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91438

A REVELATORY LOOK AT THE INTIMATE LIFE OF THE GREAT AUTHOR—AND HOW IT SHAPED HIS MOST BE LOVED WORKS With the posthumous publication of his long-suppressed novel Maurice in 1970, E. M. Forster came out as a homosexual— though that revelation made barely a ripple in his literary reputation. As Wendy Moffat persuasively argues in A Great Unrecorded History, Forster’s homosexuality was the central fact of his life. Between Wilde’s imprisonment and the Stonewall riots, Forster led a long, strange, and imaginative life as a gay man. He preserved a vast archive of his private life—a history of gay experience he believed would find its audience in a happier time. A Great Unrecorded History is a biography of the heart. Moffat’s decade of detective work—including first-time interviews with Forster’s friends—has resulted in the first book to integrate Forster’s public and private lives. Seeing his life through the lens of his sexuality offers us a radically new view—revealing his astuteness as a social critic, his political bravery, and his prophetic vision of gay intimacy. A Great Unrecorded History invites us to see Forster— and modern gay history—from a completely new angle.

91437

Modern communications have driven motorways and pylons through the countryside, dwarfed us with TV and telephone masts and drastically altered the way in which we move around, see and understand Scotland. Recent politics and logistics have established borders and jurisdictions which now seem permanent and impervious. The Faded Map looks beyond these to remember a land that was once quiet and green. It brings to vivid life the half-forgotten kings and kingdoms of two thousand years ago, of the time of the Romans, the Dark Ages and into the early medieval period. In this fascinating account, Alistair Moffat describes the landscape these men and women moved through and talks of a Celtic society which spoke to itself in Old Welsh, where the Sons of Prophesy ruled, and the time when the English kings of Bernicia held sway over vast swathes of what is now Scotland. Heroes rode out of the mists to challenge them and then join with them. The faint echo of the din of ancient battles can be heard as Alistair Moffat takes the reader on a remarkable journey around a lost Scotland.

91436

A long-awaited collection of stories--twelve in all--by one of the most exciting writers at work today, the acclaimed author of Who Will Run the Frog Hospital? and Self-Help. Stories remarkable in their range, emotional force, and dark laughter, and in the sheer beauty and power of their language. From the opening story, "Willing"--about a second-rate movie actress in her thirties who has moved back to Chicago, where she makes a seedy motel room her home and becomes involved with a mechanic who has not the least idea of who she is as a human being--Birds of America unfolds a startlingly brilliant series of portraits of the unhinged, the lost, the unsettled of our America. In the story "Which Is More Than I Can Say About Some People" ("There is nothing as complex in the world--no flower or stone--as a single hello from a human being"), a woman newly separated from her husband is on a long-planned trip through Ireland with her mother. When they set out on an expedition to kiss the Blarney Stone, the image of wisdom and success that her mother has always put forth slips away to reveal the panicky woman she really is. In "Charades," a family game at Christmas is transformed into a hilarious and insightful (and fundamentally upsetting) revelation of crumbling family ties. In "Community Life,"a shy, almost reclusive, librarian, Transylvania-born and Vermont-bred, moves in with her boyfriend, the local anarchist in a small university town, and all hell breaks loose. And in "Four Calling Birds, Three French Hens," a woman who goes through the stages of grief as she mourns the death of her cat (Anger, Denial, Bargaining, Häagen Dazs, Rage) is seen by her friends as really mourning other issues: the impending death of her parents, the son she never had, Bosnia. In what may be her most stunning book yet, Lorrie Moore explores the personal and the universal, the idiosyncratic and the mundane, with all the wit, brio, and verve that have made her one of the best storytellers of our time.

91435

This is the first major biography for a generation of a truly formidable king. Edward I is familiar to millions as ‘Longshanks’, conqueror of Scotland and nemesis of Sir William Wallace (‘Braveheart’). Edward was born to rule England, but believed that it was his right to rule all of Britain. His reign was one of the most dramatic of the entire Middle Ages, leading to war and conquest on an unprecedented scale, and leaving a legacy of division that has lasted from his day to our own.In his astonishingly action-packed life, Edward defeated and killed the famous Simon de Montfort in battle; travelled across Europe to the Holy Land on crusade; conquered Wales, extinguishing forever its native rulers, and constructed – at Conwy, Harlech, Beaumaris and Caernarfon – the most magnificent chain of castles ever created. After the death of his first wife he erected the Eleanor Crosses – the grandest funeral monuments ever fashioned for an English monarch.

91434

Henry V is regarded as the great English hero. Lionized in his own day for his victory at Agincourt, his piety and his rigorous application of justice, he was elevated by Shakespeare into a champion of English nationalism for all future generations. But what was he really like? Does he deserve to be thought of as 'the greatest man who ever ruled England?' In Ian Mortimer's groundbreaking book, he portrays Henry in the pivotal year of his reign. Recording the dramatic events of 1415, he offers the fullest, most precise and least romanticized view we have of Henry and what he did. The result is not only a fascinating reappraisal of Henry; it brings to the fore many unpalatable truths which biographers and military historians have largely ignored. At the center of the book is the campaign which culminated in the battle of Agincourt: a slaughter ground designed not to advance England's interests directly but to demonstrate God's approval of Henry's royal authority on both sides of the Channel.

91433

In June 1405, King Henry IV stopped at a small Yorkshire manor house to shelter from a storm. That night he awoke screaming that traitors were burning his skin. His instinctive belief that he was being poisoned was understandable: he had already survived at least eight plots to dethrone or kill him in the first six years of his reign. Henry IV had not always been so unpopular. In his youth he had been a great chivalric champion and crusader. The son of John of Gaunt, he was courteous, confident, well-educated, generous, devoted to his family, musical and spiritually fervent. In 1399, at the age of thirty-two, he was enthusiastically greeted as the saviour of the realm when he ousted from power the insecure and tyrannical King Richard II. But therein lay Henry's weakness. In making himself king he had broken God's law and left himself starkly open to criticism. He had to contend with men who supported him only as long as they could control him; when they failed, they plotted to kill him. Welsh, French and Scottish adversaries also tried to take advantage of his questionable right to the crown. Such overwhelming threats transformed him from a hero into a duplicitous murderer: a king prepared to go to any lengths to save his family and his throne. That legacy of unrest has almost entirely obscured him. Henry's reputation in the sixteenth century was such that merely to write about him was to risk imprisonment in the Tower. Shakespeare was forced to downplay his achievements, and instead to present his adversary Richard II as the wronged man. But what Henry actually provoked was a social revolution as much as a political one. Against all the odds, he took a poorly ruled nation, established a new Lancastrian dynasty, and introduced the principle that a king must act in accordance with parliament. He might not have been the most glorious king England ever had, but he was one of the bravest, and certainly the greatest survivor of them all.

91432

One night in August 1323 a captive rebel baron, Sir Roger Mortimer, drugged his guards and escaped from the Tower of London. With the king's men-at-arms in pursuit he fled to the south coast, and sailed to France. There he was joined by Isabella, the Queen of England, who threw herself into his arms. A year later, as lovers, they returned with an invading army: King Edward II's forces crumbled before them, and Mortimer took power. He removed Edward II in the first deposition of a monarch in British history. Then the ex-king was apparently murdered, some said with a red-hot poker, in Berkeley Castle. Brutal, intelligent, passionate, profligate, imaginative and violent: Sir Roger Mortimer was an extraordinary character. It is not surprising that the queen lost her heart to him. Nor is it surprising that his contemporaries were terrified of him. But until now no one has appreciated the full evil genius of the man. This first biography reveals not only the man's career as a feudal lord, a governor of Ireland, a rebel leader and a dictator of England but also the truth of what happened that night in Berkeley Castle.

91431

Thunder at Twilight is a landmark of historical vision, drawing on hitherto untapped sources to illuminate two crucial years in the life of the extraordinary city of Vienna — and in the life of the twentieth century. It was during the carnival of 1913 that a young Stalin arrived on a mission that would launch him into the upper echelon of Russian revolutionaries, and it was here that he first collided with Trotsky. It was in Vienna that the failed artist Adolf Hitler kept daubing watercolors and spouting tirades at fellow drifters in a flophouse. Here Archduke Franz Ferdinand had a troubled audience with Emperor Franz Joseph — and soon the bullet that killed the archduke would set off the Great War that would kill ten million more. With luminous prose that has twice made him a finalist for the National Book Award, Frederic Morton evokes the opulent, elegant, incomparable sunset metropolis — Vienna on the brink of cataclysm.

91430

'Roar with laughter.' Laura Thompson 'The dazzling beauty with a poison pen... wit pervades her writings.' Anne de Courcey, Daily Mail Critics Choice 'When she wielded her elegant stiletto, it was to unmask an ego... brightly and sharply illuminated.' Valerie Grove, The Times Wickedly funny, gossipy, carefree, intimate and revealing, this selection of Diana Mitford's writings publishes for the first time the articles and diary she wrote for the amusement of her close circle of friends, as well as her hilarious articles for the Times, Sunday Times, Daily Mail, Express and Evening Standard. Included is the only portrait Diana Mitford wrote of her husband Sir Oswald Mosely, and the last interviews she gave in 2002 and 2003 in Paris to the writer Duncan Fallowell.

91429

Which important Austen characters never speak? Is there any sex in Austen? What do the characters call one another, and why? What are the right and wrong ways to propose marriage? In What Matters in Jane Austen?, John Mullan shows that we can best appreciate Austen's brilliance by looking at the intriguing quirks and intricacies of her fiction. Asking and answering some very specific questions about what goes on in her novels, he reveals the inner workings of their greatness. In twenty short chapters, each of which explores a question prompted by Austens novels, Mullan illuminates the themes that matter most in her beloved fiction. Readers will discover when Austen's characters had their meals and what shops they went to; how vicars got good livings; and how wealth was inherited. What Matters in Jane Austen? illuminates the rituals and conventions of her fictional world in order to reveal her technical virtuosity and daring as a novelist. It uses telling passages from Austen's letters and details from her own life to explain episodes in her novels: readers will find out, for example, what novels she read, how much money she had to live on, and what she saw at the theater. Written with flair and based on a lifetime's study, What Matters in Jane Austen? will allow readers to appreciate Jane Austen's work in greater depth than ever before. Review "Absorbing ... Whether the topic is age, sex, death, money, illness, holidays, accidents, the weather or marriage proposals, Austen’s reticence has seldom been handled with such delicate precision ... His work is essayistic and briskly compendious, but as a whole the book also builds up to a satisfying conclusion—one that acknowledges Austen’s capacity to bestow on her character’s lives all of their own, “as if she were observing ... rather than creating” them ... Such is the quality and incisiveness of Mullan’s critical engagement with Austen that the only thing to regret about his book is that there isn’t more of it ... What Matters in Jane Austen? is a model of clarity, verve, and perception"--Literary Review “Delightful… Mullan’s humorous guidebook encourages first-time Austen readers to pick up her novels and lovers of Austen to re-read for new details.” --Publishers Weekly “A box of 20 literary chocolates for Austen fans to savor.”--Kirkus “Mullan’s close reading will provide serious fans with plenty of new insights for the next time they pick up one of Austen’s books.”—Booklist “This collection of essays will delight. Mullan’s intent is to reveal Austen’s cleverness and revolutionary approach, and he succeeds, deftly sharing with readers his enthusiasm and knowledge gleaned from Austen scholarship in this enjoyable read. [F]ans will appreciate the clarity and perspective Mullan brings to a beloved author’s works.”—Library Journal About the Author John Mullan is a professor in the English department at University College London and the author of How Novels Work. He writes a popular column on fiction for the Guardian, and has served as a judge for the Man Booker Prize. Mullan lectures widely on Jane Austen around the world.