A Lonely Life
Growing up in a humble shack in America’s poorest state, Elvis Presley dreamed that success would free him from poverty. So how did he become dependent on bank loans even after achieving huge worldwide fame, and why did he despise his own movies and songs, even fearing that he would be forgotten after his death? This biography focuses on identifying the origins of the contradictions and frailties that lay behind Elvis’s charming, confident onstage persona. Slightly off-mint.
Deciphering a Memory
Although Jesus’ conversation with Pilate was a moment of enormous political and theological significance, the Roman governor of Judaea is a shadowy figure in the Gospel accounts. Schiavone takes the reader on a ‘journey within early Christian memory’ to investigate what can be learned from those narratives and their intersection with Judaeo-Roman historiography: who was Pilate, what was he thinking during his questioning of Jesus and how did he become a figure of such controversy and ambiguity? American-cut pages.
Reflections on the Intensity of Language
Both a critic and an acclaimed practitioner, Clive James (1939-2019) devoted a lifetime to poetry. In this collection of essays he distils all he has learnt about the art form to explain the formal structures and choice of words that give poetry its unique power. Blending erudition, insight and wit, he ranges across the panorama of 20th-century poetry, from Hart Crane to Ezra Pound and Anne Sexton to Ted Hughes, paying close attention to his favourites: Yeats, Frost, Auden, Wilbur and Larkin.
Nefertiti in the Flak Tower
Collected Verse 2008–2011
Clive James describes this collection of short poems as combining ‘American cultural information with a British range of tones’. The ‘information’ covers intriguing topics, including the fate of Nefertiti’s statue in Nazi Germany, being hospitalized for leukaemia and the Iliad Hollywood-style.
The Short Life and Long Country Road of Hank Williams
A prototype tragic hero for the rock generation to follow, Hank Williams struggled with alcoholism and drug abuse and died before he was 30 on New Year's Day, 1953. This new biography of the country legend describes his childhood of rural poverty, tracing his musical roots to the street corner bluesman he befriended in Alabama, and explores the powerful influence in his life and career of his domineering mother, Millie, and fiery wife, Audrey. Off-mint.
Dreams to Remember
Otis Redding, Stax Records and the Transformation of Southern Soul
Otis Redding (1941–1967) made a seismic impact on American popular culture, and his recordings for the STAX label during the 1960s helped to define the sound of soul music and bring it to the mainstream. Based on interviews and extensive archival research, this chronicle of his life traces his rise from an unknown rural gospel singer to a superstar capable of selling out huge venues across the world. American-cut pages.
Mindfulness in Eight Weeks
The Revolutionary Eight-Week Plan to Clear Your Mind and Calm Your Life
With downloadable audio materials, this illustrated manual uses mental and physical exercises with clear step-by-step instructions to help readers to become aware of their habits, learn how to breathe, understand their feelings and reactions, and live mindfully.
Reynard the Fox
A New Translation
What do a weak lion king, a grief-stricken rooster and a dim-witted bear have in common? They’ve all been fooled by crafty Reynard the Fox. Unscrupulous, cunning and cynical, the hero – or antihero – of these popular medieval tales steals and swindles with impunity, cocking a snook at authority along the way. This lively modern translation of Caxton’s Middle English version captures all the dark humour, biting satire and irreverent verve of the original. Off-mint.
How to Be a Tudor
A Dawn-to-Dusk Guide to Tudor Life
Historians trawl through documentary records to reveal how people lived in the past, but few actually experience it first-hand. Ruth Goodman, presenter of the BBC TV series Tudor Monastery Farm, has done just that, eating, sleeping, working, dressing and dancing like a Tudor. Drawing on these adventures with characteristic wit and humour, she describes a day in the life of an ordinary person, from dawn to dusk, during one of the most vibrant periods of English history.
Confronting the Classics
Traditions, Adventures, and Innovations
Comprising updated versions of 31 essays published over the past two decades, this volume takes the reader on 'a provocative tour of what is happening now in Classics'. Professor Beard reassesses old answers in scholarly debates concerning Greco-Roman antiquity; offers fresh interpretations of heroes and antiheroes, from the Greek poet Sappho to the emperor Hadrian; explores the evidence for ordinary Romans' worries and ambitions; and asks what our modern responses to the ancient world say about us.
Miracles of Life
Shanghai to Shepperton
Few writers have chronicled the effects of technology and the media on the human psyche as prophetically as JG Ballard. Written in the last few years of his life, this memoir charts his journey from a Shanghai childhood, through his family’s wartime internment by the Japanese, to post-war English suburbia. As he narrates his experiences, the classic tropes of his fiction – desolate landscapes, empty swimming pools, low-flying aircraft, car accidents and celebrity death – take on new resonance.
Maps and Sketches from Georgian and Early Victorian Birmingham
By 1770, Birmingham – once a small market town – was the third most populous city in England. Its rapid expansion as a commercial and industrial centre left it with a rich legacy of Georgian and Victorian public buildings. Lavishly illustrated with period maps and engraved views, this book charts the city's development and records its assembly halls, churches, factories and pubs, both extant and long vanished. The text is complemented with verse by Ian Henery, Poet Laureate of Walsall.