Related to: 'Fiona Shaw'

Orion

Get Me the Urgent Biscuits

Sweetpea Slight
Authors:
Sweetpea Slight

'A sparkling memoir full of charm and wit' NINA STIBBE 'Anyone who loves the theatre will love this book' ZOË WANAMAKER At eighteen, after moving to London with dreams of becoming an actress, an impressionable girl who paints freckles on her face begins work experience in a West End theatre company. In between mail-outs and making cups of coffee she meets the formidable producer Thelma Holt. Within a fortnight Thelma has stolen her, cancelled her audition for RADA, sent her to evening classes to learn to type, organised a minuscule salary and renamed her. From that moment she becomes Sweetpea. Her days are spent in an eccentric office where Alan Rickman or Vanessa Redgrave might pop in at any moment. Evenings are filled with the adrenaline of an opening-night performance or the chatter of a smart restaurant where casting for the next production is discussed. Existing somewhere between glamour and penury, Sweetpea finds herself surrounded by dynamic personalities and struggling to trust her own creative instincts. Over the years her apprenticeship takes in unusual demands, misbehaving actors, divinely inspired directors and a hot-air balloon ride with British theatre's finest. GET ME THE URGENT BISCUITS is a keenly observed memoir about the vanishing world of London's West End in the 1980s and 1990s, in which a young woman is swept into the orbit of a theatrical impresario. Shrewd, poignant and irresistibly funny, above all it is a coming-of-age story about the search for independence and an ode to the beguiling nature of theatre.Read by Sweetpea Slight(p) Orion Publishing Group 2017

Orion

Chaucer's People

Liza Picard
Authors:
Liza Picard

The Middle Ages were turbulent times. In the fourteenth century alone, England was ravaged by war, plague, revolt and the overthrow of a king. Among the surviving records, the poetry of Geoffrey Chaucer is the most vivid. But what does it tell us about the everyday lives of medieval men and women? What did people eat, wear, read and think?Through the assorted cast of pilgrims Chaucer selected for The Canterbury Tales, Liza Picard brings medieval social history to life. These are lives led beyond the court circles frequented by most of Chaucer's well-heeled audience - lives spent at the pedal of a loom or in uncharted waters on the high seas.Chaucer would sometimes raise a thought-provoking query in an apparently simple portrait. The Prioress was a sweet, pretty, well-mannered young nun; what was she doing on the road to Canterbury with a mixed band of men, instead of staying in her convent to pray? The Knight was 'a very perfect gentle knight'; but why had his military service landed him in such distant places as Lithuania and Spain? By providing these characters with a three-dimensional framework - the times in which they lived - Picard opens up the fourteenth-century world to us. Drawing on contemporary experiences of a vast range of subjects including trade, religion, toe-curling remedies and hair-raising recipes, Chaucer's People recreates the medieval world in all its glorious detail.

Orion

The Romanovs

Simon Sebag Montefiore
Authors:
Simon Sebag Montefiore

The Romanovs were the most successful dynasty of modern times, ruling a sixth of the world's surface. How did one family turn a war-ruined principality into the world's greatest empire? And how did they lose it all? This is the intimate story of twenty tsars and tsarinas, some touched by genius, some by madness, but all inspired by holy autocracy and imperial ambition. Montefiore's gripping chronicle reveals their secret world of unlimited power and ruthless empire-building, overshadowed by palace conspiracy, family rivalries, sexual decadence and wild extravagance, and peopled by a cast of adventurers, courtesans, revolutionaries and poets, from Ivan the Terrible to Tolstoy, from Queen Victoria to Lenin. To rule Russia was both imperial-sacred mission and poisoned chalice: six tsars were murdered and all the Romanovs lived under constant threat to their lives. Peter the Great tortured his own son to death while making Russia an empire, and dominated his court with a dining club notable for compulsory drunkenness, naked dwarfs and fancy dress. Catherine the Great overthrew her own husband - who was murdered soon afterwards - loved her young male favourites, conquered Ukraine and fascinated Europe. Paul was strangled by courtiers backed by his own son, Alexander I, who faced Napoleon's invasion and the burning of Moscow, then went on to take Paris. Alexander II liberated the serfs, survived five assassination attempts, and wrote perhaps the most explicit love letters ever written by a ruler. THE ROMANOVS climaxes with a fresh, unforgettable portrayal of Nicholas and Alexandra, the rise and murder of Rasputin, war and revolution - and the harrowing massacre of the entire family. Written with dazzling literary flair, drawing on new archival research, THE ROMANOVS is at once an enthralling story of triumph and tragedy, love and death, a universal study of power, and an essential portrait of the empire that still defines Russia today.Read by Simon Russell Beale(p) 2016 Orion Publishing Group

W&N

Maggie Smith

Michael Coveney
Authors:
Michael Coveney

WINNER OF BEST MEMOIR AT THE WOMAN & HOME READERS' CHOICE AWARDS 2016 AND A BBC RADIO 4 BOOK OF THE WEEKNo one does glamour, severity, girlish charm or tight-lipped witticism better than Dame Maggie Smith, one of Britain's best-loved actors. This new biography shines the stage-lights on the life and work of a truly remarkable performer, one whose career spans six decades.From her days as a star of West End comedy and revue, Dame Maggie's path would cross with those of the greatest actors, playwrights and directors of the era. Whether stealing scenes from Richard Burton (by his own admission), answering back to Laurence Olivier, or impressing Ingmar Bergman, her career can be seen as a Who's Who of British theatre in the twentieth century. This book also covers her success in Hollywood, inaugurated by her first Oscar for her signature film, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, as well as her subsequent departure to Canada for a prolific four-season run of leading theatre roles.Recently Dame Maggie has been as prominent on our screens as ever, with high-profile roles as Violet Crawley, the formidable Dowager Countess of Grantham, in the phenomenally successful television series Downton Abbey, and as Professor Minerva McGonagall in the Harry Potter film franchise: what she herself describes as 'Miss Jean Brodie in a wizard's hat'. Yet paradoxically she remains an enigmatic figure, rarely appearing in public and carefully guarding her considerable talent. Michael Coveney's absorbing biography, drawing on personal archives, interviews and encounters with the actress, as well as conversations with immediate family and dear friends, is therefore as close as it gets to seeing the real Maggie Smith.

W&N

Do No Harm

Henry Marsh
Authors:
Henry Marsh
W&N

How to Create the Perfect Wife

Wendy Moore
Authors:
Wendy Moore

From the No.1 bestselling author of WEDLOCK. The Georgian scandal of one gentleman, two orphans and an experiment to create the ideal wife.This is the story of how Thomas Day, a young man of means, decided he could never marry a woman with brains, spirit or fortune. Instead, he adopted two orphan girls from a Foundling Hospital, and set about educating them to become the meek, docile women he considered marriage material. Unsurprisingly, Day's marriage plans did not run smoothly. Having returned one orphan early on, his girl of choice, Sabrina Sidney, would also fall foul of the experiment. From then on, she led a difficult life, inhabiting a curious half-world - an ex-orphan, and not quite a ward; a governess, and not quite a fiancée. But Sabrina also ended up figuring in the life of scientists and luminaries as disparate as Erasmus Darwin and Joseph Priestley, as well as that pioneering generation of women writers who included Fanny Burney, Maria Edgeworth and Anna Seward. In HOW TO CREATE THE PERFECT WIFE, Wendy Moore has found a story that echoes her concerns about women's historic powerlessness, and captures a moment when ideas of human development and childraising underwent radical change.

Orion

Perilous Question

Antonia Fraser
Authors:
Antonia Fraser

Internationally bestselling historian Antonia Fraser's new book brilliantly evokes one year of pre-Victorian political and social history - the passing of the Great Reform Bill of 1832. For our inconclusive times, there is an attractive resonance with 1832, with its "rotten boroughs" of Old Sarum and the disappearing village of Dunwich, and its lines of most resistance to reform. This book is character-driven - on the one hand, the reforming heroes are the Whig aristocrats Lord Grey, Lord Althorp and Lord John Russell, and the Irish orator Daniel O'Connell. They included members of the richest and most landed Cabinet in history, yet they were determined to bring liberty, which whittled away their own power, to the country. The all-too-conservative opposition comprised Lord Londonderry, the Duke of Wellington, the intransigent Duchess of Kent and the consort of the Tory King William IV, Queen Adelaide. Finally, there were "revolutionaries" and reformers, like William Cobbett, the author of "Rural Rides".This is a book that features one eventful year, much of it violent. There were riots in Bristol, Manchester and Nottingham, and wider themes of Irish and "negro emancipation" underscore the narrative. The time-span of the book is from Wellington's intractable declaration in November 1830 that 'The beginning of reform is the beginning of revolution', to 7th June 1832, the date of the extremely reluctant royal assent by William IV to the Great Reform Bill, under the double threat of the creation of 60 new peers in the House of Lords and the threat of revolution throughout the country. These events led to a total change in the way Britain was governed, a two-year revolution that Antonia Fraser brings to vivid dramatic life.Read by Sean Barrett. Sean Barrett has narrated many television documentaries for the BBC and Discovery Channel, notably THE PEOPLE'S CENTURY, WALKING WITH BEASTS, and GREAT LIVES. As a member of the BBC Radio Rep, he has appeared in hundreds of radio plays, and played Father Gillespie in the BBC Worldservice / BBC7 serial WESTWAY throughout its eight year-run. As a film and television actor he has appeared in pieces as diverse as TWELFTH NIGHT and FATHER TED, and he is a doyen of audiobook reading, with acclaimed recordings of authors ranging from Chaucer to Beckett and in 2012 recorded Antony Beevor's THE SECOND WORLD WAR.(p) 2013 Orion Publishing Group

Orion

The Translation of the Bones

Francesca Kay
Authors:
Francesca Kay
W&N

That's Another Story

Julie Walters
Authors:
Julie Walters
Orion

Exit Music

Ian Rankin
Authors:
Ian Rankin

A brilliant Rebus novel from the master of British crime.It's late autumn in Edinburgh and late autumn in the career of Detective Inspector Rebus. As he tries to tie up some loose ends before retirement, a murder case intrudes. A dissident Russian poet has been found dead in what looks like a mugging gone wrong. By apparent coincidence, a delegation of Russian businessmen is in town - and everyone is determined that the case should be closed quickly and clinically.But the further they dig, the more Rebus and DS Siobhan Clarke become convinced that they are dealing with something more than a random attack - especially after a particularly nasty second killing. Meanwhile, a brutal and premeditated assault on a local gangster sees Rebus in the frame. Has the Inspector taken a step too far in tying up those loose ends? Only a few days shy of the end to his long, inglorious career, will Rebus even make it that far?

W&N

Victorian London

Liza Picard
Authors:
Liza Picard
Orion

Dr Johnson's London

Liza Picard
Authors:
Liza Picard

Like its popular and acclaimed predecessor RESTORATION LONDON, this book is the result of the author's passionate interest in the practical details of the everyday life of our ancestors, so often ignored in more conventional history books. Based on every possible contemporary source - diaries, almanacs, newspapers, advice books, memoirs, government papers and reports - Liza Picard examines every aspect of life in London: the streets, houses and gardens; cooking, housework, laundry and shopping; clothes and jewellery, cosmetics and hairdressing; medicine, sex, hobbies, education and etiquette; religion and popular beliefs; law and crime. This book spans the years 1740 to 1770, starting when the gin craze was gaining ground and ending when the east coast of America was still British.`Accessible and vivid. Picard's curiosity and enthusiasm are infectious, and she has an instinct for what will interest the lay reader' Daily TelegraphRead by Fiona Shaw(p) 2000 Orion Publishing Group

Orion

Elizabeth's London

Liza Picard
Authors:
Liza Picard

Like its popular and acclaimed predecessors, Restoration London and Dr Johnson's London, thisfascinating evocation of Elizabethan London is the result of the author's passionate interest in the practical details of everyday life and the conditions in which most people lived, which most history books ignore: the streets, houses and gardens; cooking, housework and shopping; clothes, jewellery and make-up; medicine and sex; education, etiquette and hobbies; religion, law and crime.Read by Liza Picard(p) 2003 Orion Publishing Group

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News

Read the latest news from Orion and our authors on our news page.

Emma Powell

Emma Powell's recent theatre credits include '.45' for Hampstead Theatre, Lady Macbeth and Lady Capulet for C Company, roles in 'Two Gentlemen of Verona' and 'Julius Caesar' for the RSC and 'Persuasion' and 'The Rivals' for ReCreation Theatre Company. Her Radio Drama work includes the classic series 'A Dance to the Music of Time' for Radio 4 and 'Use It or Lose It' for Radio 3 as well as the comedy horror podcast series 'In the Gloaming'. She also has many voice-over credits. GRACELING and FIRE are her first audiobooks for Orion.

Sian Thomas

Siân Thomas is an award-winning Welsh actress who trained at the Central School of Speech and Drama. She has appeared on stage, TV and in films such as Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix in which she played Amelia Bones. She has won the Martini TMA Award for Best Actress as Yelena in Uncle Vanya on its Renaissance Tour and an Oliver Award Nomination for Best Comedy Performance as Vittoria in Countrymania at the RNT. Sian has read numerous audiobooks including East of the Sun and Sisters in Arms for Orion.

Kobna Holdbrook-Smith

Kobna Holdbrook-Smith is a Film, Theatre, Television and Radio actor. His television credits include Little Britain, Saxondale, Pulling, Taking the Flak, Star Stories and Sirens; his theatre credits include lead roles at the National, Tricycle, Young Vic, Manchester Royal Exchange, Bush and Shakespeare's Globe theatres and he has also been in numerous BBC radio plays. He has voiced audiobooks by Alastair Reynolds and Ben Aaronovitch for Orion.

Ground-breaking new project will see story published in weekly chapters on immersive app

Julian Fellowes Brings the Serial into the Digital Age

Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes and Orion Publishing are delighted to announce an exciting new publishing project that has its roots in the writing of Dickens, Hardy and Gaskell.

HIGH-CONCEPT NOVELS ACQUIRED

Bear Grylls Thrillers to be Published by Orion

Orion has signed international adventurer Bear Grylls to write a series of action-adventure thrillers, featuring Dan Ranger, ex-SAS, ecologist and adventurer extraordinaire. The first book Ghost Flight, will be published in May 2015.

Liza Picard

Liza Picard was born in 1927. She is the bestselling author an acclaimed series of books on the history of London: ELIZABETH'S LONDON, RESTORATION LONDON, DR JOHNSON'S LONDON and VICTORIAN LONDON. Her most recent book, CHAUCER'S PEOPLE, explores the Middle Ages through the lives of the pilgrims in THE CANTERBURY TALES. She read law at the London School of Economics and was called to the Bar by Gray's Inn, but did not practise. She worked for many years in the office of the Solicitor of the Inland Revenue before retiring to become a full-time author. She lives in London.