Related to: 'Batavia's Graveyard'

W&N

Tulipomania

Mike Dash
Authors:
Mike Dash

'A fascinating exploration of human greed and self-delusion and also a tribute to our ageless search for beauty' DEBORAH MOGGACH.In 1630s' Holland thousands of people, from the wealthiest merchants to the lowest street traders, were caught up in a frenzy of buying and selling. The object of the speculation was not oil or gold, but the tulip, a delicate and exotic bloom that had just arrived from the east. Over three years, rare tulip bulbs changed hands for sums that would have bought a house in Amsterdam: a single bulb could sell for more than £300,000 at today's prices. Fortunes were made overnight, but then lost when, within a year, the market collapsed.Mike Dash recreates this bizarre episode in European history, separating myth from reality. He traces the hysterical boom and devastating bust, bringing to life a colourful cast of characters, and beautifully evoking Holland's Golden Age.

Alan Furst

Alan Furst is widely recognised as the master of the historical spy novel. Now translated into eighteen languages, he is the author of novels including MISSION TO PARIS, SPIES OF THE BALKANS - a TV Book Club choice - THE SPIES OF WARSAW, which became a BBC mini-series starring David Tennant and THE FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT. Born in New York, he lived for many years in Paris and travelled as a journalist in Eastern Europe and Russia. He has written extensively for Esquire and the International Herald Tribune. He now lives in Long Island.www.alanfurst.net

Boris Akunin

Boris Akunin is the pseudonym of Grigory Chkhartishvili. He has been compared to Gogol, Tolstoy and Arthur Conan Doyle, and his Erast Fandorin books have sold over eighteen million copies in Russia alone. He lives in London.

Elmore Leonard

Elmore Leonard was born in New Orleans in 1925. He wrote forty-five books during his phenomenal career, including the bestsellers Mr Paradise, Tishomingo Blues, Be Cool and The Hot Kid. Many have been made into successful movies, including Get Shorty with John Travolta, Out of Sight with George Clooney and Rum Punch, which became Tarantino's Jackie Brown. He is the recipient of the Cartier Diamond Dagger Award and the PEN USA Lifetime Achievement Award. He died in 2013 in Detroit.www.elmoreleonard.com

Jeff Harding

A native of New England, Jeff Harding has appeared in television productions as varied as HOWARD'S END, THE FAST SHOW, FATHER TED and NCS MANHUNT. He has recorded many audiobooks, including Orion's THE LAST TEMPLAR, ROBERT LUDLUM'S BOURNE TROLOGY and the best-selling Dan Brown's THE DA VINCI CODE.

John Lee

British narrator John Lee has read audiobooks in almost every conceivable genre, from Charles Dickens to Patrick O'Brian, and from the very real life of Napoleon to the entirely imagined lives of sorcerers and swashbucklers. He has won numerous Audie Awards and AudioFile Earphones Awards, and he was named a Golden Voice by AudioFile in 2009. Lee is also an accomplished stage actor and wrote and coproduced the feature films Breathing Hard and Forfeit.

John Nettles

John Nettles was born in St Austell, Cornwall. He studied philosophy and history at Southampton University where he also acted in drama society productions. He was there spotted by an agent who arranged for him to work at the Royal Court theatre - though that did not stop him teaching in London for a while. Before 'Midsomer Murders' he was best known for his role as Sergeant Jim Bergerac, in the long-running television series Bergerac. Other TV appearances. ranging from comedy to serious drama, include A Family at War, Black Beauty, The Liver Birds, Dickens of London and The Merchant of Venice. But he has never forgotten his stage origins, where again his range is unusually wide: he has worked extensively with the Royal Shakespeare Company, yet plays pantomime most years. Orion Audio invited him to read Stalin because of his magnificent audiobook reading of George Orwell's 1984.

John Penycate

John Penycate is a television and print journalist. He has reported regularly on-screen for BBC tv's The Money Programme and Panorama over the past twenty years from dozens of countries around the world, and interviewed major political and business leaders. Earlier, he was a globe-trotting Panorama producer. He has written articles for the national press, and co-wrote the non-fiction book Psychopath. He is a visiting lecturer at the journalism departments of London and Westminster Universities. He lives in London, and is active in institutes and societies concerned with the media and public affairs.

Karen Armstrong

Karen Armstrong spent seven years as a Roman Catholic nun, an experience she recollected in her two volumes of best-selling autobiography, Through the Narrow Gate and Beginning the World. She is the author of the world-wide best-seller, A History of God (which has now appeared in more than thirty languages), the acclaimed History of Jerusalem and, most recently, The Battle for God. She is a teacher at the Leo Baeck College for the Study of Judaism and, in 1999, she received the Muslim Public Affairs Council Media Award.

Kate Harrison

Before becoming a novelist, Kate Harrison worked for a news agency, reporting mainly for the national tabloids. She then moved to the BBC where she was a reporter in regional news in Bristol and Birmingham, producer on NEWSROUND, and worked on PANORAMA and other investigative/consumer shows and documentaries.Kate Harrison writes fiction and non-fiction: her novels include The Secret Shopper's Revenge, Brown Owl's Guide to Life and the Soul Beach thriller trilogy, her young adult series. She's also the author of the bestselling The 5:2 Diet Book, plus three other 5:2 Books. Visit Kate's website at kate-harrison.com, follow her on Twitter at https://twitter.com/katewritesbooks and Pinterest at http://pinterest.com/katewritesbooks and watch her Youtube channel at http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL961FBF0F8A8CE2B2&feature=view_all. Visit the Soul Beachwebsite at http://www.soulbeach.org, the Soul Fire website at http://burningtruths.com and follow Soul Beach on Twitter at https://twitter.com/onsoulbeach and Pinterest at http://pinterest.com/katewritesbooks/the-dream-soul-beach-cast-list. Learn more with http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=auJWC-o-RiY.

Linwood Barclay

Linwood Barclay is the international bestselling author of many critically acclaimed novels, including NO SAFE HOUSE, A TAP ON THE WINDOW, TRUST YOUR EYES and the Richard & Judy 2008 Summer Read winner and number one bestseller, NO TIME FOR GOODBYE. He lives near Toronto with his wife.www.linwoodbarclay.com.

Liz Fenwick

Author, ex-pat expert, wife, mother of three, and dreamer turned doer. Liz was born in Massachusetts, but fell in love with an Englishman and now happily resides in Cornwall with her husband and three children. Author of novels The Cornish House, A Cornish Affair, A Cornish Stranger and Under A Cornish Sky.Find out more at www.lizfenwick.com or follow her on Twitter @liz_fenwick

Maeve Binchy

Maeve Binchy was born in County Dublin and educated at the Holy Child convent in Killiney and at University College, Dublin. After a spell as a teacher she joined the Irish Times. Her first novel, Light a Penny Candle, was published in 1982 and she went on to write over twenty books, all of them bestsellers. Several have been adapted for cinema and television, most notably Circle of Friends and Tara Road. Maeve Binchy received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the British Book Awards in 1999 and the Irish PEN/A.T. Cross award in 2007. In 2010 she was presented with the Bob Hughes Lifetime Achievement Award at the Bord Gáis Irish Book Awards by the President of Ireland. She was married to the writer and broadcaster Gordon Snell for 35 years, and died in 2012. Visit her website at www.maevebinchy.com

Max Arthur

Max Arthur is a skilled interviewer who has written oral histories of the RAF and Royal Navy during the Second World War

Michael Connelly

A former police reporter for the Los Angeles Times, Michael Connelly is the internationally bestselling author of the Harry Bosch thriller series. The TV tie-in series - Bosch - is one of the most watched original series on Amazon Prime and is now in its third season. He is also the author of several bestsellers, including the highly acclaimed legal thriller, The Lincoln Lawyer, which was selected for the Richard & Judy Book Club in 2006, and has been President of the Mystery Writers of America. His books have been translated into thirty-nine languages and have won awards all over the world, including the Edgar and Anthony Awards. He spends his time in California and Florida.To find out more, visit Michael's website or follow him on Twitter or Facebook.www.michaelconnelly.com@Connellybooksf/MichaelConnellyBooks

Michael Palin

Michael Palin established his reputation with MONTY PYTHON'S FLYING CIRCUS and RIPPING YARNS. His work also includes several films with Monty Python, as well as THE MISSIONARY, A PRIVATE FUNCTION, an award-winning performance as the hapless Ken in A FISH CALLED WANDA and, more recently, AMERICAN FRIENDS and FIERCE CREATURES. His television credits include two films for the BBC's GREAT RAILWAY JOURNEYS, the plays EAST OF IPSWICH and NUMBER 27, and Alan Bleasdale's GBH. He has written books to accompany his six very successful travel series, AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS, POLE TO POLE, FULL CIRCLE, HEMINGWAY ADVENTURE, SAHARA and HIMALAYA. He is also the author of a number of children's stories, the play THE WEEKEND and the novel HEMINGWAY'S CHAIR.Visit the website for more information www.palinstravels.co.uk

Mick Flynn

Squadron Corporal Major Mick Flynn CGC MC is currently the most highly decorated serving soldier in the British Army. He has seen active service in Northern Ireland, The Falklands, Iraq, Bosnia and Afghanistan. He is currently based in Windsor with his wife and children.

Miss Read

Miss Read, or in real life Dora Saint, was a teacher by profession who started writing after the second world war, beginning with light essays written for Punch and other journals. She then wrote on educational and country matters and worked as a scriptwriter for the BBC. Miss Read was married to a schoolmaster for sixty-four years until his death in 2004, and they had one daughter. Miss Read was awarded an MBE in the 1998 New Year Honours list for her services to literature, She was the author of many immensely popular books, including two autobiographical works, but it was her novels of English rural life for which she was best known. The first of these Village School, was published in 1955, and Miss Read continued to write about the fictional villages of Fairacre and Thrush Green for many years. She lived near Newbury in Berkshire until her death in 2012.

Paul Brickhill

During the war Paul Brickhill was shot down over German territory and sent to a prisoner of war camp. After the war he wrote about the numerous escape attempts in which he was involved in THE GREAT ESCAPE. REACH FOR THE SKY, and THE DAMBUSTERS RAID are his most famous works.

Paul Johnson

Paul Johnson was born in 1928. He edited the New Statesman in the 1960s and has written over forty books. His Modern Times, a history of the world from the 1920s to the 1990s, has been translated into more than fifteen languages. As well as a weekly column in the Spectator, he contributes to newspapers all over the world.