Related to: 'Barbara Comyns'

Constable

Lost Girls

D.J. Taylor
Authors:
D.J. Taylor

Who were the Lost Girls? At least a dozen or so young women at large in Blitz-era London have a claim to this title. But Lost Girls concentrates on just four: Lys Lubbock, Sonia Brownell, Barbara Skelton and Janetta Parlade. Chic, glamorous and bohemian, as likely to be found living in a rat-haunted maisonette as dining at the Ritz, they cut a swathe through English literary and artistic life in the 1940s. Three of them had affairs with Lucian Freud. One of them married George Orwell. Another became the mistress of the King of Egypt and was flogged by him on the steps of the Royal Palace. And all of them were associated with the decade's most celebrated literary magazine, Horizon, and its charismatic editor Cyril Connolly. Lys, Sonia, Barbara and Janetta had very different - and sometimes explosive personalities - but taken together they form a distinctive part of the war-time demographic: bright, beautiful, independent-minded women with tough upbringings behind them determined to make the most of their lives in a highly uncertain environment. Theirs was the world of the buzz bomb, the cocktail party behind blackout curtains, the severed hand seen on the pavement in the Bloomsbury square, the rustle of a telegram falling through the letter-box, the hasty farewell to another half who might not ever come back, a world of living for the moment and snatching at pleasure before it disappeared. But if their trail runs through vast acreages of war-time cultural life then, in the end, it returns to Connolly and his amorous web-spinning, in which all four of them regularly featured and which sometimes complicated their emotional lives to the point of meltdown.The Lost Girls were the product of a highly artificial environment. After it came to an end - on Horizon's closure in 1950 - their careers wound on. Later they would have affairs with dukes, feature in celebrity divorce cases and make appearances in the novels of George Orwell, Evelyn Waugh, Anthony Powell and Nancy Mitford. The last of them - Janetta - died as recently as three months ago. However tiny their number, they are a genuine missing link between the first wave of newly-liberated young women of the post-Great War era and the Dionysiac free-for-all of the 1960s. Hectic, passionate and at times unexpectedly poignant, this is their story.

Constable

Forward

Marcia Barrett
Authors:
Marcia Barrett

Coming to London aged thirteen from desperate poverty in Jamaica; pregnant at fifteen after being abused by a family friend; fifteen years later singing in Boney M, one of the biggest international groups of the late-1970s; a messy group split and millions in unpaid royalties during the 1980s; a 1990s solo career interrupted by six bouts of cancer - ovarian, breast, lymph node (twice), spine and oesophagus - and having to learn to walk again. Yet throughout Marcia Barrett has remained totally cheerful, relentlessly optimistic and a shining inspiration, looking on every obstacle as a mere inconvenience rather than anything insurmountable. Now, she is ready to tell her fantastic story, which is much more than just a pop star autobiography. It is a charming, candid, laugh-out-loud story of survival, triumph, indomitable spirit and total upfullness, often driven by sheer force of will. It is also that very rare thing in British publishing, a feelgood story for black women that has real significance among the UK's African-Caribbean population - there are very few middle-aged black women in this country (a keen book-buying demographic) who didn't, as youngsters, have hairbraiding copied from Marcia Barrett. But of course it has a mainstream audience too: the battles against cancer are relevant to all women, as is much of her early personal life and balancing looking after her mother and son with life on the road in Boney M.

Running Press Kids

A Charlie Brown Christmas Wrapping Paper Activity Book

Charles M. Schulz
Authors:
Charles M. Schulz

Kids and adults alike will love preparing for the holidays with this fun new activity kit featuring Charles M. Schulz's beloved Peanuts characters. Inspired by the Christmas classic, A Charlie Brown Christmas, this kit includes three 18x24 sheets of wrapping paper to color, an advent poster to hang up and count down the days until Santa arrives, plus 16 pages of activities and crafts to help make your holiday extra special. Cut out Charlie Brown and Snoopy ornaments for your Christmas tree or make holiday gift tags featuring Lucy, Pigpen, Woodstock, and others. A Charlie Brown Christmas Wrapping Paper Activity Book will provide hours of fun for the whole family as you get into the Christmas spirit with Peanuts.

Little, Brown

The Lie of the Land

Amanda Craig
Authors:
Amanda Craig

'Terrific, page-turning, slyly funny' India Knight'As satisfying a novel as I have read in years' Sarah Perry'Absolutely magnificent' Marian KeyesQuentin and Lottie Bredin, like many modern couples, can't afford to divorce. Having lost their jobs in the recession, they can't afford to go on living in London; instead, they must downsize and move their three children to a house in a remote part of Devon. Arrogant and adulterous, Quentin can't understand why Lottie is so angry; devastated and humiliated, Lottie feels herself to have been intolerably wounded.Mud, mice and quarrels are one thing - but why is their rent so low? What is the mystery surrounding their unappealing new home? The beauty of the landscape is ravishing, yet it conceals a dark side involving poverty, revenge, abuse and violence which will rise up to threaten them.Sally Verity, happily married but unhappily childless knows a different side to country life, as both a Health Visitor and a sheep farmer's wife; and when Lottie's innocent teenage son Xan gets a zero-hours contract at a local pie factory, he sees yet another. At the end of their year, the lives of all will be changed for ever. A suspenseful black comedy, this is a rich, compassionate and enthralling novel in its depiction of the English countryside, and the potentially lethal interplay between money and marriage.

Forever

It Happened On Love Street

Lia Riley
Authors:
Lia Riley

Briar Bates is a Yankee fish out of water in Everland, Georgia. She's even allergic to peaches. But when the law clerk job she moved for falls through, she's stuck due to a watertight lease agreement. Good thing sexy Rhett "the Vet" Valentine hires her as a dog walker for his sister. At least she'll be able to pay the bills, all while flirting with Jasper Donovan, the mysterious, hotter-than-a-sultry-southern-night blind guy who hangs out in the dog park with his guide dog and braille copies of classic literature. Rhett Valentine is intrigued by the cute former lawyer who is almost run down by his golden retrievers. And when she agrees to work for his sister, he knows he has the "in" he needs. Too bad she's completely wrapped up in that jerk Jasper. But he vows to reveal who Jasper really is and make Briar see the great guy who's been in front of her all along.But no good lawyer and daughter can stay a dog walker forever. What about Briar's big city ambitions? And even more importantly, what about her parents who might need her to help with their retirement? Can Briar really give up a life of money and glamor for the love of a small town and a cute guy?

Virago

Marling Hall

Angela Thirkell
Authors:
Angela Thirkell

'You read her, laughing, and want to do your best to protect her characters from any reality but their own' New York TimesMr Marling, of Marling Hall, has begun to accept - albeit reluctantly - that he will probably never be able to pass his wonderful old estate on to his children. The Second World War is bringing an end to so many things, but the Marlings carry on as best they can in the face of rationing and a shortage of domestic help. Into their world arrive Geoffrey Harvey and his sister Frances, who have been bombed out of their London home. Bohemian and sophisticated, they rent a local house, and it is not long before they begin to have an effect on their neighbours. Geoffrey begins to court Lettice, the Marlings' widowed daughter, but he finds he has rivals for her affections in dashing David Leslie and Captain Barclay. Observing everything and quietly keeping events on an even keel is the Marlings' sage old governess, Miss Bunting.'The novels are a delight, with touches of E. F. Benson, E. M. Delafield and P. G. Wodehouse' Independent on Sunday

Virago

Before Lunch

Angela Thirkell
Authors:
Angela Thirkell

Jack Middleton likes to imagine himself a country squire. At weekends he retires to Laverings Estate with his wife, Catherine. He may be pompous, and they may seem ill-matched, but the couple are devoted to each other.When Jack's widowed sister, Lilian, and her two stepchildren arrive to spend the summer in the neighbouring house, he dreads the intrusion to his idyll: Daphne, capable and ambitious, is too lively for his taste, whereas her brother Denis, a composer, he finds a crashing bore. But their wit and good sense charm the residents of Barchester, and they win over Lord Bond with an impromptu Gilbert and Sullivan evening. Even Jack begins to thaw.Before long, Daphne and Lord Bond's son become attracted to each other, but each believes the other is attached to someone else. Can disaster be averted before she marries the wrong man? First published in 1939, Before Lunch is a sparkling comedy from Angela Thirkell's much-loved classic series.

Virago

Shadow Dance

Angela Carter
Authors:
Angela Carter

The scar drew her whole face sideways and even in profile, with the hideous thing turned away, her face was horribly lop-sided, skin, features and all, dragged away from the bone. She was a beautiful girl, a white and golden girl, like moonlight on daisies, a month ago.'And yet the men still hover around her, more out of curiosity than lust, and none more so than the wildly seductive, dangerous funny man, Honeybuzzard; lithe as a stick of liquorice, he is the demonic puppet master at the swirling centre of the tale.'In a modern day horror story gleaming with perfect 1960's detail, she performs a double act, conjuring up just the right amount of unease and perversion beneath the idiosyncratic business of relatively ordinary lives' THE TIMES

Running Press Adult

Sharon Tate: Recollection

Roman Polanski, Debra Tate
Authors:
Roman Polanski, Debra Tate

Considered by many to be the most beautiful woman of her generation, Sharon Tate remains a fascinating pop icon and a poster child for the 1960s. What struck most about Sharon was her gentle nature and the sheer perfection of her face, but she was far more than just a beauty. The few films she made during her brief career, including Valley of the Dolls , Eye of the Devil , and The Fearless Vampire Killers , have secured her position as a Hollywood legend. Over forty years since her last film, Sharon's spirit and charisma lives strong in the memories of those who knew her best, and her style continues to inspire the worlds of fashion, beauty, art, and film. Sharon Tate: Recollection is a one-of-a-kind celebration of Sharon's life and career, her influence as a fashion icon throughout the world, and in effect presents a sociological portrait of the 1960s,its youth culture, the sexual revolution, the rise of independent cinema, and Hollywood's changing studio system. In this impressive photo book, Sharon Tate's story emerges through quotes and short essays,recollections,by her sister, Debra Tate, as well as by those who knew and have been influenced by her.What emerges from these pages is a stunning tribute to an unforgettable life.Highlights include: A foreword note by Sharon's husband Roman Polanski. An introduction and remembrances by Sharon's sister Debra Tate. Previously unseen childhood photos from the Tate family album. Original quotes and recollection essays written specially for this book by Jane Fonda, Kelly Osbourne, Bert Stern, Michelle Phillips, Patty Duke, Lee Grant, Elke Sommer, Joan Collins, Viva, Tony Scotti and Trina Turk. Retrospective quotes by Truman Capote, Diana Vreeland, Richard Avedon, Dominick Dunne, Warren Beatty, Mia Farrow, Orson Welles, Barbara Parkins, George Harrison, David Niven, Deborah Kerr, Yul Brynner and Kirk Douglas. Rare and classic photographs by David Bailey, Milton Greene, Philippe Halsman, Shahrokh Hatami, Terry O'Neill, Peter Basch, John Engstead, Peter Brüchmann, Neal Barr and Jean Jacques Bugat. Never-before-seen or published images of Sharon in the classic film Valley of the Dolls , digitally reproduced from their original negatives and transparencies specially for this book by the 20th Century Fox archive.

Virago

Pomfret Towers

Angela Thirkell
Authors:
Angela Thirkell
Virago

Our Spoons Came From Woolworths

Barbara Comyns
Authors:
Barbara Comyns

Pretty, unworldly Sophia is twenty-one years old and hastily married to a young painter called Charles. An artist's model with an eccentric collection of pets, she is ill-equipped to cope with the bohemian London of the 1930s, where poverty, babies (however much loved) and husband conspire to torment her. Hoping to add some spice to her life, Sophia takes up with Peregrine, a dismal, ageing critic, and comes to regret her marriage - and her affair. But in this case virtue is more than its own reward, for repentance brings an abrupt end to the cycle of unsold pictures, unpaid bills and unwashed dishes . . .

Virago

Sisters By A River

Barbara Comyns
Authors:
Barbara Comyns
Virago

The Vet's Daughter

Barbara Comyns
Authors:
Barbara Comyns

Growing up in Edwardian south London, Alice Rowlands longs for romance and excitement, for a release from a life that is dreary, restrictive and lonely. Her father, a vet, is harsh and domineering; his new girlfriend brash and lascivious. Alice seeks refuge in memories and fantasies, in her rapturous longing for Nicholas, a handsome young sailor, and in the blossoming of what she perceives as her occult powers. A series of strange events unfolds that leads her, dressed in bridal white, to a scene of ecstatic triumph and disaster among the crowds on Clapham Common. The Vet's Daughter is a uniquely vivid, witty and touching story of love and mystery.

Constable

Dear Lupin...

Charlie Mortimer, Roger Mortimer
Authors:
Charlie Mortimer, Roger Mortimer

Nostalgic, witty and filled with characters and situations that people of all ages will recognise, Dear Lupin is the entire correspondence of a Father to his only son, spanning nearly 25 years. Roger Mortimer's sometimes hilarious, sometimes touching, always generous letters to his son are packed with anecdotes and sharp observations, with a unique analogy for each and every scrape Charlie Mortimer got himself into. The trials and tribulations of his youth and early adulthood are received by his father with humour, understanding and a touch of resignation, making them the perfect reminder of when letters were common, but always special.A racing journalist himself, Roger Mortimer wrote for a living, yet still wrote more than 150 letters to his son as he left school, and lived in places such as South America, Africa, Weston-super-Mare and eventually London. These letters form a memoir of their relationship, and an affectionate portrait of a time gone by.

Virago

The Magic Toyshop

Angela Carter
Authors:
Angela Carter
Virago

Angela Carter's Book Of Fairy Tales

Angela Carter
Authors:
Angela Carter
Running Press Mini Editions

A Charlie Brown Christmas

Charles M. Schulz
Authors:
Charles M. Schulz
Virago

Who Was Changed And Who Was Dead

Barbara Comyns
Authors:
Barbara Comyns

At the beginning of June the river floods, ducks swim through the drawing-room windows and Ebin Willowd rows his daughters round the submerged garden. The grandmother dresses in magenta for her seventy-first birthday whist drive and looks forward to the first prize of pate de fois gras. Later Ives the gardener leads a morose procession up river, dragging her to a funeral in a black-draped punt. The miller goes mad and drowns himself and a cottage is set alight. Villagers keep dying and at the house on a river, plates are thrown across the luncheon table and a tortoise through a window. The newspaper asks 'Who will be smitten by the fatal madness next?'

The summer must-read from Kate Furnivall

EXTRACT: SHADOWS ON THE NILE

Beautifully written, compulsively plotted and truly satisfying – Shadows on the Nile is a summer must-have for fans of Julia Gregson, Rosie Thomas and other sumptuous historical romances Indulge yourself with this sneak-peek at the first chapter now.

Chapter One

The Uncommon Appeal of Clouds

Read the first chapter of the latest book in Alexander McCall Smith's Sunday Philosophy Club series. The victim of an important art theft appeals to Isabel Dalhousie, Edinburgh philosopher and sleuth, for help.