Memories and the City
Against a backdrop of shattered monuments, neglected villas and ghostly backstreets, a daydreaming boy seeks refuge from family discord in the imagination. In this highly original memoir, the Nobel Prize-winning novelist Orhan Pamuk interweaves his own life, and the lives of his glamorous, unhappy parents, with that of his home city. The result is a blend of family reminiscence, history, philosophy, literature, art criticism and urban myth. This edition contains a new introduction and more than 200 additional photographs.
Now All Roads Lead to France
The Last Years of Edward Thomas
A close friend of Robert Frost, the troubled English writer Edward Thomas (b.1878) became a poet in 1914 thanks to his encouragement, and after the outbreak of the First World War almost emigrated to New England to join him. Instead, partly inspired by Frost's 'The Road Not Taken', Thomas enlisted and died in 1917 at the Battle of Arras. This award-winning biography explores the final five years of his life, which he lost so soon after finding his vocation.
Tony Blair: The Tragedy of Power
Tony Blair became prime minister in 1997 with a landside majority and an approval rating of 93 per cent. When he resigned in 2007, his popularity had slumped and his party was in disarray. With access to Whitehall officials, politicians and military officers, this investigative history offers a day-to-day account of his decade in office and his subsequent career, charting the steps – the spin, the Iraq war, the Chilcot enquiry – by which his reputation was eroded.
A Literary Life of Jan Morris
Soldier, journalist and author Jan Morris is one of the finest travel writers of the post-war era. This sympathetic biography by her long-term literary agent encapsulates the extraordinary career of a writer who, as James Morris, brought back news of the conquest of Everest in 1953 before undergoing the gender reassignment described in her candid memoir Conundrum. The text is illustrated with charming drawings from the visitor books kept at her Welsh home.
A Guide for the Perplexed
In this collection of lengthy conversations with the outré filmmaker Werner Herzog, Paul Cronin explores the director’s oeuvre chronologically, from A Lost Western (1957) to One Second to the Next (2016), while allowing generous space for Herzog’s instructional outpourings about art and life.
Composing an American Life
One of America’s foremost composers reflects on his life and times, from the marching bands of his 1950s childhood to his acclaimed 2005 opera Doctor Atomic. He also explains the interplay of tradition and innovation in his own compositional process and the work of fellow-musicians.
The Finest Music
An Anthology of Early Irish Lyrics
Dating back to the 7th century, Irish verse ranges from the brief ‘Advice to Lovers’ to the epic Finn Cycle. This collection of accessible modern translations includes versions by Seamus Heaney, WH Auden, Kathleen Jamie, Paul Muldoon and Maurice Riordan, who also provides a historical introduction.
Farewell the Trumpets
An Imperial Retreat
Volume three of Morris’s Pax Britannica trilogy, but complete within itself, Farewell the Trumpets charts the decline and dissolution of the British Empire. Beginning with Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee in 1897 and detecting the first signs of decay in the Boer Wars, the book follows the diminishing empire through world wars, the loss of India and the death of Winston Churchill in 1955 to ‘a somewhat tattered conclusion’ in the 1960s. Slightly off-mint.
Defending the Rock
How Gibraltar Defeated Hitler
Gibraltar has been an indispensable naval fortress since 1704, yet in July 1940 it was threatened on four sides: by Vichy France, Nazi Germany, and fascist Italy and Spain. This history of the Rock’s strategic importance during the War also explores the pre-war imperial incursions in the Mediterranean region, which would threaten Gibraltar as a wartime escape route and key link in the ‘steel chain of sea power’.
Or Bones That Shine Like Fire
Who were the Apostles and what was their relationship to Jesus? Was James the Less really his brother? This synthesis of travelogue and biblical history ranges from Rome and Jerusalem, Turkey and Russia to India and Kyrgyzstan to seek answers to these ancient enigmas. Exploring the way the identities of the Apostles have evolved over two millennia, Tom Bissell charts the growth of Christianity from an obscure sect to the global faith we know today.
The West End Front
The Wartime Secrets of London's Grand Hotels
Partly thanks to their potentially bomb-resistant solidity, The Ritz, the Savoy, Claridges and the Dorchester became central to the cultural and political life of the country during the Second World War. This colourful history explores a remarkable period when cabinet ministers, military officials, exiled foreign dignitaries, journalists, spies, artists and chancers all used the hotels as meeting places, makeshift offices, temporary embassies and social centres.
This collection of 43 short tales by the current poet laureate encompasses faithful retellings of stories from around the world, including ‘Snow White’ and ‘The Pied Piper’, as well as new fairy tales created by Duffy herself. Beautifully presented, with decorative black-line illustrations, these sometimes gory stories involve witches, monsters and plenty of brave heroines. Age 9+