Related to: 'Stranger Than We Can Imagine'

W&N

Watling Street

John Higgs
Authors:
John Higgs

A journey along one of Britain's oldest roads, from Dover to Anglesey, in search of the hidden history that makes us who we are today.Long ago a path was created by the passage of feet tramping through endless forests. Gradually that path became a track, and the track became a road. It connected the White Cliffs of Dover to the Druid groves of the Welsh island of Anglesey, across a land that was first called Albion then Britain, Mercia and eventually England and Wales. Armies from Rome arrived and straightened this 444 kilometres of meandering track, which in the Dark Ages gained the name Watling Street. Today, this ancient road goes by many different names: the A2, the A5 and the M6 Toll. It is a palimpsest that is always being rewritten.Watling Street is a road of witches and ghosts, of queens and highwaymen, of history and myth, of Chaucer, Dickens and James Bond. Along this route Boudicca met her end, the Battle of Bosworth changed royal history, Bletchley Park code breakers cracked Nazi transmissions and Capability Brown remodelled the English landscape. The myriad people who use this road every day might think it unremarkable, but, as John Higgs shows, it hides its secrets in plain sight. Watling Street is not just the story of a route across our island, but an acutely observed, unexpected exploration of Britain and who we are today, told with wit and flair, and an unerring eye for the curious and surprising.

W&N

The KLF

John Higgs
Authors:
John Higgs

'By far the best book this year, brilliant, discursive and wise' BEN GOLDACRE. The strange tale of the death, life and legacy of the hugely successful band.They were the bestselling singles band in the world. They had awards, credibility, commercial success and creative freedom. Then they deleted their records, erased themselves from musical history and burnt their last million pounds in a boathouse on the Isle of Jura. And they couldn't say why.This is not just the story of The KLF. It is a book about Carl Jung, Alan Moore, Robert Anton Wilson, Ken Campbell, Dada, Situationism, Discordianism, magic, chaos, punk, rave, the alchemical symbolism of Doctor Who and the special power of the number 23.Wildly unauthorised and unlike any other music biography, THE KLF is a trawl through chaos on the trail of a beautiful, accidental mythology.

Alistair Horne

Alistair Horne was educated at Le Rosey, Switzerland, and Jesus College, Cambridge. He ended his war service with the rank of Captain in the Coldstream Guards attached to MI5 in the Middle East. From 1952 to 1955 he worked as a foreign correspondent for the Daily Telegraph. In 1969 he founded the Alistair Horne research fellowship in modern history, St Antony's, Oxford. His numerous books on history and politics have been translated into over ten languages, he was awarded the Hawthornden prize (for THE PRICE OF GLORY) and the Wolfson prize (for A SAVAGE WAR OF PEACE). In 1992 he was awarded the CBE; in 1993 he received the French Légion d'Honneur for his work on French history and a Litt.D. from Cambridge University. He was knighted in 2003 for services to Franco-British relations.

Andrew Roberts

Andrew Roberts took a first in Modern History at Cambridge. He has been a professional historian since the publication of his life of Lord Halifax , The Holy Fox, in 1991, followed by Eminent Churchillians in 1994 . He contributes regularly to the Sunday Telegraph. Lives in Knightsbridge, London, and has two children. His Salisbury won the Wolfson History Prize in 2000. His books include Napoleon and Wellington in 2001, Hitler and Churchill (based on BBC-2 series) in 2003. What Might Have Been (editor) in 2004. His History of the English Speaking Peoples Since 1900 was published in 2006 and won the Walter Bagehot Prize .

Anne de Courcy

Anne de Courcy is a well-known writer and journalist. In the 1970s she was Woman's Editor on the London Evening News and in the 1980s she was a regular feature-writer for the Evening Standard. She is also a former feature writer and reviewer for the Daily Mail. Her recent books include THE VICEROY'S DAUGHTERS and DEBS AT WAR.Go to www.annedecourcy.com for more information.

Anne Sebba

Anne Sebba read History at King's College London then joined Reuters as a foreign correspondent based in London and Rome. She has written eight works of non-fiction, mostly about iconic women, presented BBC radio documentaries, and is an accredited Nadfas lecturer. She is married with three children.www.annesebba.comhttp://www.facebook.com/anne.sebbahttps://twitter.com/annesebba

Antony Beevor

Antony Beevor served as a regular officer in the 11th Hussars in Germany. He is the author of Crete - The Battle and the Resistance, which won a Runciman Prize, Paris After the Liberation, 1944-1949 (written with his wife Artemis Cooper), Stalingrad, which won the Samuel Johnson Prize, the Wolfson Prize for History and the Hawthornden Prize for Literature, Berlin - The Downfall, which received the first Longman-History Today Trustees' Award, and The Mystery of Olga Chekhova. Stalingrad and Berlin have been translated into twenty-five languages and sold more than two and a quarter million copies between them. His latest work, A Writer at War - Vasily Grossman with the Red Army 1941-1945, is an edition, with his Russian researcher, Dr Luba Vinogradova, of Grossman's wartime notebooks. A fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et Lettres in France, Antony Beevor has also been the chairman of the Society of Authors and is a visiting professor at the School of History, Classics and Archaeology at Birkbeck College, University of London. He lives in London and Kent and has a daughter and a son.Go to www.antonybeevor.com for more information. Antony Beevor is on Twitter at https://twitter.com/antonybeevor, and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/pages/Antony-Beevor

Charles Williams

Charles Williams, Lord Williams of Elvel, former industrialist and banker and now a Labour peer, was appointed to a life peerage in 1985. He served on the Opposition front bench from 1986 onwards and was elected Opposition Deputy Leader in 1989. He is one of Britain's most distinguished biographers.

Colin Smith

Colin Smith is the acclaimed author of 'Singapore Burning' and co-author of 'Alamein - War Without Hate'.

David James Smith

David James Smith was born in Hemel Hempstead in 1956 and has been a journalist all his working life. He writes for the Sunday Times Magazine.For more information visit www.davidjamessmith.net. Follow David James Smith on Twitter at https://twitter.com/htimssemajdivad and join him on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/david.j.smith.7906.

Douglas Hurd

Douglas Hurd is a politician, biographer and novelist who served in the governments of Margaret Thatcher and John Major, as Minister for Europe (1979-83), Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (1984-85), Home Secretary (1985-89) and Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1989-95). His previous books include his MEMOIRS, ROBERT PEEL: A BIOGRAPHY and, with Edward Young, CHOOSE YOUR WEAPONS: THE BRITISH FOREIGN SECRETARY - 200 YEARS OF ARGUMENT, SUCCESS AND FAILURE.

Gordon Corera

Gordon Corera is a Security Correspondent for BBC News. In that role, he covers the work of Britain's intelligence agencies. His documentary series 'MI6: A century in the Shadows' was broadcast on Radio 4 in the summer of 2009. His series 'The Real Spooks' on MI5 was broadcast in December 2007. He is the author of SHOPPING FOR BOMBS on the rise and fall of the Pakistani nuclear arms salesman AQ Khan.https://twitter.com/gordoncorera

Greg Jenner

Greg Jenner is the Historical Consultant to CBBC's multi-award winning Horrible Histories, Horrible Histories with Stephen Fry, and the various HH spin-offs. As well as contributing sketches and co-writing Stephen Fry's links, over the past four years he has been solely responsible for the factual accuracy of nearly one thousand comedy sketches with subject matter that has spanned the entirety of human history. Greg studied at the University of York and, after dropping initial plans for a life in academia, has worked on historical documentaries and dramas for the past seven years. He lives in Woking.Follow Greg Jenner on Twitter https://twitter.com/greg_jenner

Hugh Thomas

Hugh Thomas has written numerous histories on the Spanish-speaking world, including The Spanish Civil War, for which he won the Somerset Maugham Prize in 1962, Cuba: The Pursuit of Freedom, The Conquest of Mexico and The Slave Trade. His book The Unfinished History of the World won the first National Book Award for History in 1980. Hugh Thomas was chairman of the Centre for Policy Studies 1979-89 and was awarded a peerage as Lord Thomas of Swynnerton in 1981.

Iain Ballantyne

Having written about the global activities of the Royal Navy for more than 20 years, Iain Ballantyne has spent time in most types of warship, from nuclear-powered submarines and aircraft carriers, to destroyers and frigates. He has sailed in minefields off war-torn Kuwait, witnessed embargo enforcement in the Adriatic and counter-terrorism sweeps in the Mediterranean. Iain has also voyaged into Arctic waters and accompanied Royal Marines on fast boat patrols off Hong Kong. He won an award for his action-packed depiction of the pursuit and destruction of Hitler's flagship, as recounted in KILLING THE BISMARCK, his last book prior to HUNTER KILLERS for Orion. In 2017 Iain Ballantyne was awarded a Fellowship by the UK's Maritime Foundation, one of its top annual awards, in recognition of his immense contribution to the maritime cause since 1990, as a journalist, author of naval history books and Editor of WARSHIPS International Fleet Review magazine from 1998 to the present.http://www.iainballantyne.com/

John Higgs

John Higgs is the author I HAVE AMERICA SURROUNDED: THE LIFE OF TIMOTHY LEARY, THE KLF: CHAOS, MAGIC AND THE BAND WHO BURNED A MILLION POUNDS and the novel THE BRANDY OF THE DAMNED. He lives in Brighton with his partner and their two children. www.johnhiggs.com@johnhiggs

Lawrence Freedman

Lawrence Freedman has been Professor of War Studies at King's College London since 1982, and Vice-Principal since 2003. Elected a Fellow of the British Academy in 1995 and awarded the CBE in 1996, he was appointed Official Historian of the Falklands Campaign in 1997. He was awarded the KCMG in 2003. In June 2009 he was appointed to serve as a member of the official inquiry into Britain and the 2003 Iraq War. Professor Freedman has written extensively on nuclear strategy and the Cold War, as well as commentating regularly on contemporary security issues. His most recent book, A Choice of Enemies: America confronts the Middle East, won the 2009 Lionel Gelber Prize and Duke of Westminster Medal for Military Literature.

Martin Gilbert

Born in London in 1936 and now resident in north London, Sir Martin Gilbert was educated at Highgate School and Magdalene College, Oxford. An outstanding historian of the 20th century, he became the official biographer of Sir Winston Churchill in 1968 and has written to great acclaim on the Holocaust and the events of the Second World War.

Nick Russell-Pavier

Nick Russell-Pavier is a writer, dramatist, TV and film composer and producer.

Nigel Nicolson

Nigel Nicolson is the son of the politician, diarist and biographer Harold Nicolson, and the poet and writer Vita Sackville-West who restored Sissinghurst Castle in Kent, now a property of the National Trust. The family were close friends with Virginia and Leonard Woolf. Nicolson was the co-founder of Weidenfeld & Nicolson, was a Conservative MP in the 1950s and is the author of fifteen previous books.