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.
Constellation of Genius
1922 Modernism Year One
January 1922: TS Eliot is in Paris working on The Waste Land with Ezra Pound; in Hollywood, Douglas Fairbanks decides to film the story of Robin Hood; insulin is first successfully used to treat diabetes; and Vaughan Williams's Pastoral Symphony is premiered in London: month by month, Jackson presents that spectacular year through the diaries of writers, artists, anthropologists and actors, philosophers, playwrights, politicians and scientists at work during the heyday of modernism.
Maud Allan and the Myth of the Femme Fatale
In 1918 the dancer Maud Allan brought a libel case against Noel Billing MP for claiming in print that she was a lesbian. Drawing on a wealth of archival material, Wendy Buonaventura explores Allan’s controversial career, and examines the way the case embodied early 20th-century attitudes to ‘dangerous’ women, whose independence, freedom from convention, and erotic allure were seen as a threat to the fabric of society, and even a cause of the First World War.
The Secret Twenties
British Intelligence, the Russians and the Jazz Age
Beneath the glamour and hedonism of the Roaring Twenties lay a fear that Britain was under threat from the fledgling Soviet state, and that its agents were everywhere, gathering intelligence and fomenting unrest. Drawing on newly declassified documents, this book uncovers British intelligence’s largest peacetime operation, a spy hunt that cast its net over MPs, aristocrats, the Bloomsbury group, workers and trade unionists, bringing down a government and ending several eminent careers.
One Hundred Years of Irish Independence
The Easter Rising in April 1916 saw civilian deaths, the destruction of a large part of Dublin and the true beginning of Irish independence. Coogan's account of this turning-point in Irish history introduces the major players and the ideas that drove them, and vividly describes the events which they set in train. He also examines how the British government's mishandling of the aftermath had the effect of galvanizing popular support for the rebels.