The Remarkable Life of Joan Leigh Fermor
The daughter of wealthy, well-connected parents, Joan Eyres Monsell defied convention by earning a living as a photographer, travelling to Russia and America, and conducting a series of affairs. In wartime Cairo she met Patrick Leigh Fermor; their love would last until her death in 2003. Drawing on Joan’s personal archive, this first-ever biography brings her out from the shadow of her famous husband, and sheds light on the mores of the wartime generation, determined to live life at full tilt.
The Last of the Tsars
Nicholas II and the Russian Revolution
The distinguished historian of revolutionary Russia, Robert Service brings a profound understanding of the period and a forensic examination of official and personal records to this study of Nicholas II’s life and thought in the 16 months after the February 1917 Revolution and his abdication. The book examines the political environments of the Tsar’s places of detention, Irkutsk, Tobolsk and Ekaterinberg; his thinking on Russia and his own role; and the circumstances of the Romanov family’s execution in July 1918.
The Women Who Flew for Hitler
The True Story of Hitler's Valkyries
Pioneering aviators Hanna Reitsch and Melitta von Stauffenberg shared the distinction of being the only women test pilots in the Luftwaffe, but their backgrounds and personalities were sharply contrasted. This double biography gives an account of their parallel rise to prominence, their remarkable aviation careers and their differing attitudes, mirroring the divisions in Nazi Germany: Hanna, the glamorous darling of the new Reich; and the aristocratic Melitta, implicated in the plot to assassinate Hitler.
The Diamond Queen
Elizabeth II and Her People
In telling the life story of Elizabeth II, Andrew Marr is concerned with the influences on her and 'why she does what she does'. The result is a study of the monarchy that chronicles the Queen's pivotal role at the centre of state, which is largely hidden from the public gaze, and makes a strong case for the institution itself. Marr presents a vivid account not only of Elizabeth II, but also of the country she has reigned over for six decades.
Spain in Our Hearts
Americans in the Spanish Civil War, 1936–1939
Many Americans fought in the Spanish Civil War – on both sides. This book tells the stories not only of famous names like Hemingway, but also of a 19-year-old Kentucky woman, a Pennsylvania student, and the Texas oilman who fuelled Franco’s army.
No Cunning Plan
After stints in regional theatre in Leeds, Birmingham and Bristol, Tony Robinson played small parts on television during the 1970s, including presenting Play Away, and began to make his name as a comedian in the early 1980s with the sketch show Who Dares Wins. The Blackadder star reads his engaging autobiography in this 12-CD set.
The Children of Charles I and the English Civil Wars
Charles I was a loving father, but what became of his children after his execution in 1649? This engaging, sympathetic and meticulously researched history charts the fortunes of the Stuart princes and princesses in exile and after: Elizabeth, imprisoned during the Civil War; the dashing Henry, who died within months of his brother Charles's restoration to the throne; James, Charles's ill-fated successor; Mary, child bride of the Prince of Orange; and Henrietta Anne, the youngest, who married Philippe d'Orléans.
The History of England, Volume IV
The fourth volume of Peter Ackroyd’s epic History of England begins in 1688 with a revolution and ends in 1815 with a victory. Against a vivid backdrop of coffee houses and playhouses, it charts the creation of those pillars of modern Britain, the Bank of England and the Stock Exchange, the rise of newspapers, the birth of the novel, and the technological developments that transformed England from a land of green fields to one of iron and coal.
Ian Whybrow Children's Set
Each picture book in this set takes a different theme – jungle animals, sleepy animals, baby animals – and features a simple rhyming storyline. Sound effects and animal noises at various points in the texts allow very young readers to participate in the narration. With large, bright, colourful illustrations throughout, each book culminates in a farewell spread, picturing all the animals in the story and the sounds they make. Age 2+
Puff, the Magic Dragon
In the magical land of Honalee lives Puff, a gentle dragon who becomes the devoted playmate of young Jackie. Together they sail the seas and meet princes and pirates. This storybook version of the popular song was written by Peter (of Peter, Paul and Mary), with Lenny Lipton, and paintings by Eric Puybaret. Age 3+
Mightier than the Sword
This fifth book in the Clifton Chronicles series opens with an IRA bomb exploding during MV Buckingham’s maiden voyage – with repercussions for Emma Clifton, chairman of Barrington Shipping. Meanwhile, Harry Clifton is campaigning to free a Russian dissident author. Jeffrey Archer’s cliffhanger is read here by Alex Jennings. Unabridged.
The Universe in Your Hand
A Journey Through Space, Time and Beyond
As he sets off to conduct a journey through the universe, the astrophysicist Christophe Galfard aims to ‘not leave any readers behind’ and promises to use only one equation (E=mc²). In a widely acclaimed, non-scientists’ introduction to modern physics and cosmology, Galfard uses humour, storytelling and thought experiments to make concepts such as electromagnetism, quantum mechanics, general relativity and black holes intelligible to all of us.
Love Letters of the Great War
Gleaned from collections of wartime ‘private papers’ deposited in archives around the country, this book offers a poignant view of the war from the perspective of husbands and lovers fighting far from home and the wives and girlfriends left behind. Although written to and from British, French, ANZAC and German soldiers, the letters are an eloquent testimony to shared and deeply felt emotions. Mandy Kirkby provides brief introductions to each correspondent. Foreword by Helen Dunmore.
Love Letters of Great Women
The letters in this collection were written during centuries when ‘the bar to success for women was set almost impossibly high’, and the greatness of these letter-writers resides in their resilience in the face of seemingly insuperable odds. Ranging chronologically from Lady Joan Pelham writing to her husband in 1399 to Katherine Mansfield’s letters to John Middleton Murry between 1915 and 1918, the 27 women featured include Nell Gwyn, Mary Wollstonecraft, George Sand and Rosa Luxemburg.
The Disappearing Dictionary
A Treasury of Lost English Dialect Words
Professor Crystal’s celebration of English dialects also celebrates the seminal achievement of Joseph Wright and The English Dialect Dictionary (6 volumes, 1898–1903). Crystal has taken 900 of Wright’s words and expressions whose meanings remain relevant today: from abbey-lubber (an idle person) to zwodder (a drowsy, stupid state of mind), he describes their meanings, etymology and usage and, hopefully, gives them a new lease of life. A geographical index follows the A–Z.
First published in 1847, the incomparable story of Cathy, Heathcliff and their passionate but doomed love, played out on the windswept Yorkshire moors, has lost none of its romance and power. This reprint of the 1850 edition is prefaced by Charlotte Brontë’s ‘Biographical Note of Ellis and Acton Bell’.
The Wind in the Willows (Illustrated in Colour)
Kenneth Grahame's tale of Mole, Ratty, Badger and Toad was first published in 1908 and has been a children's favourite ever since. This Collector’s Library edition includes the original illustrations by Arthur Rackham, hand coloured by Barbara Frith, and the introduction by AA Milne. This pocket-sized, hardback edition is bound in dark green linen, with gilt-edged pages, a silk marker and dust jacket.
Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea
An Underwater Tour of the World
Jules Verne's tale of the underwater voyage of Captain Nemo in his ship Nautilus is one of the earliest and most influential science fiction novels, first published in French in 1869. This edition reprints the 1870 translation by FP Walter. Collector’s Library.
The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde
And Other Stories
In Stevenson’s famous tale, Dr Henry Jekyll develops an elixir that allows him to explore the hidden depths of his psyche and transfer evil traits to another personality. The result – the repulsive Edward Hyde – proves to be unstoppable. The novel is accompanied by four short and sinister stories: The Body-Snatchers, Markheim, Olalla and The Suicide Club.
Sherlock Holmes Everlasting Diary
With apposite quotations from the Holmes stories or information about Arthur Conan Doyle on every page, along with Sidney Paget’s original illustrations from The Strand magazine, this perpetual diary would be excellent for recording birthdays and anniversaries – Ma and Pa’s wedding forever remembered on the day of Ryder’s desperate plea in 'The Blue Carbuncle'. The diary is bound in red linen with gilt-edged pages and a silk marker.
The Life and Adventures of
Based on the ordeal of castaway Alexander Selkirk, Defoe's novel – presented as a true story – is told by Crusoe himself as he survives a shipwreck and 28 years on a desert island before being rescued. First published in 1719, Robinson Crusoe has a claim to be the first English novel and it remains one of the most convincing adventure stories ever written.
The Prince and the Art of War
During Machiavelli’s lifetime, his fame rested on The Art of War rather than The Prince; although written with the situation in Florence in mind, his practical military treatise was influential throughout Europe. It promotes the concept of war as an extension of politics, and the necessity of a state army, trained, disciplined and deployed on the classical Roman model. The Art of War accompanies The Prince in this Collector’s Library edition.
Poetry of the First World War
Edited and with a substantial introduction by Marcus Clapham, this anthology is arranged alphabetically by poet and includes both obscure soldier-poets and the great writers of the war years such as Edward Thomas, Siegfried Sassoon, Isaac Rosenberg and Wilfred Owen. A final section provides brief biographical notes on the poets.
The Mayor of Casterbridge
The Story of a Man of Character
While drunk at a fair, hay-trusser Michael Henchard sold his wife and child to a sailor for five guineas. The next morning he vowed to mend his ways; and eventually, by hard work and good judgement, he became mayor of Casterbridge. Then, 18 years after being sold, his wife returns and Henchard finds he cannot escape his past. Collector’s Library.
Memoirs of the Adventures of David Balfour in the Year 1751
Set in the wild West Highlands soon after the Jacobite Risings, this famous adventure follows orphaned David Balfour as he is kidnapped, shipwrecked and on the run from the Redcoats. Kidnapped is presented here in a pocket-sized, hardback edition is from the Collectors Library, a series that presents classic works of literature, complete and unabridged, with either a short introduction or an afterword by a literary scholar. Bound in maroon linen, with gilt-edged pages, a silk marker and dust jacket.
Journey to the Centre of the Earth
After translating an ancient manuscript that tells of a passageway to the very centre of the earth, Professor Liedenbrock and his nephew set off through the crater of a volcano and find themselves in a prehistoric land of fearsome beasts. This trail-blazing work of science fiction was first published in 1864. Collector’s Library.
The Happy Prince and Other Stories
Comprising three collections – The Happy Prince and Other Tales, Lord Arthur Savile’s Crime and Other Stories, and A House of Pomegranates – this volume presents 13 of Wilde’s entertaining, but often dark and intellectually challenging short fictions, fables and fairy stories for adults.
Sebastian Faulks’s emotionally charged story of love, death, sex and survival follows a young Englishman from his arrival in Amiens in 1910, where he stays with the Azaire family and falls in love with a married woman, Isabelle, to the trenches of the Western Front. First published in 1993.
Everyone seems to know a line or two from The Importance of Being Earnest: Wilde’s perennial favourite is joined here by Lady Windermere’s Fan, A Woman of No Importance, An Ideal Husband and, with its original illustrations by Aubrey Beardsley, Salomé, the inspiration for Strauss’s sensational opera.