The Craft of the Lead Pencil
Mervyn Peake is best remembered as the author of the Gormenghast trilogy, but he was also an artist and illustrator of immense skill and originality. In this charming little book, first published in 1946 and illustrated with his own work, he explains the secrets of pencil drawing – perspective, proportion, direction of light, thickness of line, light and shadow – in the simplest and clearest terms.
Keeping On Keeping On
Alan Bennett's sharp, funny, humane observations have made him one of the foremost chroniclers of modern British life. This collection includes his diaries from 2005 to 2015, the decade that saw his civil partnership, four premieres at the National Theatre, and the filming of The Lady in the Van. It also contains his provocative sermon on private education; his darkly comic radio play Denmark Hill; and his reflections on his 25-year collaboration with the director Nicholas Hytner.
Radio Times Guide to Films 2018
The enlarged and redesigned 18th edition of the Radio Times Guide to Films has reviews and information for 24,600 films, including 542 new entries on the year's new and re-released movies and titles released by Netflix. The main A–Z covers everything from blockbusters to documentaries, with brief reviews, cast lists, star ratings and highlighted entries for 100 landmark films; and there are separate comprehensive listings of directors, actors and awards.
Bobby on the Beat
Memories of a London Policeman in the 1960s
Honest, entertaining and packed with colourful stories, this memoir of the author’s time as a copper on the beat in Limehouse provides a real flavour of the life and crimes of London’s East End during the 1960s. Laced with tough cockney humour, it presents a rogues’ gallery of pickpockets, conmen, informants, gangsters and pimps, against a rich backdrop of docklands pubs, markets and cafés.
The Ancestor's Tale
A Pilgrimage to the Dawn of Life
In a pilgrimage back through four billion years of evolution, Dawkins and Wong follow the history of our genes in search of the microbial beginnings of life. As they encounter other species – from chimpanzees to fungi and bacteria – they listen to each evolutionary ‘tale’, shedding light on such topics as speciation and extinction, and reveal how intimately humans are connected with all life on Earth. This revised and expanded edition takes into account a decade of new research.
I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud...
And Other Poems You Half-Remember from School
Our language is full of well-worn phrases from much-loved poems, but how often can we recall the rest of the poem, or the first line, or even the poet's name? This anthology presents the complete poems that gave us such immortal lines as 'Water, water everywhere/Nor any drop to drink', 'not waving but drowning' and 'They also serve who only stand and waite'. The poems are arranged chronologically, from Chaucer to Carol Ann Duffy, and indexed by title and the famous bits.
I Know Nothing!
Much loved as the Spanish waiter Manuel in Fawlty Towers, Andrew Sachs (1930-2016) was born in Berlin rather than Barcelona and fled to England in 1938 after his father was arrested by the Gestapo. In this compelling and often hilarious memoir he tells of his early years in showbiz, the success of the infamous Torquay hotel, and his acting career beyond Fawlty, which included Shakespeare, Dustin Hoffman's Quartet, a stint as Father Brown, and Snowy in BBC Radio 5's Tintin.
The Marriage of Figaro
Mozart’s sparkling social comedy contains some of his most beautiful music, and is performed here by a world-class cast including Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Heather Harper, Judith Blegen, Geraint Evans, Teresa Berganza, and Birgit Finnilä, with Daniel Barenboim conducting the English Chamber Orchestra.
Rome's Greatest Frontier
Extending for 73 miles and built of more than 24 million stones, Hadrian’s Wall is the largest and most spectacular ancient monument in Britain. This history of the Wall presents insights drawn from ancient texts and extensive archaeological researches to explain how and why it was built, how it affected the native peoples who lived in its shadow and what life was like for the soldiers stationed in its forts.
Spitfire Manual 1940
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.
Green and Pleasant Land
Best-Loved Poems of the British Countryside
Ana Sampson's anthology of poetry written in praise of what Blake so memorably called our 'green and pleasant land' contains many works equally as famous as Jerusalem: among them, Shakespeare's 'This royall Throne of Kings, this sceptred Isle', Keats's 'Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness', and 'If I should die, think only this of me' by Rupert Brooke. The poems are arranged by season, time of day and topics such as birds, weather and the seaside, with an introduction, bibliography and index.
Moon Landings, The Kinks and the 1966 World Cup
Increasing disposable income, new technologies and social reform changed British life in the 1960s and made it an exciting time to be growing up. This round-up of 1960s culture describes what life was like for many British children, at home and at school, and recalls the entertainments that made the period so memorable, from books, comics, toys and TV programmes to pop music and fashion.
Mr Digwell: A Year in the Garden
An Invaluable Resource for Every Gardener from Novice to Expert
Since the end of the Second World War, the cartoon gardener Mr Digwell has been dispensing horticultural advice to Daily Mirror readers, and he remains as popular as ever. This collection offers a comprehensive, month-by-month guide to a gardener’s tasks, from winter pruning through spring seed sowing and planting out to autumn lawn care. Clear, simple strip cartoons present up-to-date information on growing flowers, shrubs and vegetables in a reassuringly traditional manner.
The Greatest Knight
The Remarkable Life of William Marshal, the Power behind Five English Thrones
William Marshal (1147–1219) was the Lancelot of his era – a landless younger son who rose through the ranks to serve as right-hand man to five English monarchs, including Richard the Lionheart and his brother John. Drawing on contemporary evidence, including the sole surviving copy of a 13th-century biography, this compelling study resurrects a courageous warrior, tournament champion, wily politician and, ultimately, regent of the realm, against a rich tapestry of chivalry, grandeur and barbarity.
How We Got the Past Wrong
Did Mussolini make the trains run on time? Did Galileo invent the telescope? How 'Roman' was Roman Britain? Examining these and 28 more historical fallacies, Emma Marriott shows that some of our most cherished beliefs about the great events of history are inaccurate, either through error and misunderstanding – or deliberate cover-up.
Paul Nash Masterpieces of Art
Michael Kerrigan’s concise, illustrated biography introduces the life of Paul Nash (1889–1946) and traces his artistic development through the earlier artists who inspired him and the landscapes and experiences that informed his art, particularly the devastation of the Western Front, which he witnessed as both soldier and war artist during the First World War. The essay accompanies around 90 full-page reproductions of Nash’s paintings, lithographs and engravings, in sections on war, landscape and abstracts and still life.
Bizet's electrifying drama contains some of his best-known music, and its femme fatale is one of the most iconic figures in all opera. This superb recording, in which Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos conducts the Rome Opera chorus and orchestra, features a top-flight cast including Grace Bumbry, Jon Vickers, Mirella Freni and Kostas Paskalis.
Thatcher's Secret War
Subversion, Coercion, Secrecy and Government, 1974–90
Margaret Thatcher remains one of Britain’s most polarizing prime ministers. This provocative investigation sheds new light on the Iron Lady’s war against the ‘enemies within’: striking miners, trades unionists, anti-nuclear protestors, feminists, gay rights campaigners and poll tax protesters. Drawing on countless news reports, studies and personal recollections, it sifts the real conspiracies from the theories that flourished in a paranoid age, to chart the lasting effects of the growth of the secret state on British society.
There Are Tittles in This Title
The Weird World of Words
Names of things you didn't know had names (a tittle is the dot on the letter i); the ten possible origins of 'OK'; rude words that mean something different in other countries; mnemonics you will never remember: this compendium of language oddities is packed with information that might come in handy one day, or might not; plus hilariously wrong information from students' exam papers and how dogs bark in 30 languages.
Isambard Kingdom Brunel
The Life of an Engineering Genius
Colin Maggs, one of the UK’s foremost transport and engineering historians, has written a compelling biography of Brunel (1806–1859) that integrates the engineer’s tremendous achievements – from the Thames Tunnel to the SS Great Eastern – into his life as son, husband and father. Quoting from Brunel’s diaries, letters and business papers, Maggs offers a new perspective on iconic feats of engineering including the Great Western Railway, the Royal Albert Bridge and the first propeller-driven ship, SS Great Britain.
Anatomy of a Dictator
As a dictator who came to power before the Second World War and outlasted his allies Hitler and Mussolini by decades, Francisco Franco is central to 20th-century European history, and his ghost still haunts modern Spain. This lucid biography examines the man, the dictator, and the Spain he forged, charting a childhood scarred by his country’s humiliating defeat in the Spanish-American War, and analysing an ideology based on nationalism, military discipline and the Catholic church.
Classic Album Covers of the 60s
By the early 1960s, jazz record labels had established a pattern of creating stylish and contemporary artwork for their artists' records, while the pop industry was predominantly using jaunty portraits of the musicians overlaid with block type. This review of the decade's album covers, compiled by legendary cover designer Storm Thorgerson of Hipgnosis, traces the development of the art form in over 200 examples, chosen for their artistic or cultural importance rather than the significance of the music.
It's All About Treo
Life and War with the World's Bravest Dog
The world's most highly decorated dog, Treo, and his handler David Heyhoe did the most dangerous job on earth – sniffing out bombs in Afghanistan – and survived. Dave and Treo would be sent forward to detect the enemy's explosive devices ahead of soldiers on patrol and were so successful they became 'target number one for the Taliban'. Their exciting and heart-warming story shows how invaluable Arms Explosive Search dogs can be in modern warfare. Slightly off-mint.
A History of the 20th Century in 100 Maps
The 20th century was a golden age of cartography, and maps permeated every aspect of daily life in Britain. The 100 maps in this book chart the century’s conflicts from the Somme to the Gulf War; its social changes, from the Edwardian opium trade to gay London in the 1980s; and its technological developments, from the London Underground to computer games. Beautifully reproduced in colour and supported by a richly informative text, the maps tell the story of the century.
I Before E (except after C)
Old-School Ways to Remember Stuff
Judy Parkinson takes a nostalgic look back at the many quirky ways people were taught to remember things in days of old. Her book is a collection of mnemonics, rhymes, acronyms and curious phrases such as 'there's a little RED PORT LEFT in the bottle' – learning devices for subjects ranging from basic language and spelling (A was an apple pie, B bit it, C cut it, etc) to the periodic table sung to the tune of Gilbert and Sullivan's 'I Am the Very Model of a Modern Major-General'.
Le Creuset One-Pot Cuisine
Classic Recipes for Casseroles, Tagines & Simple One-Pot Dishes
Demonstrating the versatility of top-quality Le Creuset cookware – which might include a grill pan, tagine, casserole or plancha – here are 100 dishes to cook in one pot. As well as recipes for meat, poultry, fish and vegetable-based meals – from Coq au Vin Blanc, to Lobster with Morroccan Spices and Braised Chicory with Honey and Orange – there are unusual one-pot puddings to try, such as Red Plums with Pink Peppercorns.
Illustrated with over 230 early photographs, Richard Oram's history of Scotland in the century after the invention of photography in 1839 looks in turn at Scottish people and places, rural life, work and industry, transport and leisure. Far from nostalgia, the book evokes the reality of profound division and change throughout the century: the photographers celebrate historical landscapes and engineering and industrial triumph, and record rural poverty and urban slums alongside the elegant lifestyle of the elite.
The Lure of the Highlands and Islands
The Highlands and Islands of Scotland are a magnet for tourists from all over the world, but just a few centuries ago they were seen as a wild, dangerous place peopled by fierce and warlike inhabitants. Illustrated with historic prints, posters and photographs, this absorbing book investigates the ways in which Walter Scott and Queen Victoria popularized the Highlands, and how the railways made them accessible even to tourists of modest means.
The Queen's Bed
An Intimate History of Elizabeth's Court
Drawing on the first-hand accounts of those who knew Elizabeth I most intimately – the ladies-in-waiting who shared her heavily curtained bedchamber, and sometimes even her bed – this engrossing book reconstructs the queen's apartments and navigates a web of gossip, intrigue, conspiracy and scandal to reveal the private face of Gloriana.
The East End
An Illustrated A–Z Historical Guide
This alphabetical guide to the East End of London, an area stretching from Spitalfields to Barking, addresses both its history and its current attractions. Once the gateway to the Empire, and the home of successive waves of immigrants, it has also seen some bitter political struggles and, in recent times, become a commercial centre to rival the City itself. The illustrations include maps, paintings, and vintage and modern photographs.