Monica Dickens - One Pair of Feet - Little, Brown Book Group

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    • ISBN:9781405521192
    • Publication date:05 Dec 2013
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One Pair of Feet

The Entertaining Memoirs of a Young Nurse During World War II: A Virago Modern Classic

By Monica Dickens

  • Paperback
  • £8.99

Dickens' classic memoir of her experiences as a young nurse in wartime is richly observed and highly entertaining.

As the effects of the war raging in Europe begin to be felt at home in London, Monica Dickens decides to do her bit and to pursue a new career, and so enrols as a student nurse at a hospital in rural Hertfordshire. By nature clever and spirited, she struggles to submit to the iron rule of the Matron and Sisters, and is alternately infuriated and charmed by her patients. That's not to mention the mountains of menial work that are a trainee's lot. But there are friends among the staff and patients, night-time escapades to dances with dashing army men, and her secret writing project to keep her going.

Biographical Notes

Monica Dickens (1915-92) was born into a well-to-do London family and was the great-granddaughter of Charles Dickens. Chafing against her background and having been expelled from St Paul's Girls School, she trained as a domestic servant and her experiences inspired her first memoir, One Pair of Hands (1939). She then turned to nursing, and produced One Pair of Feet (1942). She wrote numerous novels and memoirs, and found huge popular recognition as creator of the TV and children's books series Follyfoot. In the 1950s she moved to the US, and remained there for much of her life, writing and doing humanitarian work - she founded the US branch of the Samaritans - before returning to the UK in 1985.

  • Other details

  • ISBN: 9781844089086
  • Publication date: 05 Dec 2013
  • Page count: 256
  • Imprint: Virago
One Pair of Feet is not just a spirited and entertaining account of the training of a hospital nurse in wartime but a fascinating glimpse into a time and a culture so recent and yet so utterly changed. — Marina Lewycka
A brilliantly funny account. — Elizabeth Bowen
Cheerful impudence ... And occasional touches of pathos. — JB Priestley
Grand Central Publishing

Bunny Mellon

Meryl Gordon
Authors:
Meryl Gordon

When Bunny Mellon died at age 103 on March 17th, she was the last embodiment of a Gilded Age lifestyle. Born into money (her grandfather invented Listerine), she married into even more money (the Mellon banking and oil fortune) and went on to build, decorate and preside over six luxurious homes in Washington, New York, Paris, Antigua, Cape Cod and Nantucket. She treated her pricy possessions as a casual backdrop to her daily life, including an unframed Van Gogh, "Green Wheat Fields, Auvers," she propped upon her living room fireplace mantel. Bunny Mellon operated in the intersecting arenas of politics, art and fashion, mingling with Presidents, Queens, Duchesses, Hollywood actors, couturiers, artists and Russian ambassador Anatoly Dobrynin. She was on intimate terms with the giants of her era: when she wanted to deal with lingering childhood insecurities and a difficult marriage, she went into analysis in the 1940's with Carl Jung. Bunny reveled in putting amusing people together, such as giving a small luncheon to introduce Princess Diana and Prince Charles to America's royalty, Jacqueline Onassis and her children, Caroline and John Kennedy. An ardent gardener who created the Rose Garden at the behest of her dear friend Jacqueline Kennedy, a savvy art collector, a discerning self-taught decorator who gave advice to her Foxcroft classmate Sister Parish, Bunny became revered for her style and good taste. Everything she did made news: creating a gardening fad for miniature topiaries; giving her blessing to fledgling artists and designers; turning up at her husband Paul Mellon's side to watch his thoroughbred, Arts and Letters, win the Belmont Stakes. Yet Bunny Mellon deliberately cultivated an air of mystery. Regal and intimidating, mischievous and effervescent, the soul of discretion, she cherished her ability to wield influence in a quiet behind-the-scenes way, until now. In this illuminating biography, written by bestselling author Meryl Gordon, readers will finally get to know the real Bunny Mellon.

Abacus

Who Goes Home?

Roy Hattersley
Authors:
Roy Hattersley
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.

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 emphasises both her voracious talent and her intensely private personality.

Abacus

Kipling Sahib

Charles Allen
Authors:
Charles Allen
Sphere

Rogue Trader

Nick Leeson
Authors:
Nick Leeson
Sphere

Bandaging the Blitz

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

Robinson

Madonna

Michelle Morgan
Authors:
Michelle Morgan
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
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
Constable

Real Life

Melissa Kite
Authors:
Melissa Kite
Abacus

John Wesley: A Brand From The Burning

Roy Hattersley
Authors:
Roy Hattersley

John Wesley led the Second English Reformation. His Methodist 'Connexion' was divided from the Church of England, not by dogma and doctrine but by the new relationship which it created between clergy and people. Throughout a life tortured by doubt about true faith and tormented by a series of bizarre relationships with women, Wesley kept his promise to 'live and die an ordained priest of the Established Church'. However by the end of the long pilgrimage - from the Oxford Holy Club through colonial Georgia to every market place in England - he knew that separation was inevitable. But he could not have realised that his influence on the new industrial working class would play a major part in shaping society during the century of Britain's greatest power and influence and that Methodism would become a worldwide religion and the inspiration of 20th century television evangelism.

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.