Related to: 'D.J. Taylor'

Robinson

50 Years of MAC

Mark Bryant, Stanley McMurtry
Contributors:
Mark Bryant, Stanley McMurtry
Constable

'Rock and Roll is Life'

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

'Taylor's magnificent new novel is Spinal Tap for literary types . . . thoroughly entertaining, knowledgeable romp through the fear and loathing of rock's golden age. Beautifully written and consistently funny, it is also a poignant account of one man's search for his own identity' Mail on Sunday'A dazzling rollercoaster homage to an era both bacchanalian and oddly innocent' GuardianYou may remember the Helium Kids. Back in their late '60s and early '70s heyday they appeared on Top of the Tops on 27 separate occasions, released five Billboard-certified platinum albums, played sold-out shows at Madison Square Garden and were nearly, but not quite, as big as the Beatles and the Stones. Three decades later, in the big house on the outskirts of Norwich, Nick Du Pont is looking back on the rollercoaster years he spent as their publicist in a world of licensed excess and lurking tragedy. What follows is not only the story of a rock band at a formative time in musical history, when America was opening up to English music and huge amounts of money and self-gratification were there for the taking. For the tale is also Nick's - the life and times of a war-baby born in a Norwich council house, the son of an absconding GI, whose career is a search for some of the advantages that his birth denied him. It is at once a worm's eye of British pop music's golden age and a bittersweet personal journey, with cameo appearances from everyone from Elvis and Her Majesty the Queen Mother to Andy Warhol.'Rock and Roll is Life' is a vastly entertaining, picaresque and touching novel inspired by the excess and trajectories of the great '60s and '70s supergroups, and of the tales brought back from the front line by a very special breed of Englishmen who made it big in the States as the alchemists and enablers, as well as the old making way for the new in the era of the baby boomers. At its heart is one man's adventure, and the poignancy of the special relationships that dominate his life.

Constable

Sonic Youth Slept On My Floor

Dave Haslam
Authors:
Dave Haslam
Virago

Memento Mori

Muriel Spark
Authors:
Muriel Spark

Remember you must die.Dame Lettie Colston is the first of her circle to receive insinuating anonymous phone calls. Neither she, nor her friends, wish to be reminded of their mortality, and their geriatric feathers are thoroughly ruffled. As the caller's activities become more widespread, old secrets are dusted off, exposing post and present duplicities, self-deception and blackmail. Nobody is above suspicion.Witty, poignant and wickedly hilarious, Memento Mori may ostensibly concern death, but it is a book which leaves one relishing life all the more.Books included in the VMC 40th anniversary series include: Frost in May by Antonia White; The Collected Stories of Grace Paley; Fire from Heaven by Mary Renault; The Magic Toyshop by Angela Carter; The Weather in the Streets by Rosamond Lehmann; Deep Water by Patricia Highsmith; The Return of the Soldier by Rebecca West; Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston; Heartburn by Nora Ephron; The Dud Avocado by Elaine Dundy; Memento Mori by Muriel Spark; A View of the Harbour by Elizabeth Taylor; and Faces in the Water by Janet Frame

Virago

The Observing Eye

Muriel Spark
Authors:
Muriel Spark

The Observing Eye is a collection of Muriel Spark's brilliant asides, sayings, and aphorisms. No other writer can hold a candle to her wry, puckish observations:'Neurotics are awfully quick to notice other people's mentalities.''It is impossible to persuade a man who does not disagree, but smiles.''The sacrifice of pleasure is of course itself a pleasure.''Be on the alert to recognize your prime at whatever time in your life it may occur.''Ridicule is the only honourable weapon we have left.'Spark's striking insights are precise and unforgettable - they will make you laugh and nod in agreement, with a wicked smile on your face. Her wise words never fail to hit exactly the right note.

Robinson

A Brief History of Florence Nightingale

Hugh Small
Authors:
Hugh Small

Praise for Small's earlier work on Nightingale: 'Hugh Small, in a masterly piece of historical detective work, convincingly demonstrates what all previous historians and biographers have missed . . . This is a compelling psychological portrait of a very eminent (and complex) Victorian.' James Le Fanu, Daily TelegraphFlorence Nightingale (1820-1910) is best known as a reformer of hospital nursing during and after the Crimean War, but many feel that her nursing reputation has been overstated. A Brief History of Florence Nightingale tells the story of the sanitary disaster in her wartime hospital and why the government covered it up against her wishes. After the war she worked to put the lessons of the tragedy to good use to reduce the very high mortality from epidemic disease in the civilian population at home. She did this by persuading Parliament in 1872 to pass laws which required landlords to improve sanitation in working-class homes, and to give local authorities rather than central government the power to enforce the laws. Life expectancy increased dramatically as a result, and it was this peacetime civilian public health reform rather than her wartime hospital nursing record that established Nightingale's reputation in her lifetime. After her death the wartime image became popular again as a means of recruiting hospital nurses and her other achievements were almost forgotten. Today, with nursing's new emphasis on 'primary' care and prevention outside hospitals, Nightingale's focus on public health achievements makes her an increasingly relevant figure.

Constable

The New Book of Snobs

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

The Surreal Life of Leonora Carrington

Joanna Moorhead
Authors:
Joanna Moorhead

In 2006 journalist Joanna Moorhead discovered that her father's cousin, Prim, who had disappeared many decades earlier, was now a famous artist in Mexico. Although rarely spoken of in her own family (regarded as a black sheep, a wild child; someone they were better off without) in the meantime Leonora Carrington had become a national treasure in Mexico, where she now lived, while her paintings are fetching ever-higher prices at auction today.Intrigued by her story, Joanna set off to Mexico City to find her lost relation. Later she was to return to Mexico ten times more between then and Leonora's death in 2011, sometimes staying for months at a time and subsequently travelling around Britain and through Europe in search of the loose ends of her tale. They spent days talking and reading together, drinking tea and tequila, going for walks and to parties and eating take away pizzas or dining out in her local restaurants as Leonora told Joanna the wild and amazing truth about a life that had taken her from the suffocating existence of a debutante in London via war-torn France with her lover, Max Ernst, to incarceration in an asylum and finally to the life of a recluse in Mexico City.Leonora was one of the last surviving participants in the Surrealist movement of the 1930s, a founding member of the Women's Liberation Movement in Mexico during the 1970s and a woman whose reputation will survive not only as a muse but as a novelist and a great artist. This book is the extraordinary story of Leonora Carrington's life, and of the friendship between two women, related by blood but previously unknown to one another, whose encounters were to change both their lives.

Little, Brown

The Brontës: A Life in Letters

Juliet Barker
Authors:
Juliet Barker

The Brontë story has been written many times but rarely as compellingly as by the Brontës themselves. In this selection of letters and autobiographical fragments we hear the authentic voices of the three novelist sisters, Charlotte, Emily and Anne, their brother, Branwell, and their father, the Reverend Patrick Brontë. We share in their progress over the years: the exuberant childhood, absorbed in wild, imaginative games; the years of struggling to earn a living in uncongenial occupations before Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall took the literary world by storm; the terrible marring of that success as, one by one, Branwell, Emily and Anne died tragically young; the final years as Charlotte, battling against grief, loneliness and ill health, emerged from anonymity to take her place in London literary society and, finally, found an all too brief happiness in marriage to her father's curate. Juliet Barker, author of the highly acclaimed biography The Brontës has used her unrivalled knowledge of the family to select extracts from letters and manuscripts, many of which are appearing here in print for the first time. Charlotte was a letter-writer of supreme ability, ranging from facetious notes and homely gossip to carefully composed pages of literary criticism and, most movingly of all, elegiac tributes to her beloved brother and sisters. Emily and Anne remain tantalizingly evasive. Very few of their letters are extant. Emily's are mere businesslike notes, though these have been supplemented by her more revealing diary papers; Anne's letters are equally frustrating, but only because their quality makes us regret their paucity.Branwell emerges as distinctly as Charlotte from his letters. Whether trying to impress William Wordsworth with his literary abilities, showing off to his artistic friends or finally coming to terms with a life of failed ambition, his character is laid bare on every page. The Reverend Patrick Brontë's devotion to his children and passionate advocacy of liberal causes are equally well illustrated in what can only be a small selection from his voluminous correspondence.The Brontë letters are supplemented by extracts from other contemporary sources, which allow us to see the family as their friends and acquaintances saw them. A brief narrative text guides the reader through the letters and sets them in context. By allowing the Brontës to tell their own story, Juliet Barker has not only produced an innovative form of biography but also given us the unique privilege of participating intimately in the lives of one of the most famous and best-loved families of English literature.

Nation Books

Soccer in Sun and Shadow

Eduardo Galeano
Authors:
Eduardo Galeano

In this witty and rebellious history of world soccer, award-winning writer Eduardo Galeano searches for the styles of play, players, and goals that express the unique personality of certain times and places. In Soccer in Sun and Shadow , Galeano takes us to ancient China, where engravings from the Ming period show a ball that could have been designed by Adidas to Victorian England, where gentlemen codified the rules that we still play by today and to Latin America, where the crazy English" spread the game only to find it creolized by the locals.All the greats,Pelé, Di Stéfano, Cruyff, Eusébio, Puskás, Gullit, Baggio, Beckenbauer, have joyous cameos in this book. yet soccer, Galeano cautions, is a pleasure that hurts." Thus there is also heartbreak and madness. Galeano tells of the suicide of Uruguayan player Abdón Porte, who shot himself in the centre circle of the Nacional's stadium of the Argentine manager who wouldn't let his team eat chicken because it would bring bad luck and of scandal-riven Diego Maradona whose real crime, Galeano suggests, was always the sin of being the best." Soccer is a game that bureaucrats try to dull and the powerful try to manipulate, but it retains its magic because it remains a bewitching game, a feast for the eyes ... and a joy for the body that plays it",exquisitely rendered in the magical stories of Soccer in Sun and Shadow .

Constable

What You Didn't Miss

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

Since the late 1990s, Private Eye's 'What You Didn't Miss' column has trained a vigilant lens on some of the great literary reputations of our age. Highlights of this bumper selection include Martin Amis exploring the sexual revolution of the 1960s, A.S. Byatt rewriting the Norse myths and the late Anthony Powell reflecting on his death. There are verse contributions from such distinguished contemporary poets as Seamus Heaney, Clive James and Sir Andrew Motion and a host of biographical subjects ranging from Hugh Trevor-Roper to the Bloomsbury Group. Edited and introduced by D.J. Taylor, What You Didn't Miss Part 94 doubles up as both an hilarious collection of literary lampoons and an alternative history of modern English Literature.

Corsair

Tom-All-Alone's

Lynn Shepherd
Authors:
Lynn Shepherd

The story of Tom-All-Alone's takes place in the 'space between' two masterpieces of mid-Victorian fiction: Bleak House and The Woman in White - overlapping with them, and re-imagining them for a contemporary reader, with a modern understanding of the grimmer realities of Victorian society.Charles Maddox, dismissed from the police force, is working as a private detective and can only hope to follow in his uncle's formidable footsteps as an eminent thief-taker. On a cold and bright Autumn morning, a policeman calls on Charles at his lodgings with information that may be related to a case he is working on. He goes to a ruined cemetery to find a shallow grave containing the remains of four babies has been discovered. After examining them he concludes they are not related to his investigation, which is to find a young girl abandoned in a workhouse 16 years before, when her mother died. But all is not as it first appears. As he's drawn into another case at the behest of the eminent but feared lawyer, Edward Tulkinghorn, London's sinister underbelly begins to emerge. From the first gruesome murder, Charles has a race against time to establish the root of all evil.Tom's-All-Alone is 'Dickens but darker' - without the comedy, without the caricature, and a style all its own. The novel explores a dark underside of Victorian life that Dickens and Collins hinted at - a world in which young women are sexually abused, unwanted babies summarily disposed of, and those that discover the grim secrets of great men brutally eliminated.

Virago

Complete Short Stories

Elizabeth Taylor
Authors:
Elizabeth Taylor

Elizabeth Taylor is finally being recognised as an important British author: one of great subtlety, great compassion and great depth - Sarah WatersElizabeth Taylor, highly acclaimed author of classic novels such as Angel, A Game of Hide and Seek and Mrs Palfrey at the Claremont, is also renowned for her powerful, acutely observed stories. Here for the first time, the stories - including some only recently rediscovered - are collected in one volume. From the awkward passions of lonely holiday-makers to the anticipation of three school friends preparing for their first dance, from the minor jealousies and triumphs of marriage to tales of outsiders struggling to adapt to the genteel English countryside, with a delicate, witty touch Elizabeth Taylor illuminates the nuances of ordinary lives.Books included in the VMC 40th anniversary series include: Frost in May by Antonia White; The Collected Stories of Grace Paley; Fire from Heaven by Mary Renault; The Magic Toyshop by Angela Carter; The Weather in the Streets by Rosamond Lehmann; Deep Water by Patricia Highsmith; The Return of the Soldier by Rebecca West; Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston; Heartburn by Nora Ephron; The Dud Avocado by Elaine Dundy; Memento Mori by Muriel Spark; A View of the Harbour by Elizabeth Taylor; and Faces in the Water by Janet Frame

Corsair

Secondhand Daylight

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

Autumn 1933, and for once struggling writer James Ross seems to have fallen on his feet. Not only has the Labour Exchange fixed him up with a day-job collecting rents in Soho, but friendly Mr Samuelson is employing him front-of-house in the Toreador night-club. Even his melancholy love-life is looking up, thanks to a chance encounter with the alluring Gladys, enigmatic inhabitant of the Meard Street second-floor back.On the other hand, Soho looks an increasingly dangerous place in which to be at large. Not only are Mosley's Blackshirts on the prowl, but somebody is raiding the dirty bookshops and smashing night-club windows in a quest for moral decency. Fetched up in a police-cell in West End Central after an unfortunate incident outside the Toreador, and coerced into undercover work by the mysterious Inspector Haversham, James finds himself infiltrating the Blackshirts' Chelsea HQ , leafleting passers-by in the King's Road and spying on a top-secret dinner party attended by a highly important Royal guest. Meanwhile, the emotional consequences of this deception are set to come as a nasty shock.Praise for At the Chime of a City Clock:'Steeped in historical detail, the novel evokes the sleazy side of the Thirties so vividly that you can almost feel the grease and grime on your fingers.' Anthony Gardner, Mail on Sunday'Engaging, cheerful, opportunist James Ross. You won't forget him or the London he frequents for a long time after closing the book.' Susan Hill, Literary Review'A watchable, atmospheric black-and-white film in novel form' Sunday Express'Written with a splendid and captivating assurance' The Scotsman'Finely drawn ... Artful ... Masterly.' John Sutherland

Constable

We Saw Spain Die

Paul Preston
Authors:
Paul Preston
Corsair

At the Chime of a City Clock

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

Summer 1931 in seedy Bayswater and James Ross is on his uppers. An aspiring writer whose stories nobody will buy ('It's the slump'), with a landlady harassing him for unpaid rent and occasional sleepless nights spent in the waiting room at King's Cross Station, he is reduced to selling carpet-cleaning lotion door-to-door. His prospects brighten when he meets the glamorous Suzi ('the red hair and the tight jumper weren't a false card: she really was a looker and no mistake'), but their relationship turns out to be a source of increasing bafflement. Who is her boss, the mysterious Mr Rasmussen - whose face bears a startling resemblance to one of the portraits in Police News - and why he so interested in the abandoned premises above the Cornhill jeweller's shop?Worse, mysterious Mr Haversham from West End Central is starting to take an interest in his affairs. With a brief to keep an eye on Schmiegelow, James finds himself staying incognito at a grand Society weekend at a country house in Sussex, where the truth - about Suzi and her devious employer - comes as an unexpected shock. Set against a backdrop of the 1931 financial crisis and the abandonment of the Gold Standard, acted out in shabby bed-sitters and Lyons tea-shops, At the Chime of a City Clock is an authentic slice of Thirties comedy-noir.Praise for Kept: A Victorian Mystery:'Very entertaining and well done, with a sharp appreciation for the details' The Times'An ingenious tale of madness, murder and deception.' The Guardian'A stylish page-turner ... all done with humour and cunning.' Sunday Telegraph

Virago

A Far Cry From Kensington

Muriel Spark
Authors:
Muriel Spark

With a cover design by Lucienne DayWhen Mrs Hawkins tells Hector Bartlett he is a 'pisseur de copie', that he 'urinates frightful prose', little does she realise the repercussions. Holding that 'no life can be carried on satisfactorily unless people are honest' Mrs Hawkins refuses to retract her judgement, and as a consequence, loses not one, but two much-sought-after jobs in publishing. Now, years older, successful, and happily a far cry from Kensington, she looks back over the dark days that followed, in which she was embroiled in a mystery involving anonymous letters, quack remedies, blackmail and suicide.

Abacus

George Orwell

Gordon Bowker
Authors:
Gordon Bowker
Abacus

The Book Of Lies

Felice Picano
Authors:
Felice Picano

Bright, ambitious and handsome, Ross Ohrenstedt, a high-flier in the fashionable field of Queer Studies is flourishing amid the back-stabbing, resentments and petty intrigues of academia. He has just taken up a prestigious university post in Los Angeles and has been appointed to oversee the collection of the papers and works of Damon Von Slyke, prominent man of letters and leading light of the gay literary salon known as the Purple Circle. Sorting through the papers, Ross stumbles across a 'lost' work by an unknown author. His quest to identify the mystery writer and achieve the glory of scholastic tenure unveils the lives and wild times of a group of writers who in the 1970s and 1980s broke new ground in the creation of a gay literary sensibility. But the truth contained within THE BOOK OF LIES is even more surprising...With sharp wit, powerfully unexpected revelations and a luscious sense of place and character, Felice Picano's new novel explores the ties of love, friendship and betrayal with rewarding depth and emotional honesty.With a luscious sense of place and character and with powerfully unexpected revelations, Felice Picano's new novel explores the ties of love, friendship and betrayal with rewarding depth and emotional honesty.

Mark Bryant

Mark Bryant has written/compiled a number of books on pets including It's a Dog's Life: A Canine Cartoon Collection (1991, Foreword by Jilly Cooper) - featuring the best of the entries for the Dog Cartoonist of the Year Awards - which was published to mark the centenary of the National Canine Defence League (now the Dogs Trust), with all royalties going to the charity. Other books include The Church Cat: Clerical Cats in Stories and Verse (1997); Cat Tales for Christmas (1993); The Artful Cat: A Tribute with 60 Portraits (1991); The World's Greatest Cat Cartoons (1993); The Complete Lexicat: A Cat Name Companion (1992); CATS: An Anthology of Stories and Poems (2016) and Casanova's Parrot and Other Tales of the Famous and Their Pets (2002). In addition, he is the author of Constable: A Brief History of Britain's Oldest Independent Publisher (2010) and other books. His family's much-loved canine companions have included a golden retriever and a short-haired terrier. He lives in London.