Biographies & Autobiographies
Our range of biographies and autobiographies are perfect for learning about the interesting stories of how some of your favourite famous people rose to fame or, in some cases, infamy. We have a great range of books on celebrities and their lives, sporting heroes revealing their competitive mindsets, and intriguing reads about political figures and cultural icons. Whatever you're after, we're sure to have the right biography for you.
Writer, teacher and journalist Kate Clanchy's Some Kids I Taught and What They Taught Me is an important, funny and candid memoir that offers a stunning insight into life inside British state schools.
Regarded by His Dark Materials author Philip Pullman as 'the best book on teachers and children and writing that I've ever read', the book finds Kate looking back over the past three decades working in schools and celebrating the creativity, passion and practical nous of teachers.
She recalls sex education classes with a group of 13-year-olds; working in a school's 'inclusion unit' to try and improve the fortunes of children who preferred not to learn; and nurturing a multi-cultural poetry group full of migrants and refugees.
This fully illustrated DK hardback looks at the leaders who have had a lasting impact on the history of the world - from presidents to prophets and conquerers to CEOs.
It features accessible biographical profiles of good, evil, successful and tragic figures alongside specially commissioned portraits in eye-catchingly bold artwork styles and also contains photographs and infographics any armchair historian will be happy to pore over.
Among the leaders and legacies you can learn about are Alexander the Great, Genghis Khan, Elizabeth I, Cleopatra and Emmeline Pankhurst. This immersive book covers their lives, motivations, achievements and innovations.
Commemorating 50 years since the death of Winston Churchil, this is a unique illustrated biography for anyone interested in the history of Britain.
It includes rare and previously unpublished images from the vaults of the Churchill Archive Centre and family pictures from the Broadwater collection. Written by historian Max Arthur, the book covers everything from Churchill's youth and early military career through to the First and Second World Wars and his post-war life.
Endlessly fascinating, it includes timelines, speech drafts, telegrams and insights into Churchill's key influences, acquaintances and family.
Praised by Fearne Cotton and Jessie Burton, Marianne Power's Help me is the humorous and moving story of the journalist's quest to live according to the rules she found in her self-help books.
Marianne decided to test one book a month for a year to see if following the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and embracing the Power of Now really dig have a significant and positive impact on her mental health. What began as a clever and fun experiment soon evolves into something much more poignant...
This is a deeply personal, witty and moving book about one woman's journey of redemption - and it's one that can also inspire you to find happiness.
For fans of authors like Matt Haig, Bryony Gordon, Danny Wallace
Only 111 of the 903 Blue Plaques that honour Londoners belong to women. This, despite thousands of truly remarkable women making significant and lasting impacts on every aspect of modern life...
From politics and social reform to arts, medicine, science, technology and sport, this book celebrates those women whose achievements have largely went unnoticed and explains how their actions, ideas and inventions helped make the world a richer place to live in.
Some of these women went about their lives and worked quietly with courage, conviction, skill and compassion, while others were fearless trailblazers who shattered the status quo of a 'man's world'.
Following the devastating stillborn birth of their son Willem, seasoned adventurer Ben Fogle and his wife Marina made a promise to embrace every day and be more positive. This led to Ben's dream of conquering Mount Everest.
In April 2018, Ben set off along with Olympic Gold-winning cyclist Victoria Pendleton and mountaineer Kenton Cool to climb to the top while raising funds for the British Red Cross and highlighting the environmental challenges mountains face.
The trio walked the fine line between life and death 8,000 metres above sea level and Ben quickly realised how enlightening this seven-week journey was going to be.
This memoir is told with humour and warmth and covers both Ben and Marina's - who was holding the family together at home - experiences during his expedition.
Innocent Drinks co-founder Richard Reed's inspiring book brings together the best quotes of advice he has been given by a host of politicians, actors, sports personalities and celebrities.
Featuring wisdom and insight from the likes of Stephen Fry, Dame Judi Dench, Bear Grylls, Ruby Wax and Heston Blumenthal, this beautiful book (with orange sprayed edges and pen-and-ink portraits of each famous face by the talented Samuel Kerr) is packed with quips, tips and so much more advice that covers various aspects of life and its foibles.
Perfect for dipping in and out of, this gift book is a treasure trove of the encounters Richard has had with a wide range of famous faces over the years - and the advice they gave that he believes will lead you to a better life.
Professor Noel Fitzpatrick - also known as The Supervet - tells his life story in this emotional and heart-warming memoir.
He recalls a childhood spent growing up on a family farm in Ballyfin, Ireland and how his bond with Pirate the sheepdog provided solace from the bullying he suffered at school. He also reveals how a fateful night spent trying to save a new-born lamb set him on a path into veterinary science - and ultimately becoming The Supervet at Fitzpatrick's Referrals in Surrey.
From calving cows and corralling bullocks to talkative parrots and bionic cats and dogs, Noel talks about the animals that paved the way for his success and also recounts the incredible highs and tear-jerking lows that come in his field of work.
Published to mark the 40th anniversary of his death, The Man Who Was Saturday is Patrick Bishop's eye-opening and action-packed biography of Airey Neave - a World War II hero, spymaster and politician who was murdered in the House of Commons car park in 1979.
Examining the life, war and death of Airey, this book reveals how he was the first British officer to escape from Colditz and how (while using the code name 'Saturday') he became a key figure in the IS9 escape which helped hundreds of Allies out of Occupied Europe.
As well as getting mixed up in several great spy scandals, Airey was also a trained lawyer who served indictments on the Nazi leaders during the Nuremburg war trial. As if that wasn't enough, he was also the man who helped get Margaret Thatcher into power in 1975...
His death in 1979 is just as remarkable as his life. A bomb was placed beneath his car while he was driving up the ramp of the House of Commons underground car park, killing him instantly and although the murder was claimed by Irish Republican group the INLA, the killers have never been identified.
After being awarded the Celebrity Mum of the Year title, Giovanna Fletcher talks about what a positive and uplifting experience raising children is in Happy Mum, Happy Baby.
Although she covers the physical, mental and emotional challenges faced by mothers, Giovanna focuses on the positives of family life and explains the lessons she has learned through her parenthood journey so far.
Married to McFly's Tom Fletcher, Giovanna and her family are hugely popular and in this book she encourages you to be confident in yourself as a parent and celebrates how putting a focus on being a happy and confident mum can inspire babies and children to also be happier.
Bookworms and literature lovers will delve into this compendium full of over 100 biographies of the world's greatest writers including Jane Austen, William Shakespeare and Gabriel Garcia Marquez.
Each author, playwright and poet's profile is accompanied by a stunning portrait and a critical evaluation of their key ideas, themes and techniques.
From the Middle Ages through to contemporary writers, this book offers a captivating insight into the lives, loves and influences of a number of extraordinary writers.
Popular BBC presenter and acclaimed historian Lucy Worsley examines how Queen Victoria grew from dancing princess to one of Britain's greatest monarchs in this eye-opening biography.
Lucy looks at 24 significant days from Victoria's life including her birth and her coronation to reveal what she was like as a person and how her actions left a mark on history.
Published to coincide with the 200th anniversary of Queen Victoria's birth, this biography celebrates Queen Victoria's extraordinary personal life.
The Last Leg host and stand-up comedian Adam Hills tells his life story in this touching and hilarious biography.
Adam has been performing for over 30 years and in this book he talks about losing his leg and how his experiences as a disabled comedian have inspired him in so many ways. He reveals how following your heart and staying positive can lead to so many incredible experiences - including hosting one of Channel 4's most popular shows!
He also talks through his favourite childhood memories, backstage blunders and exciting encounters with celebrities including Whoopi Goldberg, Billy Connolly and the bloke who sang The Macarena.
Sir David Attenborough is now in the seventh decade of his hugely successful television career as a broadcaster and naturalist. His success began with the famous Zoo Quest in 1954, where he travelled the world to discover exotic animals for a zoo exhibition in the UK.
In this fascinating memoir, David revisits his journeys from Madagascar and New Guinea to the Pacific Islands and the Northern territory of Australia.
Originally published in the late 1950s, this warm and humorous account finds David exploring some of the most remarkable cultures and wildlife from this time including his encounters with paradise birds, chameleons and sifakas.
At 94 years old, Madge Lambert is one of the few remaining women to have served as a nurse during the Burma Campaign between 1944 and 1945. It was while working here that she met her husband, Captain Basil Lambert. The couple have a love of dance that saw them appear on a Strictly Come Dancing Remembrance Day special.
Based on first-hand research and meetings with Madge, Robert Blair's biography celebrates their romance, explaining how they met in the most desperate of times. Joining the troopship when she was just 20 years old and not long qualified, she was based in Chittachong on the Indian border, close to a fierce battle between the Allied forces and the Japanese.
Madge spent long and exhausting hours nursing badly injured soldiers and eventually met Basil. This is a heart-warming and poignant account of how their burgeoning romance survived the final few months of war - and has thrived ever since.
After listening to The Archers and hearing the story about Helen Tichener being emotionally abused by her husband, Helen Walmsley-Johnson found some of the plot elements disturbingly familiar. This is her story about how she wound up - and escaped - two relationships full of coercive control.
Helen's first husband controlled all aspects of her life, from who she saw to how much money was in her bank account. He alienated her from friends, family and even their three daughters. He eventually threw her out, leaving Helen no chance but to painfully rebuild her life.
In her early 40s, Helen met Franc - who at first seemed kind, charming and considerate but soon also started telling her what to wear, eat and even to think.
This candid and gripping memoir explains how she ended up being trapped by two smiling abusers and has been written to help other women in similar situations have the courage to walk away. It will help you recognise, understand and survive this sinister form of abuse.
Gemma Hoggs' Stable Lass is a heartfelt memoir that reveals what it's like to work at one of the country's top racing yards.
Gemma explains how despite the long hours and low pay, she finds her job incredibly rewarding: she works in the beautiful surroundings of Middleham in Wensleydale and the majesty of the horses makes up for any challenges she faces from humans.
She talks about the dangers, politics, in-fighting, romances and affairs that exist in the horse riding industry and also opens up about her grief after losing a horse. She also reveals all about the people she deals with - from straight-talking boss Mickey Hammond to millionaire owners and jockeys that starve themselves to lose weight...
Dougie Lampkin, the world's greatest off-road rider, talks about his life in motorcycling in this incredible and unique autobiography.
He reveals the inspirations behind his stunts and how he always believed he was set for a life on two wheels - his dad placed a motorcycle next to his cot before he arrived home for the first time, after all!
Dougie comes from a family of sportsmen and had won seven consecutive outdoor world titles and five indoor world titles, earning him the MBE by the age of 25 and this book he brings the excitement of his sport vividly to life - sharing behind-the-scenes drama of his Red Bull challenges including riding over a multi-million-pound F1 car without leaving a scratch.
For fans of: Guy Martin, Michael Dunlop, Carl Fogarty
Animal lovers who enjoyed reading The Secret Life of Cows will love Helen Browning and Tim Finney's Pig: Tales from an Organic Farm.
This evocative and illuminating book explores why the humble pig holds such a special place in our hearts and follows the life and times of a gang of Saddleback pigs who live on one of the most advanced organic farms in the UK.
By following them growing up, Helen has the chance to reveal just how mischievous, intelligent and inventive these animals can be - and share her vision for the future of ethical farming.
Described as 'warm, evocative and funny' by the Daily Telegraph, Julian Norton's A Yorkshire Vet Through the Seasons is an inspirational memoir that finds the vet recounting some of his favourite - and most heartbreaking - experiences.
In his 20-year career, Julian has treated animals ranging from cats and dogs to snakes, horses, cows and alpacas and here he talks through some of his biggest challenges and most surprising patients. It's all told with compassion, charm and candour.
You will recognise Julian from Channel 5's The Yorkshire Vet and this book showcases his professionalism and compassion. Whether treating a pet at his practice or performing an emergency procedure in the middle of the night, this hardback is full of drama, sadness and happiness.
The most decorated manager in the history of football, it's fair to say that former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson knows a few things about leadership. In Leading, he reveals the secrets to his success - both on and off the field.
A truly inspiring read, Sir Alex looks back over his 38 years in management and tells all about the key tools he used to cover everything from tactics to teamwork and hiring to firing. Covering some of the most pivotal leadership decisions he made during his long and successful tenure at Old Trafford, he aims to provide you with the knowledge of what it takes to make it at the top, whatever your career.
Not only a great read for Man Utd supporters, but also for anyone interested in the psychology of management at the highest level, this is a collaboration with successful businessman Sir Michael Moritz that is full of hints, tips and advice for becoming a champion.
Internet sensation Bodacious the Shepherd Cat tells his life story in this meow-some memoir.
The purr-fect book for cat lovers is told from Bodacious' point of view. He talks about how he ended up living on a farm and fondly recalls the early mornings and frosty starts, hard work and mouth-watering food he's enjoyed along the way.
From Oscar the farm cat to border collie/fox terrier-cross Pepper, Bodacious talks about the animal characters he met on the farm and perfectly captures the atmosphere of the farm house, orchards and fields.
Whether breaking land speed records, working 70-hour weeks mending trucks for a haulage firm or buying his local pub, Guy Martin is always busy. We Need to Weaken the Mixture is a book that finds him inviting you to keep up to speed with his always-on life.
In this book, he talks about his exciting TV challenges ranging from building a Typhoon to restoring a 1983 Williams F1 car and also his 'proper' jobs including taytie farming and truck fitting.
He also recalls the most terrifying experience of his life - singing out of tune in front of the Kirmington crowd on New Year's Eve!
Sir David Attenborough, the nation's favourite broadcaster, started his career at the the BBC all the way back in 1954 when he presented Zoo Quest - a show that gave him the opportunity to travel the world finding rare and elusive animals for London Zoo's collection.
The expeditions were all filmed and this experience completely changed David's life. It also changed the way the public viewed the natural world and the animal kingdom.
This book, originally published in the 1950s and now republished to mark 65 years since he joined the BBC, finds David looking back at his experiences making the show and is full of jaw-dropping stories about all kinds of animals. He explains all about his adventures with wit and charm and reveals how much it meant to spread his love of nature to the wider world.
Discover the lives of the world’s most inspiring, incredible and infamous individuals in our range of biographies and autobiographies. Featuring celebrities, sportspeople, politicians, criminals, spies, writers, historical figures and unbelievable true stories, these books offer an enthralling insight into fascinating lives and secretive worlds.
If you’ve ever wanted to peek into the life of your favourite celebrity, sportsperson or writer, look no further than our latest autobiographies. From beloved national treasures to acclaimed writers and amazing athletes, these new autobiographies and famous biographies are sure to entertain, inspire and motivate you.
Enthralling lives from history and politics
Unearth some of the most ground-breaking and world-altering individuals from history and politics with our engrossing and interesting biographies and autobiographies. From esteemed world leaders to tyrannical dictators, all-powerful monarchs to the hidden lives of their subjects, discover the diverse perspectives of all sorts of people from history and politics. From new biographies to the top biographies of the past, there is something for everyone in our impressive selection.
Unbelievable true stories
Be captivated by the true stories of individuals who have gone through thrilling, terrifying and life-changing events in our latest autobiographies from extraordinary people. Featuring near-death experiences, wilderness adventures, uplifting stories about overcoming illness and trauma, tales of crime and corruption and lots more, you’ll sure to find a true story that will keep you hooked from start to finish.