The Wood for the Trees
One Man's Long View of Nature
In 2011, the scientist Richard Fortey bought four acres of beech woodland in the Oxfordshire Chilterns. His month-by-month account of a year in the woods begins with the appearance of bluebells in April and ends as nature springs back to life in March. In between, he recounts tree-felling in January, moth-hunting in June, explains the complex network of plant and animal life that sustains the wood, and offers recipes for wild mushrooms and other delicacies foraged from the undergrowth. American-cut pages.
Though best known as a novelist, John Updike was also an accomplished poet. The 129 observations on life, love, art and science collected here are arranged chronologically to form a verse diary spanning his entire career and include such favourites as ‘Seagulls’ and 'Dog’s Death’. Felt-tip mark on lower trimmed edge.
Living with the Gods
On Beliefs and Peoples
In this book accompanying his BBC radio series, the former director of the British Museum explores the role of shared beliefs in the life of human communities around the globe. Rather than focusing on religious doctrine, he concentrates on practices, objects and places, tracing how societies from the Ice Age onwards have used stories and rituals to mark their identity and strengthen cohesion: ‘for in deciding how we live with our gods we also decide how to live with each other’.
The House of the Dead
Siberian Exile Under the Tsars
Between the coronation of Alexander I in 1801 and Nicholas II’s abdication in 1917, tsarist Russia banished over a million people to the misery of Siberian exile. Political prisoners and common criminals were sent to mine Siberia’s natural resources and settle remote regions while improving themselves through self-reliance and hardship; but penal colonization bred, rather than eliminated, revolutionary politics. Drawing on archives across Russia, Beer’s study recovers the experiences of exiles and describes Russia’s struggle to govern its ‘prison empire’. American-cut pages and felt-tip mark on lower trimmed edge.
The Vietnam War
An Intimate History
This photographic history of the Vietnam War, which contains over 500 images, is based on the PBS documentary series The Vietnam War: A Film by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick and captures the pain, bewilderment and political frustrations of soldiers, civilians and officials on both sides of the conflict. The narrative refers to both the military and political battlefields, revealing the intimate stories and often tragic circumstances of those portrayed. Slightly off-mint. and felt-tip mark on lower trimmed edge.
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.
Adolf Hitler is probably the most reviled person in history, and the myth has all but obscured the man. Drawing on hitherto unseen documents and fresh research, this biography recounts his journey from childhood, through his early failures in Vienna and service in the First World War, to ultimate power. With acute psychological insight, Ullrich analyses Hitler’s insecurities, his beliefs, and the political instinct that enabled him to captivate a German public humiliated by wartime defeat and economic depression. American-cut pages.
East West Street
On the Origins of 'Genocide' and 'Crimes Against Humanity'
The concepts of ‘genocide’ and ‘crimes against humanity’ were originated by Rafael Lemkin and Hersch Lauterpacht, legal experts involved in the Nuremberg Tribunal. International lawyer Philippe Sands tells the stories of these very private men, showing how they developed their world-changing ideas in response to unprecedented atrocities. He also describes the trial which brought them together with defendant Hans Frank, who oversaw the ghetto in Lemberg, the Polish city where both lawyers studied and where Sands’ grandfather was born. Off-mint with felt-tip mark on the lower trimmed edge and American-cut pages.
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.
Everything Explained That Is Explainable
On the Creation of the Encyclopædia Britannica's Celebrated Eleventh Edition, 1910–1911
With 29 volumes containing 40,000 entries, the vast eleventh edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica was a high point of Edwardian optimism and is considered to mark the last stand of the Enlightenment. Boyles draws on letters and newspaper articles to trace the history of its production and to reveal the contribution of two American entrepreneurs in the spectacular revival of an ailing British publication. Felt-tip mark on lower trimmed edge 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.
Black Hole Blues
And Other Songs from Outer Space
When black holes collide, vast amounts of energy are emitted in the form of gravitational waves. Einstein predicted the existence of such waves in 1916, but not until a century later was it possible to create instruments of sufficient sensitivity to detect them from Earth. Reporting her own conversations with her fellow-astrophysicists, Levin’s lyrical, humorous account of this decades-long quest captures their ambitions and obsessions, struggles and disappointments as they endeavour to measure subtle shifts in the shape of spacetime. American-cut pages and felt-tip mark on lower trimmed edge.
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.
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.
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.