Back by Popular Demand
Call the Midwife
A True Story of the East End in the 1950s
The book that sparked the award-winning TV series details Jennifer Worth’s experiences as a young midwife based in a convent amid the chaos of post-war London Docklands. Her true-life stories show how tough conditions were in the East End, especially for women, who often lived in slum accommodation – grateful if they had a cold-water tap – with ten or more children to look after.
The illustrations in this activity book, when the pages are held up to the light, reveal the inner workings of everyday objects so that external and internal views can be seen simultaneously. Among the topics explored are the human body, a car, a house and a tree. There are also pages where children can provide their own pictures of what lies inside. Age 4+
Art Answers: Portrait Painting
Expert Answers to the Questions Every Artist Asks
Creating beautiful portraits requires a variety of skills, from planning the composition to perfecting the details of hair and facial features. This handbook offers valuable and reliable advice, including how to choose a background, how to work out a pose, and methods of ensuring a good likeness.
To Catch a King
Charles II's Great Escape
In 1651 Charles II returned to England to reclaim the throne of his executed father, only to be crushed by the might of Cromwell’s armies at Worcester. Based on the account he gave of his adventures to Samuel Pepys, and the reports of others who assisted him, this history tells of his six weeks on the run, using deception and disguise, grit and good luck to evade capture.
Votes for Women
The Pioneers and Heroines of Female Suffrage
Jenni Murray, the former presenter of BBC Radio 4's Women’s Hour, counter’s Carlyle’s assertion that history ‘is but the biography of great men’ with a personal selection of inspirational women who have made significant contributions to British history. In 21 short biographies, Murray includes just one queen, Elizabeth I, among writers, artists and scientists, social reformers and politicians from Boadicea to Nicola Sturgeon.
The People, the King & the Great Revolt of 1381
In 1381, England erupted in a violent popular uprising as unexpected as it was unprecedented. Juliet Barker's narrative history depicts a volatile society on the brink of profound change. Treating contemporary chronicles with scepticism, she draws on court proceedings and letters to give voice to the ordinary people from many walks of life who took part in the so-called Peasants' Revolt, illuminating their motives and demands, examining the ambiguous role of Richard II, and charting its long-term effects.
Queen Victoria and the Romanovs
Sixty Years of Mutual Distrust
‘Oh, if the queen were a man, she would like to go and give those horrid Russians ... such a beating!’ wrote Victoria; while in Russia, Alexander III described the queen as a ‘pampered, sentimental, selfish old woman’. In this study of the hostility between the British and Russian royal courts, Coryne Hall begins with the disastrous marriage of Princess Juliane of Saxe-Coburg-Saarfeld, Victoria’s ‘Aunt Julie’, to Grand Duke Constantine in 1795, then traces 60 years of the queen’s fear and distrust of the Romanov dynasty.
War and the Death of News
From Battlefield to Newsroom – My Fifty Years in Journalism
Martin Bell has seen war from both sides, first as a soldier and then as a journalist, reporting from some of the worst conflicts of recent decades. In this personal account he describes his experiences in Vietnam, Bosnia and Northern Ireland, and reflects on the way that journalism has changed. In the face of ‘embedded’ reporting, ‘infotainment’, social media and ‘post-truth’, he issues an impassioned call to put substance back into the news.
From Infamy to Greatness
Craig Nelson gives a vivid account of the Japanese surprise attack on the American naval and air forces on 7 December 1941. Blending archival research with the individual stories of sailors, soldiers, pilots, diplomats and leaders, he describes the situation in Japan and the US prior to the attack, the immediate result, and the unforeseen consequences that continue to linger.
The Iliad and the Odyssey
Introducing this edition of Homer’s two epic poems, Michael Dirda writes that ‘few other works ... have so deeply entered our cultural bloodstream’. Here, in their entirely, are Samuel Butler’s prose translations of the exploits of Achilles, Agamemnon and Odysseus and their mortal and immortal adversaries.
The Grasmere Grudge
A Lake District Mystery
Soon after proposing marriage to Simmy Brown, Christopher Henderson discovers the body of his friend Jonathan, an antiques dealer, strangled in Grasmere. Simmy’s friends, amateur detectives Ben and Bonny, discover that Jonathan had many enemies, and investigate whether her new fiancé could be involved.
Artist and Illustrator
Edward Ardizzone’s career began as an illustrator in the late 1920s, he served as a war artist from 1939 to 1945, and after the war his work ranged from illustrating literary classics to advertising Guinness. With over 230 reproductions, this study looks at every aspect of Ardizzone’s career, but particularly his own books, starting with Little Tim and the Brave Sea Captain (1936), and his illustration for other children’s authors, notably Walter de la Mare and Eleanor Farjeon.
Lovell our Dogge
The Life of Viscount Lovell, Closest Friend to Richard III and Failed Regicide
Boyhood friend of Richard III and one of the wealthiest barons in England, Francis Lovell remained loyal to the Yorkist cause even after his king’s death at Bosworth. Drawing on primary sources, this history offers a portrait of the man his enemies called Richard’s ‘dogge’, uncovers his role in the attempted assassination of Henry VII and Lambert Simnel’s rebellion, and unravels the mystery of his disappearance after the Battle of Stoke Field in 1487.
A History of The Northmen
The Vikings were integral to the shaping of medieval Europe and the development of nation states; their ships crossed the Atlantic, their traders reached Constantinople and their raiders struck without warning. Combining contemporary historical sources with the evidence of recent archaeological discoveries, this history of the Viking Age focuses on the key events and major characters of the period from the raid on Lindisfarne in 793 to the death of Harald Hardrada in 1066.
Eleven Days in August
The Liberation of Paris in 1944
The liberation of Paris in August 1944 was a turning point of the Second World War and, contrary to myth, it was far from bloodless. Drawing on unpublished diaries, eyewitness accounts, coded messages and secret conversations, Matthew Cobb provides an hour-by-hour account of the street fighting, the barricades, the burning tanks and the reprisals, as the Germans, realizing defeat was imminent, played a nerve-racking game of bluff with both the advancing Allies and their own High Command.
Miss Muriel Matters
The Fearless Suffragist who Fought for Equality
Muriel Matters (1877–1969), ‘that daring Australian girl’ who chained herself to a grille in Parliament and demanded votes for women, dedicated her life to campaigning for social reform. This biography reveals the lengths the former actress and executive of the Women’s Freedom League went to for causes including prison reform, Montessori schools and help for the poor. Her direct action ranged from attending demonstrations to boarding an airship in 1909 to drop leaflets onto Edward VII’s carriage.
The Trials of the King of Hampshire
Madness, Secrecy and Betrayal in Georgian England
Every family has its skeletons, but in 1823 the aristocratic Wallops were about to have theirs laid bare to the world. This biography tells the dramatic story of the Third Earl of Portsmouth. Wealthy and well-connected, a friend of Byron and Jane Austen, he was widely considered a harmless eccentric until – amid accusations of blackmail, abduction and sodomy – his own family set out to have him declared insane in a trial that scandalized the nation.
Ludo and the Power of the Book
Ludovic Kennedy's Campaigns for Justice
For half a century, the journalist and TV presenter Ludovic Kennedy (1919–2009) exposed miscarriages of justice. This tribute by his friend Richard Ingrams focuses on four such cases, including that of Timothy Evans, whose wrongful hanging for the Rillingdon Place murders contributed to the abolition of the death penalty. The human rights lawyer Michael Mansfield provides an introduction.
To VE-Day Through German Eyes
The Final Defeat of Nazi Germany
The story of the Nazis’ final defeat in Western Europe is often told from the advancing Allied soldiers’ viewpoint. Jonathan Trigg has centred this book on the accounts of German veterans, whose retreat came with disastrous and brutal consequences. Demonstrating how shambolic and merciless war can be the numerous photographs, some previously unpublished, show revealing details, including helpless German soldiers held captive in Antwerp zoo, and last-minute preparations by Berliner conscripts.
The Hidden Lives of London Streets
A Walking Guide to Soho, Holborn and Beyond
The nine walks in this book cover central London from Kensington to Clerkenwell. They explore each area's history and the varied communities – ethnic, artistic and gay – that have shaped it. Each walk can be accomplished in less than an hour, and has a map marking places of interest.
The Codebreaking Outstations, from Eastcote to GCHQ
The codebreaking work at Bletchley Park was supported by an extensive infrastructure of outstations, the largest being at Eastcote, which later became GCHQ. By consulting archival documents, visiting the wartime bases and talking to those with personal knowledge, the author has pieced together the stories of these lesser-known sites. The book also features analysis of the improvements to Alan Turing’s Bombe machine and highlights the vital contribution of the Wrens in operating this equipment.
Children's Acitivity - 2 Books
Each of these big, colourful books, illustrated in Alain Grée’s very distinctive style, contains over 50 tear-out activity sheets, with imaginative mazes, spot the difference and matching games, paper models to cut out and build, animal quizzes and projects such as making a flower album. Age 5+The two titles included in this set are:Fun and Games (Read more...) Activity Book (Read more...)
How Everything Moves, from Atoms and Galaxies to Blizzards and Bees
Why does it take so long for thick ice to form? How slowly do stalactites grow? How much lower is a bee's buzz than a mosquito's? Why can we see the flicker in old silent movies? The answers to such questions are revealed as astronomer Bob Berman explains the myriad movements that shape the universe, from the Sombrero Galaxy, which speeds away from us at 562 miles per second, to the oscillations of water molecules. Off-mint.
From 4.5 Billion Years Ago to the Present, Owners' Workshop Manual
Zircon crystals found in Western Australia have been dated to 4.4 billion years ago, the oldest things found so far on Earth and remnants of the original formation of the planet. This highly illustrated manual explains the processes that have shaped our world from the Big Bang to the evolution of life-supporting conditions and the physics of our current environment. Hundreds of diagrams, illustrations and infographics explain the natural forces at work.
The Seabird's Cry
The Lives and Loves of Puffins, Gannets and Other Ocean Voyagers
Adam Nicolson combines science, tradition and poetry in his ‘exploration of the ways in which seabirds exert their hold on the human imagination’. He describes the lives and habits of ten birds, among them native species of the British Isles, the albatross of the Southern Ocean and the extinct great auk, each one showing a different facet of seabirds’ unique ability to exist in three elements – on the sea, in the air and on land. Winner of the Wainwright Prize, 2018.
A Family's Story of Courage and Survival on Both Sides of the Berlin Wall
As the Second World War ended and the Soviets seized control of eastern Germany, Hanna, a teacher’s daughter, escaped to the West. Her parents and siblings remained in the East, and the family was separated. Forty years later, as the Berlin Wall was torn down, her daughter Nina, now a US intelligence officer, rediscovered her lost family. In this poignant memoir she tells their remarkable story against the backdrop of events that shaped the world.
Everyday Life on a Roman Frontier
Beginning with a survey of the period 55 BCE to 122 CE and the decades of Roman government in Britain before the wall was begun, Patricia Southern, a renowned authority on ancient Roman history, gives a closely detailed account of Hadrian himself, how his wall was built and manned by Roman soldiers, what life was like on this northernmost outpost of the Empire, the building of the Antonine Wall, and what happened to Hadrian’s Wall when the Romans left.
The Atlas of Railway Station Closures
While the Beeching cuts are commonly remembered for their role in closing rail stations and lines, there have been station closures throughout the history of the network. This atlas maps all of Britain’s standard gauge railway lines and the dates when each line or station was closed. It also features photographs of selected stations, and an index and gazetteer listing the dates of closures and the company in charge. This revised edition contains all the maps reproduced in the first edition and a new selection of images.
The Kremlin and the Art of Political Assassination
Amy Knight, an expert on the KGB, describes today’s Russia as ‘a truly criminal regime’. She first traces the long Kremlin tradition of covert violence and the development of the country’s post-war security services. In the remainder of the book she investigates the background to several recent killings – including the Litvinenko poisoning and the 2015 shooting of outspoken Putin critic Boris Nemtsov – and examines the evidence for Russian involvement in the Boston Marathon bombings. (Previously sold in Postscript as Orders to Kill).
The King, The Campaign, The Battle
The overwhelming and unexpected English victory at Agincourt in 1415 was attributed by many to God, but, as Juliet Barker shows, it was the culmination of years of preparation by Henry V. Her book first covers the background of civil war in France and Henry's careful diplomacy; it then follows the campaign's progress from invasion, through the siege of Harfleur and the march to Calais, to Agincourt itself; and finally considers the battle's direct consequences and later legacy.
Eavesdropping on Jane Austen's England
How Our Ancestors Lived Two Centuries Ago
Drawing on contemporary sources including diaries, letters, newspapers and trial proceedings as well as Jane Austen's own correspondence and writings, Roy and Lesley Adkins have created a wide-ranging and richly detailed social history of English life in the early 19th century that offers new perspectives on the world of the great novelist. Covering everything from childbirth, education and work to the darker side of Georgian society, poverty and crime, the book provides an illuminating companion to Austen's novels.
Harlan Coben’s thrillers have ingenious plots, psychological complexity and the kind of suspense that keeps you turning the pages into the early hours. Our four novels feature some of Coben’s trademarks – mysteries of the past creeping into the present, family, and final, breath-taking twists.The four titles included in this set are:Run Away (Read more...) Home (Read more...) Fool Me Once (Read more...) Don’t Let Go (Read more...)
I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud...
And Other Poems You Half-Remember from School
Our language is full of well-worn phrases from much-loved poems, but how often can we recall the rest of the poem, or the first line, or even the poet's name? This anthology presents the complete poems that gave us such immortal lines as 'Water, water everywhere/Nor any drop to drink', 'not waving but drowning' and 'They also serve who only stand and waite'. The poems are arranged chronologically, from Chaucer to Carol Ann Duffy, and indexed by title and the famous bits.
The AA Guide to Car Marques
A Graphic Guide to the Brands and Their Logos
Whether a dramatic image rendered in chrome such as the Mustang on Ford’s original ‘pony car’, Porsche’s elaborate coat of arms or, like Land Rover, simply the manufacturer’s name, the badge on the bonnet is crucial to the identity of a marque. This A–Z of more than 90 brand emblems, current and defunct – from Abarth to Zil – tells the stories of each badge and what it reveals of the car maker and its history.
Three Extraordinary Women: Ida Nettleship, Sophie Brzeska and Fernande Olivier
This book explores the lives and achievements of three unconventional, creative women, and the sacrifices they made for the artists they loved. Fernande Olivier (1881–1966) was Picasso’s first love and muse; Sophie Brzeska (1873–1925) lived with the sculptor Henri Gaudier-Brzeska, 19 years her junior, until he was killed in the First World War; and Ida Nettleship (1877–1907) bore five children to Augustus John while living in a ménage à trois with him and his mistress.
The Tragic Bride, The True Story of Reggie Kray's First Wife
If Frances Shea thought her marriage in 1965 was a passport to a glamorous life of West End nightclubs and celebrity friends, this biography reveals how she was misled. Leaving Reggie Kray after eight months, she was dead by 1967, allegedly of a drug overdose. Slightly off-mint.
Dora Batty: Whitsuntide in the Countryside
Best known for her graphic illustrations, Dora Batty’s posters for London Transport were designed to encourage people to spend their holidays in the countryside surrounding the city. This 500-piece jigsaw is one of many such posters now available as a jigsaw.
True Adventures of the Gentleman Commando Who Took on the Nazis
Robert de La Rochefoucauld was a French aristocrat who was taught sabotage and combat skills by Britain's SOE before teaming up with the French Resistance to organize cells, blow up munitions factories and assassinate prominent Nazis. Drawing on family archives and wide-ranging historical documents, this account tells how he was captured and tortured for months, making two remarkable escapes, one of them from the hands of a firing squad.
The Tragic Life of Klaus Mann
Novelist, playwright, essayist and journalist, Klaus Mann explored the sinister appeal of Nazism in his chilling 1936 novel Mephisto, and was the first person to link racism and fascism with homophobia. This first English-language biography provides a powerful account of his tormented life, dealing frankly with his drug addiction and his troubled relationship with the overpowering figure of his father, the Nobel Prize-winning novelist Thomas Mann, while shedding new light on his mysterious death.
On the Various Contrivances
by which British and Foreign Orchids are Fertilised by Insects, and on the Good Effects of Intercrossing
Charles Darwin was fascinated by the way the flowers of orchids had evolved to attract specific insects. Noting the very long spur of Angraecum sesquipedale, he predicted that it could only be fertilized by a moth with a 35cm tongue, a statement that was ridiculed until such a species was discovered after his death. This limited edition facsimile of his seminal 1862 book on the subject is bound in cloth using traditional methods. Slightly off-mint.
A Journey Round Britain by Postcode
Although assigned to major towns by the 1930s, postcodes were not in general use until towards the end of the 20th century. This humorous diary of a tour of Britain visits all 124 modern UK postcodes, making anecdotal observations about each area and identifying historical, geographical or cultural trivia, such as the fact that Strontian in PH (although not in Perth) is the only place in Britain to have a chemical element named after it.
Panoramas of Lost London
Work, Wealth, Poverty and Change 1870–1945
Following on from the bestselling Lost London 1870–1945, this 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 great 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'.
Lines in the Ice
Exploring the Roof of the World
Philip J Hatfield’s history of human engagement with the Arctic draws on the collections of the British Library and uses a great range of books, maps, photographs and prints to describe the indigenous populations of the region and their culture; European explorations, from the early voyages in search of a ‘Northwest Passage’ to 20th-century polar expeditions and scientific research; and the legacy of that history for the modern Arctic.
The First Battle of the Cold War
At the end of the Second World War, as Germany lay in ruins, the Western Allies looked with alarm towards a new adversary in the east: Stalin’s Russia. The Italian port of Trieste, occupied by Yugoslav troops, was a flashpoint. Like a Cold War thriller, this history charts the destinies of a British SOE officer, an Austrian SS general, an American spy and a teenage Italian female partisan in a true story of espionage, escape and revenge.
Hitler's Jewish Smuggler
In June 1945, a charred body was discovered near Madrid. The man was identified as Mendel Szkolnikoff, a Russian Jew and one of the biggest black marketeers of the Occupation. Drawing on 6,000 boxes of archives in five countries, this first biography uncovers the shadowy deals that bought him prime real estate in Paris and the Riviera, the identity of his protectors, what happened to his vast wealth, and the mystery of his death.
Bomber Command Airfields of Yorkshire
Only two of Yorkshire’s wartime airfields are still in use by the RAF but during the Second World War the county was home to 33 stations of No.4 Group and No.6 Group, staging raids against the Ruhr, Hamburg and Berlin. Brief histories of the airfields are given in this volume, together with stories of notable characters and events and details of what remains of the bases today.
Short History of the Cathars
A Pocket Essential
When a Crusade was launched against them early in the 13th century, the Cathars were dominant in the Languedoc region and had won widespread support from nobility and peasants. Martin explains the movement’s development, the fractious political context in which it flourished and the principles of simplicity, equality and non-violence which lay at the heart of the Cathars’ heretical teachings and their implacable opposition to the Catholic Church. Second edition.
Sniping in the Great War
Trained to precisely target individual combatants, marksmen were deployed in the First World War to tackle the static nature of much of the fighting. Featuring eyewitness accounts, this study analyses their role on the Western Front and in other theatres of the war, describes the training, fieldcraft and counter-sniping measures that were employed and outlines developments in rifles, ammunition and sighting equipment.
In Search of the Real Dad's Army
The Home Guard and the Defence of the United Kingdom 1940–1944
By the summer of 1940 nearly a million and a half British men had joined the Local Defence Volunteers (LDV), a response to the very real threat of invasion by a rapidly advancing German Army. This book explores the LDV’s transformation from an enthusiastic yet ill-equipped organization into the capable Home Guard, which, as the threat of invasion receded, nevertheless became key to the UK’s local defence strategy, as well as a means of combating the purported Fifth Column. Off-mint.
The Definitive History 1997 to 2005
The Porsche 911 has been in continual development since its launch in 1963, the 1997 revamp introducing a water-cooled engine for the first time. This fifth volume in Brian Long’s history of the car reviews the design, specifications, marketing and racing performance of the 996 version.
H is for Hawk
Helen Macdonald was devastated by her father’s sudden death. Already an experienced falconer, she set herself an awesome challenge to confront her grief: to rear and train a goshawk, a member of the species she had thought of as ‘things of death and difficulty: spooky, pale-eyed psychopaths that lived and killed in woodland thickets’. This award-winning book records how, with TH White’s The Goshawk as her guide, she dealt with bereavement by adopting Mabel and living alongside ‘the hawk’s wild mind’. American-cut pages.
The World's Most Difficult Quiz 2
More King William's College General Knowledge Papers
What garden evokes manual pallor? Where does the gold fin not wink? Who or what is pit-pit? Since 1904, pupils of King William's College on the Isle of Man have been sent home for the Christmas holidays with a fiendish quiz. Its popularity led to its publication first in The Times and, from 1951, in the Guardian. This book presents 30 sets of 180 questions dating from the 1920s to 1980s (pre-Google!).
The Ships that Shaped the World
Designer John Willis Griffiths’s conclusion that a sailing ship built for speed required ‘a sharp flared hollow and concave bow’ and a stern designed for ‘minimal drag’, revolutionized shipping well into the 20th century. This erudite history of the clipper, the fastest of all merchant sailing ships, considers different designs, including Yankee, Australian and tea clippers, as well as their cargoes and trade routes, with a focus on the treacherous seas around Cape Horn.
Impressionists: Masterpieces of Art
After Michael Robinson’s succinct, illustrated essay tracing the progress of the Impressionist movement from Édouard Manet’s Music in the Tuileries Gardens (1862) to Monet’s Waterlilies (1903), this volume from the Masterpieces of Art series presents 88 full-page reproductions of some of the greatest Impressionist works. In three sections – paintings of modern life, landscape and domesticity – the selection includes Renoir’s The Theatre Box (1874), Degas’ L’Absinthe, and The Sea at L’Estaque (1878) by Cézanne.
The Spitfire Manual
Before being let loose in a Supermarine Spitfire, fighter pilots would have to familiarize themselves with the 'Pilot's Notes' which comprehensively detailed the aircraft's equipment, controls and operation. These instructions are reproduced in this book together with examples of log books, combat reports and other contemporary training booklets advising on such skills as identifying enemy aircraft, estimating range and combat flying.
Life, Art and Civilisation
Best remembered for his television series Civilisation (1969), Kenneth Clark was Director of the National Gallery during the war, one of the founders of ITV in the 1950s and a highly influential popularizer of art as a broadcaster. This biography describes his privileged childhood, successful career and a private life that included close friendships with some of the most prominent people of the age, including John Betjeman, Margot Fonteyn and Henry Moore.
Painters, Ploughmen and Places
This blend of history, nature writing and memoir examines how people have responded to the land from the 18th century to the present day, including the Romantic poets’ fascination with the Lake District, and the more practical considerations of the agricultural improvers. Anna Pavord celebrates the beauty of the British landscape, considers how it has affected and inspired its inhabitants, and explores the ways in which a sense of place can help to define cultural identity.
Ancient Astronomy and the English Public House
Why are some pubs called ‘The Seven Stars’? Hugh Kolb has analysed the surviving pubs and their history and the symbolism of Seven Stars over the past 3,000 years to find the answer. In chapters illustrated with photographs of the pubs, Kolb pursues topics as diverse as the origins of hostelries, the immaculate conception, the solar system and the Anglo-Saxons, and concludes that the Seven Stars are the Pleiades – the ancient Greek Dionysians’ celestial bunch of grapes.
The Spirit & Strength of China
Rising in a remote corner of Tibet, the Yellow River (Huang He) flows 3,395 miles through arid desert, the steppes of Inner Mongolia and the Lijiaxia gorges and past monasteries, dams, cities and industrial regions before reaching the gulf of Bo Hai. The Italian journalist and photographer Aldo Pavan followed the river from source to sea, ‘getting under the skin of China’, and in over 200 photographs he portrays one river and a tremendous variety of landscape, peoples and cultures.
The Battered Body Beneath the Flagstones and Other Victorian Scandals
Victorian newspaper reports, Old Bailey transcripts and coroners’ inquests offer a catalogue of grisly and often bizarre crimes: husbands murdering their wives, suicidal lovers, and mistresses taking revenge on their rivals in love. Drawing on these archival records, this book identifies three main types of offence: crimes of passion; theatrical crimes such as the fatal stabbing of the actor William Terriss at the door of the Adelphi; and unsolved mysteries.
The Long Walk
The True Story of a Trek to Freedom
In 1939 Polish Army lieutenant Slavomir Rawicz was sentenced to 25 years forced labour in a Siberian prison camp. In this controversial story of endurance, Rawicz describes his imprisonment and alleged escape to India across the Himalayas and Gobi Desert.
The Darkest Days of Medieval England
Before dying without a male heir in 1135, Henry I named his daughter Matilda, widow of the Holy Roman Emperor, as his successor. Upon Henry’s death, his nephew Stephen seized the throne, igniting an 18-year civil war. Combining eyewitness accounts with modern analysis, this history describes the period that became known as the Anarchy, in which there were battles across the country, large areas became ungovernable, and those who experienced it declared that ‘Christ and his saints slept’.
A Short History
Described by the Financial Times as ‘an excellent antidote to prejudice’, this concise account of Muslim history emphasizes the importance of rethinking the Western mistrust of Islam which dates back to the time of the Crusades. As well as challenging stereotypes and highlighting how the faith has inspired scholars, mystics and poets, it reveals how Islam’s ‘sacralization of history’ means that the religion, its past history and current events are woven together especially closely.
Dent's Modern Tribes
The Secret Languages of Britain
Hobbies and professions all have their unique and colourful jargon, which is often completely baffling to outsiders. But now Countdown’s resident word expert has decoded these mysterious idioms by interviewing hundreds of members of Britain’s ‘tribes’, from twitchers to spies. Here she presents the idiosyncratic vocabulary that she has learned, so that you too can discover why bin collectors love a ‘Tiffany’, what a publisher means by ‘deckle’ and how ticket inspectors discreetly request back-up.
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 hen nights, and from the 'full English' to the long-haul gap year, the minutiae of British holiday-making is examined here in all its glory. Slightly off-mint.
Robert Service: Trotsky; Lenin; Stalin - 3 Books
A former Professor of Russian History at Oxford University and the author of several important works on Soviet history, Robert Service has been described by a fellow biographer of Stalin, Simon Sebag Montefiore, as ‘the founding maestro of Stalinist history’. This trilogy comprises a single-volume life of Lenin (2000), the critically acclaimed biography of Stalin (2004) and a genuinely revelatory study of Trotsky (2009). The three titles included in this set are: Trotsky (Read more...) Lenin (Read more...) Stalin (Read more...)
A History: From Gaul to de Gaulle
With characteristic urbanity and wit, lifelong Francophile John Julius Norwich recounts two millennia of French history, from Vercingetorix’s last stand against Caesar, via the folies de grandeur of Louis XIV and Napoleon, to the end of the Second World War. He explores the contradictions of a nation torn between autocracy and egalitarianism with insight and sympathy, while enlivening the narrative with personal anecdotes.
The Walker's Guide to Outdoor Clues and Signs
Their Meaning and the Art of Making Predictions and Deductions
A bestseller and former BBC Countryfile Book of the Year, this is the ultimate guide to what the land, the sun, moon and stars, plants and animals, sky and clouds can reveal – when you know what to look for. Drawing on two decades of outdoor experience, Tristan Gooley explains how to focus our powers of deduction and prediction on the natural world and provides over 850 clues and signs to get us started.
How to Draw Anything
A How to Book
This encouraging guide includes many tips for budding artists, such as how to look properly, simplify what you see but include key features, get the basic shapes correct, and understand how shading can transform your drawing. There are sections on depicting landscapes, animals, people and cartoons, and each is accompanied by step-by-step illustrations showing how to build up your drawings and create texture, while assignments enable you to measure your progress.
Slap and Tickle
The Unusual History of Sex and the People Who Have It
This irreverent guide takes a peek at a perennially fascinating subject. A romp through the biological mechanics and history of human intercourse is spiced up with intimate true stories, public scandals, censorship, sex toys, fetishes, and a concise glossary of filthy language. Eclectic, entertaining and original, it reveals everything you always wanted to know about sex – and quite a few things you probably didn’t. Sexually explicit.
London in the Company of Painters
London has fascinated painters for centuries, and central to that appeal has been the Thames. The 158 paintings in this book follow the river from Whistler’s Chelsea in the west to Turner’s Greenwich in the east, accompanied by an introductory text for each area and extensive captions giving historical context. Along the way are Monet’s Houses of Parliament, Lowry’s Piccadilly Circus, and St Paul’s, depicted both in 18th-century splendour by Canaletto and amid the ruins of the Blitz by David Bomberg.
To Free the Romanovs
Royal Kinship and Betrayal in Europe 1917–1919
When Russia erupted in revolution, some members of the imperial family managed to flee abroad, but for the tsar, the tsarina and their children, months of imprisonment ended in brutal death. Why, when they were so closely related to all the ruling houses of Europe, were they not helped to escape? This searching history examines the responses of their royal cousins in Britain, Germany, Norway and Denmark, and asks whether enough was done to save the Romanovs.
How To Draw Cartoons and Caricatures
Mark Linley reveals the secrets of his craft and provides tips and assignments as he guides readers to produce drawings that capture the essence of a character. From doodling to focusing on facial features, he explains how to caricature friends and famous people. First published in 1999.
Everyday Life in Hadrian's Britain
With characters from across the social strata, from high-born ladies to farmers' daughters, archaeologist Allason-Jones recreates the lives, habits and thoughts of women in Britain during Roman occupation through the story of Senovara, the wife of a former legionary. The detailed narrative reveals the nature of their home lives, health, religion, dress and jewellery and this revised edition includes fresh insights provided by the latest archaeological discoveries, including burials, tombstones and curse tablets.
The Cabaret of Plants
Botany and The Imagination
Challenging the view of plants as passive vegetation, Mabey approaches them as ’authors of their own lives’ and explores our relationship with them, from prehistoric cave painting, through cultivation and exploration to the ‘astonishing revelations of 19th-century botany’. Among the intriguing plants whose lives he discusses are the baobab tree; ginseng, the panacea; the carnivorous tipitiwitchet; an Amazonian giant water lily whose leaves were the model for the Crystal Palace; and the intelligence of mimosa.
What the Suffragists Did Next
How the Fight for Women's Rights Went On
The suffragists of the National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies (NUWSS) - as distinct from the suffragettes - did not disband in 1917 when the vote was given to some women. Although franchise had been their primary goal, they had other aims for women. This book looks at the lives of eight suffragists and how they continued the struggle for equality in various fields, among them Eleanor Lodge in higher education, Ellen Wilkinson in Socialist politics and Dr Isabel Emslie Hutton in medicine.
And Other Garden Pests and Nuisances
Inspired by the earlier book of the same title by the American author Bill Adler, the gardening expert Anne Wareham shares her own practical tips on how to outsmart garden pests large and small as well as offering advice on dealing with the horticultural challenges posed by weeds and the weather.
The Ardlamont Mystery
The Real-Life Story Behind the Creation of Sherlock Holmes
In 1893 the aristocratic Alfred Monson was charged with the murder of Cecil Hambrough, a young army officer, on the Ardlamont estate in Scotland. The case captivated popular imagination, but few realized that the two expert witnesses, Joseph Bell and Henry Littlejohn, had been solving crimes together for 20 years. This book charts their adventures – exploits which inspired Conan Doyle to create Sherlock Holmes – and probes the mystery that would challenge even their experience and skill in detection.
(The Fifth of November), The History of Britain in Bite-Sized Chunks
'All the key facts without the flab', this book covers almost 2,000 years of British history in around 150 articles, each no longer than 250 words. The result is a concise and accurate introduction to and overview of our history. As well as the articles – from 'The Roman Invasion' (43 CE) to 'The Founding of the United Nations' (1945) – there is a timeline, a list of monarchs, suggestions for further reading and an index.
Edward the Confessor
King of England
Peter Rex presents ‘an alternative view’ of Edward the Confessor’s life, character and achievements, drawing on the wealth of research into his reign since Frank Barlow’s major biography of the king appeared in 1979. Discounting the traditional emphasis on the influence of Earl Godwine, Rex examines Edward’s achievements in foreign policy and statecraft, looking in particular at his contribution to advancing the administration of the Old English state; and in a final chapter, he discusses the cult of the Confessor’s sanctity.
Mapping the World's Greatest Mountains
Combining technology developed by the German Aerospace Center with the experiences of great mountaineers, this volume profiles 13 mountains, including the ‘eight-thousanders’ Everest, K2, Annapurna, Dhaulagiri and the ‘killer mountain’ Nanga Parbat. The chapter for each peak comprises photographs, a history of early ascents, geographical information and a mountaineer’s personal account of their climb: in effect, a history of mountaineering, accompanied by 3D maps created from high-resolution satellite data and ‘virtual’ images of some of Earth’s most challenging terrain.
Wallis in Love
The Untold True Passion of the Duchess of Windsor
Andrew Morton, author of Diana: Her True Story, turns his attention to Wallis Simpson, the twice-married divorcée who claimed the heart of Edward VIII, causing his abdication. Drawing on interviews, secret letters, diaries and previously unseen primary sources, Morton charts Wallis’s life, from falling in love with a female teacher as a teenager to ignoring the cries of her husband as he lay dying. While Morton makes plain Wallis’s disdain for the duke, it seems his devotion to her never wavered.
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.
A Personal Anthology of Scottish Poems
Alexander McCall Smith’s anthology of Scottish poems is arranged in eight parts, on themes including love and marriage, islands, and war, conflict and loss, with poets spanning the centuries, from William Dunbar in the 15th, to Hugh MacDiarmid and Kathleen Raine in the 20th.
A Lonely Life
Growing up in a humble shack in Tupelo, Mississippi, Elvis Presley dreamed that success would free him from poverty. So how did he become dependent on bank loans even after achieving huge worldwide fame, and why did he despise his own movies and songs, even fearing that he would be forgotten after his death? This biography focuses on identifying the origins of the contradictions and frailties that lay behind Elvis’s charming, confident onstage persona. Slightly off-mint.
Telling ‘the story of Winston Churchill’s appointment with destiny’, the historian Ashley Jackson begins at his place of birth: Blenheim Palace, with its legacy of military and political greatness that was to profoundly influence Churchill’s life. From ambitious, headstrong subaltern to the nation’s war leader, and into the post-war years, Jackson presents a focused, even-handed portrait of Churchill as soldier, politician and statesman, and as a journalist, Nobel Prize-winning author, husband and father.
The Story of Britain
From the Romans to the Present Day
This introduction to British history begins with the geographical description of the island itself which, Roy Strong believes, has shaped the nation, its people and its politics. Invasions, migrations, civil wars, and two world wars have all been influenced by Britain’s uneasy relationship with mainland Europe, while a desire for self-sufficiency produced the empire and the Industrial Revolution. This new edition has been extended to cover the years from 1996 to the 2016 EU referendum.
Memories and the City
Against a backdrop of shattered monuments, neglected villas and ghostly backstreets, a daydreaming boy seeks refuge from family discord in the imagination. In this highly original memoir, the Nobel Prize-winning novelist Orhan Pamuk interweaves his own life, and the lives of his glamorous, unhappy parents, with that of his home city. The result is a blend of family reminiscence, history, philosophy, literature, art criticism and urban myth. This edition contains a new introduction and more than 200 additional photographs.
The Collected Poems of Samuel Beckett
A Critical Edition
It was as a poet that Samuel Beckett launched himself in the little reviews of 1930s Paris, and as a poet that he ended his career. This volume is the most complete edition to date of his poetry and verse translations, and the first critical edition. The contents establish a definitive text and canon for the poetry, including previously unpublished material, with extensive commentary and notes placing each poem in context and identifying resonances across Beckett's work as a whole.
Thomas Bush Hardy
1842–1897, A Master Painter of Marine and Coastal Watercolours
Thomas Bush Hardy was one of the most successful and prolific marine watercolourists of the 19th century, depicting the elements of sea and sky and the vessels that were then undergoing rapid change, with drama and subtlety. This account of his life and career, illustrated with over 200 reproductions, provides a chronicle of his trips up and down the English coast, to the Dutch beaches and French Channel ports, and to his beloved Venetian lagoon.
Movie Star Italian Style
In a career spanning almost seven decades, Sophia Loren has achieved recognition as one of the most beautiful and talented actresses of all time. Part one of this photographic tribute traces her life from childhood poverty in wartime Pozzouli, near Naples, to Academy Award-winner, singer and UN Goodwill Ambassador. In part two, her films are each introduced with a concise text and illustrated with film stills, posters and rarely seen photographs.
Guy Burgess, the Cold War, and the Cambridge Spy Ring
Guy Burgess, who passed classified material to Moscow in such quantities that much was never translated, remains the most enigmatic and least studied of the ‘Cambridge Spies’. This first full-scale biography is based on recently released secret files and on interviews with more than 100 people who knew Burgess personally. It offers new insights into his chaotic private life, his Foreign Office work and the fabled charm that won him personal access to Winston Churchill.