Category: BIO022000

The Secret Diary of a New Mum (aged 43 1/4)

The touching, honest and laugh-out-loud account of what it’s like to become a first-time mum after 40

Whatever your age, becoming a mum for the first time brings excitement, anxiety and numerous challenges. But how do you cope when, to top it all off, you discover you are almost old enough to be the mother of everyone else in your birth prep group? As one in five babies is born to a mum over 35, and the number of women over 40 giving birth has doubled, The Secret Diary of a New Mum (Aged 43 1/4) is Cari Rosen’s timely and hilarious account of becoming a first-time mother in her 40s.

Whether it’s deftly side-stepping questions about your age and baby number two, weeping as younger counterparts ping back into their size ten jeans within thirty seconds of giving birth, or your doctor suddenly referring to you as geriatric, Cari approaches the shared experiences of an ever-increasing number of mothers with insight, humour and honesty.

***Praise for The Secret Diary of a New Mum***

‘Hilariously candid.Daily Mail

Brilliantly observed… funny, embarrassing and yet cruelly honest. It feels good to laugh about it, now the stitches are out.’ Fay Ripley

Warm, witty and very, very wise the perfect antidote to all those po-faced pregnancy books. As a fellow ”Geriatric Mother” I found myself constantly laughing and nodding along in agreement.‘ Imogen Edwards-Jones

Tiger Woman

Dancer, singer, gang member, cocaine addict and sometime confectionist, Betty Mays autobiography Tiger Woman thrilled and appalled the public when her story first appeared at the end of the roaring twenties. I have often lived only for pleasure and excitement but you will see that I came to it by unexpected ways Born into abject squalor in Londons Limehouse area, May used her steely-eyed, striking looks and street nous to become an unlikely bohemian celebrity sensation, a fixture at the Café Royal, London, marrying four times along the way alongside numerous affairs. I wondered why men would not leave me alone. They were alright at first when they offered to show one life, and then at once they became a nuisance She elbowed her way to the top of Londons social scene in a series of outrageous and dramatic fights, flights, marriages and misadventures that also took her to France, Italy, Canada and the USA. I learnt one thing on my honeymoon to take drugs Her most fateful adversary was occultist and self-proclaimed Great Beast Aleister Crowley, who intended her to be a sacrificial victim of his Thelemite cult in Sicily, but it was her husband Oxford undergraduate Raoul Loveday who died, after conducting a blood sacrifice ritual. Betty Mays vitality and ferocious charisma enchanted numerous artistic figures including Jacob Epstein and Jacob Kramer. A heroine like no other, this is her incredible story in her own words, as fresh and extraordinary as the day it was first told.

Wilde’s Women

‘A remarkable book… the breadth and depth of research is astonishing’ Emma Thompson

‘An illuminating study… fascinating’ Independent

Hailed as a gay icon and pioneer of individualism, Oscar Wilde’s insistence that ‘there should be no law for anybody’ made him a staunch defender of gender equality. Throughout his life from his relationship to his extraordinary mother Jane and the tragedy of his sister Isola’s early death to his accomplished wife Constance and a coterie of other free-thinking writers, actors and artists, women were a central aspect of his life and career. Wilde’s Women is the first book to tell the story of his female friends and colleagues who traded witticisms with Wilde but also give him access to vital publicity and whose ideas he gave expression through his social comedies.

Author Eleanor Fitzsimons reframes Wilde’s story and his legacy through the women in his life including such fascinating figures as Florence Balcombe who left him for Bram Stoker, actress Lillie Langtry (for a while an inseparable friend) and his tragic and witty niece Dolly who bore a strong resemblance to the writer and loved fast cars, cocaine and foreign women.

Full of fascinating detail and anecdotes Wilde’s Women relates the untold story of how the writer played a vitally sympathetic role on behalf of many women and how they supported him in the midst of a Victorian society in the process of changing forever.

Sex vs Survival

Who was Sabina Spielrein? Her dramatic life story is most famous for her notorious affair with Carl Jung, dramatised in the film A Dangerous Method starring Keira Knightley. Yet she was a woman who overcame family and psychiatric abuse to become an original thinker in the field of psychotherapy. This is the first biography to put her life and ideas at the centre of the story, and to examine Spielreins key role in the development of psychoanalysis and in the rift between Jung and Freud. Drawing on fresh research into Spielreins diaries, papers and correspondence, John Launer tells the story of a passionate woman who transformed herself from one of Jungs disturbed patients into a leading figure in Western psychology, then the Soviet intelligentsia, before losing her life in the Holocaust. At the heart of Sex Versus Survival is the gripping tale of Spielrein and Jungs tumultuous affair, which played such an important role in both of their lives and intellectual journeys. Launer shows how Spielreins overlooked ideas rejected by Jung and Freud, but substantially vindicated by later developments in psychology and evolutionary biology may represent the last and most important stage in the rediscovery of an extraordinary life.

The Life and Loves of E. Nesbit: Author of The Railway Children

A SUNDAY TIMES BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR

Winner of the Rubery Book Award 2020 (Non Fiction)

Edith Nesbit is considered the inventor of the children’s adventure story and her brilliant children’s books influenced bestselling authors including C.S. Lewis, P. L. Travers, J.K. Rowling, and Jacqueline Wilson, to name but a few. But who was the person behind the best loved classics The Railway Children and Five Children and It? Her once-happy childhood was eclipsed by the chronic illness and early death of her sister. In adulthood, she found herself at the centre of a love triangle between her husband and her close friend. She raised their children as her own.

Yet despite these troubling circumstances Nesbit was playful, contradictory and creative. She hosted legendary parties at her idiosyncratic Well Hall home and was described by George Bernard Shaw – one of several lovers – as ‘audaciously unconventional’. She was also an outspoken Marxist and founding member of the Fabian Society. Through Nesbit’s letters and deep archival research, Eleanor Fitzsimons reveals her as a prolific activist and writer on socialism. Nesbit railed against inequity, social injustice and state-sponsored oppression and incorporated her avant-garde ideas into her writing, influencing a generation of children – an aspect of her legacy examined here for the first time.

Eleanor Fitzsimons, acclaimed biographer and prize winning author of Wilde’s Women, has written the most authoritative biography in more than three decades. Here, she brings to light the extraordinary life story of an icon, creating a portrait of a woman in whom pragmatism and idealism worked side-by-side to produce a singular mind and literary talent.

***PRAISE FOR THE LIFE AND LOVES OF E. NESBIT***

‘A terrific book.’ Neil Gaiman

‘A very well-researched biography.’ Kate Atkinson

‘Eleanor Fitzsimons’ painstaking research gives us a new insight into the bizarre Bohemian life of the groundbreaking children’s author E. Nesbit. It’s a fantastic read.’ Jacqueline Wilson 

‘Absolutely superb!’ Hilary McKay, children’s author of The Skylarks War (shortlisted for the Costa Book Awards)

‘In this long-overdue new biography, Eleanor Fitzsimons gives us a nuanced yet compelling portrait of E. Nesbit’s many-facetted personality, life and works, as well as of the politically and culturally vibrant milieu in which she lived.’ Fiona Sampson, author of In Search of Mary Shelley

‘What a stirring and unexpected story Eleanor Fitzsimons tells and what a subject she has found. I can’t think of a single writer who doesn’t owe something to Edith Nesbit’s glorious books for children. The extraordinary woman who wrote them proves to be every bit as brave, funny and imaginative as her own intrepid characters.’ Miranda Seymour, author of In Byron’s Wake

‘One of the greatest children’s writers, and an acknowledged much loved influence on Joan Aiken E. Nesbit is celebrated in this wonderful new biography by Eleanor Fitzsimons.’ Lizza Aiken, daughter of Joan Aiken

‘An exceptional biography about an absolutely fascinating individual.’ Adam Roberts, Vice-President of the H.G. Wells Society

‘A fascinating, thoughtfully organized, thoroughly researched, often surprising biography.’ Kirkus Review

‘Fitzsimons delivers a sprightly and highly readable life of a writer who deserves even wider recognition.’ Publishers Weekly