New and forthcoming
In Dubai, a luxury apartment block is built in the shape of a giant iPod. In China, President Xi Jinping denounces the trend of constructing ‘bizarre’ new buildings in wacky shapes and colours. In Cincinnati, celebrity architect Zaha Hadid is paid millions to design a single ‘iconic’ structure – with the hope of single-handedly transforming the region’s ailing fortunes. These incidents are all part of the same story: the rise of the age of spectacle.
Over the last fifty years, there has been a revolution in how our cities operate. In The Age of Spectacle, Tom Dyckhoff tells the story of how architecture became obsessed with the flashy, the monumental and the ostentatious – and how we all have to live with the consequences. Exploring cityscapes from New York to Beijing, and from Bilbao to Portsmouth, Dyckhoff shows that we are not just witnessing a new kind of building: we are living through a fundamental transformation in how our urban spaces work. The corporate explosion of the last few decades has fundamentally shifted the relationship between architects, politicians and cities’ inhabitants, fostering innovative new kinds of engineering and design, but also facilitating ill-conceived vanity projects and commercial power-grabs.
Timely, passionate and bursting with new ideas, The Age of Spectacle is both an examination of how twenty-first century cities work, and a manifesto for a radically new kind of urbanism. Our cities, Dyckhoff shows, can thrive in the age of spectacle – but only if they engage us not just with dazzling structures, but by responding to the needs of the people who inhabit them.
'First class. Finally, a book that nails the iconic movement – Tom Dyckhoff’s The Age of Spectacle is the book that I wish I had written.' Simon Jenkins
What was it like to live as a royal Tudor? Why were their residences built as they were and what went on inside their walls? Who slept where and with who? Who chose the furnishings? And what were their passions?
The Tudors ruled through the day, throughout the night, in the bath, in bed and in the saddle. Their palaces were genuine power houses - the nerve-centre of military operations, the boardroom for all executive decisions and the core of international politics. Houses of Power is the result of Simon Thurley's thirty years of research, picking through architectural digs, and examining financial accounts, original plans and drawings to reconstruct the great Tudor houses and understand how these monarchs shaped their lives. Far more than simply an architectural history - a study of private life as well as politics, diplomacy and court - it gives an entirely new and remarkable insight into the Tudor world.
'If you’re stuck for an idea, have a big decision to handle or need a new perspective on a problem, here are some approaches for thinking, communicating and creativity. An upbeat guide that anyone can use to help with the big and small challenges we face every day.’ Anthony Burrill
A life-affirming guide to new thinking, creative problem-solving and getting things done from graphic artist Anthony Burrill. Full of inspiration and ideas, his best-loved prints as well as new work, this book will get you thinking bigger and better and recharge your creativity.
Lady Carnarvon’s love of history is richly rewarded at Highclere Castle with its mine of family records going back some 300 years. She has delved into the archives to create a book that invites you inside the Castle, past and present. Throughout the centuries, Highclere has welcomed Royalty, Statesmen, Egyptologists and pioneers of technology along with men and women from the worlds of music, art and letters. The etiquette of the invitation, the balance of guests at a weekend house party, their ‘placement’ at dinners, and the entertainment of friends, as well as the domestic management required to execute the perfect occasion, have all preoccupied successive generations of châtelaines. This book tells the story four real life weekends - from 1866 to 1936 - when the great and the good gathered at Highclere to change the world in some large or small part. It then reflects on how the current Countess entertains 'At Home' at Highclere today.
Each weekend showcases the life of the house, both upstairs with the rich and famous and below stairs with the staff and employees. You are transported to a world where guests were collected from the long since defunct Highclere Station in carriages or later in the earliest cars having had the train stop specifically for them and where the allocation of the most prestigious bedrooms really did matter. It looks at what should be served for dinner, the hot topics of conversation and gossip, traditional breakfasts and shooting parties with the Prince of Wales. She explores how menus were, and still are now, put together with the chef, what were the de rigueur cocktails of the day (and why) – and how to make them at home wherever you are. Each chapter will explore some of the recipes and, where practical, have adaptations and photos of the recipes which can be cooked in today’s kitchens. Many recipes are little-changed to this day and Lady Carnarvon shares her commentary on their context at Highclere.
‘Highclere works hard to steer a steady course in today’s world, but the Castle was built for entertainment and pleasure, for convivial weekends. I hope this book gives a glimpse inside a great house, with mouth-watering recipes, eye-catching photographs and fascinating stories about some of the remarkable people who have stayed here.’ Lady Carnarvon
A wooden box holds the buttons of three generations of women in Lynn Knight’s family – each one with its own tale to tell...
Tracing the story of women at home and in work, from the jet buttons of Victorian mourning, to the short skirts of the 1960s, taking in suffragettes, bachelor girls, little dressmakers, Biba and the hankering for vintage, The Button Box lifts the lid on women’s lives and their clothes with elegance and wit.
'An absorbing book, beautifully told and with the writer fully in command of a huge body of research' Philip Hensher, Mail on Sunday
There was an epic sweep to Michelangelo's life. At 31 he was considered the finest artist in Italy, perhaps the world; long before he died at almost 90 he was widely believed to be the greatest sculptor or painter who had ever lived (and, by his enemies, to be an arrogant, uncouth, swindling miser). For decade after decade, he worked near the dynamic centre of events: the vortex at which European history was changing from Renaissance to Counter Reformation. Few of his works - including the huge frescoes of the Sistine Chapel Ceiling, the marble giant David and the Last Judgment - were small or easy to accomplish. Like a hero of classical mythology - such as Hercules, whose statue Michelangelo carved in his youth - he was subject to constant trials and labours. In Michelangelo Martin Gayford describes what it felt like to be Michelangelo Buonarroti, and how he transformed forever our notion of what an artist could be.
'It is a measure of [Michelangelo's] magnitude, and Gayford's skill in capturing it, that you finish this book wishing that Michelangelo had lived longer and created more' Rachel Spence, FT
'One of our most distinguished writers on what makes modern artists tick . . . It is very difficult to cut through the thicket of generations of scholarship and say anything new about David, the Sistine Chapel, The Last Judgement, the Basilica of St Peter's or many of Michelangelo's other masterpieces, but Gayford manages to do so by encouraging us to think - and look - at both the obvious and the overlooked' Sunday Telegraph
'Only the most ambitious biographer can take on the talent of Michelangelo Buonarroti' The Times