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Mercator: The Man who Mapped the Planet

by Nicholas Crane

Gerard Mercator (1512-1594) was born at the dawn of the Age of Discovery, when the world was beginning to be discovered and carved up by navigators, geographers and cartographers. Mercator was the greatest and...


Dylan Thomas: A New Life

by Andrew Lycett

Dylan Thomas was a romantic and controversial figure; a poet who lived to excess and died young. An inventive genius with a gift for both lyrical phrases and impish humour, he also wrote for films and radio,...


Mark Twain's Other Woman

by Laura Skandera Trombley

Laura Skandera Trombley, the preeminent Twain scholar at work today, reveals the never-before-read letters and daily journals of Isabel Lyon, Mark Twain’s last personal secretary.

 

For six years, Isabel Lyon...


The Gentle Barbarian

by V.S. Pritchett

'A gentle giant', as the Goncourts called him, Turgenev emerged from the barbarous yet doting rules of a terrible mother, whose cruelties to her serfs are at the heart of his hatred of serfdom. He was saturated...


Evelyn Waugh

by Frances Donaldson

In his lifetime, Evelyn Waugh's personality and his attitude to the post-war world aroused almost as much controversy as his works did admiration.

It is with Evelyn Waugh the man as she knew him that Frances...


The Life and Times of Emile Zola

by F. W. J. Hemmings

Controversy surrounded Zola during his life-time, and controversy has followed him ever since. No other French writer was so violently attacked by contemporaries, none had a more devoted following. This high...


Tolstoy

by Edward Crankshaw

Tolstoy was not always an old man-not always a bearded patriarch fixing the world with the eye of an angry ancient mariner. He started War and Peace when he was thirty five, and Anna Karenina was finished before...


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,...


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...


Chekhov

by V.S. Pritchett

V.S. Pritchett explores the connections between Chekhov's life and art, showing how Chekhov often based his fiction on experiences of his difficult early years where he was responsible for his impoverished family,...


The Secret Life of Aphra Behn

by Janet Todd

‘All women together ought to let flowers fall upon the tomb of Aphra Behn; for it was she who earned them the right to speak their minds,’ said Virginia Woolf. Yet that tomb, in Westminster Abbey, records...


Death and the Maidens

by Janet Todd

1816 was the fateful year when the Romantic poet Shelley and his lover Mary shared a hectic creative and sexual menage in Switzerland with Lord Byron. This intense period drew from the men some of the greatest...


His Second War

by Alec Waugh

Alec Waugh, who served in the last war as a regular army officer, was recalled to his regiment in September 1939. After a few months of regimental duties he has filled a succession of Junior Staff appointment,...


The Mysterious Miss Marie Corelli: Queen of Victorian Bestsellers

by Teresa Ransom

Marie Corelli's extraordinary life became a phenomenon of the Victorian age. Coming from nowhere, inventing her name, past and age she became the bestselling novelist of her time. Her readers ranged from the...


Song of My Life: A Biography of Margaret Walker

by Carolyn J. Brown

The first biography of the much admired author of the novel Jubilee and the poem "For My People"


The Marriage of Heaven and Hell

by Peter Dally

Combining his knowledge as a doctor and a lifelong fascination with Virginia Woolf's life and work, eminent psychiatrist Peter Dally offers a haunting and compelling look at the depression that tormented Virginia...


Sir Walter Raleigh: In Life and Legend

by Mark Nicholls & Penry Williams

A new biography of one of the key figures in British history focusing on both his writing and legacy.


Sherlock Holmes For Dummies

by Steven Doyle & David A. Crowder

Get a comprehensive guide to this important literary figure and his author.

A classic literary character, Sherlock Holmes has fascinated readers for decades -- from his repartee with Dr. Watson and his unparalleled...


Harry Harrison! Harry Harrison!

by Harry Harrison

Recollections of one of the grand masters of science fiction, on his storied career as a celebrated author and on his relationships with other luminaries in the field. This memoir is filled with all the humor...


Eugene O'Neill: A Life in Four Acts

by Robert M. Dowling

This extraordinary new biography fully captures the intimacies of Eugene O'Neill's tumultuous life and the profound impact of his work on American drama. Robert M. Dowling innovatively recounts O'Neill's life...