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Books for the New Year 2021

01. Books for the New Year 2021: Biography & Memoir

  • The Soul of a Woman

    Isabel Allende

    “My theory and practice is to say yes to life and then I’ll see how I manage along the way.” Part memoir, part manifesto of a fiercely independent spirit; intelligent and lyrical.

    Hardback £14.99
  • The Shadowy Third: Love, Letters, and Elizabeth Bowen

    Julia Parry

    Uncovers the illicit affair between the novelist and the author’s grandfather, Humphry House, which Parry discovered on being delivered a box of letters.

    Hardback £14.99
  • Alan Brooke: Churchill’s Right-Hand Critic

    Andrew Sangster

    A new assessment of Alan Brooke, first Viscount Alanbrooke, which examines his treatment at the hands of historians as well as his importance to Churchill.

    Hardback £25.00
  • Henry ‘Chips’ Channon: The Diaries, 1918-38

    Edited by Simon Heffer

    First vol of the unexpurgated diaries, with the second due in the autumn. (A selection was published in 1967 but there was a 60-year embargo on the full text.)

    Hardback £35.00
  • The Sins of G.K. Chesterton

    Richard Ingrams

    Ronald Knox, in his sermon at GKC’s funeral, said “All of this generation has grown up under Chesterton’s influence so completely that we do not even know when we are thinking Chesterton”, yet this prolific – and enormous – novelist, essayist, playwright, poet, philosopher, journalist & broadcaster has rather faded from view.

    Hardback £25.00
  • Duchess, Countess: The Woman Who Scandalised a Nation

    Catherine Ostler

    Another scandalous woman? Well, when she went on trial at Westminster Hall for bigamy in April 1776, the story is said to have drawn more attention in society than the American War of Independence. The story of Elizabeth Chudleigh, Duchess of Kingston, Countess of Bristol, is a lively one.

    Hardback £25.00
  • Heavy Light: A Journey Through Madness, Mania and Healing

    Horatio Clare

    Those who read Clare’s Something of His Art, about J S Bach, or The Light in the Dark: A Winter Journal (or others) will know that Clare is a writer of exquisite sensibility and nuance. He is also prey to depression, and this memoir of his hospitalisation under Section 2 of the Mental Health Act for an acute breakdown is characteristically articulate and intelligent. It’s also an optimistic book that looks at new ideas of treatment and approach.

    Hardback £16.99
  • The Crichel Boys: Scenes from England’s Last Literary Salon

    Simon Fenwick

    Joan Leigh Fermor’s biographer turns to Eddy Sackville-West, Desmon Shawe-Taylor and Eardley Knollys and the unusual salon they created at Long Crichel in Dorset, where Nancy Mitford, Benjamin Britten, Laurie Lee, Cyril Connolly, Somerset Maugham, E.M. Forster, Cecil Beaton were among the visitors.

    Hardback £25.00
  • Dostoevsky in Love

    Alex Christofi

    An ingenious novelistic biography by a sharp young author that uses excerpts from the novels to shed light on the writer’s life.

    Hardback £20.00
  • The Mystery of the Parsee Lawyer: Arthur Conan Doyle, George Edalji and the Case of the Foreigner in the English Village

    Shrabani Basu

    The story of the son of a Parsi-convert vicar near Birmingham who, convicted for mutilating horses and writing threatening letters to the vicar, contacted Conan Doyle to unravel the mystery and clear his name. An eye-opening look at race and an unexpected friendship in the C20th. Remarkable research, fine writing.

    Hardback £20.00
  • Simple Passion

    Annie Ernaux

    Exposes with characteristic honesty and clarity an all-consuming passion.

    Paperback £8.99
  • A Curious Boy: The Making of a Scientist

    Richard A. Fortey

    A delightful and fascinating memoir by the palaeontologist and natural historian.

    Hardback £20.00
  • The Letters of Thom Gunn

    Edited by August Kleinzahler, Michael Nott & Clive Wilmer

    Born in Gravesend in 1929, he died in 2004 in California, where he lived for most of his adult life. This collection presents the private life and reflections of the poet for the first time.

    Hardback £40.00
  • Devils, Lusts and Strange Desires: The Life of Patricia Highsmith

    Richard Bradford

    The title is part of her 1947 New Year’s Eve toast. Openly gay, Highsmith was famously beastly to lovers and friends. This new biography traces connections between her complex character and her work.

    Hardback £20.00
  • Kamala’s Way

    Dan Morain

    Vice President Harris, lawyer and consummate politician, is the daughter of two graduate immigrants, born in segregated California in 1964.

    Hardback £20.00
  • Keats: A Brief Life in Nine Poems and One Epitaph

    Lucasta Miller

    Looks closely at nine of his best known poems to see how this lower-middle-class outsider from a dysfunctional family became one of posterity’s darlings.

    Hardback £17.99
  • Cider with Rosie

    Laurie Lee

    First of a beautifully published pair of LL’s famous memoirs: in this we have his lyrical evocation of a childhood in rural England during the years after WW1. Lovely clothbound edition from Slightly Foxed.

    Hardback £18.50
  • As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning

    Laurie Lee

    The second volume of a beautifully published pair of LL’s famous memoirs, in which the young man leaves his beloved village of Slad for London and then walks and busks his way around Spain. His Spanish sojourn is brought to end by the outbreak of the Civil War in 1936. A lovely clothbound edition from Slightly Foxed.

    Hardback £18.50
  • Fall: The Mystery of Robert Maxwell

    John Preston

    From war hero to moral wreck, Czech Jewish childhood to a yacht off the Canary Islands…

    Hardback £18.99
  • How To Be a Refugee: One Family’s Story of Exile and Belonging

    Simon May

    SM’s parents were German Jewish refugees; he was raised a Catholic and forbidden to identify as Jewish or German or British. His maternal aunts concealed their origins too and had very different trajectories. This is the remarkable tale of the author’s quest to discover his smothered inheritance.

    Hardback £20.00
  • The Last Shah: America, Iran, and the Fall of the Pahlavi Dynasty

    Ray Takeyh

    From being America’s most significant ally in the region, Iran suddenly became its greatest adversary: this account, from 1941 onwards, explains how the Shah himself contrived to lose support from all sectors of Iranian society.

    Hardback £25.00
  • An Infinite History: The Story of a Family in France over Three Centuries

    Emma Rothschild

    A panoramic account by the distinguished Harvard historian of five generations of a French provincial family originally from Angouleme, crammed with stories and archival research. ER has a deep understanding of the period as well as her material.

    Hardback £30.00
  • Places of Mind: A Life of Edward Said

    Timothy Brennan

    ‘Orientalism’, the Barenboim-Said Foundation, the East-West Divan orchestra, 20 honorary degrees, umpteen prizes: there is much to say about this clever, cultivated, humane man.

    Hardback £25.00
  • Among the Supporting Cast

    Tim Sainsbury

    A memoir of his double career in the family firm and in Parliament.

    Hardback £20.00