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Amit Gupta directs this adaptation of Owen Sheers' debut novel starring Andrea Riseborough and Michael Sheen. It's 1944 and D-Day has failed. The United Kingdom is now under Nazi occupation. In the remote Welsh village of Olchon, farmer's wife Sarah Lewis (Riseborough) wakes up one morning to find her husband has mysteriously disappeared along with all the other men in the village. Then, as they wait for news, a German patrol arrives in their valley on an undisclosed mission. During the harsh winter that follows, the two groups are forced to pull together to survive the last days of the war. Cut off from the conflict around them, both the villagers and the Nazis find the lines between collaboration, duty, occupation and survival becoming less defined as time goes on...
`A masterly performance by the greatest literary biographer of his generation' Oldie In this kaleidoscope of stories spanning art, science and poetry, award-winning writer Richard Holmes travels across three centuries, through much of Europe and into the lively company of many earlier biographers. Central to this pursuit is a powerful evocation of the lives of women both scientific and literary, some well-known and others almost lost: Margaret Cavendish, Mary Somerville, Germaine de Stael, Mary Wollstonecraft and Zelide. He investigates the love-stunned John Keats, the waterlogged Percy Bysshe Shelley, the chocolate-box painter Thomas Lawrence, the opium-soaked genius Coleridge, and the mad-visionary bard William Blake. The diversity of Holmes's material is testimony to his empathy, erudition and at times his mischievous streak. This is his most personal and seductive writing yet.
`Nominally a history of the hot air balloon, `Falling Upwards' is really a history of hope and fantasy - and the quixotic characters who disobeyed that most fundamental laws of physics and gave humans flight' New Republic, Best Books of 2013 CHOSEN AS BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR IN ** Guardian ** New Statesman ** Daily Telegraph ** New Republic ** TIME Magazine 10 Top Nonfiction Books of 2013 ** The New Republic Best Books of 2013 ** Kirkus Best Books of the Year (2013)** From ambitious scientists rising above the clouds to test the air, to brave generals floating over enemy lines to watch troop movements, this wonderful book offers a seamless fusion of history, art, science, biography and the metaphysics of flight. It is a masterly portrait of human endeavour, recklessness, vision and hope. In this heart-lifting book, Richard Holmes, author of the best-selling The Age of Wonder, follows the daring and enigmatic men and women who risked their lives to take to the air (or fall into the sky). Why they did it, what their contemporaries thought of them, and how their flights revealed the secrets of our planet is a compelling adventure that only Holmes could tell. It is not a conventional history of ballooning. In a sense it is not really about balloons at all. It is about what balloons gave rise to. It is about the spirit of discovery itself and the extraordinary human drama it produces. From the dramatic and exhilarating early Anglo-French balloon rivalries, the crazy firework flights of the beautiful Sophie Blanchard, the long-distance voyages of the American entrepreneur John Wise and French photographer Felix Nadar to the balloons used to observe the horrors of modern battle during the Civil War (including a flight taken by George Armstrong Custer); the legendary tale of at least sixty-seven manned balloons that escaped from Paris (the first successful civilian airlift in history) during the Prussian siege of 1870-71; the high-altitude exploits of James Glaisher who rose seven miles above the earth without oxygen, helping to establish the new science of meteorology; and how Mary Shelley, Edgar Allan Poe, and Jules Verne felt the imaginative impact of flight and allowed it to soar in their work.
This is the definitive visual history of the people, politics, and events of the Second World War - the epic conflict that shaped the modern world. From the build-up up to the war, through to the reverberations still felt in the aftermath, this is a compelling, accessible, and immediate history of the war, perhaps the most complex, frightening, and destructive event in world history. Discover how deep-seated local fears and hatreds escalated into one vast global conflict that was fought out to the bitter end. Find out about key battles, political and economic forces, individual leaders, and technological advances that influenced the course of the war. Timelines and global maps establish an overview of each year of the conflict, from the rise of Hitler and the Nazi party to Pearl Harbor, the D-Day landings, and Hiroshima. Packed with images, including rarely seen colour photographs and unforgettable first-person accounts, World War II is a uniquely accessible account of history's most devastating conflict.
A fantastic reissue of Richard Holmes' epic biography of this most enigmatic and intriguing of the Romantic poets. This is simply one of the greatest biographical achievements of recent years. Shelley, the most neglected of all the great Romantic poets, was born in Sussex in 1792 and died in Tuscany in 1822, a brief life packed with love affairs, alarums and excursions. Holmes's book offers a serious and critical reappraisal of Shelley as a man and a writer; all his prose and poetry is carefully re-examined, his sense of spiritual and geographical isolation brilliantly described and a detailed portrait of his macabre imaginative life slowly assembled. Shelley's intense friendships with some of the most remarkable figures of his age fill Holmes's pages with a vivid parorama of revolutionary idealism and recklessness. To this is added the private story of Shelley's tortuous romantic liaisons, complications which affected both the peculiar tenor of his daily life and the remotest conceptions of his poetry. This is a stunning, entrancing biography of a fascinating subject, and a timely reissue of an absolutely seminal work.
From the redcoat who served Charles II to the modern, camouflage-clad guard at Camp Bastion, from battlefield to barrack-room, this is a magisterial social history of the British soldier. Since 1660 the army has evolved and adapted, but the social organisation of the men has changed less, with the major combat arms retaining many of the characteristics familiar to those who fought at Blenheim, Waterloo and the Somme. The Duke of Marlborough, who built up the British army to become a world-class fighting force in the 1660s, would recognise in the tired heroes of Helmand the descendants of the men he led to victory at Blenheim over three hundred years ago. `Soldiers' is exhaustively researched, and Holmes's affection for the soldier shines through on every page. Above all, this book is brimming with great stories, from the chaos of the battlefield to the fug of the barrack-room, from Ulster to Bengal, from Flanders' fields to the Afghan hills. This is a magisterial social history of the British soldier - and Richard Holmes's fitting last tribute to the British soldier to whom he was so devoted.
WWII action drama about the rescue of two missing Swedish soldiers in Nazi-occupied Norway. In December 1942, prior to the invasion of their country by the German army, two Swedish soldiers manning a roadblock in the densely wooded border area leave their post to catch a glimpse of the potential enemy. Events, however, quickly take a turn for the worse, and the soldiers soon find themselves lost on the wrong side of the border. After Lieutenant Aron Stenström (André Sjöberg) discovers that one of the missing soldiers is his brother, he quickly gathers together an elite rescue team and sets out into the snowbound forests in a race against time to find the soldiers before the Germans do.
"Redcoat is the story of the British soldier from the Seven Year War through to the Mutiny and the Crimea. It is consistently entertaining, full of brilliantly chosen anecdotes, and rattles along at a good light infantry pace."
"It would be hard to exaggerate the excellence of this book. It is vivid, comprehensive, well written, pacy, colourful, and above all, highly informative. The author has a command of his subject of Wellingtonian proportions, and his enthusiasm communicates itself to the reader on every page."
"A wonderful book, full of anecdote and good sense. Anyone who has enjoyed a Sharpe story will love it."
"All the best-known soldier writers are discussed here, and their anecdotes are told with enthusiasm and aplomb…This is an army from another world, and 'Redcoat' is a splendidly entertaining, moving and informative description of its strengths and foibles."
"Beautifully written, 'Redcoat' is a vivid account of squalor and suffering almost beyond belief, for the men, their wives and camp followers, and their horses. One of the best chapters is a description of barrack-room life that will turn a few stomachs in this more fastidious age."
When Ned Devine dies of shock after he discovers he has won the lottery, his life-long friends Michael (David Kelly) and Jackie (Ian Bannen) find the winning ticket and decide that their old mate would have wanted them to collect the money. They deduce that one of them must pass himself off as Ned. But they must convince the rest of the town to go along with their scheme, and they will need all the help that they can get in order to dupe the authorities into parting with the cash.
Bestselling military historian Richard Holmes delivers an expertly written and exhilarating account of the life of John Churchill, the Duke of Marlborough and Britain's finest soldier, who rose from genteel poverty to lead his country to glory, cementing its position as a major player on the European stage and saviour of the Holy Roman Empire. John Churchill is, by any reasonable analysis, Britain's greatest-ever soldier. He mastered strategy, tactics and logistics. His big four battles, Blenheim (which saved the Holy Roman Empire), Ramilies, Oudenarde and Malplaquet were events at the very centre of the European stage. He captured Lille, France's second city, overran Bavaria and beat a succession of French marshals so badly that one, the squat and energetic Bofflers, was rewarded by Louis XIV for only losing moderately. A coalition manager long before the phrase was invented, he commanded a huge polyglot army with centrifugal political tendencies and bending it to his will by sheer force of personality. Yet John Churchill was also deeply controversial. He accepted a pension from one of Charles II's mistresses for services vigorously rendered. He owed his rise and his peerage to James II yet, determined to be on the winning side, he deserted him in his hour of need in 1688. He maintained regular correspondence with the Jacobites while serving William and Mary and with the French while fighting Louis XIV. He made money on a prodigious scale, but was notoriously tight-fisted, long regretting an annuity given to a secretary whose quick-wittedness saved him from capture. But in the age when commissions were bought and sold, and commanders often owed their position to the hue of their blood, he never lost his soldier's confidence.
D-Day, the largest amphibious invasion in history, took place on 6 June 1944. The subsequent battle of Normandy involved over a million men, and helped seal the fate of The Third Reich. This is a graphic account of the planning and execution of Operation Overlord, as well as the campaign which effectively destroyed the German forces in France, opening the way for the Allied advance. Including a wealth of superb photographs and maps, the book also contains 30 facsimile items of rare memorabilia, including diaries, letters and memos, bringing this 'Day of Days' dramatically to life.
Timely reissue of the second volume of Holmes's classic biographies of one of the greatest Romantic poets. Richard Holmes's biography of Coleridge transforms our view of the poet of `Kubla Khan' forever. Holmes's Coleridge leaps out of these pages as the brilliant, animated and endlessly provoking poet of genius that he was. This second volume covers the last 30 years of Coleridge's career (1804-1834) during which he travelled restlessly through the Mediterranean, returned to his old haunts in the Lake District and the West Country, and finally settled in Highgate. It was a period of domestic and professional turmoil. His marriage broke up, his opium addiction increased, he quarrelled with Wordsworth, his own son Hartley Coleridge (a gifted poet himself) became an alcoholic. And after a desperate time of transition, Coleridge re-emerged on the literary scene as a new kind of philosophical and meditative author.
Our foremost military historian offers us a compelling and at times terrifying account of what it means to be a contemporary soldier. In this remarkable book, Richard Holmes draws on the testimonies of the 700 soldiers of the Princess of Wales Royal Regiment to capture in vivid detail the average soldier's day-to-day experience of war. Embroiled in a conflict often too dangerous for reporters to cover, these soldiers - most of them young, many without any previous experience of warfare - have kept ongoing records of the drudgery, anxiety and horror involved in fighting a violent and increasingly unpopular war against a ruthless and resourceful enemy. All have risked their lives, and many have died. Others have been recognised and awarded for their courage, resourcefulness and gallantry - Private Johnson Beharry recently became the first man to be awarded the Victoria Cross in twenty-three years. With these intimate and revealing glimpses of life in the modern army, Richard Holmes paints a sweeping portrait of a new generation of soldiers - grunts, gallants and heroes - and the sacrifices their decision to fight for their country entails.
D-Day, the largest amphibious invasion in history, took place on 6 June 1944. The subsequent battle of Normandy involved over a million men, and helped seal the fate of The Third Reich. This is a graphic account of the planning and execution of Operation Overlord, as well as the campaign which effectively destroyed the German forces in France, opening the way for the Allied advance. Including a wealth of superb photographs and maps, the book also contains 10 facsimile items of rare memorabilia, including diaries, letters and memos. This title includes top-secret hand-drawn map showing the minute-by-minute position on the way in to the drop zone just west of Ste-Mere-Eglise for elements of the 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 82nd Airborne Division. This is an extract from the pocket diary of Sergeant G.E. Hughes, then a corporal, landed with the 1st Battalion, Hampshire Regiment at Arromanches.
It was the war to end all wars, a conflict without precedent in which millions died and millions more were injured. It was also one of the first wars from which we have a comprehensive photographic record. This book presents the conflict in all its appalling and intensely moving detail - covering all the great battles and theatres of operations, from the mud of Flanders to the beaches of Gallipoli. The photographs capture the patriotism and innocence of the men and women who volunteered for their countries, the reality of trench warfare on the Western Front, the sea battles in oceans around the globe, the terror of gas and mechanized weaponry, and the ultimate sacrifice of a generation.
Winner of the 1989 Whitbread Prize for Book of the Year, this is the first volume of Holmes's seminal two-part examination of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, one of Britain's greatest poets. `Coleridge: Early Visions' is the first part of Holmes's classic biography of Coleridge that forever transformed our view of the poet of `Kubla Khan' and his place in the Romantic Movement. Dismissed by much recent scholarship as an opium addict, plagiarist, political apostate and mystic charlatan, Richard Holmes's Coleridge leaps out of the page as a brilliant, animated and endlessly provoking figure who invades the imagination. This is an act of biographical recreation which brings back to life Coleridge's poetry and encyclopaedic thought, his creative energy and physical presence. He is vivid and unexpected. Holmes draws the reader into the labyrinthine complications of his subject's personality and literary power, and faces us with profound questions about the nature of creativity, the relations between sexuality and friendship, and the shifting grounds of political and religious belief.
From bestselling author of Tommy and Redcoat, the rich history of the British soldier in India from Clive to the end of empire considered to be the jewel in Britain s imperial crown.
Sahib is a broad and sweeping military history of the British soldier in India, but its focus, like that of Tommy and Redcoat before it, will be on the men who served in India and the women who followed them across that vast and dusty continent, bore their children, and, all too often, mopped their brows as they died.
The book begins with the remarkable story of India's rise from commercial enclave to great Empire, from Clive s victory of Plassey, through the imperial wars of the 18th-century and the Afghan and Sikh Wars of the 1840s, through the bloody turmoil of the Mutiny, and the frontier campaigns at the century s end. With its focus on the experience of ordinary soldiers, Sahib explains to us why soldiers of the Raj had joined the army, how they got to India and what they made of it when they arrived. The book examines Indian soldiering in peace and war, from Kipling s snoring barrack room to storming parties assaulting mighty fortresses, cavalry swirling across open plains, and khaki columns inching their way between louring hills. Making full use of extensive and often neglected archive material in the India Office Library and National Army Museum, Sahib will do for the British soldier in India whether serving a local ruler, forming part of the Indian army, or soldiering with a British regiment what Tommy has done for the ordinary soldier in World War I."
Romantic drama starring Serena Scott Thomas. Hebe Rutter (Scott Thomas), a young independent woman living in Cornwall with her child, survives by working as a gourmet cook and an expensive mistress for wealthy men. However her lifestyle is almost shattered when someone from her past arrives in the town.
A beautifully reissued classic, a mixture of biography and memoir, from the author of Footsteps. Sidetracks is a sister book to Footsteps, conjured up from decades of 'wanderings from the straight and narrow' of his major biographies like Shelley and Coleridge. It is a renewed examination of the strange and sometimes shadowy pathways of biography that have always fascinated him. Sidetracks pursues this quest through an extraordinary and eclectic assortment of Romantic and Gothic writers and personalities: some French, some English, some Dutch, some American, some major, some minor, but all made hypnotically alive and memorable through Holmes's transforming touch. We meet Chatterton and Gautier, Pierrot and Voltaire, Mary Wollstonecraft and Godwin, Scott Fitzgerald and Zelda, James Boswell and Zelide, MR James and some very unpleasant gothic apparitions. With each of these twenty pieces Holmes shows how fluid, playful and unconstrained the many voices of biography can be. character sketch and travelogue, true love stories and true ghost stories, and one piece, 'Dr Johnson's First Cat' which may or may not be a piece of true biographical fiction.The collection is held together by a subtle autobiographical thread, in which Holmes the Romantic biographer writes: 'to be sidetracked is, after all, to be led astray by a path or an idea, a scent or a tune, and maybe lost forever.'
Defence managers, like their counterparts in both the public and private sector need to learn to cope with change and the resulting uncertainty. This is no easy task for uncertain situations meaning that there are no sure answers or solutions. This volume represents the attempts of its contributors, military and academic, to assist in the process. To some extent uncertainty is nothing new, indeed it may be the only certainty in an era of rapid social change, increasing economic pressures. The end of the Cold War, a rise in global terrorism and rapid developments in informatics have accelerated the pace of change. Tried and trusted techniques that served well in the past are no longer appropriate in an era where defence services must be ready to challenge unknown adversaries, accept a range of responsibilities in operations other than war, and where even fundamental social values are being changed and challenged. This volume maintains a practical focus by offering contributions from serving officers as well as academics. Subjects covered range from the broad context of international affairs since 11 September 2001, to the finer detail of maintaining a proper work-life balance for se
"Fighting for the Fatherland" traces and analyzes three and a half centuries of the evolution of the German fighting man and the armies in which he served. It sets his patriotism against his cultural background and against the ever-changing national imperatives of his time.The German soldier's cultural legacy encompasses the romanticized Teutonic legends of Germanic mythology. The more immediate and pragmatic imperatives of Brandenburg's and Prussia's national survival during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries reinforced the Germans' emerging awareness of their wider national identity, precipitating the heady brew of spectacular military victories and imperialist aspirations that dominated the following century. But then came the humiliating Versailles Treaty and the pervasive lure of National Socialism, a perverse path that left Germany divided in 1945 after a world war that saw both the zenith and nadir of the German soldier's fortunes. Finally, yet another culture, with its very different priorities, today underwrites the post-Cold War Bundeswehr of a reunified Germany. David Stone explores the true nature of the German soldier-his motivation, his preparation for war, his conduct in battle-and those aspects of his training, organization, leadership, and lifestyle that reveal why this fighter for his fatherland has proven so formidable and has had such a pronounced impact upon European and world history during the past 350 years. With a foreword by Richard Holmes.
Richard Holmes's great work of biographical exploration, published alongside its sister volume `Sidetracks'. In 1985, Richard Holmes published a small book of essays called Footsteps and the writing of biography was changed forever. A daring mix of travel, biographical sleuthing and personal memoir, it broke all the conventions of the genre and remains ons of the most intoxicating, magical works of modern literary exploration ever published. Sleeping rough, he retraces Robert Louis Stevenson's famous journey through the Cevennes. Caught up in the Parisian riots of the 1960s, he dives back in time to the terrors of Wordsworth and of Mary Wollstonecraft marooned in Revolutionary Paris and then into the strange tortured worlds of Gerard de Nerval. Wandering through Italy, he stalks Shelley and his band of Romantic idealists to Casa Magni on the Gulf of Spezia.
The first history of World War I to place centre-stage the British soldier who fought in the trenches, this superb and important book tells the story of an epic and terrible war through the letters, diaries and memories of those who fought it.
Of the six million men who served in the British army, nearly one million lost their lives and over two million were wounded. This is the story of these men epitomised by the character of Sgt Tommy Atkins and the women they left behind.
Using previously unseen letters, diaries, memoirs and poetry from the years 1914-1918, Richard Holmes paints a moving picture of the generation that fought and died in the mud of Flanders. He follows men whose mental health was forever destroyed by shell shock, women who lost husbands and brothers in the same afternoon and those who wrote at lunchtime and died before tea.
Groundbreaking and critically-acclaimed, this book tells the real story of trench warfare, the strength and fallibility of the human spirit, the individuals behind an epic event, and their legacy. It is an emotional and unforgettable masterpiece from one of our most important historians."
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