Sovereign of the Isles
How the Crown Won the British Isles
From the movements of peoples in the 8th century to the modern politics of independence, this regional history records how England brought all the nations of Britain under its control between the 12th and 18th centuries. Including the stories of outlying islands such the Hebrides and the Channel Islands, it describes the conquests, rebellions and treaties that led to union and the campaigns that have sought to break it since.
My Dearest Heart
The Artist Mary Beale (1633–1699)
Active from the 1670s to the 1690s, Mary Beale was one of the first professional women artists in Britain. Specializing in portraiture, she painted a number of prominent clergymen, politicians and aristocrats. This biography assesses her pioneering career but also her interesting life and writings which included one of the earliest technical manuals on painting and Discourse on Friendship, which argued for equality in marriage. Slightly off-mint.
Soviet Women and their Art
The Spirit of Equality
Immediately following the Russian Revolution in 1917, Bolshevik legislation emancipated women, giving them unprecedented freedoms. In this volume, five art critics and historians examine the response of women artists to these momentous changes, exploring changing ideals of feminine beauty and the role of women in Soviet society. The illustrated essays are followed by a gallery of works by twelve painters and sculptors, with introductions to the life and work of each artist.
The Last Great Whig
Lord Lansdowne (1845–1927) was one of the last hereditary peers to hold high office in Britain. Using material from Lansdowne’s own extensive archive, this biography follows his career as Governor General of Canada, Viceroy of India, Secretary of State for War and Foreign Secretary. It also explores his conflict with fellow Liberals over free trade, and describes the opprobrium aroused by his 1917 call for an armistice with Germany.
How Food Shaped the Course of the First World War
Dutch historian Blom uses first-hand accounts and contemporary documents to explore the key role that the production, distribution and preparation of food for the trenches played in the war’s progress. He also recounts his own attempts to prepare meals in a recreated field kitchen, including historical recipes and giving additional insight into the combat experience.
From Blenheim to Chartwell
The Untold Story of Churchill's Houses and Gardens
Ever energetic, Winston Churchill set about remodelling the grounds of his Chartwell estate in the 1930s, digging lakes, acquiring farmland and even taking up the bricklayer's trowel himself. This review of the statesman's residences focuses on this property but also discusses the many other houses in which he lived, including London state apartments, wartime accommodation and an ancient half-timbered farmhouse in Surrey.
Elizabeth's French Wars
English Intervention in the French Wars of Religion 1562–1598
The French Wars of Religion, fought between Huguenots and Catholics, spanned most of the reign of Elizabeth I, whose provision of English armed forces perpetuated the conflict. With an emphasis on military history and visual sources, Heap’s study establishes the scale and importance of England’s intervention and offers a re-evaluation of Henri IV as a military leader.
The Churchill Who Saved Blenheim
The Life of Sunny, 9th Duke of Marlborough
When Charles Spencer Churchill (1871–1934) inherited Blenheim Palace in 1892, his huge ancestral home was in dire need of repair. Illustrated with historic photos, this biography focuses on his untiring efforts to restore it to its former glory.
Chateau, Jardin, Cuisine
Secret Recipes from the Ardèche
Having moved from London to a farmhouse in the Ardèche, in southeast France, Regina von Planta began to create a kitchen garden, learning at first-hand how the area's challenging terrain influences its cuisine. In this volume, she presents sixty recipes that showcase the local ingredients for which the region is famed, such as goats cheese, chestnuts, figs and quince, interspersed with location and food photography. Slightly off-mint.
Women in the Art World
Originating from an exhibition at the Weiss Gallery in London, Artfully Dressed is an ongoing project that highlights the role of women in the art world and empowers them through portraiture. The 300 sitters in this volume were photographed by Carla van de Puttelaar in a manner reminiscent of Old Masters – naturally lit against a dark background and often sumptuously clothed – and represent a range of cultural backgrounds, nationalities, ages and professions.
Scatter the Devils
A leading British painter, John Hoyland (1934–2011) gained early critical acclaim and went on to exhibit at the Serpentine Gallery and the Royal Academy of Arts. Concentrating on his later work, and produced in collaboration with the artist, this book reproduces over 100 of his paintings and explores the processes that compelled him to create art to ‘inspire the spirit … liberate and fire the imagination’, and to refute the label of ‘abstract’.
From Gauguin to Camden Town
An avant-garde British artist of the early 20th century, Robert Bevan (1865–1925) studied in London, Paris and Pont-Aven, where he met Paul Gauguin in the 1890s. After his return to England and a period of painting in the countryside, he became a founding member of the Camden Town Group. This first comprehensive study of Bevan’s life and art is illustrated with the whole range of his work, including the well-known paintings of London’s working horses and cab yards.
The Walnut Tree
Tales of Growing and Uses
Following a history of its cultivation around the world, this illustrated guide offers practical advice on growing and caring for walnut trees, including information about different varieties and the pests that can damage them. Also discussed are its culinary potential and the use of its timber for ornate doors and furniture, in settings such as Hever Castle and the Royal Château of Blois.
Van Gogh: A Life in Places
Following Van Gogh from his native Netherlands to his residences across England, Belgium and France, this concise biography focuses on how he portrayed the different locations he lived in and what his extensive writing on each one reveals. Illustrated throughout, the book considers his images of buildings as portraits, imbued with character, and shows his progression from making detailed drawings to creating landscape paintings and, eventually, developing his distinctive style.
Treasures of Chinese Qing Dynasty Palace Glass
In 1696, under the Qing Dynasty, the Imperial Palace glassworks began to produce pieces synonymous with quality, technique and beauty. This volume, illustrated with photographs, presents an analysis of 62 items, such as snuff bottles, incense burners, lidded boxes and ornaments, that reflect the pinnacle of development in art and technology at that time.
Tom Wedgwood at Waterloo
The Life of Thomas Josiah Wedgwood, a Soldier Who Fought at Waterloo
Thomas Wedgwood, the grandson of the English potter and entrepreneur Josiah Wedgwood, joined the 3rd Foot Guards aged 16, and was soon fighting at Waterloo and in the defence of Hougoumont, before continuing to serve until 1837. The author, his descendant, has drawn on his previously unpublished letters and journals for this biography of a Napoleonic era professional soldier.
Time Out 50
50 Years, 50 Covers
The groundbreaking independent magazine Time Out launched in London in 1968 and spread to other major cities around the world. This celebration features classic covers from throughout the magazine's history and includes the memories of writers, photographers, designers and editors.
The Stafford Gallery
The Greatest Art Collection of Regency London
On its inauguration at Cleveland House, the home of the Marquess of Stafford, in 1806, the Stafford Gallery housing his private collection was described as the ’Louvre of London’. Among nearly 300 paintings were works by the great Italian, French and Dutch Old Masters and English painters including the young Turner. With over 150 illustrations, this book traces the short history of the collection up to 1830 and its reincarnation in the Sutherland and Bridgewater galleries in the Victorian period.
The Sea Takes No Prisoners
The Men and Ships of the Royal Navy in the Second World War
Over 125 Royal Navy men and women give accounts of their wartime experiences in this book collated by an ex-naval medic. Chosen from the Imperial War Museum’s audio archive, the transcripts show the variety of life at sea, including the boredom, fear and moments of humour, with chapters dedicated to the contributions of the WRNS and the Boy Seamen as well as an epilogue following their post-war lives.
Truth At Last
Rudolf Hess’s flight to Scotland in May 1941 has spawned many theories, both before and after his death in Spandau Prison in 1987. Informed by 30 years’ research and recently declassified material, this book reveals its true reason: Hess had been lured by a faction within MI6 who planned to negotiate an armistice with Germany behind Churchill’s back.
The Power of Love
Jewels, Romance and Eternity
From gifts exchanged as part of courtly love in the Middle Ages to the work of modern designers for Hollywood stars and royalty, this well-illustrated history explores how romantic sentiments are expressed through jewellery. Focusing on Western Europe, it acknowledges the influence of ancient civilizations before tracing the development of motifs such as lovers’ knots and the symbolic meanings attached to certain flowers and gemstones.
First published in 1931, this First World War classic is a fictionalized account of the author’s experiences told through the eyes of an ordinary soldier, Dick Bradshaw. It recreates the agony endured by the ‘poor bloody infantry’ from the Somme to the Third Battle of Ypres, as well as their humour and camaraderie. With an introduction by Edmund Blunden.
The Treasures and the Collectors
Built in Wiltshire during the reign of Elizabeth I, Longford Castle, seat of the Earls of Radnor, houses an important art collection – the majority of the paintings still hanging within the magnificently furnished home. This study of Longford, its collectors and its paintings is illustrated by 119 photographs of the interior and reproductions of works by artists including Velázquez, Gainsborough and Van Dyck, and masterpieces now in the National Gallery, among them The Ambassadors by Hans Holbein the Younger.
A Kind of Magic
Art Deco Vanity Cases
Framed in the context of 1920s social history, fashion and culture, this highly illustrated volume offers analysis of an eclectic range of Art Deco vanity cases – from elaborately embellished cigarette and lipstick holders to a box crafted to look like a trompe l'oeil book complete with diamond clasp. The accessories featured were recently donated to the V&A by Freddie Mercury's sister, Kashmira Bulsara.
D-Day and Operation Overlord in One Hundred Moments
The story of the Normandy invasion is well known, but this novel approach focuses on 100 decisive or bizarre incidents. With photographs and infographics, the details include the British soldier wandering the beach playing bagpipes, ignored by the Germans due to his evident insanity, and the police raid on a brothel that French women had created in a wrecked landing craft.
25 Years of The Royal Gurkha Rifles
A reorganization of the Gurkha units in the early 1990s resulted in the formation of the Royal Gurkha Rifles. Reviewing the new regiment's first quarter century, this celebration is a highly illustrated account of their deployments in the Balkans, East Timor, Sierra Leone and Afghanistan with additional sections exploring their training and unique traditions, such as the 'kukri' fighting knife. Slightly off-mint.
London Map of Days
Based on his map – now in the British Library – featuring 366 pictures of events and people from London’s history, Barratt presents the facts and stories attaching to each day of the year, from 1 January 1660, when Samuel Pepys began his diary, to 31 December 1999, when the London Eye was opened. The book is illustrated with the etching for each date and includes a fold-out reproduction of the map.
Bridge to the Future
Edited by Sergei Reviakin, this is the first published monograph on the Russian artist Oleg Kudryashov (b.1932), who broke away from the aesthetic norms imposed on Russian art since the Stalinist era to follow his own artistic goals. His work, mainly in dry-point etching, with its linear structures sometimes extended into three-dimensional reliefs and constructions, is represented here in around 250 pages of reproductions and photographs, along with four short essays and a list of works.
The Writing on the Wall
100 Iconic Blue Plaques Commemorating Britain's History
Britain’s iconic blue plaques identify buildings that were home to, or significant in the success of, notable historical figures. In this celebration of individual achievement, Mike Read, who helped create a series of plaques for BBC Music Day in 2017, presents 100 such commemorations, with illustrations of the plaques, photographs and biographical details. From David Bowie to William Shakespeare, each entry contains an often surprising link to the next featured plaque.
Recollections of a Friendship with David Bowie
This illustrated memoir celebrates the friendship and innovative collaboration between David Bowie and the artist Edward Bell. It explains how they met, describes Bowie’s involvement in the creative process and explores the unique qualities that made him a cultural icon.
Art in Living Craftsmanship
To mark its 80th anniversary in 2017, the Georgian Group organized an exhibition celebrating the craftspeople who maintain key buildings and landscapes. This catalogue presents the 115 exhibitors, all of whom employ time-honoured working methods, and examines the relationship between the national charity and traditional British craftsmanship.
Works on Paper by Philipp-Rudolf Humm
This collection explores the pop expressionism of the German-Belgian artist Philipp-Rudolf Humm, whose paintings combine contemporary styles with the techniques of Old Masters. The selection features his work in gouache made between 2014 and 2016, revealing his stylistic evolution from pop compositions to a new kind of contemporary Expressionism. Arranged in series, each section begins with a brief description of themes and observations, and the introduction offers an overview of the artist’s developing style.
Painter of Pedigree
Thomas Weaver of Shrewsbury: Animal Artist of the Agricultural Revolution
Thomas Weaver (1774–1844) was an accomplished artist working during the late 18th century, when innovative methods of breeding produced bigger and better domestic animals. Weaver was among a small group of artists who pioneered the painting of owners’ and breeders’ prize sheep, cattle, hounds and thoroughbred stallions. Written by a descendant, with access to Weaver’s papers and diaries, this book tells the story and reproduces the paintings of a successful animal artist during the Agricultural Revolution.
On the Seven Deadly Sins
Drawing on his experience in politics, former MP Kenneth Baker examines how the Seven Deadly Sins have been depicted in art and literature through the ages. Using excerpts from plays, poetry and fiction, he discusses the sins, reflects on their continuing presence in today’s more secular society, and concludes that life would be banal and unchallenging without them. The extensive illustrations include works by old masters such as Botticelli and Bosch, press photographs, and cartoons by Gillray, Rowlandson, Bateman, Peter Brookes and Dave Brown.
New Dimensions in Art
‘Art for me’, writes Alexander in his prologue, ‘has always been about the excitement of creating something new’. Illustrating that restless exploration, this book, with Edward Lucie-Smith’s brief essays and Alexander’s own commentaries, looks first at works created since 2008, then goes back to the start of Alexander’s career and traces the progression through painting and sculpture to monumental works. A final section is devoted to his experimental four-dimensional sculptures and holograms.
Looking to Heaven
The artist Stanley Spencer made several attempts to write an autobiography, but completed none of them. His grandson has combined these fragments with his notebooks, diaries and letters to provide a first-hand account of his life. Illustrated with Spencer’s paintings and drawings alongside period photographs, the resulting narrative records the development of his art and personality from his childhood in Cookham through his training at the Slade to his experiences in the First World War.
A Painter's Journey
The Scottish-Italian artist Leon Morrocco is a figurative painter well known for his outstanding draughtsmanship and use of vibrant colour. Covering a period of 20 years, this book offers a glimpse into his creative process from the initial sketches made in streets and markets across the globe to the paintings he finished in the studio. It illustrates how world travel inspired what the poet Liz Lochhead describes in her introduction as ‘a visual, visceral response to something real’.
His Master's Voice
Sir Joseph Lockwood and Me
At the helm of EMI Records for 20 years from 1954, Joseph Lockwood transformed the company, focusing on pop music rather than classical and exploiting the phenomenal success of the Beatles. This biography by his long-time personal assistant and friend describes his journey from managing and designing flour mills to his time at EMI, after which he became a member of the Arts Council and Chairman of the Royal Ballet, and was instrumental in the building of the National Theatre.
Ancient Astronomy and the English Public House
Why are some pubs called ‘The Seven Stars’? Hugh Kolb has analysed the surviving pubs and their history and the symbolism of Seven Stars over the past 3,000 years to find the answer. In chapters illustrated with photographs of the pubs, Kolb pursues topics as diverse as the origins of hostelries, the immaculate conception, the solar system and the Anglo-Saxons, and concludes that the Seven Stars are the Pleiades – the ancient Greek Dionysians’ celestial bunch of grapes.
The Cookbook Notebook
This post-war recipe book shows how housewives cooked up feasts on meagre rations. From basics such as Boiled Rice or Marrow Soup to Lobster au Gratin, Cold Oxtail Jelly and Figues Flambées, the recipes are accompanied by useful tips and illustrated with black-line prints by Edward Bawden.
George Smart: The Tailor of Frant
Artist in Cloth and Velvet Figures
Using off-cuts from his tailoring fabrics, George Smart created works now recognized as folk art. Exhibited at Tate Britain in 2014, this subsequent publication showcases 70 of Smart’s artworks, and pieces together a biography of the artist’s scantly recorded life.
Reliving the Life of Sir Francis Chichester
Famous for making the first solo circumnavigation of the globe in Gipsy Moth IV, Francis Chichester only took up sailing in his fifties to exercise the navigational skills he had developed as a pilot before the war. This biography traces his life from his childhood and schooling, through the fortune he built in New Zealand, his pioneering aviation in the 1930s, and his battle with cancer from the late 1950s, to the historic ocean voyages that made his name in the 1960s.
The Natural History of Selborne
Gilbert White (1720–1798) compiled this famous book from his letters to two other naturalists, a common way of writing scientific works at the time. What was so original and appealing about White’s natural history was its personal, even poetic approach, using all the senses to observe nature. The book has never been out of print since it first appeared in 1789; this attractive In Arcadia edition presents the original text with later woodcuts by Claire Oldham.
The most famous man in Europe in the period immediately predating the invention of photography, Arthur Wellesley was the subject of painters, sculptors and miniaturists from the period of his first successes in Iberia in 1809 to his death in 1852 and beyond. This highly illustrated book examines the many portraits of the Duke of Wellington, places them in the context of key events in his life and also provides a catalogue of works by artist, from Goya to Wilkie.
Swimming with Dali
And Other Encounters with Artists
As art critic for various newspapers and magazines and presenter of radio programmes and television documentaries, Edwin Mullins met, and sometimes formed friendships with, many of the leading artists from the last half century. This book comprises his personal memories of artists including Henry Moore, Oskar Kokoschka, Barbara Hepworth and Graham Sutherland; shorter pieces on his ‘brief encounters’ with, among others, Picasso and Giacometti; and ‘strange encounters’ such as the odd episode involving Stephen Ward.
The Master's Muse
Artists' Cats and Dogs
Matisse’s dogs dance in a circle, Turner’s dog walks with his master into a vortex of fiery light, while Rachel Whiteread’s dog sits mournfully in front of a cast of his kennel. Thinking about what Marc Chagall’s dog might look like prompted Barratt to begin his paintings and prints of dogs and cats, each executed in the style of the animal’s owner. Altogether there are 99 cat or dog portraits, poking gentle fun at artists from Holbein to Tracy Emin.
Lucky to be an Artist
Unity Spencer (1930–2017) was the daughter of two artists, Stanley and Hilda Spencer, and a significant painter in her own right. In this memoir, written shortly before her death, she looks back over her unconventional upbringing, her studies at the Slade School of Art and her subsequent career. Extensively illustrated with her own work, that of her parents and vintage photographs, it offers a unique glimpse of the artistic life. With a foreword by Jon Snow.
As a figurative artist, Graham Dean (b.1951) regards the body as ‘a holding pen for the emotions’ and aims to communicate his subjects’ inner life through his large-scale and very distinctive watercolours. James Attlee draws on conversations with the artist to provide a full, yet succinct introduction to Dean’s life and work, accompanying over 150 reproductions that follow his artistic career from realist, post-Pop acrylic paintings to the life-size watercolour depictions of the human body.
The Hermitage Dogs
Treasures from the State Hermitage Museum
Archaeologists have shown that dogs, ‘our first allies’, were living with humans as far back as 32,000 years ago. Drawing on the superb art collections of the Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg, this book explores many aspects of that human–canine alliance including the role of dogs in ancient myth, the symbolism of the dog in art, many types of working dog, the dogs of the Romanovs from Peter the Great to Nicholas II and, finally, the companion dog – man’s best friend.
Earth to Earth
A Natural History of Churchyards
As protected sacred places, churchyards provide a tranquil environment in which wild plants and animals can thrive even when their nearby natural habitats have been destroyed. With photographs, newly commissioned drawings and passages from literature, Professor Buczacki celebrates this abundance of nature among the headstones, exploring the long history of our churchyards and describing the species most commonly found there, from mighty ancient yews to woodlice (nicknamed ‘church pigs’), graveyard beetles and lichens. Foreword by Lord Harries.
With scarecrow-making now a popular folk art, the ragged guardians of the fields seem to be making a comeback; variously strange, menacing and endearing, their place in art and literature is testament to their beguiling nature and their hold on the imagination. Gregory Holyoake presents a beautifully illustrated account of the history and origins of the scarecrow, both out in the fields and in all forms of popular and literary culture, from Shakespeare and Dickens to Beatrix Potter and Hitchcock.
A Collection of Epigrams and Epitaphs Serious and Comic
Originally published in 1933, this little book of witty epigrams and epitaphs by the English writer and poet Martin Armstrong (1882–1974) is illustrated with wood-engravings by Eric Ravilious (1903–1942). The subjects of the verses are 54 professionals or types, ranging from a judge to a snuff-taker and a ‘boarding-house lift man’; and each one is accompanied by its own woodcut.