Musorgsky & His Circle
A Russian Musical Adventure
The 'Mighty Handful' of five Russian composers who came together in St Petersburg in the 1860s had little musical education, but they created some of the most popular music in the classical repertoire, including Borodin's Prince Igor and Rimsky-Korsakov's Sheherazade. Walsh's study analyses how this rare example of a creative musical collective worked and reveals the crucial role played by their mentor, the art historian Vladimir Stasov, in fostering a Russian nationalist music. Slightly off-mint and American-cut pages.
Letters to Véra
Vladimir Nabokov (1899–1977) first met Véra Slonim at an émigre ball in Berlin in 1923, they married in 1925 and stayed married until the novelist’s death in Lausanne, Switzerland in 1977. Ranging across topics from poetry to collecting the laundry, their correspondence, edited here by Olga Voronina and Nabokov’s biographer Brian Boyd, tells the story of a beguiling marriage of hearts and minds and sheds much light on Nabokov’s life and work as a writer. American cut pages and felt-tip mark on lower trimmed edge. Off-mint.
The World of Raymond Chandler
In His Own Words
Despite his fame as an author of superlative crime fiction, Raymond Chandler (1888–1959) never wrote an autobiography. This volume fills the gap, setting passages of the novels and short stories alongside excerpts from Chandler's letters to friends, publishers and fellow authors. They reveal his insights on writing, language and style; his views on women, Los Angeles and his private eye Philip Marlowe; and his experiences in Hollywood working with such directors as Hitchcock and Billy Wilder. American-cut pages.
An Empire on the Edge
How Britain Came to Fight America
From a British perspective, this book gives a fresh account of the Boston Tea Party and the origins of the American Revolution, showing how a lethal blend of politics, personalities and economics led to war. Focusing on the last three years of deepening anger on both sides before the outbreak of violent rebellion, Bunker sheds new light on the origins of the Tea Party, the roles of leading figures, and the failings of the government in London. Off-mint and American-cut pages.
Penelope Fitzgerald (1916–2000) was a great English writer whose career did not begin until she was nearly 60; she would go on to write biographies, short stories and nine novels, including The Blue Flower, a fictionalized life of the German poet Novalis, and Offshore, for which she won the Booker Prize in 1979. Here the much-acclaimed biographer of Edith Wharton and Virginia Woolf presents an intimate portrait of a woman writer 'not quite like anyone else'. American-cut pages.
Europe Goes to War
A tangled web of international alliances fuelled the politics of 1914 and, when war broke out, confidence in decisive military action soon faded as a stalemate became established on the Western Front. Here bestselling author Max Hastings examines the political and military manoeuvres of 1914, using the accounts of leaders and generals as well as ordinary people, to assess how Europe was drawn into war and review the first few months of action. American-cut pages and felt-tip mark on lower trimmed edge. Slightly off-mint.
A Journey Downriver Through Egypt's Past and Present
'From Egypt's earliest art (prehistoric images of fish-traps, carved into cliffs overlooking the river) to the Arab Spring (fought over on the bridges of Cairo), the Nile has been central to Egypt's story.' An expert in the ancient civilization dominated by the great river, Egyptologist Toby Wilkinson travels the length of the Nile, from Aswan, through Luxor, modern Qena and ancient Nagada, Abydos and the Fayum to Cairo, reflecting on both past and present and an uncertain future. American-cut pages.
Return of a King
The Battle for Afghanistan, 1839–42
Britain's first military engagement in Afghanistan was in 1839, in order to restore the pro-British Shah Shuja ul-Muluk to the throne. It ultimately led to one of the most humiliating defeats in British history: the Kabul Retreat of 1842. This analysis of the First Afghan War draws on a range of recently discovered sources including material in Russian, Urdu and Persian and contemporary Afghan accounts of the conflict, including the autobiography of Shah Shuja. Off-mint and American-cut pages.
The First Four Notes
Beethoven's Fifth and the Human Imagination
'Short enough to remember and portentous enough to be memorable', the opening of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony has been assigned all kinds of artistic, philosophical and political meanings during the two centuries since its composition. The First Four Notes is a survey of the Fifth's cultural influence in China, Russia and the United States, as well as its possible revolutionary origins and its use by both Allies and Nazis during the Second World War.
In Her Own Words
Her warm humour, sympathy, curiosity about human nature and eye for detail make the novels of Maeve Binchy (1940–2012) hugely appealing. These virtues are all shared by this selection of articles from The Irish Times, which chart her life from her early career as a waitress to the pains of old age. Whether meeting Samuel Beckett, reporting tragedies or recounting an amusing anecdote of small-town life, they are as compelling as her fiction. Felt-tip mark on lower trimmed edge and American-cut pages.
The Barbarous Years
The Conflict of Civilizations 1600–1675
A major part of Bailyn's multi-volume project, The Peopling of British North America, this study begins by describing the world of the native Americans in eastern North America before the arrival of significant numbers of Europeans, then goes on to describe, by regions, the influx of people from Britain, continental Europe and Africa. The book ends with a survey of the transformed world of British North America after 75 years of conquest. American-cut pages and felt-tip mark on lower trimmed edge. Off-mint.
An Historical Miscellany
In the British Library lurks a 94-volume collection of newspaper clippings compiled over a period of 60 years by Francis Cox (1752-1834) and covering a vast array of subjects (eg. 'Extraordinary Sagacity of Rats', 'An Account of a Maccaroni' [sic], 'Bathing Trusses', 'The National Debt'). Simon Murphy has selected the strangest and most amusing of these articles to create an intriguing historical miscellany.