Van Gogh's Ear
The True Story
The best-known incident in Van Gogh’s life is also the least understood. Interweaving the story of her own detective work with that of the artist’s final crisis, Bernadette Murphy reconstructs Van Gogh’s Arles, with its cafés and brothels. She explores his relationships with his brother Theo and fellow painter Gauguin, and identifies many locals he knew, including policemen, prostitutes, shepherds, artists, and the mysterious Rachel, recipient of his severed ear.
The Life of Vittoria Colonna
The scion of an immensely powerful family, Vittoria Colonna (1492–1547) was a celebrated beauty, and the first woman in Italy to publish a volume of poetry – devotional sonnets written, as she put it, ‘with Christ’s nails’. Drawing on extensive archival research, this biography charts her early marriage and long widowhood, her friendships with Michelangelo, the Emperor Charles V, and two popes, her passionate religious beliefs and her key role in the Italian Renaissance.
The Jazz Age Life of Henrietta Bingham
Emily Bingham uncovers the family legend of her great-aunt Henrietta, using correspondence, contemporary documents and family photos. Born into a wealthy Kentucky family, she counted tennis champion Helen Jacobs and the actor John Houseman amongst her suitors and lovers, and in 1920s London she was muse to the Bloomsbury group and an early subject of Freudian analysis, but as the public mood hardened against homosexuality she was driven into addiction and breakdown.
An Uncommon Reader
A Life of Edward Garnett, Mentor and Editor of Literary Genius
‘Edward Garnett,’ wrote EM Forster, ‘occupies a unique position in the literary history of our age.’ Confidant and critic of DH Lawrence, Joseph Conrad and John Galsworthy, Garnett was both feared and admired. This biography explores his often stormy relations with the writers he championed; his wife Constance, the translator who introduced Tolstoy to English readers; and his son David, writer and key member of the Bloomsbury Group.
A Life of Thomas De Quincey
Thomas De Quincey (1785–1859) has been called the Last of the Romantics. Obsessed with Wordsworth and Coleridge, he ran away from school to pursue the poets, and moved into Dove Cottage when he was 24. This acclaimed biography follows the journalist’s wanderings through Soho, Ireland and the Lake District, exploring his fascination with the notorious Ratcliffe Highway murders of 1811, and the opium addiction that gave rise to his most famous work.
Faith, Power, and the Twilight of the Romanovs
How did a peasant mystic exert a fatal hold over the tsar and tsarina of Russia? Day by day, week by week, this biography charts Rasputin’s progress from the Siberian village of Pokrovskoe, where he first began to attract followers, to the court in St Petersburg. New material from previously untapped archives paints a picture of his charisma, egotism and depravity, and the credulity of the imperial couple, against the epic backdrop of war and revolution.
Kathleen and Frank
The Autobiography of a Family
Using his mother’s diary and letters, the novelist Christopher Isherwood relates the story of his parents’ marriage: how Kathleen, the lively daughter of a successful wine merchant, fell in love with Frank, the shy, artistic son of a country squire. This family history evokes an Edwardian world of amateur music-making, rising hemlines and social change – a world brought to an end by the Great War during which Frank Isherwood was killed.
From St Louis to The Waste Land
'TS Eliot was never young': so begins Robert Crawford's superb biography of the young poet. Quoting extensively from poetry and prose, interviews and previously undisclosed memoirs, Crawford presents a full and detailed portrait of 'Tom' in his youth and early career, from his childhood in St Louis, Missouri, where he was born in 1888, to the publication of The Waste Land in New York and London in 1922.
Where's the Truth
Letters and Journals, 1948–1957
In 1939 Wilhelm Reich (1897–1957), a disciple of Freud, fled from Nazi Germany to America, where he continued to pursue research into the climate, the effects of radiation and new therapeutic techniques. Presenting material from his diaries, letters and laboratory notebooks, this fourth volume of autobiographical writings covers the final decade of his life, when he was harassed and eventually jailed by the US authorities, who burned his research and banned the use of his experimental orgone energy accumulator.
The Weather Experiment
The Pioneers Who Sought to See the Future
Modern weather forecasts owe their existence to the eclectic group of 19th-century mavericks who created meteorological science; they included such figures as Sir Francis Beaufort, who quantified winds, the pharmacist Luke Howard, who classified clouds, and Admiral Robert FitzRoy, who issued Britain’s first storm warning in 1861. This book describes how they developed their radical theories, devised new instruments and attempted to convince governments of the moral duty to give the public advance warning of storms.
How Bubble-Blowing Black Holes Rule Galaxies, Stars, and Life in the Cosmos
Black holes – destructive, time-warping chasms in space-time – have fascinated scientists and the general public for decades. But research has recently revealed that they are also the most efficient energy generators in the cosmos, ejecting huge beams and clouds of matter. Gravity’s Engines introduces the theoretical background to the study of these phenomena, describes the development of techniques to observe them and explains how the latest discoveries can help us understand our galaxy. Felt-tip mark on upper edge.
The Inside Story of the Military Elite Who Run the Country – and Why They Can't Make Peace
Since its foundation in 1948 Israel has been torn between its ambition to be ‘a light unto nations’ and its desire to expand its borders. Drawing on declassified documents, personal archives and interviews, this epic history demonstrates how military service binds Israelis to lifelong loyalty and secrecy, making democracy a hostage to the armed forces. A compelling study of character, rivalry, conflict and the competing impulses for war and peace in the Middle East. Slightly off-mint and felt-tip mark on upper trimmed edge.
Lindbergh, His Competitors, and the Race to Cross the Atlantic
Between 14 April and 21 May 1927, 16 aviators raced to be the first to cross the Atlantic non-stop and collect the $25,000 prize put up by the French-American hotelier Raymond Orteig. The 'Orteig Prize' finally went to Charles Lindbergh and his victory has overshadowed the achievements and the tragedies – six died – of his fellow competitors. Joe Jackson's compelling account of the 'Great Atlantic Derby' of 1927 covers all who took part in that truly perilous race.
The Queen's Bed
An Intimate History of Elizabeth's Court
Drawing on the first-hand accounts of those who knew Elizabeth I most intimately – the ladies-in-waiting who shared her heavily curtained bedchamber, and sometimes even her bed – this engrossing book reconstructs the queen's apartments and navigates a web of gossip, intrigue, conspiracy and scandal to reveal the private face of Gloriana. Slightly off-mint.
Counting One's Blessings
The Selected Letters of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother
Drawing on the Royal Archives and the archives at Glamis Castle, the Queen Mother's official biographer presents a selection of letters written by Elizabeth to her family, friends and a circle of acquaintance that included Winston Churchill, Benjamin Britten and Ted Hughes. Covering all phases of her life – as Elizabeth Bowes- Lyon, Duchess of York, Queen Consort and Queen Mother – the letters illuminate a personality described by her grandson, Prince Charles, as 'wise, loving, with an utterly irresistible mischievousness of spirit'. Off-mint.