The World of Paperbacks

Contemporary Review, January 2000 | Go to article overview

The World of Paperbacks


VINTAGE, part of the Random House empire, recently published Lyndall Gordon's A Private Life of Henry James: Two Women and His Art ([pounds]7.99. 500 pages. ISBN 0-099-38611-9). This highly praised literary biographer, famous for her books on T. S. Eliot, Virginia Woolf and Charlotte Bronte, here investigates the influence of Constance Woolson and Minny Temple on the novelist.

CONSTABLE has brought out a trade paperback edition of three biographies that were well received when published by the same firm in hardback. The first is Jasper Ridley's Mussolini ([pounds]12.99. 430 pages. ISBN 0-09-479060-4) first published in 1997. The second is Hugh Small's controversial study of Florence Nightingale: Avenging Angel ([pounds]9.99. 221 pages. ISBN 0-09-479840-0) which both dismantles and rebuilds her reputation. The third is Gerard Noel's Ena: Spain's English Queen ([pounds]10.99. 323 pages. ISBN 0-09-479520-7) which tells the story of Queen Victoria's granddaughter whose marriage to the heir to the Spanish throne in 1905 caused a constitutional crisis as she had to become Catholic. For this new edition the author has written a new introduction while the story remains as fascinating as when first written.

PAN has recently issued a paperback edition of John Simpson's book, Strange Places, Questionable People ([pounds]6.99. 566 pages. ISBN 0-330-35566-X) in which the BBC's World Affairs Editor and former Correspondent records his adventures as a correspondent covering most of the decisive events in the world over the last thirty years. Another new release is Gordon Brook-Shepherd's Ironmaze: The Western Secret Services and the Bolsheviks ([pounds]7.99. 402 pages. ISBN 0-330-36877-X) in which the noted historian disentangles the secret efforts of the West to undermine the new Bolshevik regime in Moscow. Parts read better than a mystery novel.

PAPERMAC, another imprint of Macmillan Publishers, has republished Hugo Young's This Blessed Plot: Britain and Europe from Churchill to Blair ([pounds]12.00. 570 pages. ISBN 0-333-75411-5). This is a revised and corrected edition of the book first published in 1998. Here Mr Young gives readers the Eurofanatic view of Britain's relation with Europe and the EU since the end of the last war.

Among new releases from PIMLICO is Peter King's edition of Sir Ernest Shackleton's South: The Story of Shackleton's Last Expedition 1914-1917 ([pounds]10.00. 208 pages. ISBN 0-7126-6412-2). This story has thrilled readers since first published in 1919 and this edition has much subsidiary information and photographs to round out the tale.

PENGUIN Books have published Paul Davis' The Penguin Dickens Companion: The Essential Reference to His Life and Work ([pounds]8.99/Aus $24.95. 547 pages. ISBN 0-14-028275-0) which was published last year in the US by Facts on File as Charles Dickens A to Z. …

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