The Good Citizen's Alphabet
And History of the World in Epitome
A is for Asinine, Z is for Zeal in this alphabet written, with ‘no purpose beyond fun’, by the philosopher by Bertrand Russell. It was originally given to his friends Stefan and Franciszka Themerson as a Christmas present in 1952 and only later published with drawings by Franciszka. Russell’s playful satire on 26 political and rhetorical words is reprinted here, along with his six-line History of the World in Epitome (for use in Martian infant schools) – a title almost as long as the text.
A Typeface and Lettering Sketchbook
In a book full of possibilities for anyone who loves lettering there are ornate outline capitals to colour in or copy, sample typefaces for inspiration, quotations from great designers, a glossary of typographical terms and lined and dotted pages for doodling, designing or even writing a journal.
London Map of Days
This calendar of events that have taken place in London over the centuries runs from 1 January 1660, when Samuel Pepys began his diary, through every day of the year to 31 December 1999, when the London Eye was formally opened. For every date it gives a fact, fiction or personality associated with some part of the metropolis. A fold-out reproduction of the map on which it is based is included at the back.
Are you Sharp Enough to be a KGB Agent?
In a course that progresses from the level of junior operative to double agent, Spy School aims to sharpen your mind using techniques developed to train Russian intelligence agents. Following the story of a counter-intelligence operation, the book presents a series of documents and diary entries along with instruction on memory formation techniques, practical exercises, tasks and questions on the central plot. This Russian bestseller was translated by Svetlana Shcholokova.
Here's One I Made Earlier
Blue Peter, the world’s longest-running children’s television programme, is known for its famous ‘makes’ – creative projects which transform everyday household objects into toys and gifts. This collection reproduces some of the most memorable designs, including the Advent Crown, the Doll’s House and Tracy Island, and has a foreword by Valerie Singleton and contributions from former presenters and the ‘Queen of Makes’, Margaret Parnell.
The Huns Have Got My Gramophone!
Advertisements from the Great War
Extolling the virtues of motorcycles for ‘lady war workers’ and ‘absolutely waterproof’ trench coats for soldiers, the advertisements collected and discussed here illustrate how the First World War offered companies new commercial opportunities and fundamentally changed British society.
How to Dine in Style
The Art of Entertaining, 1920
First published in 1920, this manual reveals a golden age of elegant dining. Advice on table settings and decorations, etiquette, food and wine is complemented by menus for breakfasts, al-fresco luncheons, wedding receptions and garden parties. A chapter on ‘freak dinners given by wealthy people’ offers a glimpse into the decadent world of the Jazz Era.
Words of a Feather
An Etymological Exploration of Astonishing Word Pairs
Rooting out etymological links between words that, at first glance, appear to have nothing to do with each other, Graeme Donald unearths much more than simple definitions: an investigation of ‘Achieve’ and ‘Handkerchief’ starts with Roman gladiators and ends with the introduction of snuff; ‘Cockpit’ and ‘Cocktail’ encompass ship’s surgeons in wooden warships and horse-racing; while ‘Panties’ and ‘Pantechnicon’ takes us back to 303 CE and the martyrdom of St Pantaleon.
For Who the Bell Tolls
One Man's Quest for Grammatical Perfection
Some language rules are worth knowing – but which ‘rules’ just make clear communication harder? The editor of the Guardian’s style guide cites authorities including Shakespeare, Bart Simpson and Kirsty MacColl as he explains the grammatical principles (not ‘principals’) that will help to perfect your writing. He also advises on the correct choice of words and urges us to resist jargon, euphemisms and the journalistic mistreatment of ‘ironic’ and ‘iconic’.