Welcome to the website of Roy and Lesley Adkins. We are historians and archaeologists, and on this website you can discover the books we have written, see our latest news, read our collection of newsletters with all sorts of fascinating topics, check out our maritime research, look at various photographs we have taken, and find out a bit about us.

We are husband-and-wife authors based in south-west England, near Exeter in Devon. Apart from writing books, we have also enjoyed a career in field archaeology, so we are equally at home unearthing ruins and unearthing archives. Our very first book was The Handbook of British Archaeology, and since then we have written many other books on historical and archaeological themes, ranging from detailed reference books to popular non-fiction.

You are very welcome to get in touch via the ‘Contact Us’ page. If you are new to our books, we hope that this website will tempt you to try out one or more of them. So far, they have been translated into seventeen different foreign languages, and they have acquired a reputation for being reliably researched and highly readable.

Our latest book is called When There Were Birds: The forgotten history of our connections, published by Little, Brown, in hardback, paperback, audiobook and as an e-book, and the subject of several wonderful reviews.

**Longlisted for the prestigious John Thackray Medal of the Society for the History of Natural History**


PRAISE FOR When There Were Birds:


“Readers, flock to this tome” (Emma J Wells, BBC Countryfile magazine)

“a book beautifully balanced between wonder and warning” (Christopher Hart, Daily Mail)

“handsome new book” (Roland White, The Sunday Times)

“a page-turner … I recommend it” (Mark Avery, Standing Up for Nature blog)

“wonderful book … the perfect gift for Christmas” (Giles Coren, Times Radio)

“a real revelation  … I really recommend this book” (Guy de la Bédoyère, YouTube)

“substantial social history” (Richard Greatrex, Church Times)

“such a worthwhile read” (Annette Shaw, Devon Life)

“There are no dodos in this book” (Horatio Clare, The Spectator)

“an appealing social history of Britain” (Martin Chilton, The Independent)


If you have enjoyed any of our books, then do please leave feedback somewhere, as “word of mouth” is so important. The best places to leave a comment or a longer review are Amazon and Goodreads, but anywhere at all is invaluable (online, print or handwritten letter).

Magazines and newspapers have cut right down on book review coverage, publishers are shy at paying for advertising, and libraries have virtually no book budgets, so most people don’t ever get to hear of books old and new, except when we all help spread the word.