Joan Wyndham - Love Lessons - Little, Brown Book Group

Time remaining

  • -- days
  • -- hours
  • -- minutes
  • -- seconds
Books in this series

Love Lessons

A Wartime Diary

By Joan Wyndham

  • Paperback
  • £10.99

* 'A latter-day Pepys in camiknickers

On my way to the studio there was an air-raid. I ran into the brick shelter in the middle of the road. There were poor little Leonard and Agnes sitting on their suitcases, having lost their all. Luckily Leonard had been wearing his best trousers at the time. Madame Arcana was there too wearing a gold brocade toque and a blanket. It was bloody cold and I wanted to pee badly, but couldn't. Leonard wouldn't give me his seat as he believes in the equality of the sexes, so I sat on the floor...'

August 1939. As a teenage Catholic virgin, Joan Wyndham spent her days trying to remain pure and unsullied and her nights trying to stay alive. Huddled in the air-raid shelter, she wrote secretly and obsessively about the strange yet exhilarating times she was living through, sure that this was ' the happiest time of my life'.

Biographical Notes

Since 1945 Joan Wyndham has led a rich and varied life, including opening Oxford's first espresso bar, running a hippie restaurant in Portobello Road, and cooking at major pop festivals. Married and with two daughters, she lives in London.

  • Other details

  • ISBN: 9781860498770
  • Publication date: 01 Nov 2001
  • Page count: 272
  • Imprint: Virago
Fresh, exuberant, wonderfully funny — VAL HENNESSY
A marvellous book -- so funny, and moving, and its immediacy is extraordinary! Joan Wyndham is a marvellous writer, one of those rare people with perfect pitch — SELINA HASTINGS
No one, except Anthony Powell, has managed to create so exactly the atmosphere of London in the forties — THE TIMES
A latter-day Pepys in camiknickers — (tbc)
Grand Central Publishing

Bunny Mellon

Meryl Gordon
Authors:
Meryl Gordon
Abacus

Who Goes Home?

Roy Hattersley
Authors:
Roy Hattersley

Each night when the House of Commons rises, throughout the Palace of Westminster policemen shout, 'Who goes home?', a relic of the days when Members of Parliament were escorted safely to their beds. WHO GOES HOME? is Roy Hattersley's witty and characteristically frank account of a lifetime in the Labour party from schoolboy canvassing in post-war Sheffield through Cabinet office and the wilderness years in Opposition, to the decision to leave Parliament at the dawn of Tony Blair's New Labour. During this period, the Honourable Member for the Sparkbrook constituency of Birmingham never forgot his Yorkshire roots (or his passion for Sheffield Wednesday FC). This memoir is an evocation of the 50-year journey that has taken the Party from Attlee's Welfare State and nationalisation programme to the modernizers of social-ism and New Labour under Tony Blair. For Roy Hattersley, politics was fun while it lasted, even though the joke was often on him. These Scenes from Political Life settle no scores, excuse no mistakes and relive no old triumphs.

Abacus

Gurkha

Colour-Sergeant Kailash Limbu
Authors:
Colour-Sergeant Kailash Limbu

In this Sunday Times Top Ten bestselling memoir that 'reads like a thriller', (Joanna Lumley) Colour-Sargent Kailash Limbu shares a riveting account of his life as a Gurkha soldier-marking the first time in its two-hundred-year history that a soldier of the Brigade of Gurkhas has been given permission to tell his story in his own words.In the summer of 2006, Colour-Sargeant Kailash Limbu's platoon was sent to relieve and occupy a police compound in the town of Now Zad in Helmand. He was told to prepare for a forty-eight hour operation. In the end, he and his men were under siege for thirty-one days - one of the longest such sieges in the whole of the Afghan campaign.Kailash Limbu recalls the terrifying and exciting details of those thirty-one days - in which they killed an estimated one hundred Taliban fighters - and intersperses them with the story of his own life as a villager from the Himalayas. He grew up in a place without roads or electricity and didn't see a car until he was fifteen.Kailash's descriptions of Gurkha training and rituals - including how to use the lethal Kukri knife - are eye-opening and fascinating. They combine with the story of his time in Helmand to create a unique account of one man's life as a Gurkha. 'I was completely bowled over by Kailash's book and read it with a beating heart and dry mouth. I felt as though I was at his side, hearing the shells and bullets, enjoying the jokes and listening in the scary dead of night. The skill with which he has included his childhood and training is immense, always discovered with ease in the narrative: it actually felt as though I was watching, was IN a film with him. It brought me nearer than I have ever been not only to the mind of the universal soldier but to a hill boy of Nepal and a hugely impressive Gurkha. I raced through it and couldn't put it down: it reads like a thriller. If you want to know anything about the Gurkhas, read this book, and be prepared for a thrilling and dangerous trip' Joanna Lumley

Abacus

The Wit In The Dungeon

Anthony Holden
Authors:
Anthony Holden

He was born in the year Dr Johnson died, and died in the year A.E. Houseman and Conan Doyle were born. The 75 years of Leigh Hunt's life uniquely span two distinct eras of English life and literature. A major player in the Romantic movement, the intimate and first publisher of Keats and Shelley, friend of Byron, Hazlitt and Lamb, Hunt lived on to become an elder statesman of Victorianism, the friend and chamption of Tennyson and Dickens, awarded a sate pension by Queen Victoria. Jailed in his twenties for insulting the Prince of Wales, Hunt ended his long, productive life vainly seeking the Poet Laureatship with fawning poems to Victoria. A tirelessly prolific poet, essayist, editor and critic, he has been described as having no rival in the history of English criticism. Yet Hunt's remarkable life story has never been fully told.Anthony Holden's deeply researched and vibrantly written biography gives full due to this minor poet - but major influence on his great Romantic contempories.

Virago

Food And Loathing

Betsy Lerner
Authors:
Betsy Lerner

In FOOD AND LOATHING a bright, chubby girl believes that thinness is next to godliness and so attends one of the first meetings of Overeaters Anonymous in 1975. Her twenties are marked by yo-yo dieting, depressive episodes and a sadistic shrink. Then, just as her dream of being a writer is within reach, entering Columbia's prestigious MFA program, she spirals into a suicidal depression and lands for a six-month stay at New York State Psychiatric Institute. There a young resident helps her take her first steps towards selfhood, unravelling the self-loathing of an eating disorder coupled with a paralysing mood disorder. He also helps her confront a tragic family secret whose silence had enveloped an otherwise average Jewish middle-class family. FOOD AND LOATHING is a book about how people use food to narcotise, to love and to escape. It's about therapy - the good, the bad, and the down right destructive - and about every woman who spends too much of her life thinking about her weight and how she can forgive herself for living - and even learn to love.

Sphere

Rogue Trader

Nick Leeson
Authors:
Nick Leeson

When Leeson was arrested in 1995 for bringing Barings Bank to its knees, it initially seemed as if he had single-handedly crushed the company. Indeed, it was he alone who found himself in the dark confines of a Singapore jail, from where he wrote Rogue Trader. Now updated for the twentieth anniversary of the collapse of Barings, this is his story of a broken system; of a cast of characters blind to anything but profits - whatever the cost. Leeson's tale of boom and bust is an important reminder of the immense power the banking system held and, worryingly, still holds.

Sphere

Bandaging the Blitz

Phyll Macdonald Ross, I. D. Roberts
Authors:
Phyll Macdonald Ross, I. D. Roberts

An incredible true coming-of-age storyIn 1938, eighteen-year-old Phyllis Ellsworth packs her bags, says goodbye to her anxious parents and sets off from her quiet seaside home for the Hackney Hospital in London's bustling East End, where she is to fulfill her dream to train as a nurse. At first, it is a whirlwind of long days, hard work, new friends and plenty of mischief, but just ten months later Britain declares war on Germany and life at the hospital is transformed. Phyll's days become an endless cycle of air-raid sirens, injured servicemen and anxiously waiting for news of loved ones. And when she falls in love with a handsome young solider, Alistair, Phyll's work provides the only distraction from worrying about his safety.Bandaging the Blitz is a true story of coming-of-age in terrible times, of the blossoming of first romance into a life-long love affair, and of a young woman whose eagerness to do good in the world brought her suddenly face-to-face with death and drama in all its many guises.

Robinson

Madonna

Michelle Morgan
Authors:
Michelle Morgan

Madonna: singer, songwriter, actress, businesswoman, not to mention one of the most renowned cultural icons of the last three decades. Since her first, eponymous album, over thirty years ago Madonna has sold a remarkable 300 million records worldwide, making her the top-selling female recording artist of all time.Madonna is famous for continuously reinventing both her music and her image. By pushing the boundaries of mainstream popular music with both her lyrical content and the imagery in her music videos she achieved extraordinary popularity. Morgan offers a richly illustrated, comprehensive account of the artist's phenomenally successful career shedding new light on her videos, books, tours, fashion, charity work and every other aspect of her life.Praise for Marilyn Monroe: Private and Undisclosed:'A gorgeous collection offering a fascinating insight into Monroe's personal life' Women & Home'A touching portrayal of the star in her more private moments' Empire'The most authoritative book on the star to date' Choice

Virago

With Their Backs To The World

Asne Seierstad
Authors:
Asne Seierstad

From the award-winning author of The Bookseller of Kabul comes a fascinating insight into the lives of ordinary Serbs under Milosevic and the dramati c events leading up to his fall. Åsne Seierstad's first book, which some consider to be her best, follows fourteen Serbs whose lives were transformed over the course of sixteen months. With characteristic perception and honesty, Seierstad offers an intimate portrait of these individuals, and a vivid study of the civil war and its aftermath. First published in 2000, WITH THEIR BACKS TO THE WORLD was updated extensively by the author in 2004.

Robinson

A Brief History of Walt Disney

Brian J. Robb
Authors:
Brian J. Robb
Sphere

The Shop Girls

Ellee Seymour
Authors:
Ellee Seymour

For Eve, Irene, Betty and Rosemary, working at the exclusive Heyworth's department store in Cambridge is a dream come true. Once the girls step inside the elegant building - surrounded by luxurious dresses and beautiful accessories - the hardships of their own lives are temporarily forgotten. Serving a variety of curious customers, from glamorous gypsy queens to genuine royalty and stuffy academics to the city's fashionable elite, the store is a place where these young women can forge successful careers, under the ever-watchful eye of flamboyant owner Mr Heyworth.Set against the backdrop of the closing years of the Second World War, and moving into the 1950s, The Shop Girls perfectly captures the camaraderie and friendship of four ambitious young women working together in a store that offered them an escape from the drudgery of their wartime childhoods. Each of the girls' stories will be individually published from July 2014 in fortnightly serialised ebooks, leading up to the release of the complete edition (with bonus material) in September.

Constable

Dear Lumpy

Louise Mortimer
Authors:
Louise Mortimer

'Dearest Lumpy, I hope you are plump and well. Your mother bashed her car yesterday and chooses to believe it was not her fault...'Roger Mortimer's witty dressing-downs and affectionate advice were not only directed at his wayward son, Lupin. Though better behaved than her mischievous older brother, Louise (aka 'Lumpy') still caused her father to reach for his typewriter.The trials and tribulations of Louise's days at boarding school, her eventful wedding to Hot¬Hand-Henry and the birth of his grandchildren are all accompanied by a sometimes chiding, but always loving letter.Between these milestones, Roger gives updates on the family, pets and the local gossip, holds forth on the weather, road safety, and even suggests the best way to make a gravy soup, all in his own inimitable style.With the same unique charm and often snort-inducing humour that made Dear Lupin a bestseller, Roger Mortimer guides and supports his daughter through every scrape she found herself in. Hilarious and instantly familiar, Dear Lumpy is a perfect example of the glorious art of letter writing, and the timeless relationship between father and daughter.

Abacus

Vanished Years

Rupert Everett
Authors:
Rupert Everett

'[An] instant classic' IndependentRupert Everett's first memoir - Red Carpets and Other Banana Skins - was an international bestseller and an instant classic on publication in 2006. Reviewers compared him to Evelyn Waugh, David Niven, Noel Coward and Lord Byron. But Rupert Everett is - of course - one of a kind.Mischievous, touching and nothing less than brilliant, this new memoir is filled with stories, from childhood to the present. Astonishing encounters; tragedy and comedy; vivid portraits of friends and rivals; razor-sharp observations of the celebrity circus from LA to London and beyond... there is something extraordinary on every page. A pilgrimage to Lourdes with his father is both hilarious and moving. A misguided step into reality TV goes horribly wrong. From New York to Moscow to Berlin to Phnom Penh, Vanished Years takes the reader on a wild and wonderful new journey with a charming (and rather disreputable) companion.

Constable

Real Life

Melissa Kite
Authors:
Melissa Kite
Virago

Letters From A Lost Generation

Mark Bostridge
Authors:
Mark Bostridge

Nothing in the papers, not the most vivid and heart-rending descriptions, have made me realise war like your letters' Vera Brittain to Roland Leighton, 17 April 1915.This selection of letters, written between 1913 & 1918, between Vera Brittain and four young men - her fiance Roland Leighton, her brother Edward and their close friends Victor Richardson & Geoffrey Thurlow present a remarkable and profoundly moving portrait of five young people caught up in the cataclysm of total war. Roland, 'Monseigneur', is the 'leader' & his letters most clearly trace the path leading from idealism to disillusionment. Edward, ' Immaculate of the Trenches', was orderly & controlled, down even to his attire. Geoffrey, the 'non-militarist at heart' had not rushed to enlist but put aside his objections to the war for patriotism's sake. Victor on the other hand, possessed a very sweet character and was known as 'Father Confessor'. An important historical testimony telling a powerful story of idealism, disillusionment and personal tragedy.

Abacus

Kipling Sahib

Charles Allen
Authors:
Charles Allen
Piatkus

Kate Bush

Rob Jovanovic
Authors:
Rob Jovanovic

Kate Bush has written some of the most memorable songs in pop music history. Wuthering Heights, her debut single shot to number 1 in 1978 and she remains something of an enigma over a quarter of a century later. A singer, songwriter, musician, dancer, actress and director, Kate has inspired a devoted following around the world. Rob Jovanovic traces the story of Kate Bush's career, from her up-bringing in the Essex countryside through her first forays into music with a series of home recordings, to her number 1 debut album that propelled her to international stardom. Including exclusive interviews with studio musicians and choreographers, Jovanovic's biography emphasizes both her voracious talent and her intensely private personality. Over the last ten years, Kate Bush has taken time out from her hugely successful musical career to raise a family. In November 2005 however, she released Aerial, her first album in 12 years, to great critical acclaim.

Abacus

John Wesley: A Brand From The Burning

Roy Hattersley
Authors:
Roy Hattersley
Abacus

Song Of The Rolling Earth

John Lister-Kaye
Authors:
John Lister-Kaye

Conservationist and naturalist John Lister-Kaye, founder of the Aigas Field Centre, writes about his life in the glens, the wildlife that surrounds him and the primeval magical exchange that takes place between man and nature once so central to ancient civilisations. He describes finding the ruined nineteenth-century estate that is to become Aigas, taking it over and turning it into a going concern as an Educational Centre, and his own personal motivation, following the Torrey Canyon oil spillage and natural disasters in the 1960s, to become a conservationist. Interspersed within the narrative detail are engaging and enlightening descriptions of flora and fauna. John Lister-Kaye carries the reader very effectively into the minute worlds he observes and backs up keen scrutiny with facts and figures.SONG OF THE ROLLING EARTH is a notably entertaining and enlightening addition to the canon of naturalist writing that includes Gavin Maxwell's RING OF BRIGHT WATER, Henry Williamson's TARKA THE OTTER and the works of Gerald Durrell.

Abacus

Blood And Fire

Roy Hattersley
Authors:
Roy Hattersley

An uneducated youth, William Booth left home in 1849 at the age of twenty to preach the gospel for the New Methodist Connexion. Six years later he founded a new religious movement which succeeded to such a degree that the Salvation Army (which it became) is now a worldwide operation with massive membership.But that is only part of Booth's importance and heritage. In many ways his story is also that of the Victorian poor, as he and his wife Catherine made it their lives' work to battle against the poverty and deprivation which were endemic in the mid- to late 1800s. Indeed, it was Catherine who, although a chronic invalid, inspired the Army's social policy and attitude to female authority. Her campaign against child prostitution resulted in the age of consent being raised and it was Catherine who, dying of cancer, encouraged William to clear the slums -- In Darkest England, The Way Out. Roy Hattersley's masterful dual biography is not just the story of two fascinating lives but a portrait of an integral part of our history.