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...)
Deciphering a Memory
Although Jesus’ conversation with Pilate was a moment of enormous political and theological significance, the Roman governor of Judaea is a shadowy figure in the Gospel accounts. Schiavone takes the reader on a ‘journey within early Christian memory’ to investigate what can be learned from those narratives and their intersection with Judaeo-Roman historiography: who was Pilate, what was he thinking during his questioning of Jesus and how did he become a figure of such controversy and ambiguity? American-cut pages.
The Illustrated Biography
This detailed biography of Alexander Hamilton’s fascinating life focuses on the pivotal role he played in the development of the United States’ political and economic systems and frames his legacy in the context of both American and world history. It is illustrated with more than 200 paintings, photographs and excerpts from historical documents and the dust jacket unfolds to reveal a frameable map of Revolutionary-era New York.
The Sword of Albion
One of Britain's greatest naval heroes, Nelson was nonetheless insecure and needed constant reassurance. Wellington thought him 'so vain and silly as to surprise and almost disgust me'. This second volume of Sugden's biography recounts Nelson's life from 1797 to his death at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. Drawing on letters and diaries, it weaves his victories at the Nile and Copenhagen with his stormy relations with colleagues and his scandalous private life.
His Conquests, His Empire, His Legacy
Although his name has become a byword for tyranny, Genghis Khan is also credited with creating the unified trade routes that brought the cultures of Europe, the Middle East and Asia into contact, as well as some enlightened lawmaking (by medieval standards). This account of the great conqueror explores the cultural background of the nomadic Mongolian tribes and analyses the Khan's personality as well as the events that saw him acquire and rule the largest contiguous empire in history.
That Hamilton Woman
Emma and Nelson
Written to accompany an exhibition at the Royal Maritime Museum, this illustrated biography charts the rise and fall of Emma Hamilton. The author frames her story in the broader context of the roles that women played in the daily life of the British Fleet, and examines how she was portrayed by the artists, caricaturists and satirists of the time.
An Infamous Mistress
The Life, Loves and Family of the Celebrated Grace Dalrymple Elliott
As a divorcee and courtesan, cast out by Georgian society and resident in Paris during the Reign of Terror, Grace Dalrymple Elliott (1754–1823) has a scandalous reputation: this biography sets her swashbuckling life in a broader context of family and society.
The French Resistance Heroine Who Defied the Gestapo
For carrying out an audacious ambush to free her husband and other prisoners from a Gestapo van in 1943, Lucie Aubrac (1912–2007) is still hailed as a heroine of the French Resistance. This first full English-language biography tells her compelling story but also analyses the Aubracs' defence of inconsistencies in her account, which were exposed when the former head of the Gestapo claimed that the couple had become informers and betrayed their comrades.
The Reluctant Rebel
The author of Gulliver’s Travels was a man of complex character – a libertarian struggling with conservative beliefs, a church minister with complicated personal relationships, and a satirist who scorned the world yet sought to improve it. This biography follows his flight from war-torn Ireland in 1688 to the splendour and squalor of London, examining his shifting political allegiances and complicated love life to identify the roots of the ‘savage indignation’ that drove him.
Feminist, Pacifist, Traitor?
Emily Hobhouse (1860–1926) left Cornwall in 1895 to follow her instinct to alleviate suffering. In South Africa during the Anglo-Boer War, she worked tirelessly to help women and children in the British concentration camps; during the First World War she campaigned for peace and later set up a feeding programme for German children starving in Leipzig. Drawing on Emily’s memoirs and scrapbooks, Elsabé Brits tells the story of a woman dedicated to helping others, yet branded a traitor.
A Dublin Memoir
Having been born in Wexford, the young John Banville found Dublin ‘all the more alluring’ and the novelist’s memories stretch back to childhood trips in the 1950s, when the city, although poverty-stricken at the time, held magical promise for a boy. In this combination of vignettes from his own past, his historical investigations of Dublin and Paul Joyce’s photographs, Banville asks ‘What transmutation must the present go through in order to become the past?’
Patrick Leigh Fermor
A Life in Letters
Celebrated for his travelogues, Patrick Leigh Fermor was also a prolific letter writer to friends including Nancy Mitford, Lawrence Durrell and his lifelong companion Joan Rayner. Spanning 70 years, this collection exhibits his characteristic humour, learning, lust for life and love of language, and recounts such extraordinary incidents as his abrupt dismissal from Somerset Maugham’s villa, and the recovery by his Romanian lover of his long-lost travel diary. Off-mint with felt-tip mark on lower trimmed edge.
The Battle Over Oscar Wilde's Legacy
For years after Oscar Wilde’s death his two closest friends and former lovers, Lord Alfred Douglas and Robert Ross, fought for control of his manuscripts, and reputation, and argued over who was to blame for his downfall. Drawing on previously unpublished information, Oscar’s Ghost uncovers a bitter feud that involved stalking, blackmail, lawsuits, witness tampering and prison, and influenced the way we perceive Wilde to this day.
The Unauthorized Biography
In pursuit of the man behind the stories, this investigation of the life and times of Sherlock Holmes treats the character as a real person. Nick Rennison interweaves detailed period research with clues from Arthur Conan Doyle's tales to place the famous Consulting Detective at the heart of some of Victorian London's most notorious criminal investigations, noted historical events and intellectual social circles.
Through the Magic Door
Ursula Moray Williams, Gobbolino and the Little Wooden Horse
Ursula Moray Williams (1911–2006) wrote 68 children’s books – illustrating 30 of them – plus short stories, plays and poems. Best known for Gobbolino the Witch’s Cat, she only stopped writing at 76, and died aged 95. This biography explores how Ursula’s upbringing – an identical twin, raised in a ramshackle mansion in the woods – influenced her ideas, drawing upon family anecdotes and Ursula’s unpublished letters and diaries to create a vivid picture of her fascinating life.
The Life of Irene Nemirovsky
The discovery and publication of Suite Francaise in 2004 created a sensation, and revived interest in its author, a celebrated novelist of the 1930s whose work had fallen into neglect since her death in Auschwitz. Drawing on interviews, untapped archives, and Nemirovsky's diaries, this authoritative biography tells a story as gripping and tragic as any of her novels, from her childhood in Kiev and emigration to France after the Revolution, to the heights of literary fame and her deportation by the Nazis.
Commandant of Auschwitz
The Autobiography of Rudolf Hoess
Rudolf Hoess was Commandant of Auschwitz from its construction in 1940 until late 1943, and supervised the murder of over three million Jews as part of the Nazis’ ‘final solution’. He was an expert in the administration of concentration camps and mass exterminations. Hoess wrote this autobiography in 1947 while in prison in Poland. He was tried, sentenced and hanged later that year. The autobiography and other documents are translated here by Constantine Fitzgibbon, with an introduction by Primo Levi.
The Epic Voyages of Maud Berridge
The Seafaring Diaries of a Victorian Lady
Maud Berridge (1844–1907) made five voyages with her husband, Master Mariner Henry Berridge, from Gravesend to Melbourne and back. One of these, on the clipper Superb, was a trip of 14 months, rounding both the Cape of Good Hope and Cape Horn, and stopping off in Polynesia and San Francisco. Interweaving Maud’s diaries with contemporary reports and a modern commentary, her great-granddaughter has assembled an account of a Victorian captain’s wife’s adventures at sea.
From the Mill to Monte Carlo
The Working-Class Englishman who Beat the Monaco Casino and Changed Gambling Forever
Joseph Jagger had worked for many years in the textile trade in Bradford when he made an extraordinarily bold trip to Monte Carlo, armed with borrowed money, a team of accomplices and a scheme to win big on the roulette wheel. This account of his life and historic winning streak describes how he managed to break the bank and walk away with a fortune, worth the modern equivalent of £7.5 million.
Pope Pius XII
Architect for Peace
Pope Pius XII has been much criticized for his role during the Second World War, particularly his alleged appeasement of the Nazis and failure to intervene on behalf of Jews during the Holocaust. This reappraisal challenges that view. Drawing on letters and other documents from the Vatican archives, it reveals his work for peace, his support for prisoners of war, and his efforts to save Jewish lives in Italy. Slightly off-mint.
A Passionate Humility
Frederick Oakeley and the Oxford Movement
Described by Newman as ‘a man of elegant genius, of classical mind, of rare talent in literary composition’, Frederick Oakeley (1802–1880) was the principal figure in the second generation of the Oxford Movement, renowned for his love of well-performed liturgy and music – and his hymn, O Come all ye faithful. Among his achievements, this biography examines Oakeley’s pioneering experiment at Margaret Chapel in London, where he was the first to translate the Oxford Movement’s theology into liturgical practice.
Frances, Countess Lloyd George:
More Than a Mistress
Describing the 30-year relationship between British Prime Minister David Lloyd George and his mistress (and later wife) Frances Stevenson, here the author – the subject’s granddaughter – offers fresh insights into the complicated and often controversial relationship between the two, and shares extracts from their private papers and letters, and photographs from the family album. Slightly off-mint.
The Lost Pilots
The Spectacular Rise and Scandalous Fall of Aviation's Golden Couple
A pioneering flight from England to Australia in the 1920s earned Bill Lancaster and Jessie Miller international fame, but their lives unravelled a few years later when Lancaster was tried for murder. Their sensational story describes the financial and personal troubles that led to the death of Miller's lover and the desperate attempt by Lancaster to rebuild his reputation with a long-distance flight that resulted in disaster over the Sahara Desert.
A Higher Loyalty
Truth, Lies, and Leadership
The FBI Director James Comey was publicly fired by Donald Trump in May 2017. In this book he writes about his work, his role in the 2016 American presidential election and the surreal events that followed, and reflects on the leadership styles of three very different presidents.
The Incredible Story of the Most Audacious Gambler in History
The well connected and urbane Patrice des Moutis began putting his talent for mathematics to his advantage in the late 1950s, exploiting the French state-run Tiercé betting system so effectively that the rules were repeatedly changed to thwart him. This biography of the gambler reveals how dangerous underworld connections and allegations of illegal bookmaking and race fixing were increasingly catching up with him at the time of his apparent suicide in 1975.
The Grand Turk
Sultan Mehmet II – Conqueror of Constantinople, Master of an Empire and Lord of Two Seas
Aged just 21 when he conquered Constantinople in 1453, Mehmet II was known to Europe as a brutal tyrant, whose advancing Ottoman empire, reaching across Asia Minor to Hungary and Italy, led three Popes to call for Crusades. He was 'the present Terrour of the World', but as John Freely’s biography reveals, Mehmet’s court was filled with poets, astronomers, scholars and artists, and his military conquests brought Greco-Islamic science to the West at the dawn of the Renaissance. Slightly off-mint.
Train to Nowhere
One Woman's War, Ambulance Driver, Reporter, Liberator
First published in 1948, this Second World War reportage relates the experiences of Anita Leslie, the daughter of a baronet and a distant cousin of Winston Churchill. Her account includes descriptions of working for the Mechanised Transport Corps, driving an ambulance for the Free French Forces, writing letters home from Hitler’s office in the Reich Chancellery, and marching in the Victory Parade in Berlin.
So High a Blood
The Life of Margaret, Countess of Lennox
The niece of Henry VIII and half-sister of James V of Scotland, Lady Margaret Douglas (1515–1578) held a uniquely influential position in the Tudor Court. As the Protestant Reformation gathered momentum and the royal line of succession remained in doubt, her main objective was to see her descendants rule a united, Catholic Britain. This biography draws on previously unexamined archival sources to tell her complex story.
Soldier, Poet, Lover, Friend
Widely recognized as the foremost authority on Siegfried Sassoon (1886–1967), Jean Moorcroft Wilson presents a single-volume biography of the poet, building on and adding to her earlier studies. Sassoon himself said that most people thought he died in the First World War; Wilson’s work traces his entire life, before, during and after the war, showing how his writings gained in intensity, and how his literary, artistic and musical friendships illuminate a significant segment of 20th-century cultural life. Slightly off-mint.
A Biography of Tom Johnston
As Scottish Secretary in Churchill’s war cabinet, Tom Johnston helped lay the foundations of the NHS; later, he brought electricity to remote parts of Scotland. Tracing his ideals to his early career as a campaigning journalist, this biography celebrates his fighting spirit and lasting achievements.
Tales from the Tent
Jessie's Journey Continues
Having grown up in Scotland’s Traveller community in an old bus with her parents and seven sisters, Jess takes to the road in caravans, stopping at campsites and lay-bys in pursuit of work – berry picking, haystacking and fortune-telling. Alongside recollections of her family and her first loves and losses, she recounts campfire tales of ghosts, mythical beasts and supernatural encounters.
Minister of Money
Henry Duncan, Founder of the Savings Bank Movement
A parish minister in Dumfriesshire, the Reverend Henry Duncan (1774–1846) was also a poet, novelist, geologist and social reformer. This biography explores the ways in which he fused the at-times antagonistic traditions of Presbyterianism and the Scottish enlightenment in his greatest achievement: the founding of the world's first community savings bank. Designed to help the ‘industrious poor’ save for times of hardship, the idea would eventually lift many out of poverty.
The Biography of Gerald Wiener
A Jewish child saved by the Kindertransport, twelve-year-old Gerald Wiener left his family in Berlin in 1939. This biography describes how, from inauspicious beginnings in Nazi Germany, Wiener went on to become a distinguished scientist in the field of animal genetics in Britain.
The Life and Legacy of a Hebridean Priest
The Catholic priest Father Allan MacDonald (1859–1905) was not only a much-loved champion of his Hebridean parishioners on Eriskay, but also an accomplished Gaelic poet and one of Scotland's greatest collectors of folklore. Hutchinson's beautifully written book recounts the life and work of this remarkable man against the richly evoked backdrop of an island landscape where myth and spirituality entwine.
The Life of Arnold Palmer
With a string of victories in the 1960s, just as television was bringing golf to a wider audience, Arnold Palmer is credited with revolutionizing the game. This biography explores his playing career and the lasting legacy he built through decades as one of the game's leading ambassadors.
The Prisoner of Kathmandu
Brian Hodgson in Nepal 1820–43
Posted to Kathmandu as a junior officer, Brian Hodgson found himself in a delicate position as relations between Britain and Nepal became hostile. This biography tells how he learned the Nepalese language, studied Buddhism and natural history, and helped to negotiate peace with the mountain kingdom.
Memories of a Bygone Age
Qajar Persia and Imperial Russia 1853–1902
The son of a provincial merchant, Prince Arfa rose to the heights of Iranian politics. His memoir, written shortly before his death in 1936, records the decline of the Persian Empire, and his time as Minister Plenipotentiary at the Russian court of Nicholas II.
Lady Chatterley's Villa
DH Lawrence on the Italian Riviera
In November 1925, in search of a healthy climate, DH Lawrence arrived in the Italian resort of Spotorno with his wife Frieda. Drawing on recently discovered letters, this book tells the story of the next six months, in which the aristocratic Frieda’s affair with a muscular Italian army officer would plant in Lawrence’s mind the germ of the idea that became Lady Chatterley’s Lover.
In Search of Ancient North Africa
A History in Six Lives
Informed by the author’s long experience of travel in North Africa, this ‘journey into a landscape of ruins’ is structured around the lives of six much-mythologized figures who represent the region’s rich classical culture: the refugee Queen Dido, the generals Hannibal and Masinissa, King Juba II, Septimus Severus and Augustine the intellectual careerist. Rogerson argues that the choices each made about cultural assimilation and resistance to Rome resemble those still faced by their modern descendants.
My Dear Ones
One Family and the Final Solution
The discovery of a hidden cache of letters at his late aunt’s house made Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg privy to hitherto hazy details of his father’s life, prompting him to explore his lineage in relation to the history of Europe in the Second World War and the rise of the Nazis.
The Lives of The Mitford Sisters
Born into privilege, the six Mitford sisters were the ‘bright young things’ of high society London in the 1920s and 1930s. As the shadow of Fascism crept over Europe and war loomed, the stark differences in their outlooks would reflect the extremes of an explosive political era. The first account in the post-Mitford era to explore the intertwined lives of the ‘six-pack’ reflects upper-class English life before and after the Second World War.
The Short Life and Long Country Road of Hank Williams
A prototype tragic hero for the rock generation to follow, Hank Williams struggled with alcoholism and drug abuse and died before he was 30 on New Year's Day, 1953. This new biography of the country legend describes his childhood of rural poverty, tracing his musical roots to the street corner bluesman he befriended in Alabama, and explores the powerful influence in his life and career of his domineering mother, Millie, and fiery wife, Audrey. Off-mint.
The Prince of Wales and the Women He Loved
Known to his friends as Bertie, Edward, Prince of Wales, was the eldest son of Queen Victoria and heir to the throne. He was also a notorious womanizer whose affairs gave rise to scandal, divorce and suicide. This biography surveys the diverse gallery of women who became his lovers: the actresses Lillie Langtry and Sarah Bernhardt, the socialite-turned-socialist Daisy Brooke, the philanthropist Agnes Keyser, and Jennie Churchill, the wife of Randolph Churchill and mother of Winston.
The Life and Loves of Elizabeth Lamb, Viscountess Melbourne 1751–1818
Elizabeth Lamb – ‘Lady M’ to her friend Lord Byron – was one of the cleverest and most influential political hostesses of late Georgian London. Drawing on diaries, archives and letters – including her extensive correspondence with Byron – this biography reveals how she used her looks, charisma and wealth to socialize with significant figures including Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire, the Whig leader Charles James Fox, the playwright Sheridan and the future George IV, who became her lover. Slightly off-mint.
The Life of Henry Percy, Peninsular Soldier and French Prisoner of War
Before bringing news of victory at Waterloo to London, Henry Percy had fought in Sicily, Egypt, Spain and Portugal. Archive sources, including his own journal, inform this detailed account of his eventful career, including his time as a PoW, when a Frenchwoman bore him a child.
Master and Madman
The Surprising Rise and Disastrous Fall of the Hon Anthony Lockwood RN
Although press-ganged into the Navy, and prone to bouts of lunacy, Lockwood (c.1775–1855) enjoyed a successful career and became Surveyor General of New Brunswick. Driven by a desire to instil democracy, he attempted to stage a coup, but his subsequent imprisonment and state of mind saw him ending his days in a London asylum.
The Life of Major General Sir Robert Laycock KCMG, CB, DSO
In 1943 Bob Laycock succeeded Louis Mountbatten as Chief of Combined Operations, becoming the youngest major general in the British Army. This biography examines a military career that began with the Royal Horse Guards in 1927, ended with a period as Governor of Malta in the 1950s but is chiefly notable for involvement in the Battle of Crete, the Rommel Raid and in particular for a part in establishing the Commando special forces units.
Bring it On Home
Peter Grant, Led Zeppelin, and Beyond: The Story of Rock's Greatest Manager
After working as a film actor, Peter Grant found himself managing Led Zeppelin in the early 1960s and, through a fierce determination to protect the musicians and improve their earnings and conditions, is credited with revolutionizing the profession.
A Secret Sisterhood
The Hidden Friendships of Austen, Brontë, Eliot and Woolf
Using letters and diaries, some previously unpublished, this biography uncovers the relationships that sustained four of the world’s greatest women writers: Jane Austen’s bond with the family servant and amateur playwright Anne Sharp; Charlotte Brontë’s admiration for her unconventional schoolfriend Mary Taylor; the decade-long transatlantic correspondence between George Eliot and Harriet Beecher Stowe, author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin; and the highly charged friendship of Virginia Woolf and Katherine Mansfield.
A Cultural History
Édith Piaf (1915–1963) began her singing career on the streets of Pigalle in 1929; at her death in 1963, she had become an icon of French chanson. In this study, Looseley examines ‘the cultural phenomenon known as Édith Piaf’ and argues that it was a deliberate invention.
More Than Just A Good Life
The Authorised Biography of Richard Briers
Richard Briers' comedic talent and acting pedigree was revealed to an international audience (and to his Hollywood co-stars) through Kenneth Branagh's films of the 1990s but he had long been established as a national treasure in Britain. This biography chronicles the early life and training of the actor (a contemporary of Peter O'Toole and Albert Finney at RADA) and relates anecdotes from his long career in theatre, television, film and radio.
An Unfinished Life
At the Monterey Pop Festival in June 1967, Otis Redding’s set was one of the performances that made the festival legendary; by the end of the year he was dead, killed when his tour’s private plane crashed in Wisconsin. With the cooperation of the Redding family, friends and fellow musicians, Jonathan Gould presents a biography of ‘the king of soul’ and an appreciation of his immense contribution to popular music. Off-mint with felt-tip mark on lower trimmed edge..
Hollywood's Last Icon
By the age of 37 Charlton Heston was an Oscar-winning movie star, having played leading roles in three of Hollywood’s top-grossing movies, including The Ten Commandments and Ben Hur. This biography follows Heston from his boyhood in Michigan, where he suffered the pain of his parent’s divorce (an experience that would inform his indomitable screen persona), through his prolific Hollywood years, to his defence of the Second Amendment as president of the National Rifle Association. Felt-tip mark on lower trimmed edge.
The Catalogue of Shipwrecked Books
Young Columbus and the Quest for a Universal Library
Christopher Columbus’s illegitimate son Hernando Colón dreamed of creating a universal library to rival his father’s achievement by bringing order to the vast amount of information that was becoming available in the burgeoning age of print. This biography follows Hernando on travels with his father in the New World; on visits to the great European figures of the age; and on his quest to assemble, organize and catalogue an unprecedented collection of 15,000 books, ephemera, printed images and music.
A Star of Life
A vicar’s daughter from Kent, Sybil Thorndike (1882–1976) became one of the most admired stage actresses of the 20th century. Drawing on hundreds of unpublished letters and interviews with colleagues, family and friends, this authorized biography records how she led the pioneering Old Vic company during the First World War while bringing up four children, her tireless commitment to feminism, socialism and pacifism, and her intense, often troubled relationship with her husband, Lewis Casson. Slightly off-mint.
The Passions and Paradoxes of an Improbable Life
Groomed for a role that has never materialized, Prince Charles's unique life has been marked by frustration, from a lonely childhood and unhappy school life to the indignity of press mockery of his sincerely held opinions and public pronouncements. Researched with access to palace officials, friends and hundreds of primary sources this biography discusses his life and attitudes, including the saga of his marriage to Diana Spencer and his current status as the oldest heir-apparent in British history. American-cut pages.
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, the book charts his celebrated performances, his turbulent relationships and his drunken antics.
The Mistress of Paris
The 19th-Century Courtesan Who Built an Empire on a Secret
Painted by Manet, immortalized by Émile Zola in Nana and a connoisseur and collector of the arts, the Comtesse Valtesse de la Bigne was one of the most celebrated courtesans of 19th-century Paris. Catherine Hewitt's biography tells the story of this remarkable woman's journey from poverty and obscurity to the wealth, glamour and scandal of Parisian high society.
In this award-winning memoir, Michael Coveney charts the career of one of Britain’s best-loved actors from her first stage appearances through the Oscar-winning The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie to recent successes in the Harry Potter films, Downton Abbey and Alan Bennett’s The Lady in the Van. Drawing on personal encounters and access to family, friends and a cast of theatrical colleagues, he also offers an insight into her closely guarded off-stage life.
1923-1968: The Idealist (Volume 1)
Few US statesmen have been as revered and reviled as Henry Kissinger. This first of two volumes charts his escape from Nazi Germany, his combat experience in the Second World War, his early celebrity as a Harvard professor, and his formative visit to Vietnam. Off-mint with a felt-tip mark on lower trimmed edge
Expect Great Things
The Life and Search of Henry David Thoreau
Kevin Dunn provides a portrait of an author whose writing was shaped by his sense of the mystical, unseen world. This biography presents Thoreau as a spiritual visionary, considering his metaphysical beliefs as key to an understanding of his life and work. Off-mint with felt-tip mark on lower trimmed edge.
The Double Life of Fidel Castro
My 17 Years as Personal Bodyguard To El Líder Máximo
Fidel Castro was the revered leader of Communist Cuba for half a century. In this revelatory memoir, Juan Sánchez, once Castro’s personal bodyguard and later persecuted by the regime, tells the story of his service, imprisonment and escape. He reveals the extent of Castro's vast personal wealth, which was partly amassed by government-sanctioned drug-running, and describes his lavish lifestyle, which included a luxury yacht and a secret island marina.
Martin Freeman: From Slough to Middle Earth
Playing the sweet and vulnerable everyman, Tim, in The Office made Martin Freeman's name but before this breakthrough he had often been cast as edgy outsiders. This biography describes his Hampshire childhood and tracks his career from his acting debut at the Youth Action Theatre to his roles in TV and film, including Sherlock and the Hobbit trilogy, which have made him an international star.
Too Marvellous For Words!
Award-winning writer Julie Welch describes Felixstowe College as just like Malory Towers: her schoolgirl experiences there included pillow fights, midnight feasts and swotting for exams. This memoir of boarding-school life in the 1960s, however, covers topics Enid Blyton avoided, such as homesickness, anorexia and sex. Tracking down fellow boarders and an old teacher, Welch pieces together the school’s history and entertainingly documents her own part in its story.
My Life on a Plate
Chef, television presenter and award-winning businesswoman Prue Leith (b.1940) is one of Britain’s foremost culinary authorities and has helped to revolutionize the country’s eating habits. In this candid and witty autobiography she describes her childhood in apartheid South Africa, her arrival in London in the 1960s and her rapid ascent to restaurant owner, Daily Mail columnist and cookery book author.
Treachery, Tyranny and the Road to Magna Carta
The youngest son of Henry II, John (1166–1216) became king on the death of his brother, Richard I, in 1199. He inherited a vast and possibly ungovernable dominion, extending across the Angevin empire in France as well as England, Ireland and Wales. In this biography, Morris draws on contemporary sources to describe a tyrannical and murderous reign that saw the loss of the French lands, the rebellion of the English barons and, despite the signing of Magna Carta, civil war.
Flesh and Blood
A History of My Family in Seven Maladies
The actor Stephen McGann tells the story of his family over five generations through the diseases that afflicted them. They range from the famine and smallpox that claimed the lives of infant relatives in the 19th century to the necrosis that almost killed his wife, Heidi Thomas, inspiring her to write the BBC adaptation of Call the Midwife. Combining genealogy and social history, this volume explores the effects of illness on society through the generations. Signed by the author.
The Lives and Spies of MI5's Maxwell Knight
Based on recently declassified MI5 files, this is the story of one of Britain’s greatest intelligence operators, Maxwell Knight (1900–1968) or ‘M’. From 1923, when he was recruited for MI5 by Sir George Makgill, the book follows Knight’s career through infiltrating Communist and Fascist movements in Britain during the 1920s and 1930s, the Second World War and the Cold War, and examines his particular talent for recruiting and training special agents.
Through a Glass, Darkly
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and the Quest to Solve the Greatest Mystery of All
When Sherlock Holmes’s creator turned to spiritualism to communicate with the dead, many thought him deluded. Re-examining old records, this book investigates the mediums and séances that gained widespread credence among many bereaved by the First World War.
The Extraordinary and Tumultuous Life of Svetlana Alliluyeva
Growing up in the Kremlin, Svetlana Stalin knew nothing of her father’s tyranny, but could not escape tragedy: her mother’s suicide, the loss of two brothers, and the exile of her lover to Siberia. With access to FBI, CIA and Russian state archives, this biography charts her growing awareness of Stalin’s crimes, her defection to the West, her struggle to escape his terrible legacy – and her horrified realization, with the rise of Putin, that ‘they haven’t changed a bit’. American cut pages with a felt-tip mark on the lower trimmed edge.
The Epic Story of the Billionaire Who Took Over Italy
To his fans, Silvio Berlusconi is a natural leader; to his enemies, a convicted criminal. Inspired by David Frost’s historic interviews with Richard Nixon, Alan Friedman set out to uncover the real Berlusconi. With his subject’s cooperation and access to family, friends and business partners, he describes Berlusconi’s childhood in a rough neighbourhood in wartime Milan, the growth of his media empire and his rise to political power, alongside financial scandals and notorious sex parties.
The Art of Rivalry
Four Friendships, Betrayals, and Breakthroughs in Modern Art
This study examines four pairs of artists – Manet and Degas, Picasso and Matisse, Pollock and de Kooning, Freud and Bacon – whose friendship turned to enmity, arguing that early influences that fostered creativity must, after a certain point, be rejected in order to pursue originality. American cut pages with a felt-tip mark on the lower trimmed edge.
The Stories Behind the Headlines at the World's Most Famous Newspaper
As the chief reporter and news editor for the News of the World, Neville Thurlbeck was one of Fleet Street's most prominent journalists for over 20 years. In this memoir he recalls the most sensational scoops and scandals, including the Jeffrey Archer perjury case, the David Beckham and Rebecca Loos affair, and a variety of stories involving politicians, celebrities, serial killers and even MI5.
A Life From Print to Panorama
Tom Mangold is known to millions as the long-serving broadcaster of the BBC’s flagship current affairs programme Panorama. In this frank and often funny memoir, he describes his National Service in Germany, where he moonlighted as a smuggler, and his years in the cut-throat world of Fleet Street tabloid journalism. He reflects on scoops and scandals, chaotic interviews with presidents, and reporting from the world’s deadliest conflict zones.
At the Heart of Power From Heath to Blair
Described as ‘one of the two or three men who actually run the country’, Robin Butler served variously as private secretary to, and cabinet secretary under, five prime ministers. This biography presents Butler as both traditionalist and innovator in a civil service undergoing profound change.
The Best Prime Minister We Never Had?
The Conservative politician Richard Austen ‘Rab’ Butler (1902–82) held three of the great offices of state and came close, on three occasions, to becoming Prime Minister. This biography examines his upbringing, education and political career and draws on his own papers and the testimony of his contemporaries to explore why, despite his formidable intellect and distinguished record as Chancellor of the Exchequer, the premiership ultimately eluded him.
An Unsuccessful Prime Minister? Reappraising John Major
This collection of essays takes a balanced look at the successes and failures of John Major’s government, and re-evaluates its legacy. Contributions from politicians including Charles Clarke, Paddy Ashdown and John Redwood and commentators such as Peter Oborne and Christian Wolmar reflect on the government’s fragile majority, battles over Europe and the Maastricht treaty, the Exchange Rate Mechanism debacle, the first Gulf War, and the Northern Ireland peace process.
The Banker's Sister
Jane Austen’s favourite brother Henry established himself as a banker in 1806, and built up an extensive business before it collapsed in the financial crash of 1816. He also acted as his sister’ agent, dealing with publishers and printers on her behalf. This dual biography explores for the first time the close connection between his financial and her literary career, to reveal how her novels draw on his experiences to highlight the economic speculations and crises of the Regency era.
Harold Wilson: The Unprincipled Prime Minister?
Reappraising Harold Wilson
Harold Wilson was one of the longest-serving prime ministers of the 20th century, winning four elections – one more than both Tony Blair and Margaret Thatcher – yet his reputation within the Labour Party remains ambiguous. This collection of essays examines his record on economic policy, industrial relations, social liberalization, Europe and Northern Ireland. With contributions from Wilson’s contemporaries and political experts from the left, right and centre, it offers a balanced assessment of his successes and failures.
The Spy Who Knew Everyone
Guy Burgess (1910–1963) was an extraordinarily well-connected Russian spy within the British establishment, who managed to work for the BBC, MI5, MI6, the War Office, the Ministry of Information and Soviet Intelligence over a period of 15 years before going into self-imposed exile in Moscow in 1951. Drawing on newly released official files, the authors describe how Burgess used his contacts in the British political class and how, for a long time, he got away with it.
Born in the Welsh valleys, Joan Ruddock went on to lead the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament before becoming an MP and the first Minister for Women in the Blair government. In this memoir, she recalls the hard lives of her parents, which fuelled her passion for social justice, her career as campaigner and politician, the euphoria she felt after the 1997 election, and the frustration and disillusionment that followed.
The Last Days of Fleet Street: My Part in its Downfall
In this memoir, the award-winning journalist Maurice Chittenden reflects on his forty-year career and describes the hedonism and camaraderie of life as a i>Sunday Times Fleet Street reporter, with anecdotes including a robbery at a Rolling Stones concert and a spell in a Borneo jail.
The Man Who Broke Enigmas
Brilliant classical scholar Alfred Dillwyn Knox was recruited by the Admiralty as a codebreaker in 1915 and by the outbreak of the Second World War was a leading cryptographer for the Government Code and Cypher School, breaking the Abwehr Enigma at Bletchley Park in 1941. This biography of the eccentric genius is written by one of 'Dilly's girls' - his codebreaking assistants at Bletchley - and describes his life and work, including detailed explanations of his decryption methods.
The Inevitable Prime Minister
Attlee has been labelled ‘the accidental Prime Minister’, but, as this biography demonstrates, Labour’s longest-serving leader lacked neither ambition nor ability, and his party’s landslide victory in 1945 was not merely due to a temporary wave of populism. Jago traces Attlee’s rise to power, including his role as Churchill’s wartime deputy, and shows how his relentless quest for a more egalitarian society inspired far-reaching reforms, not least the creation of the NHS.
Breaking The Code
As MP for Chester and a government whip, Gyles Brandreth had a ringside seat at Westminster from the fall of Margaret Thatcher to the election of Tony Blair. His frank and often funny diaries provide an insight into the workings of modern government, profiles of the key players, and the first-ever insider's account of the secret world of the Whips' Office. This updated edition continues the story to the arrival of David Cameron as Tory leader.
Klop Ustinov: Britain's Most Ingenious Spy
Klop ('Bedbug') Ustinov (1892–1962) was an MI5 secret agent tasked, not with killing, but with bemusing and beguiling his enemies into revealing their deepest, darkest secrets. Through the Russian revolution, two World Wars and the Cold War, Klop bluffed and tricked his way into the confidence of everyone from Soviet commissars to a Gestapo Gruppenführer. Journalist Peter Day tells the epic tale of an agent whose missions remained obscured by his socializing and womanizing.
Baggage of Empire
Reporting Politics and Industry in the Shadow of Imperial Decline
The former BBC industrial editor Martin Adeney blends memoir and history as he surveys the ruins of great industries and the rise of Thatcherism to reveal how the long decline of the British Empire has shaped the nation.
Living the Cold War
Memoirs of a British Diplomat
The former British Ambassador in Germany and France, Sir Christopher Mallaby began his diplomatic career in the USSR; and in 1962 he was in Moscow during the Cuban missile crisis. It was the first of several crucial moments in world history which Sir Christopher witnessed – including the Russian invasion of Afghanistan, the Falklands War, the fall of the Berlin Wall and the reunification of Germany – and his memoirs offer an insider’s view of international diplomacy and the diplomatic world.
A Life of Contradiction
In addition to giving an account of Dostoyevsky’s eventful life, this biography studies his main novels and stories, and sets out to demonstrate their lasting accessibility and relevance. Judith Gunn describes his struggles with deadlines, debt, epilepsy, gambling and imprisonment; examines the ways in which his themes and characters have been reinterpreted in television shows including Columbo and The X-Files; and explores the strong and enduring connection between his work and modern media.