Some Sort of Genius
A Life of Wyndham Lewis
Paul O’Keeffe presents a compelling account of the complicated life of Wyndham Lewis (1882–1957). The writer, artist and co-founder of the Vorticist movement was described by TS Eliot as ‘a man of undoubted genius, but genius for what it would be remarkably difficult to say’. Off-mint.
Should You Judge This Book by Its Cover?
100 Fresh Takes on Familiar Sayings and Quotations
Let sleeping dogs lie – but why? Julian Baggini, co-founder and editor of The Philosopher’s Magazine, presents a selection of 100 proverbs and familiar quotations that are often used without much thought. Baggini subjects them to thought-provoking scrutiny and discussion with the aim of making the phrases ‘speak their wisdom afresh’, while dispelling some of the misunderstandings that cling to them.
The History of America's Undeclared Wars
Alongside ‘hot’ wars in Korea, Vietnam and the Middle East, every US administration since 1945 has waged covert, deniable operations against regimes it has regarded as hostile. This wide-ranging, meticulously researched book surveys the history of such operations from Indo-China through Cuba to the ‘War on Terror’, charts the development of their secret infrastructure, explores the personalities and careers of the most noted ‘shadow warriors’, and assesses their successes, failures, collateral damage and geopolitical consequences.
Naked in the Marketplace
The Lives of George Sand
The first woman in Europe to become a bestselling novelist, George Sand was the author of nearly 90 works of fiction, yet her literary fame was inseparable from the notoriety of her personal life. The scandal of leaving her husband and children for an 18-year-old lover was followed by liaisons and friendships with Alfred de Musset, Chopin, Balzac and Flaubert. This skilful, sympathetic biography demonstrates how her genius and passions were intertwined, lending power and psychological depth to her fiction.
The Life and Times of Jessica Mitford
Admirers and detractors use the same words to describe Jessica ‘Decca’ Mitford: subversive, muckraker, mischief-maker. Born into an aristocratic family, she eloped at 19 with Winston Churchill’s nephew. While her sisters Unity and Diana were drawn to fascism, Decca became a communist, civil-rights activist and investigative journalist in the United States. Packed with incident and anecdote, this sympathetic, absorbing and entertaining biography recounts a remarkable life lived at the epicentre of the major events of 20th-century history.
The World in Motion
The year 1616 brought such notable events as the arrival of a samurai in the Vatican, the Inquisition’s investigation of Galileo, the deaths of Shakespeare and Cervantes, the visit of Matoaka (‘Pocahontas’) to London, and the first stage appearance of Father Christmas. In this illustrated history of the year Christensen interweaves stories from around the world, highlighting themes relating to the global economy, international travel, women’s emerging roles and developments in art and science as the modern age was being born.
The Longest Winter
Scott's Other Heroes
Captain Scott's Antarctic expedition of 1911–12 comprised a party focused on the Pole attempt and a second group detailed to undertake scientific research. This book recounts the ordeal of the six men of the second expedition, who were forced to survive the winter in an improvised ice cave before making a perilous journey back to base camp, where they were finally rescued nearly a year after they had been stranded.