Bicycles, Bloomers and Great War Rationing Recipes
The Life and Times of Dorothy Peel OBE
Dubbed the Nigella Lawson of her day, Dorothy Peel wrote novels and household books and devised recipes for the Ministry of Food during the First World War. This volume, put together by her great-great-granddaughter, is divided into two parts. The first tells of her life, with sections on parties, food and fashion and realities of war; the second includes recipes – Bacon Pudding, Potato Cheese, Feather Pie – from before, during and after the war, all tried, tested and adapted for today’s kitchen.
Lady Longford's classic biography, which drew extensively on Victoria’s journals, is republished in an anniversary edition with a new introduction by Tristram Hunt. It gives a sympathetic, human account of the woman who wore a bonnet instead of a crown at her Golden Jubilee, exploring her public life and emotional challenges, including problems in her marriage to Prince Albert.
A Life of Love and Courage
Jane Haining left Scotland in 1932 to work at a mission school in Budapest. Based on church records and personal testimonies, this biography describes her work with orphans and tells how, after the outbreak of war, she stayed on to rescue Jewish children with the aid of the Swedish legation. In April 1944 she was betrayed and arrested and two months later, aged 47, died in Auschwitz.
The Last Tsar
The fate of Tsar Nicholas II and his family has long occupied the public imagination. The autocratic ruler was responsible for mass imprisonment, pogroms and the shooting of demonstrators, yet photographs show him as a shy, gentle family man. This history outlines the personal and political background that shaped his reign.
The Life and Loves of Elizabeth Lamb, Viscountess Melbourne 1751–1818
Elizabeth Lamb – ‘Lady M’ to her friend Lord Byron – was one of the brightest 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 climb socially, forging friendships 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. Editorial error: Family Tree not included. Slightly off-mint.
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.
In a long career working for the BBC, ITN and Sky News, award-winning journalist Jeremy Thompson travelled the world to report on events including the Tiananmen Square massacre and the release of Nelson Mandela. His autobiography offers a glimpse behind the scenes in the newsroom and shares both poignant and amusing moments during assignments, from the Miners’ Strike to the election of Donald Trump.
Mark Twain's Notebooks
Journals, Letters, Observations, Wit, Wisdom, and Doodles
In addition to his 26 novels including The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain was a prolific writer of newspaper articles, travelogues, letters and notebooks. Organized by topics such as writers and writing, family and friends, business and politics, this selection offers a glimpse into his busy life and wide-ranging interests, illustrated with photographs, engravings and his own humorous sketches. Slightly off-mint and felt-tip mark on lower trimmed edge.
An Exile on Planet Earth
Articles and Reflections
In these articles Brian Aldiss (1925–2017) reflects on the events of his life and how they were transmuted into the ‘metaphysical realism’ of his science-fiction stories. He describes his travels in 1960s Yugoslavia, examines his preoccupation with exile in an introduction to Solzhenitsyn’s The Gulag Archipelago, and imagines a meeting with Thomas Hardy.
Vladimir Nabokov, Edmund Wilson, and the End of a Beautiful Friendship
When Nabokov arrived in America as a penniless exile in 1940, Wilson was an acclaimed writer and critic who became his mentor. This account examines their close friendship and describes how it soured after the success of Lolita in 1955 brought Nabokov worldwide fame. Slightly off-mint with felt-tip mark on lower trimmed edge.
The Private Heinrich Himmler
Letters of a Mass Murderer
After Himmler’s suicide in 1945, his letters were believed lost. Then, in 2014, they were discovered in Tel Aviv and authenticated by historians. Edited by his great-niece, they present a chilling glimpse into the mind of a mass murderer. His correspondence with his family presents a man whose life was governed by logic rather than empathy, and who considered his actions in the war to be a necessary and decent duty befitting the ‘great times’ he lived in.
But You Did Not Come Back
‘You might come back, because you’re young,’ Marceline Loridan-Ivens’s father told her as they were deported to concentration camps. ‘But I will not.’ Addressing this memoir to him, she recalls the events leading to their arrest in occupied France, her incarceration in Birkenau, and her lifelong struggle with these experiences, while warning of the rise of anti-Semitism in Europe today.
The Life of Henrietta Anne
Daughter of Charles I
Melanie Clegg offers a detailed biography of the youngest daughter of Charles I. Her prestige enhanced by her dramatic escape from parliamentary forces during the Civil War, the infant Henrietta Anne was cherished by the court in her mother's native France. As a young woman, her flirtatious reputation belied her political acumen, but the part she played in negotiating the Secret Treaty of Dover in 1670 was a notable high point in her short, at times controversial, life.
The Power, Passion and Defiance of Prince Charles
Focusing on Prince Charles’s life since the death of Diana, journalist and investigative historian Tom Bower draws on interviews with 120 anonymous royal insiders to present a balanced portrayal of the future king. The prince is revealed to be a well-meaning but stubborn man who has difficult family relationships and struggles to win popularity, despite extensive charitable work and his keen interest in and support for environmentally friendly projects.
The Life of Germaine Greer
With unprecedented access to her personal and professional archive at Melbourne University, this first biography of Germaine Greer in two decades records her difficult childhood in 1940s Australia, her simultaneous immersion in the worlds of academia and hippie counterculture, the international success of The Female Eunuch, and the more recent pronouncements that have angered many former admirers.
The Life and Death of Sherlock Holmes
When Arthur Conan Doyle wrote A Study In Scarlet in 1887 he couldn’t have known how enduringly famous Sherlock Holmes would become. Mattias Boström sets out to tell the story of the men and women who created an icon, bringing a scholar’s eye to the tale of the detective’s genesis, the stories’ initial wave of popularity and Holmes’s transformation into a screen role that is still being reinvented today.
The Traveller on the Hill-top
Mary Howitt: The Famous Victorian Authoress
Her Staffordshire Quaker upbringing gave Mary Howitt (1799–1888) material for the childrens’ stories that made her famous. It is explored here, as are her travels with her journalist husband William, and friendships with Byron, Wordsworth, Dickens and Hans Christian Andersen, whose work she translated.
A Personal Memoir
The close and abiding friendship of Robert Harling and Ian Fleming was forged during the Second World War, when Harling was Fleming’s deputy in the commando unit dubbed ‘Fleming’s Secret Navy’. Described by Fiona MacCarthy in her foreword as ‘a master of obfuscation’, Harling fictionalized his own life and inspired characters – even elements of 007 – in Fleming’s fiction. This memoir of his friend provides an entertaining portrait of the creator of James Bond, but also a revealing self-portrait of Harling.
The Authorised Biography of Nicol Williamson
John Osborne hailed him as ‘the greatest actor since Brando’; the New York Times called him ‘the terrible tiger of the English stage’. Nicol Williamson (1936–2011) was as renowned for his hellraising as for his Shakespearian heroes. This biography is based on the recollections of his family and fellow actors and follows his brilliant but chequered career, tracing the origins of his uncompromising and ultimately self-destructive genius in his tough Clydeside upbringing.
'Anger is Not About...'
'Anger is not about,’ wrote John Osborne in his final play. ‘It is mourning the unknown.’ In the 1950s and 1960s Osborne shocked and delighted British theatregoers, reflecting the unease of a changing nation, but by the 1980s he was out of step with his times. Drawing on interviews with friends and colleagues, this biography explores the rage at his provincial upbringing that fuelled his creativity, and the struggles with alcohol and debt that undermined it.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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 with his greatest achievement, that of the founding of the world's first community savings bank. Designed to help the ‘industrious poor’ save for times of hardship, the idea contributed to lifting many out of poverty.
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.
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.
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..
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 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.
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 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.
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 Outsider Inside No 10
Protecting the Prime Ministers, 1974–79
John Warwicker, a former Special Branch officer, tells the story of his six years in charge of security at No 10 Downing Street, protecting Prime Ministers Wilson, Callaghan and Thatcher during an era in which the Cold War and the IRA were ever-present threats.
Loyal to Empire
The Life of General Sir Charles Monro, 1860–1929
Charles Monro commanded divisions in France during the First World War and ordered the evacuation of Gallipoli in 1915 before being appointed Commander in Chief of India. This biography describes his contributions to the Army and the governance of the Empire.
An Elizabethan Assassin
Theodore Paleologus: Seducer, Spy and Killer
John Hall explores the myths and controversies surrounding Italian nobleman Theodore Paleologus, heir apparent to the throne of Byzantium, who in 1597 arrived in England to murder a traitorous compatriot, then remained in the pay of the Earl of Lincoln to sow misery among the English aristocracy until his death in 1636. The biography also scrutinizes Paleologus’s offspring, who fought one another in the English Civil War, and backs their father’s long-dismissed claim to the imperial throne.
A Clear Case of Genius
Room 40's Code-Breaking Pioneer
Admiral Sir Reginald ‘Blinker’ Hall (1870–1943) was the Director of Naval Intelligence throughout the First World War; Room 40 was his Admiralty HQ. In the 1920s he wrote an autobiography, but it was banned by government order. The parts that have survived, published here with commentary by Philip Vickers, give an absorbing account of Room 40's staff and their top-secret work, including the decryption of the Zimmermann telegram and the interception of Kaisermarine’s cypher system.
Composing an American Life
One of America’s foremost composers reflects on his life and times, from the marching bands of his 1950s childhood to his acclaimed 2005 opera Doctor Atomic. He also explains the interplay of tradition and innovation in his own compositional process and the work of fellow-musicians.
Between the Sheets
Nine 20th Century Women Writers and their Famous Literary Partnerships
In her accounts of nine 20th century women and their literary partnerships, Lesley McDowell gives each a role – Hilda Dolittle is the ‘Novice’ in her affair with Ezra Pound, Anaïs Nin the ‘Mistress’ of Henry Miller, Rebecca West ‘Mother’ of HG Wells’s child – but none of them is labelled ‘victim’. These women writers, McDowell argues, ‘chose their own fates knowingly’ to further their own poetic consciousness and literary ambitions.
A Ruler and His Reputation
More than five centuries after his death Richard III remains a compelling but divisive figure, the subject of myth and counter-myth. In this biography Horspool ‘aims at neutrality’, focusing on contemporary accounts while also examining how competing narratives have created the ‘composite figure who is at once so familiar and so alien’. He ends with reflections on the enduring fascination with Richard and describes events surrounding the recent rediscovery and reburial of his body.
Out of Time
1966 and the End of Old-Fashioned Britain
Peter Chapman was 18 years old in 1966, the year of Harold Wilson, the seamen’s strike, London ‘swinging’ to a soundtrack of Beatles and Rolling Stones, and England’s victory in the World Cup. Chapman, whose hopes of being a professional footballer had been dashed, but who would become an outstanding football journalist, gives a vivid picture of the lost world of Britain in the Sixties from the perspective of his world in Islington, north London.
The First Iron Lady
A Life of Caroline of Ansbach
History has forgotten Caroline of Ansbach, but in her lifetime she was compared to Elizabeth I and considered Britain’s cleverest queen consort. This magnificent biography charts the career of a highly intelligent, able woman who bolstered the unsteady reign of her husband, George II, acting as regent during his frequent sojourns in Hanover. With distinction and elan, she promoted science, music, literature and garden design; and, with cynical realism, wielded more power than any subsequent royal consort.
Great Scottish Lives
Obituaries of Scotland's Finest
From Sir Walter Scott in 1832 to Tam Dalyell in 2017, this selection of ‘Scotland’s finest’ from the obituary columns of The Times includes some of the world’s most notable writers, scientists, soldiers, explorers, philosophers and artists. Here, in over 100 obituaries, figures as diverse as Sir David Livingstone, Robert Louis Stevenson, Air Chief Marshal Lord Dowding, Sir Matt Busby and Robin Cook are judged by their contemporaries in articles that illustrate the social, cultural and political history of Scotland.
A 1960s Merseyside Childhood
Born in 1955, on the cusp between austerity and boom, David Eveleigh grew up on the Wirral – on Merseyside, but not in Liverpool – with an instinct to explore the past as ‘the tail end of the Victorian world was slipping away’, while experiencing the transformative 1960s.
Enemy to Lifelong Friend
In many ways Winston Churchill and South African statesman Jan Smuts were opposites: one a privileged Englishman with expensive tastes, the other a temperate philosopher of far humbler origins. Yet in matters of state their politics, military judgement and vision of Empire intersected, making possible a friendship which not only endured for almost half a century, but which influenced the outcome of two world wars and the transition from Empire to Commonwealth, as this account of their relationship attests.
The Life and Music of Eric Clapton
Author of bestselling biographies of Lennon, McCartney and Jagger, Philip Norman describes how Eric Clapton became rock's premier virtuoso in the 1960s and 1970s and examines a turbulent private life that has included chronic substance abuse, a famous affair with George Harrison's wife and the freak death of his son at the age of four.
A member of various vocal groups in the late 1950s, Dusty Springfield switched to a blues-influenced style for her first solo record, I Only Want to Be With You, in 1963. These musical beginnings, her rise to be one of the leading stars of the 1960s, her later struggles with drink and drugs and her renaissance as a performer in the 1980s are all discussed in this revised and updated edition of the 1989 biography.
The Blue Touch Paper
In telling ‘the story of my apprenticeship’, David Hare (b.1947) recalls his life, from suburban childhood, through Cambridge University, tiny flats in Soho and years of trial and error as a young playwright, setting his experience against the political and cultural changes and uncertainties of post-war Britain, up to 1979, a watershed year for Hare and for the country.
The Unwelcome Visitor
Depression and How I Survive It
Soap actress and Loose Women regular Denise Welch has been frank about her struggles with alcohol, anxiety and depression. In this account she traces her experiences back to a post-natal depressive episode, discusses the difficulty of identifying ‘triggers’, and reveals how cathartic it was to speak about her problems on social media.
One Man's Odyssey Through the Lower Leagues of English Football
As a teenager, Ben Smith shared Arsenal training sessions with Dennis Bergkamp and Ian Wright, and looked set for a bright career, but spent his playing time with lower league teams such as Reading, Southend and Weymouth. This account alternates between his life in football, including his frustrations and low points, and his later experiences teaching and coaching.
Peggy and Me
The comedian, actress and writer had always viewed dog owners slightly askance – they talked obsessively about their pets, and their clothes and sofas were covered in hair. Then she got Peggy, a shih-tzu bichon-frise cross puppy, and discovered the joy and comfort of canine companionship amid life-changing crises, and its lessons in life, love, trust and friendship. Slightly off-mint
The Complete Scrimgeour
From Dartmouth to Jutland: 1913–16
Alexander Scrimgeour was just 19 when he was killed aboard HMS Invincible at the Battle of Jutland in 1916. The diaries he kept from 1910 until his death, along with his letters home, offer a personal account of Edwardian high society, his training at Dartmouth Royal Naval College, the build-up to war, and the conflict at sea. This enlarged edition is illustrated with maps and period photographs.
The Mystery of Charles Dickens
In this award-winning biography AN Wilson frames Dickens’s life as a series of mysteries in order to reflect his complex and seemingly contradictory character. Exploring key aspects, from his childhood poverty and failed marriage to his charitable work and love of public readings, the book assesses their influence on his writing and how they enabled him to create characters who were instantly appealing and continue to resonate.
A Biography of Al Green
Al Green's records made him one of the most celebrated soul artists of the 1970s. This biography traces his rise to fame and explores the complications in his private life that prompted him to train for the church and turn to gospel music, before looking at his return to secular music in the 1980s and beyond.
The Classical School
The Turbulent Birth of Economics in Twenty Extraordinary Lives
Beginning with Jean-Baptiste Colbert championing mercantilism in the 1660s, senior Economist writer Callum Williams profiles 20 economic theorists up to Alfred Marshall in the 20th century. By exploring the lives of figures including Adam Smith, John Stuart Mill and Karl Marx, he offers an insight into the personal and social circumstances that influenced their thinking, as well as an overview of how economics developed as a discipline.
The Churchill Who Saved Blenheim
The Life of Sunny, 9th Duke of Marlborough
When Charles Spencer Churchill (1871–1934) inherited Blenheim Palace in 1892, his huge ancestral home was in dire need of repair. Illustrated with historic photos, this biography focuses on his untiring efforts to restore it to its former glory.
The Man Who Saved the Monarchy
For more than 20 of her 63 years on the throne, Queen Victoria had at her side a brilliant, energetic and visionary husband. Drawing on royal archives and Albert’s own extensive correspondence, this biography highlights his far-reaching contributions to national life, including his promotion of science, industry and the arts, his reform of university education and, above all, his shaping of a constitutional monarchy fit for a democratic age. Slightly off-mint and felt-tip mark on upper trimmed edge.
Frederick William Faber
A Great Servant of God
As a prolific hymn-writer and the founder of the London Oratory, FW Faber (1814–63) made a significant contribution to 19th-century Christianity. Wilkinson examines Faber’s life and writings to trace his intellectual and spiritual development as he moved from evangelical Anglicanism to Roman Catholicism. She also discusses how chronic illness and harmful medication contributed to his volatile, eccentric temperament.
Diary of a Rural GP
Hilarious True Stories from a Country Practice
For almost 30 years on the Devon–Cornwall border, Dr Mike Sparrow attended to his patients in his village surgery or in their farms and hamlets scattered across the countryside. Now retired from General Practice, he looks back on his most memorable cases: sewing fingers back on, delivering babies vet-style, burying beagles ... but Sparrow was never a man for Standard Operating Procedure.
Behind the Lens
In this memoir David Suchet looks back on his career, from rep theatre to the Royal Shakespeare Company and TV fame as Poirot, and also reflects on his personal life, upbringing and faith. A keen photographer all his life, the actor illustrates the book with his own images of the places and people that have been important to him, off-set and backstage pictures, and portraits of fellow actors.
My Father, Frank
Unresting Spirit of Everest
Frank Smythe was the most celebrated Himalayan mountaineer of his day, scaling Kangchenjunga in 1930 and coming within 820 feet of the peak of Everest in 1933. This biography by his son presents a balanced account of this determined and often difficult man, whose volatile personality was at rest only in the mountains.
A Dream of White Horses
Recollections of a Life on the Rocks
British climber Edwin Drummond, who died in 2019, achieved several pioneering feats including first ascents of the Troll Wall in Norway and St John's Head in the Orkneys and a solo climb of the Nose of El Capitan in California. Drummond was also a poet and a campaigner for social justice and this collection includes poems and personal memories along with the stories of his greatest climbs.
The Life and Loves of E Nesbit
The award-winning biographer Eleanor Fitzsimons uncovers the lesser-known details of the life of Edith Nesbit (1858–1924), exploring how her experiences influenced the vivid characters she created. Using letter extracts and a variety of primary sources, she reveals her to be a woman of contradictions, whose avant-garde literary output and fervent social activism contrasted with her tolerance of her husband's philandering and misogyny and her own avowed opposition to female suffrage.
The History of William Marshal
Composed in Anglo-Norman verse in the 1220s, The History of William Marshall is the earliest surviving biography of a medieval knight and the earliest biography of a layman in a European vernacular. Commissioned by Marshall’s son, the poem is hardly impartial, but sheds light on many aspects of medieval warfare through the life of a great knight whose career spanned the reigns of Henry II, Richard I, John and Henry III. Prose translation with introduction and notes.
A Life for Music
Britten was one of the greatest English composers of the 20th century and for four decades was a key figure in the country's cultural life. This biography teases out his paradoxes, as an innovative composer who revered predecessors such as Purcell and as a supporter of left-wing causes who was on friendly terms with royalty. Written by a Suffolk poet, it also emphasizes Britten's affinity with the county's marshes and beaches and the literary inspirations behind his work.
The Collected Works
Anne Frank’s diary is one of the most widely recognized personal testimonies of the Second World War. The full, definitive text is presented here along with her letters, personal reminiscences, daydreams, essays and a notebook of favourite quotations. Scholarly essays provide background on Anne’s life, her family’s history, and the story of how her diary came to be published. The book also includes numerous photographs of the Franks and the other inhabitants of the annexe in which they hid from the Nazis.
Menuhin: A Life
With a New Preface for the Yehudi Menuhin Centenary
A household name since his prodigious childhood, the violinist and conductor Sir Yehudi Menuhin (1916–99) strove to use his fame to draw attention to many humanitarian issues. Humphrey Burton, who knew Menuhin for 40 years, compiled this biography with full access to his subject’s personal archive; it offers a rounded portrait of his family life and his wide-ranging activities as performer, teacher and ‘musical diplomat’. The preface to this centenary edition highlights Menuhin’s continuing legacy. Off-mint.
Art Sex Music
With the aid of her personal diaries, Cosey Fanni Tutti (b.1951) recalls a career that spanned working in performance art, time as a pornographic model and stripper, co-founding the avantgarde band Throbbing Gristle, and pioneering electronic music in the partnership Chris and Cosey. Seen by some as a ‘wrecker of civilisation’, her challenges to convention also helped reshape mainstream culture.
A Twentieth-Century Story
A KGB assassin who organized Trotsky’s murder; a psychoanalyst implicated in the abduction of a White Russian general; a fur dealer imprisoned by the Bolsheviks and questioned by the FBI… In this well-researched history, Mary-Kay Wilmers explores the lives of some of the most notorious members of the Eitingon family – her distant relatives – to shed light on the Soviet regime in the early 20th century.
Poet, priest, inspirational teacher and indefatigable traveller, Peter Levi (1932–2000) was one of the most romantic and complicated of 20th-century Oxford characters. Relating his poetic development to his intense emotional life, this biography charts his Catholic upbringing, his friendships with Cyril Connolly, Iris Murdoch, Patrick Leigh Fermor and Bruce Chatwin, his often contentious membership of the Jesuit order (which he left to marry Connolly’s widow) and his tenure as Professor of Poetry at Oxford.
Anna of All the Russias
The Life of Anna Akhmatova
Honoured within the male-dominated Russian literary world, Anna Akhmatova's poetic voice was sufficiently influential for Stalin to hold her husband and son hostage for years to ensure her silence. Elaine Feinstein gives an illuminating account of the poet’s often troubled life, drawing on Akhmatova's letters, journals and poetry and on interviews with surviving relatives and friends. Off-mint.
Letters of Ted Hughes
A giant of 20th century poetry, Ted Hughes (1930–98) was also a prolific letter writer, with a private voice as original and compelling as his verse. This selection ranges from his teenage National Service to his last weeks. The recipients include his family in Yorkshire, his wife Sylvia Plath and lover Assia Wevill, and fellow poets such as Seamus Heaney. Warm, insightful and often humorous, the letters report on domestic life, fishing expeditions, world affairs and the craft of poetry.
Field Guide to the English Clergy
A Compendium of Diverse Eccentrics, Pirates, Prelates and Adventurers; All Anglican, Some Even Practising
Celebrating England’s long tradition of tolerance towards unconventional men of the cloth, these short biographies describe how clergy have displayed their own unique forms of holiness by treading ‘the thin line between prophet and clown’. The peculiar parsons include a mermaid-impersonator, a collector of French pornography and the incumbent who surrounded his vicarage with barbed wire – not to mention the infamous Vicar of Stiffkey, whose performance as Daniel in a den of real lions brought predictably fatal results.
On the Trail of Mary, Queen of Scots
Roy Calley presents a visitor’s guide to the castles, palaces and houses associated with the life of Mary, Queen of Scots, from her birth in Linlithgow and early years in Stirling Castle to her execution at Fotheringhay. As well as telling Mary’s story through her many places of residence and captivity, Calley describes sites such as Notre-Dame in Paris, where she married Dauphin François in 1558 and Kirk o’ Field, the scene of Darnley’s murder in 1567.
The Ultimate Star
One of the grandest stars of the silent era, Gloria Swanson made a glorious comeback in Billy Wilder's Sunset Boulevard in 1950, playing a faded movie queen. This biography considers her achievements in films, providing a template for stardom in Hollywood's early days, examines her private life and separates the real Gloria Swanson from the tragic Norma Desmond, with whom she will always be associated. Slightly off-mint.
Part of the Critical Lives series, this illustrated book explores the key moments in Genet’s life, where his political beliefs were most prominent. Genet’s championing of marginalized people was made clear in works such as Our Lady of the Flowers and The Screens and his provocative writing, theatre and film projects influenced numerous writers and directors.
Lenin remains to this day a colossal figure: the founder of the Bolshevik faction and one of the most influential leaders of the 20th century. In this critically acclaimed biography, Robert Service – the first historian to have access to Communist Party archives after they were ‘unsealed’ – provides a complete portrait of Lenin, set in historical context.