Crown of Blood
The Deadly Inheritance of Lady Jane Grey
In 1553, 17-year-old Lady Jane Grey was proclaimed Queen of England to prevent the accession of Henry VIII’s Catholic daughter Mary. Thirteen days later she was imprisoned in the Tower, and in February 1554 she was beheaded. This narrative history draws on previously overlooked sources to create a vivid and engaging portrait of an intelligent, charismatic and deeply religious girl caught up in the power politics of her age, whose courage shone through her final, harrowing ordeal.
Emily Wilding Davison
The Martyr Suffragette
Emily Davison’s death beneath the king’s horse at the 1913 Derby has overshadowed the life that led up to it. Drawing on her own words and those of people who knew her, this biography charts the formative experiences of this intelligent, resourceful and determined woman: an education thwarted by lack of money, work as a governess, and involvement in campaigns about the injustices faced by women that resulted in her imprisonment and force-feeding.
His Untold Life from Berthierville to Zolder
A daring driving style and a tragic early death at the Belgian Grand Prix in 1982 have contributed to Gilles Villeneuve’s legendary status in Formula 1. Illustrated with photographs of the Ferrari star and his cars, on and off the track, this celebration of his career includes interviews with 48 leading figures in the sport, including Jody Scheckter, Bernie Ecclestone, Jochen Maas and Mario Andretti.
The Man Who Said 'No' to England
In 1962, Footballer of the Year Adamson won runners up medals in the FA Cup and First Division; as Assistant Manager at the World Cup, he was offered the England manager’s job before Alf Ramsey. However, two decades later, he had walked away from his management career for a fiercely defended private life. Introduced by Bobby Charlton, this book revisits the remarkable career of an enigmatic sporting character.
The Life and Choices of Lady Anne Barnard
Lady Anne Barnard lived at the heart of Georgian society – the Prince of Wales was a friend, and Walter Scott admired her verses – but her defiance of convention made her an outsider. Drawing on her unpublished papers, including six volumes of memoirs, this thrilling biography brings the poet, musician, artist and hostess vividly to life, and tells how she travelled to France to observe the Revolution, married an army officer twelve years her junior, and raised an illegitimate child.
The Maker of Modern France
A proud, indomitable, absolutist monarch, Francis I (1494–1547) ‘was the king that his country needed, if not the one it might have wished for’, and despite his achievements – in unifying and glorifying France and as the patron of art and architecture who recruited Leonardo da Vinci to his court and built Fontainebleau – Francis is remembered, if at all, for his failings. In this biography, Leonie Frieda offers a rigorous reassessment of the ‘Maker of Modern France’.
I Ran With the Gang
My Life In and Out of the Bay City Rollers
The bass player in the tartan-clad pop sensation from Edinburgh, Alan Longmuir was the first to tire of the endless touring and screaming teenagers and leave the band. His biography describes how the Rollers got to the top and gives his views on the acrimonious bust-ups and financial wranglings that followed.
Safe in Wartime Devon
Deposited with an Aunt in Devon in 1939, Angela (12) and Hugh McBride (3) saw little of their parents for the next five years, moving between various boarding schools and lodgings and finally joining their family after the war on a posting to Australia. This record of their unusual experience is told as two separate memoirs, one by each of the siblings, highlighting their different perspectives on an eventful but unsettled upbringing.
The Strange Last Voyage of Donald Crowhurst
In 1968 Donald Crowhurst, an amateur sailor in an untested trimaran, amazed the public by taking the lead in the first solo round-the-world sailing race. Eight months later, his boat was found abandoned in mid-Atlantic. Based on interviews with family and friends, and Crowhurst’s logbook, this account of the stress that prompted him to deceive the world and suffer a mental breakdown formed the basis of the movie The Mercy, starring Colin Firth. Off-mint.
A Journey with Cecil Beaton
With this remarkable compilation of photographs, artworks and quotations, Lisa Vreeland has created a vivid and multi-layered portrait of Cecil Beaton (1904–1980), drawing together the many strands of his personality and his art. The book is arranged in nine chapters, each one devoted to a facet of Beaton’s life or career: his special friendships, scrapbooks, the designs for dance, fashion photography, his work in New York and in Hollywood, and his portraits of artists, literary stars and fellow photographers.
The Strange Death of World War II's Most Audacious General
Having survived a spectacularly bloody campaign across Europe, America's most charismatic general, George Patton, was killed in a road accident near Mannheim, Germany, in December 1945. His brusque manner and outspoken nature had made him many enemies and his unexpected death has since provoked suspicion. This book analyses Patton's activities from October 1944 up to the fatal crash and investigates the circumstances of the accident to establish whether it might have been an assassination.
I Am Brian Wilson
One of three brothers and a cousin who formed The Beach Boys in the early 1960s, Brian Wilson emerged as the leading creative force of the group. This autobiography explores the influences that nurtured his talent and the productive years of creativity, before his struggles with mental illness and drugs began, as well as his rehabilitation since the 1990s and the completion of his legendary abandoned album, Smile. Slightly off-mint.
The Fall of Heaven
The Pahlavis and the Final Days of Imperial Iran
The overthrow of the last emperor of Iran, Mohamed Reza Pahlavi, in 1979 ushered in a new era of instability in the Middle East. With exclusive access to the Shah’s widow, the Islamic radicals who ousted them, and to White House officials, this balanced account assesses the 50-year rule of the Pahlavis, father and son, before providing a day-to-day account of the events that brought it to an end.
Dark History of the Tudors
Murder, Adultery, Incest, Witchcraft, Wars, Religious Persecution, Piracy
The Tudor Dynasty lasted just 118 years (1485?1603), but England's most infamous royal dynasty transformed Britain from a medieval kingdom to a major European power. This extensively illustrated history focuses on the darker side of the period: the murder, adultery, and religious and political turmoil, from Henry VIII's treatment of his wives and the tragedy of Lady Jane Grey to Elizabeth I’s suppression of the Irish rebellion and sponsorship of pirates and slave traders.
Adventures of a Young Naturalist
The Zoo Quest Expeditions
In 1954 a young David Attenborough accepted a commission to travel the world in search of rare and elusive animals to add to London Zoo's collection. Filming his expeditions for the BBC television series Zoo Quest, he stayed with local tribes while trekking in search of giant anteaters in Guyana, Komodo dragons in Indonesia and armadillos in Paraguay. On his return, he recorded his experiences in this memoir, illustrated with black and white photographs, and published here with an introduction he added in 2017. Slightly off-mint.
A Mind at Play
The Brilliant Life of Claude Shannon, Inventor of the Information Age
One of the key thinkers of the computer age, Claude Shannon worked as a cryptanalyst during the Second World War and his contributions to digital circuit design and information theory in the 1930s and 1940s made modern computing possible. This biography explores his life, academic achievements and influential personal projects, such as a maze-solving mouse (one of the first experiments in artificial intelligence) and the first design for a chess-playing computer.
The Untold Story of Henry VIII's Most Faithful Servant
The son of a blacksmith, Thomas Cromwell has long been reviled as a schemer who stopped at nothing in his quest for power. He ended up as Henry VIII's right-hand man, and exercised enormous influence during some of the most momentous events in the country's history. This biography from the Joint Chief Curator of Historic Royal Palaces goes beyond the fiction of Wolf Hall to reveal the true story of this controversial, complex and fascinating figure.
A Revolutionary Life
Although familiar from Hilary Mantel’s fictional Wolf Hall, Thomas Cromwell (c.1485–1540) has proved an elusive subject to biographers. With this magisterial study, MacCulloch presents ‘the true Thomas Cromwell of history’, based on a meticulous study of his surviving papers. The biography pays particular attention to Cromwell’s early years and his rapid rise to power in 1532, the importance of his religious agenda and his efforts conceal that motivation, and the dynastic ambitions that contributed significantly to his fall. Slightly off-mint with felt tip mark on lower trimmed edge.
Henry VIII, Francis I, Charles V, Suleiman the Magnificent and the Obsessions that Forged Modern Europe
As the Ottoman Empire reached its apogee and feudal Europe developed into national states, four dynamic rulers each shaped their domains – the English and French kings, the Holy Roman Emperor and the Sultan. With his characteristically colourful approach, Norwich discusses the achievements of these men and weaves their stories together to reveal how their relationships changed the continent. ‘Sometimes friends, more often enemies, always rivals, the four of them held Europe in the hollow of their hands.’
Jerry Lee Lewis
His Own Story
The scandal over his marriage to his teenage cousin stopped Jerry Lee Lewis’s career in its tracks in 1958 but he made a comeback in the 1970s as a country artist. Extensive recent interviews with the singer provide the basis of this biography, telling his story of rags to riches success, multiple wives and divorces, drug and alcohol abuse and eventual rehabilitation as a respected elder statesman of rock. Slightly off-mint and felt-tip mark on lower trimmed edge.
With the End in Mind
Dying, Death and Wisdom in an Age of Denial
Despite the inevitability of death, people in Western society often have difficulty discussing and confronting the subject. Having worked with terminally ill patients throughout her career, Kathryn Mannix presents her experiences through more than 30 touching and humorous stories that demonstrate how varied the end can be. She aims to encourage readers to approach death with openness and understanding, and to make the most of their own lives while they can.
White Boots and Miniskirts
A True Story of Life in the Swinging Sixties
From the author of Bombsites and Lollipops, this is a memoir of the Swinging Sixties, recounting how Jacky grew up as a free-spirited, hedonistic girl in search of adventure and independence. The decade’s music, fashion and culture has become iconic, but this is a more personal look at a world of souped-up Minis, conmen, typewriters, bed-hopping, tragic romances, flat-sharing, Soviet spies and the smoke-filled pubs of Fleet Street. Slightly off-mint.
The Invention of Nature
The Adventures of Alexander von Humboldt, the Lost Hero of Science
Napoleon envied his achievements and Darwin called him the ‘greatest scientific traveller who ever lived’, but the writings of Humboldt (1769–1859) are now largely forgotten. This award-winning biography follows the visionary scientist’s travels around the world and highlights the extent to which his ideas shaped our thinking about ecology, climate change and the natural world.
In Two Minds
A Biography of Jonathan Miller
The late Jonathan Miller trained as a doctor before a Cambridge Footlights revue launched him on a brilliant career as a satirist, comic actor, theatre and opera director and television presenter. Written with Miller’s co-operation and drawing on the recollections of many friends, this sympathetic biography probes the working of a restless intellect that acknowledged no distinction between science and the humanities, and made him one of the ablest communicators of his generation.
Scouse, Choppers and Space Hoppers
Happy Days and Hard Times in Sixties and Seventies Liverpool
In this nostalgic memoir, the comedian Crissy Rock recalls growing up in working-class Liverpool during the 1960s, an era when traditional values of community, family and hard work counted for everything, even as bold changes in culture, fashion and music swept through the city.
Passage Across the Mersey
Helen Forrester wrote vividly about her family's harrowing struggles in Depression-era Liverpool in her bestselling memoir Twopence to Cross the Mersey. Now, drawing upon her carefully kept papers and letters, her son Robert Bhatia recounts the surprising life she went on to live, initially in India, and later in Canada, in doing so reveals his parents' touching love story.
Memoirs and Reflections
Born in Moscow in 1971, Evgeny Kissin made his concert debut at the age of ten and is now internationally renowned for his interpretation of the classical and Romantic piano repertoire. In this collection of reminiscences he answers some of the questions that he is most often asked – about his childhood, his early teachers and his encounters with the world’s great musicians – and muses on topics including fame, inspiration and his favourite composers. Slightly off-mint.
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.
Between Stone and Sky
Memoirs of a Waller
In 2009, as a temporary organizer for the Smithsonian Folklife Festival in Washington, Whitney Brown first experienced the satisfaction of manual labour, working with the blacksmiths and dry-stone wallers who were creating the Welsh exhibition area. Eventually she accepted their invitation to travel to Wales and build walls out in the countryside. This is the story of her journey from academic folklorist in America to dry-stone waller in Wales and the friendships forged along the way.
The Masonic Magician
The Life and Death of Count Cagliostro and His Egyptian Rite
When he was arrested by the Inquisition in 1789, Count Alessandro Cagliostro had won fame across Europe as an alchemist, healer and Freemason. This account of his rise and fall draws on new documentary evidence to examine both the case against him and the reasons for the devotion and ridicule that he attracted. The book features a full English translation, with commentary, of Cagliostro’s ‘Ritual of Egyptian Freemasonry’.
The Expert Guide to Sleeping Well
Written by the Director of the Sleep Assessment and Advisory Service, this exploration of sleep explains what it is and why we need it, reports the latest scientific research and advises on common disorders and how to improve your sleep using simple natural techniques.
The Spy Who Changed History
The Untold Story of How the Soviet Union Won the Race for America's Top Secrets
In the 1930s Stalin was obsessed with closing the technology gap between the Soviet Union and the West and recruited Stanislav Shumovsky to join his fledgling espionage and infiltration efforts. ‘Agent Blériot’ enrolled at MIT in 1931 and subsequently stole many of their crucial aviation secrets, allowing Russia to transform its military capacity. Based on documents from the Churchill Archives, and including numerous photos and maps, this book shows the key role Shumovsky played in establishing the Russian spy network.