Related to: 'Trenchard: Father of the Royal Air Force'

W&N

Uncle Bill

Russell Miller
Authors:
Russell Miller

Masterly biography of the 'greatest commander of the 20th century'.Field Marshal Slim is less well known than other Second World War generals, but is now widely regarded as the best. To the men under his command he was 'Uncle Bill', probably the most respected and loved military leader since the Duke of Marlborough. Born into an impoverished family in Bristol in 1891 and brought up in the Black Country, he was commissioned as a temporary Second Lieutenant on the outbreak of the First World War. Twice seriously wounded, in Gallipoli and Mesopotamia, he was awarded the Military Cross in 1918. After the war he was unable to remain an officer in the class-ridden British Army without private means and transferred to the Indian Army, where he developed an enduring affection for the Ghurkhas and began writing short stories to supplement his income.Slim's career stalled between the wars, but during this time he developed the leadership techniques that would make him a national hero within a decade and which are still taught today at Sandhurst. Promotion came rapidly with the Second World War, and in March 1942 he was sent to Burma to take command of the British-Indian First Burma Corps, then in full flight from the advancing Japanese. Through the force of his leadership, Slim turned disorderly panic into a controlled military withdrawal across the border into India. Two years later, having raised and retrained the largest army ever assembled by Britain, Slim drove the enemy out of Burma and shattered the myth of Japanese invincibility which had hamstrung the Allied operations in the East for so long. Slim returned to Britain laden with awards and honours. He became a popular Governor-General of Australia in 1953, was raised to the peerage, and died in London in 1970.This important biography will be written with the full cooperation of the Slim family, and Russell Miller has had access to all their papers.

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

Antonia Fraser

Antonia Fraser is the author of many widely acclaimed historical works which have been international bestsellers. She was awarded the Medlicott Medal by the Historical Association in 2000 and was made a DBE in 2011 for services to literature.Her previous books include MARY QUEEN OF SCOTS, KING CHARLES II, THE WEAKER VESSEL: WOMAN'S LOT IN SEVENTEENTH-CENTURY ENGLAND which won the Wolfson History Prize, MARIE ANTOINETTE: THE JOURNEY, PERILOUS QUESTION; THE DRAMA OF THE GREAT REFORM BILL 1832 and THE KING AND THE CATHOLICS: THE FIGHT FOR RIGHTS 1829. MUST YOU GO?,a memoir of her life with Harold Pinter, was published in 2010, and MY HISTORY; A MEMOIR OF GROWING UP in 2015. She lives in London.Visit Antonia Fraser's website at www.antoniafraser.com

Caroline Montague

Caroline won her first National Poetry competition at 10 years old and from that moment dreamed of being a writer. Her life, however, took a different turn. At 18 she began a law degree but left after a year to marry a country solicitor. When juggling motherhood with modelling assignments became too much, she founded an Interior Design Company working on many projects in the UK and abroad. Her second marriage to the widowed Conroy Harrowby brought four stepchildren into her life, giving her a wider audience for her imaginative bedtime stories. As a family they all live at the Harrowby ancestral home, Burnt Norton, which famously inspired T S Eliot to write the first of his "Four Quartets". At last Caroline has the time to fulfil her dream of becoming a full time author.

Deborah Lawrenson

Deborah Lawrenson spent her childhood moving around the world with diplomatic service parents, from Kuwait to China, Belgium, Luxembourg and Singapore. She graduated from Cambridge University and worked as a journalist in London. She is the author of five previous novels, including THE ART OF FALLING, chosen for the prestigious WHSmith Fresh Talent promotion, and SONG OF BLUE AND GOLD, inspired by the life of writer-traveller Lawrence Durrell. Deborah is married with a daughter, and lives in Kent. The family spends as much time as possible at a crumbling hamlet in Provence, France, which is the atmospheric setting for THE LANTERN.

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 magazine from 1998 to the present.http://www.iainballantyne.com/

John Lewis-Stempel

John Lewis-Stempel is the author of numerous anthologies and books on military history. He lives on a farm in Herefordshire with his wife and two children.Join John Lewis-Stempel on Facebook www.facebook.com/pages/John-Lewis-Stempel and follow him on Twitterhttps://twitter.com/JLewisStempel.

June Hampson

June Hampson was born in Gosport, Hampshire, where she still lives. She has had a variety of jobs including waitress, fruit picker, barmaid, shop assistant and market trader selling second-hand books.

Kenneth Rose

Kenneth Rose was born in 1924. He was educated at Repton and was a scholar at New College, Oxford. He served in the Welsh Guards during the Second World War and was subsequently a schoolmaster at Eton, before working for the British Council in Rome and Naples. He joined the DAILY TELEGRAPH in 1951 and worked on the Peterborough column before starting the long-running Albany at Large column in the SUNDAY TELEGRAPH in 1961. He published prize-winning biographies of Lord Curzon, King George V and Victor Rothschild, as well as acclaimed studies of the Victorian Prime Minister Lord Salisbury and his family in THE LATER CECILS. His journals, spanning 1944 to his death in 2014, are to be published by Weidenfeld & Nicolson in two volumes.

Lilian Harry

Lilian Harry grew up in Gosport, on the shores of Portsmouth Harbour, and now lives on the edge of Dartmoor with two miniature schnauzers who allow her just enough room on the sofa. She is a keen bellringer and walker, and enjoys taking part in village life. Her daughter and two grandchildren live nearby.Follow Lilian on Twitter @LilianHarry or visit www.orionbooks.co.uk to find out more.

Lisa Hilton

Lisa Hilton is the acclaimed author of The Real Queen of France: Athénais and Louis XIV, Mistress Peachum's Pleasure, Queens Consort: England's Medieval Queens and The Horror of Love. She is the author of two novels, the bestselling Wolves in Winter and The House with Blue Shutters, which was shortlisted in the UK for the Commonwealth Fiction prize. She was educated at Oxford University, and lives in central London.http://lisa-hilton.com/

Maureen Lee

Maureen Lee was born in Liverpool and had numerous short stories published and a play professionally staged before her first novel was published. Her award-winning novels have earned her many fans. Her latest novel, The Leaving of Liverpool, was a Sunday Times top ten bestseller. She is an RNA winner, and writes full time. Maureen now lives in Colchester, Essex.To find out more, visit www.maureenlee.co.uk

Nancy Goldstone

Nancy Goldstone is the author of FOUR QUEENS, JOANNA, THE MAID AND THE QUEEN, THE RIVAL QUEENS and DAUGHTERS OF THE WINTER QUEEN. She lives in New York. Visit her website for more information: www.nancygoldstone.com.

Nigel Nicolson

Nigel Nicolson, the younger son of Harold Nicolson and Vita Sackville-West, was a publisher, a Member of Parliament, an editor (including six volumes of Virginia Woolf's letters and three of his father's diaries) and the author of many books on history, politics, architecture and literature. He lived at the family home, Sissinghurst Castle in Kent, now a property of the National Trust, until his death in 2004.

Ophelia Field

Ophelia Field was educated at Christ Church, Oxford, and the London School of Economics. She has worked as a policy analyst and consultant for a wide range of refugee and human rights organisations, including Human Rights Watch, UNHCR, English PEN and the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights. Simultaneously, Ophelia researched and wrote THE FAVOURITE, originally published in 2002, and THE KIT-CAT CLUB, which in 2008 was selected by the FINANCIAL TIMES as one of their History Books of the Year. She lives in London, with her partner and children.

Philippe Sands

Philippe Sands is Professor of Law at University College London and a practising barrister at Matrix Chambers. He frequently appears before international courts, including the International Criminal Court and the World Court in The Hague, and has been involved in many of the most important cases of recent years, including Pinochet, Congo, Yugoslavia, Rwanda, Iraq and Guantanamo. He is the author of LAWLESS WORLD (on the illegality of the Iraq war), TORTURE TEAM (on the embrace of torture by the Bush Administration) and the SUNDAY TIMES bestselling EAST WEST STREET. He is a frequent contributor to the FINANCIAL TIMES, GUARDIAN, NEW YORK REVIEW OF BOOKS and VANITY FAIR, makes regular appearances on radio and television, and serves on the boards of English PEN and the Hay Festival.

Robert Hutchinson

Robert Hutchinson is a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London and the author of THE LAST DAYS OF HENRY VIII, ELIZABETH'S SPYMASTER, THOMAS CROMWELL, HOUSE OF TREASON, YOUNG HENRY, THE SPANISH ARMADA and THE AUDACIOUS CRIMES OF COLONEL BLOOD. He was Defence Correspondent for the Press Association before moving to Jane's Information Group to launch JANE'S DEFENCE WEEKLY. He has a doctorate from the University of Sussex, and was appointed OBE in the 2008 Honours List.

Robert Hutton

Robert Hutton is UK political correspondent for Bloomberg News. He studied Artificial Intelligence at Edinburgh University before going on to work at the DAILY MIRROR and the FINANCIAL TIMES. He is the author of ROMPS, TOTS AND BOFFINS: THE STRANGE LANGUAGE OF NEWS and WOULD THEY LIE TO YOU? HOW TO SPIN FRIENDS AND MANIPULATE PEOPLE, both of which were shortlisted for the Paddy Power Political Book Awards.@RobDotHuttonwww.roberthutton.co.uk

Robin Neillands

Robin Neillands served in 45 Commando Royal Marines during the 1950s. He now works as a journalist and travel writer and has a growing reputation as a military historian. He has published many books on British military history from the Napoleonic era through to the Second World War.

Rory MacLean

Rory MacLean is the author of eight previous books, including Stalin's Nose, and has written and presented over 50 programmes for BBC radio.http://www.rorymaclean.com/homepage.html http://blog.goethe.de/meet-the-germans/, Rory MacLean has known three Berlins: West Berlin, where he made movies with David Bowie and Marlene Dietrich; East Berlin, where he researched his first best seller STALIN'S NOSE; and the unified capital where he lives and works today. His nine books have challenged and invigorated creative non-fiction writing, and - according to the late John Fowles - are among works that 'marvellously explain why literature still lives'. He has won awards from the Canada Council and the Arts Council of England as well as a Winston Churchill Travelling Fellowship, and was nominated for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary prize. He has also written and presented over 50 BBC radio programmes and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.