An Unfinished Life
At the Monterey Pop Festival in June 1967, Otis Redding’s set was one of the performances that made the festival legendary; by the end of the year he was dead, killed when his tour’s private plane crashed in Wisconsin. With the cooperation of the Redding family, friends and fellow musicians, Jonathan Gould presents a biography of ‘the king of soul’ and an appreciation of his immense contribution to popular music.
The Life and Music of Eric Clapton
Author of bestselling biographies of Lennon, McCartney and Jagger, Philip Norman describes how Eric Clapton became rock's premier virtuoso in the 1960s and 1970s and examines a turbulent private life that has included chronic substance abuse, a famous affair with George Harrison's wife and the freak death of his son at the age of four.
The Reacher Guy
The Authorised Biography of Lee Child
The adventures of ex-soldier Jack Reacher have driven 25 novels, popular films starring Tom Cruise, and sold a hundred million copies, but their creator is more elusive. Through conversations with Lee Child – real name Jim Grant – his family, friends and teachers, this biography records the life of a Birmingham boy with a passion for reading, whose fascination with America led to a career as a TV executive in New York and Hollywood before he turned to writing.
Love, War and Literature 1939–1951
This book follows the adventures of four independent young women in literary London during the Blitz: Lys Lubbock, Sonia Brownell, Barbara Skelton and Janetta Woolley. In the offices of the magazine Horizon, edited by Janetta’s lover Cyril Connolly, and at parties behind blackout curtains, they met writers such as Evelyn Waugh, Nancy Mitford and George Orwell, whom Sonia would marry.
Further Letters of Patrick Leigh Fermor
Although he claimed to dash them off, the letters of the travel writer Patrick Leigh Fermor are often long, vividly written and rich in observation of the people and places he encountered. This second selection, written to his wife Joan, to Deborah Mitford, to his fellow writers Cyril Connolly and Freya Stark and many others date from the 1930s to shortly before his death, aged 96, in 2011.
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.
How Japan's Pop Culture Conquered the World
Since their export trade was fully reestablished with tin toys in the 1950s, Japan has steadily built a global reputation for creating goods that offer entertainment and quality. From anime to the Walkman, emojis and the recent resurgence of Pokémon, Matt Alt explores the ingenuity of the people behind the country’s products, and how, over the last six decades, Japanese pop-culture has become so widespread.
Close to Where the Heart Gives Out
A Year in the Life of an Orkney Doctor
Dissatisfied with his job in Glasgow, Malcolm Alexander was in his thirties when he accepted the post of ‘Island Doctor’ and set off with his wife and four boys, three geese, ducks, a guinea pig, a rabbit and the dog to a new life on Eday in the Orkneys archipelago. Beginning with the four-day journey to the island, this is his engrossing account of the challenges of being the sole doctor on a tiny, remote island.
The Curious Lives and Adventures of the John Tradescants
This dual biography follows the travels of the plant collectors John Tradescant (c.1570–1638), who visited Russia, the Middle East, the Netherlands and France, and his son, also named John (1608–62), who journeyed to Virginia. It explains how the specimens they brought to their house in Lambeth introduced many plants now familiar to British gardens, including magnolia, poppy, scented stock, Virginia creeper, and the hanging houseplant named after them.
Over and Out
Albert Trott: The Man Who Cleared the Lord's Pavilion
Notable for the strength of his batting – he once struck a ball over the Lord’s Pavilion – as well as his skill as a bowler, Albert Trott was a hero of cricketing in the late 1890s before ill health contributed to his early retirement and suicide. Seeking to redress the neglect of Trott’s reputation, Steve Neal celebrates his achievements and his responses to the forces that influenced his career.
A Biography of Mike Brearley
Brearley is widely acknowledged for his exceptional leadership as a three-times captain of the England cricket team, despite some disappointing results as a player. This first biography explores the qualities that helped him get the best from his teams, including his innovative approaches and response to criticism, an interest in psychology, and his relationships with Boycott and Botham.
Russians Among Us
Sleeper Cells, Ghost Stories and the Hunt for Putin's Agents
In 2010 a group of Russian sleeper agents, including Anna Chapman, were arrested in the United States and exchanged for four people held in Russia. Of the four, Sergei Skripal, was subsequently poisoned. In this meticulously researched investigation, the BBC’s security correspondent Gordon Corera reveals the extent of Russian espionage in the West, including murder, intelligence gathering, cyberattacks and interference in elections.
Rifle-Green by Nature
A Regency Naturalist and his Family, William Elford Leach
Made head of zoology at the British Museum in 1814, William Elford Leach (1791–1836) was a pioneering and internationally known naturalist, responsible for introducing many animal species to science in the early 19th century. This biography not only reveals the career of an important, yet forgotten scientist, but sets his life alongside that of his brother Jonathan, who served in the 95th (Rifles) Regiment throughout the Peninsular War and Waterloo.
A Working Woman
The Remarkable Life of Ray Strachey
Pioneering feminist, political lobbyist, novelist, journalist and broadcaster, Ray Strachey (1887–1940) was a prominent public figure in the inter-war years. Based on extensive research, this first full biography explores the busy career and complex, often challenging private life of this multi-faceted woman, her relations with the Bloomsbury set (she married Lytton Strachey’s brother Oliver), and her major contribution to the struggle for women’s rights.
My Father, Frank
Unresting Spirit of Everest
Frank Smythe was the most celebrated Himalayan mountaineer of his day, scaling Kangchenjunga in 1930 and coming within 820 feet of the peak of Everest in 1933. This biography by his son presents a balanced account of this determined and often difficult man, whose volatile personality was at rest only in the mountains.
Rolf de Maré
Art Collector, Ballet Director, Museum Creator
Born into one of Sweden’s richest families, Rolf de Maré (1888–1964) pursued a number of artistic careers including the creation of the Ballets Suédois in Paris (where his homosexuality was more readily accepted). The company became a centre for new ideas, attracting leading dancers, painters and composers and establishing de Maré as a cultural ambassador. In this biography, with over 1,000 images, Eric Näsland traces his life and reveals the depth of his commitment to the arts.
Ninette De Valois
Idealist Without Illusions
A celebrated prima ballerina in London’s West End in the 1920s, Ninette de Valois (1898–2001) went on to become the founder of The Royal Ballet. Focusing on her extensive career and with black and white photographs, this volume records her success in roles including dancer, teacher, choreographer and director, revealing the broad skill set that reflected her belief in the interlocking nature of artistic disciplines.
His Life and Ballets
After a successful career as a dancer, Harald Lander (1905–71) became Artistic Director of the Royal Danish Ballet, where he nurtured the Bournonville heritage but also installed different training methods to meet the demands of modern choreographers such as Mikhail Fokaine. Illustrated with 70 black and white photographs, this first biography in English records his legacy as well as the controversy that surrounded him following accusations of sexual harassment.
My dearly beloved Wife!
Letters from France and Italy 1841
During his six-month journey through France and Italy in 1841 Danish choreographer August Bournonville wrote weekly letters to his wife describing the people he met and theatres he visited. In addition to their value as a source of factual information, they reveal the extent to which his travels influenced his career and provided inspiration for some of his most popular ballets.
Mary Queen of Scots
This biography draws on a wide range of documentary sources to provide a detailed life of the Scottish queen from her coronation at just nine months old to her execution in 1587. It explains why she agreed to marry Bothwell, the murderer of her husband Lord Darnley, and how desperation at her imprisonment by Elizabeth I led to her fatal entrapment by Elizabeth’s spymaster Sir Francis Walsingham.
Nelson's Arctic Voyage
The Royal Navy's First Polar Expedition 1773
Among the crew of a 1773 expedition commanded by Constantine Phipps to find the North Pole was a 14-year-old Horatio Nelson. This account tells how HMS Racehorse and Carcass were fitted out for the voyage, how they became locked in ice north of Spitsbergen before returning safely home, and how the young Nelson fought a polar bear and saved his crew from a herd of angry walruses.
More Than Likely
The TV comedies Porridge and The Likely Lads are Clement and La Frenais' best known work but in their long career they have also created scripts for films, plays and musicals such as The Commitments. This dual biography intersperses personal reminiscences with memories of their many productions and anecdotes about stars including Richard Burton, Sean Connery and Tracey Ullman.
A member of various vocal groups in the late 1950s, Dusty Springfield switched to a blues-influenced style for her first solo record, I Only Want to Be With You, in 1963. These musical beginnings, her rise to be one of the leading stars of the 1960s, her later struggles with drink and drugs and her renaissance as a performer in the 1980s are all discussed in this revised and updated edition of the 1989 biography.