in association with Spire Books Ltd. 338 pp, 194 b/w illustrations. Hardback .

ISBN 978-1-904965-22-0 Price 30.00


Chantrell - along with many architects of his generation - has hitherto been confined to the shadows of architectural history, shadows cast so adeptly by Pugin and the Ecclesiologists. This book reconsiders his many achievements and sets them within the context of architectural theory and practice of his time. After training in Soane's office and a string of compelling Classical buildings, Chantrell reinvented himself as a pioneering Gothic specialist to meet the huge post-Waterloo demand for additional church accommodation. He became one of the most accomplished exponents in this challenge area of practice, as well as being a respected antiquary, lecturer, writer and, later, an elder statesman of the profession on several prestigious London committees. Crowning his career is Leeds Parish Church (1837-41), the biggest church since Wren's St Paul's and, nationally, the most important church of the age.


Sales of this title are being handled by: Spire Books Ltd., PO Box 2336, Reading RG4 5WJ Tel: 0118 947 1525


For more details, click here: 


The coffin of Nesyamun, the “Leeds mummy”: the first complete translation of the hieroglyphic texts; by Belinda Wassell and illustrated by Thomas Small. 2008. 51 pages, softback. 5:99

ISBN 1 870737 210


In the 1820s and 30s, Leeds was in the forefront of Egyptology. This started in 1823 with the purchase by The Leeds Philosophical and Literary Society of the unopened mummy of Nesyamun, a priest and senior civil servant from the Temple of Hatshepsut near Thebes. The Society assembled an impressive team of medical and scientific experts to carry out the unwrapping and detailed study of the mummy. For decades afterwards, their investigation and report was held as a model for such investigations and the mummy remains the centrepiece of the Museum collection.


Every inch of the outer coffin was covered with hieroglyphs – and with the aid of the recently deciphered script by Champolion, the Leeds team were able to identify the mummy as being that of Nesyamun, “Keeper of the Bulls”. However it was not until 2008 that a complete symbol-by-symbol translation of the entire message on the mummy casing was made by Belinda Wassell.


This highly illustrated booklet, produced by the present Leeds Phil. and Lit. gives the panel-by-panel translation of the hieroglyphic texts. Its message to the gods of antiquity yields a fascinating insight into the various interlocking roles of priest, scribe and administrator in 20th dynasty Egypt.


Available from Leeds City Museum, Millennium Square, Leeds


The Building Stone Heritage of Leeds, by the late Francis G Dimes and Murray Mitchell. Second edition. (2006). 140 pp., featuring 42 colour and b+w photographs, 7 maps and 17 sketches


In the ten years since the publication of the first edition, there have been so many changes to the face of Leeds that a new edition is more than justified. The result is a redesigned and expanded book, still convenient for the pocket. It features four city centre walks and descriptions of sites further afield. The book will continue to be a substantial authority, of immense use to geologists, historians, architects, planners, and the interested public.

Sales of this title are now being handled by: Jeremy Mills Publishing, 113 Lidget Street, Lindley, Huddersfield, West Yorkshire HD3 3JR. Tel.: 01484 463340.

For more details of this title, click here:

Towers and Colonnades: The Architecture of Cuthbert Brodrick, by Derek Linstrum (1999). 180 pp. Col. and b & w illus

This is the first full account of the architecture of Cuthbert Brodrick (1821-1905). Brodrick is principally known as the architect of Leeds Town Hall, winning the competition for it at the relatively early age of 30. This early success put him in the company of leading metropolitan architects, but his later experiences were less fruitful and his disappointments eventually led to the abandonment of his profession. Nevertheless, Brodrick was responsible for a number of major buildings, the finest of which are of national, or even international, importance.

Brodrick left virtually no personal papers or diaries, but a group of beautifully rendered drawings (many of them entries for architectural competitions) exists in the collection of the Royal Institute of Architects. This fully illustrated account of Brodrick, by the established architectural scholar Derek Linstrum, is based on the surviving buildings themselves and on the unexecuted designs, placing the architect and his work in their contemporary context.

Sales of this title are now being handled by: Spire Books Ltd., PO Box 2336, Reading RG4 5WJ Tel: 0118 947 1525


The Use of Nidderdale Marble and other Crinoidal Limestones in Fountains Abbey, North Yorkshire, by J.G. Blacker and Murray Mitchell (1998). 28 pp. + 10 b/w illus.

Nidderdale Marble is a variety of crinoidal limestone, a distinctive stone used in decorative work in the churches and abbeys of northern England. Fountains Abbey and the neighbouring Fountains Hall are the only known buildings where Nidderdale Marble was used. This pamphlet describes the locations within the Abbey complex where the marble was used and relates that to the chronology of construction. A quarry at Lofthouse, in Nidderdale, is suggested as the most likely source.

Sales of this title are now being handled by: Jeremy Mills Publishing, 113 Lidget Street, Lindley, Huddersfield, West Yorkshire HD3 3JR. Tel.: 01484 463340. www.jeremymillspublishing.

For more details of this title, click here:


Three Essays: Johnson, Wordsworth, Byron, by Douglas Jefferson (1998). 48 pp. Price (inc. post & packing): 4.50

Nowadays, hard-pressed academic critics seldom take time out to test themselves against the great works of the past. Rarely do they revisit authors and try to come to terms with them by reassessing their earlier views. The judgments in these essays are less those of an institutionalised literary critic than of an alert and committed reader, himself thoroughly absorbed in the act of reading and always mindful of his fellow-readers. Douglas Jefferson brings to these three great authors the principle of scrutiny which he has developed from a lifetime of reading and rereading.

For an order form, click here.


The Prison Diary (16 May – 22 November 1794) of John Horne Tooke, edited with an introduction and notes by A.V. Beedell and A.D. Harvey (1995). 128 pp. Price (inc. post & packing): 10

The French Revolution stimulated a revival of reform agitation in Britain. Horne Tooke, a veteran reformer who, in the 1780s, had campaigned for the abolition of rotten boroughs, was later described as "the principal ornament and support of the English Jacobins". In May 1794 he and several other members of the respectable middle-class Society for Constitutional Information were arrested and charged with high treason.

The diary Horne Tooke kept in the tower of London while awaiting trial is a painful record of the psychological stresses of imprisonment, but also provides a valuable insight into Horne Tooke’s social and political attitudes.

This is the first time that the diary has been published in its entirety and with detailed notes giving background information on points raised by his narrative. Biographical details of significant individuals mentioned in the diary are also provided.

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The Travel Diary (1611-1612) of an English Catholic, Sir Charles Somerset, edited with introduction and notes by Michael G. Brennan (1993). 366 pp.; illus. Price (inc. post & packing): 18.75

Remarkably few substantial accounts of travels in western Europe made by Englishmen between 1603 and 1625 survive. This edition makes available one of the most detailed and informative travel diaries of that period.

Sir Charles Somerset, the diary’s author, a son of the Earl of Worcester, travelled through France, Italy, Austria, Germany, the Spanish Netherlands, and Flanders. The importance of his account lies not only in its rarity but in four other key areas of interest. First, its wealth of personal observations on numerous major locations is coupled with a remarkably high degree of detail and accuracy. Second, the document was clearly intended to be perused by other people as a handbook of intelligence material on such topics as military and naval fortifications, national and civic administration, and urban design. Third, the author’s ardent Catholicism, evinced in the diary by a keen interest in all matters religious, reveals a personal and spiritual pilgrimage to Rome. Fourth, the diary demonstrates the author’s strong personal commitment to the cultural efficacy of foreign travel.

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The Freshwater Crustacea of Yorkshire: a faunistic & ecological survey, [by] Geoffrey Fryer. (1993). 312 pp. Price (inc. post & packing): 12.25

The crustacean fauna of Yorkshire reflects the great physiographic diversity of the region. Adopting an ecological approach, this book considers the county's fauna in relation to climate, topography, geology, soils and water chemistry. Notes and line drawings are provided on all species recorded. The author, who worked for 27 years with the Freshwater Biological Association, is a Fellow of the Royal Society and is currently an Honorary Professor at the University of Lancaster.

For an order form, click here.