By Leonie Frieda
'A captivating biography ... This rollicking story is packed with anecdotes' The TimesFrancis I was inconstant, amorous, hot-headed and flawed. Yet he was also arguably the most significant king that France ever had. This is his story. A contemporary of Henry VIII of England, Francis saw himself as the first Renaissance king, a man who was the exemplar of courtly and civilised behaviour throughout Europe. A courageous and heroic warrior, he was also a keen aesthete, an accomplished diplomat and an energetic ruler who turned his country into a force to be reckoned with. Yet he was also capricious, vain and arrogant, taking hugely unnecessary risks, at least one of which nearly resulted in the end of his kingdom. His great feud with his nemesis Charles V, the Holy Roman Emperor, defined European diplomacy and sovereignty, but his notorious alliance with the great Ottoman ruler Suleiman the Magnificent threatened to destroy everything. With access to never-before-seen private archives, Leonie Frieda's comprehensive and sympathetic account explores the life of the most human of all Renaissance monarchs - and the most enigmatic.
From Here to Eternity
By Caitlin Doughty, Landis Blair
As a practising mortician, Caitlin Doughty has long been fascinated by our pervasive terror of dead bodies. In From Here to Eternity she sets out in search of cultures unburdened by such fears. In rural Indonesia, she observes a man clean and dress his grandfather's mummified body. She meets Bolivian ñatitas (cigarette-smoking, wish-granting human skulls), and discovers the Japanese ritual of kotsuage, in which relatives use chopsticks to pluck their loved-ones' bones from cremation ashes. With curiosity and morbid humour, Doughty introduces us to inspiring death-care innovators, participates in powerful death practices almost entirely unknown in the West and explores new spaces for mourning - including a futuristic glowing-Buddha columbarium in Japan, a candlelit Mexican cemetery, and America's only open-air pyre. In doing so she expands our sense of what it means to treat the dead with 'dignity' and reveals unexpected possibilities for our own death rituals.
Flowers For Algernon
By Daniel Keyes
'A masterpiece of poignant brilliance . . . heartbreaking' GuardianCharlie Gordon, a floor sweeper born with an unusually low IQ, has been chosen as the perfect subject for an experimental surgery that doctors hope will increase his intelligence - a procedure that has been highly successful when tested on a lab mouse named Algernon. All Charlie wants is to be smart and have friends, but the treatement turns him into a genius.Then Algernon begins to fade. What will become of Charlie?
By Laura Dawes
At the beginning of the Second World War, medical experts predicted epidemics of physical and mental illness on the home front. Rationing would decimate the nation's health, they warned; drugs, blood and medical resources would be in short supply; air raid shelters and evacuation would spread diseases; and the psychological effects of bombing raids would leave mental hospitals overflowing. Yet, astonishingly, Britain ended the war in better health than ever before. Based on original archival research and written with wit and verve, FIGHTING FIT reveals an extraordinary, forgotten story of medical triumph against the odds. Through a combination of meticulous planning and last-minute scrambling, Britain succeeded in averting, in Churchill's phrase, the 'dark curse' on the nation's health. It was thanks to the pioneering efforts of countless individuals - doctors, nurses, social workers, boy scouts, tea ladies, Nobel Prize winners, air raid wardens, housewives, nutritionists and psychologists - who battled to keep the nation fit and well in wartime. As Laura Dawes shows, these men and women not only helped to win the war, they paved the way for the birth of the NHS and the development of the welfare state.
The First Thing You See
By Gregoire Delacourt
Imagine you are a young mechanic living in a small community in France. You own your own home, and lead a simple life. Then, one evening, you open your front door to find a distraught Hollywood starlet standing in front of you. This is what happens to Arthur Dreyfuss in the village of Long, population 687 inhabitants.But although feigning an American accent, this woman is not all that she seems. For her name is Jeanine Foucamprez, and her story is very different from the glamorous life of a star. Arthur is not all he seems, either; a lover of poetry with a darker past than one might imagine, he has learnt to see beauty in the mundane.THE FIRST THING YOU SEE is a warm, witty novel about two fragile souls learning to look beyond the surface - for the first thing you see isn't always what you get!
The Fall Of Crete
By Alan Clark
The epic story of one of the most bitter and dramatic battles fought between German and Allied forces during the whole of the Second World War. The decisive action took place within five days, and twice its outcome hung in the balance. By the third day, the number of German dead exceeded their losses in all other theatres since the outbreak of hostilities. The German parachutists were confined for supply and reinforcements to a single airstrip at Maleme, yet on this one foothold they managed to land over eight thousand men, who defeated an Allied army nearly five times as numerous. With its vivid and compelling description of the battle for Crete, Clark confirmed his reputation as a military historian first recognised with The Donkeys, his account of the British Expeditionary Force in France in 1914.
By Richard Coles
The memoir of popular BBC Radio 4 SATURDAY LIVE presenter and former member of the Communards, the Reverend Richard Coles.'I love @RevRichardColes SO MUCH' Caitlin MoranFATHOMLESS RICHES is the Reverend Richard Coles's warm, witty and wise memoir in which he divulges with searing honesty and intimacy his pilgrimage from a rock-and-roll life of sex and drugs in the Communards to one devoted to God and Christianity. The result is one of the most unusual and readable life stories of recent times, and has the power to shock as well as to console.
The Funeral Party
By Ludmila Ulitskaya
In a small apartment in New York, in the sweltering mid-summer heat, a group of Russian émigrés gather around the sickbed of an artist named Alik. Nina, his wife, is desperate for Alik to be baptised; Irina, his ex-lover, a circus acrobat turned lawyer, quietly pays the bills; elderly Maria dispenses magical herbs; and Maika, Irina's fifteen-year-old daughter, prepares to lose the only man to make her laugh. As the visitors fuss and reminisce over Alik, in a corner of the crowded room the television shows the uprising outside the White House in Moscow and the tanks closing in on the city . . .
The Fair Fight
By Anna Freeman
I sat before my tambour hoop but I did not sew. I thought of split lips, flying teeth and red blood on white linen.Born in a Bristol brothel at the end of the eighteenth century, Ruth Webber, her toe upon the scratch, is ready to face all comers.Lady Charlotte Sinclair, scarred with small pox and bullied by her boorish brother, is on the verge of smashing the bonds of convention that have held her for so long.George Bowden, without inheritance or title, is prepared to do whatever it takes to make his way in the world.Let the fight begin . . .
By Abigail Tarttelin
'My name is Flick and these are my images of my disconnected life, my forgettable weeks and unforgettable weekends. I am one of the disaffected youth.'Stranded in his home town by a lack of education, cash and anything better to do, Will Flicker, a.k.a. 'Flick', muses on whether Pepsi is better than Coke, the Art of the Right Amount of Stoned and why Rainbow, the new girl in town, is just so much hotter than the losers and users he counts as friends.But when a dangerous figure from the past threatens his future with Rainbow, Flick finds himself torn between the ties that bind him to his old life and the freedom that she represents.
Four Men in a Boat
By Tim Foster, Rory Ross
When Great Britain won gold at the Sydney 2000 Olympics coxless four, seven million people watched and voted it the greatest sporting moment of the year.This moment, and Steve Redgrave's fifth Olympic gold medal, has eclipsed the long and troubled journey four men made to peak at exactly the right time. Tim Foster brings vividly to life what it's like to be one of four headstrong, and at times conflicting, personalities and reveals how close they all came to implosion as the Sydney Olympics approached.FOUR MEN IN A BOAT is structured around the 2000m final itself, with Tim Foster analysing the story of the crew as they progress towards the gold medal. He also gives a compelling insight into the hardships of sport at the highest level, and what it takes for four men to come together and win Olympic gold.
Fatal Rivalry, Flodden 1513
By George Goodwin
The relationship of England and Scotland became defined by events on 9 September 1513 in a battle of great size, bloodshed and finality - the Battle of Flodden.On the back of historian George Goodwin's critically acclaimed debut, FATAL COLOURS, comes FATAL RIVALRY, providing the first in-depth examination of the Battle of Flodden, the biggest and bloodiest in British history.This book captures the importance of the key players in the story - the kings and their respective queens, their nobles, diplomats and generals - as the rivalry brought the two countries inexorably to war. Fatefully, it would be an error by James, that most charismatic of commanders, and in the thick of engagement, that would make him the last British king to fall in battle, would condemn the bulk of his nobility to a similarly violent death and settle his country's fate.
By Ann Widdecombe
Ann Widdecombe's controversial novel about the position of men in today's society.Jason Kirk is a 32-year-old teacher who believes he is happily married until he returns home one day to find that his wife has left him, taking their two young children with her. Suddenly Jason finds the role of father denied to him as he is separated from his children and reduced to the role of visitor. The law is weighted against him and his wife produces a series of excuses to withhold contact with Jake, eight, and Leah, three. Jason, who had wanted to bring his children up to maturity on a daily basis, not only has to face the pain of this loss but endures the misery of persecution by the Child Support Agency. He discovers he is not alone and that among his friends and colleagues, there are others enduring the same situation.FATHER FIGURE is an enthralling, thought-provoking novel of modern fatherhood.
Farewell To The East End
By Jennifer Worth
The hit BBC TV series CALL THE MIDWIFE is based on the memoirs of Jennifer Worth, chronicling her life as a midwife in London in the 1950s. FAREWELL TO THE EAST END is the third book in the trilogy.Following on from the bestselling CALL THE MIDWIFE and SHADOWS OF THE WORKHOUSE, Jennifer brings her story to a conclusion. Post-war life could be a struggle - the devastating effects of TB, dangerous backstreet abortions, people driven to extremes by poverty - but there was also warmth and humour. Like Megan'mave, the identical twins who share the same browbeaten husband; the eccentric Sister Monica Joan; and gauche debutante Chummy, who wants to be a missionary.FAREWELL TO THE EAST END shines a light on the lives, culture and stories of a bygone era, and is both moving and heartwarming in equal measure.
The Fishing Fleet
By Anne de Courcy
The adventurous young women who sailed to India during the Raj in search of husbands.From the late 19th century, when the Raj was at its height, many of Britain's best and brightest young men went out to India to work as administrators, soldiers and businessmen. With the advent of steam travel and the opening of the Suez Canal, countless young women, suffering at the lack of eligible men in Britain, followed in their wake. This amorphous band was composed of daughters returning after their English education, girls invited to stay with married sisters or friends, and yet others whose declared or undeclared goal was simply to find a husband. They were known as the Fishing Fleet, and this book is their story, hitherto untold.For these young women, often away from home for the first time, one thing they could be sure of was a rollicking good time. By the early 20th century, a hectic social scene was in place, with dances, parties, amateur theatricals, picnics, tennis tournaments, cinemas and gymkhanas, with perhaps a tiger shoot and a glittering dinner at a raja's palace thrown in. And, with men outnumbering women by roughly four to one, romances were conducted at alarming speed and marriages were frequent. But after the honeymoon, life often changed dramatically: whisked off to a remote outpost with few other Europeans for company, and where constant vigilance was required to guard against disease, they found it a far cry from the social whirlwind of their first arrival.Anne de Courcy's sparkling narrative is enriched by a wealth of first-hand sources - unpublished memoirs, letters and diaries rescued from attics - which bring this forgotten era vividly to life.
The French Kitchen
By Michel Roux jr
French gastronomy is renowned for its classic recipes passed from generation to generation. From Burgundy to the Auvergne, Provence, the Loire and the Pyrenees, traditional family cooking has always been at the heart of the French kitchen and lifestyle. With its delicious dishes and exquisite ingredients as diverse as the regions from which they come, heritage cooking and family values from provincial France have stood the test of time. In this book Michel Roux Jr, star of the BBC's MASTERCHEF and owner of the two-Michelin star Le Gavroche in London, explores the heritage of his native French cuisine - from the rustic to the haute. With classic recipes using delicious ingredients, Michel Roux Jr will help you bring provincial French cooking into your kitchen and helps you to recreate the 'je ne sais quoi' that only French cuisine can embody.
By Justine Pattison
This cookbook is bursting with delicious recipes, ground-breaking ideas and innovations, tips and techniques to help you revolutionise the way you Freeze.It's time to re-think how to use your freezer and in this book, highly regarded food writer and consultant Justine Pattison will show you how to prepare and heat a range of fabulously tasty dishes with minimal effort. Featuring all the family favourites - from Fabulous Freezer Fish Pie to Best-ever Freeze Ahead Lasagne, Classic Chicken Curry and Mum's Toad in the Hole - as well as exciting ideas for picnics, canapés, sweet treats and desserts, FREEZE will take the stress out of cooking for any occasion.Packed with countless innovative freezer tips such as the revolutionary flat freeze and quick strip techniques, as well as ways to defrost and reheat leftovers to ensure foolproof and tasty results every time. Beautifully designed with easy-to-follow recipes and mouth-watering photographs, this cookbook is ideal for busy lives. With advice on buying and preparing food for yourself and your family, it will save you money as well as time! Whether it's meals for one, standby classics, a fuss-free family supper or a gorgeous, layered Chocolate Truffle Cake, this indispensable freezer guide will show you how - making your life just that bit easier.
Flow My Tears, The Policeman Said
By Philip K. Dick
Jason Taverner has a glittering TV career, millions of fans, great wealth and something close to eternal youth. He is one of a handful of brilliant, beautiful people, the product of top-secret government experiments forty years earlier. But suddenly, all records of him vanish. He becomes a man with no identity, in a police state where everyone us closely monitored. Can he ever be rich and famous again? Or was that life just an illusion?
Friend or Foe
By Alistair Horne
Britain's premier historian on France from Caesar to Mitterrand - to coincide with the centenary of the Entente CordialeA century after the Entente Cordiale ended centuries of war and enmity between France and Britain, and two hundred years after the coronation of Britain's deadly enemy, Napoleon Bonaparte, as Emperor, Alistair Horne contemplates two thousand years of France.The Entente Cordiale meant different things to the signatories. For France it meant, quite simply, the certainty at last of an ally who would counter-balance the dread power of Kaiser Wilhelm II's vast and menacing Reich on her doorstep. For Britain the Entente signified an end to centuries of conflict with France, but it also meant inevitable involvement in a major European war. The modern rift over the Iraq war has emphasized once again that a slim channel of water may be all that separates the countries physically, but in temperament, in attitudes, in life generally -- and, particularly, in history itself -- the differences remain fundamental, and intense.
By George Goodwin
A gripping account of the Wars of the Roses battle of Towton - the most brutal day in English history.'Vivid, humane and superbly researched' David Starkey'The story has never been told so well or so excitingly' Desmond SewardThe Battle of Towton in 1461 was unique in its ferocity and brutality, as the armies of two kings of England engaged with murderous weaponry and in appalling conditions to conclude the first War of the Roses. Variously described as the largest, longest and bloodiest battle on English soil, Towton was fought with little chance of escape and none of surrender. Fatal Colours includes a cast of strong and compelling characters: a warrior queen, a ruthless king-making earl, even a papal legate who excommunicates an entire army.Combining medieval sources and modern scholarship, George Goodwin colourfully recreates the atmosphere of 15th century England and chronicles the vicious in-fighting as the increasingly embittered royal factions struggle for supremacy.