The astonishing true story of a young woman's adventures, and misadventures, in the dangerous world of Nazi-occupied France. For Priscilla, pre-war Paris was an exciting carousel of suitors, soirees and heartbreak, and eventually a lavish wedding to a French aristocrat. But the arrival of the Nazi tanks signalled the end of life as a Vicomtesse, and the beginning of a precarious existence under German Occupation.
Over half a century later, her nephew, Nicholas Shakespeare, found a box of Priscilla's notebooks and journals. He began investigating the rumours that she had escaped a prisoner-of-war camp and fought for the Resistance - and he finally unearthed the truth behind suspicions of disreputable love affairs and far darker secrets.
Everything written about Armstong's life and flights has been from the outside looking in; Jay Barbree is the only person Neil Armstrong trusted to share close personal details about his inspiring life story. Working from his years of notes, and with the Armstrong family, Jay Barbree has written the definitive biography of America's most famous astronaut and one of our greatest modern heroes. Armstrong has entrusted Barbree with details of his personal life, including his two marriages and the death of his baby daughter. And, of course, there is the inside story of an extraordinary career, from the time Armstrong flew combat missions in the Korean War and then flew a rocket plane called the X-15 to the edge of the atmosphere, to when he saved his Gemini 8 by flying the first emergency return from Earth orbit and then flew Apollo-11 to the moon's Sea of Tranquillity. Through his friendship with Neil and his dedicated research, Barbree brings us the most accurate account of his friend's life, the book he and the fame astronaut planned together for twenty years.
George Herbert wrote, but never published, some of the very greatest English poetry, recording in an astonishing variety of forms his inner experiences of grief, recovery, hope, despair, anger, fulfilment and - above all else - love.He was born in 1593 and died at the age of 39 in 1633, before the clouds of civil war gathered, his family aristocratic and his upbringing privileged. He showed worldly ambition and seemed sure of high public office and a career at court, but then for a time 'lost himself in a humble way', devoting himself to the restoration of a church and then to his parish of Bemerton, three miles from Salisbury. When in the year of his death his friend Nicholas Ferrar published Herbert's poems under the title The Temple, his fame was quickly established.Because he published no English poems during his lifetime, and dating most of them exactly is impossible, writing Herbert's biography is an unusual challenge. In this book John Drury sets the poetry in the whole context of the poet's life and times, so that the reader can understand the frame of mind and kind of society which produced it, and depth can be added to the narrative of Herbert's life. His Herbert is not the saintly figure who has come down to us from John Aubrey, but a man torn for much of his life between worldly ambition and the spiritual life shown to us so clearly through his writings. The result is the most satisfying biography of this exceptional English poet yet written.
Written by Naoki Higashida when he was only thirteen, this remarkable book provides a rare insight into the often baffling behaviour of autistic children. Using a question and answer format, Naoki explains things like why he talks loudly or repeats the same questions, what causes him to have panic attacks, and why he likes to jump. He also shows the way he thinks and feels about his world - other people, nature, time and beauty, and himself. Abundantly proving that people with autism do possess imagination, humour and empathy, he also makes clear how badly they need our compassion, patience and understanding. David Mitchell and his wife have translated Naoki's book so that it might help others dealing with autism and generally illuminate a little-understood condition. It gives us an exceptional chance to enter the mind of another and see the world from a strange and fascinating perspective. The book also features eleven original illustrations, inspired by Naoki's words, by the artistic duo Kai and Sunny.
Margaret Thatcher was the longest-serving Prime Minister of the twentieth century and one of the most influential figures of the postwar era. Volume One of Moore's authorized biography gives unparalleled insight into her early life, especially through her extensive correspondence with her sister, and recreates brilliantly the atmosphere of British politics as she was making her way, taking us up to the zenith of her power: victory in the Falklands. Based on unrestricted access to all Lady Thatcher's papers, unpublished interviews with her and all her major colleagues, this is the indispensable portrait of a towering figure of our times.
Born in a surreal Moscow communal apartment where eighteen families shared one kitchen, Anya von Bremzen grew up singing odes to Lenin, black-marketeering Juicy Fruit gum at school, and longing for a taste of the mythical West. It was a life by turns absurd, drab, naively joyous, melancholy and, finally, intolerable. In 1974, when Anya was ten, she and her mother fled to the USA, with no winter coats and no right of return. These days, Anya is the doyenne of high-end food writing. And yet, the flavour of Soviet kolbasa, like Proust's madeleine, transports her back to that vanished Atlantis known as the USSR. In this sweeping, tragicomic memoir, Anya recreates seven decades of the Soviet experience through cooking and food, and reconstructs a moving family history spanning three generations. Her narrative is embedded in a larger historical epic: Lenin's bloody grain requisitioning, World War II starvation, Stalin's table manners, Khrushchev's kitchen debates, Gorbachev's disastrous anti-alcohol policies and the ultimate collapse of the USSR. And all of this is bound together by Anya's sardonic wit, passionate nostalgia and piercing observations. Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking is a book that stirs the soul as well as the senses.
Wish You Happy Forever chronicles Half the Sky founder Jenny Bowen's personal and professional journey to transform Chinese orphanages-and the lives of the neglected girls who live in them-from a state of quiet despair to one of vibrant promise.
H. H. Asquith fell in love with Venetia Stanley in the spring of 1912. Over the next three years he wrote to her whenever he could not see her: sometimes three times a day, sometimes during a debate in the house of Commons, on occasion even during a Cabinet meeting. He shared many political and military secrets with her and wrote freely of his colleagues in government, who included LLoyd George, Churchill, and Kitchener. The correspondence ended abruptly in May 1915 when Venetia told Asquith of her engagement to a junior Cabinet Minister, Edwin Montagu. The Prime Minister, who was at a crisis in his political fortunes, confessed himself utterly heart-broken. This reissue of Asquith's letters to Venetia Stanley includes explanatory notes from Michael and Eleanor Brock, two of the leading authorities in the field. This volume documents a romance, and yet is vital reading for anyone interested in the history of World War I or in British politics of the time.
From one of the greatest legal injustices of our time sprang one of the most unlikely - and unforgettable - love stories. For anyone who followed the case of the 'West Memphis Three', or read Damien Echols's memoir, Life After Death, there is one lingering question: Who was the woman - courageous, affected, or just plain crazy enough - to fall in love and marry him while he was on death row? Lorri Davis was a landscape architect living in New York City when she saw Paradise Lost, a documentary about the three young men imprisoned in Arkansas for an unspeakable crime they didn't commit. When her first letter arrived in Echols's cell in 1996, hers were some of the first kind words of support he had heard. Over the course of a remarkable sixteen-year correspondence, Echols and Davis grew to know each other, fall in love, and marry - all without ever being able to touch each other freely or be alone together. In Yours for Eternity, they describe also how they overcame the enormous challenges and heartbreaks throughout the years - personal setbacks, legal complications, and much more. Astoundingly, thousands of their personal letters have survived, to create a singular portrait of their marriage told in alternating voices by Echols and Davis both. Yours for Eternity reveals a relationship unfolding in the most exceptional of circumstances. Powerful, unique, and incredibly intimate, it is a modern-day love story for the ages.
In this searing and surprising memoir, Samantha Geimer, the girl at the center of the infamous Roman Polanski sexual assault case, breaks a virtual thirty-five-year silence to tell her story and reflect on the events of that day and their lifelong repercussions. March 1977, Southern California. Roman Polanski drives a rented Mercedes along Mulholland Drive to Jack Nicholson's house. Sitting next to him is an aspiring actress, Samantha Geimer, recently arrived from York, Pennsylvania. She is thirteen years old. The undisputed facts of what happened in the following hours appear in the court record: Polanski spent hours taking pictures of Samantha-on a deck overlooking the Hollywood Hills, on a kitchen counter, topless in a Jacuzzi. Wine and Quaaludes were consumed, balance and innocence were lost, and a young girl's life was altered forever-eternally cast as a background player in her own story. For months on end, the Polanski case dominated the media in the US and abroad. But even with the extensive coverage, much about that day-and the girl at the center of it all-remains a mystery. Just about everyone had an opinion about the renowned director and the girl he was accused of drugging and raping. Who was the predator? Who was the prey? Was the girl an innocent victim or a cunning Lolita artfully directed by her ambitious stage mother? How could the criminal justice system have failed all the parties concerned in such a spectacular fashion? Once Polanski fled the country, what became of Samantha, the young girl forever associated with one of Hollywood's most notorious episodes? Samantha, as much as Polanski, has been a fugitive since the events of that night more than thirty years ago. Taking us far beyond the headlines, The Girl reveals a thirteen-year-old who was simultaneously wise beyond her years and yet terribly vulnerable. By telling her story in full for the first time, Samantha reclaims her identity, and indelibly proves that it is possible to move forward from victim to survivor, from confusion to certainty, from shame to strength.
There was no patriotism in the trenches. It was too remote a sentiment, and rejected as fit only for civilians. A new arrival who talked patriotism would soon be told to cut it out. As Blighty, Great Britain was a quiet, easy place to get back to out of the present foreign misery, but as a nation it was nothing. This is the original version of Robert Graves' intense memoir of the First World War, restoring this raw, emotionally truthful, darkly comic work to the way it was first written, by a young man still reeling from the trenches. We see the dark heart of the book even more clearly, and hear it beating even more loudly, in this original edition than we do in the comparatively careful and considered terms of the later one . (Andrew Motion). One of the most candid self-portraits, warts and all, ever painted . (TLS). Robert Graves was born in 1895 in Wimbledon. He went from school to the First World War, where he became a captain in the Royal Welch Fusiliers and was seriously wounded at the Battle of the Somme. He wrote his autobiography, Goodbye to All That, in 1929, and it was soon established as a modern classic. He died on 7 December 1985 in Majorca, his home since 1929. Andrew Motion's most recent collection of poetry is The Cinder Path. He was poet laureate from 1999 to 2009 and is now Professor of Creative Writing at Royal Holloway, University of London. Fran Brearton is Professor of English at Queen's University Belfast and author of Robert Graves and Twentieth-Century Poetry, among other books.
At 22, Marianne Ihlen travelled to the Greek island of Hydra with Norwegian writer Axel Jensen. While Axel wrote, Marianne kept house, until Axel abandoned her and their newborn son for another woman. One day while Marianne was shopping in a little grocery store, in walked a man who asked her to join him and some friends outside at their table. He introduced himself as Leonard Cohen, then a little-known Canadian poet. Complemented by previously unpublished poems, letters and photographs, So Long, Marianne is an intimate, honest account of Marianne's life story.
Anjelica Huston's life, once she turned 15 and moved to London, is a who's who of popular culture from the Rolling Stones in late '60s London to the Chelsea Hotel in New York when she was modelling in the early '70s, to Jack Nicholson and Warren Beatty in '70s and '80s Los Angeles, to Hunter Thompson in Aspen. She is a force who has won every possible acting award, working with some of the greatest directors of her time, and a friend to many of the greatest artists, writers, actors and musicians. One could say it was a charmed life, an enviable life, and she would agree. But it is a life also full of so much tragedy and sadness, and Huston writes about both triumph and hardship with extraordinary eloquence and depth. A stunning achievement, her memoir ranks among the best in the genre.
The Extraordinary Journey of Healing That Changed a Child's Life.
Rowan came back from the shamans in Mongolia a changed boy. The three most debilitating effects of his autism - his incontinence, his endless tantruming, and his inability to make friends - were gone.
But a year almost to the day since Rowan's improvement he started regressing: the accidents and tantrums reappeared, terrifying his father Rupert. Something had to be done.
Father and son embarked on a new quest, journeying from the bushmen of Namibia to the coastal rainforests of Queensland, Australia and finally to the Navajo reservations of the American southwest, where Rowan was transformed - they had begun the Long Ride Home.
This is a beautiful new edition of Laurie Lee's celebrated autobiographical trilogy: Cider with Rosie, As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning and A Moment of War. 'I was set down from the carrier's cart at the age of three; and there with a sense of bewilderment and terror my life in the village began.' 'This trilogy is a sequence of early recollections, beginning with the dazzling lights and sounds of my first footings on earth in a steep Cotswold valley some three miles long. For nineteen years this was the limit of my world, then one midsummer morning I left home and walked to London and down the blazing length of Spain during the innocent days of the early thirties. Never had I felt so fat with time, so free to go where I would. Then such indulgence was suddenly broken by the savage outbreak of the Civil War... (Laurie Lee).
This elegantly designed and lavishly illustrated book showcases Bemelmans' art and writing and illuminates the relationship between the man and his work. Bemelmans' fascinating life story is told through letters, photographs, illustrations, paintings, sketches, and excerpts from both his published writings and his private journals, selected by his grandson, John Bemelmans Marciano. Although Ludwig Bemelmans is best known for his Madeline books, his creative life ex-tended far beyond the old house in Paris. He was a novelist and a non-fiction writer, as well as a regular contributor to The New Yorker, Vogue, Holiday, and Town and Country. He painted murals at the Carlyle Hotel, in the bar that bears his name, and planned to collaborate on a book with First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy. Late in his life, Bemelmans decided to pursue his lifelong desire to paint with oils, and the stunning results are showcased here. Throughout his life he was a celebrated bon vivant who experienced a rich variety of places, personalities, and professions. Little wonder that Print Magazine found his biography richly colored with a sense of Bemelmans's joie de vivre.
'He achieves the miraculous,' the sculptor Auguste Rodin wrote of dancer Vaslav Nijinsky. 'He embodies all the beauty of classical frescoes and statues'. Like so many since, Rodin recognised that in Nijinsky classical ballet had one of the greatest and most original artists of the twentieth century, in any genre. Immersed in the world of dance from his childhood, he found his natural home in the Imperial Theatre and the Ballets Russes, he had a powerful sponsor in Sergei Diaghilev - until a dramatic and public failure ended his career and set him on a route to madness. As a dancer, he was acclaimed as godlike for his extraordinary grace and elevation, but the opening of Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring saw furious brawls between admirers of his radically unballetic choreography and horrified traditionalists. Nijinsky's story has lost none of its power to shock, fascinate and move. Adored and reviled in his lifetime, his phenomenal talent was shadowed by schizophrenia and an intense but destructive relationship with his lover, Diaghilev. 'I am alive' he wrote in his diary, 'and so I suffer'. In the first biography for forty years, Lucy Moore examines a career defined by two forces - inspired performance and an equally headline-grabbing talent for controversy, which tells us much about both genius and madness. This is the full story of one of the greatest figures of the twentieth century, comparable to the work of Rosamund Bartlett or Sjeng Scheijen.
Tracing Anne Frank's life from an early childhood in an assimilated family to her adolescence in German-occupied Amsterdam, Melissa Muller's biography, originally published in 1998, follows her life right up until her desperate end in Bergen Belsen. This updated edition includes the five missing pages from Anne Frank's diary, a number of new photographs, and brings to light many fascinating facts surrounding the Franks. As well as an epilogue from Miep Gies, who hid them for two years, it features new theories surrounding their betrayal, revelations about the pressure put on their helpers by the Nazi party and the startling discovery that the family applied for visas to the US. This authoritative account of Anne Frank's short but extraordinary life has been meticulously revised over seven years.
Chance Witness by Matthew Parris - a hilarious and fascinating portrait of life in politics, from Thatcher to Blair. It is the winner of the Channel 4 / Politico's Political Book of the Year Award. Made me laugh out loud. A book full of wisdom . (Simon Hoggart, Guardian). In this surprising and eccentric autobiography from a former Conservative MP, Matthew Parris writes of his personal and political life with equal candour. With a First from Cambridge and the possibility of working for the Foreign Office, he decided instead to apply to be an apprentice diesel-fitter with London Transport. He was rejected and so turned to a life in politics. He has worked with Margaret Thatcher, Chris Patten, Tony Blair and Michael Portillo, and his observations of political lifeand those who move within it are truly fascinating. This colourful memoir is an account of a young life already well lived. For readers of Margaret Thatcher by Charles Moore, and fans of The End of the Party by Andrew Rawnsley, this is a fascinating glimpse into modern British politics. A five-star autobiography. Dazzling, hilarious and wonderful . (Sunday Times). Matthew Parris was born in Johannesburg in 1949. He was a Conservative MP from 1979 to 1986, since when he has worked as a journalist. He is the author of A Castle in Spain, the acclaimed story of his medieval home in L'Avenc, as well as the bestselling books Parting Shots and A Spanish Ambassador's Suitcase, both based on the BBC Radio 4 series. He divides his time between Derbyshire (where his old constituency was situated) and east London.
'Scratch the surface of any family and you will find stories of intrigue, abuse and illegitimacy. It is just that, because of the nature of my grandfather's business, our secrets are more sinister' Lilian Pizzichini's grandfather was a conman who worked with some of London's most notorious gangsters. Within the pages of this haunting and revealing account of his life, she re-creates, in vivid detail and with remarkable detachment, the world of criminals and corrupt policemen that he dominated until his death in 1978. This is a book to set the mind reeling with thoughts of cunning and intrigue, corruption, hardship and secrecy. Above all, it conveys beautifully the glamour and seduction of a London shrouded in mystery and this charismatic criminal who rose from its war-torn ashes.
Agent Storm - My Life Inside al-Qaeda by Morten Storm. Morten Storm was an unlikely Jihadist. A 6'1 red-haired Dane, Storm spent his teens with a biker gang or in jail. But after converting to Islam he embarked on a transformation that led from a militant madrassa in Yemen to a close friendship with Anwar al-Awlaki, the American-born cleric who would emerge as al-Qaeda's greatest threat to the West. Then Storm's story took another dramatic twist. He lost his faith and was recruited by the CIA, MI6 and MI5, becoming a double agent. His ultimate mission: to bring down his mentor al-Awlaki. This is the searing memoir of a man who sought purpose in a community of believers before rejecting their extremist ideology. In a quest for atonement he lived undercover for five years, travelling the world to complete high profile missions. As well as single-handedly thwarting multiple terrorist attacks, he led the intelligence services to some of al-Qaeda's most dangerous terrorists, all the while knowing his own life was expendable. Agent Storm takes readers inside the Jihadist world like never before, showing the daily life of zealous men set on mass murder: from dodging drones with al-Qaeda leaders in the Arabian desert to Jihadist gyms in Birmingham. It also gives a rare look inside the world's most powerful spy agencies, including their tradecraft, after-hours carousing - and their ruthless use of a beautiful blonde in a honey trap. Filled with hair-raising close calls, coded messages and chilling duplicity, Agent Storm is a captivating real-life thriller.