A Memoir of War and Love
After reporting on conflicts around the world, Fergal Keane returns to his native Ireland to explain his own deep-rooted interest in war. Drawing on the recollections of friends and family, and his own childhood memories, he investigates the story of his grandmother, Hannah Purtill – who fought the British during the War of Independence in 1919–21 alongside her brother Mick and his friend Con Brosnan – and of the policeman Tobias O’Sullivan, who stood up against them.
Your Loving Friend, Stanley
The Great War Correspondence Between Stanley Spencer and Desmond Chute
While serving as an orderly at a military hospital during the First World War, the artist Stanley Spencer met Desmond Chute, the aesthetic son of a Bristol theatre family, who introduced him to classical literature and the Confessions of St Augustine. These 31 letters document their friendship, Spencer’s combat in Macedonia and his evocative memories of the village of Cookham. Illustrated with facsimiles and Spencer’s own drawings, they shed light on his artistic development.
Mikey Walsh was born into a family of Romany gypsies and brought up, with no formal education, in the isolated and fiercely loyal culture of the traditional gypsy community. This acclaimed autobiography tells the story of his childhood with a cruel and abusive father and how coming out as gay forced him to abandon his roots, educate himself and seek a new life.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Tales of a Tiller Girl
My True Story of Dancing in Wartime London
In the early 1950s, after growing up in Battersea, dancing with the Italia Conti school on the West End stages of wartime London and performing through summer seasons in Blackpool and winter seasons in pantomime, Irene Holland won a coveted place in the Tiller Girls troupe at the London Palladium. Her very engaging memoir describes her passion for dancing and the thrill of achieving her ambition.
From A Journal of Love
Spanning October 1932 to November 1934, this is the unexpurgated diary of Anaïs Nin in which she deals openly with her various sexual relationships and their complex psychological consequences. A remarkable record of erotic freedom, the Journal describes Nin's incestuous relationship (now disputed by scholars) with her father, the pianist Joachin Nin, affairs with the writer Antonin Artaud and two analysts, and serious infatuations with her cousins, one of them a girl.
The Railway Man
Eric Lomax (1919–2012) had always been fascinated by steam locomotives; during the Second World War he became a railway man on the notorious Japanese Burma route. In this memoir he describes the captivity and abuse that he somehow survived and his meeting, many years later, with one of his torturers.
King's Cross Kid
A Childhood Between the Wars
Victor Gregg (b.1919) joined the army in 1937 and in Rifleman (2011) he told the story of his service in the Rifle Brigade in Palestine, Alamein and Arnhem. Here, he goes back to his childhood and teenage years on the 'mean streets' of King's Cross, Soho and Bloomsbury. Gregg's memoir evokes how, abandoned by his father and living in poverty, the family struggled and survived in the familiar, yet strange world of London between the wars. Slightly off-mint.
London's Great Plague
With extracts from his diary, this book traces the course of the Great Plague in London as experienced by Samuel Pepys: from October 1663 when he first mentions that there is news of plague in Amsterdam; through the summer of 1665 when over 6,000 people were dying every week; to the Great Fire that destroyed both London and the disease in the city in September 1666.
Jack Duckworth and Me
Bill Tarmey (1941–2012) played the lovable rogue Jack Duckworth in Coronation Street for 31 years until his character was killed off during the show's 50th anniversary in 2010. His story of growing up in post-war Manchester, singing in working men's clubs, and then finding his niche playing a rascal whose life uncannily mirrored his own will be cherished by all fans of Britain's longest-running soap.
Testament of Youth
An Autobiographical Study of the Years 1900–1925
In this elegiac memoir, Vera Brittain (1893–1970) recalls her experiences during the First World War, when she abandoned her Oxford studies to enlist as a nurse in the armed services, and saw the hopes of her generation turn to despair during a conflict in which she lost all the men she loved. With a foreword by her daughter Shirley Williams. Felt-tip mark on lower trimmed edge.
A Blaze of Autumn Sunshine
The Last Diaries
The diaries of Tony Benn (1925-2014) provide an unparalleled commentary on Britain's political life between his election to Parliament in 1950 and the first decade of this century. This final volume covers the years 2007-2009 and includes observations on the 2008 financial crisis, the collapse of Gordon Brown's premiership and Benn's personal reflections on the challenges and compensations of old age. Edited by Ruth Winstone.
An Editor's Life
For half a century, Diana Athill edited, coaxed, nursed and, at times, coerced a succession of novelists from Jean Rhys to Timothy Mo into producing their finest work. Elegant, clear-sighted and self- deprecating, her memoirs offer a wise and often very funny account of a life in publishing; a life in which the parade of literary luminaries takes second place to Athill's sheer love of language and literature.
A Field Full of Butterflies
Memories of a Romany Childhood
Born in a Gypsy wagon in 1938, Rosemary Penfold grew up amid the fields of Somerset. In this memoir, she recounts the love and losses, hopes and struggles, traditions and prejudices of a close-knit community faced with a rapidly changing world. This moving testament to a disappearing way of life took her to the finals of Alan Titchmarsh’s People’s Author competition.
A Notable Woman
The Romantic Journals of Jean Lucey Pratt
Jean Pratt was a trainee architect, journalist and publicist who lived in a Buckinghamshire cottage and ran a local bookshop. Though she was well-known in bookselling circles, none of her friends had any idea that, from the age of 16, she kept a diary, which ran to more than a million words by the time she died in 1986. It recounts, with aching honesty and infectious humour, love and loss, wartime privations, books read, indiscreet gossip - and her many feline companions.
I Know Nothing!
Much loved as the Spanish waiter Manuel in Fawlty Towers, Andrew Sachs (1930-2016) was born in Berlin rather than Barcelona and fled to England in 1938 after his father was arrested by the Gestapo. In this compelling and often hilarious memoir he tells of his early years in showbiz, the success of the infamous Torquay hotel, and his acting career beyond Fawlty, which included Shakespeare, Dustin Hoffman's Quartet, a stint as Father Brown, and Snowy in BBC Radio 5's Tintin.