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As a child, Charlie Chaplin was awed and inspired by the sight of the glamorous vaudeville stars passing by his home, and from then on he never lost his ambition to become an actor. Chaplin’s film career as the Little Tramp adored by the whole world is the stuff of legend, but this frank autobiography shows another side: his childhood of grinding poverty in the south London slums and early debut on the music hall stage, his lucky break in America, the struggle to maintain artistic control over his work, the string of failed marriages, and eventual exile from Hollywood after persecution for his left-wing politics and personal scandals. My Autobiography is an evocative and compelling account of one of the twentieth century’s most remarkable lives.
‘Tells so much about this curious, difficult man … a wonderfully vivid imagination’
With an Introduction by David Robinson
A RADIO 4 'BOOK OF THE WEEK' Sometimes it's hard to be a woman and sometimes it's time to be a hard woman . . . This is a book for all those times. Once upon a (very very) long time ago Jo Brand was what you might describe as 'a nice little girl'. Of course, that was before the values of cynicism, misogyny and the societal expectation that Jo would be thin, feminine and demure sent her off down Arsey Avenue. The plot thickened, when due to a complicated fusion of hormones, horrible family dynamics and a no-good boyfriend they hated, Jo ended up leaving home at 16. Now she's considerably further along life's inevitable bloody 'journey' - and she's fucked up enough times to feel confident she has no wisdom to offer anyone. But who cares? She's going to do it anyway... Born Lippy is a gathering of all the things Jo Brand wishes she'd known, all the things she's learnt, and all the things she hopes for the future. A century after women got the vote (albeit married women over the age of 28) it's time to take stock of exactly what it means to be female today. And if there's one thing women are entitled to, it's having a bloody good moan about things big and small - so here goes . . . HOW TO MANAGE A BULLY * YOUR FAMILY AND HOW TO SURVIVE IT * WHAT NO-ONE TELLS YOU ABOUT THE FEMALE BODY * BEING DIFFERENT * SOCIAL MEDIA IS NOT SOCIABLE * HOW NOT TO FALL IN LOVE * FEMINISM: A RE-BRANDING * ADVENTURES IN YOUR HEAD * HAVING FUN * NOT HAVING FUN: WHAT TO DO WHEN IT ALL GOES WRONG * STAYING SANE * YOU ARE NOT WHAT YOU WEAR * MODERN MANNERS* HOW TO DO WHAT YOU WANT: OR NOT DO WHAT OTHERS WANT * BEING HEALTHY * GETTING ON A BIT * THE FEMALE OF THE SPECIES: MORE DEADLY THAN THE MALE?
From 2008, Charlotte Reed suffered from crippling depression. She decided not to take antidepressants and to instead fight her depression by making lifestyle changes such as exercise, diet and acupuncture. In addition, she started an online `Thought for the Day' - a positive thought she posted on Facebook each day. These daily thoughts became a massive hit among her friends and Charlotte credits them with playing a huge part in her recovery from depression two years later. She went on to publish them in a book, May The Thoughts be With You, which she has sold thousands of copies of at the world-famous Portbello Road Market in Notting Hill, London. My Path to Happy is the story of her illness and recovery. Equally moving as it is hopeful, this beautifully illustrated book will resonate with anyone who has experienced depression - either as a sufferer themselves or as a helpless bystander. Written simply and illustrated appealingly, Charlotte powerfully conveys the nature and experience of this illness and what helped her to ultimately overcome it. At a time when, as a society, we are becoming more and more open about our mental health, this book will appeal to anyone who has experienced depression either first hand or as a helpless bystander. Charlotte has a weekly 'Thought for the Day' in London's Evening Standard. Praise for My Path to Happy: 'Such a moving story! It's heartfelt, honest and incredibly inspiring.' Melissa Hemsley, author of Eat Happy 'Charlotte is so brave to share her story in such an honest and moving way. I love how openly she talks about mental health and how she found help - particularly through acupuncture, family and most of all, self acceptance and self love. A truly beautiful read.'- Vanessa Kirby, actress
FROM THE PULITZER PRIZE-WINNING AND MAN BOOKER-SHORTLISTED AUTHOR 'Hisham Matar has the quality all historians - of the world and the self - most need: he knows how to stand back and let the past speak' Hilary Mantel ____________________________________ Shortly after completing his searing work of non-fiction, The Return, Hisham Matar set off for Siena, a city he had never visited before. His plan was to see the paintings of the Sienese school, to immerse himself in the work of artists he admired perhaps above all others. This month in Siena would be an extraordinary period in the life of this writer: an immersion in art, a consideration of grief and violence, an intimate encounter with the city and its inhabitants. Hisham Matar's short book is the story of how art can console and disturb in equal measure. It is a profoundly moving contemplation of the relationship between art and the human condition. ____________________________________ 'Wise and agonizing and thrilling to read' Zadie Smith 'A moving, unfliching memoir' Kazuo Ishiguro 'A treasure for the ages' Peter Carey 'It is likely to become a classic' Colm Toibin
`Napoleon is an out-and-out masterpiece and a joy to read' Sir Antony Beevor, author of Stalingrad A landmark new biography that presents the man behind the many myths. The first writer in English to go back to the original European sources, Adam Zamoyski's portrait of Napoleon is historical biography at its finest. Napoleon inspires passionately held and often conflicting visions. Was he a god-like genius, Romantic avatar, megalomaniac monster, compulsive warmonger or just a nasty little dictator? While he displayed elements of these traits at certain times, Napoleon was none of these things. He was a man and, as Adam Zamoyski presents him in this landmark biography, a rather ordinary one at that. He exhibited some extraordinary qualities during some phases of his life but it is hard to credit genius to a general who presided over the worst (and self-inflicted) disaster in military history and who single-handedly destroyed the great enterprise he and others had toiled so hard to construct. A brilliant tactician, he was no strategist. But nor was Napoleon an evil monster. He could be selfish and violent but there is no evidence of him wishing to inflict suffering gratuitously. His motives were mostly praiseworthy and his ambition no greater than that of contemporaries such as Alexander I of Russia, Wellington, Nelson and many more. What made his ambition exceptional was the scope it was accorded by circumstance. Adam Zamoyski strips away the lacquer of prejudice and places Napoleon the man within the context of his times. In the 1790s, a young Napoleon entered a world at war, a bitter struggle for supremacy and survival with leaders motivated by a quest for power and by self-interest. He did not start this war but it dominated his life and continued, with one brief interruption, until his final defeat in 1815. Based on primary sources in many European languages, and beautifully illustrated with portraits done only from life, this magnificent book examines how Napoleone Buonaparte, the boy from Corsica, became `Napoleon'; how he achieved what he did, and how it came about that he undid it. It does not justify or condemn but seeks instead to understand Napoleon's extraordinary trajectory.
Throughout history there have been many long-running rivalries between party leaders, but there has never been a connection like that between Churchill and Attlee. Brought together in the epoch-making circumstances of the Second World War, they forged a partnership that transcended party lines for five years. If Churchill was the giant of the war, Attlee was the hero of the peace. In a sense the two men represented different sides of the best of the English character: Churchill, quivering with martial spirit, showed that spirit of courageous determination which had led to the triumphs of Agincourt and the creation of the largest empire the world had ever seen; Attlee, on the other hand, embodied that quintessentially English decency, stoicism, fair play and dislike of showiness. In this ground-breaking book, Leo McKinstry provides a host of new insights into the two most compelling leaders of the mid-twentieth century, and creates a gripping narrative that tells anew the story of one of the most vibrant, traumatic and inspiring eras in modern British history.
Professor Hawking was a brilliant theoretical physicist, an influential author and thinker, and a great popular communicator. Throughout his career he was asked questions by business leaders, politicians, entrepreneurs, academics and the general public on a broad range of subjects, from the origins of the universe to the future of the planet.
BRIEF ANSWERS TO THE BIG QUESTIONS brings together his thinking on the most timeless and the most-timely questions in science:
Where did we come from?
What is inside a black hole?
Is there other intelligent life in the universe?
How will we survive on earth?
How can we colonise space?
Will we ever be able to go beyond the Solar System?
For both the scientific and the intellectually curious, this book celebrates the mind, humour, and achievements of one of the most inspiring figures in recent history.
The book will include an Afterword from Lucy Hawking and a percentage of all royalties will go to the Motor Neurone Disease Association and the Stephen Hawking Foundation.
This tell-all memoir reveals the details behind Sunday Times journalist Mzilikazi wa Afrika’s exposure of the R1.7 billion lease scandal between police commissioner Bheki Cele and property tycoon Roux Shabangu, for which he was infamously arrested in 2010.
It is also the riveting account of how a neglected boy in an unknown village became one of South Africa’s most awarded investigative reporters and found himself at the receiving end of the corruption that had defeated those he helped put in power.
Fearless in the face of corrupt authorities with sinister political motives, and fervent about justice, Wa Afrika’s life was characterised by resistance to oppression and inequality from an early age. Destined to defend and uphold the principles of democracy, his story is the inspiring tale of an ordinary man, armed with a pen, who challenged the proverbial giant that carried a sword in his sheath.
It's thirty seconds to air. The interviewee has walked off in a huff. The next guest hasn't arrived. There's a wall of riot police behind me. The cameraman only speaks Hungarian and has out my head out of the shot but I don't know his word for 'wide angle'. Then comes the quiet. Utter silence in my head. We've just lost comms with the whole team back in London. I can choose to scream. Or to surrender to the moment. Then, a hand is waved at me as a visual cue. And I start talking. The things that are said on camera are only part of the story. Behind every interview there is a backstory. How it came about. How it ended. The compromises that were made. The regrets, the rows, the deeply inappropriate comedy. Making news is an essential but imperfect art. It rarely goes according to plan. I never expected to find myself wandering around the Maharani of Jaipurs bedroom with Bill Clinton or invited to the Miss USA beauty pageant by its owner, Donald Trump. I never expected to be thrown into a provincial cuban jail, or to be drinking red wine at Steve Bannon's kitchen table or spend three hours in a lift with Alan Partridge. I certainly didnt expect the Dalai Lama to tell me the story of his most memorable poo. The beauty of television is its ability to simplify, That's also its weakness: It can distill everything down to one snapshot, one soundbite. Then the news cycle moves on. Airhead is my step back from the white noise. Before and after the camera started rolling, this is what really happened.
In 1994 fledgling journalist Louis Theroux was given a one-off gig on Michael Moore's TV Nation, presenting a segment on apocalyptic religious sects. Gawky, socially awkward and totally unqualified, his first reaction to this exciting opportunity was panic. But he'd always been drawn to off-beat characters, so maybe his enthusiasm would carry the day. Or, you know, maybe it wouldn't . . . In his book, Louis takes the reader on a joyous journey through his life and unexpectedly successful career. Nervously accepting the BBC's offer of his own series, he went on to create an award-winning documentary style that has seen him immersed in worlds as diverse as racist US militias and secretive pro-wrestlers, the violent gangs of Johannesburg and extreme drinkers in London. Arguably his biggest challenge was corralling celebrities in his When Louis Met series, with Jimmy Savile proving most elusive. Blindsided when the revelations about Savile came to light, Louis was to reflect again on the nature of evil he had spent decades uncovering. Filled with wry observation, larger-than-life characters, and self-deprecating humour, this is Louis at his insightful and honest best.
'To outsiders, my mom and I should have been enemies. Our house should have been divided -- North vs South, red vs blue, conservative vs progressive, or however you want to put it. Instead, my mom and I fuelled each other. Her oil lit my lamp, and eventually mine lit hers. The tools I'd learned to wield growing up in her conservative, Christian, southern, military home were the same I'd used to wage battles that had taken me from a broken-down welfare apartment where gunfire sang me to sleep, to the biggest stages in the world, and to the front row of the United States Supreme Court to fight for LGBTQ equality.' Dustin Lance Black wrote the Oscar-winning screenplay for Milk and helped overturn California's anti-gay marriage Proposition 8, but he grew up in a conservative Mormon household outside San Antonio, Texas. His mother, Anne, was raised in rural Louisiana, and contracted polio when she was two years old. She endured brutal surgeries, as well as braces and crutches for life, and was told that she would never have children or a family. Willfully defying expectations, she found salvation in an unlikely faith, raised three sons, and escaped the abuse and violence of two questionably devised Mormon marriages before finding love and an improbable career in the U.S. civil service. When Lance came out to his mother at twenty-one, he was already studying the arts instead of going on his Mormon mission. She derided his sexuality as a sinful choice and was terrified for his future. Mama's Boy explores what it took to remain a family despite such division-a journey that stretched from the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court to the woodsheds of East Texas. In the end, the rifts that have split a nation couldn't end this relationship that defined and inspired their remarkable lives. Mama's Boy is their story. It's a story of the noble quest for a plane higher than politics - one of family, foundations, turmoil, tragedy, elation, and love. It is a story needed now more than ever.
When he was just twenty-three years old, Evan Spiegel, the brash CEO of the social network Snapchat, stunned the world when he and his co-founders walked away from a three-billion-dollar offer from Facebook: how could an app teenagers use to text dirty photos dream of a higher valuation? Was this hubris, or genius?
In How To Turn Down A Billion Dollars, Billy Gallagher takes us inside the rise of one of Silicon Valley’s hottest start-ups. Snapchat began as a late-night dorm room revelation before Spiegel went on to make a name for himself as a visionary C EO worth billions, linked to celebrities like Taylor Swift and his fiancée, Miranda Kerr.
A fellow Stanford undergrad and fraternity brother of the company’s founding trio, Billy Gallagher has covered Snapchat from the start. His inside account offers an entertaining trip through the excess and drama of the hazy early days with a professional insight into the challenges Snapchat faces as it transitions from a playful app to one of the tech industry’s preeminent public companies. In the tradition of great business narratives, How To Turn Down A Billion Dollars offers the definitive account of a company whose goal is no less than to remake the future of entertainment.
From the author of the ever-popular Flashman novels, a collection of film-world reminiscences and trenchant thoughts on Cool Britannia, New Labour and other abominations. George MacDonald Fraser has been a newspaperman, soldier, novelist (Flashman), and screenwriter. In a career spanning thirty years and encompassing films such as Octopussy and The Three Musketeers he worked with some of the Hollywood greats (Steve McQueen, Schwarzenegger, Fellini, Burt Lancaster, Charlton Heston). Here his reminiscences of those years are interspersed with an 'Angry Old Man's' view of Britain today, featuring blistering attacks on New Labour, Brussels and Cool Britannia.
"I'm in bed with my mother, in a Bangkok sex hotel. It is my 30th birthday, it is time for me to become a man, and I have grave worries about the kind of man I'm going to become." On an unlikely backpacking trip, Rhik and his mother find themselves speaking openly for the first time in years. Afterwards, the depression that has weighed down on Rhik begins to loosen its grip for a moment - so he seizes the opportunity: to own it, to understand it, and to find out where it came from. Through this begins a journey of investigation, healing and recovery. Along the way Rhik learns some shocking truths about his family, and realizes that, in turn, he will need to confront the secrets he has long buried. But through this, he triumphs over his fears and brings his depression into the light. I Never Said I Loved You is the story of how Rhik learned to let go, and then keep going. With unique humour and honesty, he has created a powerfully rich, funny and poignant exploration of the light and dark in all of us.
In the 1970s Hennie Keyter was an angry young man, fresh out of military service for the apartheid government of South Africa, unsure of his path in life and deeply uneasy about his faith. When God revealed to him that He had a purpose for him and a calling on his life, at first Hennie was not ready to hear it. When he finally accepted and understood his mission, a flame was lit in his heart that nothing could have extinguished. But nothing could have prepared him either for the extraordinary spiritual journey he was about to embark on which would take him wherever God wanted him to go: from Malawi, ‘the warm heart of Africa’, to Mozambique at the height of its civil war, where he was sentenced to death and faced a firing squad, from a less than welcoming beginning in Zanzibar, to the United Nations base at Lokichokio on the border between Kenya and Sudan (where on one trip he discovered that he had a price of US 10 000 on his head). Desiring only to do the will of God and to spread the Gospel, Hennie took up the challenge of taking the Gospel to many of the countries on the African continent and in the Middle East, building up leaders and planting churches in poverty stricken areas, lands devastated by years of conflict and deprivation, and war zones where soldiers seemed to have lost everything, even hope. Through the bushfire of mass evangelism and his dedicated teams of volunteers, supported by the love and faith of his wife Rita and his children Anton and Mari, in His Call, My All: An African Drumbeat – A Missionary’s Heartbeat Hennie Keyter looks back at his life in the service of the Lord and forward to continuing His work for as long as God requires it of him.
Cruel to Be Kind is the definitive account of Nick Lowe's uncompromising life as a songwriter and entertainer, from his days at Stiff Records, to becoming the driving force behind Rockpile, to the 1979 smash hit 'Cruel To Be Kind'. Nick's original compositions have been recorded by the best in the business, from enfant terrible of the New-Wave, Elvis Costello, to 'The Godfather of Rhythm and Soul', Solomon Burke; from household names, including Engelbert Humperdink, Diana Ross, and Johnny Cash, to legendary vocalists such as Curtis Stigers, Tom Petty, and Rod Stewart. His reputation as one of the most influential musicians to emerge from that most formative period for pop and rock music is cast in stone. He will forever be the man they call the 'Jesus of Cool'. 'Nick's poise as a singer, his maturity, and his use of tone is beautiful. I can't believe it's this guy I've been watching since I was a teenager' Elvis Costello, 2013 'The master of subversive pop' Nick Kent, NME, 1977 'Nick Lowe is such a f*cking good songwriter! Am I allowed to say that?' Curtis Stigers, 2016
"The Coyaba Chronicles: Reflections on the Black Experience in the Twentieth Century" is both personal memoir and a powerful meditation on what W.E.B. Dubois defined at the beginning of the century as "the problem of the colour line; of the relations between the lighter and darker races of man". Using Dubois as a point of departure, Abrahams writes passionately, about the inherent "wrongness" of racial hatred and contemplates such timeless questions as: "Why was colour the most crucial issue of our century?" and "When will we get over the deep psychic and emotional damage done by the racial experience?" This is one of the major themes of the memoir - the quest for an intellectual identity - a challenge that faces people of colour in first and third-world countries.;"The Coyaba Chronicles" is also the personal journey of Peter Abrahams. It is the odyssey of a young South African who works for a time as a seaman, leaving his homeland for wartime Britain and post-war France to become a writer; it is the story of his personal relationships with the Black literati of the day and his involvement in the pan-Africanist movement of the 1950's - allowing for his fascinating personal pen-portraits of George Padmore, W.E.B. Dubois, Julius Nyerere, Kwame Nkrumah, Richard Wright and Langston Hughes. It is how the journey takes him to the Caribbean island of Jamaica, where he and his wife Daphne and their three children find sanctuary from racial divisiveness at "Coyaba" in the hills of St Andrew.
Ed Sheeran is a true inspiration. His moving and uplifting songs forge a lasting connection with the millions of people around the world who love him and his music. He was the thirteen-year-old guitarist in a school rock band when he decided to become a singer-songwriter, even though he could barely hold a tune and had never written a song. Within a year, he had recorded an album in his bedroom. Bestselling biographer Sean Smith traces the astonishing journey of the shy little boy with a stammer who, avoiding flashy showmanship, grew up to be a global phenomenon. Through compelling new research and interviews, he tells the story of Ed's remarkable mum and dad who gave their son the courage to pursue his dream, the friends and mentors who encouraged him and the lovers who inspired his most famous songs. Smith describes the setbacks Ed faced before his fortunes were transformed by Elton John's management company, a record deal and a song that changed everything - with a little help from Taylor Swift. Ed found it difficult to cope with the world at his feet, but a new relationship with a girl from his home town has brought him happiness and a fresh purpose in life. Now he is the most successful solo star on the planet, earning GBP83 million last year. Yet in the middle of his record-breaking 2018 UK tour, he played for just 400 people at a charity night to raise money for the homeless. As this captivating book reveals, there's no one quite like Ed.
For the last several years, the writer, comedian and Red Dwarf actor Robert Llewellyn has been gathering notes, old diaries, pictures and ideas for a lighthearted but occasionally philosophical book on his life. And a couple of years ago, after Christmas dinner, his son scrawled a picture of him that he titled `Some Old Bloke , which struck Robert as the perfect title for this funny, revealing and insightful autobiography. We take a meandering route through Robert's life and career, from the sensitive young boy at odds with his ex-military father, through his stint as a hippy and his years of arrested development spent in the world of fringe comedy, all the way up to the full-body medicals and hard-won insights of middle age. Whether he is waxing lyrical about fresh laundry, making an impassioned case for the importance of alternative energy or recounting a detailed history of the dogs in his life, Robert presents a refreshingly open and un-cynical look at the world at large and, of course, the joys of being a bloke.
In this heartfelt, funny, touching memoir, Tan France, star of Netflix's Emmy award-winning Queer Eye, tells his origin story for the first time. With his trademark wit, humor, and radical compassion, Tan reveals what it was like to grow up gay in a traditional South Asian family, as one of the few people of colour in South Yorkshire. He illuminates his winding journey of coming of age, finding his voice (and style!), and happily marrying the love of his life - a Mormon cowboy from Salt Lake City. Humorous and poignant personal essays are peppered with style advice, funny lists, and the truisms that Tan has accumulated in his journey from South Yorkshire to Netflix. In Tan's own words, 'The book is meant to spread joy, personal acceptance, and most of all understanding. Each of us is living our own private journey, and the more we know about each other, the healthier and happier the world will be.'
Longlisted for the Orwell Prize and the Samuel Johnson prize for non-fiction; both conservative and subversive, Burke's beliefs have never been more relevant, as MP Jesse Norman explains. Philosopher, statesman, and founder of modern conservatism, Edmund Burke is both the greatest and most under-rated political thinker of the past three-hundred years. Born in Ireland in 1729, and greatly affected by its bigotry and extremes, his career constituted a lifelong struggle against the abuse of power. Amid the 18th century's golden generation that included his companions Adam Smith, Samuel Johnson and Edward Gibbon, Burke's controversial mixture of conservative and subversive theories made him first a marginal figure, and finally a revered theorist - a hero of the Romantics. He warned of the effects of British rule in Ireland, the loss of the American colonies, and most famously, he foresaw the disastrous consequences of revolution in France. This he predicted, would trigger extremism, terror and the atomisation of society - a profound analysis that continues to resonate today. In this absorbing new biography Conservative MP Jesse Norman gives us Burke anew, vividly depicting his dazzling intellect, imagination and empathy against the rich tapestry of 18th century Europe. Burke's wisdom, Norman shows, applies well beyond the times of empire to the conventional democratic politics practised in Britain and America today. We cannot understand the defects of the modern world, or modern politics, without him.
After matric Lesley took a gap year to the United States. Before she left, her mother, in jest or premonition, said: “Don’t get married and don’t join a cult” – but Lesley ended up in what is considered one of the most dangerous existing cults in America.
In this book Lesley shares the story of her life-changing years with this group – living out of a backpack, an arranged marriage to a Brother, having home births, threats of losing her children and surviving in strange, glorious ways.
"You see, Mama, I told the truth. And so did my grandpa. It’s the last time before I die that I can show my descendants the truth about what happened here. Now I can rest." – Dawid Kruiper to Patricia Glyn.
Dawid Kruiper was an old Bushman with a secret that had been kept in his family for over a century, and which he wanted to hand on to his sons before he died. But he didn’t have the means to take his children back to the place where his grandfather had witnessed the horror that silenced him.
So Dawid asked Patricia Glyn to help him mount the great – and final – odyssey of his life. For two months in 2011, three generations of the Kruiper family, Patricia and her expedition crew travelled through the Kalahari, visiting and documenting places where Dawid and his forebears had roamed when they were ‘wild’ and free in the decades before the outsiders arrived in their homeland. And their journey culminated in Dawid releasing his secret to the world.
This is the story of how Patricia’s assumptions about and relationships with the Kruiper family were tested to the limit before they trusted her with their knowledge and stories. Patricia slowly gains an understanding of the depth of the Kruipers’ pain after centuries of genocide, prejudice and dispossession. The result is a candid but compassionate account of how this historical trauma manifests in the everyday lives of a contemporary Bushman family.
Patricia describes what she learned from the family about humankind’s original relationship with wilderness and the natural world. She recounts the Kruipers’ extraordinary veld knowledge and intuition, their inbuilt GPS and prescience.
This is an eco-adventure with a difference. What Dawid Knew explores the personal history and heritage of a remarkable family and what the Bushmen have to teach us about respect for, and responsible management of, our natural resources.
'Novel Houses' visits unforgettable dwellings in twenty legendary works of English and American fiction. Each chapter stars a famous novel in which a dwelling is pivotal to the plot, and reveals how personally significant that place was to the writer who created it. We discover Uncle Tom's Cabin's powerful influence on the American Civil War, how essential 221B Baker Street was to Sherlock Holmes and the importance of Bag End to the adventuring hobbits who called it home. It looks at why Bleak House is used as the name of a happy home and what was on Jane Austen's mind when she worked out the plot of Mansfield Park. Little-known background on the dwellings at the heart of Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights, Mervyn Peake's Gormenghast and Stella Gibbon's Cold Comfort Farm emerges, and the real life settings of Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca and E.M. Forster's Howards End, so fundamental to their stories, are shown to relate closely to their authors' passions and preoccupations. A winning combination of literary criticism, geography and biography, this is an entertaining and insightful celebration of beloved novels and the extraordinary role that houses grand and small, imagined and real, or unique and ordinary, play in their continuing popularity.
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