Memoirs and Reflections
Born in Moscow in 1971, Evgeny Kissin made his concert debut at the age of ten and is now internationally renowned for his interpretation of the classical and Romantic piano repertoire. In this collection of reminiscences he answers some of the questions that he is most often asked – about his childhood, his early teachers and his encounters with the world’s great musicians – and muses on topics including fame, inspiration and his favourite composers. Slightly off-mint.
The tragic life of Queen Marie Antoinette of France (1755–93) has fascinated and divided historians ever since her execution. Was her thoughtless interference in affairs of state the catalyst that provoked the French Revolution, or was she an innocent victim of the dangerous world of late 18th-century power politics? Antonia Fraser's meticulously researched biography explores these contradictory assessments and offers the fullest portrait yet of the much-maligned ‘Austrian woman’, the doomed queen consort of Louis XVI.
Great British Journeys
Britain’s landscapes have spurred adventures from Giraldus Cambrensis’s epic circuit of Wales in 1188 to HV Morton’s 1929 tour of Scotland in a bull-nosed Morris. The author and TV presenter Nicholas Crane traces the journeys of eight early travellers, by bike, car or on foot. Sometimes he adopts their original mode of transport, following the indomitable 17th-century lady Celia Fiennes on horseback, or the 18th-century clergyman William Gilpin through the north of England by boat.
The King and the Catholics
The Fight for Rights 1829
In 1780, the anti-Papist Gordon riots left 1,000 dead and London in flames; half a century later, Parliament passed the Catholic Emancipation Act. This narrative history charts the struggles that brought about that conclusion. It profiles the key players, including George III, a staunch opponent of emancipation; the political rivals Wellington and Peel; and the Irish campaigner Daniel O’Connell; and examines the conflict between the right to practise one’s religion and allegiance to the state.
Splendours and Miseries
The flamboyant Director of the National Portrait Gallery and the V&A has been at the heart of Britain’s high society for half a century. Amusing and often acerbic, his diaries chronicle two decades of parties, meetings and tussles over funding, with a cast of characters including Margaret Thatcher, the Royal Family, David Hockney, Mick Jagger and Rudolph Nureyev. This new edition includes entries omitted when the diaries were first published.
The Story of Britain
From the Romans to the Present Day
This introduction to British history begins with the geographical description of the island itself which, Roy Strong believes, has shaped the nation, its people and its politics. Invasions, migrations, civil wars, and two world wars have all been influenced by Britain’s uneasy relationship with mainland Europe, while a desire for self-sufficiency produced the empire and the Industrial Revolution. This new edition has been extended to cover the years from 1996 to the 2016 EU referendum.
Once the all-conquering bad boy of tennis, John McEnroe is increasingly better known for his insightful commentaries and opinions on the game. In this memoir he reflects on his playing years but also on his life since, developing new careers in broadcasting and art dealing, and bringing up a large family. Still competing in senior tournaments and recently coach to Milos Raonic, he also has plenty to say on the state of modern tennis.
Dylan Thomas: The Collected Letters - 2 Books
Letters written as editor of the school magazine, love letters, begging letters, letters to literary editors, fellow poets and friends: the collected letters of Dylan Thomas trace his life from the age of 16 to shortly before his death in New York in 1953, at the age of 39. Outspoken, and often indiscreet, they form the poet’s own narrative, telling of his love of Caitlin, his opinions on poets and poetry, and a life famously marred by drink and debt. Second edition. The two titles included in this set are: Dylan Thomas The Collected Letters Volume I: 1931–1939 (Read more...)Dylan Thomas The Collected Letters Volumes II: 1939–1953 (Read more...)
A Short History of the Motorcycle
An avid collector of classic and modern motorcycles himself, Richard Hammond describes how the machines have evolved, as well as their emotional appeal, in this introduction to motorcycle history and culture. In addition to examining notable manufacturers from BSA and Vincent to Honda and Ducati, the topics covered include bikes in films, biker gangs, racing heroes and Evel Knievel.
Making a Noise
Getting it Right, Getting it Wrong in Life, Broadcasting and the Arts
This candid memoir by Czech-born journalist and arts administrator John Tusa recollects the wrangles with BBC senior management over the creation of Newsnight in 1979 (he was a presenter). It also reveals how as managing director of the World Service (1986–93) he saw off unwanted political influence over its remit. And musing on his stint as head of the Barbican (1995–2007), he demonstrates how his passion for the arts turned the centre’s fortunes around.
The King and the Catholics
The Fight for Rights: 1829
In 1780 the anti-Papist Gordon riots left 1,000 dead and London in flames; half a century later, Parliament passed the Catholic Emancipation Act. This narrative history charts the struggles that brought about that conclusion. It profiles the key players, including George III (a staunch opponent of emancipation), the political rivals Wellington and Peel, and the Irish campaigner Daniel O’Connell, and examines the conflict between the right to practise one’s religion and allegiance to the state.
The Best of AA Gill
For more than 20 years, readers turned to AA Gill’s columns every Sunday for his wit, perception and outrageously funny one-liners. Drawn from a range of publications including The Sunday Times, Vanity Fair and Tatler, this compilation presents some of the best of his restaurant reviews, travel journalism, TV criticism and feature articles. Among the collection are his excoriation of vegetarians, provocative reportage from Sudan and Haiti, and reflections on his father’s Alzheimer's and his own impending death from pancreatic cancer.