The Forgotten Heroes of 1945
During the closing weeks of the Second World War, Allied High Command feared the Soviet Union’s domination of post-war Europe, and ordered the capture of superior Nazi military technology, and the scientists who developed it, before they fell into Soviet hands. This fast-paced story of Target-Force, an assembly of British regiments entrusted with the task, covers the brigade’s formation (inspired by Ian Fleming) and its missions, including the capture of the U-boat facility at Kiel.
The Sheep Stell
Memoirs of a Shepherd
Despite coming from a middle-class, academic family, Janet White dreamed of living and working somewhere wild and beautiful, ‘a place high and remote as a sheep stell, quiet as a monastery, challenging and virginal’. Here, she describes how she followed her ambition to be a farmer, from her first job as a dairymaid to owning her own sheep farm on a remote island in New Zealand. Originally published in 1991, and reissued with a new introduction by Colin Thubron.
Jedburgh Justice and Kentish Fire
This investigation into the origin of phrases and sayings organizes them into 50 themed lists, each containing ten examples. There are ways of saying ‘dead’ – including ‘bought the farm’ and ‘pushing up daisies’ – and terms that use numbers, such as ‘forty winks’ and ‘dressed to the nines’. The expressions in the title derive from Jedburgh’s reputation for summary executions and the disruptive jeering of public speakers by the people of Kent.
The Men Who Made the SAS
The History of the Long Range Desert Group
The Long Range Desert Group was the first British special forces unit of the Second World War, carrying out deep penetration missions in the North African deserts and beyond. Centred around the unit’s founder, Ralph Bagnold, who in the 1930s explored miles of desert in a Model T Ford, this history of the unit and its operations also recounts some of its most daring missions.
Unseen Panoramas of the Third Battle of Ypres
Specialist photographers risked life and limb during the First World War to take images of the front that could be pieced together into broad panoramas delineating the battlefield terrain. This history of the fighting at Ypres in 1917 reproduces 50 examples of these vital reconnaissance images, both British and German, and also uses hundreds of maps, plans, diagrams and the first-hand accounts of combatants to tell the story in detail.
Not The Whole Story
‘Suddenly, I am old…’ In this long-awaited memoir, the bestselling author of Land Girls and many other novels, short stories and plays looks back over her remarkable life. With characteristic compassion and nuanced observation, she recounts her eccentric childhood, the unconventional marriage of her film-star father and polyglot, party-loving mother, her time as a reluctant debutante, her first forays into journalism, and her successful career in advertising, film and television.
Death Comes to Lynchester Close
Lord Francis Powerscourt is approached by the Bishop of Lynchester, who has suspicions about the death of a Cathedral Close resident. When a prospective new tenant is poisoned, Powerscourt’s investigation uncovers a trail of corruption leading to the cathedral itself.
A Different Kind Of Weather
William Waldegrave was a key figure in Margaret Thatcher’s government. His elegantly written memoir recalls the quintessentially English upbringing that would shape his life and career. With unusual frankness and dark humour, Waldegrave charts the rise and fall of Mrs Thatcher, offering a rare glimpse of the narcotic effect of politics, and a unique insight into one of the most tumultuous eras of modern British history.
Biography of a Town
Nicholas Blincoe draws on his own long experience of living in Bethlehem as he lovingly describes the past and present of this city located between hills and desert and suffused with history and myth. Taking the reader through its stone streets, monasteries, aqueducts and orchards, he tells how it developed from the little town of Biblical times to the overcrowded city of today, whose inhabitants are caught up in the intractable complexities and contradictions of conflict and occupation.
All in a Day's Cricket
An Anthology of Outstanding Cricket Writing
From first-hand accounts of a time before the third stump was adopted to a disputed toss at the 2011 World Cup, this collection includes contributions by famous players, from Grace to Botham, and the greatest writers on the game, including Neville Cardus and CLR James.
Slap and Tickle
The Unusual History of Sex and the People Who Have It
This irreverent guide takes a peek at a perennially fascinating subject. A romp through the biological mechanics and history of human intercourse is spiced up with intimate true stories, public scandals, censorship, sex toys, fetishes, and a concise glossary of filthy language. Eclectic, entertaining and original, it reveals everything you always wanted to know about sex – and quite a few things you probably didn’t. Sexually explicit.
The British Oak
Visiting trees with names like ‘The Monarch’ and ‘Old Knobbley’, Archie Miles’s richly illustrated book combines profiles of 50 famous old oaks with an overview of the oak tree in British culture, society and economy. There are chapters on the history of the oak, its place in myth and folklore, art and literature, and its vital role in building and ship-building, but also in many smaller industries, from tanning and pannage (pigs foraging for acorns) to charcoal burning and fish smoking.
The Visitors' Book
In Francis Bacon's Shadow: The Lives of Richard Chopping and Denis Wirth-Miller
When the artists Richard Chopping and Denis Wirth-Miller died, their friend Jon Lys Turner inherited a vast archive of letters and diaries. These writings reveal a remarkable tale of talent and transgression, of a group of largely gay young men who pushed boundaries in their art and their relationships against a backdrop of wild nights in Fitzrovia; of artistic fame and week-long parties at their cottage in Wivenhoe, Essex; and, towering over it all, the brilliant, disturbing figure of Francis Bacon.
The Day the Music Died
A Life Lived Behind the Lens
In this memoir the filmmaker behind such groundbreaking productions as Cathy Come Home, Kes and This Life looks back at a career full of battles with movie executives and the BBC over films that were thought too controversial. He also describes how his passionate work was influenced by his lifelong struggle to come to terms with the deaths of his parents when he was just five years old.
Mr Key's Shorter Potted Brief, Brief Lives
Limiting himself to one fact per personage, Frank Key presents an abbreviated, yet thoroughly engrossing biographical dictionary. Between Lascelles Abercrombie (an English poet challenged to a duel by Ezra Pound) and the Rumanian spirit medium Eleonore Zugun, we learn that Michael Tippett called his fridge ‘Bernard Levin’, that Alfred Hitchcock was terrified of eggs, and Robert Southey, otherwise a poet, once invited William and Mary Wordsworth to dinner and served roast owl.
Extraordinary Pets From Ordinary Homes
Cats with lovable foibles, nervous rescue dogs who find their confidence, and even a mischievous pet bear – such is the stuff of this collection of stories compiled from the 'Pets' Corner' column of the Sunday Telegraph. These heart-warming and often hilarious tributes from the newspaper's readers extol the everyday pleasures of owning a pet. Foreword by Ben Fogle.
Going beyond the familiar stories of children in wartime, usually dominated by evacuation, Longden deals with children as active participants in the Second World War. He tells the stories of child soldiers who lied about their age to enlist, but also of the Royal Navy's 14-year-old boy buglers serving on battleships, teenagers in the Merchant Navy, Boy Scouts and Girl Guides helping victims of the bombing, and the children who stayed in the cities during the Blitz.
Martin Amis's life is itself the stuff of fiction. Son of one of the most popular novelists of the post-war era, he forged a groundbreaking style of writing that owes little to his father, or to anyone else. This absorbing biography offers the real Martin Amis – elegant, tortured, kind, aloof, loved by women and devoted family man. It evaluates the unique achievement and wide-ranging influence of his menacing novels, and discloses the autobiographical thread that runs through his work.
Lady of the Loch
Once widely distributed, Ospreys had more or less died out in Britain by the early 20th century but were spotted again in the 1950s and have since re-established themselves, mainly in Scotland. This book tells the story of the fish-eating raptor's resurgence through its most famous representative Lady, who migrated from Africa to the same Scottish nest, and bred successfully, for more than 20 consecutive seasons.