This fortuitously-timed account, released in paperback only weeks after the announcement of the discovery of Richard III underneath a car park in Leicester, guides us through the events that shaped the history of our Island Nation. The conflict is usually explained in terms of the great men of the White and Red Roses, Henry VI, Edward IV and Henry VII, as well as the ignominiously-entombed defeated Richard. Here, Sarah Gristwood redresses the balance, the scheming Elizabeth Woodville, and the zealous Margaret Beaufort, mother of Henry VII, Anne Neville, the Kingmaker's pawn and Elizabeth of York, whose marriage brought peace to England, are brought to life in all their infamy and sympathy.
An charmingly intricate word-map of Britain's waterways from writers as diverse as Roger Deakin and Jarvis Cocker. Combining travelogues, reminiscences and meditations, this is a life-affirming treasure-trove of stories.
In the first thirty years of the nineteenth century - when the Whig party was almost constantly out of office - the home of the third Lord Holland became the unofficial centre of the Opposition. Devoted to the ideals of statesman Charles James Fox and enriched by the progressive views of a new generation of writers, critics and politicians, the influence of Holland House permeated the political climate. At a time when revolutions threatened to engulf Europe, the Whig tradition of aristocratic liberalism proved to be one of the chief factors in the peaceful achievement of parliamentary reform. Presided over by the beautiful and famously intelligent Lady Holland and combining discussion of politics and the arts, the salon attracted the greatest names of the age - Byron, Talleyrand and Madame de Stael were all frequent visitors. In this book, Linda Kelly brings to life the colourful world of Holland House.
A rich, whirling history of London written by the biographer Peter Ackroyd. Arranged thematically rather than chronologically, it includes chapters such as drinking, sex, poverty and crime and punishment, making it the perfect informative bedside book.
A history of the 500 villages that make up the Great British countryside. Aslet is a storyteller, so each brief entry weaves the most notable political, geographical, economic, architectural and social facts into a charming, anecdotal paragraph. Illustrated with black and white photographs and fine drawings.
Here, the fascinating and lively Diana Athill, describes a life in editing. Working alongside the likes of V. S. Naipaul, Gitta Sereny and Jean Rhys, Athill's memoir makes intriguing, gossipy and literary reading.
The best piece of nature writing of all time republished in this lovely hardback edition alongside Baker's only other work The Hill of Summer and his diaries. This mysterious librarian's elegant style and ferocious intensity has prompted comparisons with Ted Hughes.
Author Iain Banks embarks on a journey around Scotland in search of the Holy Grail of Scottish whisky. A travelogue distilled in eccentric characters, traditions, out-of-the-way glens and the most prized spirit in the world.
Over the early 1990s Julian Barnes wrote a series of Letters from London for the New Yorker magazine. Collected here, these entertaining and informative pieces document British news from the fall of Margaret Thatcher to the fatwa issued on Salman Rushdie.
The vivid recollections of Xandra Bingley who grew up on an isolated farm in the Cotswolds during the Second World War. Her mother ran the farm in her father's absence and her only playmates were the animals, land girls and prisoners of war.
Ronald Blythe explores the changing nature of the rural idyll through conversations with the schoolteacher, the blacksmith, the farmers and others, living in a small Sussex village in the 1970s. Wonderfully funny and moving stories of human hardship and joy, and a fascinating history of the English countryside during the 20th century.
An intriguing travel book, first we read of Samuel Johnson's description of the Highlands and Western of Isles of Scotland during a journey made by him and his friend in 1773, and second we hear James Boswell describe his friend. In one book is captured a vanished landscape and a vanished man.
Award-winning foreign correspondent and expert on Iceland, Boyes has written a strikingly clear and informed account of the causes and affects of the economic crisis of 2008. He brings to life a country he knows well, from the sophistication of Reykjavik to the frozen arctic landscapes, and you'll find this an engaging, well-written read whatever your interests.
A comprehensive and popular history of the decline of the British Empire and its legacy of bloodshed. Each chapter deals with a different episode, from the Indian Empire to Kenya's Mau Mau uprising, making this an excellent book to dip in and out of.