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 Drawing on hundreds of unpublished letters and interviews with colleagues, family and friends, this authorized biography records how she led the pioneering Old Vic company during the First World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.
One Leg Too Few
The Adventures of Peter Cook and Dudley Moore
Beginning with their Behind the Fringe programme notes on each other, this dual biography not only tells the story of one of the most celebrated and complicated partnerships in British comedy, but also brings together 36 short memoirs by friends and colleagues, and was written with the full co-operation of both comedians' estates. The result is a thorough exploration of how their 'doomed romance' brought laughter to so many.
Alan Bennett’s play is set in the old-style local hospital of a small northern town. As staff struggle to find beds on the Dusty Springfield Geriatric Ward and the hospital faces closure in an NHS efficiency drive, a documentary film crew arrives to record its fight for survival. With an introduction by Bennett.
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.
Since receiving a terminal diagnosis of leukaemia in 2010, Clive James has produced an extraordinary late harvest of poetry and prose. In this collection of essays, he looks back with characteristic wit, humour and perception on a lifetime’s reading, offering his unique insights into writers from Conrad, Hemingway and Larkin to VS Naipaul and WG Sebald. Woven throughout these literary ruminations, moreover, is a thoughtful and moving reflection on life and death.
A History of Ballet
For over 400 years, ballet has captivated audiences with its unique blend of grace, storytelling and artistry. This magisterial history charts its origins in Renaissance France and Italy, its evolution in Russia, and its flowering in 20th century America. The author, a former ballerina, brings a practitioner's insight to the subject, tracing the development of technique and profiling the great dancers and choreographers, while historic photographs transport the reader to the glittering theatres of Paris and St Petersburg.Slightly off-mint. Off-mint and felt-tip mark on lower trimmed edge.
Katharine Hepburn: A Personal Biography
A Scott Berg knew Katharine Hepburn for 20 years, during which time they shared many hours of private conversation – material, it was agreed, for a book to be published after the actress’s death. Covering details of her privileged background, her 50 years of stardom, her relationship with Spencer Tracy and her thoughts about other actors, interwoven with fascinating anecdotes, this is Hepburn’s life as she wanted it to be presented.
British Municipal Cinema 1920–1980
Presenting an overview of the development, achievements and demise of British municipal film and illustrated with stills, this book includes in-depth studies of films and the film-making processes of Bermondsey Borough Council’s Public Health Department and Glasgow Corporation.
From Shadow Play to the Silver Screen
The earliest films were shown at fairgrounds and exhibitions, in the long tradition of novelty light and image entertainments such as the magic lantern shows and moving panorama attractions of the 19th century. This illustrated history traces the roots of cinema back to the camera obscura and examines a range of early photographic technologies that astonished audiences, including Reynaud's Optical Theatre and Edison's Kinetoscope, before the establishment of the modern movie industry in the early 20th century.
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.
A Brief Life
Hitchcock carefully controlled his public persona, emphasizing his lugubrious humour and often retelling selected anecdotes from his childhood to explain his mastery of the cinematic thriller. Delving behind these stories Ackroyd investigates what the director also owed to his formative experiences in British and German film-making and how the fears, fantasies and obsessions of his lonely upbringing in East London shaped his lifelong controlling personality and his films’ characteristic mixture of comedy and suspense. Off-mint with American-cut pages and felt-tip mark on lower trimmed edge.
Doctor Turner's Casebook
Based on the BBC Hit Drama Call The Midwife
Describing the practice of a GP in East London in the 1950s and 1960s, this companion to the popular BBC TV series Call the Midwife recalls many of its storylines to explore the healthcare issues encountered by an inner-city doctor. Illustrated with stills from the programme and period ephemera, the cases highlight the social problems of post-war Poplar and how scientific breakthroughs and the introduction of the National Health Service transformed treatments during the period.
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 Lost Notebook
Herman Schultheis and The Secrets of Walt Disney's Movie Magic
The Disney production employee Herman Schultheis kept a detailed diary of the special effects he worked on during classic productions such as Fantasia, Dumbo and Pinocchio. The notebook, reproduced and analysed in this volume, lay forgotten for decades and includes revealing technical information about how innovative visual effects were created, as well as the reference photographs used as templates for the animations, and behind-the-scenes shots of sets, artists, directors and voice actors.
The Cinematic Legacy of Frank Sinatra
Already famous as a singer, Frank Sinatra (1915–1998) entered the film industry as a comedic song-and-dance man, but soon demonstrated his versatility in roles ranging from romantic leads to tough guys in films such as Ocean's 11 (1960). This handsome book celebrates his career as an actor, pairing more than 200 photographs and posters with reflections from co-stars including Grace Kelly and Sammy Davis Jr. Off-mint and felt-tip mark on lower trimmed edge.
The Chronicle of Opera
Derided by Dr Johnson as 'an exotic and irrational entertainment', opera has captivated audiences for four centuries. This volume charts the historical development of the art form, with features on composers from Monteverdi to Britten, key works from The Magic Flute to Wozzeck, and legendary singers such as Maria Callas. The reference section includes a timeline, discography, biographies and a guide to further reading, and over 100 colour illustrations show the magnificence of many operatic productions.
International Rescue: Thunderbirds
50th Anniversary Edition: Agents' Technical Manual
All International Rescue's fantastical equipment is explored in this celebration of Gerry Anderson's puppet adventure series. With Haynes manual-style cutaway diagrams of the Thunderbirds themselves and the facilities of Tracey Island, there are also profiles of the characters and ancillary vehicles used, and a mission file of all the episodes in the series. Off-mint.
The Expanding Universe Wall Chart
From the original comic strips to the blockbuster movies, there are hundreds of superheroes, villains and ancillary characters in the Marvel universe. This concertina-folded volume contains information about their history and how their worlds interact, and expands into a twelve-foot wall chart.
This guide to the art of 3D animation includes hundreds of illustrations, step-by-step photographs, movie stills and production photographs from Aardman's award-winning films. Advising on the basics of the stop-motion technique and simple modelmaking, the book also explores set design, creating movement and CGI technology, and offers an insight into Aardman's process with a case study of the making of The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists!
After a post-war career slump, Frank Sinatra established himself as an all-time great from the mid 1950s with a string of hit records and notable films. This second volume of James Kaplan’s biography picks up the story the day after Sinatra received an Oscar for his role in From Here to Eternity and describes the entertainer’s prime and later years, discussing his classic recordings and Rat Pack friendships.
Michael Caine: 1960s
Michael Caine’s film characters, such as Alfie and Harry Palmer, as well as his distinctive looks, working-class background and glamorous lifestyle, made him the model of male cool in the 1960s. This celebration of his style presents a portfolio of photographs of the actor during the period, including portraits, film stills and candid pictures, on and off set. A brief introduction and captions set the scene and identify celebrity co-stars and companions, including Natalie Wood, Terence Stamp and Mia Farrow.