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.
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, the pianist Wladyslaw Szpilman’s account of his survival in the Warsaw Ghetto inspired an Oscar-winning film. Reprinted 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.
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.
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.