By Donald Thomas
With the war over, the forties, fifties and sixties have the aura of a golden age. But nostalgia is deceptive. From teenage Teddy Boy razor gangs and casual stabbings at dance halls to the psychopathic Krays, 'Mad' Frankie Fraser and Ronnie Biggs, Villains' Paradise reveals the chilling true story of the crimes of postwar Britain.With the narrative pace of the best detective fiction, Donald Thomas creates a thrilling journey into the heart of postwar Britain's secret history.
By Hugh Bicheno
The lives and loves of the great condottieriFederigo da Montefeltro, Duke of Urbino, was the archetypal 'Renaissance man': a brilliant soldier, scholar and ally of the pope, he spent much of the vast wealth on commissioning artists to decorate the city.Sigismondo Malatesta, lord of the neighbouring city of Rimini, was also a brilliant soldier and generous patron of the arts. He and Federigo were locked in an epic feud which saw them fight as mercenaries for and against just about every Italian ruler of note, so long as the other was on the opposite side.Together they epitomised the spirit of the condottieri - the contract army leaders who drove the explosion of new political, commercial and artistic ideas that has since become known as the Renaissance.