Elegant and sophisticated biography of Princess Margaret, the controversial sister of Queen Elizabeth II, the Princess Diana of her day
‘A fascinating insight into the life of the party girl who became an icon in postwar Britain’ DAILY EXPRESS
‘She was a witty, intelligent, stimulating companion – happily Tim Heald captures all these qualities in his admirably well-balanced biography’ LITERARY REVIEW
The almost universal conception is that the life of Princess Margaret (1930-2002) was a tragic failure, a history of unfulfilment.
Tim Heald’s vivid and elegant biography portrays a woman who was beautiful and sexually alluring – even more so than Princess Diana, years later – and whose reputation for naughtiness co-existed with the glamour. The mythology is that Margaret’s life was ‘ruined’ by her not being allowed to marry the one true love of her life – Group Captain Peter Townsend – and that therefore her marriage to Lord Snowdon and her well-attested relationships with Roddy Llewellyn and others were mere consolation prizes. Margaret’s often exotic personal life in places like Mustique is a key part of her story.
The author has had extraordinary help from those closest to Princess Margaret, including her family (Lord Snowdon and her son, Lord Linley), as well as three of her private secretaries and many of her ladies in waiting. These individuals have not talked to any previous biographer. He has also had the Queen’s permission to use the royal archives.
Heald asks why one of the most famous and loved little girls in the world, who became a juvenile wartime sweetheart, ended her life a sad wheelchair-bound figure, publicly reviled and ignored. This is a story of a life in which the private and the public seemed permanently in conflict. The biography is packed with good stories. Princess Margaret was never ignored; what she said and did has been remembered and recounted to Tim Heald.
‘These journals are a revelation, a road map and a gift to us all’ TAYARI JONES, author of An American Marriage
From the acclaimed author Alice Walker – winner of the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize – comes an unprecedented compilation of four decades’ worth of journals that draw an intimate portrait of her development as an artist, intellectual and human rights activist.
In Gathering Blossoms Under Fire, Walker offers a passionate, intimate record of her intellectual, artistic and political development. She also intimately explores – in real time – her thoughts and feelings as a woman, a writer, an African American, a wife, a daughter, a mother, a lover, a sister, a friend, a citizen of the world.
In an unvarnished and singular voice, she writes about an astonishing array of events: marching in Mississippi with other foot soldiers of the civil rights movement, led by Martin Luther King, Jr., or ‘the King’ as she called him; her marriage to a Jewish lawyer, partly to defy laws that barred interracial marriage in the 1960s South; an early miscarriage; the birth of her daughter; writing her first novel; the trials and triumphs of the women’s movement; erotic encounters and enduring relationships; the ‘ancestral visits’ that led her to write The Color Purple; winning the Pulitzer Prize; being admired and maligned, in sometimes equal measure, for her work and her activism; burying her mother; and her estrangement from her own daughter. The personal and the political are layered and intertwined in the revealing narrative that emerges from Walker’s journals.
Reissued for the 40th anniversary of the Falklands conflict
The most in-depth and powerful account yet published of the first crucial clash of the Falklands war – told from both sides.
‘Thorough and exhaustive’ Daily Telegraph
‘An excellent and fast paced narrative’ Michael McCarthy, historical battlefield guide
Goose Green was the first land battle of the Falklands War. It was also the longest, the hardest-fought, the most controversial and the most important to win. What began as a raid became a vicious, 14-hour infantry struggle, in which 2 Para – outnumbered, exhausted, forced to attack across open ground in full daylight, and with inadequate fire support – lost their commanding officer, and almost lost the action.
This is the only full-length, detailed account of this crucial battle. Drawing on the eye-witness accounts of both British and Argentinian soldiers who fought at Goose Green, and their commanders’ narratives, it has become the definitive account of most important and controversial land battle of the Falklands War.
A compelling story of men engaged in a battle that hung in the balance for hours, in which Colonel ‘H’ Jones’ solo charge against an entrenched enemy won him a posthumous V.C., and which for both sides was a gruelling and often terrifying encounter.
Oxford thought it was at war. And then it was.
After the horrors of the First World War, Oxford looked like an Arcadia – a dreamworld – from which pain could be shut out. Soldiers arrived with pictures of the university fully formed in their heads, and women finally won the right to earn degrees. Freedom meant reading beneath the spires and punting down the river with champagne picnics. But all was not quite as it seemed.
Boys fresh from school settled into lecture rooms alongside men who had returned from the trenches with the beginnings of shellshock. It was displacing to be surrounded by aristocrats who liked nothing better than to burn furniture from each other’s rooms on the college quads for kicks. The women of Oxford still faced a battle to emerge from their shadows. And among the dons a major conflict was beginning to brew.
Set in the world that Evelyn Waugh immortalised in Brideshead Revisited, this is a true and often funny story of the thriving of knowledge and spirit of fun and foreboding that characterised Oxford between the two world wars. One of the protagonists, in fact, was a friend of Waugh and inspired a character in his novel. Another married into the family who inhabited Castle Howard and befriended everyone from George Bernard Shaw to Virginia Woolf. The third was an Irish occultist and correspondent with the poets W. H. Auden, Louis MacNeice and W. B. Yeats.
This singular tale of Oxford colleagues and rivals encapsulates the false sense of security that developed across the country in the interwar years. With the rise of Hitler and the Third Reich came the subversion of history for propaganda. In academic Oxford, the fight was on not only to preserve the past from the hands of the Nazis, but also to triumph, one don over another, as they became embroiled in a war of their own.
When Lily Dunn was just six years old, her father left the family home to follow his guru to India, trading domestic life for clothes dyed in oranges and reds and the promise of enlightenment with the cult of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh. Since then he has been a mystery to her.
She grew up enthralled by the image of him; effervescent, ambitious and elusive, a writer, publisher and entrepreneur, a man who would appear with gifts from faraway places, and with whom she spent the long, hot summers of her teenage years in Italy, in the company of his wild and wealthy friends.
Yet he was also a compulsive liar, a delinquent, a man who abandoned his responsibilities in a pursuit of transcendence that took him from sex addiction, via the Rajneesh cult, to a relentless chase of money, which ended in ruin and finally addiction to alcohol and prescription drugs.
A detective story that charts two colliding narratives, Sins of My Father is a daughter’s attempt to unravel the mysteries of a father who believed himself to be beyond reproach. A dazzling work of literary memoir, it asks how deep legacies of shame and trauma run, and if we can reconcile unconditional love with irreparable damage.
ONE OF THE TIMES AND SUNDAY TIMES’ BEST BOOKS FOR 2022
‘Eye-opening and full of surprises . . . A treasure’ Sunday Times
‘A biography as rich with colourful characters as any novel’ Telegraph
John Constable, the revolutionary nineteenth-century painter of the landscapes and skies of southern England, is Britain’s best-loved but perhaps least understood artist.
His paintings reflect visions of landscape that shocked and perplexed his contemporaries: attentive to detail, spontaneous in gesture, brave in their use of colour. What we learn from his landscapes is that Constable had sharp local knowledge of Suffolk, a clarity of expression of the skyscapes above Hampstead, an understanding of the human tides in London and Brighton, and a rare ability in his late paintings of Salisbury Cathedral to transform silent suppressed passion into paint.
Yet Constable was also an active and energetic correspondent. His letters and diaries – there are over one thousand letters from and to him – reveal a man of passion, opinion and discord, while his character and personality is concealed behind the high shimmering colour of his paintings. They reveal too the lives and circumstances of his brothers and his sisters, his cousins and his aunts, who serve to define the social and economic landscape against which he can be most clearly seen. These multifaceted reflections draw a sharp picture of the person, as well as the painter.
James Hamilton’s biography reveals a complex, troubled man, and explodes previous mythologies about this timeless artist, and establishes him in his proper context as a giant of European art.
‘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 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!
The superb classic memoir from a dazzlingly eccentric and endlessly fascinating author and feminist icon – a woman very much ahead of her time – including her time spent on the glorious island of Skiathos
‘A happy, hilarious book’ Daily Express
Nancy Spain was one of the most celebrated – and notorious – writers and broadcasters of the 50s and 60s. Witty, controversial and brilliant, she lived openly as a lesbian (sharing a household with her two lovers and their various children) and was frequently litigated against for her newspaper columns – Evelyn Waugh successfully sued her for libel… twice.
Nancy Spain had a deep love of the Mediterranean. So it was no surprise when, in the 1960s, she decided to build a place of her own on the Greek island of Skiathos. With an impractical nature surpassed only by her passion for the project, and despite many obstacles, she gloriously succeeded. This classic memoir is infused with all Spain’s chaotic brilliance, zest for life and single-minded pursuit of a life worth living.
Perfect for fans of A PLACE IN THE SUN and ESCAPE TO THE COUNTRY
‘Full of fun, and that zest of intelligence that never left her’ Sunday Times
The story begins with a parting of the sands – the construction of the Suez Canal that united the Mediterranean with the Arabian Sea. It opened the door of opportunity for people living insecurely on the fringes of a turbulent Europe.
The Middle East is understood today through the lens of unending conflict and violence. Lost in the litany of perpetual strife and struggle are the layers of culture and civilisation that accumulated over centuries, and which give the region its cosmopolitan identity. It was once a region known poetically as the Levant – a reference to the East, where the sun rose. Amid the bewildering mix of races, religions and rivalries, was above all an affinity with the three monotheistic religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam.
Today any mixing of this trinity of faiths is regarded as a recipe for hatred and prejudice. Yet it was not always this way. There was a time, in the last century, when Arabs and Jews rubbed shoulders in bazaars and teashops, worked and played together, intermarried and shared family histories. Michael Vatikiotis’s parents and grandparents were a product of this forgotten pluralist tradition, which spanned almost a century from the mid-1800s to the end of the Second World War in 1945. The Ottoman empire, in a last gasp of reformist energy before it collapsed in the 1920s, granted people of many creeds and origins generous spaces to nestle into and thrive. The European colonial order that followed was to reveal deep divisions. Vatikiotis’s family eventually found themselves caught between clashing faiths and contested identity. Their story is of people set adrift, who built new lives and prospered in holy lands, only to be caught up in conflict and tossed on the waves of a violent history.
Lives Between the Lines brilliantly recreates a world where the Middle East was a place to go to, not flee from, and the subsequent start of a prolonged nightmare of suffering from which the region has yet to recover.
MARADONA is the definitive new biography of a true global icon, from world-renowned football writer and journalist Guillem Balagué.
Diego Armando Maradona was widely acclaimed as a genius. One of the greatest footballers of all time, he was also one of the most controversial. In an international career with Argentina he earned 91 caps and scored 34 goals and played in four FIFA World Cups. With his unforgettable ‘hand of God’ goal and unsurpassed second one in the 1986 quarter-final against England, he captained his nation and led them to victory over West Germany in the final in Mexico. His vision, passing, ball control and dribbling skills, and his presence and leadership on the field, often electrified his own team’s overall performance.
Maradona’s club career included dazzling spells in his own country at Argentinos Juniors, Boca Juniors and Newell’s Old Boys, and in Europe with Barcelona, Napoli and Sevilla. Yet his life was one of relentless media attention, including tales of drug abuse and constant health issues.
Based on in-depth interviews and first-hand stories, Guillem Balagué’s masterly biography represents a psychological and sociological approach to the legend. This journey of exploration takes Guillem to Argentina, Spain, Italy and Dubai. Along the way, he asks what fosters such adulation, and how this adoration engendered a self-destructive personality.
Even after his untimely death in 2020, Maradona continues to fascinate: his divine status seemingly preserved for ever.