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The Richard Burton Diaries
Richard Burton's rugged good looks, dark charisma and resonant voice made him one of the most admired actors of his day, while his bouts of drinking and tempestuous marriages to Elizabeth Taylor were seldom out of the tabloids. Throughout much of his life he kept an intimate diary, published here for the first time. Perceptive, humorous and indiscreet, it reveals the conflicted man behind the public image: proud, passionate, fiercely intelligent, awesomely well-read, yet self-lacerating and insecure.
Panoramas of Lost London
Work, Wealth, Poverty and Change 1870–1945
Following on from the bestselling Lost London 1870–1945, this astonishing book presents some 280 photographs originally commissioned by the London County Council to record streets and neighbourhoods on the threshold of redevelopment. Enlarged and cropped, the photographs reveal the built environment and life within it in extraordinary detail. They are, as Dan Cruickshank writes in his foreword, 'photographs which record not just the appearance of the building but also, in some uncanny way, its atmosphere, its grand but crumbling soul'.
Painting East Anglia & Beyond
A marine and landscape artist, teacher and member of the Wapping Group, Peter Gilman had been painting in East Anglia, Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and along the Thames for 30 years before his death, by suicide, in 1984. This book brings together full-page reproductions of 120 works in watercolour, oil or acrylic, with a biographical introduction to the artist and his work, including tributes by fellow Wapping Group artists.
Unbelievable Moments from the Past
Have you heard about the ancient Egyptian workers who organized a mass walkout, or the Kettle War, during which only one shot was fired? This entertaining book is full of quirky and intriguing snippets of history that you probably didn’t find out about at school: read it to learn where to locate the other ‘Hadrian’s Walls’, when the world’s first cyberattack happened and which Pope put his dead predecessor on trial.
Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey
The Lost Legacy of Highclere Castle
Almina Wombwell married the 5th Earl of Carnarvon in 1895. She brought with her a large dowry, as the daughter of banking tycoon Alfred de Rothschild. This is the story of her life at Highclere Castle, where Downton Abbey was filmed, and especially the ways in which the First World War affected the fates of the family and staff alike. The author, the current countess, draws on the extensive family archive to write this engaging and personal history.
Work Your Fascia to Free Your Body
Moving Stretch® is a form of resistance stretching that can relieve pain and help anyone, from athlete to office worker, feel relaxed, stronger and more flexible. It works by reshaping the ‘fascia’ – a network of connective tissue that holds our bodies together. Including background information and a questionnaire, this comprehensive guide gives clear descriptions of over 100 stretches with multiple photographs and tips for getting each exercise just right.
A Journey Through the Dark Matter of the Genome
Only 2 per cent of our DNA contains the codes to produce proteins, so for many years scientists assumed that the rest of the genome was simply 'junk'. However, modern research is finally identifying the many vital functions performed by these 'dark' regions. In this book Carey introduces the most significant insights, with clear explanations for the general reader, and looks forward to the opportunities they provide for revolutionary developments in the treatment of a range of medical conditions.
Monasteries and Monastic Orders
2000 Years of Christian Art and Culture
The history and culture of Europe have been shaped by monasticism, which has left a rich legacy of religious art and architecture. This magnificent volume charts the history of monasticism from late antiquity through its peak in the Middle Ages to the present day. Lavishly illustrated with colour photographs, paintings and illuminated manuscripts, the book describes the traditions, regulations and daily life of the different orders, profiles famous abbots and abbesses, and celebrates the continuing appeal of the contemplative life.
The Seventy Wonders of China
China is both the oldest continuous civilization on Earth and an emerging economic superpower. This impressive volume assembles a team of leading scholars from Asia and the West to provide an accessible introduction to the natural, historical and cultural wonders of this vast nation. Illustrated with colour photographs throughout, the book celebrates China's rivers, mountains and deserts; its cities ancient and modern; its monuments such as the Great Wall; and its myriad art forms, from porcelain to jade carving.
An Anthology of Poems
'According to legend,' writes Hamish Whyte in his introduction, 'the Scots were the first northern people to keep cats.' Be that as it may, many Scottish poets do seem to have been much taken with cats, from Henryson and his 'Gib Hunter, Our Jolie Cat' in the 15th century to George MacBeth's 20th-century ode 'To the Flea, Combed from My Cat's Back'. With black cat illustrations by James Hutcheson.
The Lower Deck of The Royal Navy Since 1939 To The Present Day
The Royal Navy was the largest in the world in 1939, and conscription during the Second World War increased the total of employed men to 790,000, the vast majority of whom were seamen of the 'lower deck'. Based on primary research and first-hand accounts, this book examines the lives of these sailors during a period that has seen the introduction of women, the end of hammocks and the rum ration, and ever more emphasis on technical skills.
A Pop-Up Shadow Search
Turn out the light, open the pop-up pages, shine a torch through the cut-outs and unusual creatures will appear from the shadows. The five dark scenes include a cave and a deep seascape, and include facts about the animals, from salamander to giant squid. Age 7+
Outlaws of the Atlantic
Sailors, Pirates, and Motley Crews in the Age of Sail
Rather than the masters and commanders, Marcus Rediker's history takes a bottom-up approach, looking at the maritime history of the Atlantic from the viewpoint of sailors, slaves, indentured servants, pirates, smugglers and rebels. In the 'age of wooden ships and iron men' he shows how Jack Tar, as sailors were commonly known, influenced the wider histories of political thought, literature and commerce, and how revolutionary ideas were generated among the motley (or multi-ethnic) crews of the Atlantic.
The Master's Choice
The freshness and spontaneity of Edward Wesson’s watercolours and oils – described by Alwyn Crawshaw in his introduction as ‘paintings done with a relaxed and happy brush’ – are as popular now as they were in his lifetime. Along with four brief memoirs of the artist by friends and colleagues, this book brings together over 125 reproductions of lesser-known works in private collections and Wesson’s own teaching slides, which he used in much-acclaimed lectures and demonstrations.
US Carrier War
The first aircraft used by the US Navy – Curtiss flying boats in 1917 – operated from coastal bases, but purpose-built aircraft carriers would soon become a key part of its fleet and remain so through to modern times. This history of US Navy carriers traces the design and development of the vessels and their deployment through the disaster of Pearl Harbor and engagements in the Second World War, Korea and Vietnam to the Middle Eastern conflicts of recent decades.
Try It! Buy It!
Drawn from the unrivalled collection of the British Library, this collection of over 200 newspaper, magazine and poster advertisements, dating from the 1880s to the 1920s, celebrates the art and imagination of advertisers selling everything from Crane's liver pills and Scrubb's Ammonia ('try it in your bath') to ocean cruises. Among the long-forgotten embrocations and gas valves are brands that are with us still – among them, Pears' Soap, Marmite, Guinness and Bird's Custard ('makes children sturdy!').
The Year That Changed Britain
Few years have seen such seismic change as 1956. Khrushchev’s ‘secret speech’ exposed the crimes of Stalin and Soviet tanks rolled into Hungary, disillusioning loyal communists worldwide, while the debacle of Suez spelled the end of the British Empire. This entertaining social history charts the political and cultural events of that momentous year, which saw the emergence of rock ’n’ roll and commercial television while Osborne’s Look Back in Anger electrified the London stage.
Masterpieces of Italian Design
With its strong engineering focus, highly skilled craft workshops, specialized and technologically sophisticated factories, and an intellectually engaged design press, Italy has provided the ideal conditions for the creation of functional, innovative and elegant designs. This volume presents 100 of the finest products, from Carlo Bugatti's Cobra chair in 1902 to the Ducati 1199 Panigale, at the cutting edge of motorbike design in 2011. Each design is described in detail alongside a full-page colour photograph.
The Complete Tai Chi Tutor
A Structured Course to Achieve Professional Expertise
Written by the Chairman of the Tai Chi Union for Great Britain, this book is a complete guide to the art and practice of tai chi, from beginner to advanced level, and even through to practitioner-teacher. Docherty explores the history and principles of tai chi, decoding Chinese philosophical texts, before describing the 48 techniques with step-by-step photographs, and explaining how to use them in self-defence.
The Diamond Queen
Elizabeth II and Her People
In telling the life story of Elizabeth II, Andrew Marr is concerned with the influences on her and 'why she does what she does'. The result is a study of the monarchy that chronicles the Queen's pivotal role at the centre of state, which is largely hidden from the public gaze, and makes a strong case for the institution itself. Marr presents a vivid account not only of Elizabeth II, but also of the country she has reigned over for six decades.
Now regarded as a national treasure, Joanna Lumley began her career as a model before becoming an actress and starring in well-known series such as Absolutely Fabulous and The Avengers. Her early life abroad, her complicated love life and her film and TV career are described in this lively biography, which brings the story up to date with her recent campaign for Gurkha rights.
The Motorbike Book
The Definitive Visual History
From pioneering German machines of the 1890s to the 'whispering' MotoCzysz electric racer in 2009 and the 2014 Honda NM4 Vultus, this volume tells the story of two-wheeled grit and glory with more than 1,000 detailed photographs. Everything with an engine and two wheels is covered in chapters on iconic bikes such as the Indian Scout and Triumph Bonneville, profiles of the great marques, and surveys of every type of motorcycle, from scooters and mopeds to powerful touring bikes.
The Definitive Biography
One of the most charismatic actors of his generation, Peter O'Toole (1932-2013) brought a dangerous edge to both his roles and his life. Drawing on exclusive interviews with colleagues and friends, this biography from the author of Hellraisers paints an intimate picture of a complex, much-loved man. From the mystery of his place of birth through his formative years with the Royal Shakespeare Company, it charts his celebrated performances, his turbulent relationships and his drunken antics.
Anatomy of a Dictator
As a dictator who came to power before the Second World War and outlasted his allies Hitler and Mussolini by decades, Francisco Franco is central to 20th-century European history, and his ghost still haunts modern Spain. This lucid biography examines the man, the dictator, and the Spain he forged, charting a childhood scarred by his country’s humiliating defeat in the Spanish-American War, and analysing an ideology based on nationalism, military discipline and the Catholic church.
Jesus the Wicked Priest
How Christianity Was Born of an Essene Schism
This book’s provocative thesis is that the Dead Sea Scrolls refer directly to Jesus, as the ‘wicked priest’ who opposed the rigid, militant views of the Essene movement. Revealing how Jesus’ message is presented in the Scrolls’ coded language, Vining explores the possibility that Christianity arose out of a schism resulting from the refusal of this ‘ultimate Reform Jew’ to follow Essene orthodoxy; his research also reopens doctrinal questions about reincarnation and the virgin birth.
The Ancestor's Tale
A Pilgrimage to the Dawn of Life
In a pilgrimage back through four billion years of evolution, Dawkins and Wong follow the history of our genes in search of the microbial beginnings of life. As they encounter other species – from chimpanzees to fungi and bacteria – they listen to each evolutionary ‘tale’, shedding light on such topics as speciation and extinction, and reveal how intimately humans are connected with all life on Earth. This revised and expanded edition takes into account a decade of new research.
Comic, Curious and Quirky
News Stories from Centuries Past
Rona Levin, of the British Library's Newspaper Archive, has tracked down an eclectic variety of stories, ranging in date from 1729 to 1930, which cover dastardly crimes, sexual scandals, animal antics and medical oddities. Some (such as the lady offended by seeing footballers' knees) reveal profound shifts in British society, while others (horsemeat fraud and doctors' poor handwriting) remind us that many things haven't changed.
Cream Teas, Traffic Jams and Sunburn
The Great British Holiday
In this funny, acutely observed and engaging social history, Brian Viner celebrates the British holidaymaker at home and abroad. A surprising recent phenomenon is the increase in holidays in Britain, while the holiday abroad appears to be in decline. From holiday flings to the hen night, from the 'full English' to the long-haul gap year, the minutiae of British holiday-making is examined here in all its glory.
The Servants' Story
Managing a Great Country House
This recreation of what it was like to live and work as a servant in a grand household during the mid 19th century is based on the Sutherland Collection, the papers of the Leveson-Gowers family, once the largest private landlords in the United Kingdom. While Trentham, their house in Staffordshire, stands in ruins, the family archive is extraordinarily intact, affording a detailed picture of the social structure, administration and working conditions within the highly complex community of Trentham.
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.
Mrs Miles's Diary
The Wartime Journal of a Housewife on the Home Front
In August 1939 a Surrey housewife began a war journal in which she recorded daily life on the home front. She tells of bombers overhead day and night, ration queues and the influx of evacuees. In 1947, she sent the diary to the Imperial War Museum with a letter describing herself as a housewife and a professional journalist; she was a naturally gifted writer whose diary gives a compelling account of wartime Britain.
The Treasures of Noël Coward
From the daring playwright of the 1930s and consummate filmmaker of the war years to the witty songwriter and cabaret performer of the 1950s and 1960s, Noël Coward's broad-ranging theatrical career was one of the most interesting and influential of the 20th century. This celebratory volume gives a resume of his life and achievements and includes a DVD of rare film footage and facsimiles of 21 personal documents including hand-written letters, publicity material, photographs, lyrics and song sheets.
The Complete Collection
'When Edward Bear said that he would like an exciting name all to himself, Christopher Robin said at once, without stopping to think, that he was Winnie-the-Pooh. And he was.' This slipcased set contains the four children's classics by AA Milne, all with their original line drawings by EH Shepard: Winnie-the-Pooh, The House at Pooh Corner, When We Were Very Young and Now We Are Six.
Dashing for the Post
The Letters of Patrick Leigh Fermor
Handsome, spirited and erudite, Patrick Leigh Fermor (1915-2011)was a war hero and one of the greatest travel writers of his generation. He was also a spectacularly entertaining letter writer. This judiciously edited selection of his correspondence spans almost 70 years, and includes letters to Nancy Mitford, Diana Cooper, Lawrence Durrell and his lifelong companion Joan Rayner. They sparkle with his humour, zest for life, unending curiosity, lyrical descriptive powers – and his tendency to get into scrapes.
The River's Voice
An Anthology of Poetry
Since antiquity, rivers have given poets a rich source of metaphor and meaning, yet never before have they been under such environmental pressure. This anthology brings together more than 180 verses, from classics by Clare, Wordsworth and Tennyson to works by modern poets such as Ted Hughes, Seamus Heaney and Carol Ann Duffy, celebrating the importance of rivers in our lives and imaginations.
Discovering Scotland's Lost Railways
Railway closures were underway in Scotland from the 1930s as remote lines built in the 19th century proved uneconomical. The 1963 Beeching Report recommended further cuts, and by the end of the 1960s large parts of the country were without a service. This exploration of forgotten railways, first published in 2009, traces twelve routes, mixing archive images of the lines in operation with contemporary photographs of what remains of the stations, bridges, signalling and other lineside equipment.
A Natural History of the Hedgerow
And Ditches, Dykes and Dry Stone Walls
From where I sit writing Postscript entries, I look out on an old Devon hedgerow and an ancient stone wall; John Wright's Natural History has rendered them both very much more interesting. The book covers the origins and history of such boundaries; the present condition of hedgerows and the need to preserve them; the amazing array of fauna and flora they support; and other ways of making boundaries, from movable hazel hurdles to dry stone walls (mine, I've learned, is the 'random rubble' type).
Behind the Legend
‘Frank Sinatra was like a flawed diamond’, writes Taraborrelli, ‘brilliant on the surface, imperfect beneath’. In a biography based on years of research and hundreds of interviews, he explores the singer’s torrid relationships, his Mafia connections and his friendship with the Kennedys, revealing a complex personality: a generous and loyal friend, but also a volatile, womanizing tough guy.
Do You Think You're Clever?
The Oxford and Cambridge Questions
How would you reduce crime through architecture? Why is there salt in the sea? Is feminism dead? Probably the stuff of nightmare if you are an Oxbridge candidate, but compulsive reading when your career doesn't depend on coming up with an answer, these are the questions asked at interviews for Oxford and Cambridge colleges. Ranging across disciplines from literature to physics, Farndon discusses 60 conundrums designed to separate the merely bright from the truly clever.
In this extraordinary vision of the feline world we encounter a 'circus cat secretly rehearsing Hamlet', an 'unusually repulsive cat startled by a gesture of affection' and 'the exhausted Persian cat contemplating the advantages of monogamy'... three of the weird and wonderful creatures captured by Searle's inimitable illustrative style and vivid imagination.
Essays, Afterword and Key
United and divided by a river, London is one of the few world cities to find its essence in two profoundly contrasting yet nearly touching urban environments. The Italian artist Matteo Pericoli travelled the 20-mile stretch of the Thames from Hammersmith Bridge to the Millennium Dome to draw both banks of the river. His 25-foot-long folding panorama is accompanied by essays by two of the city's foremost contemporary chroniclers, North Londoner Iain Sinclair and southside resident Will Self.
The Englishman Who Posted Himself
and Other Curious Objects
In 1898, W Reginald Bray (1879–1939) purchased a copy of the Post Office Guide and began to study the regulations. Thereafter he started to experiment by sending strange objects through the post. He posted items including a turnip, seaweed and his Irish terrier, he posted himself more than once and he sent thousands of strange postcards and autograph requests. Illustrated with many of Bray's postal curios, this book explores the intriguing hobby of a rather eccentric Englishman.
Bomber Harris: His Life and Times
The Biography of Marshal of the Royal Air Force Sir Arthur Harris, the Wartime Chief of Bomber Command
Sir Arthur Harris (1892–1984) remains one of the most controversial figures of the Second World War. As Commander-in-Chief of Bomber Command from 1942 to 1945 he made a significant contribution to the Allies’ ultimate success, but his reputation has been tarnished by the fierce controversy over the ‘area bombing’ of German cities. Henry Probert’s critical but sympathetic biography is the first to give a properly balanced account of a remarkably able and dedicated man.
The Life and Wars of SS Colonel Jochen Peiper
Jochen Peiper was adjutant to Heinrich Himmler in the early part of the Second World War, accompanying him to key meetings with the Nazi leadership. He later commanded a Panzer division on the Eastern Front and at the Battle of the Bulge, earning a fearsome reputation and later charges of war crimes. This biography of Peiper assesses his personality and military achievements and the controversies that saw him tried in 1946 and eventually murdered in 1976.
And the Wartime Honeytrap Spies
Marie Chilver, codenamed 'Agent Fifi', was used by the Special Operations Executive during the Second World War to test trainee agents' resolve: she befriended them in hotel bars to see if they would reveal their true identities. Compiled from information declassified in 2014, this book tells the story of the London-born Latvian seductress and of other women agents used as honeytraps, decoys, infiltrators and double agents by British spymasters Maxwell Knight and John Masterman.
Venice from the Water
Architecture and Myth in an Early Modern City
Renaissance travellers would arrive in Venice weary and sore from a long carriage ride over bumpy roads to find themselves transported with silken smoothness by gondola to an ethereal island metropolis. Illustrated with almost 200 colour photographs, engravings, maps, and paintings by artists from Carpaccio to Monet, this elegant volume explores the city's unique relationship with its lagoon, its use of water as architectural space reflecting the facades of its grand buildings, and its carefully nurtured mystique.
Posters, Illustrations and Fine Art from the Glamorous Fin de Siècle
Lavishly illustrated with around 170 reproductions, this celebration of Art Nouveau is in three parts, looking first at the movement as a whole – a design ethos that swept across Europe and America between the late 19th century and the First World War. Part two deals with the graphic arts, including the posters of Toulouse-Lautrec and Alphonse Mucha, while the final section explores the impact of Art Nouveau in the fine arts, discussing artists from Paul Gauguin to Gustav Klimt.
How have gay men and women lived, loved, and coped with prejudice through the ages? This chronological survey ranges from two men of ancient Egypt to the Cuban writer and dissident Reinaldo Arenas (1943–1990), taking in such celebrated figures as Sappho, Michelangelo and Oscar Wilde. With 128 illustrations, 56 in colour, it presents a rich tapestry of gay life from the unknowable relationships of the distant past to the frankest affirmations of modern sexuality. Slightly off-mint.