//Biography, Letters & Diaries

  • Liquor and Literature: Letters to John Lewis

    Edward Ardizzone, Introduced by Alan Powers

    One of two remarkable books from The Reading Room Press to have recently arrived in the shop. This collection of letters from Edward Ardizzone to John Lewis concerns his commission to illustrate the 1963 edition of Harveys Wine List. They are accompanied by eleven of the images from the list. Couple these to a preface by that ardent Ardizzonist Alan Powers, a full-sized reproduction of an ink and water-colour drawing hitherto in private hands since purchased in 1955, a contemporary interview with the artist and you have a train of literary and visual delight.

    150 copies set in Bembo, and bound in a Claret quarter-cloth and a patterned paper incorporating one of Ardizzone’s vignettes.

    Hardback £60.00
  • The Pianist Of Yarmouk

    Aeham Ahmad

    Winner of the first International Beethoven Prize for Human Rights in 2015, AA is a classically trained Syrian-Palestinian pianist. This is his memoir of his former life, the Syrian civil war, his eventual escape and new life in Germany.

    Hardback £12.99
  • Last Days in Old Europe: Trieste ’79, Vienna ’85, Prague ’89

    Richard Bassett

    RB embraced Trieste in our Cuckoo Press piece of 2013. Here is the fully-fledged version, with RB as hornist in the Ljubljana opera house, then as Times Foreign Correspondent in Vienna and Warsaw. A memoir of both ease and grit in the last decade of the Cold War, full of irony, subtlety and humour

    Hardback £16.99
  • Max Beaverbrook: Not Quite A Gentleman

    Charles Williams

    Pitched as ‘magisterial’ – and it probably is – the subtitle makes us think of Daisy Ashford’s Mr Salteena, who was probably a bit nicer than Beaverbrook. “This strange attractive gnome with an odour of genius about him” – Lady Diana Cooper’s words, but they could have been Daisy’s.

    Hardback £25.00
  • The Ginger Child: On Family, Loss and Adoption

    Patrick Flanery

    A sensitive memoir that eludes no complexity or fragility, by a very skillful novelist.

    Hardback £14.99
  • Walter Gropius: Visionary Founder of the Bauhaus

    Fiona MacCarthy

    A distinguished biographer has moved her gaze from C19th English art and design (Burne-Jones, Morris, Gill) to the transcontinental and multi-faceted life of one of Europe’s greatest C20th architects.

    Hardback £30.00
  • Mr Five Per Cent: The many lives of Calouste Gulbenkian, the world’s richest man

    Jonathan Conlin

    Ottoman, Armenian and British, with a French education and a King’s College London degree in petroleum engineering: this is the first biography of this extraordinary man in over a generation. An old-fashioned millionaire (after Eartha Kitt’s heart) with exquisite taste who managed to buy art even from Stalin.

    Hardback £25.00
  • Eric Hobsbawm: A Life in History

    Richard J Evans

    A Communist in the Weimar Republic, Hobsbawm’s work influenced New Labour in the 1980s and ’90s. This account of his long life, by the great historian of the Third Reich, is a fascinating study of an era.

    Hardback £35.00
  • German Officer in Occupied Paris: The War Journals, 1941-1945

    Ernst Junger, translated by Thomas S. Hansen and Abby J. Hansen

    The author of ‘Storm of Steel’ was a Wehrmacht captain in Paris during WW2. The detached observations of this controversial figure are published here for the first time in English.

    Hardback £30.00