The author of the hugely successful ‘Catherine de Medici’ turns her attention to Catherine’s father-in-law, the soldier-poet who brought the Renaissance to France (not least Leonardo) and whose will-to-power was so admirably expressed by his motto: ‘Nutrisco et extinguo‘ – ‘ I nourish and I extinguish’.
Francois-René de Chateaubriand, translated by Alex Andriesse
“I have borne the musket of a soldier, the traveller’s cane, and the pilgrim’s staff: as a sailor my fate has been as inconstant as the wind: a kingfisher, I have made my nest among the waves”. The first unabridged translation of a section (!) of Chateaubriand’s autobiography to be published in more than a century.
In 1930 Brooke went to Cairo to find several thousand veterans of the Great War – horses of the American, Australian and British forces – that had been abandoned to a life of hard labour. The result was The Warhorse Memorial Hospital.
Accompanies the BBC series. The Age of Discovery resulted in conquest and destruction but also in huge curiosity, global trade and the exchange of ideas. By the author of ‘Black and British: A Forgotten History‘.
1989 will forever be celebrated for the demolition of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the Iron Curtain. Yet, in grisly opposition to such optimism, six thousand miles of fence and barriers have been built in the last ten years. Marshall’s previous book was the outstanding ‘Prisoners of Geography‘.
Keenly anticipated: R D-H is a wonder. His last two books – ‘Edward VII‘ in the’ Penguin Monarch’ series and ‘Universal Man: The Seven Lives of John Maynard Keynes‘ were both outstanding. His is a witty mind sharpened by erudition.
This short book by the author of ‘The Spinning Heart‘ and ‘A Slanting of the Sun‘ weaves love and loss in war-torn Syria and small-town Ireland as three characters search for some version of home. Exquisite.
EK has translated John Clare and Thoreau into German: their wandering and watery legacy can be found in this sensitive tale of a woman adrift from her previous life. From the small but perfectly formed publishing house that is Fitzcarraldo Editions.
Hensher demonstrates again that he is the pre-eminent chronicler of families among his generation of novelists. Set mostly in Sheffield, shifting between the families of a white doctor and their Asian neighbours, it is vivid with lurking familial horrors and complex relationships.
Readers of our 2015 Cuckoo Press pamphlet will be thrilled to hear that here, at last, is the full novel. It imagines Anna Karenin’s son alive and well – and aged – in Chiswick in the 1940s. Melancholy and lyrical, the author of ‘Gorsky‘ has done all we hoped.
A road rally round Australia is the backdrop to confrontation between white and Aboriginal cultures. The characters are complex and intriguing, the prose energetic. On form, as he is here, Carey is one of the most exhilarating of novelists.
What would have become of Wordsworth had his sister not diligently sharpened his literary palate with gooseberry tarts? Shapiro’s portraits of Eleanor Roosevelt, Barbara Pym and others are revealing and astute.
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of this remarkable press which has had only two directors – Alan Clodd for twenty years, and Stephen Stuart-Smith for the last thirty. It’s edited by a poet who quotes another poet, Paul Muldoon, in his introduction: “Anyone who makes an anthology is almost certifiably mad”. Ritsos, Raine, Gunn, Fanthorpe, Mayakovsky, Heaney, Horovitz, Abse, Pinter… and illustrated too, by the likes of Gwen Raverat, Jim Dine, David Jones, Peter Blake…
Manguel moved from a house in the Loire with a library of 35,000 books to an apartment in Manhattan. In this sequence of essays, he reflects on this and other library dramas – including lootings by ISIS.
EM’s translation has caught the public eye, being the first published translation by a woman… however, this misses the point: this translation is vivid, straightforward, and modern without being annoying.
A survey of the 28 surviving wooden stave churches in Norway. These remarkable medieval buildings share aspects of construction and decoration with Viking boat building traditions. The book contains many photographs of the interiors (as well as of the better known exteriors), with their ornate carved and painted decoration of beauty and sophistication.
Subtitled ‘An Anthology of Memoirs by Colleagues, Dealers and Collectors‘, this is a book of memories of one of the most influential characters in the late C20th art world, by some of those who knew him best.
The list of contributors is outstanding: Katherine MacLean, Diana Scarisbrick, Viscount Davidson, Marcus Linell, Peregrine Pollen, Agatha Sadler, Clifford Henderson, Richard Day, Howard Ricketts, Jayne Wrightsman, John Partridge, Richard Green, Cyril Humhris, Ulla Dreyfus, Elizabeth Chatwin, Adrian Eeles, Alex Wengraf, Derek Johns, James Kirkman, Julian Stock, David Ellis-Jones, David Nash, Diana Berry, Duncan McLaren, Geraldine Norman, Hugh Hildesley, Colin Mackay, James Mayor, Marc Blondeau, Jesper Bruun Rasmussen, Judith Landrigan, Ward Landrigan, Julian Agnew, Michel Strauss, Nicolas Norton, Philip Astley-Jones, Stephen Somerville, Thilo von Watzdorf, Tim Llewellyn, Walter Feilchenfeldt Jnr, Andrew Alers-Hankey, Annamaria Edelstein, Edmund Peel, Lord Rothschild, James Miller, Jonathan Mennell, Countess of Rosebery, Malcolm Barber, Martin Levy, Nabil Saidi, Richard M Keresey, Philip Hewat-Jaboor, Frank Herrmann.
Mid-century informal portraits of Benjamin Britten, Peter Pears, John Piper, Iris Murdoch, John Bayley, C. Day-Lewis, Jill Balcon, Kenneth Clark, Freya Stark, Siegfried Sassoon, Willa Muir, Sylvia Townsend Warner and Frances Partridge. Etc.
Nielsen’s fabled illustrations in a portfolio with an accompanying book of essays. Intended for a new translation after WW1, that project stalled; the illustrations have been published only once before, in the 1970s. Lush and extraordinary.
A sequence of essays by the film director, in which he tries to understand how various artists achieve their effects on him. Not just painters but also Ingmar Bergman, the dancer Pina Bausch, and others.
A wonderful anthology of new work by Adam Thorpe, Helen Macdonald, Julia Blackburn, Sean O’Brien, Hugh Brody, Tessa Hadley et al; a celebration of genius loci in the Anthropocene. This is a sort of follow up to ‘Second Nature’, edited by Richard Mabey, published 30 years ago.
Accessible and intelligent guide for children, with Oseid’s pleasing illustrated star maps of constellations and their associated tales, planets, phases of the moon, the many names of the Milky Way. Ages 7+.
Delightfully humorous book about a father telling his son all the ways in which he was small and what he could do – or could be done with him. llustrated with equally beguiling and witty drawings, showing the tiny person bathing in teapots, etc. Ages 3-5.
Kevin Crossley-Holland, illustrated by Jeffrey Alan Love
A glorious new version by the renowned poet, scholar and author, drawn from Snorri Sturluson’s C13th ‘Prose Edda‘. The dawn of the world to its destruction and renewal, and all the gods, heroes and tricksters of that robust yet magical pantheon. Illustrated. Ages 8-12.
It is a book and not a plane, but this peculiar and wonderful pop-up thing (that’s a technical term when confronted with complexity) can be just about everything else – a planetarium, a speaker, a calendar, a musical instrument and more. Ages 8-10.
An outstanding cookbook that avoids restating the obvious, and mixes ingredients from all round the Mediterranean with delicacy: pastries with tarragon, lemon and goat’s cheese; zucchini blossoms with halloumi; white bean soup with tomatoes, harissa and honey, Negroni sorbet …
Everyone knows that du Maurier writes good yarns, and this gripping, romantic, creepy tale is no exception. But the technical wizardry of this novel is so dazzling – and so stealthy – that one wonders why she is not routinely ranked among the great novelists of the C20th.
There is also a handsome hardback edition of this, in the Virago Modern Classics series. Click here for more details.
‘Flâneuse [flanne-euhze], noun, from the French. Feminine form of flâneur [flanne-euhr], an idler, a dawdling observer, usually found in cities.’ Ambling around the great cities of the world with Jean Rhys, Virginia Woolf, and George Sand in her brother’s boots and an illegal pair of trousers. A lively combination of memoir, literary criticism and detective work.
“Havana, once tasted, is an irresistible drug”. So writes our Marzena in her introduction to a small but perfectly formed book of her photographs of Cuba’s particular sort of vibrant yet melancholy beauty. A photographer who more usually works in monochrome, she found in Havana that “colour was not only my medium but my subject too.”
This is the 4th and final volume of a truly remarkable project. The illustrations throughout are wonderful, and the text is by one of the great authorities on the subject. All 4 vols are still available (for now) and cheap at the price (£120).
For those who haven’t read this yet, it is a tremendous pleasure. Count Rostov, spared a bullet on his surprising return to Moscow in 1922, must live out his house arrest and leaner times in the still opulent Hotel Metropol. Gently inventive, funny, ingenious and thoroughly beguiling.
For the paperback edition, click here but be aware that it has surprisingly small print.