By Lisa Hilton
A definitive portrait of one of the most compelling monarchs England has ever had: Elizabeth I.'We are a prince from a line of princes.'Lisa Hilton's majestic biography of Elizabeth I, 'The Virgin Queen', uses new research to present a fresh interpretation of Elizabeth as a queen who saw herself primarily as a Renaissance prince, delivering a very different perspective on her emotional and sexual life, and upon her attempts to mould England into a European state. Elizabeth was not an exceptional woman but an exceptional ruler, and this book challenges readers to reassess her reign, and the colourful drama, scandal and intrigue to which it is always linked.
The English Opium-Eater
By Robert Morrison
Definitive life of the author of CONFESSIONS OF AN ENGLISH OPIUM-EATER, journalist, political commentator and biographer.Thomas De Quincey's friendships with leading poets and men of letters in the Romantic and Victorian periods - including William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Thomas Carlyle - have long placed him at the centre of 19th-century literary studies. De Quincey also stands at the meeting point in the culture wars between Edinburgh and London; between high art and popular taste; and between the devotees of the Romantic imagination and those of hack journalism. His writing was a tremendous influence on Edgar Allan Poe, Charles Dickens, William Burroughs and Peter Ackroyd.De Quincey is a fascinating (and topical) figure for other reasons too: a self-mythologizing autobiographer whose attitudes to drug-induced creativity and addiction strike highly resonant chords for a contemporary readership. Robert Morrison's biography passionately argues for the critical importance and enduring value of this neglected essayist, critic and biographer.
By Richard Davenport-Hines
The life of Lady Desborough - beautiful heiress, aristocratic hostess, unfaithful wife, tragic mother, Edwardian icon.Born in 1867 and orphaned at three, Ettie Fane was brought up by a beloved grandmother and then two adoring, almost incestuous, bachelor uncles. At twenty she married Willy Grenfell, later Lord Desborough. Beautiful, rich, charming and clever, Ettie soon became a leading hostess at the two magnificent country houses she had inherited. Leading politicians, writers and artists were very much part of her circle.But there was a dark side too, as this book will reveal. Ettie could be manipulative and cruel. Her eldest son Julian, after a nervous breakdown at Oxford, rejected her world and values. Nemesis and tragedy were not far away. In 1915 Julian died of war wounds. Six weeks later her second son Billy was killed in action. Her youngest son Ivo would be killed shortly after the war. But despite intense private misery, she reacted with outward courage and self-mastery. Grief revealed the greatness of her spirit. In the 1920s and 1930s she continued to collect new types, especially gifted young men, relishing people of all ages up to her death in 1952, a redoutable survivor from a vanished age.
The Exmoor Files
By Liz Jones
Moving from Islington to Exmoor; one small step for mankind but a very large one for MAIL ON SUNDAY columnist Liz Jones.Liz Jones lived the perfect urban life. The immaculate Georgian townhouse in a leafy London square. The glamorous career. The Italian wardrobe stuffed with designer bags and shoes. The much younger novelist husband. But then it all goes horribly wrong. She discovers her husband has been having numerous affairs (with women who are younger, dimmer, slimmer) and realises that her pursuit of perfection has never made her happy, and probably never will. And so she decides to start all over again, burying herself alive in the middle of the bleak, unforgiving wilderness that is Exmoor National Park. She buys a wreck of a farmhouse, with an original stable block, 46 acres, an ancient wood and a lake. She rescues a nervous and abused but breathtakingly beautiful racehorse and hopes to live out the rural dream. The reality, of course, is much, much harder. THE EXMOOR FILES is a funny, honest, often brutal real-life account of what it is like to start all over again in an alien environment. It is about discovering that you cannot find peace just by moving somewhere peaceful. It is about mourning for a relationship and letting go of the life you thought you deserved.
Enter the Dragon
By Theo Paphitis
Classic rags-to-riches story by entrepreneur and Dragons' Den star Theo PaphitisTheo Paphitis is the outspoken and charismatic star of Dragons' Den who has turned round a string of household names, from Ryman to La Senza, in a high-profile business career that has brought him millions. Now, in his revealing and controversial memoir, he not only takes the reader behind the scenes on Dragons' Den, he explains how he made his fortune. He also provides a masterclass in business methods that will enable anyone who reads this book to learn so much about how they too can improve their business.In the book, Theo recalls how his family moved to England from Cyprus and how as a poor immigrant, he took whatever jobs he could, starting as a tea boy for Lloyd's. There he began to take the first steps on a career that would net him a fortune. He reveals the methods that took him to the top, and also provides some fascinating insight into the national game from his spell as chairman of Millwall FC. But, above all, this is a book that will provide all readers with the opportunity to learn from one of the nation's most successful businessmen and put his ideas into practice.
By Miss Read
The enchanting childhood memoirs of bestselling author Miss Read.Miss Read's early days were spent with two remarkable grandmothers - one in Lewisham and one in Walton-on-the-Naze. EARLY DAYS is full of childhood memories of an extended family of uncles, aunts and cousins and their houses full of mystery and adventure, where Miss Read spent so much time, living in the shadow of the First World War.At the age of seven, Miss Read moved to the small village of Chelsfield, Kent, into a magical new world - and so began her love of the English countryside which was to have such a strong influence on her career as a writer. Her evocative descriptions of the village school, the joys of exploring the woods and lanes rich in wildlife and of childhood events, from toffee-making to the treat of a lift on the corn-chandler's cart, vividly convey this time as one of the happiest of her life.