New and forthcoming

In Montparnasse

Sue Roe

Witness the birth of Surrealism in Sue Roe's lively account of the artists who lived, loved and worked together

In this entertaining and informative biography, Sue Roe illustrates how surrealism emerged in Paris amidst an artistic ambience of lively experimentation. Before surrealism made its startling impact, artists including Marcel Duchamp and Giorgio De Chirico had already begun to shift the focus of the art scene in Montparnasse. Beginning with Duchamp, Roe tells the story of the wonderfully eccentric and avant-garde Dada movement, the birth of Surrealist photography with Man Ray and his muse Kiki de Montparnasse, the love triangle between writer Paul Éluard, his wife Gala and the artist Max Ernst, until the arrival of Salvador Dalí in 1929. In Montparnasse recounts the extraordinary, revolutionary work these artists undertook as much as the salons, café life, friendships, rows and love affairs that were their background.

Praise for In Montmartre

'Enjoyable, engaging, rollicking - the storytelling is lively' Spectator

'Admirable. What an eye for art Roe has. Brilliant' Guardian

'An elegant synthesis of complex material. It excels: Roe is a skilled and graceful writer' Telegraph

Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls (UK Edition)

Elena Favilli (and others)

Penguin presents the audiobook edition of Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls by Elena Favilli and Francesca Cavallo, read by Alicia Keys, Ashley Judd, Danai Guriria, Esperanza Spalding, Janeane Garofalo, Julianna Wilson, Mohzan Marno, Phillipa Soo, Samira Wiley and Rowan Blanchard. With an introduction read by the author

Includes a bonus PDF so you can write your very own Rebel Girl story!

What if the princess didn't marry Prince Charming but instead went on to be an astronaut? What if the jealous step sisters were supportive and kind? And what if the queen was the one really in charge of the kingdom? Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls introduces us to one hundred remarkable women and their extraordinary lives, from Ada Lovelace to Malala, Elizabeth I to Serena Williams. Empowering, moving and inspirational, these are true fairy tales for heroines who definitely don't need rescuing.

A Certain Idea of France

Julian Jackson

The definitive biography of the greatest French statesman of modern times

In six weeks in the early summer of 1940, France was over-run by German troops and quickly surrendered. The French government of Marshal Pétain sued for peace and signed an armistice. One little-known junior French general, refusing to accept defeat, made his way to England. On 18 June he spoke to his compatriots over the BBC, urging them to rally to him in London. 'Whatever happens, the flame of French resistance must not be extinguished and will not be extinguished.' At that moment, Charles de Gaulle entered into history.

For the rest of the war, de Gaulle frequently bit the hand that fed him. He insisted on being treated as the true embodiment of France, and quarrelled violently with Churchill and Roosevelt. He was prickly, stubborn, aloof and self-contained. But through sheer force of personality and bloody-mindedness he managed to have France recognised as one of the victorious Allies, occupying its own zone in defeated Germany. For ten years after 1958 he was President of France's Fifth Republic, which he created and which endures to this day. His pursuit of 'a certain idea of France' challenged American hegemony, took France out of NATO and twice vetoed British entry into the European Community. His controversial decolonization of Algeria brought France to the brink of civil war and provoked several assassination attempts.

Julian Jackson's magnificent biography reveals this the life of this titanic figure as never before. It draws on a vast range of published and unpublished memoirs and documents - including the recently opened de Gaulle archives - to show how de Gaulle achieved so much during the War when his resources were so astonishingly few, and how, as President, he put a medium-rank power at the centre of world affairs. No previous biography has depicted his paradoxes so vividly. Much of French politics since his death has been about his legacy, and he remains by far the greatest French leader since Napoleon.

The Spanish Armada: A Ladybird Expert Book

Sam Willis

Part of the new Ladybird Expert series, The Spanish Armada is an accessible and authoritative introduction to one of the most important naval battles in history and one of the most extraordinary historical tales ever told.

Written by award-winning British historian, archaeologist, and broadcaster Sam Willis, The Spanish Armada explores the battle that erupted in the English Channel in July 1588 when a Spanish fleet of 130 ships attempted to invade England.

You'll learn how religious tension between and piracy brought two powerful monarchs into conflict; how innovative tactics affected the battle; and how the conflict created unprecedented humanitarian disaster.

Written by the leading lights and most outstanding communicators in their fields, the Ladybird Expert books provide clear, accessible and authoritative introductions to subjects drawn from science, history and culture.

For an adult readership, the Ladybird Expert series is produced in the same iconic small hardback format pioneered by the original Ladybirds. Each beautifully illustrated book features the first new illustrations produced in the original Ladybird style for nearly forty years.

Kursk

Robert Moore

At 11.30 a.m. on Saturday 12 August 2000, two massive explosions roared through the shallow Arctic waters of the Barents Sea. The Kursk, pride of the Northern Fleet and the largest attack submarine in the world, was hurtling towards the ocean floor.

In Kursk (originally published as A Time to Die), award-winning journalist Robert Moore vividly recreates this disaster minute by minute. Venturing into a covert world where the Cold War continues out of sight, Moore investigates the military and political background to the tragedy. But above all, he tells the nail-bitingly poignant human story of the families waiting ashore, of the desperate efforts of British, Norwegian and Russian rescuers, and of the Kursk sailors, trapped in the aft compartnemt, waiting for rescue, as a horrified world followed their battle to stay alive . . .

The Human Planet

Simon L. Lewis (and others)

A remarkable exploration of the science, history and politics of the Anthropocene, one of the most important scientific ideas of our time, from two world-renowned experts

Meteorites, methane, mega-volcanoes and now human beings; the old forces of nature that transformed Earth many millions of years ago are joined by another: us. Our actions have driven Earth into a new geological epoch, the Anthropocene. For the first time in our home planet's 4.5-billion year history a single species is dictating Earth's future.

To some the Anthropocene symbolises a future of superlative control of our environment. To others it is the height of hubris, the illusion of our mastery over nature. Whatever your view, just below the surface of this odd-sounding scientific word, the Anthropocene, is a heady mix of science, philosophy, religion and politics linked to our deepest fears and utopian visions.

Tracing our environmental impact through time to reveal when humans began to dominate Earth, scientists Simon Lewis and Mark Maslin masterfully show what the new epoch means for all of us.

Chopin's Piano

Paul Kildea

In November 1838 Frédéric Chopin, George Sand and her two children sailed to Majorca to escape the Parisian winter. They settled in an abandoned monastery at Valldemossa in the mountains above Palma, where Chopin finished what would eventually be recognised as one of the great and revolutionary works of musical Romanticism - his 24 Preludes. There was scarcely a decent piano on the island (these were still early days in the evolution of the modern instrument), so Chopin worked on a small pianino made by a local craftsman, which remained in their monastic cell for seventy years after he and Sand had left.

This brilliant and unclassifiable book traces the history of Chopin's 24 Preludes through the instruments on which they were played, the pianists who interpreted them and the traditions they came to represent. Yet it begins and ends with the Majorcan pianino, which during the Second World War assumed an astonishing cultural potency as it became, for the Nazis, a symbol of the man and music they were determined to appropriate as their own.

The unexpected hero of the second part of the book is the great keyboard player and musical thinker Wanda Landowska, who rescued the pianino from Valldemossa in 1913, and who would later become one of the most influential musical figures of the twentieth century. Kildea shows how her story - a compelling account based for the first time on her private papers - resonates with Chopin's, while simultaneously distilling part of the cultural and political history of Europe and the United States in the central decades of the century. Kildea's beautifully interwoven narratives, part cultural history and part detective story, take us on an unexpected journey through musical Romanticism and allow us to reflect freshly on the changing meaning of music over time.

The Stopping Places

Damian Le Bas

'I needed to get to the stopping places, so I needed to get on the road. It was the road where I might at last find out where I belonged.'

Damian Le Bas grew up surrounded by Gypsy history. His great-grandmother would tell him stories of her childhood in the ancient Romani language; the places her family stopped and worked, the ways they lived, the superstitions and lores of their people. But his own experience of life on the road was limited to Ford Transit journeys from West Sussex to Hampshire to sell flowers.

In a bid to better understand his Gypsy heritage, the history of the Britain's Romanies and the rhythms of their life today, Damian sets out on a journey to discover the atchin tans, or stopping places – the old encampment sites known only to Travellers. Through winter frosts and summer dawns, from horse fairs to Gypsy churches, neon-lit lay-bys to fern-covered banks, Damian lives on the road, somewhere between the romanticised Gypsies of old, and their much-maligned descendants of today.

In this powerful and soulful debut, Damian le Bas brings the places, characters and stories of his to bold and vigorous life.

Black Klansman

Ron Stallworth

*** SOON TO BE A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE - NOMINATED FOR THE PALME D'OR AWARD ***

The extraordinary true story of the black detective who goes undercover to investigate the KKK.

When Ron Stallworth, the first black detective in the history of the Colorado Springs Police Department, comes across a classified ad in the local paper asking for all those interested in joining the Ku Klux Klan to contact a P.O. box, he responds with interest. He figures he'll receive a few brochures in the mail, and learn more about a growing terrorist threat in his community.

A few weeks later the office phone rings, and the caller asks Ron a question he thought he'd never have to answer, "Would you like to join our cause?" This is 1978, and the KKK is on the rise in the United States. Its Grand Wizard, David Duke, has made a name for himself, appearing on talk shows, and major magazine interviews preaching a "kinder" Klan that wants nothing more than to preserve its heritage.

Ron answers the caller's question that night with a yes, launching what is surely one of the most audacious, and incredible undercover investigations in history. Ron recruits his partner Chuck to play the 'white' Ron Stallworth, while Stallworth himself conducts all subsequent phone conversations. During the months-long investigation, Stallworth sabotages cross burnings, exposes white supremacists in the military, and even manages to deceive David Duke himself.

Black Klansman is an amazing true story that reads like a crime thriller. It's a searing portrait of a divided America and the extraordinary heroes who dare to fight back.

The Peterloo Massacre

Joyce Marlow

Unity of the oppressed can make a difference in politically uncertain times

A peaceful protest turned tragedy; this is the true story of the working class fight for the vote.

On August 16 1819, in St Peter’s Field, Manchester, a large non-violent gathering demanding parliamentary reform turned into a massacre, leaving many dead and hundreds more injured.

This catastrophic event was one of the key moments of the age, a political awakening of the working class, and eventually led to ordinary people gaining suffrage. In this definitive account Joyce Marlow tells the stories of the real people involved and brings to life the atrocity the government attempted to cover up.

The Peterloo Massacre is soon to be the subject of a major film directed by Mike Leigh.

The Murderer of Warren Street

Marc Mulholland

In December 1854, Emmanuel Barthélemy visited 73 Warren Street in the heart of radical London for the very last time. Within half an hour, two men were dead... This is the true story of one of nineteenth-century London’s most notorious murderers and revolutionaries.

The newspapers of Victorian England were soon in a frenzy. Who was this foreigner come to British shores to slay two upstanding subjects? As Oxford historian, Marc Mulholland, has uncovered, Barthélemy was no ordinary criminal. Rather, here was a dedicated activist fighting for the cause of the oppressed worker, a fugitive shaped by the storms of revolution, counterrevolution and a society in the midst of huge transformation.

Following in Barthélemy’s footsteps, Mulholland leads us from the barricades of the French capital and the icy rooftops of a Parisian jail to the English fireside of Karl Marx, a misty duelling ground and the dangling noose of London's Newgate prison, shining a light into a dark underworld of conspiracy, insurrection and fatal idealism.

The Murderer of Warren Street is a thrilling portrait of a troubled man in troubled times - full of resonance for our own terrorised age.

Origin Story

David Christian

'I have long been a fan of David Christian. In Origin Story, he elegantly weaves evidence and insights from many scientific and historical disciplines into a single, accessible historical narrative' Bill Gates

This is the epic story of the universe and our place in it, from 13.8 billion years ago to the remote future

How did we get from the Big Bang to today's staggering complexity, in which seven billion humans are connected into networks powerful enough to transform the planet? And why, in comparison, are our closest primate relatives reduced to near-extinction?

Big History creator David Christian gives the answers in a mind-expanding cosmological detective story told on the grandest possible scale. He traces how, during eight key thresholds, the right conditions have allowed new forms of complexity to arise, from stars to galaxies, Earth to homo sapiens, agriculture to fossil fuels. This last mega-innovation gave us an energy bonanza that brought huge benefits to mankind, yet also threatens to shake apart everything we have created.

This global origin story is one that we could only begin to tell recently, thanks to the underlying unity of modern knowledge. Panoramic in scope and thrillingly told, Origin Story reveals what we learn about human existence when we consider it from a universal scale.