Biography & autobiography

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J.B.S

by Ronald Clark

J. B. S. Haldane (1892-1964) was one of the most brilliant of British scientists - and one of the most controversial. A trail-blazing geneticist and physiologist, who used himself as his own guinea-pig, he was...


Barbara Cartland

by John Pearson

First published in 1979, this is an account of a phenomenon and a legend in her lifetime, Barbara Cartland has held the world record four years running as the most prolific author alive. Now, with her novels...


Cleared for Take-Off

by Dirk Bogarde

During his many reconnaissance missions in Europe and the Far East, the young Bogarde experienced the terror of enemy attack and the horror of its aftermath, together with the intense camaraderie and bitter...


The Queens and the Hive

by Edith Sitwell

No hive can tolerate two Queens. In the fatal clash between the Protestant Queen of England and the Catholic Queen of Scots, many were determined that 'The death of Mary is the life of Elizabeth'.

In this moving...


A Year to Remember

by Alec Waugh

First published in 1975, this tells of one of the Bright Young Things in that brilliant and stimulating era between the wars, Alec Waugh remembers 1931 as being a year of firsts. It was the year he attended...


George Meredith and English Comedy

by V.S. Pritchett

'It is because we learn from the writers who have either got into difficulties or who have a certain vanity in creating them, that I have chosen Meredith as my subject', says Mr. Pritchett at the beginning of...


For the Time Being

by Dirk Bogarde

In 1988 Dirk Bogarde returned from two idyllic decades in France to live in England because of his partner's serious illness. Shortly afterwards, the then Literary Editor of the Daily Telegraph, admiring the...


Baudelaire the Damned

by F. W. J. Hemmings

First published in 1982, this penetrating, immensely readable biography of the brilliant poet, translator, and art critic, F. W. J. Hemmings gives us a fascinating new perspective on Baudelaire's extraordinary,...


Truman

by Roy Jenkins

In his time, Harry S. Truman was one of the most under-rated presidents of the twentieth century. Succeeding the charismatic Roosevelt, he was often seen as an uninspiring leader, a poor diplomat and a fumbling...


Alexandre Dumas

by F. W. J. Hemmings

The last of Alexandre Dumas's many mistresses, the American actress Adah Menken, called him "the king of romance." She was not thinking only of his immensely popular novels The Three Musketeers and The Count...


European Diary, 1977-1981

by Roy Jenkins

First published in 1989, this diary provides the background to two vital issues: our relations with the European Community and the state of politics in Britain. Few people are better qualified to know how we...


Journey from the North, Volume 1

by Storm Jameson

In 1960, Storm Jameson decided to write her memoirs. The result was Journey from the North, one of the great literary autobiographies of the century. Volume One, first published in 1969, tells of her childhood...


Victoria of England

by Edith Sitwell

The Victorian era has been one of the most influential in shaping modern British society, and Victoria herself is a powerful symbol of the age.

This is a fascinating portrait of the queen, both before and during...


Facades

by John Pearson

First published in 1978 Façades details the lives of three of the twentieth century's most intriguing literary figures: Edith, Osbert and Sacheverell Sitwell. Aristocrats emanating from a privileged but loveless...


Backcloth

by Dirk Bogarde

Filling in the gaps left between his previous memoirs, as well as highlighting new episodes, Backcloth explores the patterns of pleasure and pain that have made up Bogarde's extraordinary life. It is based on...


Journey from the North, Volume 2

by Storm Jameson

The second volume in Storm Jameson s autobiography starts on the eve of the Second World War, and encompasses Jameson's involvement as the first female president of PEN, where she met all of the writers and...


The Course of My Life

by Edward Heath

The Course of My Life is not only the autobiography of one of the most distinguished figures of modern times, but a revealing panoply of twentieth-century political, international and social history. Born in...


Maria Theresa

by Edward Crankshaw

When Edward Crankshaw's Maria Theresa was published in 1969, it was the first full length study of Maria Theresa to be written in English for sixty years.

Called to the throne in 1740, at the age of twenty-three,...


Balmoral

by Ronald Clark

First published in 1981, this is Ronald Clark's engagingly readable account of Queen Victoria's relationship with "Our dear Balmoral" and the life that went on there.

The biography of Balmoral begins with the...


Taken Care Of

by Edith Sitwell

Dame Edith Sitwell died while this autobiography was in the course of printing. One of the last acts of her life was to approve the 'specimen page' from the printer. She did not live to correct her proofs and...