YORK historian Paul Chrystal has already written a history of Britain in 100 objects.

So it was almost inevitable that one day he’d turn his attention homewards, and do the same for his native city.

He’s actually gone one better. Because his new book is a history of York in 101 objects. Or rather, in 101 ‘people, objects and places’.

It is designed, Paul says, as an ‘accessible and eminently dippable history of York’ as revealed by the 101 people, places and things he has chosen to include.

It makes no claim to be comprehensive, he stresses – that just wouldn’t be possible given the scope of the book and the fact that York has so much to offer.

He’s also tried to avoid the obvious, such as Dick Turpin, Guy Fawkes and ghosts.

“Instead (the book) features a large number of less obvious, more surprising things, people and places connected with York,” he writes in the introduction.

York Press: Bizarre marriage: Hannah CullwickBizarre marriage: Hannah Cullwick (Image: From: A History of York in 101 People, Objects & Places)

“So you will hear about the poet Shelley – one of the few visitors underwhelmed by the majety of the Minster; about crazy George Frederick Sitwell of the outrageous Sitwell family, who ended his days in the York Lunatic Asylum; about the bizarre (to say the very least) marriage of Arthur Munby and Hannah Cullwick; and (about) that Viking berserker, Ivar the Boneless.”

Also making an appearance amongst the 101 people, places and objects to feature in the book are the Mansion House’s ‘Edgar Allen Poe-like dead cat’; exploding bananas – and a story about a woman sold in Pavement for ‘a few bob’.

It’s all presented in 101 short chapters - arranged in no particular order, Paul admits.

He hopes dipping into the book will be the literary equivalent of 'ambling at a leisurely pace along the city’s gate (streets), through the bars (gates) and coming across this or that purely by pleasant chance’.

York Press: From: A History of York in 101 People, Objects & PlacesFrom: A History of York in 101 People, Objects & Places (Image: From: A History of York in 101 People, Objects & Places)

It is, he says, ‘a book that will give you a different, more unconventional view of York, very much in keeping with a city that is freighted with history’.

A History of York in 101 People, Objects and Places, by Paul Chrystal, is published by DestinWorld, priced £16.99. It is available in all good bookshops.

Paul will be doing a book signing at Waterstones in York from 7-9pm on Wednesday October 18.