Hitler was convinced that he had been defeated because he had been betrayed from the inside. Paddy Ashdown shows how true or false this really this was, telling the stories of those in power who opposed the Führer and his policies. Based on newly-released files, this is a page-turning and revelatory history.
A Safeway’s carrier bag was the unlikely signal used by a spy needing to escape from Soviet Russia in 1985. He was a senior KGB officer and for more than a decade he had passed invaluable secrets to the British. A tale of espionage, betrayal and courage which changed the course of the Cold War and still resonates today.
Sir Walter Ralegh was one of the most colourful and controversial characters of the Tudor and Stuart ages; patriot and traitor are just two of the possible epithets. A courtier, explorer, poet and charismatic lover, his life ended on the executioner’s block. Anne Beer explains why in this brilliant new biography.
Thomas Cromwell described himself as a self-made ruffian but determination and talent meant that by the 1530s he was effectively running the country. Diarmaid MacCulloch’s biography is the most complete life ever written of this previously elusive figure, overthrowing many beliefs and suppositions.
Between 1850 and 1960 photography captured many of history’s pivotal moments, but nearly always in monochrome. Marina Amaral has created two hundred coloured photographs from the originals and Dan Jones has written an engrossing text that links the images. This is a new, brighter, and immediate look at history.
A shoemaker in Stalinist Russia was imprisoned for selling his car at a profit. On release shame drove him to take his family into voluntary exile in Siberia. Married to Zhanna, the shoemaker’s daughter, Conor O’Clery tells the story of eighty years of Soviet and Russian history through the family he knows so well.
Antiquarian bookseller David Batterham admits that booksellers are often rather odd. He spent many years scouring the world in search of rare and forgotten books and, frequently alone, he would write to his friend, the painter Howard Hodgkin, neither expecting nor receiving a reply. Mostly written in cheap cafés and restaurants, these letters portray a wonderfully bohemian world and reveal the author’s sharp eye for the absurd and bizarre.
Music has always been an integral part of Alan Johnson’s life, starting with his earliest memories of Bing Crosby on the wireless. His love of the Beatles has been constant, while jukeboxes, smoky coffee shops and dingy dance halls have come and gone. The fourth in the retired Labour politician’s brilliant volumes of memoirs.
Paddy Leigh Fermor was a great letter-writer, even if they were often written in great haste. In this second volume they include encounters with Jackie Onassis, Camilla Parker-Bowles, Oswald Mosley and many more, and paint a unique picture of his life in Greece, drinking with shepherds in Crete and picnicking with stonemasons in Kardamyli.
Dr Matthew Shardlake is not an obvious hero; the lawyer’s hunchback often makes him the subject of mockery but his charm and brain make him one of the most interesting detectives in fiction. C. J. Sansom’s atmospheric descriptions of Tudor life complement the sleuthing and will transport you back in time. This is the seventh story in the series and takes place two years after the death of Henry VIII. Against a backdrop of religious upheaval, war, economic collapse and rebellion, Matthew Shardlake must investigate the murder of Edith Boleyn, a distant relative of the future Queen Elizabeth.