Octavia, Daughter of God
The Story of a Female Messiah and Her Followers
In the aftermath of the First World War, a group of Englishwomen came up with a solution to the world’s grief: a new religion. Led by Mabel Barthrop, whom they called Octavia and believed to be the daughter of God, they set about building a new Jerusalem in Bedford. Drawing on the group’s painstakingly preserved archive, this book charts the forgotten history of a utopian community that once had thousands of members and ministered to 10,000 people around the globe.
The Work that Changed British Art
The Young British Artists championed by Charles Saatchi (b.1943) still exert an enormous influence on the art world. This book, introduced by Saatchi himself, draws together 100 key works from the 1990s: provocative pieces that can stop you in your tracks, including Damien Hurst’s infamous animals in formaldehyde, Rachel Whiteread’s Ghost, appliqué blankets by Tracey Emin and Grayson Perry’s painted ceramic pots. The photographs and reproductions are followed by brief notes on the artists and the works shown.
I & I: The Natural Mystics
Marley, Tosh and Wailer
Bob Marley's story of musical success, elevation to cultural icon and tragically early death is one of the fables of 20th-century popular music, but his original bandmates Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer are equally interesting subjects for biography. This book weaves together the stories of ambition, politics, violence and religion that shaped the three musicians' turbulent lives, and attempts to unravel how their natural charisma raised them beyond their medium to have such a profound cultural impact.
Theatre of War
In a preface to this magnificent collection of wartime photographs, Mark Holborn describes Cecil Beaton as 'able to realize the visual potential from the most mundane as well as the most dramatic circumstances'. Whether taken on the home front amid the London Blitz, in the Western Desert, in India, Burma, China or industrial Tyneside, Beaton's photographs for the Ministry of Information are unfailingly eloquent and a powerful record of the years 1939 to 1945. With commentary by Beaton and a detailed chronology.
Inventing Robert Capa
Gerda Pohorylle and André Friedmann met in Paris in the 1930s and together the two political émigrés created the fictitious photographer Robert Capa under whose name they published and marketed their pictures. This beautifully printed book assesses the life and work of Taro who was tragically killed while covering the Spanish Civil War with Friedman (who kept the name Capa), and includes many images recently discovered from the so-called 'Mexican suitcase' containing negatives by Taro, Capa and David 'Chim' Seymour.
London Bridge in America
The Tall Story of a Transatlantic Crossing
In 1968 the world's largest antique went to America. But how do you transport a 130-year-old bridge 3000 miles? And why set it up in the waterless Arizona desert? This wry, compelling social history musters a colourful cast of Fleet Street shysters, Thames dockers, Disneyland designers and gun-toting sheriffs to tell the extraordinary tale of how London Bridge was sold to a US oil baron, and charts its curious afterlife in Lake Havasu.
A War of Choice
The British in Iraq 2003–9
Plans to establish an effective government in Iraq in place of Saddam Hussein's dictatorship quickly proved ill-judged as the country descended into factional violence and the British were forced into an ignominious withdrawal. In this analysis of the complex events Jack Fairweather, former Baghdad bureau chief for the Daily Telegraph and an embedded journalist during the invasion, gives a comprehensive account of the political and military manoeuvres of the disastrous British interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan.