The Innocents Abroad
In 1867 Mark Twain joined a group of American tourists sailing to Europe and the Holy Land aboard the steamship Quaker City. Offering ‘no apologies for any departures from the usual style of travel-writing’, Twain produced a merciless satire on contemporary travel guides and a hugely entertaining account of his fellow ‘pilgrims’ and their ‘pleasure trip’, describing incidents such as a communal fumigation in Italy as well as the scenery and sights.
Art Answers: Portrait Painting
Expert Answers to the Questions Every Artist Asks
Creating beautiful portraits requires a variety of skills, from planning the composition to perfecting the details of hair and facial features. This handbook offers valuable and reliable advice, including how to choose a background, how to work out a pose, and methods of ensuring a good likeness.
The Kremlin and the Art of Political Assassination
Amy Knight, an expert on the KGB, describes today’s Russia as ‘a truly criminal regime’. She first traces the long Kremlin tradition of covert violence and the development of the country’s post-war security services. In the remainder of the book she investigates the background to several recent killings – including the Litvinenko poisoning and the 2015 shooting of outspoken Putin critic Boris Nemtsov – and examines the evidence for Russian involvement in the Boston Marathon bombings. (Previously sold in Postscript as Orders to Kill).
Cops and Robbers
The Story of the British Police Car
A former police constable turned car builder, Ant Anstead presents a lively history of the British Police Force’s relationship with the car, from chasing pioneer motorists on bicycles and the realization that they needed to be quicker than the offenders, to the high spec supercars in use today. Anstead traces the car’s changing role in policing with the emphasis on the motors, whether Morris Minor panda cars or powerful Subaru Impreza Turbos.
War and the Death of News
From Battlefield to Newsroom – My Fifty Years in Journalism
Martin Bell has seen war from both sides, first as a soldier and then as a journalist, reporting from some of the worst conflicts of recent decades. In this personal account he describes his experiences in Vietnam, Bosnia and Northern Ireland, and reflects on the way that journalism has changed. In the face of ‘embedded’ reporting, ‘infotainment’, social media and ‘post-truth’, he issues an impassioned call to put substance back into the news.
The Trials of the King of Hampshire
Madness, Secrecy and Betrayal in Georgian England
Every family has its skeletons, but in 1823 the aristocratic Wallops were about to have theirs laid bare to the world. This biography tells the dramatic story of the Third Earl of Portsmouth. Wealthy and well-connected, a friend of Byron and Jane Austen, he was widely considered a harmless eccentric until – amid accusations of blackmail, abduction and sodomy – his own family set out to have him declared insane in a trial that scandalized the nation.
From Infamy to Greatness
Craig Nelson gives a vivid account of the Japanese surprise attack on the American naval and air forces on 7 December 1941. Blending archival research with the individual stories of sailors, soldiers, pilots, diplomats and leaders, he describes the situation in Japan and the US prior to the attack, the immediate result, and the unforeseen consequences that continue to linger.
A Family's Story of Courage and Survival on Both Sides of the Berlin Wall
As the Second World War ended and the Soviets seized control of eastern Germany, Hanna, a teacher’s daughter, escaped to the West. Her parents and siblings remained in the East, and the family was separated. Forty years later, as the Berlin Wall was torn down, her daughter Nina, now a US intelligence officer, rediscovered her lost family. In this poignant memoir she tells their remarkable story against the backdrop of events that shaped the world.
Eavesdropping on Jane Austen's England
How Our Ancestors Lived Two Centuries Ago
Drawing on contemporary sources including diaries, letters, newspapers and trial proceedings as well as Jane Austen's own correspondence and writings, Roy and Lesley Adkins have created a wide-ranging and richly detailed social history of English life in the early 19th century that offers new perspectives on the world of the great novelist. Covering everything from childbirth, education and work to the darker side of Georgian society, poverty and crime, the book provides an illuminating companion to Austen's novels.
The King, The Campaign, The Battle
The overwhelming and unexpected English victory at Agincourt in 1415 was attributed by many to God, but, as Juliet Barker shows, it was the culmination of years of preparation by Henry V. Her book first covers the background of civil war in France and Henry's careful diplomacy; it then follows the campaign's progress from invasion, through the siege of Harfleur and the march to Calais, to Agincourt itself; and finally considers the battle's direct consequences and later legacy.
The Elements of Eloquence
How to Turn the Perfect English Phrase
Using examples from a vast range of writings, Mark Forsyth presents an amusing and wonderfully erudite guide to the ‘formulas, flowers and figures’ of rhetoric. For each of 39 figures, he explains some that are well-known - hyperbole, paradox, rhetorical questions – and other, less familiar strategies that work their magic behind the scenes, such as diacope in the immortal phrase ‘Bond. James Bond.’
Harlan Coben - 4 Books
Harlan Coben’s thrillers have ingenious plots, psychological complexity and the kind of suspense that keeps you turning the pages into the early hours. Our four novels feature some of Coben’s trademarks – mysteries of the past creeping into the present, family, and final, breath-taking twists.The four titles included in this set are:Run Away (Read more...) Home (Read more...) Fool Me Once (Read more...) Don’t Let Go (Read more...)
Children's Acitivity - 2 Books
Each of these big, colourful books, illustrated in Alain Grée’s very distinctive style, contains over 50 tear-out activity sheets, with imaginative mazes, spot the difference and matching games, paper models to cut out and build, animal quizzes and projects such as making a flower album. Age 5+The two titles included in this set are:Fun and Games (Read more...) Activity Book (Read more...)
The Day I Was There
The Crystal Ballroom in Fargo, North Dakota in 1959; Monterey in 1963 (with Joan Baez ‘dragging my little vagabond out onto the stage’); the Royal Albert Hall; the Isle of Wight Festival; the Slow Train Coming recording session in Alabama, 1979 ... This book covers 20 years of Dylan performances as described by fellow musicians, record producers and fans who were there, along with set lists, photographs and quotations from rock music’s A list.
The Story of a Sacred Landscape
It has long been recognized that Stonehenge was a religious site, but recent intensive research has helped us understand much more about its place within the ancient ritual landscape of Salisbury Plain. In this book one of Britain’s most distinguished archaeologists traces the centuries-long process of construction, explaining how the enigmatic stone circle relates to a wider complex of monuments and what this reveals about the social and ideological system of our prehistoric ancestors during a period of significant change.
The Grasmere Grudge
A Lake District Mystery
Soon after proposing marriage to Simmy Brown, Christopher Henderson discovers the body of his friend Jonathan, an antiques dealer, strangled in Grasmere. Simmy’s friends, amateur detectives Ben and Bonny, discover that Jonathan had many enemies, and investigate whether her new fiancé could be involved.
Eleven Days in August
The Liberation of Paris in 1944
The liberation of Paris in August 1944 was a turning point of the Second World War and, contrary to myth, it was far from bloodless. Drawing on unpublished diaries, eyewitness accounts, coded messages and secret conversations, Matthew Cobb provides an hour-by-hour account of the street fighting, the barricades, the burning tanks and the reprisals, as the Germans, realizing defeat was imminent, played a nerve-racking game of bluff with both the advancing Allies and their own High Command.
Everyday Life in Hadrian's Britain
With characters from across the social strata, from high-born ladies to farmers' daughters, archaeologist Allason-Jones recreates the lives, habits and thoughts of women in Britain during Roman occupation through the story of Senovara, the wife of a former legionary. The detailed narrative reveals the nature of their home lives, health, religion, dress and jewellery and this revised edition includes fresh insights provided by the latest archaeological discoveries, including burials, tombstones and curse tablets.
Twenty-five years after the writer MR James gathered friends and fellow academics around the fire on Christmas Eve to listen to ghost stories, the same men are being brutally murdered, one by one. Can CI Archie Penrose and Josephine Tey unite to solve their most challenging case to date?
The Tragic Bride, The True Story of Reggie Kray's First Wife
If Frances Shea thought her marriage in 1965 was a passport to a glamorous life of West End nightclubs and celebrity friends, this biography reveals how she was misled. Leaving Reggie Kray after eight months, she was dead by 1967, allegedly of a drug overdose. Slightly off-mint.
A History: From Gaul to de Gaulle
With characteristic urbanity and wit, lifelong Francophile John Julius Norwich recounts two millennia of French history, from Vercingetorix’s last stand against Caesar, via the folies de grandeur of Louis XIV and Napoleon, to the end of the Second World War. He explores the contradictions of a nation torn between autocracy and egalitarianism with insight and sympathy, while enlivening the narrative with personal anecdotes.
A Fortunate Man
The Story of a Country Doctor
First published in 1967, this book follows the GP John Sassall as he goes about his rounds in rural Gloucestershire. What emerges, in the words of John Berger and the photographs of Jean Mohr, is a portrait of a community, and of a remarkable man who combined breadth of vision with a deep appreciation of the minutiae of everyday life.
Ludo and the Power of the Book
Ludovic Kennedy's Campaigns for Justice
For half a century, the journalist and TV presenter Ludovic Kennedy (1919–2009) exposed miscarriages of justice. This tribute by his friend Richard Ingrams focuses on four such cases, including that of Timothy Evans, whose wrongful hanging for the Rillingdon Place murders contributed to the abolition of the death penalty. The human rights lawyer Michael Mansfield provides an introduction.
Great British Journeys
The author and TV presenter Nicholas Crane traces the journeys of eight adventurers whose travels across Britain provided a valuable written narrative of the country’s landscapes and treasures. Adopting their original mode of transport where possible, he follows parts of Celia Fiennes’s 17th-century tour of England on horseback, takes to a boat on the Wye as William Gilpin did in 1770, and recreates HV Morton’s trip around Scotland in 1929 in a bull-nosed Morris.
Robert Service: Trotsky; Lenin; Stalin - 3 Books
A former Professor of Russian History at Oxford University and the author of several important works on Soviet history, Robert Service has been described by a fellow biographer of Stalin, Simon Sebag Montefiore, as ‘the founding maestro of Stalinist history’. This trilogy comprises a single-volume life of Lenin (2000), the critically acclaimed biography of Stalin (2004) and a genuinely revelatory study of Trotsky (2009). The three titles included in this set are: Trotsky (Read more...) Lenin (Read more...) Stalin (Read more...)
The Unauthorised Life
Ted Hughes (1930–1998) was one of the 20th century's greatest writers, the poet of The Hawk in the Rain, Lupercal and Crow, but also a children's storyteller, translator, critic, letter writer and the husband of Sylvia Plath. In this biography, Bates draws on the complete archive of writings that Hughes left for posterity, exploring the mental landscape it reveals to give the full story of the poet's life as it was lived, remembered and shaped in his art.
True Adventures of the Gentleman Commando Who Took on the Nazis
Robert de La Rochefoucauld was a French aristocrat who was taught sabotage and combat skills by Britain's SOE before teaming up with the French Resistance to organize cells, blow up munitions factories and assassinate prominent Nazis. Drawing on family archives and wide-ranging historical documents, this account tells how he was captured and tortured for months, making two remarkable escapes, one of them from the hands of a firing squad.
Short History of the Cathars
A Pocket Essential
When a Crusade was launched against them early in the 13th century, the Cathars were dominant in the Languedoc region and had won widespread support from nobility and peasants. Martin explains the movement’s development, the fractious political context in which it flourished and the principles of simplicity, equality and non-violence which lay at the heart of the Cathars’ heretical teachings and their implacable opposition to the Catholic Church. Second edition.
The Places in Between
In 2002, shortly after the fall of the Taliban, Rory Stewart walked 300 miles through the remote highlands of Afghanistan. His account describes the landscape, society and his encounters with opium growers and mujahedin fighters. An afterword to this new edition reflects how more than a decade of foreign engagement has failed through a fundamental misunderstanding of the country’s traditions.
And Other Garden Pests and Nuisances
Inspired by the earlier book of the same title by the American author Bill Adler, the gardening expert Anne Wareham shares her own practical tips on how to outsmart garden pests large and small as well as offering advice on dealing with the horticultural challenges posed by weeds and the weather.
The Cabaret of Plants
Botany and The Imagination
Challenging the view of plants as passive vegetation, Mabey approaches them as ’authors of their own lives’ and explores our relationship with them, from prehistoric cave painting, through cultivation and exploration to the ‘astonishing revelations of 19th-century botany’. Among the intriguing plants whose lives he discusses are the baobab tree; ginseng, the panacea; the carnivorous tipitiwitchet; an Amazonian giant water lily whose leaves were the model for the Crystal Palace; and the intelligence of mimosa.
Painters, Ploughmen and Places
This blend of history, nature writing and memoir examines how people have responded to the land from the 18th century to the present day, including the Romantic poets’ fascination with the Lake District, and the more practical considerations of the agricultural improvers. Anna Pavord celebrates the beauty of the British landscape, considers how it has affected and inspired its inhabitants, and explores the ways in which a sense of place can help to define cultural identity.
Requiem for a Himalayan Kingdom
Sikkim, a tiny Buddhist kingdom sandwiched between India and China, survived the withdrawal of the British Empire and the Chinese invasion of Tibet. Then, in 1975, it was quietly annexed by India, bringing its 300-year-old dynasty to an end. Drawing on interviews and archive material, and retracing a 1922 journey by the author's grandfather, this book tells the remarkable story of this forgotten Shangri-La, its last king and his American wife, and the global power struggles that spelled its doom.
The History of Newgate Prison
From the 12th century onwards, Newgate Prison played a key role in the development of the British penal system, housing well-known prisoners from Captain Kidd to Ben Jonson and Daniel Defoe, as well as murderers, rapists and arsonists. Illustrated with historic prints and portraits, this book explores its traditions and lexicon of slang, and offers accounts of executions, the pillory and famous escapes.
Sniping in the Great War
Trained to precisely target individual combatants, marksmen were deployed in the First World War to tackle the static nature of much of the fighting. Featuring eyewitness accounts, this study analyses their role on the Western Front and in other theatres of the war, describes the training, fieldcraft and counter-sniping measures that were employed and outlines developments in rifles, ammunition and sighting equipment.
Bomber Command Airfields of Yorkshire
Only two of Yorkshire’s wartime airfields are still in use by the RAF but during the Second World War the county was home to 33 stations of No.4 Group and No.6 Group, staging raids against the Ruhr, Hamburg and Berlin. Brief histories of the airfields are given in this volume, together with stories of notable characters and events and details of what remains of the bases today.
Animal Hats to Knit
20 Wild Projects for You to Create
This illustrated collection contains a whole menagerie of animal hats to choose from, and each project is clearly laid out with an easy-to-follow pattern and concise instructions. The designs supplied can be easily adapted to create a unique hat for children or adults with the help of the techniques section at the back of the book.
(The Fifth of November), The History of Britain in Bite-Sized Chunks
'All the key facts without the flab', this book covers almost 2,000 years of British history in around 150 articles, each no longer than 250 words. The result is a concise and accurate introduction to and overview of our history. As well as the articles – from 'The Roman Invasion' (43 CE) to 'The Founding of the United Nations' (1945) – there is a timeline, a list of monarchs, suggestions for further reading and an index.
Impressionists in London
The EY Exhibition: French Artists in Exile 1870–1904
This finely illustrated catalogue to the Tate Britain and Petit Palais exhibitions of 2017–18 celebrates the numerous French artists who fled the Franco-Prussian War and Paris Commune of 1870–71 for exile in London. Here they absorbed London’s architecture, society and skylines into their socially conscious artworks. Stellar talents such as Monet and Pissarro feature alongside less well known artists including James Tissot, Charles-François Daubigny and Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux.
Everyday Life on a Roman Frontier
Beginning with a survey of the period 55 BCE to 122 CE and the decades of Roman government in Britain before the wall was begun, Patricia Southern, a renowned authority on ancient Roman history, gives a closely detailed account of Hadrian himself, how his wall was built and manned by Roman soldiers, what life was like on this northernmost outpost of the Empire, the building of the Antonine Wall, and what happened to Hadrian’s Wall when the Romans left.
A Seventeenth-Century English Tragedy
By the spring of 1645, civil war had exacted a terrible toll on England. Disease, hunger, anxiety and lawlessness were rife, and belief in the supernatural was commonplace. In Essex, two gentlemen began interrogating women suspected of witchcraft. This study charts the grisly careers of ‘Witchfinder General’ Matthew Hopkins and John Stearne, and reveals how religious bigotry and the superstitious fears of ordinary people unleashed the most brutal witch-hunt in English history.
The Long Walk
The True Story of a Trek to Freedom
In 1939 Polish Army lieutenant Slavomir Rawicz was sentenced to 25 years forced labour in a Siberian prison camp. In this controversial story of endurance, Rawicz describes his imprisonment and alleged escape to India across the Himalayas and Gobi Desert.
How To Draw Cartoons and Caricatures
Mark Linley reveals the secrets of his craft and provides tips and assignments as he guides readers to produce drawings that capture the essence of a character. From doodling to focusing on facial features, he explains how to caricature friends and famous people. First published in 1999.
The Hidden Lives of London Streets
A Walking Guide to Soho, Holborn and Beyond
The nine walks in this book cover central London from Kensington to Clerkenwell. They explore each area's history and the varied communities – ethnic, artistic and gay – that have shaped it. Each walk can be accomplished in less than an hour, and has a map marking places of interest.
The Spy Who Saved 10,000 Jews
During the 1920s and 1930s, Frank Foley worked as Chief Passport Control Officer for the British Embassy in Berlin, a cover for his role as MI6 Head of Station there. As the Nazi administration increased its stranglehold over the country, Foley used his position to issue visas to countless Jews, allowing them to escape to Britain ‘legally’. This biography also recounts many of the escapes that Foley enabled.
In this book lover’s tour of Britain, the Mail on Sunday’s travel editor embarks on a series of literary rambles through the towns and countryside immortalized by great writers, featuring Jane Austen’s Bath, Hardy’s Wessex, Wordsworth’s Lake District, Bram Stoker’s Whitby and Robert Burns’s birthplace in Alloway. Frank Barrett’s adventures, recounted with self-deprecating humour, include satnav errors, truculent tour guides and, of course, the British weather.
Ancient Astronomy and the English Public House
Why are some pubs called ‘The Seven Stars’? Hugh Kolb has analysed the surviving pubs and their history and the symbolism of Seven Stars over the past 3,000 years to find the answer. In chapters illustrated with photographs of the pubs, Kolb pursues topics as diverse as the origins of hostelries, the immaculate conception, the solar system and the Anglo-Saxons, and concludes that the Seven Stars are the Pleiades – the ancient Greek Dionysians’ celestial bunch of grapes.
A Natural History of the Hedgerow
and Ditches, Dykes and Dry Stone Walls
From where I sit writing Postscript entries, I look out on an old Devon hedgerow and an ancient stone wall; John Wright's Natural History has rendered them both very much more interesting. The book covers the origins and history of such boundaries; the present condition of hedgerows and the need to preserve them; the amazing array of fauna and flora they support; and other ways of making boundaries, from movable hazel hurdles to dry stone walls (mine, I've learned, is the 'random rubble' type).
The Best of Benn
Speeches, Diaries, Letters and Other Writings
Tony Benn (1925–2014) was not only a prominent, charismatic and principled politician, but also the pre-eminent diarist of his generation. This volume brings together a selection of his journalism, speeches and diary entries to highlight key moments in his career and to illustrate the range of issues on which he campaigned, such as workers' rights and the abolition of the death penalty, as well as his interest in the connections between Christianity and socialism.
Slap and Tickle
The Unusual History of Sex and the People Who Have It
This irreverent guide takes a peek at a perennially fascinating subject. A romp through the biological mechanics and history of human intercourse is spiced up with intimate true stories, public scandals, censorship, sex toys, fetishes, and a concise glossary of filthy language. Eclectic, entertaining and original, it reveals everything you always wanted to know about sex – and quite a few things you probably didn’t. Sexually explicit.
In Search of the Real Dad's Army
The Home Guard and the Defence of the United Kingdom 1940–1944
By the summer of 1940 nearly a million and a half British men had joined the Local Defence Volunteers (LDV), a response to the very real threat of invasion by a rapidly advancing German Army. This book explores the LDV’s transformation from an enthusiastic yet ill-equipped organization into the capable Home Guard, which, as the threat of invasion receded, nevertheless became key to the UK’s local defence strategy, as well as a means of combating the purported Fifth Column. Off-mint.
Life, Art and Civilisation
Best remembered for his television series Civilisation (1969), Kenneth Clark was Director of the National Gallery during the war, one of the founders of ITV in the 1950s and a highly influential popularizer of art as a broadcaster. This biography describes his privileged childhood, successful career and a private life that included close friendships with some of the most prominent people of the age, including John Betjeman, Margot Fonteyn and Henry Moore.
The Mitford Girls
The Biography of an Extraordinary Family
The six daughters of the eccentric Lord Redesdale and his wife Sydney have inspired many books, but this group biography is widely considered to be the finest. It skilfully weaves together the dramatic, often outrageous lives of the sisters: the novelist Nancy; Diana, who married Oswald Mosley; Decca, the communist; the lesbian horsewoman Pamela; the socialite Deborah; and Unity, the doomed admirer of Adolf Hitler.
On the Various Contrivances
by which British and Foreign Orchids are Fertilised by Insects, and on the Good Effects of Intercrossing
Charles Darwin was fascinated by the way the flowers of orchids had evolved to attract specific insects. Noting the very long spur of Angraecum sesquipedale, he predicted that it could only be fertilized by a moth with a 35cm tongue, a statement that was ridiculed until such a species was discovered after his death. This limited edition facsimile of his seminal 1862 book on the subject is bound in cloth using traditional methods. Slightly off-mint.
Call the Midwife
A True Story of the East End in the 1950s
The book that sparked the award-winning TV series details Jennifer Worth’s experiences as a young midwife based in a convent amid the chaos of post-war London Docklands. Her true-life stories show how tough conditions were in the East End, especially for women, who often lived in slum accommodation – grateful if they had a cold-water tap – with ten or more children to look after.
The Walker's Guide to Outdoor Clues and Signs
Their Meaning and the Art of Making Predictions and Deductions
A bestseller and former BBC Countryfile Book of the Year, this is the ultimate guide to what the land, the sun, moon and stars, plants and animals, sky and clouds can reveal – when you know what to look for. Drawing on two decades of outdoor experience, Tristan Gooley explains how to focus our powers of deduction and prediction on the natural world and provides over 850 clues and signs to get us started.
Mikey Walsh was born into a family of Romany gypsies and brought up, with no formal education, in the isolated and fiercely loyal culture of the traditional gypsy community. This acclaimed autobiography tells the story of his childhood with a cruel and abusive father and how coming out as gay forced him to abandon his roots, educate himself and seek a new life.
Work Your Fascia to Free Your Body
Moving Stretch® is a form of resistance stretching that can relieve pain and help anyone, from athlete to office worker, feel relaxed, stronger and more flexible. It works by reshaping the ‘fascia’ – a network of connective tissue that holds our bodies together. Including background information and a questionnaire, this comprehensive guide gives clear descriptions of over 100 stretches with multiple photographs and tips for getting each exercise just right.
The People, the King & the Great Revolt of 1381
In 1381, England erupted in a violent popular uprising as unexpected as it was unprecedented. Juliet Barker's narrative history depicts a volatile society on the brink of profound change. Treating contemporary chronicles with scepticism, she draws on court proceedings and letters to give voice to the ordinary people from many walks of life who took part in the so-called Peasants' Revolt, illuminating their motives and demands, examining the ambiguous role of Richard II, and charting its long-term effects.
Power of Five Collection
The five teenagers in Anthony Horowitz's series of adventure novels discover that they are ancient magical gatekeepers, reincarnated and equipped with special powers to renew their age-old battle with the mysterious Chaos and the evil Old Ones. Involving occult practices and time travel, and played out across dimensions and around the world, the five-volume saga is an epic struggle between good and evil. Age 12+
A Short History
Described by the Financial Times as ‘an excellent antidote to prejudice’, this concise account of Muslim history emphasizes the importance of rethinking the Western mistrust of Islam which dates back to the time of the Crusades. As well as challenging stereotypes and highlighting how the faith has inspired scholars, mystics and poets, it reveals how Islam’s ‘sacralization of history’ means that the religion, its past history and current events are woven together especially closely.
All Behind You, Winston
Churchill's Great Coalition 1940–45
Beginning with the dramatic events of 10 May 1940 and the beginning of the coalition government with Winston Churchill as Prime Minister, Roger Hermiston provides a meticulously researched account of the men and women of Churchill’s war ministry, among them Clement Attlee, Ernest Bevin, Herbert Morrison, Anthony Eden, Lord Beaverbrook and Ellen Wilkinson: ‘the government that would win the war’.
The Deckchair Gardener
An Improper Gardening Manual
Written for the reluctant gardener, this is a guide to what not to do in the garden. Rather than letting your plot revert to wilderness, Wareham (the gardener of Veddw House, near Tintern) encourages finding easier ways to do the jobs you dislike and suggests effective alternatives. The book is arranged by season, from what not to do in spring (grow roses – if you don’t grow them they won’t need pruning), to winter (washing empty pots – madness).
The World's Most Difficult Quiz 2
More King William's College General Knowledge Papers
What garden evokes manual pallor? Where does the gold fin not wink? Who or what is pit-pit? Since 1904, pupils of King William's College on the Isle of Man have been sent home for the Christmas holidays with a fiendish quiz. Its popularity led to its publication first in The Times and, from 1951, in the Guardian. This book presents 30 sets of 180 questions dating from the 1920s to 1980s (pre-Google!).
The Windsors, the Nazis and the Cover-Up
Edward Windsor, the former king, and Wallis Simpson were already an embarrassment to the establishment, and their connections to leading Nazis during the 1930s were too damaging to the crown to be allowed to surface after the war. This investigative report reveals their links to Nazi sympathizers and examines Hitler's plan to install Edward as a puppet king. The title refers to flowers apparently sent by German diplomat von Ribbentrop to Simpson to commemorate their love affair.
Unbelievable Moments from the Past
Have you heard about the ancient Egyptian workers who organized a mass walkout, or the Kettle War, during which only one shot was fired? This entertaining book is full of quirky and intriguing snippets of history that you probably didn’t find out about at school: read it to learn where to locate the other ‘Hadrian’s Walls’, when the world’s first cyberattack happened and which Pope put his dead predecessor on trial.
Glorious Son of York
A charismatic Plantagenet ruler, described by a contemporary as ‘the handsomest prince my eyes ever beheld’, Edward IV (1442–1483) fought hard for his crown, contesting some of the most important battles of the medieval period, including Mortimer’s Cross, Towton, Barnet and Tewkesbury. Covering Edward’s background, the Yorkist takeover and the tensions created by the king’s controversial Woodville marriage, this history follows his struggle to gain and regain the kingship of England during a period of great dynastic turmoil.
Bandaging the Blitz
Phyll Macdonald-Ross was a trainee nurse at Hackney Hospital in London’s East End when war was declared in September 1939. Her memoir recalls the rigid discipline and hard work of nursing, and the harrowing experience of tending the injured and dying during the Blitz in London, but also friendship and mischief, and the beginning of a lifelong love affair. The story was presented in 2015, Phyll’s 95th year, by her grandson ID Roberts.
Edward the Confessor
King of England
Peter Rex presents ‘an alternative view’ of Edward the Confessor’s life, character and achievements, drawing on the wealth of research into his reign since Frank Barlow’s major biography of the king appeared in 1979. Discounting the traditional emphasis on the influence of Earl Godwine, Rex examines Edward’s achievements in foreign policy and statecraft, looking in particular at his contribution to advancing the administration of the Old English state; and in a final chapter, he discusses the cult of the Confessor’s sanctity.
Never Eat Shredded Wheat
The Geography We've Lost and How to Find It
Christopher Somerville, the best-selling author of Coast, presents the basics of British geography, starting with borders and counties of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and going on to deal with 21 big cities, 'the watery bits', coasts and islands and 100 landmarks. There is also a glossary of geographical terms and, when you feel you've mastered the subject, a pub quiz.
A Brief History of Stonehenge
History and Archaeology of the World's Most Enigmatic Stone Circle
Britain's leading expert on stone circles here offers a comprehensive introduction to our most enigmatic ancient site. He explains how the stones were transported and their relationship with the surrounding burial sites; he carefully examines the possible astronomical meanings of the stones' alignment; and also debunks many myths and inaccurate mystical notions. Each successive generation has developed its own reading of the stones; Burl offers the most up-to-date assessment.
The Conquests that Changed the Face of Europe
The history of the Normans began a long time before William the Conqueror arrived in England in 1066. In this absorbing and accessible introduction, Professor Neveux describes the 'extraordinary Norman adventure' that changed the landscape and culture of Europe, from the first Viking raids of the 8th century to the defeat of the Normans in Sicily in the mid 13th century. Translated by Howard Curtis.
The Spitfire Manual
Before being let loose in a Supermarine Spitfire, fighter pilots would have to familiarize themselves with the 'Pilot's Notes' which comprehensively detailed the aircraft's equipment, controls and operation. These instructions are reproduced in this book together with examples of log books, combat reports and other contemporary training booklets advising on such skills as identifying enemy aircraft, estimating range and combat flying.
How Everything Moves, from Atoms and Galaxies to Blizzards and Bees
Why does it take so long for thick ice to form? How slowly do stalactites grow? How much lower is a bee's buzz than a mosquito's? Why can we see the flicker in old silent movies? The answers to such questions are revealed as astronomer Bob Berman explains the myriad movements that shape the universe, from the Sombrero Galaxy, which speeds away from us at 562 miles per second, to the oscillations of water molecules. Off-mint.
The Untold Story of World War Two's Most Daring Great Escape
The 'Warburg Wire Job' was an audacious escape plan by 40 British, Australian, New Zealand and South African POWs from Oflag VI-B in Warburg, Germany. With the camp lights fused, the prisoners laid scaling ladders constructed from bed boards over the high perimeter fence and 28 made it across. Mark Felton's history tells the story of the planning and execution of the breakout and the stories of the escapees' attempts to evade recapture and return home.
Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About the Tudors
But Were Afraid to Ask
Terry Breverton's engrossing compendium of 'interesting facts' is in two parts: the first deals with the Tudor monarchs and their children, courtiers and advisors in an information-packed narrative following the dynasty from its origins to the death of Elizabeth I. Part Two deals with life in Tudor times, covering everything from farming to architecture in 20 chapters, and two final sections explode Tudor myths and list superlatives such as the biggest villain and the first ever stock-market flotation.
Napoleonic Wars in Cartoons
The Napoleonic Wars coincided with the first great age of the political cartoon, and Bonaparte himself provided a unique target for satirists such as Gillray, Rowlandson and Cruikshank. This absorbing book assembles more than 300 cartoons from both sides of the conflict to create a year-by-year account from the Battle of the Nile to Napoleon's defeat at Waterloo. Powerful, energetic and vitriolic, they graphically demonstrate how these events were perceived at the time.
The Complete Illustrated Lewis Carroll
As well as the complete Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass (with John Tenniel's original illustrations) and The Hunting of the Snark, this edition contains the whole bewildering range of Carroll's verses, puzzles, 'phantasmagoria' and stories, plus a miscellany of letters and prose pieces on topics that include women students, vivisection and dining room etiquette.
The Nursery Collection
(six volume set)
Described by the Guardian as 'irresistible small books for very young children... The words are just as much fun as the pictures', Shirley Hughes's Nursery Collection introduces the alphabet, numbers and first concepts – of shapes and sizes, opposites, noises and colours – in everyday toddler activities with Katie, her little brother Olly and their mum and dad. The six books are ABC, 123, All Shapes and Sizes, Opposites, Noisy and Colours. Age 3+
All the Countries the Americans Have Ever Invaded
Making Friends and Influencing People?
Following on from Laycock's All the Countries We've Ever Invaded, the authors turn their attention to the USA and present an A–Z of articles describing the American invasion, bombing or military involvement (in conflict and peacetime) with a staggering 194 countries. Along with the obvious – Iraq, Afghanistan and Vietnam – there are some surprising forays, including attacks on 18th-century Canada, the 1856 Watermelon War in Panama, and the ill-fated Polar Bear Expedition into Russia in 1918.
Joanna Lumley is not only a star of stage and screen but a national treasure. Luckily her magpie instincts have preserved a hoard of memorabilia that make this illustrated memoir a visual feast, with photos from her Indian childhood to the present. There are souvenirs of her early modelling career, her celebrated roles in The New Avengers, The Pink Panther and Absolutely Fabulous and, of course, the causes about which she feels passionate. Slightly off-mint.
Tales of a Tiller Girl
My True Story of Dancing in Wartime London
In the early 1950s, after growing up in Battersea, dancing with the Italia Conti school on the West End stages of wartime London and performing through summer seasons in Blackpool and winter seasons in pantomime, Irene Holland won a coveted place in the Tiller Girls troupe at the London Palladium. Her very engaging memoir describes her passion for dancing and the thrill of achieving her ambition.
A Life in Pictures 1915–1982
From early photographs in Sweden to her last formal portrait taken by Lord Snowden in 1982, this volume follows the life and career of Ingrid Bergman in over 350 photographs. Accompanied by an interview with John Kobal and texts by Robert Capa, John Updike, Martha Gellhorn and others, the photographs show Bergman on and off set in all her major films, with family and friends, and in her final role, as Golda Meir in A Woman Called Golda (1982). Slightly off-mint and felt-tip mark on lower trimmed edge.
A Capital View
The Art of Edinburgh: One Hundred Artworks from the City Collection
Since the mid-18th century, Edinburgh's City Council has amassed over 4,500 artworks in a variety of media – including drawings, paintings, prints, sculpture, photography and tapestry – and the collection, which focuses on Scottish art, continues to grow. In this handsome volume, Popiel presents reproductions and detailed commentaries on a selection of 100 works which depict Edinburgh and its inhabitants, from a 'prospect' of the city by John Abraham Slezer (c.1650–1717) to David Annand's statue of Robert Fergusson (2004).
How to Draw Anything
A How to Book
This encouraging guide includes many tips for budding artists, such as how to look properly, simplify what you see but include key features, get the basic shapes correct, and understand how shading can transform your drawing. There are sections on depicting landscapes, animals, people and cartoons, and each is accompanied by step-by-step illustrations showing how to build up your drawings and create texture, while assignments enable you to measure your progress.
The Seymours of Wolf Hall
A Tudor Family Story
Originating in France, the Seymour family accompanied William the Conqueror to England. They served the crown for generations but came to prominence in the Tudor era. Jane was Henry VIII's third queen and mother to Edward VI, and her brothers Edward and Thomas rose to high office, only to end their lives at the executioner's block. The two brothers are the main focus in Loades's study of the rise and fall of the family and their ancestral home at Wolfhall, Wiltshire.
What Every Woman Should Know
Lifestyle Lessons from the 1930s
In the 1930s women had the vote, they had independence and increasingly they had money to spend. The Daily Mail was one of the first newspapers to recognize this and it led the way in women's lifestyle features. This selection of facsimile pages from 1930s editions of the Mail, with their beauty and fashion advice, cookery tips and household hints, gives a revealing and entertaining insight into the preoccupations of the new consumer age.