Back by Popular Demand
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.
A Cruel and Shocking Act
The Secret History of the Kennedy Assassination
Philip Shenon's book pieces together the compelling story of the most important, and most misunderstood, homicide investigation in 20th-century America: the Warren Commission inquiry and its conclusion that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone to assassinate the President. Drawing on unprecedented access to surviving Commission staff and other key witnesses, Shenon reveals how much of the truth about the Kennedy assassination has not been told and how much evidence was 'shredded, incinerated or erased' before it reached the Commission.
Clarice Cliff for Collectors
The distinctive ceramics produced by Clarice Cliff (1899–1972) at the Wilkinson and Newport potteries remain among the most popular collectables of the 20th century. This guide and reference for the enthusiast provides a useful introduction to the much-loved designer's world and key information on identifying her work. Over 500 pieces are illustrated and identified, and there is also practical advice on sourcing, storage, display and restoration.
The Chinese Art Book
Examining Chinese art over several millennia, this unconventional volume presents reproductions or photographs of a vast range of artefacts and paintings, each one juxtaposed with another work on the facing page, and producing unexpected dialogues across time, culture and genre. Shitao's Riverbank of Peach Blossoms (c.1700), for example is paired with a 2006 installation, Sketch the Sketch Lesson by Qiu Xiaofei, but the volume includes sculptures, ceramics, calligraphy and photographs ranging in date from prehistory to the 21st century.
Posters, Illustrations and Fine Art from the Glamorous Fin de Siecle
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.
The Universe in Your Hand
A Journey Through Space, Time and Beyond
From the Big Bang to the end of our world billions of years later, one of Stephen Hawking's former graduate students takes the reader on a journey through the cosmos as it is currently understood by scientists. With humour and imaginative storytelling he brings to life the beauty of the universe and explains such mysteries as quantum mechanics and black holes without equations or graphs, in the belief that 'we can all understand this stuff'.
The Warrior Queen
The Life and Legend of Aethelflaed, Daughter of Alfred The Great
Aethelflaed, the eldest daughter of Alfred the Great, is an enigmatic and almost legendary figure, a renowned warrior queen who fought the Danes and who struggled to be accepted as a female ruler of the Saxon Kingdom of Mercia. This study goes back to contemporary sources to explore the ‘Lady of the Mercians’ and reveals a skilled diplomat, and a shrewd, even ruthless leader, but also a patron of learning who used the poetic tradition to fashion her own reputation.
Atlas of The Human Body
This unusual and beautiful guide to anatomy is almost a work of art. Intricate, hand-drawn, cutaway illustrations take the reader inside the male body layer by layer, through the digestive, circulatory and nervous systems. Then a series of detailed drawings focus on key organs, bones and joints, while a doctor explains their function in clear and concise text. The whole volume is attractively presented with heavy stock, marbled endpapers, a fabric spine and covers of thick card. Age 7+
The Lost Tommies
Throughout the First World War, in the village of Vignacourt near the Somme battlefields, a French couple dedicated themselves to photographing soldiers on leave from the front. But their collection languished forgotten in boxes in an attic until it was recently discovered by researchers, Coulthart among them. This handsome volume presents the most interesting of the 4,000 high-quality glass negatives and identifies the British and Commonwealth troops depicted, many of whom were gathering for the Battle of the Somme.
The Life of Georgy Zhukov
It is arguable that Georgy Zhukov was the greatest of the Allied generals of the Second World War, surpassing Eisenhower, Montgomery or Patton in military effectiveness. Unlike his rival Red Army generals he was prepared to stand up to Stalin when necessary and although charming in his private life, was a brutal and decisive commander. This is the first major biography of the Soviet hero, drawing on newly available sources in the Russian archives and previously unpublished excerpts from Zhukov's own memoirs. Slightly off-mint.
The English Village
History and Traditions
The former Northern Editor of the Guardian, Martin Wainwright has collected, 'like a magpie', facts about place names, festivals, ancient customs and recent history to offer a succinct but richly informative survey of the English village in its many aspects. In chapters on themes including the 'Big House', the church and the pub, village 'frolics', farming and dwellings, Wainwright reflects on the character of villages past and present and ends by looking to the future challenges and comforts of village life.
Abducting a General
The Kreipe Operation and SOE in Crete
One of the most celebrated travel writers of the 20th century, Patrick Leigh Fermor maintained a lifelong silence about his most famous exploit. In 1944, he and his fellow SOE officer Billy Moss, aided by local partisans, kidnapped the German commander of Crete, General Heinrich Kreipe, and spirited him away to captivity in Egypt. This gripping first-hand account, published after his death, includes Fermor's own intelligence reports, sent from caves deep within the island.
Some Sunny Day
Born in 1917, Dame Vera Lynn was 92 when she realized that her great age gave a better perspective (she wrote her first autobiography in her fifties) and she had to 'get everything down on paper in a final account'. Here then is the life of 'an ordinary girl from an ordinary family with a voice that you could recognize' - but also an embodiment of British spirit during the Second World War.
Henry V, the Man-at-Arms and the Archer
Agincourt is one of the most celebrated battles in English history, a victory that made Henry V a national hero and still resonates six centuries later. This title peels away the layers of myth to tell the human story through the eyes of key participants, from the king himself to a Somerset squire and an archer from Dorset. Drawing on historic accounts, it assesses the casualties and discusses the massacre of French prisoners that shocked contemporaries.
The Sword of Albion
Strong-minded yet vulnerable, ambitious yet insecure, Britain's greatest naval hero was a man in need of constant reassurance. Wellington thought him 'so vain and silly as to surprise and almost disgust me'. This second volume of Sugden's authoritative biography charts Nelson's life from 1797 to his death at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. Drawing on letters and diaries, it interweaves his victories at the Nile and Copenhagen with his stormy relations with colleagues and his scandalous private life.
In the Footsteps of Abraham
The Holy Land in Hand-Painted Photographs
The birthplace of three great Abrahamic faiths, the Holy Land occupies a unique status in history. In the 1920s Arie Speelman, a Dutch Christian, commissioned the hand-colouring of 1,200 black-and-white slides of the area. This book explains their background and reproduces a magnificent selection of these images, which were bequeathed to Amsterdam's Jewish Historical Museum. They offer a rare glimpse of towns, villages and landscapes before the onset of modernization, as Jesus might have seen them.
We have a great deal of information on Geoffrey Chaucer's busy and eventful life – from the important offices he held while doing the king's business to his capture in battle and indictment for rape. In the first volume in his Brief Lives series, Peter Ackroyd shows that the real-life figure is often at odds with Chaucer's persona, presented in his literary works as a bookish and self-deprecating poet.
The Lower Deck of the Royal Navy 1850–1939
The change from sail to steam in the Royal Navy was underway by 1850 and in the following decades the work and life of ordinary seamen changed radically as new jobs, servicing the engines and operating the sophisticated gunnery and communications systems, replaced the traditional lot of the sailor. This well-researched history chronicles the increasing professionalization and specialization of the lower deck as the Navy rapidly evolved and introduced many of the roles and practices which are familiar today.
A Very British Revolution
150 Years of John Lewis
From catering for Victorian mourners with 50 shades of black fabric in its first shop in Oxford Street in the 1860s, to 12 million YouTube viewings of its Christmas ad for 2013, this is a 150-year retailing success story. Jonathan Glancy looks back over John Lewis's history, describing its roots in drapery and fabrics, the radical partnership structure set up in 1929, its architecturally distinguished flagship stores, the success of the online store and its future plans – more shops.
Black's Medical Dictionary
The 42nd edition brings this reference work for 'the informed patient' up to date, with substantially revised or new entries on topics such as angioplasty, MRSA, stem cell research, monoclonal antibody drugs and human papillomavirus vaccine. The A-Z contains over 5,000 entries defining medical concepts and terms, and 10 appendices provide information on topics including basic first aid, common medical tests and procedures, vitamins and professional organizations.
Great Rivers of the World
A river is more than a waterway: it is a sustainer of life, a means of transport and a cultural signifier. All great cities and civilizations have grown up alongside rivers. This magnificent book charts the course of the 25 longest and most important on the planet from source to sea. Arranged by continent, they include the Rhine, the Danube, the Volga, the Amazon and the Nile, each illustrated by aerial photographs, panoramic views and a map. Slightly off-mint.
The Extraordinary Life of a Secret Agent's Wife
Eddie Chapman, the double agent known as Agent Zigzag, has been celebrated in print, film and television documentaries, but the life of his wife Betty was also far from conventional. Mrs Zigzag tells of her rise from humble origins to become the owner of a pioneering health farm, the guest of Middle Eastern royalty and the confidante of film stars and an African president – as well as the wife of a remarkably brave and loving, but often difficult man.
An estimated 20 per cent of the world's animal species can be found in Malaysia and the country has a network of reserves and protected areas, from the diverse environments of the vast Taman Negara National Park to the caves of Gunung Mulu. Written by local experts, this extensively illustrated volume examines the flora and fauna of rainforest, wetland, coastal and highland areas and considers its conservation in the country's three regions – Sabah and Sarawak in Borneo and Peninsular Malaysia.
The Untold Story of World War Two's Most Daring Great Escape
The 'Warburg Wire Job' was an audacious escape plan by 40 British, Australian, New Zealand and South African POWs from Oflag VI-B in Warburg, Germany. With the camp lights fused, the prisoners laid scaling ladders constructed from bed boards over the high perimeter fence and 28 made it across. Mark Felton's history tells the story of the planning and execution of the breakout and the stories of the escapees' attempts to evade recapture and return home.
Diary of an Adventure
In 1880 a young medical student named Arthur Conan Doyle embarked on his first adventure as ship's surgeon aboard the Arctic whaler the Hope. The illustrated diary in which he recorded the action-packed voyage is published here for the first time in a beautiful facsimile edition. The volume also contains an annotated transcript, photographs of the ship and the young Conan Doyle on deck with its officers, two non-fiction pieces about his experiences, and two tales inspired by them.
A Field Marshal in the Family
The hero of El Alamein and Normandy, Bernard Law Montgomery is remembered as one of Britain's greatest military leaders, but he also earned a reputation, among those who encountered him, for arrogance, tactlessness and egotism. This assessment of his achievements, written by his younger brother and first published in the 1970s, delves into Monty's distinguished ancestry, as well as his upbringing, to discover the factors that formed his singular character and equipped him for greatness.
Aristocrats: Power, Grace and Decadence
Britain's Great Ruling Classes from 1066 to the Present
For almost a millennium, Britain was governed by a small coterie of aristocrats whose power could make or break kings, forged an empire and created the world's first industrial nation. This colourful narrative history traces this network of interlinked families, examining its code of honour and public duty, its acquisitiveness and greed. It also demonstrates how, despite having relinquished much of its power, the aristocracy has shaped the nation, and continues to fascinate and appal in equal measure. Previously sold in Postscript in hardback edition.
The Suspicions of Mr Whicher
or, The Murder at Road Hill House
Kate Summerscale re-opens the case of the gruesome Road Hill murder of 1860, but models her meticulously researched account on the country-house murder mystery – the genre inspired by the real murder and its investigation by Jonathan Whicher, one of Scotland Yard's very first detectives. 'The best whodunnit of the year – and it's all true' (Tatler). Slightly off-mint.
The Odd Couple
The Curious Friendship Between Kingsley Amis and Philip Larkin
Amis was a husband, father and clubland boozer; Larkin a misanthrope who lived in self-imposed solitude. Yet from their first meeting at Oxford in 1941, the pair struck up a friendship that would last for more than 40 years. Drawing on letters, manuscripts and interviews, this richly humane study offers a glimpse into their cantankerous, controversial and often very funny private correspondence. In doing so, it also illuminates some of the finest novels and poems of the 20th century.
City of Sin
London and Its Vices
'If you do not want to dwell with evil-doers', wrote Richard of Devizes in 1180, 'do not live in London'. In her third exploration of the city's history, Catharine Arnold focuses on the sex trade, from slave girls brought to service Roman troops in first century Londinium, through medieval stews, 18th century sex clubs and Victorian male brothels to infamous '60s call girls and the internet 'Belle de Jour'.
The Dog that Survived the Titanic
and Other Amazing Animal Stories
Inspired by the incredible tale of Rigel, the Newfoundland dog that survived the Titanic disaster, this book is a celebration of animal antics. With over 500 stories including the cat that flew the world, the gorilla who learned sign language, the horse that drove a Cadillac and a dog arrested for skateboarding, this entertaining collection reveals the intelligence of our animal friends.
Daphne du Maurier
A Daughter's Memoir
Flavia Leng's memoir of her mother, the celebrated novelist Daphne du Maurier, is essentially the story of her own childhood and early teenage years at Menabilly, the house in Cornwall that was du Maurier's home and inspiration. Evoking the lives of the novelist, her family and illustrious friends, the book offers a new perspective on the novelist and her work.
The Irresistible Rise of a Political Celebrity
'We may feel we know the public Boris, but so much about this multi- layered character is not quite as it seems.' From the vantage point of a once close colleague, investigative journalist Sonia Purnell charts the remarkable rise of Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson – just 'Boris' to most of us – and offers the first forensic account of just how he did it.
Holidays in Victorian England
Images of the Past
Margaret B was an ordinary middle-class English girl of the late Victorian era whose family made trips all over southern England. Their visits to places such as Brighton, Broadstairs, Exeter and Ilfracombe were recorded in Margaret's photographs. Accompanied by Thorburn's informative commentary, her pictures of the countryside and seaside, architectural splendours and quaint villages reveal the typical holiday for middle-class Victorians in an England untouched by cars and car parks.
Dragon of Legends
Press Out and Build Card Model
An awesome creature, 87 cm long (over 34 inches) with a fiery, scaly body and gold and purple wings, the Dragon of Legend is created from press-out card pieces that fold and slot together. There are easy-to- follow instructions, but this is an advanced model and adult help is required. While the adult is folding and slotting, children can read about dragons – real and mythical – in the excellent accompanying book, Dragon Lore.
The Chronicle of Opera
Derided by Dr Johnson as 'an exotic and irrational entertainment', opera has captivated audiences for four centuries. This handsome volume charts the historical development of the art form, with features on composers from Monteverdi to Britten, key works from The Magic Flute to Wozzeck, and legendary singers such as Maria Callas. The reference section includes a timeline, discography, biographies and a guide to further reading, and over 100 colour illustrations show the magnificence of many operatic productions.
Shakespeare's Common Prayers
The Book of Common Prayer and the Elizabethan Age
'See,' says Buckingham in Richard III, 'a book of prayer in his hand.' From its appearance in 1549, the Book of Common Prayer was known by heart by every literate person in England, including William Shakespeare. This engaging, elegantly written study traces the influence of its rhythms and metres, its ambiguities and controversies, on plays such as Measure for Measure, As You Like It, Hamlet and – above all – Macbeth, to create a dazzlingly original portrait of the playwright at work.
Animals and People in Scotland
This celebration of Scotland's enormously diverse range of fauna is arranged by habitats – from mountains, moors and bogs to the sea, but also devotes chapters to the habitats in which animals and humans interact closely, the farm, urban areas and the realm of myth. Imaginatively written and lavishly illustrated, the book offers a detailed yet informal natural and cultural history of creatures from common newts to Aberdeen-Angus cattle, and the role that animals have played in Scottish life since prehistory.
The English Seaside
To The Beach, 100 yds
Grand hotels and beach huts, piers and Punch and Judy, Second World War coastal defences and sandcastles: Peter Williams's photographs reveal the tremendous diversity and vitality of the English seaside. Arranged as 42 topics, the photographs show the things we associate with traditional holidays beside the sea, such as deckchairs and fish and chip shops, but also focus on new artworks and architecture and the regeneration of our seaside towns.
The Great British Vegetable Cookbook
Written by Sybil Kapoor as 'a labour of love for both omnivores and vegetarians who, like me, are fascinated by the incredible array of vegetables that we have at our disposal in Britain throughout the year', this book is organized by season, from purple sprouting broccoli in spring to potatoes in winter. In between are 150 recipes using 50 featured vegetables on their own, in main dishes, in soup or cakes, as snacks, pickles or even – like Mrs Marshall's Cucumber – as ice cream.
A Private Collection
The jewellery photographed for this magnificent book is the collection belonging to the women of one Russian family, with pieces ranging from traditional Azerbaijani earrings owned by the present collector's grandmother in the late 19th century to modern pieces by jewellers such as Cartier and Bulgari. Although there are breathtaking precious stones, not all the pieces are very valuable; beauty has been the collectors' criterion. The book is handsomely bound, with gilt-edged pages, a silk marker and slipcase. Off-mint.
The World's War
In a sweeping narrative of the First World War, Olusoga portrays not only the variety of peoples fighting on the Western Front, but also outlines the wider geography of the war – the African and Asian colonies, from Morocco to Bangkok, where the European empires recruited their non-European soldiers. He explores the experience and the sacrifices of those forgotten armies – some four million men – and exposes the shocking paraphernalia of the era's racial obsessions. Accompanied the BBC TV documentary. Off-mint.
Dorset Then and Now From The Air
Great strides were made in aerial photography and photographic interpretation during the Second World War and recognizing how useful these skills could be in peacetime, the government tasked the RAF with a comprehensive survey of Britain, which they completed in 1947. This book compares these 1940s pictures with modern ones for over 90 locations in Dorset, demonstrating notable changes, particularly in urban expansion, as well as some spots that have remained remarkably unchanged.
To War with Wellington
From the Peninsula to Waterloo
Using first-hand accounts written by generals, cavalrymen and foot-soldiers of the Duke of Wellington's army, Peter Snow conjures up the horror of the early 19th century battlefield as he tells the story of how Wellington led 'one of the most successful military enterprises in British history' through seven years of struggle to victory and the defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo.
The Great British Year
Wildlife through the Seasons
Instead of the usual four seasons, this magnificent survey of British wildlife looks at four three-month periods of transition between them. With stunning photography and engaging, informative text, it studies the ways in which animals and plants respond to subtle changes in day length, temperature and the weather as the seasons progress. There is also a behind-the-scenes look at the work of the BBC Natural History Unit, and lists of places to watch wildlife. Accompanied the BBC TV series. Off-mint.