Category: BIO006000

The Sayings of Benjamin Disraeli

The wit and wisdom of Benjamin Disraeli, British statesman and twice Prime Minister of the United Kingdom – with a new foreword by Lord Lexden.

Disraeli was one of the least orthodox of Prime Ministers. He was an adventurer who fought his way to ‘the top of the greasy pole’ in a blaze of controversy, and became Queen Victoria’s favourite statesman. He was a novelist and a wit as well as politician. He was a brilliant orator. Like Byron he was both a romantic and a cynic. His aphorisms have become part of the discourse of political life.

This collection is based on his novels, letters and speeches. He was never dull, but he was fundamentally serious behind the firework display, and he had a lasting influence on the course of party history.

Seen by some of the founder of ‘one-nation’ conservatism, Disraeli is today one of the most co-opted political figures of history. For those seeking clarity on Disraeli’s views, this collection will confound and surprise.

 

Hitler’s Piano Player

Ernst Hanfstaengl was court jester, pianist, and foreign press chief for Hitler, he even claimed to have devised the chant of Sieg Heil, but when the two men fell out he fled to Britain, where he was interned and transferred to America. There he worked as the star of Roosevelt’s ‘S-Project,’ informing on 400 leading Nazis and creating a detailed psychological portrait of Hitler.

Through newly declassified documents, interviews with surviving family members and original writing by Hanfstaengl himself, Peter Conradi recounts a remarkable life.

My Life in France: ‘exuberant, affectionate and boundlessly charming’ New York Times

When Julia Child arrived in Paris in 1948, ‘a six-foot-two-inch, thirty-six-year-old, rather loud and unserious Californian’, she barely spoke a word of French and didn’t know the first thing about cooking.

As she fell in love with French culture – buying food at local markets, sampling the local bistros, and taking classes at the Cordon Bleu – her life began to change forever. We follow her extraordinary transformation from kitchen ingénue to internationally renowned (and internationally loved) expert in French cuisine.

Bursting with Child’s adventurous and humorous spirit, My Life in France captures post-war Paris with wonderful vividness and charm.

***PRAISE FOR MY LIFE IN FRANCE***

‘Whether you have [seen Julie & Julia] or not, you must read this charming, eccentric memoir from Julia Child, a towering figure in the world of cookery’ Independent on Sunday

‘This idiosyncratic and engaging book captures perfectly Child’s innocent introduction to the world of French food… a delightful read, full of wickedly dry wit, mouth-watering descriptions of food and drink and a joie de vivre that is positively infectious’ Daily Mail

‘Child’s exuberant, affectionate and boundlessly charming account… chronicles, in mouth-watering detail, the meals and the food markets that sparked her interest in French cooking, and her growing appreciation of all things French’ New York Times

‘Luscious… the large-as-life presence of Julia Child looms on every page‘ Washington Times

Lively, infectious… Her elegant but unfussy prose pulls the reader into her stories’ Chicago Sun Times

Captivating… her marvellously distinctive voice is present on every page’ San Francisco Chronicle

Effie

‘A joy to read – a wonderful, rich book.’ Dame Emma Thompson

The scandalous love triangle at the heart of the Victorian art world. Effie Gray, a Scottish beauty, was the heroine of a great Victorian love story. Married at nineteen to John Ruskin, she found herself trapped in a loveless and unconsummated union. When her husband invited his protégé John Everett Millais away on holiday, she and Millais fell in love. Effie would inspire some of Millais’s most haunting images, and embody Victorian society’s fears about female sexuality.

Effie risked everything by leaving Ruskin. She hoped to find fulfilment as Millais’s wife, becoming a society hostess and manager of his studio, but controversy and tragedy continued to stalk her. Suzanne Fagence Cooper has gained exclusive access to Effie’s family letters and diaries to reveal the reality behind the scandalous love-triangle. She shows the rise and fall of the Pre-Raphaelite circle from a new perspective, through the eyes of a woman who was intimately involved in the private and public lives of its two greatest figures. Effie’s charm and ambition helped to shape the careers of both her husbands. Effie is a compelling portrait of the extraordinary woman behind some of the most famous Pre-Raphaelite paintings.

Queen of Spies

The only biography of Britain’s celebrated female spy – now fully updated with previously classified materials.

From being raised in a Tanzanian shack, to attaining MI6’s most senior operational rank, Daphne Park led a highly unusual life. Drawing on first-hand accounts of intelligence workers close to agent Park, Hayes reveals how she rose in a male-dominated world to become Britain’s Cold War spy master.

With intimate, nail-biting details Queen of Spies captures both the paranoia and on-the-ground realities of intelligence work from the Second World War to the Cold War, and the life of Britain’s celebrated female spy.

Rest in Pieces

In the long run, we’re all dead. But for some of the most influential figures in history, death marked the start of a new adventure. The famous deceased have been stolen, burned, sold, pickled, frozen, stuffed, impersonated and even filed away in a lawyer’s office. Their fingers, teeth, toes, arms, legs, skulls, hearts, lungs and nether regions have embarked on voyages that criss-cross the globe and stretch the imagination.

Counterfeiters tried to steal Lincoln’s corpse. Einstein’s brain went on a cross-country road trip. And after Lord Horatio Nelson perished at Trafalgar, his sailors submerged him in brandy – which they drank. From Mozart to Hitler, Rest in Pieces connects the lives of the famous dead to the hilarious and horrifying adventures of their corpses and traces the evolution of cultural attitudes towards death.

Angela Merkel

The definitive biography of perhaps the most respected political figure in the world – updated to include her final months in office

Matthew Qvortrup’s definitive and insightful biography of Angela Merkel is essential reading for anyone interested in current affairs, the fate of Europe, or simply the story of a truly remarkable woman. Updated to within a month from when Merkel steps down as German chancellor.

Based on over 14 years of in-depth research, Angela Merkel tells the story of the political titan’s astonishing rise from obscurity to become the most influential leader in Europe today. It follows the German Chancellor’s journey to prominence and power from a bleak childhood in East Germany, and offers an unprecedented understanding of her inimitable personality and perspective, explaining how her unique qualities have made Merkel perhaps the most respected political figure on the world stage today.

Churchill and Orwell

Today, as liberty and truth are increasingly challenged, the figures of Churchill and Orwell loom large. Exemplars of Britishness, they preserved individual freedom and democracy for the world through their far-sighted vision and inspired action, and cast a long shadow across our culture and politics. In Churchill & Orwell, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author Thomas E. Ricks masterfully argues that these extraordinary men are as important today as they ever were. Churchill and Orwell stood in political opposition to each other, but were both committed to the preservation of freedom. However, in the late 1930s they occupied a lonely position: democracy was much discredited, and authoritarian rulers, fascist and communist, were everywhere in the ascent. Unlike others, they had the wisdom to see that the most salient issue was human liberty – and that any government that denies its people basic rights is a totalitarian menace to be resisted. Churchill and Orwell proved their age’s necessary men, and this book reveals how they rose from a precarious position to triumph over the enemies of freedom. Churchill may have played the larger role in Hitler’s defeat, but Orwell’s reckoning with the threat of authoritarian rule in 1984 and Animal Farm defined the stakes of the Cold War and continues to inspire to this day. Their lives are an eloquent testament to the power of moral conviction, and to the courage it takes to stay true to it.

The Nine Lives of John Ogilby

Four hundred years ago, every barrister had to dance because dancing put them in harmony with the universe. John Ogilby’s first job, in 1612, was to teach them. By the 1670s, he was Charles II’s Royal Cosmographer, creating beautiful measured drawings that placed roads on maps for the first time. During the intervening years, Ogilby had travelled through fire and plague, war and shipwreck; had been an impresario in Dublin, a poet in London, a soldier and sea captain, as well as a secret agent, publisher and scientific geographer. The world of his youth had been blown up and turned upside down. Beset by danger, he carefully concealed his biography in codes and cyphers, which meant that the truth about his life has remained unknown… until today.

In this enlightening book, Alan Ereira brings a fascinating hidden history to light, and reveals that Ogilby’s celebrated Britannia is far more than a harmless road atlas: it is, rather, filled with secrets designed to serve a conspiracy of kings and England’s undoing. The Nine Lives of John Ogilby is the story of a remarkable man, and of a covert journey which gave birth to the modern world.

My Life in France

When Julia Child arrived in Paris in 1948, ‘a six-foot-two-inch, thirty-six-year-old, rather loud and unserious Californian’, she barely spoke a word of French and didn’t know the first thing about cooking.

As she fell in love with French culture – buying food at local markets, sampling the local bistros, and taking classes at the Cordon Bleu – her life began to change forever. We follow her extraordinary transformation from kitchen ingénue to internationally renowned (and internationally loved) expert in French cuisine.

Bursting with Child’s adventurous and humorous spirit, My Life in France captures post-war Paris with wonderful vividness and charm.