Mary Queen of Scots
This biography draws on a wide range of documentary sources to provide a detailed life of the Scottish queen from her coronation at just nine months old to her execution in 1587. It explains why she agreed to marry Bothwell, the murderer of her husband Lord Darnley, and how desperation at her imprisonment by Elizabeth I led to her fatal entrapment by Elizabeth’s spymaster Sir Francis Walsingham.
The Creativity Code
How AI is Learning to Write, Paint and Think
Beginning with a rough definition of creativity as the drive to come up with something that is new, surprising and has value, the mathematician Marcus de Sautoy asks: can computers be creative? Discussing the ‘bottom up’ approach to AI which, rather than focusing on the human programmer, allows ‘algorithms to roam the digital landscape and learn just as a child does’, he considers the possibility that machines could go beyond the creativity of their coders.
My Life with the Ravens at the Tower of London
Legend has it that without its ravens the Tower of London would crumble into dust and the kingdom would fall, so there are always at least six ravens living at the Tower. Another resident, Yeoman Warder Chris Skaife, is the Ravenmaster, responsible for the birds’ safety and welfare. Chris’s love for his charges is obvious from his light-hearted account of their work together and his character sketches of the seven ravens: Munin, Merlina, Erin, Rocky, Jubilee II, Gripp II and Harris.
Letters to the Lady Upstairs
Mme Marie Williams, the wife of an American dentist, lived in the apartment directly above Marcel Proust’s in 102 Boulevard Haussmann and, despite their proximity, Proust and Mme Williams wrote to one another. Proust’s were often about the noise, yet always exquisitely expressed and often accompanied by flowers; the 23 letters are presented here with a foreword by Jean-Yves Tadié. Translated, with an afterword, by Lydia Davis.
Epitaph for the Ash
In Search of Recovery and Renewal
Alarmed by the appearance in the UK of Ash Dieback, Lisa Samson travels the length of these islands to assess the seriousness of the threat to a much-loved tree, and the measures taken by environmentalists to ensure its survival. When she is diagnosed with a brain tumour and faces life-changing surgery, the fate of the ash becomes a mirror of her own.
Into the Raging Sea
Thirty-Three Mariners, One Megastorm and the Sinking of El Faro
In 2015, an American cargo ship went down with all hands near the eye of Hurricane Joaquin. Drawing on the conversations of the crew, captured by the ship's data recorder, this analysis of the tragedy recounts the crisis as it unfolded on board, investigates the captain's decision to steer directly into the storm and reviews the shortcomings of the merchant fleet and the increased threat represented by climate change. Off-mint.
The Accidental Memoir
This book is designed to guide you through the process of writing your life story. Work through it from start to finish or dip into it at any point. Its pages are filled with prompts, tips and exercises to get you writing, ranging from the creation of lists of your secrets and regrets to descriptions of food, music, pets and people special to you.