Winston Churchill’s political career spanned over 50 years, during which time he was alternately at the centre of power and out of favour. He is most remembered for his inspirational leadership in the second world war and his rousing speeches urging Britain to fight on. This book reveals the influences that shaped his life and career and looks at his strengths and weaknesses.
Quotation panels, featuring many of Churchill’s well-known sayings and comments, and the opinions of his well-known contemporaries, such as Stalin, are scattered liberally throughout. The final chapter examines his legacy and attempts to answer the question: how justifiable is his reputation in view of his achievements?
She was ten years old, but knew enough to wipe clean the handle of the bloody kitchen knife. The night was stifling; the windows were closed, sealing in the chaos. A table upturned, shattered crockery. Her distraught mother, bare shoulders raw with welts, knelt beside her motionless father. The child snatched up her backpack, and ran…
London sweats in the height of summer. The parched city has slowed to a claustrophobic shuffle and there’s no end in sight. Heroin-addicted investigator Catherine Berlin hides her scars from prying eyes while working on the worst of all cases: matrimonial.
The capital’s junkies suffer from a drought of a different kind. A strung-out ghost from Berlin’s past turns up on her doorstep with a desperate plea for help: her ten-year-old daughter is missing. Reminded of a debt owed, Berlin agrees to help, but the search becomes far deadlier than she could ever imagine, drawing her deep into an underworld of corrupt detectives, ruthless drug dealers, and a child killer…
A Bitter Taste is the thrilling second instalment in the magnificent crime series featuring civilian investigator Catherine Berlin, whose long-standing heroin addiction is only part of her story.
As art critic of The Spectator, Andrew Lambirth’s reviews and articles have been entertaining and informing readers of the magazine since 1996. As he himself has written : “The coverage that this magazine, a weekly, gives to the arts is far wider than many daily newspapers. I wish more arts editors would take the initiative to cover a greater range of exhibitions than just the obvious.”
Love is in the air in the little village of Barton-in-the-Dale. Anyone can see that Ashley Underwood and Emmet O’Malley are made for each other. They’ve just got to admit it to themselves . . . But as the saying goes, the course of true love never did run smooth.
While romance blossoms on one side of the village, an angry young boy struggles to believe in love. But when tragedy strikes, he learns that comfort and care can come from the most unexpected of places.
Meanwhile, head teacher Elisabeth Stirling faces a new challenge for the start of the school year. An eccentric teacher joins the staff, and there’s also a worrying case of potential negligence to answer. In the village too, a puritanical new vicar stirs up trouble. But as always, mixed in with the drama there’s plenty of gossip, laughter, friendship – and love – in Barton-in-the-Dale.
“A Traveller’s History of Cyprus” offers a complete and authoritative history of the island’s past and also touches on the sensitive present-day issues for both sides of the island. Although Cyprus is a relatively small island, its position in the East Mediterranean has always given it strategic importance beyond its size. Well-placed for travel from all over the globe with plenty of sunshine throughout the year, Cyprus has become a favored tourist destination. All visitors, whether to the Greek or Turkish side of the island, discover the immensely rich history, which has resulted in so many civilizations making their mark upon its soil. With a historical gazetteer, chronology of major events, index, bibliography and historical and contemporary maps, this book is an invaluable companion to students or visitors to the island.
In A Traveller’s History of Greece, the reader is provided with an authoritative general history of Greece from its earliest beginnings down to the present day. It covers in a clear and comprehensive manner the classical past, the conflict with Persia, the conquest by the Romans, the Byzantine era and the occupation by the Turks; the struggle for independence and the turbulence of recent years, right up to current events. This history will help the visitor make sense of modern Greece against the background of its diverse heritage. Illustrated with maps and line drawings, A Traveller’s History of Greece is an invaluable companion for your vacation.
This is a definitive concise history of Portugal, from its earliest beginnings right up to the politics and life of the present day. It was not until the twelfth century that Portugal became a country in its own right, having been a Roman colony and then having suffered both Barbarian and Islamic invasions. The golden age of discoveries, the reign and foresight of Henry the Navigator, and great seamen such as Vasco da Gama led to the founding of Portugal’s empire and wealth. Troubled times followed: in 1755 Lisbon was virtually leveled by the ‘Great Earthquake,’ and the country had hardly recovered its former prosperity when it was overrun by Napoleon’s troops at the start of the Peninsular War, to be followed not long after by the Miguelite civil war. The middle decades of the nineteenth century saw the Port Wine trade flourishing, and further expansion into Africa. During the last quarter of the twentieth century, ever since the bloodless revolution of 1974 overthrew the rightwing dictatorship of Salazar, the country has regained its stability, and now takes its rightful place in the European Community. Illustrated with maps and line drawings, the book has a full Historical Gazetteer cross-referenced to the main text that concentrates on the historic sites in a country that has retained its individuality and thus its appeal to the individual traveler.
Throughout the millennia Turkey formed the core of several Empires–Persia, Rome, Byzantium–before becoming the center of the Ottoman Empire. All these civilizations have left their marks on the landscape, architecture and art of Turkey–a place of fascinating overlapping cultures. Traveller’s History of Turkey offers a concise and readable account of the region from prehistory right up to the present day. It covers everything from the legendary Flood of Noah, the early civilization of Catal Huyuk seven thousand years before Christ, through the treasures of Troy, Alexander the Great, the Romans, Seljuks, Byzantines and the Golden Age of the Sultans, to the twentieth century’s great changes wrought by Kemal Ataturk and the strong position Turkey now holds in the world community.
When Matt leaves his kindergarten class for a quick trip to the bathroom, he never imagines what will happen next. He suddenly finds himself in a stranger’s car, being driven to an unfamiliar place. Who is this man, and is he really a stranger? When the school bell rings and Matt is nowhere to be found, his frantic sister, Bonnie, realises that her little brother is not lost but missing. She must do everything in her power to save him, even if it puts her own life in danger…
With Jacques-Louis Daguerre, William Talbot Fox, Etienne Jules-Marey and William Blake as his predecessors, Adam Fuss creates photograms and daguerreotypes that evoke a general poetic and spiritual vision akin to urbanites of the 1800s, people who have lost contact with nature and God. While technically seeking to refine the beginnings of photography, Fuss attempts, in the 100 new works presented here, to record life and death. Colorful spirals created by pendulums lead into great depths; snakes create geometric waves in water; loving pairs of rabbits appear in silhouette; a hunched woman cries; sunflowers sprout withered leaves and broken stems; otherwise placid water bears the concentric marks of water drops; the shadows of silvery children’s clothing hover in mid-air; light reflects on birds in flight–and all, for Fuss, mark the simultaneous presence and absence of the corporeal under the title My Ghost.
In a momentous publication, Seamus Heaney’s translation of Book VI of the Aeneid, Virgil’s epic poem composed sometime between 29 and 19 BC, follows the hero, Aeneas, on his descent into the underworld.
In Stepping Stones, a book of interviews conducted by Dennis O’Driscoll, Heaney acknowledged the importance of the poem to his writing, noting that ‘there’s one Virgilian journey that has indeed been a constant presence, and that is Aeneas’s venture into the underworld.
‘The motifs in Book VI have been in my head for years – the golden bough, Charon’s barge, the quest to meet the shade of the father.’ In this new translation, Heaney employs the same deft handling of the original combined with the immediacy of language and flawless poetic voice as was on show in his translation of Beowulf, a reimagining which, in the words of Bernard O’Donoghue, brought the ancient poem back to life in ‘a miraculous mix of the poem’s original spirit and Heaney’s voice’.
Her iconic blonde looks, stunning voice and songs of loneliness and melancholy have endeared her to millions, yet Agnetha Faltskog remains an enigmatic and distant figure. From her success as a teenage singer and songwriter in Sweden in the late 1960s to her years of global superstardom with pop giants ABBA and beyond, Agnetha has fascinated generations of fans. Her beaming smile graced record sleeves, television screens and magazine covers around the world yet never quite managed to conceal her natural shyness and vulnerability. Agnetha Faltskog The Girl With The Golden Hair is the first full-length biography dedicated to the life and career of the one of the most beloved and successful performers in music history.
Charting Agnetha’s journey from her early days fronting a local dance band in the small industrial city of Jonkoping, through her decade as one of the most famous and popular singers in the world, and the years of self-imposed exile that followed until her surprising and successful comeback in 2013, Agnetha Faltskog The Girl With The Golden Hair will delight her many legions of fans and any readers with an interest in the history of popular music.
Three plays, ‘all written for live theatre – with the emphasis on live’, and all first performed at the Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough: The Revengers’ Comedies (1989); Things We Do for Love (1997); and House & Garden (1999).
The Revengers’ Comedies A hugely entertaining pitch that recalls the old movies to which it frequently pays homage – Strangers on a Train, Rebecca, Kind Hearts and Coronets – and expands after intermission to reveal an immensely disturbing vision of contemporary middle-class England poisoned by the rise of economic ruthlessness and the collapse of ethics. New York Times
Things We Do for Love Lloyds Private Banking Playwright of the Year Award One of his best, his most shockingly and uproariously funny: a cruel and hilarious masterpiece of tragic comedy and comic tragedy. Sunday Times
House & Garden The triumph of his ingenuity lies in the fact that you have to see both plays . . . A second time round, in whichever order you take them, characters will deepen, while those you know become the background. It is a superb Ayckbourn joke that a comedy about non-communication should depend on the sharpest communication skills. Sunday Times
Snake in the Grass
“A terrific piece – brilliant, bizarre and yet totally believable… In fact, it’s more than classic; it’s close to the top of its class.” Yorkshire Post
If I Were You
“A blissfully funny comedy that’s also filled with sadness, a devilishly simple theatrical idea that spins out all kinds of complex truths about human nature.” Daily Telegraph
Life and Beth
“A wise, humane, funny play about the inevitability of death and the continuity of life.” Guardian
My Wonderful Day
“A transformation happens as magical as the most magnificent pantomime transformation anyone could ever imagine… the playwright dissolves the paraphernalia of our adult selves and uncovers that space inside each of us that is still the child we once were.” Observer
Life of Riley
“As perceptive as ever… Ayckbourn has once again achieved a satisfyingly rich, tragi-comic complexity.” Daily Telegraph
In this series, a contemporary poet selects and introduces a poet of the past. By their choice of poems and by the personal and critical reactions they express in their prefaces, the editors offer insights into their own work as well as providing an accessible and passionate introduction to some of the greatest poets of our literature. Alexander Pope (1688-1744) was an essayist, critic, satirist, poet and translator. He published “An Essay on Criticism” in 1711 and a republished version of “The Rape of the Lock” in 1714. His “Collected Works” were published in 1717 and he translated the “Iliad and the Odyssey” into English. “The Dunciad” (1728), one of his most famous works, was a vicious satire on Dullness featuring many of his contemporaries.
In this breathtaking cultural history filled with exclusive, never-before-revealed details, celebrated rock journalist Joel Selvin tells the definitive story of the Rolling Stones’ infamous Altamont concert, the disastrous historic event that marked the end of the idealistic 1960s.
In the annals of rock history, the Altamont Speedway Free Festival on December 6, 1969, has long been seen as the distorted twin of Woodstock—the day that shattered the Sixties’ promise of peace and love when a concertgoer was killed by a member of the Hells Angels, the notorious biker club acting as security. While most people know of the events from the film Gimme Shelter, the whole story has remained buried in varied accounts, rumor, and myth—until now.
Altamont explores rock’s darkest day, a fiasco that began well before the climactic death of Meredith Hunter and continued beyond that infamous December night. Joel Selvin probes every aspect of the show—from the Stones’ hastily planned tour preceding the concert to the bad acid that swept through the audience to other deaths that also occurred that evening—to capture the full scope of the tragedy and its aftermath. He also provides an in-depth look at the Grateful Dead’s role in the events leading to Altamont, examining the band’s behind-the-scenes presence in both arranging the show and hiring the Hells Angels as security.
The product of twenty years of exhaustive research and dozens of interviews with many key players, including medical staff, Hells Angels members, the stage crew, and the musicians who were there, and featuring sixteen pages of color photos, Altamont is the ultimate account of the final event in rock’s formative and most turbulent decade.
As known for her fraught personal life as her chart-topping songs, Amy Winehouse who died at the age of 27 in July 2011 was one of the most compelling vocalists in the world. But despite this fact, it was her self-destructive excesses that made headlines. Drinking binges, self-harm, eating disorders, drug abuse, and a turbulent marriage overshadowed her music even as her record sales soared, and the media watched eagerly as Amy’s world imploded. This richly illustrated biography tells her story in full, from childhood through to the pleasures and pains of superstardom, her blazing talent, the years she lost to her addictions, the final days before her death, and the legacy of her raw and heartfelt music.
‘Anchored in Love’ is an inside look into the life of June Carter Cash, through the eyes of her only child with Johnny Cash – John Carter Cash. With skillful prose, he reveals new information about the legendary woman through his tender memories and heartwarming stories.
Bristling with inspired observations and wild anecdotes, this collection offers unique insight into the voice and mind of the inimitable Hunter S. Thompson, as recorded over the decades in the pages of Playboy, the Paris Review, Esquire, in various lectures, and in television appearances, many in print for the first time.
Fearless and unsparing, the interviews detail some of the most storied episodes of Thompson’s life: his savage beating at the hands of the Hell’s Angels, his talking football with Nixon on the 1972 Campaign Trail (‘the only time in twenty years of listening to the treacherous bastard that I knew he wasn’t lying’); his razor-sharp insight into the Bush–Cheney administration, his unlikely run for Sheriff of Aspen, and his successful public battle, during the last years of his life, to free an innocent woman from prison. In addition, Hunter Thompson’s passionate tirades about journalism, culture, drugs, guns, and the law showcase his singular voice at its fiercest.
Complete with an exclusive introduction by author, journalist, and cultural critic Christopher Hitchens, Ancient GonzoWisdom genuinely embraces the brilliance of Hunter S. Thompson – his life, his voice, and his legacy – to provide an enduring portrait of the great gonzo journalist.
In this series, a contemporary poet selects and introduces a poet of the past. By their choice of poems and by the personal and critical reactions they express in their prefaces, the editors offer insights into their own work as well as providing an accessible and passionate introduction to some of the greatest poets of our literature.
Andrew Marvell was born in Yorkshire in 1624 and was educated in Hull and Cambridge. He became the unofficial laureate to Cromwell and in 1657 he took over from Milton as the Latin Secretary to the Council of State. Famed as a satirist during his lifetime Marvell was a virtually unknown lyric poet until rediscovered in the nineteenth century. However, it was only after the First World War that his poetry gained popularity thanks to the efforts of T. S. Eliot and Sir Herbert Grierson. Marvell died in 1678.
The children’s novel “Black Beauty” was written by Anna Sewell in her fifties and she sold it outright for GBP20. She did not live to know of its success. This work chronicles her extraordinary life from the tragic accident that left her lame at the age of 14 to the writing of her novel from her death bed.
Shortly after her 13th birthday, Anne Frank and her family were forced into hiding. It was World War II and the German Nazis were rounding up Jewish people and either killing them or sending them to work in concentration camps. During her time in hiding, Anne wrote about her experiences in her diary. What was the fate of Anne and her family? What became of her diary? Find the answers to these questions and more in this fascinating biography.
With Armour, the great Australian poet John Kinsella has written his most spiritual work to date – and his most politically engaged. The world in which these poems unfold is strangely poised between the material and the immaterial, and everything which enters it – kestrel and fox, moth and almond – does so illuminated by its own vivid presence: the impression is less a poet honouring his subjects than uncannily inhabiting them. Elsewhere we find a poetry of lyric protest, as Kinsella scrutinizes the equivocal place of the human within this natural landscape, both as tenant and self-appointed steward. Armour is a beautifully various work, one of sharp ecological and social critique – but also one of meticulous invocation and quiet astonishment, whose atmosphere will haunt the reader long after they close the book.
Whether your passion is film, music, books, visual arts, or the stage, you can get closer to it as a reviewer and establish a career in one of the most influential roles open to a writer. A great review can be read by millions, and writing it calls for a high degree of skill. Based on a lifelong passion, packed into a few hundred words, and often written in less than an hour, a review makes heavy demands on a writer’s technique and experience. This book explains how to seize readers’ attention and how to be witty always, fascinating most of the time, and bitchy when you need to be.
Reviews from classic writers like Pauline Kael or Kenneth Tynan are contrasted with today’s hot names such as Mark Kermode and Stewart Maconie. The history of the critic is examined, including some of the groundbreaking groups who have shaped our culture—including Dorothy Parker and the Algonquin Round Table, the French New Wave directors who founded Les Cahiers du Cinema, and London’s celebrated Modern Review. Interviews with successful journalists and commissioning editors from the NME and The Guardian about breaking into the field are also included.
Elvis Presley is a giant figure in American popular culture, a man whose talent and fame were matched only by his later excesses and tragic end. A godlike entity in the history of rock and roll, this twentieth-century icon with a dazzling voice blended gospel and traditionally black rhythm and blues with country to create a completely new kind of music and new way of expressing male sexuality, which simply blew the doors off a staid and repressed 1950s America.
In Being Elvis veteran rock journalist Ray Connolly takes a fresh look at the career of the world’s most loved singer, placing him, forty years after his death, not exhaustively in the garish neon lights of Las Vegas but back in his mid-twentieth-century, distinctly southern world. For new and seasoned fans alike, Connolly, who interviewed Elvis in 1969, re-creates a man who sprang from poverty in Tupelo, Mississippi, to unprecedented overnight fame, eclipsing Frank Sinatra and then inspiring the Beatles along the way.
Intimate and unsparing, Being Elvis explores the extravagance and irrationality inherent in the Elvis mythology, ultimately offering a thoughtful celebration of an immortal life.
This is the story of Billy Stuart. It tells of the hours he spends on the hills, catching rabbits in his bare hands or walking with his beloved dog, Drift. It tells of his troubles, his shocking accident and the mysterious events leading up to it. But it’s the story too of the narrator Theresa Thain. It tells her account of what happened eleven years before, and is interspersed with extracts from her diary of the following year, revealing her complex, often frustrating relationship with Billy. The two stories, though separate, are inextricably linked in their absorbing attempts to get to the heart of a seemingly impenetrable enigma.
Metallica have sold in excess of 100 million albums and won seven Grammys. Their journey from scuzzy Los Angeles garages to the stages of the world’s biggest stadia has been an epic and often traumatic one, and one of the few truly great rock ‘n’ roll sagas.
No music writers have been afforded greater access to Metallica over the years than Paul Brannigan and Ian Winwood, two former editors of Kerrang. Having conducted hundreds of hours of interviews with the band, they have between them gained an unparalleled knowledge of the group’s history and an insiders’ view of how their story has developed: they have ridden in the band’s limos, flown on their private jet, joined them in the studio, been invited to the quartet’s ‘HQ’ outside San Francisco and shared beers and stories with them in venues across the globe. There are countless memorable stories about the band never before seen in print, tales of bed-hopping and drug-taking and car-crashes and fist-fights and back-stabbing that occur when you mix testosterone and adrenaline, alcohol and egomania, talent and raw ambition.
Perceptive, emotionally attached, and intellectually rigorous, Birth, School, Metallica, Death will be the essential and definitive story of this extraordinary band. Volume I takes us from the band’s inception through to the recording and eve of release of their seminal, self-titled, 1991 album.
As a boy, Tony Fletcher frequently felt out of place. Yet somehow he secured a ringside seat for one of the most creative periods in British cultural history.
Boy About Town tells the story of the bestselling author’s formative years in the pre- and post-punk music scenes of London, counting down, from fifty to number one: attendance at seminal gigs and encounters with musical heroes; schoolboy projects that became national success stories; the style culture of punks, mods and skinheads and the tribal violence that enveloped them; life as a latchkey kid in a single-parent household; weekends on the football terraces in a quest for street credibility; and the teenage boy’s unending obsession with losing his virginity.
Featuring a vibrant cast of supporting characters (from school friends to rock stars), and built up from notebooks, diaries, interviews, letters, and issues of his now legendary fanzine Jamming!, Boy About Town is an evocative, bittersweet, amusing and wholly original account of growing up and coming of age in the glory days of the 1970s.
“Springsteen is probably the distillation of all that is best about American music rolled into one great artist, and in this book Marc Dolan goes into immense detail to prove it.” Irish Independent
Marc Dolan traces the cultural, political and personal forces that shaped the music of Bruce Springsteen. Beyond his constant stylistic adaptations, Springsteen developed from being the voice of a guy from working class New Jersey to writing about the larger issues facing America. Dolan draws on a range of new and little-known sources, making this an indispensable reference for avid Springsteen fans as well as those interested in learning the stories behind his music. Combining political analysis, music history and colourful storytelling, Bruce Springsteen and the Promise of Rock ‘n’ Roll reveals how a gifted, ambitious community college dropout achieved superstardom and spent decades refining what he wanted his music to say. Updated with a new chapter on The Promise, Wrecking Ball and the 2012 tour.
For over forty years, Bruce Springsteen has been on top of the rock n roll stage with 18 studio albums – from his debut Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J. to 2014 s High Hopes – his a life dedicated to music-making and committed songwriting. This book examines every part of his musical career, discussing influences and how his background shaped his songwriting. His albums have reflected deeply-felt passions and concerns, from the position of the American working man in The River and Nebraska, to deep personal relationships in Tunnel of Love; from the bleak vistas in Darkness on the Edge of Town to the anger of Born in the U.S.A.
The tell-all memoir from the loudest, proudest Spice Girl – and the truth behind the headlines
As one-fifth of the iconic Spice Girls and judge on X Factor and America’s Got Talent, Melanie Brown, a.k.a Scary Spice, has been an international star since her twenties. Brutally Honest is an exposé of the struggles and acute pain that lay behind the glamour and success.With deep personal insight, remarkable frankness and trademark Yorkshire humour, the book removes the mask of fame and reveals the true story behind the Spice Girls, as well as the horror of her most recent marriage and her 10 year struggle to be free.
A Wedding Story
‘A spry if wintry comedy about a lesbian, a wedding-day bonk, and a mother who contracts Alzheimer’s… It dares to find failure and frivolity (a sure sign of dramatic honesty) in the face of domestic hell. Funny, frank and churning by turns, this struck me as a lyrical new play about the unlyrical business of coping when real life knocks on the door.’ Daily Express
Frozen Winner of the TMA Best New Play award and Eileen Anderson Central Television Award for Best Play.
‘Bryony Lavery’s big, brave, compassionate play about grief, revenge, forgiveness and bearing the unbearable.’ Guardian
‘A major play… thrilling, humane and timely.’ The Times
‘Consistently surprising and even bravely comic… The almost thriller-like promise of the play’s climactic confrontation is like a time-bomb ticking in the back of your head.’ Independent
A young war reporter gets abducted and finds herself in the midst of a cycle of violence, in a land crippled by hate.
‘Triumphant… A startlingly metaphorical play about the creation of art.’ Independent