Books

Britain's 100 Best Railway Stations

Simon Jenkins

The Sunday Times Top 10 Bestseller

The perfect new gift from the bestselling author of Britain's 1000 Best Churches

It is the scene for our hopeful beginnings and our intended ends, and the timeless experiences of coming and going, meeting, greeting and parting. It is an institution with its own rituals and priests, and a long-neglected aspect of Britain's architecture. And yet so little do we look at the railway station.

Simon Jenkins has travelled the length and breadth of Great Britain, from Waterloo to Wemyss Bay, Betws-y-Coed to Beverley, to select his hundred best. Blending his usual insight and authority with his personal reflections and experiences - including his founding the Railway Heritage Trust - the foremost expert on our national heritage deftly reveals the history, geography, design and significance of each of these glories.

Beautifully illustrated with colour photographs throughout, this joyous exploration of our social history shows the station's role in the national imagination; champions the engineers, architects and rival companies that made them possible; and tells the story behind the triumphs and follies of these very British creations.

These are the marvellous, often undersung places that link our nation, celebrated like never before.

England's Thousand Best Churches

Simon Jenkins

Simon Jenkins has travelled the length and breadth of England to select his thousand best churches. Organised by county, each church is described - often with delightful asides - and given a star-rating from one to five. All of the county sections are prefaced by a map locating each church, and lavishly illustrated with colour photos from the Country Life archive. Jenkins contends that these churches house a gallery of vernacular art without equal in the world. Here, he brings that museum to public attention.

Wales

Simon Jenkins

From the great citadels of Caernarvon, Harlech, Powis and Beaumaris in the north, to the Victorian glories of Cardiff in the south, St David's cathedral ('the loveliest church in Wales') in the west to the exquisite little hill church of Patrishow in the east, from Plas Newydd above the Menai Straits to the romantic citadel of Carreg Cennan in the heart of the country, the buildings of Wales embody its history and are the equal of any in the British Isles. Simon Jenkins has travelled, it seems, every mile of the country to celebrate, and in some cases to find the very best of them, and irresistibly conveys in this book his enthusiasm for them. Cumulatively they amount to a cultural history of Wales by one of its most devoted sons. Anyone who is visiting Wales or who loves it will want to own this glorious book.

Thatcher and Sons

Simon Jenkins

The history of Britain in the last thirty years, under both Conservative and Labour governments, has been dominated by one figure – Margaret Thatcher. Her election marked a decisive break with the past and her premiership transformed not just her country, but the nature of democratic leadership. Simon Jenkins analyses this revolution from its beginnings in the turmoil of the 1970s through the social and economic changes of the 1980s. Was Thatcherism a mere medicine for an ailing economy or a complete political philosophy? And did it eventually fall victim to the dogmatism and control which made it possible? This is the story of the events, personalities, defeats and victories which will be familiar to all those who lived through them, but seen through a new lens. It is also an argument about how Thatcher’s legacy has continued down to the present. Not just John Major, but Tony Blair and Gordon Brown are her heirs and acolytes. And as the Conservative party reinvents itself as a viable political force once again, is the age of Thatcher finally over?
Simon Jenkins

Biography

Simon Jenkins is the author of the bestselling books Britain's 100 Best Railway Stations, A Short History of England, England's Thousand Best Churches and England's Thousand Best Houses. He is the former editor of the Evening Standard and The Times, and a columnist for The Guardian and Evening Standard.

He has served as deputy chairman of English Heritage and chairman of the National Trust, was a founder member of SAVE Britain's Heritage and chaired the revision of the Pevsner guides from 1994 to 2011. He founded the Railway Heritage Trust and has served on the Boards of British Rail and London Transport. He lives in London and Aberdyfi.