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Biography / Autobiography

69369 SILKS: Two CDs by Dick and Felix Francis

Read by actor Martin Jarvis and with running time approximately four hours, this MacMillan digital audio has been abridged by Andrew Simpson. ‘Julian Trent, you have been found guilty by this court of perpetrating a violent and unprovoked attack on an innocent family, including a charge of attempted murder. You have shown little or no remorse for your actions and I consider you a danger to society.’ When Defence Barrister Geoffrey Mason hears the judge’s verdict, he quietly hopes that a long and arduous custodial sentence will be handed down to his arrogant young client. But Julian Trent only receives eight years and this seems all too lenient. Setting aside his barrister’s wig, Mason heads down to Sandown to don his racing silks. An amateur jockey, his true passion is to be found in the saddle on a thoroughbred. But when a fellow rider is brutally murdered, a pitchfork driven through his chest, his racing life soon becomes all too close to his working life. £14.95 NOW £5


LAID BARE: The Biography by Alison Bowyer Graham Norton is the camp, irrepressible presenter skilled at innuendos. Finally he fell in love with Scott Michaels, a 33-year-old American, and theirs was one of the first gay partnerships to be recognised by the immigration authorities. Norton even finally had the courage to tell his parents. In 1998 Channel 4 took the big step of

giving him his own show, and So Graham Norton went from strength to strength as celebrities queued up to appear. 256pp, paperback, colour photos. £6.99 NOW £2.25

68388 THE MAN WHO WOULD NOT DIE: The Remarkable Story of “Lucky” Herschel McKee by Stephen Olvey


Experience is the name every one gives to their mistakes.

- Oscar Wilde

69022 TINTIN: Hergé and His Creation

by Harry Thompson Tintin first appeared in black and white in the magazine Petit Vingtième between 1929 and 1940. Thereafter Hergé moved to the newspaper Le Soir until 1944. These strips were packaged up into books and from 1942 all Tintin books were published in colour, and most of the old black and white

stories were coloured and shortened to fit the new format. From 1946 it appeared in its own Tintin magazine. All of the quotations in the book are drawn from the only major interview Hergé ever gave. Tintin, junior reporter and adventurer explordinaire as a young boy stepped confidently from the train dressed in Russian costume as befitting anyone who had just single- handedly conquered an entire continent and put a nation of cowardly Bolsheviks to flight. By his side strode a small white dog on a lead and behind him hovered a thin, nervous young man in a raincoat, recognised by only a few as the artist George Remi, or Hergé. With a quiff falling down into his eyes, the comic strip hero made a dramatic success from his humble beginnings in Belgium in 1929 in a Catholic newspaper where Hergé worked. President de Gaulle would call Tintin ‘his only rival’. 326pp in paperback with photos. £8.99 NOW £4.50


by Hazel Wheeler

Working in the local libraries in and around Huddersfield, Hazel desperately fights to fit her passion of writing around the unenviable daily demands of a 1950s housewife. ‘6am washing clothes. Cooked breakfast, ironing. Cleaned oven, bedroom, the windows.

Walked Crosland Moor then down the fields to mother’s. Played with Major (the dog) in the field. Library. 140 issues. Left at 8.30pm.’ Terrified of social pressure to have children, Hazel finds herself ‘wondering if there could possibly be a means of having a family without the bodily distortion.’ Washing must be scrubbed by hand over the sink, socks must be darned and tea must be on the table by 5 o’clock sharp. Hazel Wheeler is a feisty young woman who passed her 11 plus to attend Greenhead Girls High and who chronicles in her daily diary the first shaky steps of marriage. She and her husband Granville are flat broke and burdened by a cold, carpet-less house with a dark cellar which simply will not sell. No one is safe from neighbours’ prying eyes and escape comes in the form of a trip down to town and a coffee at Sylvio’s. Studded with the author’s own photographs, contemporary advertising for the Put-U-Up Bed, adverts to ‘be gay’ in Newman’s evening sandals and Timothy Whites and Taylors products, there is much local colour, nostalgia and recollections like the funeral of Queen Mary. A true bibliophile, this lady is reading every night and loves finding romances for her lady readers at the library. 128pp in large softback, illus. £12.99 NOW £6

69408 GHOSTING: A Double Life

by Jennie Erdal

As heard on BBC Radio 4, here is a remarkable account of one woman’s life - or more accurately double life. For 15 years, Jennie Erdal worked officially as Personal Editor for one particular man - Tiger - but in reality she was his ghost writer and in some mysterious sense his alter ego. Ghosting is a meditation on words, identity and creativity, but

above all a portrait of a uniquely intimate relationship between a man and a woman. It is a beautifully composed memoir, sometimes funny, sometimes desperate, infuriating and unforgettable, a riveting and very funny story. The character of Tiger is engagingly and ferociously authentic - ‘a character study in the tradition of the realist novel’. 270pp in paperback. £9.99 NOW £3

After reading this one, our first thought is that there exists no superlative of “lucky” suitable for Herschel McKee! A childhood of self-inflicted injuries acquired through outlandish stunts ended when he decided that the best place for adventure was the battlefield, and ended up in the trenches in France in 1916. With 12 kills to his credit, he was shot down, and was captured after lying in a coma in a field for several days. Somehow he escaped. Next he became a car and motorcycle racer cum stunt driver, flew mail for the US Mail and flew and drove (and usually crashed) experimental aircraft and cars for the Stutz Company. Subsequently he got caught up with a Chinese criminal gang, bailed out of another burning aircraft, got a beauty queen pregnant and married her - whilst still married to his existing wife! He began a covert life as a spy. 304pp, photos. £19.99 NOW £5.50

68379 GRUB STREET IRREGULAR: Scenes from Literary Life by Jeremy Lewis

In the third volume of his wickedly entertaining memoirs, an hilarious account of how publishing and the literary life have changed. Here are heroes and villains of London literary life, including the diminutive Indian sage Nirad Chaudhuri, who shows him the proper way to use a

lavatory, and the adventurer Denis Hills, once condemned to death by Idi Amin, and later harassed by a vodka-loving landlady who made him read the memoirs of her dog. En route, he surprises A. L. Rowse in bed, strikes up an improbable friendship with the pantherine Barbara Skelton and is nimbly outwitted by her second husband, Lord Weidenfeld. Unusual. 330 pages.

£20 NOW £6

68401 POLANSKI by Christopher Sandford Survivor of the Krakow ghetto, husband of one of the victims of the grisly Manson gang massacre and now wanted by the American courts for having sex with a minor, Roman Polanski is one of the great film directors of the 20th century but has lived a life even more colourful and tragic than his screen masterpieces. This fascinating biography draws on transcripts of court proceedings and interviews with friends, lovers and colleagues. In the postwar period Polanski attended the National Film School at Lodz. Leaving his first wife and a stalling career, he had an immediate success with Repulsion, which caught the mood of 1965, followed by Cul-de-Sac, though Jacqueline Bisset declines to say whether they had an affair. Poised on the verge of a Hollywood breakthrough he fell in love with Sharon Tate. Polanski went on to make Macbeth and Chinatown, but was again on the front pages in 1978 on charges of raping a 13-year-old. His 2002 film The Pianist won him his first Oscar. 480pp, paperback, filmography, photos. £9.99 NOW £3.50

68420 WHICKER’S WORLD TAKE 2 by Alan Whicker

With his distinctive voice and brand of humour, Alan Whicker has been our guide and travelling companion for over 40 years. Here we travel with him to the palaces of the Sultan of Brunei and watch Pavarotti make life hell on a paradise island. We learn why India is the best place to murder your husband, discover the amiable Mexican sponger who was a top State Secret Policeman, meet the little old Californian lady who always shot them straight between the eyes and a dolphin that accepts credit cards. Whicker at his brilliant best, funny and unexpected. 342pp in paperback, colour photos. £7.99 NOW £2.25

68539 ATATURK by Andrew Mango The 2004 paperback reprint of the 1999 original of Andrew Mango’s superlative biography of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, which remains the definitive biography of the founding father of the Turkish Republic. Born plain Mustafa into a Muslim, Turkish-speaking, precariously middle-class family in Ottoman Salonica in 1881, Atatürk was trained as an army officer and was virtually unknown until 1919. This was to change following the Allied victory in the Great War when he thwarted the Allies’ plan to partition the Turkish core of the vanquished Ottoman Empire. By skilfully dividing the Allies and subjugating the last Sultan and his followers he secured the territory of the Turkish national state and became the first president of the newly created republic in 1923, rapidly creating his own legend and cult. By the time of his death in 1938 he had turned what had been a backward, feudal country into the world’s 17th largest economy, and remains a revered figure in Turkey over 70 years later. Photos and biographical notes on over 70 of the principal Turkish personalities which feature in the text. 666pp.


AND NOT END UP LIKE THIS by Terrance Blacker

Though born into privilege and inheriting a fortune, Willie Donaldson ended up dying alone in a seedy rented flat, his computer still logged on to a lesbian porn site. He published Sylvia Plath while still at Cambridge University, as producer in the 1960s, he staged Beyond the Fringe and was later to write the celebrated Henry Root Letters. The impresario became a serial bankrupt. The man-about-town who had lived with Sarah Miles and been engaged to Carly Simon, ended up as a ponce

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in a Chelsea brothel. Success as a writer quickly led him into a dark underworld of crack addiction, fraud and sexual obsession. Now his friend and collaborator Terrance Blacker unravels the intimate truth behind Donaldson’s strange story in all its glamour, hilarity and pain. 342pp in paperback. Illus. £7.99 NOW £3

68795 WILLIAM GOLDING: The Man Who

Wrote Lord of the Flies by John Carey

Bearded, taciturn, a brilliant pianist, obsessive chess player and above all Booker-winning author for his seafaring trilogy Rites of Passage, William Golding is one of the 20th century’s literary geniuses. Golding’s childhood in Marlborough resurfaces time and again in his novels, particularly the controversial Darkness Visible, which took him 24 years to complete and which he would never discuss. Wartime naval service included hunting down the Bismarck, while in the post-war years his teaching job at Bishop Wordsworth’s School, Salisbury, gave Golding some lifelong friends and the opportunity to observe boys at close quarters. The bestselling Lord of the Flies, recounting the descent into savagery of a class of boys marooned on an island, became a bestseller in 1954. The Spire, describing the technical challenge and human cost of building of Salisbury Cathedral, divides Golding’s admirers into two camps. 573 roughcut pages, photos. Apologies for remainder mark. $32.50 NOW £6


Family Memoir of George Best by Barbara Best

George Best was the first superstar of football but it was his troubled personal life as much as his sporting genius that came to dominate the headlines. The book not only confronts George’s own failings but those of some of the people who were close to him. It also reveals the many pressures he was subject

to and is a searingly honest and frank book about the demons that haunted George Best’s life. 230pp in paperback with many colour and b/w photos. £7.99 NOW £3

53627 PABLO NERUDA: A Passion for Life by Adam Feinstein

The Chilean poet was born into a poor family in southern Chile in 1904 and achieved early fame with his celebrated book ’20 Love Poems and a Song of Despair’. He quickly gained prominence as a political figure and while he was Chilean Consul in Spain, became an active supporter of the Republican cause. He lived underground for a year before finally fleeing Chile in a dramatic escape into exile. His poems made him a household name throughout the Spanish-speaking world, and won him international acclaim including the 1971 Nobel Prize for Literature. The first full portrait of a man whose dramatic times, dynamic poetry, commitment to social justice and joie de vivre. 497pp with photos. £25 NOW £3

66583 IF LOVE WERE ALL... by John Campbell

In the summer of 1911, the then Chancellor of the Exchequer David Lloyd George hired a young school teacher called Frances Stevenson to tutor his daughter in the summer holidays. He was 48 and married with four children; she was 22, highly intelligent as well as very attractive, and Lloyd George soon employed her as his secretary. At the beginning of 1913, they became lovers, on terms spelt out by Lloyd George with ruthless clarity. Their secret relationship was to last for 30 years until his wife’s death finally allowed them to be married in 1943. Combines sex, romance, family feuds and high politics. 557pp in paperback with photos. £11.99 NOW £2.50

66593 MARGARET THATCHER: A Tribute in

Words and Pictures edited by Iain Dale The aim of the book is to give the reader real insight into the character of Margaret Thatcher and her political views and it contains anecdotes from world leaders, former Cabinet Ministers, MPs, journalists, civil servants and others who have experienced memorable encounters with the Iron Lady. There are also some very telling and relevant passages from the memoirs of the late Ronald Reagan, Mikhail Gorbachev and the late Alan Clark among others. Amusing, revealing, sympathetic and occasionally antagonistic. 288 large pages, colour and b/w photos. £20 NOW £10

66657 THOMAS HARDY by Claire Tomalin

A paradoxical figure, Thomas Hardy was at the same time a Victorian novelist and a 20th century poet, a socialist and a snob, an unhappy husband and a desolate widower and a driven man who ended his days in serenity. He wrote classic accounts of the beauty of the countryside and the traditions of village life, but spent the summer months in London. While his wife Emma lived, he wrote hardly a line about her, yet, after her death, he poured out poems of love and regret. 486 pages. Photos. $35 NOW £4

66659 THE FAMILY FRIEND by Matt Lowe

Intelligent, artistic and fantastic with children, Jeremy was a real-life Peter Pan, loved by children and trusted by adults. But he soon singled out Matt Lowe for his particular attention and soon their relationship took a more sinister turn. Matt became increasingly dependent on his new mentor and isolated from his family and the result was a strained life of secrecy and self-deception with devastating consequences for Matt’s future. Here is one man’s struggle to come to terms with the ramifications of years of sexual and psychological abuse. 342pp.

£12.99 NOW £2.50

67092 ROAD BACK HOME: A Northern Childhood by Sid Waddell

Everybody knows Sid Waddell as the overexcited voice of TV darts, the Geordie with the gift for the most bizarre quotes in the business, but how many of you knew that this son of a miner from Lynemouth in Northumberland graduated from Cambridge with a degree in history and ended up big in TV darts by being a BBC Sports producer in the 1970s and being asked to help out by commentating on a show? This childhood



memoir, packed with humour and emotional candour, is a quietly epic family saga set amongst the pit villages of the northeast, stretching from the 1920s, before Sid’s parents, Bob and Martha, had even met, right up the death of his mother and the final bitter closing of the pit in 1999. B/w photos, 320pp. Contents same as 68924. £16.99 NOW £3.75

67275 JAMES LEES-MILNE: The Life by Michael Bloch

James (Jim) Lees-Milne (1908-97) is remembered for his tireless work for the National Trust and for his vivid and highly entertaining diaries, kept over a period of 35 years. He could just as easily have been remembered for his 30 published books on history, biography, autobiography and fiction, his literary friendships, his colourful, highly active bisexual love life and extremely unconventional marriage, comments Bloch, but the diaries, in which he chronicled a way of life which has now all but died out. He describes his friendships with literary giants such as John Betjeman, Robert Byron, Rosamond Lehmann and the Mitford sisters, but most of all it depicts a man who was romantically attached to the England of his childhood and felt completely out of tune with his times. 400pp, photos £25 NOW £7

67396 TROTSKY: A Biography by Robert Service

Revolutionary icon, cosmopolitan, theorist, leader, writer, lover, philosopher, enemy, Jew, husband, father and hunted victim, Leon Trotsky led a brilliant life in extraordinary times. Born to a wealthy farmer in Southern Ukraine in 1879, the young Marxist writer and agitator came to prominence in the 1905 revolutionary crisis and co-organised the October 1917 revolution. He was the finest orator of the Russian Revolution. The whole world attributed the impact of the October Revolution to his partnership with Lenin. After Lenin’s death in 1924, Trotsky battled for power with Stalin, before being defeated and deported in 1929. He continued to lead a decreasing number of supporters in exile before being assassinated in 1940. 600 page paperback, 38 illus, seven maps. £9.99 NOW £4

67406 YOUNG STALIN by Simon Sebag Montefiore

Was Stalin a Tsarist agent or Lenin’s chief gangster? Was he to blame for his wife’s death? Born in poverty and scarred by his upbringing, young Stalin was exceptional in his studies, a charismatic but dangerous boy hailed as a romantic poet, trained as a priest, but who found his mission as a fanatical revolutionary. He became the mastermind of bank robberies, protection rackets, arson and murder. Surprisingly he is also revealed as a scandalously prolific lover, leaving a trail of mistresses and illegitimate children. This vivid psychological portrait of one of the 20th century’s greatest monsters was widely praised as ‘an absolute gem’ on publication. 397 pages with many photos. £25 NOW £5

67500 BICYCLE RUNNER: A Memoir of Love,

Loyalty, and the Italian Resistance by G. Franco Romagnoli

A gently humorous memoir of adolescence under Mussolini by an Italian chef and author. Romagnoli looks back to his childhood in the Eternal City during the tumultuous days of Fascist Italy. He narrates his youth from nursery school to compulsory military service, pressurised to join the youth organisation Balilla. Neighbours within the same apartment building were divided into pro-Fascist and anti-Fascist groups. As Rome was declared an ‘Open City’, but in reality fell under German occupation, young Franco and his motley group were recruited into the underground Resistance by their philosophy professor who was later murdered in the Ardeatine Cave massacre. 304pp. $25.99 NOW £4.50

67607 NEWSPAPERMEN: Hugh Cudlipp, Cecil Harmsworth King and the Glory Days of Fleet

Street by Ruth Dudley Edwards In June 1935 Percy Cudlipp, editor of the Evening Standard, suggested to his younger brother Hugh that he should answer a mysterious advert for “a bright assistant features editor with ideas”. Although aged just 21, Hugh Cudlipp already had seven years of journalistic experience, and the man who placed the advert, knew straight away that here was a force to be reckoned with. That man was the solemn Cecil King, aged 34 and a middle-ranking executive at the Daily Mail. Nephew of Lord Northcliffe and Lord Rothermere, despite his immense intellect King was crippled by emotional insecurity, whereas Cudlipp was gregarious and capable to getting on with anyone, even King. Together, with the founding of the populist Daily Mirror, they created the biggest publishing empire in the world. But in 1968 it all went horribly wrong. Photos, 484pp chunky paperback.

£12.50 NOW £3.25

67690 LOOKING FOR ENID: The Mysterious and Inventive

Life of Enid Blyton by Duncan McLaren She gave us the Famous Five, Fatty’s Find-Outers, Malory Towers, Noddy, The Enchanted Wood and The Wishing Chair. To this day Enid Blyton remains not only the most popular children’s writer of all time, but still an enigma. Join one of her most fervent fans on a ripping adventure

to discover just how she created the characters that became childhood chums for so many of us. It is a cheerful romp around various Blytonian sites, packed with pastiche, imaginary encounters and literary criticism, not forgetting lashings of ginger beer. 320pp in paperback.

£8.99 NOW £2.25

67680 ELLEN TERRY by Moira Shearer Written by the Royal Ballet classical ballerina who starred in the 1948 film The Red Shoes. Ellen Terry is perhaps the most celebrated actress of the 19th century, and best known member of the talented theatrical Terry family, of whom Sir John Geilgud was one. On stage from the age of eight, Ellen was a rebellious young woman. A failed marriage to the artist G. S. Watts and a longer relationship with the architect Edward Godwin all passed before she joined Henry Irving’s Lyceum Company in 1878. During her long association with Irving she played many Shakespearean heroines, notably Portia and

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