Archives: Books

The Complete Fairy Stories of Oscar Wilde: classic tales that will delight this Christmas

  • Publication date: 13/10/2022
  • Hardback ISBN: 9780715654699

The Complete Fairy Stories of Oscar Wilde: classic tales that will delight this Christmas

Oscar Wilde

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‘Triumphs of the imagination’ Stephen Fry

The treasured fairy tales of Oscar Wilde in a stunning gift edition featuring exquisite illustrations by the celebrated artist Philippe Jullian with an afterword by Wilde’s son, Vyvyan Holland. For nearly 150 years, the classic fairy stories of Oscar Wilde have been cherished by readers of all ages. Rediscover all nine of the stories first published in The Happy Prince and other stories (1888) and A House of Pomegranates (1891).

Hester: a thrilling tale of witchcraft, desire and ambition

  • Publication date: 06/10/2022
  • Hardback ISBN: 9780715654767

Hester: a thrilling tale of witchcraft, desire and ambition

Laurie Lico Albanese

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Edinburgh, early 1800s: Isobel, a seamstress, and her husband Edward set sail for New England, in flight from his opium addiction and mounting debts. But, arriving in Salem, Isobel soon finds herself penniless and alone.

When she meets the young Nathaniel Hawthorne, the two are instantly drawn to each other: he is haunted by his ancestors, who sent innocent women to the gallows – while she is an unusually gifted needleworker, troubled by her own strange talents. Nathaniel and Isobel grow closer and closer. Together, they are dark storyteller and
muse; enchanter and enchanted. But which is which?

***PRAISE FOR HESTER***

‘A masterpiece that should be required reading alongside Hawthorne’s classic tale of adultery. Enthralling, ambitious and a total knockout’ Fiona Davis, bestselling author of The Lions of Fifth Avenue

‘Full of lush and colourful prose, Hester proves that a woman will do whatever she must to prosper, even when she is left with nothing but courage – and a few secrets of her own’ Sarah Penner, bestselling author of The Lost Apothecary

Hotbed: Bohemian New York and the Secret Club that Sparked Modern Feminism

  • Publication date: 14/07/2022
  • Hardback ISBN: 9780715654743

Hotbed: Bohemian New York and the Secret Club that Sparked Modern Feminism

Joanna Scutts

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The dazzling story of the early feminists who blazed a trail for the movement’s most radical ideas

New York City, 1912: in downtown Greenwich Village, a group of women gathered, all with a plan to change the world.

This was the first meeting of ‘Heterodoxy’, a secret social club. Its members were passionate advocates of women’s suffrage, labour rights, equal marriage and free love. They were socialites and socialists; reformers and revolutionaries; artists, writers and scientists. Hotbed is the never-before-told story of the club whose audacious ideas and unruly acts transformed an international feminist agenda into a modern way of life.

For readers who loved Mo Moulton’s Mutual Admiration Society and Francesca Wade’s Square Haunting.

Black Victorians: Hidden in History

  • Publication date: 22/09/2022
  • Hardback ISBN: 9780715654453

Black Victorians: Hidden in History

Keshia N. Abraham, John Woolf

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A landmark work of revisionist history exploring and celebrating the lives of Black Victorians.

Our vision of Victorian Britain tends to the monolithic – white, imperialist, prurient, patrician. However, though until very recently overlooked in our textbooks, there was another, more diverse Britain, populated by people of colour marking achievements both ordinary and extraordinary.

In this deeply researched, dynamic and revelatory history, Woolf and Abraham reach back into the archives to recentre our attention on marginalised Black Victorians, from leading medic George Rice to protestor William Cuffay to attention-grabbing abolitionists Henry ‘Box’ Brown and Sarah Parker Remond; from pre-Raphaelite muse Fanny Eaton to composer Samuel Coleridge Taylor. Black Victorians shows how Black lives were visible, present and influential – not temporary presences but established and rooted; and how paradox and ambivalence characterised the Victorian view of race.

PRAISE FOR THE WONDERS

A promising young historian’ Stephen Fry

Nuanced and complex, Woolf deftly shows there are stories of empowerment alongside those of exploitationBBC History magazine

John Woolf’s book will dazzle you with details of extraordinary lives, long underestimated by history’ Matthew Sweet, author of Inventing the Victorians

The Soviet Sisters: a gripping spy novel from the author of the international hit ‘The German Heiress’

  • Publication date: 14/07/2022
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780715654668

The Soviet Sisters: a gripping spy novel from the author of the international hit ‘The German Heiress’

Anika Scott

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Two sisters become embroiled in the burgeoning Cold War in this spellbinding novel of espionage, secrets and betrayals

Berlin, 1947: good Soviets Vera and Marya find themselves mired in the covert post-war conflicts that are shaping a new world order. When Marya, an interpreter liaising with the British, gets caught in secret agent Vera’s web of deceit, she must make desperate choices to survive – and to protect those she loves. Nine years later, as the Soviets confront their Stalinist past, Vera revisits that pivotal moment, unravelling shocking truths about her sister and herself. Against an epic backdrop, Anika Scott weaves a nail-biting, morally complex story of double–triple bluff and loyalty – or otherwise – to family or motherland.

PRAISE FOR THE SOVIET SISTERS

Electrifying, meticulously researched, and expertly plotted, The Soviet Sisters is at once a Cold War thriller, a gripping spy story, a page-turning mystery, and a familial drama‘ Lara Prescott, New York Times-bestselling author of The Secrets We Kept

What a page turner! The era and setting were very fresh, I learned so much, and I loved being taken around post-war Berlin. East and West, love and hate – this story gives beautiful insight into the opposites that can make or break a sisters’ bond. Compelling‘ Mandy Robotham, USA Today-bestselling author of The Berlin Girl and The Girl Behind the Wall

Black Butterflies: the exquisitely crafted debut novel that captures life inside the Siege of Sarajevo

  • Publication date: 05/05/2022
  • Hardback ISBN: 9780715654590
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780715654644
  • eBook ISBN: 1621705239

Black Butterflies: the exquisitely crafted debut novel that captures life inside the Siege of Sarajevo

Priscilla Morris

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‘An intensely evocative and deeply moving debut – I held my breath as I read’ Ruth Gilligan, RSL Ondaatje Prize-winning author of The Butchers

Sarajevo, spring 1992. Each night, nationalist gangs erect barricades, splitting the diverse city into ethnic enclaves; each morning, the residents – whether Muslim, Croat or Serb – push the makeshift barriers aside.

When violence finally spills over, Zora, an artist and teacher, sends her husband and elderly mother to safety with her daughter in England. Reluctant to believe that hostilities will last more than a handful of weeks, she stays behind while the city falls under siege. As the assault deepens and everything they love is laid to waste, black ashes floating over the rooftops, Zora and her friends are forced to rebuild themselves, over and over. Theirs is a breathtaking story of disintegration, resilience and hope. 

Praise for Black Butterflies

‘Beautifully written and hauntingly evocativeBlack Butterflies distils into a single consciousness a nation’s violent trauma and an artist’s sense of hope. Priscilla Morris has crafted a rich and highly accomplished debut’ Sam Byers, author of Perfidious Albion

‘In this compelling and convincing debut novel, Morris brilliantly evokes a world slipping, day by day, under the surface of the opaque waters of war. Dark and yet starkly beautifulBlack Butterflies is a narrative of how violence scars the soul of a city and its inhabitants. It is at once a testament to the victims and survivors of the Siege of Sarajevo, to the power of art and to Morris’s skills as a storyteller, all the more keenly felt for the subtlety with which they are deployed’ Aminatta Forna, author of Happiness

Black Butterflies is incredible, a must-read. There are few novels that stay with you after the final page is read, but this is one. Brutal yet also uplifting, immersive and real, it shows what the human spirit is capable of’ Karen Angelico, author of Everything We Are

‘An astonishingly good debut, chronicling one of the darkest times in global history. It reads so authentically that I might assume it was a book in translation, albeit by an excellent translator. Like food and fuel in the Siege of Sarajevo, no word is wasted. Zora’s story broke my heart, and I hope it will open the hearts of all those who read it to refugees, at a time when history is destined to repeat itself’ Liz Nugent, author of Our Little Cruelties

Black Butterflies is an elegy to the vibrant and inclusive society that was subjected to a murderous assault in 1992. But it is more than this: without sentimentality, it examines political and philosophical questions that come abruptly to the fore when the inhabitants of a modern city are starved and shot. This novel comes at an apt time, not just because it marks the thirtieth anniversary of the beginning of the Siege of Sarajevo, but because it testifies to the ease and speed with which things can fall apart’ Kevin Sullivan, author of The Longest Winter

Nice is Not a Biscuit

  • Publication date: 17/02/2022
  • Hardback ISBN: 9780715654262
  • eBook ISBN: 1611007493

Nice is Not a Biscuit

Peter Mead

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100 lessons from one of Britain’s most successful businessmen

Peter Mead’s spectacular career in advertising began when he joined the despatch department of a large agency straight from school at the age of 16. He fell in love with the business and his ambition and drive led him in 1977 to co-found Abbott Mead Vickers, which grew into one of the industry’s most respected and highly awarded agencies. In 1995 AMV BBDO became the largest advertising agency in the UK, a position it has held ever since.

Nice is not a Biscuit distils the most important business lessons Peter has learnt from his years at the cutting edge of advertising. It reveals the secrets of his success, and a lifetime’s thought about the right way to do business in the creative industries (and beyond), in a series of short, utterly beguiling chapters.

The chapters range over leadership, happy companies; speaking truth to power; class; ambition and the pursuit of scale; politicking in the workplace; improving profitability, managing creative types, and lots more. He also includes inside stories of some of the most iconic advertising in the last forty years.

The book places the reader in the company of a clever, funny, wise, humane raconteur, whose vast knowledge is conveyed lightly, and in ways that make the reader want to listen and learn.

Scheisse! We’re Going Up!

  • Publication date: 18/08/2022
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780715654439

Scheisse! We’re Going Up!

Kit Holden

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THE EXTRAORDINARY STORY OF A CLUB ON THE RISE AND A CITY IN FLUX. THIS IS UNION BERLIN.

No football club in the world has fans like Union Berlin. The underdogs from East Berlin have stuck it to the Stasi, built their own stadium, and even given blood to save their club. But now, they face a new and terrifying prospect: success.

Scheisse! tells the human stories behind the unexpected rise of this unique club. But it’s not just about football. Union’s tale is interwoven with a witty cultural history of contemporary Berlin that shines a light on the social issues which still define the German capital thirty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Scheisse! will appeal to readers who are captivated by sports biographies such as Raphael Honigstein’s Das Reboot and social history like John Kampfner’s Why The Germans Do It Better.

Arcadian Days: Gods, Women and Men from Greek Myth – From the Winner of the Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction

  • Publication date: 26/05/2022
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780715654569
  • eBook ISBN: 9780715654576

Arcadian Days: Gods, Women and Men from Greek Myth – From the Winner of the Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction

John Spurling

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The Greek myths, refined by the great poets and playwrights of Ancient Greece, distil the essence of human life: its brief span, its pride, courage and insecurity, its anxious relationship with the natural world – earth, sea and sky, represented by powerful gods and monsters.

Taking inspiration from the incomparably beautiful and intense poetry of Homer, Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides, Spurling – a lifelong classicist and an award-winning playwright and historical novelist – spins five more myths for contemporary readers. These captivating tales centre on male-female pairs – Prometheus and Pandora, Jason and the sorceress Medea, Oedipus and his daughter Antigone, Achilles and his mother Thetis, Odysseus and Penelope – that destroyed dynasties, raised and felled heroes, and sealed the fates of men.

Vagabonds: Life on the Streets of Nineteenth-century London – by BBC New Generation Thinker 2022

  • Publication date: 02/06/2022
  • Hardback ISBN: 9780715654392

Vagabonds: Life on the Streets of Nineteenth-century London – by BBC New Generation Thinker 2022

Oskar Jensen

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Compelling, moving and unexpected portraits of London’s poor from a rising star British historian – the Dickensian city brought to real and vivid life.

Until now, our view of bustling late Georgian and Victorian London has been filtered through its great chroniclers, who did not themselves come from poverty – Dickens, Mayhew, Gustave Doré. Their visions were dazzling in their way, censorious, often theatrical. Now, for the first time, this innovative social history brilliantly – and radically – shows us the city’s most compelling period (1780–1870) at street level.

From beggars and thieves to musicians and missionaries, porters and hawkers to sex workers and street criers, Jensen unites a breadth of original research and first-hand accounts and testimonies to tell their stories in their own words. What emerges is a buzzing, cosmopolitan world of the working classes, diverse in gender, ethnicity, origin, ability and occupation – a world that challenges and fascinates us still.