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By Clarissa Eden. 2007
A Memoir by Clarissa Eden, born a Churchill and a Prime Minister's wife at the age of 34.In 1955, at…the astonishingly young age of 34, Clarissa Eden entered No. 10 Downing Street as the wife of the new Prime Minister, Anthony Eden. Born Clarissa Churchill in 1920, her uncle was the great Winston, and when she married the 55-year-old Eden, then Foreign Secretary, at Caxton Hall register office in 1952, there were crowds as big as the gathering that had cheered Elizabeth Taylor and Michael Wilding's wedding there six months earlier.A renowned beauty, she was at home with her mother's Liberal intellectual circle, and mixed in her youth with the pillars of Oxford's academic community - Isaiah Berlin, Maurice Bowra and David Cecil among them: according to Antonia Fraser, she was 'the don's delight because she was beautiful and extremely intellectual'. Her close circle of friends included some of the leading cultural figures of the twentieth century: Cecil Beaton, Evelyn Waugh, Orson Welles among them. Her observations and insights into these men and their world provide a unique window into the mid 20th century. As the spouse of the most important man in Britain, the hostess at No. 10 and Chequers, Clarissa Eden was inevitably privy to a multitude of top-level secrets. The Suez crisis and Eden's ill health meant that she shared just four years of Anthony's political life and eighteen months as Prime Minister's wife. This individual, discriminating and honest memoir is her first account of extraordinary times, intuitively edited by Cate Haste, co-author of The Goldfish Bowl.
By Adrian Greaves. 2007
A new biography of Lawrence of ArabiaT.E. Lawrence is one of the most enigmatic characters in British history. At the…outbreak of the First World War he was working as an archaeologist in the Middle East. He had no military training at all, and a strong distrust of politicians and senior officers alike. And yet he succeeded in a task where all these people had failed: not only did he unite the Arab nation - a nation at perpetual war with itself - but he also led them to victory against the Ottoman Empire.How he managed to achieve these incredible feats has fascinated and confounded historians ever since. The myths that have grown up around this remarkable man have been enhanced by the untruths Lawrence himself propagated. He was never captured and tortured by the Turks as he claimed, neither was he the first to target Ottoman troops by dynamiting their trains. And yet the truth is every bit as compelling as the fiction. He was far more ruthless than he portrayed himself, and the battles he fought were every bit as barbarous as those fought by his Ottoman enemies. He was also strangely determined not to take credit for his achievements: when offered the VC at Buckingham Palace he refused it, leaving the king holding the box.This brand new biography by the author of RORKE'S DRIFT uses primary sources to uncover the truth from all the fictions that surround this legendary man. It covers the actualities of the war Lawrence fought in greater detail than ever before, and also describes what happened to Lawrence after the war.
By Will King. 2010
HOW TO BUILD A GREAT BUSINESS IN TOUGH TIMES is the inspiring entrepreneurial from-the-kitchen-table-to-supermarket-shelf story.Entrepreneur Will King hand-filled the first…10,000 bottles of his original King of Shaves (KoS) shaving oil at his kitchen sink, even getting his ironing lady to pitch in! From such humble beginnings, King of Shaves has grown to become a multi-million pound business. In 2008 a KoS product was sold every 3 seconds. Will explains how to keep the faith and follow your business dream even when the odds are heavily stacked against you.
By Lady Antonia Fraser. 2006
Mistresses and wives, mothers and daughters - Antonia Fraser brilliantly explores the relationships which existed between The Sun King and…the women in his life. This includes not only Louis XIV's mistresses, principally Louise de La Vallière, Athénaïs de Montespan, and the puritanical Madame de Maintenon, but also the wider story of his relationships with women in general, including his mother Anne of Austria, his two sisters-in-law who were Duchesses d'Orléans in succession, Henriette-Anne and Liselotte, his wayward illegitimate daughters, and lastly Adelaide, the beloved child-wife of his grandson.
By Sir Ronald Cohen. 2007
'One of the best books written on entrepreneurship in recent years' FINANCIAL TIMES In business, everyone can see the first…bounce of the ball. It is the second bounce that is uncertain. Ronald Cohen, one of the world's leading private-equity investors, argues that the entrepreneur's aim is to take advantage of that uncertainty: for it is only in situations of uncertainty that significant gains can be made. Putting it another way, successful entrepreneurs know how to turn risk into opportunity.The book is essential reading for entrepreneurs, wannabe entrepreneurs and all those who want to apply entrepreneurial approaches in all walks of life. It provides relevant background on the development of entrepreneurship and of the venture-capital and private-equity industry through the prism of Cohen's experience at Apax. It provides guidance about how to take advantage of business opportunity: the right people and the right money and the roles played by personality and luck and underlines the importance of ethics.
By Duncan Bannatyne. 2009
The Sunday Times bestselling author and star of Dragon's Den, Duncan Bannatyne, explains how to take control of your finances…and get more from your money.Today's turmoil and uncertainty in the financial markets illustrates how important it is to be in control of your own money. How To Be Smart With Your Money addresses the core fundamentals of financial literacy, telling readers how banks work and why city traders earn such enormous bonuses. It will help you to plot a path out of debt and develop financial confidence so you feel in charge of your finances.Duncan Bannatyne knows the true value of money: now worth £320 million, he was born into extreme post-war poverty. Taking each area of our financial lives in turn - earning, spending, borrowing, investing, saving, budgeting and the wider economy - he helps us understand where we are in our own financial cycle and how to achieve financial security for good.Duncan Bannatyne is the former stoker in the navy who built up his own business empire, worth over £320 million and is a star of the TV series Dragon's Den. His first book, Anyone Can Do it, was a Sunday Times bestseller in hardback and paperback.
By Duncan Bannatyne. 2007
At 30, Duncan Bannatyne had no money and was enjoying life on the beaches of Jersey. He saw a story…of someone who had made himself a millionaire, and decided to do the same. Five years later he had done it, and now he is worth £168 million.In this remarkable book, Bannatyne relives his colourful path to riches, from ice cream salesman to multi-millionaire, explaining how anyone could take the same route as he did - if they really want to. Hugely articulate, and with numerous fascinating and revealing stories to tell, this is an autobiography and a business book unlike any other - but then Bannatyne isn't like any other businessman, either.
By Mary S. Lovell. 2001
'A cracking read ' Lynn Barber, ObserverThe Mitford Girls tells the true story behind the gaiety and frivolity of the…six Mitford daughters - and the facts are as sensational as any novel: Nancy, whose bright social existence masked an obsessional doomed love which soured her success; Pam, a countrywoman married to one of the best brains in Europe; Diana, an iconic beauty, who was already married when at 22 she fell in love with Oswald Moseley, the leader of the British fascists; Unity, who romantically in love with Hitler, became a member of his inner circle before shooting herself in the temple when WWII was declared; Jessica, the family rebel, who declared herself a communist in the schoolroom and the youngest sister, Debo, who became the Duchess of Devonshire.This is an extraordinary story of an extraordinary family, containing much new material, based on exclusive access to Mitford archives.
By Mary S. Lovell. 2005
From the bestselling author of The Mitford Girls: A 'wonderfully researched' (Sunday Express) biography of Bess of Hartwick, the most…powerful woman in England next to Queen Elizabeth Bringing 'the Tudor Age to exuberant life' (Hugh Massingberd, Mail on Sunday), Mary S. Lovell tells the story of Bess of Hardwick,, one of the most remarkable women of the Tudor era. Gently-born in reduced circumstances, she was married at 15 and when she was widowed at 16, she was still a virgin. At 19 she married a man more than twice her age, Sir William Cavendish, a senior auditor in King Henry VIII's Court of Augmentations. Responsible for seizing church properties for the crown during the Dissolution, Cavendish enriched himself in the process. During the reign of King Edward VI, Cavendish was the Treasurer to the boy king and sisters, and he and Bess moved in the highest levels of society. They had a London home and built Chatsworth House in Derbyshire. After Cavendish's death her third husband was poisoned by his brother. Bess' fourth marriage to the patrician George, 6th Earl of Shrewsbury, Earl Marshall of England, made Bess one of the most important women at court. Her shrewd business acumen was a byword, and she was said to have 'a masculine understanding', in that age when women had little education and few legal rights. The Earl's death made her arguably the wealthiest, and therefore - next to the Queen - the most powerful woman in the country. 'This wonderfully researched book is an intimate portrait of [Bess's] life and a vivid insight into life in Tudor society' Sunday Express
By Tim Clissold. 2006
The incredible story of a Wall Street banker who went to China with $400,000,000 and learned the hard way how…(not) to do business there . . . In the early nineties, China finally opened for business and Wall Street wanted in on the act. When the investment bankers arrived from New York with their Harvard MBAs, pinstripes and tasselled loafers, ready to negotiate with the Old Cadres, the stage was set for collision. This is the true story of a tough Wall Street banker who came to China looking for glory. He teamed up with an ex-Red Guard and a Mandarin-speaking Englishman. Together, they raised over $400,000,000 and bought up factories all over China. Only as they watched those millions slide towards the abyss did they start to understand that China really doesn't play by anyone else's rules. Tim Clissold was there at the beginning of China's transformation and he's still there, doing business. In this new edition of his hugely successful book he describes just how much - and how little - has changed in China since his story began.
By Ranulph Fiennes. 2009
Ranulph Fiennes tells the story of his unconventional, exceptional family, and reveals the ingredients for the man described by the…Guinness Book of Records as 'the world's greatest living explorer'.Discover Sir Ranulph Twistelton-Wykham-Fiennes's personal expedition to trace his extraordinary family through history. From Charlemagne - himself a direct ancestor of the author - to the count who very nearly persuaded William the Conqueror to retreat at Hastings, many members of this unique clan have lived close to the nerve centre of the ruler of their day.They number in their ranks a murderer, a wife poisoner, a poacher, England's greatest female traveller of the 17th century, and an extortionist Lord High Treasurer, teen cousins who eloped, a noble lord hanged for manslaughter, another hanged for adultery with the King's wife, and many who, as admirals or major-generals, won famous battles. The Fiennes' behind Cromwell provided the castle in which the Parliamentarians made their first secret moves, the same building in which twenty-one successive generations of the family have lived for 600 unbroken years . . . And that is just a taster.A whirlwind romp through the annals of time, peopled with the good, the bad and downright mad among the Fiennes clan. - Sunday Telegraph
By Adam LeBor. 2009
How America fell for financier Bernie Madoff's $65 billion investment scam.It was luxurious Palm Beach, by the manicured lawns and…Olympic-sized swimming pool, that financier Bernard Madoff ravaged the world of philanthropy and high society he had strived so hard to join, vaporising the assets of charities, foundations and individuals that had trusted him with their funds. It seems nothing was sacrosanct to Madoff, possibly the greatest con-man in history. Even Elie Wiesel's foundation has lost tens of millions. How could Madoff, a pillar of the Jewish community, do this to a Nobel Laureate and Auschwitz survivor? But Wiesel was hardly alone in trusting the rogue financier. How could some of the most sophisticated and worldly people in America fall victim to a collective delusion for year after year? THE BELIEVERS answers these unsettling questions. It opens up the clubbish world where Madoff operated, tracing the links from Palm Beach and The Hamptons to the salons and clubs of Manhattan society. It details the network of relationships across which flows hundreds of millions of dollars. 'The Believers' shows how despite material success and acclaim, some human impulses remain eternal. It reveals how an underlying sense of insecurity still shapes some of the richest and most successful individuals in America, making them crave ever more status and peer acclaim. By focusing on Madoff's connection to, and catastrophic impact on, the American Jewish community, THE BELIEVERS dramatically humanises a story that is part financial scandal and part Greek tragedy.
By Mary S. Lovell. 2009
When she disappeared in 1937 over a shark-infested sea, Amelia Earhart had lived up to her wish - internationally famous,…a daring and pioneering aviator, and ambassador extraordinary for the United States. Married to a man with a genius for publicity, her life was crowded, demanding and adventurous. Mary S. Lovell's superb biography examines a legend to reveal the pressures and influences that drove Amelia, and shows how her life, career and manner of death foreshadowed the tragedies and excesses of a media-dominated age.
By Vera Brittain. 1970
This classic memoir of the First World War is now a major motion picture starring Alicia Vikander and Kit Harington.…Includes an afterword by Kate Mosse OBE.In 1914 Vera Brittain was 20, and as war was declared she was preparing to study at Oxford. Four years later her life - and the life of her whole generation - had changed in a way that would have been unimaginable in the tranquil pre-war era.TESTAMENT OF YOUTH, one of the most famous autobiographies of the First World War, is Brittain's account of how she survived those agonising years; how she lost the man she loved; how she nursed the wounded and how she emerged into an altered world. A passionate record of a lost generation, it made Vera Brittain one of the best-loved writers of her time, and has lost none of its power to shock, move and enthral readers since its first publication in 1933.
By Frederick Lewis Allen. 1949
A revealing biography of J. P. Morgan, one of the most powerful and enigmatic financiers in history, from bestselling author…Frederick Lewis Allen. Celebrated as a titan of industry by some and decried as a monopolizing robber baron by others, John Pierpont Morgan was without a doubt a dominant player in American finance at the turn of the twentieth century. He founded U.S. Steel, a conglomeration of leading steel and iron producers, which was the nation's largest coast-to-coast railroad system, and the first company to be worth more than $1 billion. Morgan was also instrumental in developing the Federal Reserve after working with political leaders to prevent a potentially devastating fiscal crisis in 1907. Indeed, he was a driving force in the modernization of American business, and the effects of his acumen and foresight continue to resonate today--on Wall Street and beyond. Additionally, known for his displays of wealth and power, Morgan was a prominent figure of the New York society scene--a member of the original one percent--as well as a notable art connoisseur with a sizable collection now housed in Manhattan's lavish Morgan Library & Museum, once his own private library. In this meticulously researched and comprehensive biography, Frederick Lewis Allen, former editor of Harper's magazine and author of Only Yesterday, delves into the life and character of a fascinating, multidimensional man. Allen also probes the evolution of the business landscape during Morgan's lifetime, when giant corporations with unparalleled economies of scale began to absorb and replace smaller competitors. This richly detailed portrait of a man whose name is inseparable from American finance is essential reading for anyone seeking a deeper understanding of banking and business history.
By Leonie Frieda. 2004
The bestselling revisionist biography of one of the great women of the 16th centuryOrphaned in infancy, Catherine de Medici was…the sole legitimate heiress to the Medici family fortune. Married at fourteen to the future Henri II of France, she was constantly humiliated by his influential mistress Diane de Poitiers. When her husband died as a result of a duelling accident in Paris, Catherine was made queen regent during the short reign of her eldest son (married to Mary Queen of Scots and like many of her children he died young). When her second son became king she was the power behind the throne.She nursed dynastic ambitions, but was continually drawn into political and religious intrigues between Catholics and Protestants that plagued France for much of the later part of her life. It had always been said that she was implicated in the notorious Saint Bartholomew's Day Massacre, together with the king and her third son who succeeded to the throne in 1574, but was murdered. Her political influence waned, but she survived long enough to ensure the succession of her son-in-law who had married her daughter Margaret.
By Ranulph Fiennes. 2003
Sir Ranulph Fiennes is uniquely qualified to write a new biography of Captain Scott. This is the first biography of…Scott by someone who has experienced the deprivations, the stress and the sheer physical pain that Scott lived through; he has suffered all but the final tragedy endured by the much maligned Scott. He is determined to put the record straight. As well as being the definitive biography of Scott, written with the full and exclusive cooperation of the Scott Estate, this book traces the way that Scott's reputation has been attacked and his achievements distorted.'Sir Ranulph Fiennes has done Captain Scott's memory some service...he has certainly written a more dispassionate and balanced account than Huntford ever set out to do.' - Simon Courtauld, Spectator
By Michael Bloch. 2004
The Alexander Technique is a method of muscular re-education, which has become standard training for actors, dancers and singers, and…is practised for health reasons all over the world. Its founder, Frederick Matthias Alexander (1869-1955), was an Australian actor who stumbled upon it in the 1890s after studying himself in mirrors to discover why he had lost his voice. He realised that most people suffered from the same postural defects he had noticed in himself, and that this explained much of what went wrong with them. F.M. (as he was known) came to London in 1904 and became enormously successful. During the First World War he practised in America with equal success, converting the American philosopher John Dewey to his cause. He wrote four books (all still in print), and his supporters included Aldous Huxley, George Bernard Shaw and Stafford Cripps. He was, however, a difficult and argumentative man who made enemies. Towards the end of his life he embarked on a libel action against the South African government, which had accused him of charlatanism. He won, and went on practising and propagating his technique until his death aged 86.
By Alan Forrest. 2012
On a cold December day in 1840 Parisians turned out in force to watch as Napoleon's coffin was solemnly borne…down the Champs-Elysées on its final journey to the Invalides. The return of the Emperor's body from the island of St Helena, nearly twenty years after his death, was a moment they had eagerly awaited, though there were many who feared that the memories stirred would only further destabilize a country that had struggled for order and direction since 'the little corporal' was sent into exile after Waterloo.Alan Forrest tells the remarkable story of how the son of a Corsican attorney became the most powerful man in Europe, a man whose political legacy endured long after his lonely death many thousands of miles from France. Along the way, he cuts away the layers of myth and counter-myth that have grown up around Napoleon, a man who mixed history and legend promiscuously, and shows how he was as much a product of his times as he was their creator.The convulsive effect of the Revolution on French society, and the new meritocracy it ushered in, afforded men of this generation opportunities that were unimaginable under the Ancien Régime. Napoleon seized every chance that was offered him, making full use of his undoubted abilities and charismatic presence. But the Empire he created, stretching across most of the European continent, was not the work of one man. It was a collective enterprise that depended on the work and vision of thousands of administrators, army officers, jurists and educators, and The Age of Napoleon is as much their story as his.In a book that takes in everything from Napoleon's ill-fated expedition to Egypt to the festivals that punctuated the Imperial calendar, Alan Forrest draws on original research and recent scholarship to draw a fresh and compelling picture of one of the most dramatic periods in the history of Europe.
By Christopher Ward. 2011
On 14th April 1912 the Titanic struck an iceberg on her maiden voyage and sank. Fifteen hundred passengers and crew…lost their lives. As the order to abandon ship was given, the orchestra took their instruments on deck and continued to play. They were still playing when the ship went down. The violinist, 21 year-old Jock Hume, knew that his fiancÃ©e, Mary, was expecting their first child, the author's mother. One hundred years later, Christopher Ward reveals a dramatic story of love, loss and betrayal, and the catastrophic impact of Jock's death on two very different Scottish families. He paints a vivid portrait of an age in which class determined the way you lived - and died. An outstanding piece of historical detective work, AND THE BAND PLAYED ON is also a moving account of how the author's quest to learn more about his grandfather revealed the shocking truth about a family he thought he knew, a truth that had been hidden for nearly a hundred years.