Margot at War
By Anne de Courcy
An unconventional view of the First World War from inside the glittering social salon of Downing Street: a story of unrequited love, loss, sacrifice, scandal and the Prime Minister's wife, Margot Asquith.Margot Asquith was perhaps the most daring and unconventional Prime Minister's wife in British history. Known for her wit, style and habit of speaking her mind, she transformed 10 Downing Street into a glittering social and intellectual salon. Yet her last five years at Number 10 were a period of intense emotional and political turmoil in her private and public life. In 1912, when Anne de Courcy's book opens, rumblings of discontent and cries for social reform were encroaching on all sides - from suffragettes, striking workers and Irish nationalists. Against this background of a government beset with troubles, the Prime Minister fell desperately in love with his daughter's best friend, Venetia Stanley; to complicate matters, so did his Private Secretary. Margot's relationship with her husband was already bedevilled by her stepdaughter's jealous, almost incestuous adoration of her father. The outbreak of the First World War only heightened these swirling tensions within Downing Street. Drawing on unpublished material from personal papers and diaries, Anne de Courcy vividly recreates this extraordinary time when the Prime Minister's residence was run like an English country house, with socialising taking precedence over politics, love letters written in the cabinet room and gossip and state secrets exchanged over the bridge table. By 1916, when Asquith was forced out of office, everything had changed. For the country as a whole, for those in power, for a whole stratum of society, but especially for the Asquiths and their circle, it was the end of an era. Life inside Downing Street would never be the same again.
Mrs Beeton's Classic Meat Dishes
By Isabella Beeton
The complete guide to cooking hearty meat dishes by our most famous cook - fully updated for the 21st-century kitchen.Mrs Beeton was an expert at cooking suppers that were hearty, warming and wholesome. From a roast fore rib of beef, steak and kidney pudding and braised mutton, her recipes were big on flavour: tender, succulent and delicious dishes with the best quality cuts of meat. Here is traditional British cooking at its best, with the most economical and practical methods for you to create those classic suppers that continue to stand the test of time. All of the recipes have been drawn from Mrs Beeton's original Book of Household Management and have been updated for the 21st-century kitchen. Combined with sound, modern advice on how to source good food, plus detailed information on ingredients and equipment, and illustrations of all the techniques required, this is the go-to mini-book for any aspiring or experienced home cook.
Mrs Beeton's Cakes & Bakes
By Isabella Beeton
The complete guide to baking by our most famous cook - fully updated for the 21st-century kitchen.As a nation, there is no denying that we have a sweet tooth - and classic recipes such as Eccles Cakes, Victoria Sandwich Cake, scones and shortbread, have stood the test of time. MRS BEETON'S CAKES AND BAKES is a gorgeous and practical recipe book for the home cook, packed with delicious desserts and sweet treat ideas for any occasion.All of the recipes have been drawn from Mrs Beeton's original BOOK OF HOUSEHOLD MANAGEMENT and have been updated for the 21st-century kitchen. Combined with sound, modern advice on how to source good food, plus detailed information on ingredients and equipment, and illustrations of all the techniques required, this is the go-to mini book for any aspiring or experienced home cook.
By Jonathan Spence
A biography that penetrates Mao's rhetoric and infamous self-will to distil an intimate portrait of a man as withdrawn and mysterious as the emperors he disdained.From humble origins in the provinces, Mao Zedong rose to absolute power, unifying with an iron fist a vast country torn apart by years of weak leadership, foreign imperialism and war. In this sharply drawn account Jonathan Spence, award-winning historian and author of acclaimed books about the old and the new China, brings to life this modern day emperor and the tumultuous era that he did so much to shape. He presents Mao as a 'Lord of Misrule', who deliberately turned upside-down the traditional hierarchies of Chinese society. Spence captures Mao in all his paradoxical grandeur and sheds light on the radical transformation he unleashed that still reverberates in China today.