Diaries, 1942-1954

Author: James Lees-Milne,Michael Bloch

Publisher: Hachette UK

ISBN: 1848547099

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 512

View: 1376


The diaries of the National Trust's country house expert James Lees-Milne (1908-97) have been hailed as 'one of the treasures of contemporary English literature'. The first of three, this volume, which includes interesting material omitted when the diaries were originally published during the author's lifetime, covers the years 1942 to 1954, beginning with his wartime visits to hard-pressed country house owners, and ending with his marriage to the exotic Alvilde Chaplin.

Churchill & Son

Author: Josh Ireland

Publisher: Hachette UK

ISBN: 1529337771

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 400

View: 6789


'In this fascinating account of the turbulent Churchill father-and-son relationship, Josh Ireland shows how central Winston and Randolph were to each other's lives' Andrew Roberts Few fathers and sons can ever have been so close as Winston Churchill and his only son Randolph. Both showed flamboyant impatience, reckless bravery, and generosity of spirit. The glorious and handsome Randolph was a giver and devourer of pleasure, a man who exploded into rooms, trailing whisky tumblers and reciting verbatim whole passages of classic literature. But while Randolph inherited many of his fathers' talents, he also inherited all of his flaws. Randolph was his father only more so: fiercer, louder, more out of control. Hence father and son would be so very close, and so liable to explode at each other. Winston's closest ally during the wilderness years of the 1930s, Randolph would himself become a war hero, serving with the SAS in the desert and Marshal Tito's guerrillas in Yugoslavia, a friend of press barons and American presidents alike, and a journalist with a 'genius for uncovering secrets', able to secure audiences with everyone from Kaiser Wilhelm to General Franco and Guy Burgess. But Randolph's political career never amounted to anything. As much as he idolised Winston and never lost faith in his father during the long, solitary years of Winston's decline, he was never able to escape from the shadow cast by Britain's great hero. In his own eyes, and most woundingly of all his father's, his life was a failure. Winston, ever consumed by his own sense of destiny, allowed his own ambitions to take priority over Randolph's. The world, big as it was, only had space for one Churchill. Instead of the glory he believed was his birthright, Randolph died young, his body rotted by resentment and drink, before he could complete his father's biography. A revealing new perspective on the Churchill myth, this intimate story reveals the lesser-seen Winston Churchill: reading Peter Rabbit books to his children, admonishing Eton schoolmasters and using decanters and wine glasses to re-fight the Battle of Jutland at the table. Amid a cast of personalities who defined an era - PG Wodehouse, Nancy Astor, The Mitfords, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Lord Beaverbrook, William Randolph Hearst, Oswald Mosley, Graham Greene, Duff and Diana Cooper, the Kennedys, Charlie Chaplin, and Lloyd George - Churchill & Son is the lost story of a timeless father-son relationship.

Mountbatten

Author: Adrian Smith

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing

ISBN: 0857714929

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 396

View: 5298


Was he a far-sighted war hero, or an ambitious networker promoted well above his natural talent? Admired as a modernising chief of staff, a timely decoloniser, and a genuine player on the world stage, Mountbatten nevertheless continues to attract fierce criticism. In this timely new biography, Adrian Smith offers a fresh and convincing perspective, depicting Mountbatten as a quintessentially modern, highly professional figure within the Royal Navy, and at Combined Operations and SE Asia Command, a hands-on officer who enthusiastically embraced new technology; someone who, although an aristocrat, was by instinct a progressive, innovative in his approach to man management. Smith brings Mountbatten to life, acknowledging the essential qualities as well as the obvious weaknesses. Beneath the rich, vain, often ruthless, embodiment of power and privilege could be found a very human, even vulnerable, character - the complex personality of a pivotal figure in the history of twentieth-century Britain and her empire.

Churchill's Cold War

Author: Klaus Larres

Publisher: Yale University Press

ISBN: 9780300094381

Category: History

Page: 583

View: 9150


En dybtgående, veldokumenteret analyse af britisk udenrigspolitik i gennem de første 10 efterkrigsår, herunder bl. a. den engelsk-amerikansk-franske manøvre for at afværge Sovjetunionens bestræbelser for at genforene Tyskland.

The Love-charm of Bombs

Author: Lara Feigel

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing

ISBN: 1408833484

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 400

View: 8308


When the first bombs fell on London in August 1940, the city was transformed overnight into a battlefront. For most Londoners, the sirens, guns, planes and bombs heralded gruelling nights of sleeplessness, fear and loss. But for Graham Greene and some of his contemporaries, this was a bizarrely euphoric time when London became the setting for intense love affairs and surreal beauty. At the height of the Blitz, Greene described the bomb-bursts as holding one 'like a love-charm'. As the sky whistled and the ground shook, nerves were tested, loyalties examined and infidelities begun. The Love-charm of Bombs is a powerful wartime chronicle told through the eyes of five prominent writers: Elizabeth Bowen, Graham Greene, Rose Macaulay, Hilde Spiel and Henry Yorke (writing as Henry Green). Volunteering as ambulance drivers, fire-fighters and ARP wardens, these were the successors to the soldier poets of the First World War and their story has never been told. Now, opening with a meticulous evocation of a single night in September 1940, Lara Feigel brilliantly and beautifully interweaves letters, diaries and fiction with official civil defence records to chart the history of a burning world in wartime London and post-war Vienna and Berlin. She reveals the haunting, ecstatic, often wrenching stories that triumphed amid the mess of a war-torn world.

Inheritance

Author: Robert Sackville-West

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing

ISBN: 1408811332

Category: History

Page: 320

View: 3889


Since its purchase in 1604 by Thomas Sackville, 1st Earl of Dorset, the house at Knole, Kent, has been inhabited by thirteen generations of a single aristocratic family, the Sackvilles. Here, drawing on a wealth of unpublished letters, archives and images, the current incumbent of the seat, Robert Sackville-West, paints a vivid and intimate portrait of the vast, labyrinthine house and the close relationships his colourful ancestors formed with it. Inheritance is the story of a house and its inhabitants, a family described by Vita Sackville-West as 'a race too prodigal, too amorous, too weak, too indolent and too melancholy; a rotten lot, and nearly all stark staring mad'. Where some revelled in the hedonism of aristocratic life, others rebelled against a house which, in time, would disinherit them, shutting its doors to them forever. It's a drama in which the house itself is a principal character, it's fortunes often mirroring those of the family. Every detail holds a story: the portraits, and and all the junk which the subjects of those portraits left behind, point to pivotal moments in history; all the rooms, and the objects that fill them, are freighted with an emotional significance that has been handed down from generation to generation. Now owned by the National Trust, Knole is today one of the largest houses in England, visited by thousands annually and housing one of the country's finest collections of second-hand Royal furniture. It's a pleasure to follow Robert Sackville-West, as he unravels the private life of a public place on a fascinating, masterful, four-hundred-year tour through the memories and memorabilia, political, financial and domestic, of his extraordinary family.

Great British Gardeners

Author: Vanessa Berridge

Publisher: Amberley Publishing Limited

ISBN: 1445672413

Category: Gardening

Page: 352

View: 6082


Through the stories of twenty-six inspiring figures - from ‘Capability’ Brown, Humphry Repton and Vita Sackville-West to lesser known figures, and present-day gardeners such as Beth Chatto and John Brookes - this book brings the colourful history of British gardening to life.

What Did You Do During the War?

Author: Richard Griffiths

Publisher: Taylor & Francis

ISBN: 1317495659

Category: Political Science

Page: 358

View: 3770


This book is a sequel to Richard Griffiths’s two highly successful previous books on the British pro-Nazi Right, Fellow Travellers of the Right: British Enthusiasts for Nazi Germany 1933-39 and Patriotism Perverted: Captain Ramsay, the Right Club and British Anti-Semitism 1939-1940. It follows the fortunes of his protagonists after the arrests of May-June 1940, and charts their very varied reactions to the failure of their cause, while also looking at the possible reasons for the Government’s failure to detain prominent pro-Nazis from the higher strata of society. Some of the pro-Nazis continued with their original views, and even undertook politically subversive activity, here and in Germany. Others, finding that their pre-war balance between patriotism and pro-Nazism had now tipped firmly on the side of patriotism, fully supported the war effort, while still maintaining their old views privately. Other people found that events had made them change their views sincerely. And then there were those who, frightened by the prospect of detention or disgrace, tried to hide or even to deny their former views by a variety of subterfuges, including attacking former colleagues. This wide variety of reactions sheds new light on the equally wide range of reasons for their original admiration for Nazism, and also gives us some more general insight into what could be termed ‘the psychology of failure’.

The Mountbattens

Author: Andrew Lownie

Publisher: Kings Road Publishing

ISBN: 1788702573

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 496

View: 8623


'Richly entertaining... impressively well-researched' Daily Mail, Biography of the Year The Sunday Times bestselling biography of the glamorous couple behind the modern royal family, the aunt and uncle of Prince Philip. DICKIE MOUNTBATTEN: A major figure behind his nephew Philip's marriage to Queen Elizabeth II and instrumental in the Royal Family taking the Mountbatten name, he was Supreme Allied Commander of South East Asia during World War II and the last Viceroy of India. EDWINA MOUNTBATTEN: Once the richest woman in Britain and a playgirl who enjoyed numerous affairs, she emerged from World War II as a magnetic and talented humanitarian worker loved around the world. From British high society to the South of France, from the battlefields of Burma to the Viceroy's House, The Mountbattens is a rich and filmic story of a powerful partnership, revealing the truth behind a carefully curated legend. Was Mountbatten one of the outstanding leaders of his generation, or a man over-promoted because of his royal birth, high-level connections, film-star looks and ruthless self-promotion? What is the true story behind controversies such as the Dieppe Raid and Indian Partition, the love affair between Edwina and Nehru, and Mountbatten's assassination in 1979? Based on over 100 interviews, research from dozens of archives and new information released under Freedom of Information requests, prize-winning historian Andrew Lownie sheds new light on this remarkable couple. 'Painstakingly researched... genuinely enthralling' Observer 'A page-turner which is also a carefully researched work of history' Spectator 'A compelling new biography...superbly researched' Daily Express 'Incisive... strongly recommend' The Times

The Mad Boy, Lord Berners, My Grandmother And Me

Author: Sofka Zinovieff

Publisher: Random House

ISBN: 1448105196

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 448

View: 1820


Faringdon House in Oxfordshire was the home of Lord Berners, composer, writer, painter, friend of Stravinsky and Gertrude Stein, a man renowned for his eccentricity – masks, practical jokes, a flock of multi-coloured doves – and his homosexuality. Before the war he made Faringdon an aesthete’s paradise, where exquisite food was served to many of the great minds, beauties and wits of the day. Since the early thirties his companion there was Robert Heber-Percy, twenty-eight years his junior, wildly physical, unscholarly, a hothead who rode naked through the grounds, loved cocktails and nightclubs, and was known to all as the Mad Boy. If the two men made an unlikely couple, at a time when homosexuality was illegal, the addition to the household in 1942 of a pregnant Jennifer Fry, a high society girl known to be ‘fast’, as Robert’s wife was simply astounding. After Victoria was born the marriage soon foundered (Jennifer later married Alan Ross). Berners died in 1950, leaving Robert in charge of Faringdon, aided by a ferocious Austrian housekeeper who strove to keep the same culinary standards in a more austere age. This was the world Sofka Zinovieff, Victoria’s daughter, a typical child of the sixties, first encountered at the age of seventeen. Eight years later, to her astonishment, Robert told her he was leaving her Faringdon House. Her book about Faringdon and its people is marvellously witty and full of insight, bringing to life a vanished world and the almost fantastical people who lived in it.