VINTAGE BOOKS lead this issue's releases with a wide range of new titles. First we have the two volumes of Jerry White's history of London: London in the Nineteenth Century: A Human Awful Wonder of God and London in the Twentieth Century: A City and Its People. Each is priced [pounds sterling]10.99 and the two together give a comprehensive history of the capital in all its splendour and horror. Carrying on the history theme we have Jessie Childs' Henry VIII's Last Victim: The Life and Times of Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey ([pounds sterling]9.99) while on the literary side we have Hermione Lee's Edith Wharton ([pounds sterling]10.99), a well-researched and nicely written biography, and Rosemary Ashton's 142 Strand: A Radical Address in Victorian London ([pounds sterling]9.99) which tells the story of the publisher, John Chap man, and his place in Victorian literary life. On the non-literary side we have Adrian Tinniswood's The Verneys, whose sub-title, A true story of love, war and madness in seventeenth-century England tells all one needs to know, and Druin Burch's Digging Up the Dead: The Life and Times of Astley Cooper, an Extraordinary Surgeon ([pounds sterling]8.99), the biography of one of the more unusual physicians in eighteenth and early nineteenth century British medical history. Finally, we have a reprint of Len Deighton's Fighter: The True Story of the Battle of Britain ([pounds sterling]8.99), first published in 1977.
In the Vintage Classics series we have a wide range of attractively presented new titles which we shall list in alphabetical order: Emily Bronte's always popular Wuthering Heights ([pounds sterling]5.99): Wilkie Collins' The Woman in White ([pounds sterling]5.99), with the power to enthral readers after almost 150 years; Elizabeth Gaskell's Mary Barton ([pounds sterling]6.99) and North and South ([pounds sterling]5.99) which look at life in an industrialising England (the latter title has an introduction buy Jenny Uglow); Thomas Hardy's less of the D' Urbervilles ([pounds sterling]5.99), the novel which shocked Victorian Britain (with Hardy's note to the first edition and preface to the fifth and later editions); Henry James' The Portrait of a Lady ([pounds sterling]5.99), a love story set against the American discovery of Europe; Edith Wharton's The Age of Innocence ([pounds sterling]5.99), another look at the influence of European values on American life (with an introduction by Lionel Shriver); and, finally, Virginia Woolf's Mrs Dalloway ([pounds sterling]6.99), her 1925 'stream of consciousness' novel (with introductions by Carol Ann Duffy and Valentine Cunningham).
From EBURY PRESS we have four military studies: Charles Rolling's Prisoner of War: Voices from Behind the Wire in the Second World War ([pounds sterling]8.99), a study of POW life as described by the men themselves, Forgotten Voices of the Falklands ([pounds sterling]7.99) by Hugh McManners, a riveting investigation into the Falklands War, from the incompetence of Foreign Office officials to the bravery of HM Forces, as told in their own words, and finally another in the 'Forgotten Voices' series, Joshua Levine's Forgotten Voices of the Blitz and the Battle for Britain ([pounds sterling]7.99). This valuable collection, compiled in association with the Imperial War Museum, begins with Dunkirk and carries on through the Battle of Britain. It gives readers a unique insight into daily life as recorded in the words of those who survived. Finally we have Dr Christian G. Appy's Vietnam: The Definitive Oral History Told from All Sides ([pounds sterling]14.99). In this title, first published in the US the author interviewed hundreds of people both in the US and in Vietnam to give an unpolished and disturbing first-hand account of the US's greatest military blunder up to the invasion of Iraq.
There is an equally stimulating range of titles from the Penguin Classics range published by PENGUIN BOOKS. Cambridge's Prof. Robin Kirkpatrick finishes his new translation of Dante' Divine Comedy with Paradiso ([pounds sterling]12.99) in which the translator uses his wide knowledge of Dante and his times to enrich the reader's understanding and appreciation of this masterpiece of Italian literature. Another translated classic is Immanuel Kant's Critique of Pure Reason ([pounds sterling]15.99) which remains one of the most important texts in the evolution of Western philosophy. It is here edited, introduced and translated by Dr Marcus Weigelt who has based his text on Max Midler's. We also have two of the late Wilfred Thesiger's most famous books, The Marsh Arabs ([pounds sterling]9.99), introduced by Jon Lee Anderson, mdArabian Sands ([pounds sterling]9.99), introduced by Rory Stewart. Both introductions are well done and show how these books transcended the travel-book genre to become highly incisive studies. A final new title is Blood, Toil, Tears and Sweat: The Great Speeches ([pounds sterling]10.99) of Sir Winston Churchill, edited and introduced by David Cannadine. On a slightly less intense level we have H. Rider Haggard's famous novel, King Solomon's Mines ([pounds sterling]7.99) here edited and introduced by Prof. Robert Hampson.
Leaving the Penguin Classics range we have an equally wide range of new titles: Christopher Tyerman's God's War: A New History of the Crusades ([pounds sterling]12.99), that long series of wars which sought to reclaim Jerusalem for Christendom, Christopher Bayly and Tim Harper's Forgotten Wars: The End of Britain's Asian Empire ([pounds sterling]10.99), which was widely praised on its hardback publication, Martin Goodman's Rome and Jerusalem: The Clash of Ancient Civilizations ([pounds sterling]9.99), the conflict which led to the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD and Keith Lowe's Inferno: The Devastation of Hamburg, 1943 ([pounds sterling]8.99), a horrendous story of a city's destruction which has been neglected because of the bombing of Dresden.
From JOHN MURRAY we have Anthony Everitt's The First Emperor: Caesar Augustus and the Triumph of Rome ([pounds sterling]9.99), an interesting and balanced biography of one of the most important and still fascinating men in European history. We have also received Tim Mackintosh-Smith's Yemen: Travels in Dictionary Land ([pounds sterling]9.99) and Zachary Karabell's People of the Book: The Forgotten History of Islam and the West ([pounds sterling]9.99) which shows that conflict was not 'the only story' in Christendom's relations with Mohammed's religion of peace and Margaret Macmillan's Seize the Hour: When Nixon Met Mao ([pounds sterling]9.99) in which she examines the 1972 meeting and Sino-American relations in general. Finally we have the abridged edition of James Lees-Milne's Diaries, 1942-1954 ([pounds sterling]10.99), prepared and introduced by Michael Bloch. This is the first of a three-volume set and contains material not included in the original publication.
W.W. NORTON has brought out a paperback edition of Anton Chekhov's The Complete Plays ([pounds sterling]12.99) edited and translated by Laurence Senelick who used his wide knowledge of Russian theatre to supplement his skills as a translator to produce what the reviewer in this journal called 'this impressive volume'.
New titles from ABACUS have a decidedly American tinge with two volumes of works by Gore Vidal. The first, Selected Essays ([pounds sterling]10.99), was published in hardback in 1993 and is here introduced by Jay Parini who also has edited the volume. The contents include a wide range of essays which cover topics from French literature to US politics. The second new volume is Point to Point Navigation: A Memoir 1964 to 2006 ([pounds sterling]8.99), the continuation of the writer's first volume of memoirs, Palimpsest. Like the earlier volume it contains as much reflection as recollection. The second American author to be included is the late Norman Mailer. Abacus has reprinted his novel, The Castle in the Forest ([pounds sterling]9.99), a fictional 'biography' of the Hitler family and its most infamous son. There are two non-American titles. The first is Barbara Pym's Jane and Prudence ([pounds sterling]7.99), a novel in which the twentieth-century Jane Austen describes life with her usual detachment and humour. The second is Robert Lacey's Great Tales from English History: A Treasury of True Stories--the Extraordinary People Who Made Britain Great ([pounds sterling]9.99). This is an omnibus collection of the three volumes in his 'Great Tales' series that has proved so popular.
YALE UNIVERSITY PRESS is famous for the high quality of its books, both in appearance and content, and for striding the gap between academic learning and non-academic readers. This is very evident in Vaughan Hart's Nicholas Hawksmoor: Rebuilding Ancient Wonders ([pounds sterling]16.99) which is published for the Paul Mellon Centre. This beautifully illustrated volume is a 'study of Hawksmoor's style and sources' and its paperback edition will help to make this great master's works better understood and appreciated. Other new Yale titles include A.D. Nuttall's Shakespeare the Thinker ([pounds sterling]10.99), reviewed in this journal as the 'product of a fine and wide-ranging mind' and My Dear Mr Stalin: The Complete Correspondence of Franklin D. Roosevelt and Joseph V. Stalin ([pounds sterling]11.99) which may help historians understand how the Soviet dictator befuddled the US President. Finally there is The Occupation of Iraq: Winning the War, Losing the Peace ([pounds sterling]9.99) in which the author, a minister in the Iranian government, examines what went wrong after the toppling of Saddam.
GRANTA BOOKS have brought out Ryszard Kapuscinski's Imperium ([pounds sterling]8.99), translated by Kala Glowczewska. Kapuscinski was arguably one of the most important Polish writers of the post-war era and his incisive and moving study of the Soviet Union in its final days is one of the best accounts we have of the empire's collapse. This edition also has an affectionate Afterword by Margaret Atwood.
LONGMAN'S Seminar Studies in History has long been a favourite source for undergraduates and we now have a second edition of Harold L. Smith's The British Women's Suffrage Campaign, 1866-1928 ([pounds sterling]13.99) with its standard combination of original texts along with background information, analysis and assessment. Mr Smith has taken this opportunity to update his treatment and extend his coverage.
JR BOOKS has issued a new edition of Alfred Brendel On Music: Collected Essays ([pounds sterling]14.99), first published in 2001. The distinguished pianist has not only made minor corrections to the text but has added his 2003 address to the London Critics' Circle.
OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS has brought out a paperback edition of Missions and Empire ([pounds sterling]19.99) edited by Prof. Norman Etherington, part of the Press's Companion Series to its five-volume History of the British Empire. The essays in this volume look, at the valiant work of Christian missionaries made possible by imperial expansion. We also have a third edition of A Dictionary of Contemporary World History from 1900 to the Present Day ([pounds sterling]10.99) by Jan Palmowski. The 2,600 plus entries have been revised, updated and expanded and the editor has included web-links through a companion website.
Peter Parsons' City of the Sharp-Nosed Fish: Greek Papyri beneath the Egyptian Sand Reveal a Long-Lost World ([pounds sterling]9.99) was published by PHOENIX to considerable acclaim. It combines archaeological research and history in a way to give readers a story as exciting as any novel. Also from Phoenix we have: Matthew Dennison's The Last Princess: The Devoted Life of Queen Victoria's Youngest Daughter ([pounds sterling]10.99), a balanced portrait of Princess Beatrice and Court life after Prince Albert's death; Edward Paice's Tip & Run: The Untold Tragedy of the Great War in Africa ([pounds sterling]12.99) which shows that the African front was not merely a 'side-show;' Robert Hutchinson's Thomas Cromwell: The Rise and Fall of Henry VIII's most Notorious Minister ([pounds sterling]8.99), a good book about a wicked man; Neal Bascomb's Red Mutiny: Mutiny, Revolution and Revenge on the Battleship Potemkin ([pounds sterling]8.99) which used new material to re-examine the famous 1905 mutiny; Jennifer Worth's Call the Midwife: A True Story of the East End in the 1950s ([pounds sterling]6.99), a first-hand account of women's life in London's East End; Chris Skidmore's Edward VI: The Lost King of England ([pounds sterling]8.99) which takes a new look at the King who succeeded Cromwell's employer; and, finally, Adrian Greaves' Lawrence of Arabia: Mirage of a Desert War ([pounds sterling]8.99). In current affairs we have Sir Michael Rose's Washington's War: From Independence to Iraq ([pounds sterling]8.99) a military man's assessment of the US's mess in Iraq.
SPELLMOUNT has brought out a high quality paperback edition of the first volume of Rudyard Kipling's The Irish Guards in the Great War: The First Battalion ([pounds sterling]18.99) which was first published in 1923. Kipling, who remains one of the greatest masters of English prose, wrote the history as a tribute to his son who was in the Irish Guards and killed at Loos. This has an introduction by George Webb, editor of the Kipling Journal. He reminds us that if Kipling's prose was 'austere', as befits such a story, it was also deeply moving. The book deserves to be better known and this republication should help in that direction.
Ancient Egypt continues to attract as it has done for over 2000 years and TAURIS PARKE PAPERBACKS has reprinted Julie Hankey's A Passion for Egypt: Arthur Weigall, Tutankhamun and the 'Curse of the Pharaohs' ([pounds sterling]10.99). As the reviewer of the hardback edition wrote, 'it opens a door on a world that is now part of history and reveals one of the more fascinating actors on the great stage of British Imperial history'.
PIMLICO has released a new trade paperback edition of Bernard, Lord Donoughue's Downing Street Diary: With Harold Wilson in No. 10 ([pounds sterling]16.99), a highly praised insight into Harold Wilson's last administration by the head of its 'policy unit' and Hermione Lee's Body Parts: Essays on Life-Writing ([pounds sterling]12.99) a collection of the biographer and literary critic's published essays. We also have Robert Conquest's The Great Terror: A Reassessment ([pounds sterling]16.99) which was first published in 1968, and then in a revised edition in 1990. This present edition has a new Introduction by Prof. Conquest in which he looks again at this horrible period in Soviet history and at the book which did so much to bring the horrors to public attention in 1968. A third title tied to warfare is Bryan Magee's Growing Up in a War ([pounds sterling]9.99) as seen by a young boy in London's East End. Finally there is Jon Savage's Teenage: The Creation of Youth 1875-1945 ([pounds sterling]12.99), an important work of social history which examines the forces which created 'the teenager'.
Two other titles dealing with the chilling world of Russian politics are Chris Bellamy's Absolute War: Soviet Russia in the Second World War ([pounds sterling]9.99) in which the author uses new material to give a magisterial account of the Eastern Front, and Martin Sixsmith's The Litvineko File: Politics, Polonium and Russia's War with Itself ([pounds sterling]7.99) in which Mr Sixsmith looks behind the bizarre murder of Mr Litvinenko to the Russian political system that made it possible or even inevitable. Both are from PAN BOOKS which has also published Richard Toye's Lloyd George and Churchill: Rivals for Greatness ([pounds sterling]8.99), a refreshing new look at the 'friendship" between the two politicians, and Playing the Game: A Baden-Powell Compendium ([pounds sterling]8.99), edited by Mario Sica, a wide-ranging selection of writings by Robert Baden-Powell showing the man's many-sided personality.
Christina Lamb won the 2007 Foreign Correspondent of the Year award and in Small Wars Permitting: Dispatches from Foreign Lands ([pounds sterling]8.99), published by HARPERPRESS, she has collected her 'memories, articles and impressions jotted in notebooks and diaries' between 1987 and 2006. In between those two dates is a cornucopia of places and people who have been in the news, especially those who never wanted to be there.
TEMPUS has republished the late Julia Briggs' Edith Nesbit: A Woman of Passion ([pounds sterling]12.99) which was first published in 1987 and which gave a full portrait of one of the most famous children's authors in the language.
From FABER AND FABER we have paperback editions of two history titles and one biography. Of the hardback edition of Clair Wills' That Neutral Island: A History of Ireland During the Second World War ([pounds sterling]9.99) this journal's reviewer wrote that the book 'adds a new dimension to our approach to a subject which will continue to attract and divide historians'. In Utopian Dreams: In Search of a Good Life ([pounds sterling]7.99) Tobias Jones combines philosophical questioning with travelogue and ends up fulfilling Eliot's famous line: 'In my beginning is my end'. The biography is Tim Jeal's highly praised Stanley: The Impossible Life of Africa's Greatest Explorer ([pounds sterling]9,99) which is the fullest and most balanced study of H.M. Stanley yet published.
For some time THAMES & HUDSON have published studies and reference works centred on ancient Egypt and they have recently published three new paperbacks: The Thames & Hudson Dictionary of Ancient Egypt ([pounds sterling]9.95) by Roby Wilkinson, reviewed in this journal as a 'treasure-trove to students of ancient Egyptian life', The Complete Pyramids ([pounds sterling]14.95) by Mark Lehner, a detailed study of what the Pyramids meant and how they were built, and The Complete Valley of the Kings ([pounds sterling]14.95) by Nicholas Reeves and Richard H. Wilkinson which gives a general view of 'the tombs and treasures of Egypt's greatest Pharaohs'. All three titles have the same wide range of high quality illustrations which one has come to expect from this publisher.
Finally, CONSTABLE has brought out Anna Porter's Kasztner's Train ([pounds sterling]9.99) which describes the efforts of the Hungarian lawyer, Rezso Kasztner, to save Jews and of his treatment at the hands of fellow Jews after the war.…