Anatomy of a Song
The Oral History of 45 Iconic Hits That Changed Rock, R&B and Pop
This compendium of the popular Wall Street Journal column tells the stories of 45 hits by artists including Elvis, Led Zeppelin, Joni Mitchell and The Clash, based on interviews with the songs’ writers and performers. Off-mint.
The Garments of Court and Palace
Machiavelli and the World That He Made
Over the centuries, the ideal ruler as described by Machiavelli in The Prince has mostly been seen as a ruthless tyrant, but Philip Bobbitt argues that this is a misunderstanding arising from mistranslations, political agendas and interpreters overlooking Machiavelli’s earlier work. In his commentary on The Prince, Bobbitt presents Machiavelli as ‘the clear-sighted prophet of a new constitutional order with its basis in the union of strategy and law’.
Shakespeare's Lost Kingdom
The True History of Shakespeare and Elizabeth
Hamlet, King Lear and the sonnets are among the most enduring and resonant works of English literature, yet their creator remains strangely unknowable. If this engaging, learned and controversial book is to be believed, that is no accident but the result of a systematic effort to conceal the author's identity. With forensic precision, it unearths a series of clues that point to a figure close to Queen Elizabeth herself, and reveals the tragic love story behind this grandest of literary deceptions. Slightly off-mint.
The Great Silence
Britain from the Shadow of the First World War to the Dawn of the Jazz Age
From the moment the guns fell silent on 11 November 1918 to the burial of the Unknown Soldier two years later, Britain struggled to come to terms with its bitter victory. Millions were bereaved, thousands physically or psychologically maimed, and soldiers returned to face unemployment and social unrest. Through the day-to-day experience of figures ranging from the King and Queen to ex-servicemen, this sensitive account evokes the uneasy silence that reigned between the Great War and the Roaring Twenties.
Black Hawk Down
A Story of Modern War
When 100 elite US soldiers were sent to capture a Somali military leader, their mission was supposed to take no more than an hour. Instead they were pinned down in the heart of Mogadishu, battling an enemy that numbered in their thousands. Mark Bowden’s acclaimed account captures the brutal reality of a contemporary combat engagement, and vividly describes the events that led to a downed Black Hawk helicopter and a devastating loss of life.
Echo's Bones was originally intended as an end-piece for More Pricks Than Kicks (1934); but although the publisher had requested the extra story, it was declared 'a nightmare' and remained unpublished. The story of Belacqua's resurrection in all its brilliant improbability is here edited, introduced and annotated by Mark Nixon.