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.
The Brontë Cabinet
Three Lives in Nine Objects
A series of everyday objects preserved at the Brontë parsonage in Haworth provides the entry-point for this exploration of the sisters’ lives and writing. The tiny notebooks in which they inscribed their juvenile literary efforts; their sewing box; the walking sticks they used when striding the moors; Charlotte’s portable desk, her passionate letters to her married lover, and the bracelet containing locks of Emily and Anne’s hair, testimony to her grief after her sisters’ deaths. Off-mint.
The Reluctant Rebel
The author of Gulliver’s Travels was a man of contradictions: a conservative at war with authority, a church minister in love with a married woman, and a satirist both fascinated and despairing of the world. This biography follows his flight from war-torn Ireland in 1688 to the splendour and squalor of London, examining his shifting political allegiances and complicated love life to identify the roots of the ‘savage indignation’ that drove him.
Patrick Leigh Fermor
A Life in Letters
Celebrated for his travelogues, Patrick Leigh Fermor was also a prolific letter writer to friends including Nancy Mitford, Lawrence Durrell and his lifelong companion Joan Rayner. Spanning 70 years, this collection exhibits his characteristic humour, learning, lust for life and love of language, and recounts such extraordinary incidents as his abrupt dismissal from Somerset Maugham’s villa, and the recovery by his Romanian lover of his long-lost travel diary. Off-mint with felt-tip mark on lower trimmed edge.
The Battle Over Oscar Wilde's Legacy
For years after Oscar Wilde’s death, his two closest friends and former lovers, Lord Alfred Douglas and Robert Ross, fought for control of his manuscripts and reputation, and argued over who was to blame for his downfall. Drawing on previously unpublished information, Oscar’s Ghost uncovers a bitter feud that involved stalking, blackmail, witness tampering, lawsuits and prison, and influenced the way we perceive Wilde to this day.
E. M. Forster
A New Life
One of the mysteries of EM Forster's life is why, after the appearance of A Passage to India in 1924, he never published another novel, despite living to be 90. Based on new interviews and access to Forster's previously restricted diaries, this sensitive biography shows how deeply his ideas on individual freedom, love and sexuality permeated his subsequent career as an essayist, broadcaster and public intellectual, and how they have shaped the more tolerant society we enjoy today. Off-mint.
Dylan Thomas: The Collected Letters - 2 Books
Letters written as editor of the school magazine, love letters, begging letters, letters to literary editors, fellow poets and friends: the collected letters of Dylan Thomas trace his life from the age of 16 to shortly before his death in New York in 1953, at the age of 39. Outspoken, and often indiscreet, they form the poet’s own narrative, telling of his love of Caitlin, his opinions on poets and poetry, and a life famously marred by drink and debt. Second edition. The two titles included in this set are: Dylan Thomas The Collected Letters Volume I: 1931–1939 (Read more...)Dylan Thomas The Collected Letters Volumes II: 1939–1953 (Read more...)
The Importance of Elsewhere
Philip Larkin's Photographs
The most widely read British poet of the 20th century, Philip Larkin was also a gifted amateur photographer. This handsome book reproduces the best of his images in short, thematic chapters arranged in chronological order to form a visual biography, capturing the places and people - including his lover Monica Jones and his friend Kingsley Amis - that meant the most to him. These haunting pictures are infused with the poignancy of everyday life that also informs his verse.
The Disappearance of Émile Zola
Love, Literature and the Dreyfus Case
One evening in 1898, Émile Zola fled Paris with nothing more than the clothes he stood in. Michael Rosen retraces the novelist’s footsteps from the Gare du Nord to a south London suburb; investigates the case of Alfred Dreyfuss, the Jewish officer he defended against false charges of treason; chronicles Zola’s year in England; and unravels his delicate relations with the two women in his life. Slightly off-mint.
Soldier, Poet, Lover, Friend
Widely recognized as the foremost authority on Siegfried Sassoon (1886–1967), Jean Moorcroft Wilson presents a single-volume biography of the poet, building on and adding to her earlier studies. Sassoon himself said that most people thought he died in the First World War; Wilson’s work traces his entire life, before, during and after the war, showing how his writings gained in intensity, and how his literary, artistic and musical friendships illuminate a significant segment of 20th-century cultural life. Slightly off-mint.
Appointment in Arezzo
A Friendship with Muriel Spark
The Scottish journalist Alan Taylor first met Muriel Spark (1918–2006) when he interviewed her in Arezzo, near her home in Tuscany, in 1990. In this memoir, he recounts his time spent with the novelist and her companion Penny, describing their parties, travels and idiosyncratic household arrangements. While offering an affectionate portrait of a witty, vivacious and intelligent woman, he does not shy away from controversy, particularly her bitter estrangement from her son.