By Edna O'Brien
The John Lennon Letters
By John Lennon, Hunter Davies
A lifetime of letters, collected for the first time, from the legendary The Beatles musician and songwriter John LennonJohn Lennon is one of the world's greatest-ever song writers, creator of 'Help!', 'Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds', 'Imagine' and dozens more. Now, his letters have been collected and published, illuminating as never before the intimate side of a private genius.Hunter Davies, author of the only authorised biography of The Beatles, has tracked down almost three hundred of Lennon's letters and postcards - to relations, friends, fans, strangers, lovers and even to the laundry. Some of the letters are tender, informative, funny, angry and abusive, and some are simply heart-breaking - from his earliest surviving thank-you note, written when he was ten, to his last scribbled autograph given on 8 December 1980, the day he was shot, aged forty.
By John Miller
The first full biography of Britain's leading actress of her time.Whether it is her sunny temperament, her gift of laughter, her wide-ranging abilities, or all three, Judi Dench is without doubt a star. Shortlisted for a 1998 Oscar for her performance as Queen Victoria in MRS BROWN, she then won one for her role as Queen Elizabeth in SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE. Judi Dench is widely loved, and not only among the theatrical profession. Her long-running appearance opposite Geoffrey Palmer in the TV situation comedy AS TIME GOES BY has run to four series and gained her a TV TIMES readers' award as ¿the actress we most wish see more often on television¿. She juggles the National Theatre (a sell-out season in Sondheim's A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC and David Hare's AMY'S VIEW) with TV and films (she is now established as 'M' in the latest James Bond series).Since the paperback edition was published, John Miller has written a new chapter, bringing what is fast becoming a classic biography completely up-to-date.
By Barbara Leaming
The untold story of how the life and viewpoint of this most charismatic of American presidents was shaped in Britain before WWIIThis groundbreaking biography of the most charismatic of all 20th century American presidents reveals the profound, lifelong impact on John F. Kennedy of British history, literature and values.Drawing on extensive new and astonishingly intimate private materials and original interviews, Leaming has uncovered the dramatic line that runs through Kennedy's complicated life, the trajectory of the friendships and forces that led to the White House and shaped his actions there. Here is the childhood reading of a sickly boy; Jack's rapturous engagement at the age of fifteen with the writings of Winston Churchill and his transforming experiences as a member of the Second Sons' Club of young aristocrats in pre-war London. Leaming also covers his campaign for the White House 'on the Churchill ticket' and the dramatic thousand days of the presidency.Brilliantly researched, compellingly told, this is a colourful and tumultuous narrative of friendships and family, tragedy and triumph.
By Mick Wall
A tribute biography of the hugely popular DJ and broadcaster John PeelJohn Peel was born in Cheshire in 1939 and, after National Service, he eventually went into broadcasting while travelling in America, where his Liverpool accent convinced them he must know the Beatles, and he was even present when Lee Harvey Oswald was shot. In 1967 he returned to the UK and joined Radio One at its start. His late-night radio shows were cult listening for music fans of all ages, and many bands admit that without his support, they would never have made it.While Radio One changed, he remained a constant factor in its schedules, and in 1998 he was awarded the OBE for his services to broadcasting. It was in that year that he also began his multi-award-winning show Home Truths on Radio Four. Mick Wall tells the story of arguably the most influential man in the history of British rock music, speaking to those who knew him well to build up a complete portrait of this hugely popular figure.
By Gordon Bowker
Long-awaited and comprehensive biography of the great Irish author James JoyceJames Joyce was one of the greatest writers of the twentieth century, but he was not immediately recognised as such; rather he lived in exile in the cosmopolitan Europe of the 1920s in a bid to escape the suffocating atmosphere and parochial prejudices of his native Dublin. His unstinting dedication to authorship picks him out as a writer in the romantic tradition. He battled poverty and financial dependency for much of his adult life, as well as near-blindness from 1917 and the grief of his daughter Lucia's mental illness. He suffered too the slings and arrows of uncomprehending critics especially for his influential Ulysses, which was banned in both Britain and America. Drawing on considerable new material that has only recently become available, Gordon Bowker's biography attempts to get beyond the exterior life to explore the inner landscape of an extraordinary writer who continues to influence and fascinate, well over a century after his birth.
By Michael Grant
A study of the life of Jesus by one of the great scholars of the ancient world.Examining the Gospels as he would any other historical document, Grant presents a picture of Jesus that is, in some respects, an unfamiliar one. He argues that Jesus was neither meek and mild, nor a political revolutionary, but rather consumed with the goal of the realisation of the Kingdom of God.
By Len Brown
Hollywood's favourite action heroAfter an exhilirating ten years, Jason Statham has finally confirmed his place in the Hollywood elite. And starring alongside his childhood heroes Stallone, Schwarznegger, Willis and Jet Li, it is hard to imagine him anywhere else. Born in south London, Jason Statham has always been an action-man. As a boy, Jason chose not to follow in the footsteps of his parents and instead cultivated his thirst for adrenaline in athletics and diving - a skill that took him to the World Championships in 1992. But it was on the athlectics track that he was first discovered by a modelling scout for Tommy Hilfiger and French Connection, which eventually led Jason to the then fledgling director Guy Ritchie. A string of Hollywood blockbusters - Lock Stock, Revolver, Snatch - followed. But perhaps his best known role came in 2002 when Jason was cast as Frank Martin in The Transporter. Statham's background in martial arts defies the norm of the action-hero as he performs his own scenes and stunts in some of Hollywood's most death-defying action scenes. A huge box office hit, The Transporter spawned two sequels and has earned the reputation of a cult classic. Len Brown's biography is an insightful, comprehensive and gripping account of Britain's all-action hero.
By Greg Growden
Jack Fingleton is one of Australian cricket's most important and intriguing characters. In John Arlott's words: 'He is himself?and a diverse himself it is.'Fingleton was an outstanding opening batsman with a reputation for fearlessness against the most hostile and dangerous opening attacks. He faced up to England's feared 'Bodyline' bowlers, and became the first batsman in history to score four successive Test centuries.Later he gained a reputation as possibly Australia's greatest cricket writer, with his work syndicated throughout Australia and overseas. He also moved in the corridors of power as a political journalist, and was on intimate terms with several prime ministers. He was the author of a number of authoritative books, including Cricket Crisis and Brightly Fades the Don.Fingleton led a varied and at times turbulent life. Married to the daughter of noted feminist Jessie Street, over several decades he was involved in an on-again, off-again feud with one-time teammate Sir Donald Bradman. Greg Growden's access to previously unpublished correspondence has helped him shed new light on their relationship, and on the rich life of a witty, evocative, complex and altogether unforgettable Australian.
By Carol Shields
Bestselling novelist with an enormous critical reputation takes on one of the most popular and enduring English novelists of all.The prizewinning novelist Carol Shields, whose novels have themselves been compared to the works of Jane Austen, gives us a beautifully written, perceptive look at the life of one of the finest and most popular English novelists of all time.Jane Austen spent the first 25 years of her life in Steventon and the last eight in nearby Chawton, and did most of her writing in these two places. She never married although many of her novels are about marriage, and always lived with her parents and sister Cassandra. Whilst not unaware of the larger political and social goings-on at the time, she chose a small canvas for her novels, preferring to focus on the family as a microcosm through which to explore human nature.Carol Shields has written a wonderfully observant and revealing biography of this remarkable writer whose characters are as alive today as they were two hundred years ago, when Jane Austen first gave them breath.'An excellent biography' Mail on Sunday