The Other Exile
The Remarkable Story of Fernão Lopes, the Island of Saint Helena and a Paradise Lost
Napoleon Bonaparte was not the first exile to end his days on St Helena. In the 16th century, the Portuguese conquistador Fernão Lopes set out to invade India, only to defect to the Muslim side and fight his own countrymen. This compelling biography tells the long-forgotten story of how he was captured and tortured before jumping ship en route to his homeland to live as a hermit on the uninhabited island for 30 years.
The Memoirs of Walter Bagehot
The Victorian Liberal writer and economist Walter Bagehot (1826–77) never wrote an autobiography, so Frank Prochaska has provided one for him. Drawing on Bagehot’s Collected Works and his own extensive research, he has woven together this ‘faux memoir’, often in the subject’s own words, to present an intimate portrait of the author of The English Constitution, from his Somerset childhood to the failing health brought on by overwork.
The Life and Times of John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester
John Wilmot’s life was short in years but long on scandal. Best remembered as the author of some of the most explicit verse in the English language, he had, by the time he died of syphilis at 33, ‘swived more whores more ways than Sodom’s walls’. This comprehensive biography reveals another Rochester: a devoted if inconstant husband and father, a courageous naval officer, and a poet of deep intellectual curiosity.
Mistress to the King
‘My great-grandmother was the mistress of your great-great-grandfather,’ Camilla Parker-Bowles once told Prince Charles. ‘So how about it?’ Camilla’s great-grandmother was Alice Keppel, and Edward VII was by no means the first rich, influential man she courted in her pursuit of wealth, power and status. In charting the irresistible rise of Mrs Keppel, this frank biography lifts the lid on a hidden world of scandal, decadence and debauchery beneath the respectable surface of the English aristocracy.
The Beauty of Her Age
A Tale of Sex, Scandal and Money in Victorian England
Yolande Duvernay was born in poverty in Paris in 1812. Under the control of her mother, she became a celebrated ballerina and mistress of a series of wealthy men. This intriguing tale of sex, money and power tells how she persuaded Stephens Lyne-Stephens, the richest commoner in England, to marry her. When he died, leaving her an annual income worth £6 million in today’s terms, his will was challenged in the Court of Chancery. But Yolande wasn’t beaten yet…
Faith, Power, and the Twilight of the Romanovs
How did a peasant mystic exert a fatal hold over the tsar and tsarina of Russia? Day by day, week by week, this biography charts Rasputin’s progress from the Siberian village of Pokrovskoe, where he first began to attract followers, to the court in St Petersburg. New material from previously untapped archives paints a picture of his charisma, egotism and depravity, and the credulity of the imperial couple, against the epic backdrop of war and revolution.
Wellington's Dearest Georgy
The Life and Loves of Lady Georgiana Lennox
Georgiana Lennox met the Duke of Wellington at a ball organized by her mother on the eve of Waterloo. Using a wealth of unpublished material, this beautifully illustrated book charts an intimate friendship that lasted a lifetime.
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 egotistical 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.
Hero of the Empire
The Boer War, a Daring Escape and the Making of Winston Churchill
In 1899 the 25-year-old Winston Churchill scaled the fence of a PoW camp in Pretoria to make a perilous 300-mile escape across Southern Africa. This account of his journey to freedom is set within the context of his early years as a war correspondent, soldier and budding politician, and paints an intimate portrait of a young man keen to seek out danger -– he narrowly survived conflicts in Cuba, the Hindu Kush and Sudan – yet assured of his own long-term destiny. Off-mint and felt-tip mark on lower trimmed edge.
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.
The Ultimate Book of Impostors
Over 100 True Stories of the Greatest Phonies and Frauds
Kidnappers, murderers and conmen, pretenders to the throne and even an ex-Postmaster General (the infamous John Stonehouse)... Ian Graham presents a collection of impostors who were mostly up to no good, but some had good reason to pretend to be somebody else – warehouseman Marvin Hewitt stole a scientist's identity in order to teach physics, and ME Clifton James became Montgomery's double to fool Nazi intelligence officers.
Éamon de Valera
A Will to Power
The architect of Irish independence, Éamon de Valera is one of the most remarkable men in the country’s modern history, yet he remains a divisive figure. This meticulously researched biography charts his achievements without shying away from the limitations of his vision.
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.
Headline Britons: 1921–1925
Seen Through Six Unique Figures of the Time
Along with a sketch of the social and economic background and a timeline of events, this volume profiles the lives and achievements of Robert Baden-Powell, the fraudster Horatio Bottomley, Marie Stopes, David Lloyd George, Lord Reith and Bertrand Russell.
Headline Britons: 1926–1930
Seen Through Seven Unique Figures of the Time
An outline of the major events of 1926–1930 – the return to the Gold Standard and the General Strike – introduces profiles of seven notable figures: Virginia Woolf, Radclyffe Hall, John Logie Baird, the car manufacturer William Morris, Ramsay MacDonald, Noël Coward and W Somerset Maugham.
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.
While a junior reporter, Michael Parkinson played cricket for Barnsley and counted Geoffrey Boycott and Dickie Bird amongst his team mates. Detailing his rise from local journalist to national broadcaster, this memoir relates his experiences in the television industry over a 40-year period, including the infamous TV-am launch, and his thoughts about the many famous and influential people he interviewed on his long-running chat show and Desert Island Discs.
Jane Welsh Carlyle and Her Victorian World
A Story of Love, Work, Friendship, and Marriage
While Thomas Carlyle wrote great works of history, his wife looked after their Chelsea home, but professed to be happiest when ‘splashing off whatever is on my mind’. Jane Welsh Carlyle’s witty letters incorporated wry observations on London’s literati and made light of her unhappy marriage. Referencing 44 volumes of letters and journals, the author focuses her biography on the years 1843–49, the period of Jane’s ‘richest experience and development’.
Letters, Speeches, Journals, and Poems
The United States’ 16th president was a gifted writer whose speeches are still quoted and much admired around the world. Among the items in this selection from his public and private writings are his drafts of the Gettysburg Address and jottings for other speeches; pages from his scrapbooks; letters and telegrams; a brief autobiography (‘Education, defective’); and poetry from his teenage years.
The First Nazi
Erich Ludendorff: The Man Who Made Hitler Possible
Along with Hindenburg, Erich Ludendorff led the German Army during the latter stages of the First World War, and it was his ill-conceived Spring Offensive in 1918 that precipitated Germany’s defeat. Ludendorff blamed Germany’s failure on Jews and other ‘undesirables’, claiming they placed profit before patriotism. Backing Hitler and the Nazi party during the 1920s, he helped pave their way to power, a strategy that is highlighted in this authoritative biography.
Stalin's Romeo Spy
The Remarkable Rise and Fall of the KGB's Most Daring Operative
This biography of Dmitri Bystrolyotov, one of the Soviet Union’s most brilliant secret agents or ‘Great Illegals’, examines his methods – seduction, duplicity, determination (he crossed the Sahara twice) – and his eventual redemption during years of hard labour in a Gulag.
The Final Roundup
Harry ‘Breaker’ Morant was a Somerset-born Australian bushman, drover and versifier, best known for the revenge killings he inflicted on prisoners of war when serving with the British Bushveldt Carbineers regiment during the Boer War. Morant was court martialled and executed for his crimes – wrongly, many have claimed – yet this fastidiously researched biography argues that, despite the romance surrounding Morant and his chaotic lifestyle, his actions in South Africa were ‘judged in proper and orthodox fashion’.
Even during his lifetime, Julius Caesar was a legendary figure, not least because his own writings were carefully designed to enhance his image. Complementing Southern’s other engaging biographies of late-Republican figures, this new account of Caesar’s life and death sheds light on the man behind the legend through careful examination of contemporary sources. The book reveals how he surmounted each difficulty with ‘a combination of determination, quick thinking, opportunism and, more often than not, a certain amount of luck’.
Tommy Sheridan: From Hero to Zero?
A Political Biography
Tommy Sheridan was the best-known socialist politician in post-war Scotland, leading his Scottish Socialist Party to an historic breakthrough in the 2003 elections. Handsome, articulate and charismatic, he was hailed as a voice for the voiceless and a fearless challenger of the establishment. Then, convicted of perjury, he lost it all. This well-researched biography charts his rise and fall, and probes the tragic flaws that brought about his downfall.
Bonker, Bounder, Beggarman, Thief
A Compendium of Rogues, Villains and Scandals
Arranged alphabetically from Jonathan Aitken to Oscar Wilde, this entertaining selection of miscreants from the pages of the Telegraph since the 1850s covers the whole spectrum of scandal, including adultery, espionage, fraud, cheating at the Olympics and selling sex for luncheon vouchers. The book reprints articles on 78 high-profile cases and encompasses a great diversity of swindlers, low-lifes, sleazy politicians and spies, but also two kings, a duchess and a US president.
A Story of Friendship and Betrayal
Ian Innes 'Tim' Milne and Kim Philby had been at school together and when Philby joined MI6 he immediately recruited Milne as his deputy. The treachery of his friend, revealed as the 'Third Man' of the Cambridge spy ring, was a painful blow to Milne, but his frank account of their long association, banned in 1979, is written without rancour and presents an insider's view of one of the most notorious spies of the 20th century.
The Clerk Maxwells and the Scottish Enlightenment
The physicist James Clerk Maxwell (1831–1879) was one of the ‘great men’ to emerge from the Scottish Enlightenment. Although prompted by Clerk Maxwell’s achievement, this study goes beyond his life to examine the family he emerged from and its wider connections. Covering the period following the religious and political turmoil of the 17th century, John Arthur explores how Scottish families such as the Clerk Maxwells and their associates produced the brilliant Scots of the Enlightenment and the 19th century.
In the Theatre of the Imagination
Quentin Blake is one of Britain’s best-loved illustrators, whose collaboration with Roald Dahl has made him world famous. Ghislaine Kenyon has known him for 20 years, and offers an intimate portrait of the artist and the man. We see him at work in his south London studio, and learn of his love of flying machines, of all things French, and of his lesser-known work for schools, hospitals and charities. The book is liberally illustrated with Blake’s inimitable sketches and paintings.
Sisters to the King
The Tumultuous Lives of Henry VIII's Sisters – Margaret of Scotland and Mary of France
Much has been written about the six wives of Henry VIII, but less attention has been paid to his two sisters. This groundbreaking volume restores these two women to their rightful place at the crux of European history. The book describes how Margaret became Queen of Scotland at 13, how her younger sister Mary was married to the ageing king of France, and how both, defying convention, chose their second husbands for love.
A Brief History of the Private Life of Elizabeth II
Elizabeth II is now the longest-reigning British monarch. Her life has been exhaustively documented, but what of the woman beneath the crown? Who are her friends? How does she feel about the demands of duty? What are her hobbies? Examining her early life, the training she received, and her attitudes to national life, historian Michael Paterson offers a refreshing portrayal of Britain's figurehead.
Young & Damned & Fair
The Life and Tragedy of Catherine Howard at the Court of Henry VIII
This biography of Henry VIII’s fifth wife, who was queen consort for just 16 months, sheds new light on her story by describing the world that surrounded her both above and below stairs, and includes maps, charts and colour illustrations.
Catherine of Aragon
The Spanish Queen of Henry VIII
The woman Henry VIII 'divorced' is much overshadowed by Anne Boleyn, the woman who took her place, yet Catherine of Aragon was Henry's wife for 22 years. As queen regent she defeated the Scots at Flodden in his absence and she fought tenaciously against the divorce: the king had never met a tougher opponent on or off the battlefield. This compelling biography brings Catherine to the fore, stressing her intensity of character and approaching her life through her Spanish family as well as her Tudor in-laws. Slightly off-mint.
An Illustrated Biography
Bapu, ‘father of the nation’, the Mahatma: Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (1869–1948) was relentless in his pursuit of equality, justice and India’s independence, leading non-violent protest from the 1930 Salt March that challenged a British monopoly, to 1948 and his final fast to improve Muslim and Hindu relations after Partition. Using contemporary accounts and 275 illustrations, Kapoor’s biography examines the contradictions of Gandhi’s character as well as his unparalleled achievements.
The Making of Barack Obama
Barack Obama’s keynote speech at the 2004 Democratic Convention catapulted the little-known senator into the national spotlight. Four years later, he would make history as America’s first black president. Drawing on encyclopaedic research and more than 1,000 interviews, this biography charts his upbringing in Hawaii, his formative time as a community organizer on Chicago’s tough South Side, his academic achievements and his first steps in politics, to present a penetrating portrait of the politician and the man.
The Man Who Was George Smiley
The Life of John Bingham
Spymaster, interrogator, investigator – the perfect inspiration for the perfect spy. This is the first full-length biography of the remarkable John Bingham, the heir to an Irish baronetcy who joined MI5 in 1940 and took part in many wartime missions. During the Cold War his skills became legendary and he shared his expertise with many novice spies including David Cornwell, who found literary fame as John le Carré and based George Smiley on his mentor.
A Voice from the Holocaust
In 1943, Rutka Laskier, a 14-year-old Jewish girl in the Polish town of Bedzin, hid her diary before she was deported to Auschwitz. Concealed for more than 60 years, her account – often compared to that of Anne Frank – offers a moving portrait of everyday adolescent joys and sorrows amid the horrors of Nazi occupation. Contemporary photographs of Bedzin and its ghettos bring to life Rutka’s world of hunger and fear of following neighbours and friends to the concentration camps.
A Curious Friendship
The Story of a Bluestocking and a Bright Young Thing
In the winter of 1924, alone after the death of her beloved sister, Edith Olivier thought her life was over at 51. For Rex Whistler, a 19-year-old art student, it was just beginning. This dual biography traces the remarkable friendship that would transform their lives, bringing the young artist into contact with such influential figures as the Sitwells, Siegfried Sassoon and John Betjeman, and giving Edith the self-confidence to embark on a career as a writer.
The Life of William Randolph Hearst
Long before his death in 1951, the American newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst was a legend. His ruthless power-broking made him the owner of 10 per cent of the US press and feared by presidents, while his massive wealth was spent on the creation of palatial homes, inspiring Orson Welles's classic film, Citizen Kane. This meticulously researched biography strips away layers of myth to create a nuanced and humane picture of the man and the demons that drove him.
The Tragedy of a Pre-Raphaelite Supermodel
A tall, slim redhead, lacking curves, Lizzie was the antithesis of mid-19th-century beauty. Spotted working as a milliner’s assistant, she became a muse for the Pre-Raphaelites and – immortalized in Millais’s Ophelia – one of the most famous faces of her day. This biography takes us from her humble beginnings through her marriage to Rossetti and on to her ultimate tragic end, examining her own poetic and artistic abilities along the way.
Mary Queen of Scots
A Study in Failure
First published in 1988, when it provoked much controversy, Wormald’s classic study of Mary, Queen of Scots ‘as a queen rather than a woman of great misfortune’ differed sharply from the usual emotive responses to Mary’s story. Focusing on her reign, 1561–1567, and her actions as the ruler of a European kingdom, Wormald argues that the queen’s downfall was because of her way of dealing, or failing to deal, with the problems facing her as a Renaissance monarch. Foreword by Anna Groundwater.
The Lady Penelope
Passion and Intrigue at the Heart of the Elizabethan Court
A muse to poets and descendant of royalty, the golden-haired Penelope Devereux was celebrated in the court of her godmother, Queen Elizabeth I, for being as quick-witted as she was beautiful. This biography charts Devereux’s political ascendancy in the court, her unhappy marriage to nobleman Robert Rich, her involvement in the rebellion to overthrow Elizabeth, led by her brother, the Earl of Essex, and her doomed love affair with Charles Blount, which ultimately led to her downfall.
The Man Who Broke the Bank at Monte Carlo
Charles Deville Wells, Gambler and Fraudster Extraordinaire
Charles Deville Wells (1841–1922) became a household name in 1891, when his enormous gains at Monte Carlo’s roulette tables inspired the famous music hall song. But had he invented an ‘infallible’ gambling system, or was his success the result of extraordinary luck, or even clever fraud? This first biography of Wells uncovers details of his famous few days at the casino, as well as revealing the other exploits of ‘the man with 36 aliases’ who was Europe’s most wanted criminal.
An Infamous Mistress
The Life, Loves and Family of the Celebrated Grace Dalrymple Elliott
Divorced wife, scandalous mistress, prisoner during the French Revolution and reputed mother of the Prince of Wales’s child, Grace Dalrymple Elliott had little choice but to live off her wits and her beauty. This biography not only charts her adventures in London and Paris, buts sets her swashbuckling life against the social history of the Georgian era, and explores her far-flung family connections that extended to France, America, India and Africa.