The remarkable life of Lady in Waiting to Princess Margaret who was also a Maid of Honour at the Queen's Coronation - and is a character in THE CROWN this spring. Anne Glenconner reveals the real events behind The Crown as well as her own life of drama, tragedy and courage, with the wonderful wit and extraordinary resilience which define her.
Anne Glenconner has been close to the Royal Family since childhood. Eldest child of the 5th Earl of Leicester, she was, as a daughter, described as 'the greatest disappointment' by her family as she was unable to inherit. Her childhood home Holkham Hall is one of the grandest estates in England. Bordering Sandringham the Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret were frequent playmates.
From Maid of Honour at the Queen's Coronation to Lady in Waiting to Princess Margaret, Lady Glenconner is a unique witness to royal history, as well as an extraordinary survivor of a generation of aristocratic women trapped without inheritance and burdened with social expectations.
She married the charismatic but highly volatile Colin Tennant, Lord Glenconner, who became the owner of Mustique. Together they turned the island into a paradise for the rich and famous, including Mick Jagger and David Bowie, and it became a favourite retreat for Princess Margaret.
But beneath the glitz and glamour there has also lurked tragedy. On Lord Glenconner's death in 2010 he left his fortune to a former employee. And of their five children, two grown-up sons died, while a third son had to be nursed back from a coma by Anne, after having suffered a near fatal accident.
Anne Glenconner writes with extraordinary wit, generosity and courage and she exposes what life was like in her gilded cage, revealing the role of her great friendship with Princess Margaret, and the freedom she can now finally enjoy in later life. She will appear as a character in the new series of THE CROWN this spring.
One morning on the outskirts of Damascus, two starving friends are walking through their desolate city and come across a familiar street that has been turned to rubble, concrete bridges towering above them like tombs and houses turned inside out. Aeham turns to the only comfort he has left and pushes his piano into the street to play a song of hope to his fellow Syrians. It is a song that will reach far beyond the streets of his home and carry consequences he could never have dreamed of.
This tender and poetic account of Aeham's experiences, from losing his city, friends and family to leaving his country and finding safety, will move readers with its raw and candid emotion. This is a gripping portrait of a man's search for solace and of a country that has been fiercely torn apart.
A new exploration of Karl Marx's life through his intellectual contributions to modern thought Karl Marx (1818-1883)-philosopher, historian, sociologist, economist, current affairs journalist, and editor-was one of the most influential and revolutionary thinkers of modern history, but he is rarely thought of as a Jewish thinker, and his Jewish background is either overlooked or misrepresented. Here, distinguished scholar Shlomo Avineri argues that Marx's Jewish origins did leave a significant impression on his work. Marx was born in Trier, then part of Prussia, and his family had enjoyed equal rights and emancipation under earlier French control of the area. But then its annexation to Prussia deprived the Jewish population of its equal rights. These developments led to the reluctant conversion of Marx's father, and similar tribulations radicalized many young intellectuals of that time who came from a Jewish background.
Avineri puts Marx's Jewish background in its proper and balanced perspective, and traces Marx's intellectual development in light of the historical, intellectual, and political contexts in which he lived.
A week after her forty-first birthday, Anne Boyer was diagnosed with highly aggressive triple-negative breast cancer. For a single mother living payslip to payslip who had always been the caregiver rather than the one needing care, the catastrophic condition was both a crisis and an initiation into new ideas about mortality and the gendered politics of illness.
A twenty-first-century Illness as Metaphor, as well as a harrowing memoir of survival, The Undyingexplores the experience of illness as mediated by digital screens, weaving in ancient Roman dream diarists, cancer hoaxers and fetishists, cancer vloggers, corporate lies, John Donne, pro-pain 'dolorists', the ecological costs of chemotherapy, and the many little murders of capitalism. It excoriates the pharmaceutical industry and the bland hypocrisies of 'pink ribbon culture' while also diving into the long literary line of women writing about their own illnesses and ongoing deaths- Audre Lorde, Kathy Acker, Susan Sontag, and others.
Genre-bending, angry, profoundly humane and deeply affecting, The Undying is an unmissably original book of heart, intellect and fierce insight into the sicknesses and, occasionally, the perverse glories of our contemporary world.
Here's a partial list of things I don't believe in: God. The Devil. Heaven. Hell. Bigfoot. Ancient Aliens. Past lives. Life after death. Vampires. Zombies. Reiki. Homeopathy. Rolfing. Reflexology. Note that 'witches' and 'witchcraft' are absent from this list. The thing is, I wouldn't believe in them, and I would privately ridicule any idiot who did, except for one thing: I am a witch.
For as long as Augusten Burroughs could remember, he knew things he shouldn't have known. He manifested things that shouldn't have come to pass. And he told exactly no one about this, save one person: his mother. His mother reassured him that it was all perfectly normal, that he was descended from a long line of witches, going back to the days of the early American colonies. And that this family tree was filled with witches. It was a bond that he and his mother shared--until the day she left him in the care of her psychiatrist to be raised in his family (but that's a whole other story). After that, Augusten was on his own. On his own to navigate the world of this tricky power; on his own to either use or misuse this gift.
From the hilarious to the terrifying, Toil & Trouble is a chronicle of one man's journey to understand himself, to reconcile the powers he can wield with things with which he is helpless. There are very few things that are coincidences, as you will learn in Toil & Trouble. Ghosts are real, trees can want to kill you, beavers are the spawn of Satan, houses are alive, and in the end, love is the most powerful magic of all.
'Do you have a list of your books, or do I just have to stare at them?' Shaun Bythell is the owner of The Bookshop in Wigtown, Scotland. With more than a mile of shelving, real log fires in the shop and the sea lapping nearby, the shop should be an idyll for bookworms.
Unfortunately, Shaun also has to contend with bizarre requests from people who don't understand what a shop is, home invasions during the Wigtown Book Festival and Granny, his neurotic Italian assistant who likes digging for river mud to make poultices.
The Diary of a Bookseller (soon to be a major TV series) introduced us to the joys and frustrations of life lived in books. Sardonic and sympathetic in equal measure, Confessions of a Bookseller will reunite readers with the characters they've come to know and love.
Over his thirty-year career at Conde Nast, Nicholas Coleridge has witnessed it all. From the anxieties of the Princess of Wales to the blazing fury of Mohamed Al-Fayed, his story is also the story of the people who populate the glamorous world of glossy magazines. With relish and astonishing candour, he offers the inside scoop on Tina Brown and Anna Wintour, David Bowie and Philip Green, Kate Moss and Beyonce and a surreal weekend away with Bob Geldof and William Hague. The Glossy Years also provides perceptive insight into the changing and treacherous worlds of fashion, journalism, museums and a whole sweep of British society. This is a rich, honest, witty and very personal memoir of a life splendidly lived.
'Coming from Glasgow, it's weird, I don't really tell jokes, like Irish jokes and all that. I tell wee stories. And some of them don't even have punchlines. But you'll get used to it as the night goes on, and on, and on, and on and on...' In December 2018, after 50-years of belly-laughs, energy, outrage and enjoyment, Billy Connolly announced his retirement from stand-up comedy. It had been an extraordinary career.
When he first started out in the late Sixties, Billy played the banjo in the folk clubs of Glasgow. Between songs, he would improvise a bit, telling anecdotes from the Clyde shipyard where he worked. In the process, he made all kinds of discoveries about what audiences found funny, from his own exaggerated body movements to the power of speaking explicitly about sex. He began to understand the craft of great storytelling too. Soon the songs became shorter and the monologues longer, and Billy quickly became recognised as one of the most exciting comedians of his generation.
Billy's routines always felt spontaneous. He improvised, embellished and digressed as he went: a two-minute anecdote could become a 20-minute routine by the next night of a tour. And he brought a beautiful sense of the absurd to his shows as he riffed on holidays, alcohol, the crucifixion, or naked bungee jumping.
But Billy's comedy could be laced with anger too. He hated pretentiousness and called out hypocrisy where ever he saw it. He loved to shock, and his startling appearance gave him license to say anything he damn well pleased about sex, politics or religion. It was only because he was so likeable that he got it away. Billy had the popular touch. His comedy spanned generations and different social tribes in a way that few others have ever managed.
TALL TALES AND WEE STORIES brings together the very best of Billy's storytelling for the first time and includes his most famous routines including, THE LAST SUPPER, JOJOBA SHAMPOO, INCONTINENCE PANTS and SHOUTING AT WILDEBEEST. With an introduction and original illustrations by Billy throughout, it is an inspirational, energetic and riotously funny read, and a fitting celebration of our greatest ever comedian.
Do you have what it takes to stand between us and the enemy?
I'm here to prevent a major and imminent attack. One that will kill children. I'm alone and operational in the country where my colleague was taken and beheaded, and every hour I'm delayed is another hour for something to go wrong - for an informant to disclose my location, for the source I'm meeting to cancel, for the attack to go boom. The fear injects my thoughts with venom.
Amaryllis Fox was recruited by the CIA at the age of 21 in the aftermath of 9/11. After an intense training period - where she learns how to master a Glock, get out of flexicuffs while in the trunk of a car, withstand torture, and commit suicide in case of captivity - she is sent undercover to keep nuclear, biological and chemical weapons out of the hands of terror groups. Posing as an art dealer, she is sent on countless dangerous missions around the globe. Each time, the stakes become even higher and the risks more terrifying. Determined to stop the masterminds, Amaryllis's quest will almost destroy her, until she realises that the only way to actually defeat the enemy is to have the courage to sit across from them... and listen.
In this explosive first-hand account - filled with suspense and plot twists to rival Carrie Mathison in Homeland - Life Undercover is an edgy story of an undercover CIA operative, hunting the world's most dangerous terrorists, using deception and disguises and dead drops in the night in order to protect our streets.
Revealed in never-before-seen detail, Amaryllis offers compelling insight that can only come from having fought on the front lines.
The definitive biography of a banker, essayist, and editor of the Economist, by an acclaimed financial historian.
During the upheavals of 2007- 9, the chairman of the Federal Reserve had the name of a Victorian icon on the tip of his tongue: Walter Bagehot. Banker, man of letters, inventor of the Treasury bill, and author of Lombard Street, Bagehot prescribed the doctrines that?decades later?inspired the radical responses to the world's worst financial crises.
In James Grant's colorful and groundbreaking biography, Bagehot appears as both an ornament to his own age and a muse to our own. Brilliant and precocious, he was influential in political circles, making high- profile friends, including William Gladstone? and enemies: Lord Overstone, Benjamin Disraeli. As an essayist on wide- ranging topics, he won the admiration of Matthew Arnold and Woodrow Wilson. He was also a misogynist, and while he opposed slavery, he misjudged Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War. As editor of the Economist, he offered astute commentary on the financial issues of his day, and his name lives on in an eponymous weekly column.
Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat... but 1.4 million NHS staff are heading off to work. In this perfect present for anyone who has ever set foot in a hospital, Adam Kay delves back into his diaries for a hilarious and sometimes heartbreaking peek behind the blue curtain at Christmastime.
Twas the Nightshift Before Christmas is a love letter to all those who spend their festive season on the front line, removing babies and baubles from the various places they get stuck, at the most wonderful time of the year.
The broadcast that George VI made to the nation on the outbreak of war in September 1939 - which formed the climax of the multi Oscar-winning film THE KING'S SPEECH - was the product of years of hard work with Lionel Logue, his iconoclastic Australian-born speech therapist. Yet the relationship between the two men did not end there. Far from it: in the years that followed, Logue was to play an even more important role at the monarch's side.
THE KING'S WAR follows this relationship through the dark days of Dunkirk and the drama of D-Day to eventual victory in 1945 - and beyond. It is written by Peter Conradi, a Sunday Times journalist, and Mark Logue, Lionel's grandson, whose previous book, THE KING'S SPEECH: HOW ONE MAN SAVED THE BRITISH MONARCHY, was a best-seller in Britain and America and translated into more than 20 languages.
THE KING'S WAR is a fascinating portrait of two men and their respective families - the Windsors and the Logues - as they together faced up to the greatest challenge in Britain's history.
How did Margaret Thatcher change and divide Britain? How did her model of combative female leadership help shape the way we live now? How did the woman who won the Cold War and three general elections in succession find herself pushed out by her own MPs?
Charles Moore's full account, based on unique access to Margaret Thatcher herself, her papers and her closest associates, tells the story of her last period in office, her combative retirement and the controversy that surrounded her even in death. It includes the Fall of the Berlin Wall which she had fought for and the rise of the modern EU which she feared. It lays bare her growing quarrels with colleagues and reveals the truth about her political assassination.
Moore's three-part biography of Britain's most important peacetime prime minister paints an intimate political and personal portrait of the victories and defeats, the iron will but surprising vulnerability of the woman who dominated in an age of male power. This is the full, enthralling story.
LOUIS THEROUX: 'For anyone who enjoyed HILLBILLY ELEGY or EDUCATED, UNFOLLOW is an essential text' NICK HORNBY: 'A beautiful, gripping book about a singular soul, and an unexpected redemption' JON RONSON: 'Her journey - from Westboro to becoming one of the most empathetic, thoughtful, humanistic writers around - is exceptional and inspiring' It was an upbringing in many ways normal. A loving home, shared with squabbling siblings, overseen by devoted parents. Yet in other ways it was the precise opposite: a revolving door of TV camera crews and documentary makers, a world of extreme discipline, of siblings vanishing in the night.
Megan Phelps-Roper was raised in the Westboro Baptist Church - the fire-and-brimstone religious sect at once aggressively homophobic and anti-Semitic, rejoiceful for AIDS and natural disasters, and notorious for its picketing the funerals of American soldiers. From her first public protest, aged five, to her instrumental role in spreading the church's invective via social media, her formative years brought their difficulties. But being reviled was not one of them. She was preaching God's truth. She was, in her words, 'all in'.
In November 2012, at the age of twenty-six, she left the church, her family, and her life behind.
UNFOLLOW is a story about the rarest thing of all: a person changing their mind. It is a fascinating insight into a closed world of extreme belief, a biography of a complex family, and a hope-inspiring memoir of a young woman finding the courage to find compassion for others, as well as herself.
'One of our foremost thinkers on foreign policy.' Barack Obama The New York Times bestseller.
What can one person do?
At a time of division and upheaval, Samantha Power offers an urgent response to this question - and calls for a clearer eye, a kinder heart, and a more open and civil hand in our politics and daily lives.
The Education of an Idealist combines gripping storytelling, vivid character portraits and deep political insight, tracing Power's journey from Irish immigrant to war correspondent and presidential Cabinet official. In 2005, her critiques of US foreign policy caught the eye of newly elected Senator Barack Obama, who invited her to work with him on Capitol Hill and then on his presidential campaign. After Obama was elected president, Power went from being an activist outsider to a government insider, navigating the halls of power while trying to put her ideals into practice. She served for four years as Obama's human rights adviser, and in 2013 took one of the world's most powerful diplomatic positions, becoming the youngest ever US Ambassador to the United Nations.
A Pulitzer Prize-winning writer, Power transports us from her early years in Dublin to the streets of war-torn Bosnia into the White House Situation Room and the arena of high-stakes diplomacy. The Education of an Idealist lays bare the searing battles and defining moments of her life and shows how she juggled the demands of a 24/7 national security job with the challenge of raising two young children. Along the way, she illuminates the intricacies of politics and geopolitics, and reminds that in the face of great challenges there is always something each of us can do to advance the cause of human dignity. Honest, inspiring and evocatively written, Power's memoir is an unforgettable account of the world-changing power of idealism - and of one person's fierce determination to make a difference.
At the age of seventeen, after a childhood in a fostered family followed by six years in care homes, Norman Greenwood was given his birth certificate. He learned that his real name was not Norman. It was Lemn Sissay. He was British and Ethiopian. And he learned that his mother had been pleading for his safe return to her since his birth.
This is Lemn's story; a story of neglect and determination, misfortune and hope, cruelty and triumph.
Sissay reflects on a childhood in care, self-expression and Britishness, and in doing so explores the institutional care system, race, family and the meaning of home. Written with all the lyricism and power you would expect from one of the nation's best-loved poets, this moving, frank and timely memoir is the result of a life spent asking questions, and a celebration of the redemptive power of creativity.
In 1994, fledgling journalist Louis Theroux was given a one-off gig on Michael Moore's TV Nation to present a segment on apocalyptic religious sects. Gawky, socially awkward and totally unqualified, his first reaction to this exciting opportunity was panic, but he'd always been drawn to off-beat characters, so maybe his enthusiasm would carry the day. Or, you know, maybe it wouldn't.
In Gotta Get Theroux This, Louis takes the reader on a joyous journey through his life and unexpectedly successful career. Nervously accepting the BBC's offer of his own series, he went on to create an award-winning documentary style that has seen him immersed in worlds as diverse as racist US militias and secretive pro-wrestlers, the violent gangs of Johannesburg and extreme drinkers in London. Arguably his biggest challenge was corralling celebrities in his When Louis Met series, with UK entertainer Jimmy Savile proving most elusive. Blindsided when the sexual abuse revelations about Savile came to light, Louis was to reflect again on the nature of the evil he had spent decades uncovering.
Filled with wry observation, larger-than-life characters and self-deprecating humour, this is Louis at his insightful and honest best.
A colorful, comprehensive, and authoritative account of Machiavelli's life and thought This is a colorful, comprehensive, and authoritative introduction to the life and work of the Florentine statesman, writer, and political philosopher Niccolo Machiavelli (1469-1527). Corrado Vivanti, who was one of the world's leading Machiavelli scholars, provides an unparalleled intellectual biography that demonstrates the close connections between Machiavelli's thought and his changing fortunes during the tumultuous Florentine republic and his subsequent exile. Vivanti's concise account covers not only Machiavelli's most famous works-The Prince, The Discourses, The Florentine Histories, and The Art of War-but also his letters, poetry, and comic dramas. While setting Machiavelli's life against a dramatic backdrop of war, crisis, and diplomatic intrigue, the book also paints a vivid human portrait of the man.
This is the story of a Englishman who gave up a job in journalism to spend fourteen years with the controversial Indian mystic Osho, also known as Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh and frequently referred to as 'the sex guru'.
His guru was always controversial with his teachings on sex and spirituality, rumours of orgies and because he owned ninety-three Rolls Royces.
Early in 1976, Subhuti travelled to India to meet Rajneesh in his ashram in Pune, became initiated as his disciple and immediately began to have mystical experiences, which he attributed to the powerful energy field surrounding the guru. He stayed for six months, participating in the ashram's notorious Encounter Group and other therapies designed to release suppressed emotions and awaken sexual energy Subhuti would stay to live and work on his master's ashrams for fourteen years, first as his press officer in Pune, India, then as editor of the community's weekly newspaper when Bhagwan and his followers shifted to Oregon, USA, and built a whole new town on the massive Big Muddy Ranch.
There Subhuti was a first-hand witness to the scandals and hullabaloo that accompanied the guru, including tales of broken bones in no-holds-barred therapy groups and Tantra groups that encouraged total sexual freedom, and the increasing hostility with the locals which would lead to Bhagwan's attempt to flee America, his arrest and imprisonment. .
He was on the Oregon Ranch when Rajneesh's secretary, Ma Anand Sheela, plotted against rival cliques within the ashram as well as a range of murderous crimes against state and federal officials which feature in hit Netflix series Wild Wild Country.
Yet, amidst it all, Subhuti could see the profound revolution in spirituality that Bhagwan was creating, leaving a lasting impact on our ideas about society, religion, meditation and personal transformation.
According to the author's understanding, it was the controversy itself, plus Bhagwan's refusal to tread the path of a spiritual saint, that became the stepping stone to a new vision of what it means to be a spiritual seeker.
In her hit Netflix comedy special Baby Cobra, an eight-month pregnant Ali Wong resonated so strongly that she even became a popular Halloween costume. Wong told the world her remarkably unfiltered thoughts on marriage, sex, Asian culture, working women, and why you never see new mum comics on stage but you sure see plenty of new dads.
The sharp insights and humour are even more personal in this completely original collection. She shares the wisdom she's learned from a life in comedy and reveals stories from her life offstage, including the brutal single life in New York (i.e. the inevitable confrontation with erectile dysfunction), reconnecting with her roots (and drinking snake blood) in Vietnam, tales of being a wild child growing up in San Francisco, and parenting war stories. Though addressed to her daughters, Ali Wong's letters are absurdly funny, surprisingly moving, and enlightening (and gross) for all.