‘As in a good novel, the people, their feelings and reactions are instantly recognisable and as fresh and immediate today as they were then’ GUARDIAN
‘She writes vividly and movingly’ DAILY TELEGRAPH
26th September 1939. I am beginning to wonder whether the point of a place like this may be that it will keep alive certain ideas of freedom which might easily be destroyed in the course of this totalitarian war…
Born in Edinburgh, Naomi Mitchison spent most of the Second World War in the fishing village of Carradale on Kintyre, her home until her death aged 101. Her life was crowded with incident, and her attitudes to events predictably forceful, original and honest.
Throughout the war she kept a diary at the request of the research organisation Mass Observation, in which she recorded both the momentous events of the time, and also how one (albeit extraordinary) family and their friends lived, what they hoped for and what actually happened. Her diaries developed far beyond the confines of a social document.
Written with the passion of a poet combined with the intellectual curiosity of a radial thinker, they provide a unique and valuable document of the period.
The first volume of the 20th century’s most phenomenally successful diaries, published alongside first paperback of THE LAST DIARIES.
INTO POLITICS begins in 1973 with Clark’s selection as Tory candidate for Nancy Astor’s old seat in Plymouth (rival candidates included future Conservative luminaries Michael Howard and Norman Fowler). Alan Clark describes his election to the Commons in the 1974 general election; his years as a backbencher coincide with Edward Heath as PM, his downfall and the arrival of Margaret Thatcher. This volume ends with the inside story of the Falklands War.
In his private life Alan and his wife Jane and their two young sons take over Saltwood Castle, previously the home of his father Kenneth (Civilisation) Clark. His enthusiasms for the estate, skiing, fast cars and girls are never far away.
The second volume of Alan Clark’s bestselling DIARIES, covering the downfall of Margaret Thatcher
The first volume of Alan Clark’s diaries, covering two Parliaments during which he served under Margaret Thatcher – until her ousting in a coup which Clark observed closely from the inside – and then under John Major, constitute the most outspoken and revealing account of British political life ever written. Cabinet colleagues, royalty, ambassadors, civil servants and foreign dignitaries are all subjected to Clark’s vivid and often wittily acerbic pen, as he candidly records the daily struggle for ascendancy within the corridors of power.
‘In this comprehensive volume, we see the actor in a range of roles: loving son, wicked gossip, star actor, indecisive director, anguished lover, brilliant anecdotist. This splendid book reveals an infinitely complicated and attractive character. We may not look upon his like again’ Jonathan Croall, Spectator
The above quotes sums it up – this astonishing collection of letters brings us up close to one of the foremost, and best loved, actors of this century. John Gielgud wrote letters almost every day of his adult life. Whether at home in London or abroad, he delighted in recounting what he felt about events around him. Here for the first time – and not previously available to biographers – are Gielgud’s love letters. They show that he was not shy is expressing the intimacies of personal relationships. He also loved gossip and writes about his contemporaries, including the great actors of period: Olivier, Richardson, Redgrave, Peggy Ashcroft, Edith Evans and the like. A revealing account but also a hugely warm and compelling insight into a man of many sides.
THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER!
‘Wonderfully rich and mesmerising’ William Boyd
‘As brutal, withering and funny as you’d expect’ Julian Clary
‘Fabulously entertaining, impossibly glamorous, and utterly irresistible’ Piers Morgan
‘A treat from start to finish’ Elizabeth Hurley
Joan Collins has been a diarist from the age of twelve, writing enthusiastically over the years. She dictated most of these entries in real time into a mini-tape recorder at the end of the day, and now she is spilling the beans – well, nearly all of them. What you will discover was written when Joan ‘felt like it’ between 1989 and 2009. Whether it is an encounter with a superstar or a member of the Royal Family, or her keen and honest insights into other celebrities at dinner parties and events, Joan is honest and unapologetic.
Taking us on a dazzling tour around the globe – from exclusive restaurants in Los Angeles to the glittering beaches of St Tropez, from dinner parties in London to galas in New York City – some of the characters you will meet in these pages include Rod Stewart, Princess Margaret, Donald Trump, Michael Caine, Princess Diana, Elizabeth Taylor, Rupert Everett, Roger Moore, Shirley MacLaine, Andrew Lloyd Webber and many more. Her diaries are intimate and witty, and they pull no punches, with NO apologies to anyone mentioned in them!
‘It promises to be one of the literary highlights of 2021 – publication of the diaries of Patricia Highsmith, one of the most conflicted, fascinating novelists of the 20th century’ Edward Helmore, Guardian
‘My secrets-the secrets that everyone has-are here, in black and white.’
Published for the very first time for the centenary of her birth, Patricia Highsmith’s diaries and notebooks offer an unparalleled, unforgettable insight into the life and mind of one of the 20th century’s most talented, complex and fascinating writers.
Posthumously discovered in Highsmith’s linen cupboard and edited down from 56 thick spiral notebooks by her devoted editor, Anna Von Planta, this one-volume assemblage of her diaries and notebooks traces Highsmith’s mesmerising double life.
The diaries show Highsmith’s unwavering literary ambitions – coming often at huge personal sacrifice. We see her writing the books that would make her name, including the Ripley novels which mark the apotheosis of the psychological thriller, and The Price of Salt (later adapted into the 2015 film Carol), one of the first mainstream novels to depict two women in love.
In these pages, we see Highsmith reflecting on good and evil, loneliness and intimacy, sexuality and sacrifice, love and murder. We see her tumultuous romantic relationships play out alongside her acquaintances with other writers including Jane Bowles, Aaron Copland, John Gielgud, Truman Capote, Carson McCullers, Arthur Koestler, and W. H. Auden. And in her skewering of McCarthy-era America, her prickly disparagement of contemporary art, her fixation on love and writing, and ever-percolating prejudices, we see the famously secretive Highsmith revealing the roots of her psychological angst and acuity.
Written in her inimitable and dazzling prose and offering all the pleasures of Highsmith’s novels, these are one of the most compulsively readable literary diaries to be published in generations – and yield, at last an unparalleled, unfiltered, unforgettable picture of this enigmatic, iconic, trailblazing author’s true self.
The long awaited and highly revealing diaries of the politician, diplomat, and socialite (married to Lady Diana Cooper)
‘This is a fabulous, jaw-dropping read’ SUNDAY TIMES
‘Duff Cooper was as close to the action as anyone during the dramatic events of the mid-20th century. He was also comically priapic, committing enough sexual indiscretions to fill a dozen diaries’ SUNDAY TELEGRAPH
‘Fascinating for two things: their testament to an exhilarating century and their witness to a vanished age of power and privilege … What a man’ OBSERVER
Duff Cooper was a first-rate witness of just about every significant event from 1914 to 1950. His diary includes some magnificent set pieces – as a young soldier at the end of WWI, as a politician during the General Strike of 1926, as King Edward VIII’s friend at the time of the Abdication, and from Paris after the liberation in 1944, when he became British ambassador.
If Duff Cooper’s name has dimmed in the 50 years since his death, publication of these diaries will bring him to the fore once again. His family have long resisted publication – indeed Duff Cooper’s nephew, the publisher Rupert Hart-Davis, was so shocked by the sexual revelations that he suggested to John Julius Norwich that it might be best for all concerned if they were burnt. Now, superbly edited by John Julius Norwich, who familial link ensures all kinds of additional information as footnotes, these diaries join the ranks.
‘With his Diaries, he has written himself into the life of our times with a panache and candour that ranks him next to Boswell or Pepys’ The Times
The first two volumes of Alan Clark’s were irresistible, irreverent, infamous, outrageous. This last volume is a fitting finale to the work of a man who has been described as ‘the best diarist of his century’.
The third volume begins in 1991 with Alan Clark contemplating quitting as an MP. Life at Saltwood Castle, his home, hangs heavy; then comes the Scott inquiry and the Matrix Churchill affair. Publication of the first volume of the Diaries leads ‘the coven’, a family of former girlfriends, to sell their story to the NEWS OF THE WORLD.
This volume follows his attempts to return to Westminster, an affair that threatens his marriage, and closes with the tragedy of his final months when he is diagnosed with a brain tumour, but keeps his diary until he can no longer focus on the page.
‘Indiscreet, brilliantly observed, frequently hilarious’ Evening Standard
‘Hang on – it’s a wild ride’ Meryl Streep
It’s 1983. A young Englishwoman arrives in Manhattan on a mission. Summoned in the hope that she can save Condé Nast’s troubled new flagship Vanity Fair, Tina Brown is plunged into the maelstrom of competitive New York media. She survives the politics and the intrigue by a simple stratagem: succeeding.
Here are the inside stories of the scoops and covers that sold millions: the Reagan kiss, the meltdown of Princess Diana’s marriage to Prince Charles, the sensational Annie Leibovitz cover of a gloriously pregnant, naked Demi Moore. Written with dash and verve, the diary is also a sharply observed account of New York and London society. In its cinematic pages the drama, comedy and struggle of raising a family and running an ‘it’ magazine come to life.
The third volume of Michael Palin’s celebrated diaries.
TRAVELLING TO WORK is a roller-coaster ride driven by the Palin hallmarks of curiosity and sense of adventure. Michael was not the BBC’s first choice for the travel series AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS, but after its success, the public naturally wanted more.
Palin, however, had other plans. There was his film AMERICAN FRIENDS, a role in Alan Bleasdale’s award-winning drama GBH, the staging of his West End play THE WEEKEND, a first novel, HEMINGWAY’S CHAIR, and a lead role in FIERCE CREATURES. He did find time for two more travel series, POLE TO POLE in 1991 and FULL CIRCLE in 1996, and wrote two bestselling books to accompany them. These ten years in different directions offer riches on every page.
In January 2004, where his third volume of Diaries begins, Roy Strong was in a state of deep grief following the death of his wife, Julia Trevelyan Oman, three months earlier. Yet the following years demonstrate his determination and resourcefulness, as well as extraordinary energy and creativity. New ideas for books are brought to fruition, regular forays into the worlds of TV and radio are made, and a three-year photographic portrait project with John Swannell concluded with the Sir Portrait exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery.
The final year, 2015, sees Roy Strong celebrate his 80th birthday, agree the takeover of The Laskett house and garden, and receive news of his forthcoming appointment as a Companion of Honour for services to the nation’s culture.
As with the two previous volumes, here is a wonderful window on to Roy Strong’s world. His encounters with churchmen, politicians, royalty – and friends old and new – are all described with a telling eye for detail and delicious wit. While there is frustration at the changing world around him, and the loss of beloved friends, TYPES AND SHADOWS is a hugely informative and entertaining record of a uniquely full and colourful life.
Kenneth Rose was one of the most astute observers of the post-war Establishment. The wry and amusing journals of the royal biographer and historian made objective observation a sculpted craft.
His impeccable social placement located him within the beating heart of the national elite for decades. He was capable of writing substantial history, such as his priceless material on the abdication crisis from conversations with both the Duke of Windsor and the Queen Mother. Yet he maintained sufficient distance to achieve impartial documentation while working among political, clerical, military, literary and aristocratic circles. Relentless observation and a self-confessed difficulty ‘to let a good story pass me by’ made Rose a legendary social commentator, while his impressive breadth of interests was underpinned by tremendous respect for the subjects of his enquiry.
Brilliantly equipped as Rose was to witness, detail and report, the second volume of his journals vividly portrays some of the most important events and people of the last century, from the election of Margaret Thatcher as Prime Minister in 1979 to Kenneth Rose’s death in 2014.