Cultural & Literary

Cultural & Literary: 1-24 of 25

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    HYLS

    Harry's Last Stand (Hardback)

    Harry Leslie Smith

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    A breath of fresh air to the world of current affairs, Harry Leslie Smith introduces a new perspective on modern life through the eyes of a man who has seen it all in Harry's Last Stand.

    Claiming not to be a historian - but being living history himself - Harry brings a unique perspective on the issues that affect our everyday lives including NHS cutbacks, benefits policy, political corruption, food, poverty, education and much, much more...

    Following on from where his sensational Guardian article 'This year, I will wear a poppy for the last time' left off, the book delves into Harry's experience of seeing a great civilisation rising from the rubble, the fears of how easily this greatness can be eroded and what he thinks we can do as a nation to change that!
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    BOAT

    Hemingway's Boat (Hardback)

    Paul Hendrickson

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    Paul Hendrickson provides an invaluable, unforgettable and original portrait of Ernest Hemingway and his beloved boat, Pilar, in Hemingway's Boat. Telling the story of the great American writer by focusing on the boat he wrote on, fished from and loved on, this gives a new insight into the life of a man who became a literary sensation. The biography covers from the pinnacle of Hemingway's fame in 1934 to his suicide in 1961, and this enchanting read showcases the close connection between events in his life and the words that ended up on the pages in his work.
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    LAMA

    The Wisdom of Compassion (Hardback)

    His Holiness The Dalai Lama

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    Get a rare insight into the life of the Dalai Lama with this inspirational book. Through captivating anecdotes, The Wisdom of Compassion reveals how the Dalai Lama has learned lessons from his meetings with remarkable people from all walks of life and used these to become a better and more rounded individual. Approaching the world with humour, dignity and optimism, the book covers how the Dalai Lama not only empathised with those who are suffering, but also demonstrated the benefits of practising forgiveness and compassion. Drawing on some of unique friendships formed over seven decades of practice, this captivating book, written by the Dalai Lama with Victor Chan, shows how when you open your heart and mind to others, you can not only overcome adversity, but also find happiness and fulfilment.
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    DELA
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    It is undeniable that Nelson Mandela is one of the most influential people the world has even known. A household name across the globe, his fight for black equality in South Africa made him an unforgettable and highly respected figure, but his road to the international statesmen he became was without doubt a turbulent one. Although spending 27 years in prison and branded a terrorist by some, he was not born an outlaw. Born into a well-respected family in his local community, he was destined to become an advisor to his tribal chief, like his father before him, but Mandela ended far from the mud-brick hut he grew up in... Rising to become a firebrand lawyer, political campaigner, Nobel Peace Prize winner and the President of South Africa, he was an inspiration to say the very least. This comprehensive yet accessible story of the life of Nelson Mandela, illustrated with nostalgic photographs, is completely up to date and a fitting tribute to the extraordinary freedom fighter.
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    RHUT

    Robert Hutchinson Collection - 5 Books (Collection)

    Robert Hutchinson

    (1)
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    Examining the life and times of King Henry VIII and the impact his reign had over Tudor Britain, this five-book collection from Robert Hutchinson will delight and entertain anyone with an interest in this fascinating historical era.

    Revealing how conspiracies, treason and heresy were all present throughout Henry VIII's reign, the books tell the incredible story of the greed and corruption that was ever-present throughout this time and also examines Henry's rise as a young monarch and the crucial impact his trusted minister Thomas Cromwell, the most corrupt Chancellor in English history, had on the nation. Meanwhile, Elizabeth's Spymaster focuses on Francis Walsingham, the world's first super spy.
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    MRSN

    The Criminal Conversation of Mrs Norton (Hardback)

    Diane Atkinson

    (1)
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    Written by the acclaimed historian Diane Atkinson, The Criminal Conversation of Mrs Norton is the sensational true story of Caroline Norton - a beautiful and clever young woman who fought for the rights of women everywhere. Maneuvered into marriage at just 19, ten years later Caroline's husband George Norton was a dull, violent and controlling man and when Caroline stood up for herself and refused to be the wife he wanted, he accused her of adultery. Soon, Caroline was exonerated and cut off from her children by her vindictive husband. This is when she began to campaign to get women a separate legal identity for the first time. Caroline helped write the Infant Custody Act and also influenced the Matrimonial Causes (Divorce) Act and the Married Women's Property Act in the nineteenth century. This beautiful hardback is a fascinating read for anyone interested in history and politics.

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    KMIS

    The Kings Mistress (Hardback)

    Claudia Gold

    (1)
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    Written by Claudia Gold, The King's Mistress: Scandal, Intrigue and the True Story of the Woman Who Stole George I's Heart tells the tale of Ehrengard Melusine von der Schulenburg, a woman who was the mistress and probable secret wife of King George I. Seemingly grasping, unattractive and dim-witted, she managed to tempt George away from his beautiful wide and bind him to her for almost 40 years, becoming one of the most powerful women in Europe. This thoroughly readable account brings her tale vividly to life in an extremely compelling way.

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    DALA

    The Dalai Lama - My Spiritual Autobiography (Hardback)

    Dalai Lama XIV Bstan-'dzin-rgy

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    His Holiness the Dalai Lama: My Spiritual Autobiography is a fascinating insight into the life of the extremely respected leader. The Dalai Lama sees himself first and foremost as a human being, secondly as a monk and thirdly as the political leader of Tibet. This extraordinary autobiography describes many hitherto unknown stories from his childhood and his gradual development as a leader of his people. The Dalai Lama also shares his daily spiritual practice and demonstrates how he endeavours to bring a sense of goodness and conscience to political life around the globe. He also explains how he transforms himself through spiritual means in order to have a positive effect on the world.

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    DOTL

    A Diary of The Lady (Hardback)

    Rachel Johnson

    (1)
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    A fascinating insight into the life of a magazine editor, A Diary of The Lady is a riotous account of her first year in charge of the world’s oldest women’s weekly magazine by Rachel Johnson. Charged with the responsibility of rescuing The Lady from dwindling readership figures, the smart and metropolitan Johnson locks horns with the slightly archaic ways of the magazine and its owners, whilst uncovering all the dirt on life in the offices of a seemingly sedate ladies’ journal. Will she sink The Lady or will this wickedly funny account detail a masterful success?

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    FANN

    The Thing is ... (Paperback)

    Dave Fanning

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    Described as the Irish John Peel, Dave Fanning has been a major player in the Irish and global music scene for over 30 years. In this compelling memoir, RTE Radio 2 DJ Dave Fanning gives the behind-the-scenes story of all the international musicians he has met, including The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, David Bowie, The Who and many, many more. Dave's story starts in the 60s, when he discovered his love for Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Leonard Cohen and of course, The Beatles through the family subscription to the NME. This was to be his first glimpse of a world he would soon become an important part of. Quickly becoming the voice of a generation, Billboard magazine hailed Fanning as the man solely responsible for the growth of Ireland's music industry. Including never-before-seen photographs and images from Dave's huge personal collection, this is an absolute must-have for any music fan and will be a significant contribution to the history of music.
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    HICK

    The Chicken Chronicles (Hardback)

    Alice Walker

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    From Pulitzer Prize winning author Alice Walker, The Chicken Chronicles is a truly unique tale of a women?s relationship with poultry and a warm memoir of how keeping chickens led the author to reflect and ask questions of herself. Growing up in the deep south of America, Alice soon became used to the reality of breeding chickens for their eggs and ultimately meat and discovered later in her life, when living in Mexico, how much she missed rearing her own brood. Full of fascinating reflections and plenty of interesting details about the practicalities of looking after animals, this is an intriguing hardback.

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    PMON

    Mid-term Report (Hardback)

    Phil Redmond

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    Mid-term Report is a candid, insightful and humorous memoir from Phil Redmond, the creator of Grange Hill, Brookside and Hollyoaks. In the autobiography, he describes how his modest upbringing in Merseyside lead him to create three of Britain's most popular ever television dramas. All three shows were groundbreaking and managed to entertain audiences of millions, as well as introducing unforgettable characters such as Tucker Jenkins, Jimmy Corkhill and Tony Hutchinson. An inspirational read, Redmond reveals all about his influences, his life growing up and how his innovative and pioneering approach to television drama has won him numerous awards and accolades, as well as a few complaints!
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    AJTR

    The Autobiography Of Jack The Ripper (Hardback)

    James Carnac

    (1)
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    The Autobiography of Jack the Ripper purports to be the confession of the world's most notorious serial killer, apparently written by James Carnac in the 1920s, but only recently discovered. Whether it actually is or not is up for the reader to judge, but it is an extraordinary memoir that appears to have inside knowledge of the Whitechapel murders of 1888 and gives a wealth of detail about Victorian London, as well as giving a credible motive for the murders. Either fiction or non, this is a fascinating piece of period writing that is a worthy addition to the Ripper cannon and is sure to inspire heated debates.

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    BITB

    The Boys in the Boat (Hardback)

    Daniel James Brown

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    A charismatic young man abandoned by his family at an early age, Joe Rantz dared to dream of escaping the challenges of the Great Depression and the painful memories of his early family life, finding solace in rowing. Heading on an extraordinary journey, Joe found himself lining up in a gold medal rowing race at the Berlin Olympics of 1936, in front of Adolf Hitler himself. Written by Daniel James Brown and full of lyricism and unexpected beauty, The Boys in the Boat is an inspirational true story.
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    COLL

    P.G. Wodehouse: A Life in Letters (Hardback)

    P. G. Wodehouse

    (1)
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    A quiet man, P.G. Wodehouse always shied away from the idea of a biography. Expressing himself through the written word, this collection of letters provides an illuminating biographical accompaniment to the man behind the likes of Jeeves and the Empress of Blandings. Following from his schooldays at Dulwich College to his life in New York working in musical comedy alongside Irving Berlin, Cole Porter and George Gershwin, the letters also cover the strange episode in 1940 when he was interned by the Germans. A revealing insight that will delight fans of Wodehouse.

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    YJAM

    Young Herriot (Hardback)

    John Lewis-Stempel

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    'We had no antibiotics, few drugs. A lot of time was spent pouring things down cows' throats. The whole thing added up to a lot of laughs. There's more science now, but not so many laughs'. We all know James Herriot, possibly the most famous vet in the world. But how did a young student named Alf Wight become the man who would charm millions of readers the world over? "Young Herriot" tells the fascinating story of James Herriot's formative years at veterinary college. Set in Glasgow in the 1930s - pre-antibiotics, when veterinary practice was, as Herriot wrote, 'more art than science' - the book shines a light on his calling to work with animals (which began when he read an article in "Meccano Magazine" entitled 'Veterinary Surgery as a Career'), his early friendships and quest for knowledge at Glasgow's Veterinary College and the early development of his legendary compassion for animals. Accompanying a major BBC drama series, "Young Herriot" uses previously unpublished diaries and casebooks from Herriot's days as a student to bring to life a fascinating time and place, and represents a thrilling new addition to the James Herriot canon.
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    NEWE

    The New Elizabethans (Hardback)

    James Naughtie

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    To mark the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, Jim Naughtie looks back over the span of her reign to identify the people who have defined the era in The New Elizabethans: Sixty Portraits of Our Age. The official tie-in to the popular Radio 4 series, the book reveals a fascinating and eclectic collection of profiles that celebrate 60 New Elizabethans who represent all walks of life in British society. A superb comment on social and political life, it is the perfect present for anyone interested in royalty and contemporary history.
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    WINT

    Winter Journal (Hardback)

    Paul Auster

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    Fans of Paul Auster, the bestselling American author of Sunset Park and the New York Trilogy, will not be disappointed by this incredibly powerful portrayal of his early life, told in part through the relationship with his mother. Written in the second person with uncommon power and grace, the journal advances from one autobiographical fragment to the next, jumping backwards and forwards in time. A deeply personal book, Auster takes readers from his childhood through to the brink of old age, covering all the pleasure and pain he's lived through along the way. It especially focuses on the abandonment of his family by his father. 30 years after publishing his first book of prose, The Invention of Solitude, this second memoir looks straight into the heart of what it means to be alive.
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    DUST

    Red Dust Road (Hardback)

    Jackie Kay

    (2)
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    A remarkable journey through Jackie Kay's childhood - one ridden with prejudice and experiences of rejection - Red Dust Road is a moving and beautifully written autobiography. Vividly told, Kay's memoir tells of her upbringing as an adopted, mixed-race lesbian in a genuine and appealing manner, without unattractive doses of self pity. Full of good humour and touching honesty, and written in a flowing, delicate style more akin to a bestselling novel, this is a fascinating story of nature versus nurture. This remarkable read was the winner of the Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust Book Awards: Book of the Year Award in 2011.

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    ABLHC

    The Children of Lovers (Hardback)

    Judy Golding

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    The Children of Lovers is an interesting, intelligent memoir, written in an engaging and unsentimental style. In 1993, Golding died after an evening with the family, drunk and alone, at about 4am a bad time for a sufferer of night terrors... On the same night, in a nearby room, Judy had a prophetic dream that at last she could think and write whatever she liked. This book, so clear thinking and devoid of self-pity has emerged from that discovery. While William Golding may give The Children of Lovers its heft and weight, the author gives it wings, and her book takes flight in a light-spirited way that those brilliant, brilliant, demon-haunted novels never quite did.

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    AEIZI

    The Great Composers (Hardback)

    Wendy Thompson

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    This is an illustrated encyclopedia of the lives and works of the world's best composers. This is an authoritative guide to the lives and works of the 100 most famous classical composers encompassing all styles of composition from medieval times to the present day. It features at-a-glance fact boxes that summarize the composers' lives and key works. It includes a biography for each composer, with historical information about events and artistic movements of the time and a look at how the composer influenced or changed the development of their art form. It is fully illustrated with over 500 photographs and illustrations featuring composers' portraits, the places they are associated with, scenes from their ballets or operas, and examples of their handwritten manuscripts. This authoritative volume provides a beautifully illustrated guide to the most influential composers of classical music: those who have defined or developed particular styles of composition and created for themselves a significant place in music history. Starting from medieval times, the book gives detailed biographies covering the life and times of each composer, listing their most important works and placing them in their historical context. For the enthusiast looking for a reference volume of their favourite composers, or for all those who love classical music and want to find out more, "The Great Composers" is an essential companion.
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    ADZTO

    Classical Composers (Paperback)

    Wendy Thompson

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    This title covers the lives and works of the great musical creators of the Medieval, Baroque and Classical eras, with 200 illustrations. This is a guide to over 30 of the most famous composers from the Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque and Classical eras, including Palestrina, Bach, Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert. It includes biographies for each composer, with historical information about the musical eras, events and artistic movements of the time, and how the composers influenced or changed the development of their art form. Chronologically arranged, the expert text features at-a-glance fact boxes summarizing the composers' key works. This book provides an illustrated guide to the most influential composers from the beginnings of composition in the 12th century to the golden age of Western music in the mid-19th century. The entries for each composer are accompanied by full-colour photographs and fine art, showing their portraits, the places where they lived and worked, and scenes from their ballets or operas. The expert text explains how each composer fitted into society, other events and artistic movements that were occurring at the same time, and how their work was regarded by other composers and the public. Throughout the book there are at-a-glance guides to each composer's nationality, place of birth, principal works and musical style.
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    AGEWH

    Here and Now (Hardback)

    Paul Auster

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    Although Paul Auster and J.M. Coetzee had been reading each other's books for years, the two writers did not meet until February 2008. Not long after, Auster received a letter from Coetzee, suggesting they begin exchanging letters on a regular basis and, "God willing, strike sparks off each other". "Here and Now" is the result of that proposal: an epistolary dialogue between two great writers who became great friends. Over three years their letters touched on nearly every subject, from sports to fatherhood, film festivals to incest, philosophy to politics, from the financial crisis to art, family, marriage, friendship, and love. Their correspondence offers an intimate and often amusing portrait of these two men as they explore the complexities of the here and now and is a reflection of two sharp intellects whose pleasure in each other's friendship is apparent on every page.
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    • RRP £12.99
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    AGWML

    Hildegard of Bingen (Paperback)

    Fiona Maddocks

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    Best known today as a fine composer, the twelfth-century German abbess Hildegard of Bingen was also a religious leader and visionary, a poet, naturalist and writer of medical treatises. Despite her cloistered life she had strong, often controversial views on sex, love and marriage too - a woman astonishing in her own age, whose book of apocalyptic visions, Scivias, would alone have been enough to ensure her lasting fame. In this classic and highly praised biography - first published by Headline in 2001 - distinguished writer and journalist, Fiona Maddocks, draws on Hildegard's prolific writings to paint a portrait of her extraordinary life against the turbulent medieval background of crusade and schism, scientific discovery and cultural revolution. The great intellectual gifts and forceful character that emerge make her as fascinating as any figure in the Middle Ages. More than 800 years after her death, Pope Benedict XVI has made Hildegard a Saint and a Doctor of the Church (one of only four women). Fiona Maddocks has provided a short new preface to cover these tributes to an extraordinary and exceptional woman.