When Captain John Lacroix returns home from fighting in Spain in 1809 he is a troubled man. Desperate to escape his memories of the things he witnessed during the retreat from Napoleon’s forces he travels to the Hebrides in search of peace but both the English and Spanish are trailing him, determined that he shall not find that peace. An atmospheric and thrilling chase ensues.
The Moth, the Darter, a largely absent mother and a father working abroad: these are the characters that surround the teenage Rachel and Nathaniel in 1945; people who crossed legal and moral boundaries during the war but now find them closed. Nathaniel enters the Intelligence Service, largely to solve the mysteries of his youth and it is his memories and discoveries which are at the heart of this intriguing novel. After seven years Michael Ondaatje is back at his very best.
In his twelfth novel Simon Mawer returns to Czechoslovakia, 1968. The brief freedom of The Prague Spring has enticed two English students there for the summer and Sam Wareham at the British Embassy and Lenka Konecková, a Czech student, are similarly inspired by the hopes and ideas emerging in the city. But the Red Army is massing on the borders and peace is shattered by an invasion which engulfs the fragile lives of individuals.
Where Eagles Dare is one of Geoff Dyer’s favourite films and in Broadsword Calling Danny Boy he provides a scene-by-scene breakdown of the film combining a multitude of interesting facts within a hilarious commentary. How did the Germans manage to fly American Bell 47 helicopters two years before they came into service and was Richard Burton worrying about parachuting into enemy territory or simply nursing a terrible hangover?
Considered one of the top Porsche historians Randy Leffingwell has produced a book which does these magnificent cars full justice. Including interviews with key personnel it gives a complete, and occasionally surprising, history. Rare images from Porsche’s archive and studio photography by Michael Furman make the book as beautiful as it is informative.
From the charm of the cottage at Caterham to the grandeur of St Pancras, Britain’s railway stations include some of the most splendid and varied architecture in the country. With Simon Jenkins’ descriptions and over a hundred and fifty colour illustrations, this is a book that will make you want to travel, at least as far as the station.
David Brown’s initials have graced the fast, elegant and achingly cool cars of Aston Martin for seventy years. Despite their fame in Bond films the car’s history was not a smooth one, as Andrew Noakes discloses in this meticulously researched, extensively illustrated and suitably stylish book.
£45 slipcased hardback
From winged medieval visionaries jumping from towers to supersonic jets and rockets landing on the moon, this is a story of dreams coming true, or spectacularly crashing to earth. It focuses on the spectators and passengers, seeing flight as a spectacle and performance, and is illustrated with woodcuts, photographs, paintings, post cards and posters from the British Library’s extensive collection.
Constructed in Pembroke, HMS Erebus took part in Ross’ Antarctic expedition of 1839-43. Abandoned during Franklin’s ill-fated Arctic expedition its wreck was discovered in 2014. Michael Palin tells the story of the ship and her crews, visiting the locations and using maps, paintings and engravings to illustrate this epic tale.
The Orient Express was the first train to connect Paris to Istanbul, opening vistas of the East and all its exotic wonders and quickly earning the title ‘the king of trains, the train of kings’. Transporting the reader back to the golden age of travel, with nearly three hundred illustrations and a wealth of stories (real and fictional), this book is a worthy tribute to a legendary train.