Philip Eade - Sylvia, Queen Of The Headhunters - Orion Publishing Group

Time remaining

  • -- days
  • -- hours
  • -- minutes
  • -- seconds
Other Formats
  • Paperback £9.99
    More information
    • ISBN:9780753823811
    • Publication date:15 May 2008

Sylvia, Queen Of The Headhunters

An Outrageous Englishwoman And Her Lost Kingdom

By Philip Eade

  • E-Book
  • £P.O.R.

The biography of the last Ranee of Sarawak, born into the aristocracy as Sylvia Brett in 1885 and destined to become 'Queen of the Headhunters'.

The biography of the last Ranee of Sarawak, born into the aristocracy as Sylvia Brett in 1885 and destined to become 'Queen of the Headhunters'.

'Jaw-dropping ... If you thought White Mischief the last word in English expatriate decadence, you haven't yet met Sylvia and the Brookes' The Times

Sylvia Brooke was the consort of His Highness Sir Vyner Brooke, Rajah of Sarawak, the last in a bizarre dynasty of English despots who ruled their jungle kingdom on Borneo until 1946. The White Rajahs were long held up as model rulers, but the spectacularly eccentric behaviour of Ranee Sylvia - self-styled Queen of the Headhunters - changed everything. This is the compelling story of her part in their downfall.

Biographical Notes

Philip Eade is the author of three highly acclaimed biographies: Sylvia, Queen of the Headhunters (2007), Young Prince Philip (2011) and Evelyn Waugh: A Life Revisited (2016). Born in Shropshire and educated at Marlborough and at Bristol University, where he read History, he now lives in London with his wife and daughter.

  • Other details

  • ISBN: 9781474609654
  • Publication date: 04 Jan 2018
  • Page count:
  • Imprint: W&N
An incredible story — DAILY MAIL
In Philip Eade this 'most charming of despots' has met her match. He is a natural writer: percipient, sympathetic, amusing . . . those who have never heard of Sylvia Brooke are in for a treat — Michael Holroyd
It's fantastic material. Well spotted, Eade. Does he do it justice? Yes . . . Alongside the complexities of colonial politics, Eade brings her loves and losses, her heights and depths, to poignant life. It's all here: the bonking, the boozing, the pathos and the bathos . . . This is a delightful book, and proof that truth is stranger than fiction — Ross Leckie, THE TIMES
Eade has uncovered a mine of marvellous material and handles it all with consummate wit and style . . . a dazzling debut — Hugh Massingberd, COUNTRY LIFE
Juicily entertaining . . . an exceptional life, one to which Eade does rich justice — Miranda Seymour, MAIL ON SUNDAY
Eade is eminently readable, with a detective's pertinacity at finding the clues to forgotten secrets and a raconteur's gift for sustaining his narrative interest . . . a rollicking good read — Richard Davenport-Hines, SUNDAY TELEGRAPH
A scrupulous researcher . . . [Eade] writes with panache — Sara Wheeler, DAILY TELEGRAPH
Jaw-dropping . . . If you thought White Mischief the last word in English expatriate decadence, you haven't yet met Sylvia and the Brookes — THE TIMES
Amazing and hilarious — Christopher Foyle, DAILY EXPRESS
The kind of gift subject that biographers must dream of . . . Colourful anecdotes of eccentricity, lunacy and infidelity crowd every page — Christopher Hart, SUNDAY TIMES, Books of the Year
A thorough, fascinating and rather giddying book . . . sensational — Lynne Truss, SUNDAY TIMES
The unbelievable story of the outlandish last Ranee of Sarawak was the most gripping biography of 2007; stylish, funny, poignant, crammed with eccentrics, it may yet be a slow-burn bestseller — Bartle Bull, PROSPECT, Books of the Year
Philip Eade's stylish narrative never flags, nor his command of humour and irony. It is an altogether memorable work, the first I hope of many — Kenneth Rose
Richly entertaining — IRISH TIMES
An enthralling study of an extraordinary woman — Joanna Lumley
W&N

The Real Lolita

Sarah Weinman
Authors:
Sarah Weinman

Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita is one of the most beloved and notorious novels of all time. And yet, very few of its readers know that the subject of the novel was inspired by a real-life case: the 1948 abduction of eleven-year-old Sally Horner.Weaving together suspenseful crime narrative, cultural and social history, and literary investigation, The Real Lolita tells Sally Horner's full story for the very first time. Drawing upon extensive investigations, legal documents, public records and interviews with remaining relatives, Sarah Weinman uncovers how much Nabokov knew of the Sally Horner case and the efforts he took to disguise that knowledge during the process of writing and publishing Lolita.Sally Horner's story echoes the stories of countless girls and women who never had the chance to speak for themselves. By diving deeper in the publication history of Lolita and restoring Sally to her rightful place in the lore of the novel's creation, The Real Lolita casts a new light on the dark inspiration for a modern classic.

Orion

Agent Jack: The True Story of MI5's Secret Nazi Hunter

Robert Hutton
Authors:
Robert Hutton

This is the incredible tale of Operation Fifth Column, a Second World War MI5 operation so secret that its existence was only revealed by the National Archives for the first time in 2014.Throughout the war and even for a couple of years afterwards, 'Agent Jack' - in reality, a bank clerk named Eric Roberts - acted as a Gestapo agent to whom hundreds of British-based Nazi sympathisers and informers passed their secrets, thinking that he was sending them back to Germany. Many were put on a salary by what they thought was the Third Reich and some were even 'awarded' Iron Crosses for their services to the Fatherland; they never found out the truth.Among the secrets they tried to pass were: a tip-off about Bletchley Park; details of the deadly Mosquito bomber; complete plans of a highly effective anti-radar technology codenamed WINDOW. The larger-than-life characters who populate the book include Roberts himself, the deceptively ordinary-seeming bank clerk; Maxwell Knight, who recruited Roberts; Victor Third Baron Rothschild, Roberts' spymaster, who did a sideline in bomb disposal using his Cartier screwdrivers; Theresa Clay, the distinguished biologist who co-ran the operation with Rothschild, but because she was a woman was only ever classified as an 'assistant'; Marita Perigoe, possibly the most dangerous of the fascists, who despite having her suspicions about Roberts, continued to recruit spies for him and pass him secrets to the end of the war.

W&N

The Favourite

Ophelia Field
Authors:
Ophelia Field

Sarah Churchill, first Duchess of Marlborough, was the glamorous and controversial subject of hundreds of satires, newspaper articles and publications both during her lifetime and after her death. Tied to Queen Anne by an intimate friendship, Sarah hoped to wield power equal to that of a government minister. When their relationship soured, she blackmailed Anne with letters revealing their intimacy and accused her of perverting the course of national affairs by keeping lesbian favourites - including Sarah's own cousin Abigail Masham.Sarah was a compulsive and compelling writer, narrating the major events of life at Blenheim Palace and at court with herself often centre-stage. Attacked for traits that might have been applauded in a man, she was also capable of inspiring intense love and loyalty, deeply committed to her principles and to living what she believed to be a virtuous life. This biography brings Sarah Churchill's own voice, passionate and intelligent, back to life, and casts a critical eye over images of the Duchess handed down through art, history and literature. Here is an unforgettable portrait of a woman who cared intensely about how we would remember her.

W&N

Daughters of the Winter Queen

Nancy Goldstone
Authors:
Nancy Goldstone
Orion

Richard III

Chris Skidmore
Authors:
Chris Skidmore

The last Plantagenet king remains one of England's most famous and controversial monarchs. There are few parallels in English history that can match the drama of Richard III's reign, witnessed in its full bloody intensity. A dedicated brother and loyal stalwart to the Yorkist dynasty for most of his early life, Richard's personality was forged in the tribulation of exile and the brutality of combat. An ambitious nobleman and successful general with a loyal following, Richard was a man who could claim to have achieved every ambition in life, except one.Within months of his brother Edward IV's early death, Richard stunned the nation when he seized the throne for himself and disinherited his nephews. Having put to death his rivals, Richard's two-year reign would become one of the most tumultuous in English history, ending in treachery and with his death on the battlefield at Bosworth.Chris Skidmore's biography strips back the legends that surround Richard's life and reign, and by returning to original manuscript evidence, he rediscovers the man as contemporaries saw him. Rather than vindicate or condemn, Skidmore's compelling study presents every facet of Richard's personality as it deserves to be seen: as one of the most important figures in medieval history, whose actions and behaviour underline the true nature of power in an age of great drama, upheaval and instability.Read by Roger Davis(p) 2017 Orion Publishing Group

W&N

Lenin the Dictator

Victor Sebestyen
Authors:
Victor Sebestyen

Shortlisted for the Elizabeth Longford Prize for Historical BiographyVictor Sebestyen's intimate biography is the first major work in English for nearly two decades on one of the most significant figures of the twentieth century. In Russia to this day Lenin inspires adulation. Everywhere, he continues to fascinate as a man who made history, and who created a new kind of state that would later be imitated by nearly half the countries in the world.Lenin believed that the 'the political is the personal', and while in no way ignoring his political life, Sebestyen focuses on Lenin the man - a man who loved nature almost as much as he loved making revolution, and whose closest ties and friendships were with women. The long-suppressed story of his ménage a trois with his wife, Nadezhda Krupskaya, and his mistress and comrade, Inessa Armand, reveals a different character to the coldly one-dimensional figure of legend.Told through the prism of Lenin's key relationships, Sebestyen's lively biography casts a new light on the Russian Revolution, one of the great turning points of modern history.

W&N

The Romanovs

Simon Sebag Montefiore
Authors:
Simon Sebag Montefiore

The Romanovs were the most successful dynasty of modern times, ruling a sixth of the world's surface. How did one family turn a war-ruined principality into the world's greatest empire? And how did they lose it all?This is the intimate story of twenty tsars and tsarinas, some touched by genius, some by madness, but all inspired by holy autocracy and imperial ambition. Montefiore's gripping chronicle reveals their secret world of unlimited power and ruthless empire-building, overshadowed by palace conspiracy, family rivalries, sexual decadence and wild extravagance, and peopled by a cast of adventurers, courtesans, revolutionaries and poets. Written with dazzling literary flair, drawing on new archival research, THE ROMANOVS is at once an enthralling chronicle of triumph and tragedy, love and death, a universal study of power, and an essential portrait of the empire that still defines Russia today.

W&N

Evelyn Waugh

Philip Eade
Authors:
Philip Eade
W&N

Hons and Rebels

Jessica Mitford
Authors:
Jessica Mitford

'Whenever I read the words "Peer's Daughter" in a headline,' Lady Redesdale once sadly remarked, 'I know it's going to be something about one of you children.' The Mitford family is one of the century's most enigmatic, made notorious by Nancy's novels, Diana's marriage to Sir Oswald Mosley, Unity's infatuation with Hitler, Debo's marriage to a duke and Jessica's passionate commitment to communism. Hons and Rebels is an enchanting and deeply absorbing memoir of an isolated and eccentric upbringing which conceals beneath its witty, light-hearted surface much wisdom and depth of feeling.

W&N

The Rival Queens

Nancy Goldstone
Authors:
Nancy Goldstone
W&N

Boom

Russell Miller
Authors:
Russell Miller

Hugh 'Boom' Trenchard was embarrassed by being described as 'The Father of the Royal Air Force' - he thought others were more deserving. But the reality was that no man did more to establish the world's first independent air force and ensure its survival in the teeth of fierce opposition from both the Admiralty and the War Office. Born in Taunton in 1873, Trenchard struggled at school, not helped by the shame of his solicitor father's bankruptcy when he was sixteen. He failed entrance examinations to both the Royal Navy and the Army several times, eventually obtaining a commission through the 'back door' of the militia. After service in India, South Africa - where he was seriously wounded - and Nigeria, he found his destiny when he joined the fledgling Royal Flying Corps in 1912, where he was soon known as 'Boom' thanks to his stentorian voice. Quick to recognise the huge potential aircraft offered in future conflicts, he rose rapidly to command the RFC in France during the First World War despite handicaps that would have blighted conventional military careers: he was obstinate, tactless, inarticulate and chronically unable to remember names - yet he was able to inspire unflagging loyalty among all ranks. Despite his conspicuous distrust of politicians, he served as a successful Chief of the Air Staff for a decade after the war and then, at the personal request of the King, took over as Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, which he reorganised and reformed. He never wavered in his belief that mastery of the air could only be achieved by relentless offensive action, or in his determined advocacy of strategic bombing. His most enduring legacy was the creation of the finest air force in the world, engendered with the spirit that won the Battle of Britain.

W&N

My History

Antonia Fraser
Authors:
Antonia Fraser

The childhood and early life memoir of Antonia Fraser, one of our finest narrative historians.Antonia Fraser's magical memoir describes growing up in the 1930s and '40s, but its real concern is with her growing love of history. A fascination that began with reading Our Island Story and her evacuation to an Elizabethan manor house at the beginning of the Second World War soon developed into an enduring passion, becoming, in her own words, 'an essential part of the enjoyment of life'.My History follows Antonia's relationship with her family: she was the eldest of eight children. Her parents Frank and Elizabeth Pakenham, later Lord and Lady Longford, were both Labour politicians. Then there are her adventures as a self-made debutante before Oxford University and a fortunate coincidence that leads to her working in publishing. It closes with the publication of her first major historical work, Mary Queen of Scots - a book that became a worldwide bestseller. Told with inimitable humour and style, this is an unforgettable account of one person's journey towards becoming a writer - and a historian.

W&N

The Audacious Crimes of Colonel Blood

Robert Hutchinson
Authors:
Robert Hutchinson
W&N

I Am Malala

Malala Yousafzai, Christina Lamb
Authors:
Malala Yousafzai, Christina Lamb

*Winner of the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize*When the Taliban took control of the Swat Valley, one girl fought for her right to an education. On Tuesday, 9 October 2012, she almost paid the ultimate price when she was shot in the head at point-blank range.Malala Yousafzai's extraordinary journey has taken her from a remote valley in northern Pakistan to the halls of the United Nations. She has become a global symbol of peaceful protest and is the youngest ever winner of the Nobel Peace Prize.I Am Malala will make you believe in the power of one person's voice to inspire change in the world.*****'Malala is an inspiration to girls and women all over the world' JK Rowling'Moving and illuminating' Observer'Inspirational and powerful' Grazia'Her story is astonishing' Spectator

W&N

The Second World War

Antony Beevor
Authors:
Antony Beevor

A magisterial, single-volume history of the greatest conflict the world has ever known by our foremost military historian.The Second World War began in August 1939 on the edge of Manchuria and ended there exactly six years later with the Soviet invasion of northern China. The war in Europe appeared completely divorced from the war in the Pacific and China, and yet events on opposite sides of the world had profound effects. Using the most up-to-date scholarship and research, Beevor assembles the whole picture in a gripping narrative that extends from the North Atlantic to the South Pacific and from the snowbound steppe to the North African Desert.Although filling the broadest canvas on a heroic scale, Beevor's THE SECOND WORLD WAR never loses sight of the fate of the ordinary soldiers and civilians whose lives were crushed by the titanic forces unleashed in this, the most terrible war in history.

W&N

Augustus

Adrian Goldsworthy
Authors:
Adrian Goldsworthy

Caesar Augustus schemed and fought his way to absolute power. He became Rome's first emperor and ruled for forty-four years before dying peacefully in his bed. The system he created would endure for centuries. Yet, despite his exceptional success, he is a difficult man to pin down, and far less well-known than his great-uncle, Julius Caesar. His story is not always edifying: he murdered his opponents, exiled his daughter when she failed to conform and freely made and broke alliances as he climbed ever higher. However, the peace and stability he fostered were real, and under his rule the empire prospered. Adrian Goldsworthy examines the ancient sources to understand the man and his times.

W&N

City of Lies

Ramita Navai
Authors:
Ramita Navai
W&N

Disraeli

Douglas Hurd, Edward Young
Authors:
Douglas Hurd, Edward Young
W&N

Robert E. Lee

Brian Holden Reid
Authors:
Brian Holden Reid
W&N

Churchill and Empire

Lawrence James
Authors:
Lawrence James