The Wild and Wonderful Tale of the Founding of London Zoo
Sir Stamford Raffles' vision of a 'collection of living animals such as never yet existed in ancient or modern times' came to fruition in 1928 with the founding of London Zoo. Isobel Charman's novelistic retelling of the institution's first 25 years focuses on key figures, including Veterinary Surgeon Charles Spooner and Head Keeper Devereux Fuller – and notable residents such as Tommy the homesick chimpanzee and Obaysch the hippo.
Last Man Off
A True Story of Disaster and Survival on the Antarctic Seas
For a 23-year-old marine biologist, working on a deep-sea fishing boat in the South Atlantic was the perfect job – but when a storm struck and the captain suffered a heart attack, it became a battle for survival. Here, Matt Lewis recalls how he led the crew into three lifeboats, and how they survived for hours in the Antarctic waters before being rescued.
In these 23 essays, the South African Nobel Prize-winner brings a novelist’s insight to bear on the interrelations between the lives, work and reputations of his literary predecessors. He explores Defoe’s picaresque classic Roxana, the cult of Goethe’s Young Werther, Flaubert’s Madame Bovary, the rediscovery of Irène Némirovsky, and Ford Madox Ford’s masterpiece The Good Soldier.
The Schooldays of Jesus
The second volume in Coetzee's acclaimed allegorical trilogy sees orphan David, now seven years old, enrol in a dance academy. There, under the tutelage of the mysterious Ana Magdalena, he learns to access a higher realm – and makes some troubling discoveries. Off-mint and felt-tip mark on lower trimmed edge
A Nation Without Borders
The United States and its World in an Age of Civil Wars, 1830–1910
Over the course of the 19th century the United States expanded westward to the Pacific coast; its population increased tenfold; it experienced civil war, ended African American slavery, and industrialized; by 1914, it was a powerful nation on the world stage. Steven Hahn takes a new approach to this era of American history, taking in the experience of women, Latinos and African Americans, themes such as the family and American capitalism, and the global perspective. Part of The Penguin History of the United States.
A Revolutionary Life
Although familiar from Hilary Mantel’s fictional Wolf Hall, Thomas Cromwell (c.1485–1540) has proved an elusive subject to biographers. With this magisterial study, MacCulloch presents ‘the true Thomas Cromwell of history’, based on a meticulous study of his surviving papers. The biography pays particular attention to Cromwell’s early years and his rapid rise to power in 1532, the importance of his religious agenda and his efforts conceal that motivation, and the dynastic ambitions that contributed significantly to his fall. Slightly off-mint with felt tip mark on lower trimmed edge.
The United Kingdom, 1800–1906
From the Act of Union with Ireland in 1800 to the Liberal Party’s landslide victory in 1906, Cannadine breaks new ground in the history of the 19th century, exploring the ‘many contradictions of progress’ during the United Kingdom’s era of national greatness and imperial aggrandisement. He emphasizes how stable, parliamentary democracy was crucial to Britain’s success, but also explores the darker side of British life and the challenges facing a global power. Part of The Penguin History of Britain series.
The Greatest Siege in British History
During the Great Siege of Gibraltar (1779–83), the longest ever endured by the British, the powerful forces of Spain and France blockaded and assaulted the isle from land and sea. Thousands of civilians and soldiers experienced starvation, disease and deadly bombardment. Including maps and illustrations, this book explores the story of the siege and its impact on life back home, while examining the argument that it ultimately cost the British the American War of Independence.
The Battle of Arnhem
The Deadliest Airborne Operation of World War II
The bold Allied plan to defeat Germany quickly in September 1944 by capturing the bridges leading to the lower Rhine, was ultimately a failure and led to the complete destruction of Arnhem and cruel reprisals on the Dutch population for the remainder of the war. Antony Beevor’s account describes the airborne assault, its planning and aftermath, drawing on many overlooked and new sources from Dutch, German, Polish, British and American archives. Slightly off-mint.
The Evolution of the World's Most Famous Human Fossils
Lydia Pyne tells the stories of seven human fossils found between 1908 and 2008, each of which won a different kind of fame or notoriety. She explains their significance for our understanding of human evolution and investigates how and why such scientific discoveries have ‘become written into popular culture’, including the specimen named ‘Lucy’ after a Beatles song and the surprisingly long-lasting Piltdown Man hoax. Off-mint and felt-tip mark on lower trimmed edge.
To Hell and Back
Despite its prosperity and security Europe plunged itself not once, but twice in a generation, into wars of unprecedented savagery and destructive power. In this eighth volume in the Penguin History of Europe series, one of Britain’s most acclaimed historians provides a narrative of events and profiles the key decision-makers, offering a clear analysis of the underlying forces that drove them. Off-mint and felt-tip mark on lower trimmed edge.
The Sultan and the Queen
The Untold Story of Elizabeth and Islam
Excommunicated in 1570, Queen Elizabeth I found the key markets of Catholic Europe closed to English merchants; instead, she reached out to the Shah of Iran, the King of Morocco and the Ottoman Sultan. This history reveals how English merchants, sailors and diplomats plied their trade with the Muslim world, creating a fashion for the Orient in London that was reflected in the plays of Marlowe and Shakespeare. Off-mint and felt-tip mark on lower trimmed edge.
The Pigeon Tunnel
Stories from My Life
John Le Carré has drawn on his years in British intelligence to create a body of fiction that explores the moral ambiguities of our world. In this long-awaited memoir, he provides vivid, insightful, and often very funny cameos of his con-man father Ronnie, meeting Margaret Thatcher, the casinos of Monte Carlo, New Year’s Eve with Yasser Arafat, watching Alec Guinness preparing for his role as George Smiley, and the aid worker who inspired The Constant Gardener. Off-mint and felt-tip mark on lower trimmed edge.
15 Million Degrees
A Journey to the Centre of the Sun
At the heart of the Sun, a vast nuclear furnace casts out the warmth, light and magnetism that nurture life on Earth. Supported by data from laboratories, telescopes, probes and thousands of years of naked-eye observations, solar physicist Lucie Green’s authoritative guide to the science of the Sun provides answers to questions posed since the dawn of history: Why does the Sun shine? What is the source of its heat? How long will it shine?
The End of Tsarist Russia
The March to World War I & Revolution
The First World War ‘was first and foremost an eastern European conflict’, argues the author of this study of Russian history in the lead up to the revolution of October 1917. Based on original research in Russian and other foreign archives, the analysis examines the nature of the Tsarist regime and its handling of the war, and discusses the far-reaching consequences of its collapse. Slightly off-mint and felt-tip mark on lower trimmed edge.
1386 and the Road to Canterbury
Chaucer was not always the revered creator of The Canterbury Tales. As this detailed history explains, until 1386 he was a civil servant writing elegant verses for an aristocratic coterie in London. That year, a series of personal, political and financial crises drove him into exile in Kent, where he embarked on a new kind of poetry: a verse narrative that gave voice to ordinary people and ensured his recognition as one of England’s greatest poets.
Dancing Fish and Ammonites
‘This is not quite a memoir. Rather, it is the view from old age. And a view of old age itself.’ After reflecting on what it means to have grown old, and the nature of memory, Penelope Lively looks back at her lifetime of reading and writing, the social changes she has witnessed. She also contemplates the cherished objects that reflect her experiences, including fossil ammonites from a Dorset beach and an Egyptian potsherd decorated with leaping fish. (Previously published as Ammonites and Leaping Fish.)
The Face of Britain
The Nation Through its Portraits
Simon Schama's engrossing stories of encounters between British art and history focus on the challenge of creating the likeness of a remarkable Briton from the 'triangular collision of wills between sitter, artist and public'. He starts with the 'face of power' and Sutherland's portrait of Churchill, and goes on to look at faces of love, fame, the self and the people, discussing over 100 works from the National Portrait Gallery collection, and sitters ranging from Henry VIII to Amy Winehouse.
The Bombers and The Bombed
Allied Air War Over Europe, 1940–1945
Between 1939 and 1945, hundreds of European cities, towns and villages were devastated by aerial bombing; around 600,000 Europeans were killed and more than a million injured. In this first full narrative history of the air war, Overy deals with the whole of Europe, Scandinavia and the USSR; he considers bombing as part of broader strategies; and he looks at the campaigns from two perspectives: what they were meant to achieve and the impact they had in reality on bombed populations.
The Musician and the Myth
The popular image of Billie Holiday emphasizes the tragedy and notoriety of her life, her experiences of racism, drug addiction and abusive relationships, as much as the distinctive singing voice which conveyed such raw emotion. Drawing on recent academic work and a wealth of material rediscovered during the last decade, this centenary portrait ‘attempts to widen our sense of who Billie Holiday was’ by stripping away the accumulation of myths to reveal her strengths and insecurities, wit and warmth. Felt-tip mark on lower trimmed edge.
Mozart's music has enthralled listeners for centuries. In this concise biography, the historian Paul Johnson charts the composer's life from the age of three, when he first recognized chords, to the creation of his mature masterpieces Don Giovanni and The Marriage of Figaro. Dispelling popular myths, it explores his relationships with his father, his wife and the royal court of Vienna, and highlights the intelligence, wit, charisma and drive of this extraordinarily gifted man.