Celebrity Autobiographies and Biographies of Britain's National Treasures

Britain has many brilliant national treasures and every one of them has an amazing story to tell. We have a great range of celebrity autobiographies, from all manner of talented and influential people, as well as great celebrity biographies about our best national treasures, living or dead. Learning the stories and histories of how these great people came to be so loved and respected by our society is truly fascinating and so we've compiled our very favourite celebrity biographies and autobiographies from and about Britain's national treasures for you to enjoy.

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1. David Bowie: A Life

Dylan Jones

Journalist Dylan Jones presents the legendary David Bowie in a way you've never seen him before. Dylan brings together accounts from those who knew and loved Bowie as well as 20 years' worth of interviews between Bowie and himself to give an insight into the well-guarded private life of this amazing musician. From how he came to have such a creative and unusual career to his family life, including the effect his half-brother's schizophrenia had on his life and work, this biography is a must-read for all fans of this Starman.

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2. Maggie Smith: A Biography

Michael Coveney

The phenomenal Dame Maggie Smith has been wowing film, TV and theatre audiences for sixty years and in this book you can learn all about her incredible life and career. Though Maggie is known for liking her private life kept private, she has approved this terrific biography by Michael Coveney. Beginning with her early work on the stage and following her through to her more recent work in the Harry Potter films and Downtown Abbey, this comprehensive look into the life of this star is a really unique read.

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3. The Zoo Quest Expeditions

Sir David Attenborough

Sir David Attenborough first wrote this autobiography in the 1950s after he secured a job with the BBC filming a show called Zoo Quest which allowed him to travel around the world, finding unusual animals for London Zoo. This book was then republished in 2017 to celebrate 65 years of David working at the BBC and is filled with strange and exciting anecdotes of the adventures David had whilst filming the show. If you want a glimpse into the origins of what made this famous animal lover into the national treasure he's become then this is the book for you.

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4. The Story of Beatrix Potter

Sarah Gristwood

Beatrix Potter, the incredible author and illustrator behind some of the world's best-loved children's stories, was a rather fascinating woman. In Sarah Gristwood's biography you can discover how she came to be successful as a writer despite living in a time where women writers were still struggling to find the respect they deserved. Sarah shines a light on Beatrix's charming childhood where she found inspiration for her stories to her adult life, her marriages and her work as a farmer. Learn the story of the lady behind countless terrific tales in this amazing biography.

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5. Tom Jones - The Life

Sean Smith

The life of this Welsh legend has been a thrilling one so far and biographer Sean Smith lets you see how Tom went from a small mining town to one of the biggest singers in the world. Over the years Tom has gained many celebrity friends and has had many incredible adventures, discover them all in this brilliant biography. Moving from Wales to California to Vegas and back again, this biography is certainly not one to be missed.

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6. My Brief History

Stephen Hawking

Stephen Hawking is known for his brilliant mind and scientific expertise but in this fascinating autobiography you can get a glimpse into the personal side of the amazing life Stephen has led. Starting with his childhood in post-war Britain and taking you through his educational journey and his motor neurone disease diagnosis at 21, to his life as a father and physicist, this memoir makes fascinating reading. Best known for his book, A Brief History of Time, Stephen leads you through his own history and his life so far.

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    • £12.89
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    Stephen Hawking has dazzled readers worldwide with a string of bestsellers exploring the mysteries of the universe. Now, for the first time, the most brilliant cosmologist of our age turns his gaze inwards for a revealing look at his own life and intellectual evolution. My Brief History recounts Stephen Hawking's improbable journey, from his post-war London boyhood to his years of international acclaim and celebrity. Lavishly illustrated with rarely seen photographs, this concise, witty and candid account introduces readers to a Hawking rarely glimpsed in previous books: the inquisitive schoolboy whose classmates nicknamed him 'Einstein'; the jokester who once placed a bet with a colleague over the existence of a black hole; and the young husband and father struggling to gain a foothold in the world of academia. Writing with characteristic humility and humour, Hawking opens up about the challenges that confronted him following his diagnosis of motor neurone disease aged twenty-one. Tracing his development as a thinker, he explains how the prospect of an early death urged him onwards through numerous intellectual breakthroughs, and talks about the genesis of his masterpiece. A Brief History of Time - one of the iconic books of the twentieth century. Clear-eyed, intimate and wise, My Brief History opens a window for the rest of us into Hawking's personal cosmos.
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    One of the greatest musical icons of all time, David Bowie's legacy and influence continues to reign strong across so many aspects of our culture. This biography is drawn from over 180 interviews and will tell you so much you didn't know about the man (who fell to Earth) behind Ziggy Stardust, Starman and Ashes to Ashes.

    Respected journalist and editor Dylan Jones has collated thoughts from Bowie's friends, rivals, lovers and collaborators to provide insight into a musician who was equally flamboyant and private. It looks at his entire career and traces his life from growing up in Brixton to his time spent in New York, Los Angeles, Berlin and beyond.

    It reveals the huge impact Bowie's schizophrenic half-brother, Terry, had on his life and how he would absorb influences through intense relationships before dropping people cold when he'd got what he needed. Also featuring never-before-seen material from interviews Jones conducted with Bowie over two decades, this is an intimate, insightful and gloriously gossipy portrait of one of our finest ever polymaths.
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    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.
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    As well as being the creator of classic characters including Peter Rabbit, Jemima Puddleduck and Squirrel Nutkin, Beatrix Potter lived an extraordinary life of her own.

    This biography from Sarah Gristwood unveils just how extraordinary Beatrix's life was. Describing her as a woman of contradictions (a sheltered Victorian daughter who grew into an astute modern businesswoman; a talented artist who became a scientific expert; a famous author who gave everything up to be a farmer...), this book follows the key turning points in Beatrix's life.

    From her brief first engagement to her happy second marriage and how she drew inspiration from her childhood pets and beloved locations in the Lake District, this book also explores Beatrix's last 30 years - when she abandoned books and worked as a farmer and conservationist, saving thousands of acres of the Lake District that still thrive today.
  • MAGS
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    In a career now spanning six decades, Dame Maggie Smith has firmly established herself as one of the world's favourite actresses. This biography sheds some light on the lady behind Professor McGonagall's pointy hat.

    Famously private, this book has been published with Maggie's approval and is written by Michael Coveney, one of the few writers lucky enough to have interviewed her in recent years. Covering her glorious career in detail, from her days starring in the West End to a role alongside Laurence Olivier in Othello and her Academy Award-winning performance in The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, up to the more recent fare including the Harry Potter series and Downton Abbey, the book provides a fascinating glimpse of the real Maggie Smith.

    Drawing on personal archives, interviews and his own encounters with Maggie, alongside conversations with immediate family and close friends, the fully up-to-date book not only celebrates Maggie Smith's incredible work on stage and on screen but also takes a look at the personal experiences that have shaped her as a person.

    A must-have book about a true national treasure.
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    From bestselling biographer Sean Smith comes the fascinating and tumultuous true story behind Wales' best-known export, sage of BBC's The Voice and living music legend Sir Tom Jones.

    Now into his mid-70s, Tom Jones' life has been an unforgettable roller-coaster ride. Who would have thought that a boy from a small Welsh mining town, who married his sweetheart at 16, in just seven years would become a major musical hit, living a lavish lifestyle in sunny California? Through intimate interviews, Smith uncovers all this and more, including the years Tom Jones spent as little more than a Vegas lounge singer, his A-list friendships, his family life and much, much more...

    As revealing as it is entertaining, this Tom Jones biography is the definitive story of a great talent who is showing no signs of slowing down. A must-read book for all fans of the Sex Bomb and Delilah singer!