Breaking the Code
Westminster Diaries 1990–2007
As MP for Chester and a government whip, Gyles Brandreth had a ringside seat at Westminster from the fall of Margaret Thatcher to the election of Tony Blair. His frank and often funny diaries provide an insight into the workings of modern government, profiles of the key players, and the first insider's account of the secret world of the Whips' Office. This updated edition continues the story to the arrival of David Cameron as Tory leader.
A Farmer's Diary
A Year at High House Farm
Running a farm in Northumberland with 200 sheep, chickens, barley and wheat crops, and a micro-brewery and wedding venue operating from the outbuildings, requires many skills. Recording the work of the farm through the year, Sally Urwin gives an insight into the challenges, amusements and frustrations she encounters, from bringing in the harvest, lambing and sheep shearing to fixing dry stone walls and attending the village talent contest.
Paul Nash: Outline
Paul Nash (1889–1946) began writing his ‘personal history’ in 1936–7, but ended the narrative with the outbreak of the First World War, in the chapter entitled ‘End of a World’. Described by David Boyd Haycock in his Introduction as ‘one of the finest autobiographies by an English artist of any era’, Outline is accompanied here by Nash’s notes for its continuation, his letters to his wife from France, 1917, and the previously unpublished ‘Memoirs of Paul Nash, 1913–1946' by his wife, Margaret.
In a long career working for the BBC, ITN and Sky News, award-winning journalist Jeremy Thompson travelled the world to report on events including the Tiananmen Square massacre and the release of Nelson Mandela. His autobiography offers a glimpse behind the scenes in the newsroom and shares both poignant and amusing moments during assignments, from the Miners’ Strike to the election of Donald Trump.
My Life and Times in Cricket
Chris Adams played a handful of Tests and One Day Internationals for England in 1989 and 1990 but it was on the county scene where he distinguished himself: as a leading run-scorer and championship-winning captain of Sussex in the 2000s. This autobiography reflects on his experiences in domestic and international cricket and his thoughts about coaching and captaincy.
Karl Jordan and the Naturalist Tradition
‘How do we know what we know about biodiversity and, conversely, why do we seem to know so little?’ Kristin Johnson sets about answering these questions through a study of Karl Jordan (1861–1959), a taxonomist and Curator of Insects at the Natural History Museum, London, who devoted his life to naming, describing and ordering a small subset of Earth’s biodiversity – over 3,000 species of Lepidoptera, Coleoptera and Siphonaptera.
Don't You Leave Me Here
Born in 1947, Wilko Johnson read English at university, hit the hippie trail to Afghanistan and taught Shakespeare in a secondary school before becoming Dr Feelgood’s mesmerizing guitarist in the 1970s. His candid and often funny memoir tells his story from first love in Canvey Island, through rock stardom, to not dying with cancer.
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 Extraordinary Story of One Man's Survival in Warsaw, 1939–45
First published in 1946 Wladyslaw Szpilman’s account of his survival in the Warsaw Ghetto inspired the Oscar-winning film The Pianist. Reprinted here with diary extracts by the German officer who saved him, it offers a picture of the claustrophobia and terror of ghetto life.
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.
The Devil's Diary
Alfred Rosenberg and the Stolen Secrets of the Third Reich
Alfred Rosenberg was the principal ideologue behind the Nazi Party, whose ideas formed the theoretical basis for the Third Reich and the Holocaust. This book chronicles his rise to power, his relations with other leading Nazis, and his trial and execution. Its sources include Rosenberg’s own diary, which disappeared after his trial at Nuremberg and was only rediscovered 75 years later.
You are Always with Me
Letters to Mama 1923–1932
Wry, witty and highly observant, this collection of 50 of Frida Kahlo's letters to her beloved mother, illustrated with her art and family photographs and published here for the first time in English, reveals the close nature of their relationship between 1923 and 1932.
75 Years of Doing Just About Everything
Acting in myriad roles, including Albert Perks in The Railway Children , various Carry On characters and a Fawlty Towers guest, singing ‘Right Said Fred’, fishing for trout, picking up his BAFTA award and jumping out of aeroplanes (as a paratrooper), Bernard Cribbins (b.1928) has had a busy 75 years. Using his conversational ‘Jackanory method’, he tells the story of his life in the Army, films, television, radio and on and off stage: ‘one long variety show’.
Splendours and Miseries
The flamboyant Director of the National Portrait Gallery and the V&A has been at the heart of Britain’s high society for half a century. Amusing and often acerbic, his diaries chronicle two decades of parties, meetings and tussles over funding, with a cast of characters including Margaret Thatcher, the Royal Family, David Hockney, Mick Jagger and Rudolph Nureyev. This new edition includes entries omitted when the diaries were first published.
A Life of Crime
The Memoirs of a High Court Judge
Harry Ognall reflects on the responsibilities of a lifetime in the law courts of Leeds and London and the well-known cases he worked on. Having prosecuted the Yorkshire Ripper, Peter Sutcliffe, he presided as judge over the trials of Colin Stagg (accused of being the ‘Wimbledon Common murderer’) and the first UK doctor taken to court for assisting in euthanasia.
My Life Outside the Lines
Coming to prominence on television at the age of 35, Nick Nolte has since earned three Oscar nominations for his film performances. This autobiography explores his early life in Iowa and years as a model as well as his Hollywood career and high-profile addiction problems. Slightly off-mint and felt-tip mark on lower trimmed edge.
Born to sharecroppers in Georgia, Martin Luther King, Sr. (1899–1984) was a prominent Baptist preacher. This memoir, first published in 1980, recounts his struggles against racism, and his fatherly pride and anxiety as his son became the leading light of the Civil Rights movement.
The Travelling Vet
From Pets to Pandas: My Life with Animals
Jonathan Cranston treats cows, dogs, pigs and cats at his Cotswolds veterinary practice, but he has also had a remarkable career working around the world with species including crocodiles, rhinos and pandas, and as an advisor on the Jurassic World franchise. In this anecdotal collection he shares some of his more peculiar and poignant experiences, which include microchipping armadillos, anaesthetising giraffes, birthing calves, castrating a sugar glider and encountering victims of rhino poaching.
The Epic Voyages of Maud Berridge
The Seafaring Diaries of a Victorian Lady
Maud Berridge (1844–1907) made five voyages with her husband, Master Mariner Henry Berridge, from Gravesend to Melbourne and back. One of these, on the clipper Superb, was a trip of 14 months, rounding both the Cape of Good Hope and Cape Horn, and stopping off in Polynesia and San Francisco. Interweaving Maud’s diaries with contemporary reports and a modern commentary, her great-granddaughter has assembled an account of a Victorian captain’s wife’s adventures at sea.
Since receiving a terminal diagnosis of leukaemia in 2010, Clive James has produced an extraordinary late harvest of poetry and prose. In this collection of essays, he looks back with characteristic wit, humour and perception on a lifetime’s reading, offering his unique insights into writers from Conrad, Hemingway and Larkin to VS Naipaul and WG Sebald. Woven throughout these literary ruminations, moreover, is a thoughtful and moving reflection on life and death.
A Life in Questions
‘Why is this lying bastard lying to me?’ With this question in mind, Britain’s most incisive interviewer has skewered politicians from John Major to Theresa May on national television. Now, in this long-awaited memoir, he reflects on a career that has taken him to many of the world’s trouble spots, from Beirut to Belfast. Funny and poignant, it is packed with revealing anecdotes about the great, the good and the rotters he has met.
Once the all-conquering bad boy of tennis, John McEnroe is increasingly better known for his insightful commentaries and opinions on the game. In this memoir he reflects on his playing years but also on his life since, developing new careers in broadcasting and art dealing, and bringing up a large family. Still competing in senior tournaments and recently coach to Milos Raonic, he also has plenty to say on the state of modern tennis.
Train to Nowhere
One Woman's War, Ambulance Driver, Reporter, Liberator
First published in 1948, this Second World War reportage relates the experiences of Anita Leslie, the daughter of a baronet and a distant cousin of Winston Churchill. Her account includes descriptions of working for the Mechanised Transport Corps, driving an ambulance for the Free French Forces, writing letters home from Hitler’s office in the Reich Chancellery, and marching in the Victory Parade in Berlin.
Tales from the Tent
Jessie's Journey Continues
Having grown up in Scotland’s Traveller community in an old bus with her parents and seven sisters, Jess takes to the road in caravans, stopping at campsites and lay-bys in pursuit of work – berry picking, haystacking and fortune-telling. Alongside recollections of her family and her first loves and losses, she recounts campfire tales of ghosts, mythical beasts and supernatural encounters.
An Indian Summer of Steam
Railway Travel in The United Kingdom and Abroad 1962–2013
Working on the railways from the early 1960s, David Maidment was in a privileged position to witness the last days of steam and continued his interest by seeking out steam across the world after its demise in Britain. Accompanied by 200 of his own images, this 'railway biography' tells the story of his career and his pursuit of working steam and steam specials in Europe and China.
Bolts from the Blue
From Cold War Warrior to Chief of the Air Staff
Trained as a jet pilot in the late 1950s when Britain was still a leading air power, Richard Johns achieved the top rank in the RAF in 1997, by which time Britain's military capacity had been much reduced. His autobiography examines his key operations as commander, including the First Gulf War and Balkan conflict in the 1990s, as well as reflecting on the evolution of the RAF and the other services during his career.
The Old Man and the Knee
How to Be a Golden Oldie
‘I’d like to get one thing straight. I am not old. I know what old is, and I’m not it.’ This light-hearted guide to retirement discusses the amusing and exasperating points of ageing, from what to do with your spare time and coping with the changing attitudes and manners of younger generations to worrying about declining physical fitness and the perils of social media.
Making a Noise
Getting it Right, Getting it Wrong in Life, Broadcasting and the Arts
This candid memoir by Czech-born journalist and arts administrator John Tusa recollects the wrangles with BBC senior management over the creation of Newsnight in 1979 (he was a presenter). It also reveals how as managing director of the World Service (1986–93) he saw off unwanted political influence over its remit. And musing on his stint as head of the Barbican (1995–2007), he demonstrates how his passion for the arts turned the centre’s fortunes around.
A Miscarriage of Justice and the Fight to End the Death Penalty
The case of Oklahoma death-row inmate Richard Glossip has caused an international outcry, since even those who prosecuted him for murder admit he killed no one. The British reporter who became his close friend tells the story of Glossip’s campaign against three scheduled executions. Slightly off-mint.
Unearthing secrets in Budapest, getting arrested in Thailand, exalting in the art of Venice... After the death of her husband John Thaw, Sheila Hancock decided to live adventurously. This second volume of memoirs describes how she bounced back from grief and depression and began ‘having a ball’.
A Season in the Wilderness
This classic of American nature writing records the author’s time as a ranger in the canyons of Utah. A rallying-cry for the protection of wilderness, it describes the stark beauty of the landscape: its terracotta earth, arching rock formations, wild horses and Pueblo Indian petroglyphs. First published half a century ago, this new edition includes an introduction by the writer and wildlife campaigner Robert Macfarlane.
The Sheep Stell
Memoirs of a Shepherd
Despite coming from a middle-class, academic family, Janet White dreamed of living and working somewhere wild and beautiful, ‘a place high and remote as a sheep stell, quiet as a monastery, challenging and virginal’. Here, she describes how she followed her ambition to be a farmer, from her first job as a dairymaid to owning her own sheep farm on a remote island in New Zealand. Originally published in 1991, and reissued with a new introduction by Colin Thubron.
Too Marvellous For Words!
Award-winning writer Julie Welch describes Felixstowe College as just like Malory Towers: her schoolgirl experiences there included pillow fights, midnight feasts and swotting for exams. This memoir of boarding-school life in the 1960s, however, covers topics Enid Blyton avoided, such as homesickness, anorexia and sex. Tracking down fellow boarders and an old teacher, Welch pieces together the school’s history and entertainingly documents her own part in its story.
My Life on a Plate
Chef, television presenter and award-winning businesswoman Prue Leith (b.1940) is one of Britain’s foremost culinary authorities and has helped to revolutionize the country’s eating habits. In this candid and witty autobiography she describes her childhood in apartheid South Africa, her arrival in London in the 1960s and her rapid ascent to restaurant owner, Daily Mail columnist and cookery book author.
The Stories Behind the Headlines at the World's Most Famous Newspaper
As the chief reporter and news editor for the News of the World, Neville Thurlbeck was one of Fleet Street's most prominent journalists for over 20 years. In this memoir he recalls the most sensational scoops and scandals, including the Jeffrey Archer perjury case, the David Beckham and Rebecca Loos affair, and a variety of stories involving politicians, celebrities, serial killers and even MI5.
An Unsuccessful Prime Minister? Reappraising John Major
This collection of essays takes a balanced look at the successes and failures of John Major’s government, and re-evaluates its legacy. Contributions from politicians including Charles Clarke, Paddy Ashdown and John Redwood and commentators such as Peter Oborne and Christian Wolmar reflect on the government’s fragile majority, battles over Europe and the Maastricht treaty, the Exchange Rate Mechanism debacle, the first Gulf War, and the Northern Ireland peace process.
Born in the Welsh valleys, Joan Ruddock went on to lead the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament before becoming an MP and the first Minister for Women in the Blair government. In this memoir, she recalls the hard lives of her parents, which fuelled her passion for social justice, her career as campaigner and politician, the euphoria she felt after the 1997 election, and the frustration and disillusionment that followed.
There's Something I've Been Dying to Tell You
Something of a national treasure, thanks to her appearances as the archetypal mum in the Oxo television commercials, Lynda Bellingham (1948–2014) was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2013. In this memoir, she reflects on her life and continuing work while undergoing treatment for the disease as well as her relationships with her family, and her quest to find her birth father, having been adopted in infancy.
An Astronaut's Unlikely Journey to Unlock the Secrets of the Universe
‘Nothing you do on this planet can ever truly prepare you for what it means to leave it.’ Mike Massimino has left it twice – aboard the space shuttles Columbia and Atlantis, on servicing missions to the Hubble Space Telescope. Massimino’s entertaining, warts-and-all account describes life as an astronaut, from the first week of training to seven-hour-long space walks.
What I Learnt
What My Listeners Say – and Why We Should Take Notice
Jeremy Vine succeeded Jimmy Young as presenter of Radio 2's phone-in show in 2003 and since then has taken over 25,000 calls – including the joyous, the furious and the occasional joker. As well as his radio show, Vine is a familiar face on television, and his book describes working on everything from general election coverage to Strictly Come Dancing, but his emphasis is on his listeners ‘and all the surprises they spring’. Slightly off-mint.
His Master's Voice
Sir Joseph Lockwood and Me
At the helm of EMI Records for 20 years from 1954, Joseph Lockwood transformed the company, focusing on pop music rather than classical and exploiting the phenomenal success of the Beatles. This biography by his long-time personal assistant and friend describes his journey from managing and designing flour mills to his time at EMI, after which he became a member of the Arts Council and Chairman of the Royal Ballet, and was instrumental in the building of the National Theatre.
The Solitary Spy
A Political Prisoner in Cold War Berlin
A graduate of Britain’s top-secret Joint Services School for Linguistics, Douglas Boyd was posted to an RAF airbase in Berlin in 1958 to spy on the armed forces of Warsaw Pact countries. He was subsequently arrested and imprisoned in solitary confinement in Potsdam, where he was interrogated by the KGB. In this memoir, Boyd describes his work as a signals interceptor in Berlin, where he listened in on pilots flying over East Germany, and his encounters with key security personnel.
A Clear Case of Genius
Room 40's Code-Breaking Pioneer
Admiral Sir Reginald ‘Blinker’ Hall (1870–1943) was the Director of Naval Intelligence throughout the First World War; Room 40 was his Admiralty HQ. In the 1920s, he wrote an autobiography, but it was banned by government order. The parts that have survived, published here with commentary by Philip Vickers, give an absorbing account of Room 40's staff and their top-secret work, including the decryption of the Zimmermann telegram and the interception of Kaisermarine’s cypher system.
To Cambridge and Beyond – A Writer's Memoir
In this erudite memoir, the screenwriter and novelist charts his journey from Chicago via Cambridge to Fleet Street, where the ambition and romantic yearnings of his youth were followed by the first taste of success with his Oscar-winning screenplay for Darling.
In His Own Words
In 2013 Benedict XVI became the only Pope to resign from office in modern times. In these conversations with the religious journalist Peter Seewald, he discusses the reasons for his resignation and his admiration for his successor, speaking frankly about the controversies that have dogged the Church, including ‘Vatileaks’ and the child abuse scandal, and revealing his thoughts about his life, his philosophy, his mistakes, and the future of Christianity.
Composing an American Life
One of America’s foremost composers reflects on his life and times, from the marching bands of his 1950s childhood to his acclaimed 2005 opera Doctor Atomic. He also explains the interplay of tradition and innovation in his own compositional process and the work of fellow-musicians.
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.
Commandant of Auschwitz
The Autobiography of Rudolf Hoess
Rudolf Hoess was Commandant of Auschwitz from its construction in 1940 until late 1943, and supervised the murder of over three million Jews as part of the Nazis’ ‘final solution’. He was an expert in the administration of concentration camps and mass exterminations. Hoess wrote this autobiography in 1947 while in prison in Poland. He was tried, sentenced and hanged later that year. The autobiography and other documents are translated here by Constantine Fitzgibbon, with an introduction by Primo Levi.
Kathleen and Frank
The Autobiography of a Family
Using his mother’s diary and letters, the novelist Christopher Isherwood relates the story of his parents’ marriage: how Kathleen, the lively daughter of a successful wine merchant, fell in love with Frank, the shy, artistic son of a country squire. This family history evokes an Edwardian world of amateur music-making, rising hemlines and social change – a world brought to an end by the Great War during which Frank Isherwood was killed.
The author of The Long View and the much-loved Cazalet Chronicles, Elizabeth Jane Howard (1923–2014) lived, worked and loved in literary circles. Her candid autobiography describes her marriages – to Peter Scott and Kingsley Amis – love affairs with Arthur Koestler and Laurie Lee (among others), other much-valued friendships and her years alone after leaving Amis. Slightly off-mint.
While a junior reporter, Michael Parkinson played cricket for Barnsley and counted Geoffrey Boycott and Dickie Bird amongst his team mates. Detailing his rise from local journalist to national broadcaster, this memoir relates his experiences in the television industry over a 40-year period, including the infamous TV-am launch, and his thoughts about the many famous and influential people he interviewed on his long-running chat show and Desert Island Discs.
A Different Kind Of Weather
William Waldegrave was a key figure in Margaret Thatcher’s government. His elegantly written memoir recalls the quintessentially English upbringing that would shape his life and career. With unusual frankness and dark humour, Waldegrave charts the rise and fall of Mrs Thatcher, offering a rare glimpse of the narcotic effect of politics, and a unique insight into one of the most tumultuous eras of modern British history.
Sweet Dreams Are Made of This
A Life in Music
Dave Stewart’s career as songwriter, performer and producer has spanned four decades. In this memoir he shares the stories behind his creative partnerships with a host of musicians and his rise to global stardom with Annie Lennox as Eurythmics. Foreword by Mick Jagger. Off-mint and felt-tip mark on lower trimmed edge.
Strangers on a Bridge
The Case of Colonel Abel and Francis Gary Powers
On 10 February 1962, on Glienicke Bridge between East Germany and West Berlin, the American U-2 pilot Francis Gary Powers was exchanged for Rudolf Abel, Soviet head of espionage in the USA. James Donovan was the American lawyer who defended Abel in court and negotiated his release to the USSR and the return of Powers. First published in 1964, this is the first-hand, inside story of a tense episode at the height of the Cold War. Felt-tip mark on lower trimmed edge and slightly off-mint.
A Naturalist at Work
The Scottish naturalist David Douglas (1799–1834) made three trips to America’s Pacific Northwest between 1825 and 1834, sending back many specimens new to science, including the Douglas Fir that bears his name. Following in the naturalist’s footsteps to the mouth of the Columbia River, Jack Nisbet found the land and its peoples largely unchanged. This handsomely bound volume is illustrated with reproductions from Douglas’s journals, period maps and prints of both flora and fauna. Felt-tip mark on lower trimmed edge.
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.
A Mysterious Something in the Light
The Life of Raymond Chandler
After a childhood in Chicago overshadowed by his father’s alcoholism, a public school education in England, the return to Los Angeles and a lucrative career in the oil business, Raymond Chandler (1888–1959) turned to writing in middle age. This biography follows Chandler’s uneven path to a late career as a writer and the fame of novels such as The Big Sleep and Double Indemnity, which raised crime fiction to the level of art.
No Room for Small Dreams
Courage, Imagination, and the Making of Modern Israel
One of the founders of modern Israel, Shimon Peres served his country as prime minister, president and foreign minister. He is best remembered, however, for his unswerving commitment to peace. In this final book, completed shortly before his death in 2016, he reflects on 70 years in politics, the turning points in Israeli history, the qualities required for leadership, and the hard choices that face his nation in the quest for peace.
A Good Face for Radio
Confessions of a Radio Head
As the host of Radio 4's PM for 15 years, Eddie Mair established a unique style, bringing deadpan humour to the programme alongside hard-hitting political interviews and serious news journalism. This collection of his weekly columns, which were published in the Radio Times between 2010 and 2016, reflects his idiosyncratic wit and mischievous tone, lampooning contemporary political events, poking fun at his fellow broadcasters and musing on the quirks of everyday life.
The Jimmy Hill Story
As a revolutionary players' union rep, innovative manager and pioneering presenter and pundit, Jimmy Hill had a profound effect on football. This new edition of his autobiography, first published in 1998, contains an additional chapter reflecting on his remarkable career.