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The Road to Wigan Pier

George Orwell (Author)

A searing account of George Orwell's observations of working-class life in the bleak industrial heartlands of Yorkshire and Lancashire in the 1930s, The Road to Wigan Pier is a brilliant and bitter polemic that has lost none of its political impact over time. His graphically unforgettable descriptions of social injustice, cramped slum housing, dangerous mining conditions, squalor, hunger and growing unemployment are written with unblinking honesty, fury and great humanity. It crystallized the ideas that would be found in Orwell's later works and novels, and remains a powerful portrait of poverty, injustice and class divisions in Britain.

Published with an introduction by Richard Hoggart in Penguin Modern Classics.

'It is easy to see why the book created and still creates so sharp an impact ... exceptional immediacy, freshness and vigour, opinionated and bold ... Above all, it is a study of poverty and, behind that, of the strength of class-divisions'
Richard Hoggart

Orwell in Spain

George Orwell (Author) , Peter Davison (Edited by) , Christopher Hitchens (Introducer)

The volume collects together, for the first time ever, Orwell's writings on his experience of the Spanish Civil War - the chaos at the Front, the futile young deaths for what became a confused cause, the antique weapons and the disappointment many British Socialists felt on arriving in Spain to help. ORWELL IN SPAIN includes the complete text of HOMAGE TO CATALONIA.

The Orwell Diaries

George Orwell (Author) , Peter Davison (Edited by)

George Orwell was an inveterate keeper of diaries. The Orwell Diaries presents eleven of them, covering the period 1931-1949, and follows Orwell from his early years as a writer to his last literary notebook. An entry from 1931 tells of a communal shave in the Trafalgar Square fountains, while notes from his travels through industrial England show the development of the impassioned social commentator.

This same acute power of observation is evident in his diaries from Morocco, as well as at home, where his domestic diaries chart the progress of his garden and animals with a keen eye; the wartime diaries, from descriptions of events overseas to the daily violence closer to home, describe astutely his perspective on the politics of both, and provide a new and entirely refreshing insight into Orwell's character and his great works.

Homage to Catalonia

George Orwell (Author)

Every line of serious work that I have written since 1936 has been written, directly or indirectly, against totalitarianism and for democratic Socialism as I understand it'. Thus wrote Orwell following his experiences as a militiaman in the Spanish Civil War, chronicled in Homage to Catalonia. Here he brings to bear all the force of his humanity, passion and clarity, describing with bitter intensity the bright hopes and cynical betrayals of that chaotic episode: the revolutionary euphoria of Barcelona, the courage of ordinary Spanish men and women he fought alongside, the terror and confusion of the front, his near-fatal bullet wound and the vicious treachery of his supposed allies.

A firsthand account of the brutal conditions of the Spanish Civil War, George Orwell's Homage to Catalonia includes an introduction by Julian Symons in Penguin Modern Classics.

Down and Out in Paris and London

George Orwell (Author)

George Orwell's vivid memoir of his time living among the desperately poor and destitute, Down and Out in Paris and London is a moving tour of the underworld of society.

'You have talked so often of going to the dogs - and well, here are the dogs, and you have reached them.'

Written when Orwell was a struggling writer in his twenties, it documents his 'first contact with poverty'. Here, he painstakingly documents a world of unrelenting drudgery and squalor - sleeping in bug-infested hostels and doss houses of last resort, working as a dishwasher in Paris's vile 'Hôtel X', surviving on scraps and cigarette butts, living alongside tramps, a star-gazing pavement artist and a starving Russian ex-army captain. Exposing a shocking, previously-hidden world to his readers, Orwell gave a human face to the statistics of poverty for the first time - and in doing so, found his voice as a writer.

The Road to Wigan Pier

George Orwell (Author) , Richard Hoggart (Introducer) , Peter Davison (Notes by)

A searing account of George Orwell's observations of working-class life in the bleak industrial heartlands of Yorkshire and Lancashire in the 1930s, The Road to Wigan Pier is a brilliant and bitter polemic that has lost none of its political impact over time. His graphically unforgettable descriptions of social injustice, cramped slum housing, dangerous mining conditions, squalor, hunger and growing unemployment are written with unblinking honesty, fury and great humanity. It crystallized the ideas that would be found in Orwell's later works and novels, and remains a powerful portrait of poverty, injustice and class divisions in Britain.

Published with an introduction by Richard Hoggart in Penguin Modern Classics.

'It is easy to see why the book created and still creates so sharp an impact ... exceptional immediacy, freshness and vigour, opinionated and bold ... Above all, it is a study of poverty and, behind that, of the strength of class-divisions'
Richard Hoggart

The Benn Diaries

Tony Benn (Author)

Tony Benn was one of the twentieth century's most charismatic politicians. The Benn Diaries, kept for almost seventy years, are a uniquely authoritative, fascinating and readable record of the political life of our times.

This single-volume edition is the selected highlights of the complete diaries from Tony's schooldays in the 1940s until he ceased keeping a record of his day-to-day thoughts in 2009.

The narrative starts with Tony as a schoolboy and takes the reader through his experience as a trainee pilot during the war, his tentative first days as a backbencher in Atlee's post-war government, through his battle to remain in the Commons after the death of his father. From cabinet posts and leadership battles, through election highs ands lows to becoming a retired widower. Tony Benn was a consistently radical voice campaigning for the causes he was passionate about.

This volume of The Benn Diaries is the definitive legacy of the best political diarist of our times.

Tony Benn was one of the twentieth century's most charismatic politicians. The Benn Diaries, kept for almost seventy years, are a uniquely authoritative, fascinating and readable record of the political life of our times.

This single-volume edition is the selected highlights of the complete diaries from Tony's schooldays in the 1940s until he ceased keeping a record of his day-to-day thoughts in 2009.

The narrative starts with Tony as a schoolboy and takes the reader through his experience as a trainee pilot during the war, his tentative first days as a backbencher in Atlee's post-war government, through his battle to remain in the Commons after the death of his father. From cabinet posts and leadership battles, through election highs ands lows to becoming a retired widower. Tony Benn was a consistently radical voice campaigning for the causes he was passionate about.

This volume is the definitive legacy of the best political diarist of our times.

Tony Benn was one of the twentieth century's most charismatic politicians. The Benn Diaries, kept for almost seventy years, are a uniquely authoritative, fascinating and readable record of the political life of our times.

This single-volume edition is the selected highlights of the complete diaries from Tony's schooldays in the 1940s until he ceased keeping a record of his day-to-day thoughts in 2009.

The narrative starts with Tony as a schoolboy and takes the reader through his experience as a trainee pilot during the war, his tentative first days as a backbencher in Atlee's post-war government, through his battle to remain in the Commons after the death of his father. From cabinet posts and leadership battles, through election highs ands lows to becoming a retired widower. Tony Benn was a consistently radical voice campaigning for the causes he was passionate about.

This volume is the definitive legacy of the best political diarist of our times.

Tony Benn was one of the twentieth century's most charismatic politicians. The Benn Diaries, kept for almost seventy years, are a uniquely authoritative, fascinating and readable record of the political life of our times.

This single-volume edition is the selected highlights of the complete diaries from Tony's schooldays in the 1940s until he ceased keeping a record of his day-to-day thoughts in 2009.

The narrative starts with Tony as a schoolboy and takes the reader through his experience as a trainee pilot during the war, his tentative first days as a backbencher in Atlee's post-war government, through his battle to remain in the Commons after the death of his father. From cabinet posts and leadership battles, through election highs ands lows to becoming a retired widower. Tony Benn was a consistently radical voice campaigning for the causes he was passionate about.

This volume is the definitive legacy of the best political diarist of our times.

Tony Benn was one of the twentieth century's most charismatic politicians. The Benn Diaries, kept for almost seventy years, are a uniquely authoritative, fascinating and readable record of the political life of our times.

This single-volume edition is the selected highlights of the complete diaries from Tony's schooldays in the 1940s until he ceased keeping a record of his day-to-day thoughts in 2009.

The narrative starts with Tony as a schoolboy and takes the reader through his experience as a trainee pilot during the war, his tentative first days as a backbencher in Atlee's post-war government, through his battle to remain in the Commons after the death of his father. From cabinet posts and leadership battles, through election highs ands lows to becoming a retired widower. Tony Benn was a consistently radical voice campaigning for the causes he was passionate about.

This volume is the definitive legacy of the best political diarist of our times.

Tony Benn was one of the twentieth century's most charismatic politicians. The Benn Diaries, kept for almost seventy years, are a uniquely authoritative, fascinating and readable record of the political life of our times.

This single-volume edition is the selected highlights of the complete diaries from Tony's schooldays in the 1940s until he ceased keeping a record of his day-to-day thoughts in 2009.

The narrative starts with Tony as a schoolboy and takes the reader through his experience as a trainee pilot during the war, his tentative first days as a backbencher in Atlee's post-war government, through his battle to remain in the Commons after the death of his father. From cabinet posts and leadership battles, through election highs ands lows to becoming a retired widower. Tony Benn was a consistently radical voice campaigning for the causes he was passionate about.

This volume is the definitive legacy of the best political diarist of our times.

Undercover

Joe Carter (Author)

Twenty years undercover - one man's true story of life as an undercover cop. A must-read for fans of Donnie Brasco.

For over 20 years Joe Carter has worked for the police as an undercover cop on a number of highly sensitive, life or death missions. He has immersed himself in the murky criminal underbelly of London that has taken him into the dangerous world of drug smuggling, mafia and corruption.

His story is a gripping account of the secret, solitary work of an undercover officer and the many ‘sticky’ situations he found himself in, as well as the moving confession of the difficulty in reconciling his two identities with his family life. It’s a story of his beginnings from a being a young east end apprentice to the mean streets he walks today – it reveals the many highs and the painful lows of going undercover.

This book explores the resilience needed to lead a double life, the thrilling challenge of working with the biggest criminals in Britain, and maintaining a sense of justice through the many adventures he encounters.

Travels With Macy

Bruce Fogle (Author)

After a thirty-year career as a high profile vet, columnist, presenter and author Bruce Fogle - the UK's bestselling cat & dog writer - decided to leave urban Britain and take a journey with his dog Macy. Travelling in the footsteps of the great American novelist John Steinbeck, who published Travels with Charley - his standard poodle - in the '60s, Fogle set off in search of the North America of his childhood. Would he, after all this time, be able to work out whether home meant the UK or America? Would he find the welcoming, peaceful backwaters of his youth unchanged?

Together with Macy, Fogle retraced Steinbeck's steps through the length of North America, meeting people, cadging meals, and indulging in some of the world's best dog-walking territory. What Bruce found in a changing America surprised and delighted him. What Macy found (thousands of miles of unspoilt wilderness) made her very happy. And hungry. An entertaining and evocative journey in the company of a very, very happy dog.

The Long Recessional

David Gilmour (Author)

Rudyard Kipling was a unique figure in British history, a great writer and a great imperial icon. He won the Nobel Prize for Literature, he added more phrases to the language than any man since Shakespeare, yet he was also the Apostle of the British Empire, a man who incarnated an era for millions of people who did not normally read poetry. A child of the Victorian age of imperial self-confidence, Kipling lived to see the rise of Hitler threaten his country's existence. The laureate of the Empire at its apogee, he foresaw that its demise would soon follow his death. His great poem 'Recessional' celebrated Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee in 1897; his last poems warned of the dangers of Nazism. The trajectory of his life matched the trajectory of the British Empire from its zenith to its final decades. He himself was transformed from the apostle of success to the prophet of national decline, a Cassandra warning of dangers that successive governments refused to face.

Previous works on Kipling have focused on his writing and on his domestic life. This is the first book to study his public role, his influence on the way Britons saw both themselves and their Empire. Based on extensive research in Britain and in the under-explored archives of the United States, David Gilmour has produced a brilliantly illuminating study of a man who embodied the spirit of his country a hundred years ago as closely as Shakespeare had done 300 years before.

Don't Wait for Me

Ros Morris (Author)

Ros Morris's son Zach was a bright young musician who seemed on the brink of success when his behaviour suddenly spiralled out of control. He began using more powerful and dangerous illegal drugs and stayed up all night writing strange mathematical equations on his bedroom walls and drawing diagrams of spacecraft and pyramids. His once intelligent conversation deteriorated into mindless babble and at one point he thought he was God.

Over the next eight years, after he was diagnosed as suffering from bipolar disorder, Zach was sectioned under the Mental Health Act on numerous occasions and his family had to repatriate him from three different continents when his psychosis re-emerged while he was travelling.

Don't Wait for Me is a mother's harrowing account of her son's descent into the hell of drug abuse and mental illness. It vividly describes the nightmare her family went through and highlights the despair, guilt, helplessness and anger experienced by all those involved.

Robbie Williams: Somebody Someday

Mark McCrum (Author) , Robbie Williams (Author)

Once in a while a book is produced that captures the energy and spirit of the world of rock. Somebody Someday was published to massive popular and critical acclaim in September 2001. It shot straight to No 1 in the bestseller lists and proceeded to spend 14 weeks in the top 3. The insight, honesty and humour of the book was unprecedented. The photographic quality and design innovation; no more than this pop icon deserved. In short it was a triumph. For the paperback edition Robert P. Williams and Mark McCrum have delved even further into the phenomenon that is Robbie - covering his million selling 2001 album and looking at changes in his professional, family, social and love lives. Dynamically repackaged in a tempting trade paperback and including new photographs, this is a fitting follow up 2001's most successful hardback - Somebody Someday.

It's Not Like That, Actually

Kate Carr (Author)

It is impossible to go back to the old life after a cancer diagnosis; the reality of surviving is complex. Kate Carr was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 39, underwent extensive harrowing treatment, and in 1998 was told that she'd reached a significant milestone - the five-year mark. Reaching this point without the cancer returning is a strong indication that the treatment has been successful. The sad truth, however, is that, like all cancer sufferers who have reached this stage, she had to live every day with the knowledge that it can come back at any time. It's Not Like That, Actually charts Kate's diagnosis and treatment, while explaining in beautifully written detail the ups and downs - the reality - of moving on from there and dealing with the emotional burden that friends and family find it difficult to understand. A unique, inspirational, practical book for all cancer sufferers, and their families.

De Valera

Tim Pat Coogan (Author)

The history of Ireland for much of the Twentieth century is the history of Eamon De Valera.

From the 1916 Rising, the troubled Treaty negotiations and the Civil War, right through to his retirement after longer in power than any other twentieth century leader, de Valera has both defined and divided Ireland. He was directly responsible for the Irish Constitution, Fianna Fail (the largest Irish political party) and the Irish Press Group.

He helped create a political church-state monolith with continuing implications for Northern Ireland, the social role of women, the Irish language and the hole concept of an Irish nation. Many of the challenges he confronted are still troubling the peace of Ireland and of Britain, and some of the problems are his legacy.

For de Valera was a world figure who attempted to confine his nation of disciples to the narrowest of cultural and intellectual horizons.

From Here To Maternity

Mel Giedroyc (Author)

'I'm 35 years old. A low-ranking TV personality. Rather immature and carefree, my only responsibility to date has been a guinea pig. All that's about to change. I'm pregnant, and now I've become a cheddar cheese junkie, inseparable from my dungarees. Help!'

Who can Mel turn to?

Pen, her best friend, who is still annoyingly carefree and single, and whose effect on Mel is like an injection of pure caffeine to the system?

Jools, the hippy who recommends basil nosegay for labour pains and placenta pate canapes when entertaining?

Amanda, the well-heeled, pregnant-friend-from-Hell who, only weeks after her textbook delivery, is planning to have her firstborn taught to ski?

Kate, Mel's sister and mother of two, whose offspring are inclined towards dangerous Captain Hook impersonations and sudden mood swings?

Mel's mother, who got Mel through babyhood by way of regular coffee mornings and who impresses on her the importance of portable 1950s baby gear that looks about as foldable as a Transit van?

Dan, the dad-to-be, who suddenly stops going to the pub to concentrate on Mel's dietary requirements and has adopted the sinister habit of always keeping a tape measure attached to his belt?

A Passionate Apprentice

Virginia Woolf (Author)

A Passionate Apprentice comprises the first years of Virginia Woolf's Journal - from 1879 to 1909. Beginning in early January, when Woolf was almost fifteen, the pages open at a time when she was slowly recovering from a period of madness following her mother's death in May 1895. Between this January and the autumn of 1904, Woolf would suffer the deaths of her half-sister and of her father, and survive a summer of madness and suicidal depression. Behind the loss and confusion, however, and always near the surface of her writing is a constructive force at work - a powerful impulse towards health. It was an urge, through writing, to bring order and continuity out of chaos. Putting things into words and giving them deliberate expression had the effect of restoring reality to much that might otherwise have remained insubstantial. This early chronicle represents the beginning of the future Virginia Woolf's apprenticeship as a novelist. These pages show that rare instance when a writer of great importance leaves behind not only the actual documents of an apprenticeship, but also a biographical record of that momentous period as well. In Woolf's words, 'Here is a volume of fairly acute life (the first really lived year of my life).'

Walden

Henry Thoreau (Author) , Verlyn Klinkenborg (Introducer)

In this classic of American literature, Thoreau gives an account of his two years’ experience of the ‘simple life’ in the woods, telling how he sought and found material and spiritual sustenance in the solitude of the cabin which he built for himself on the shore of Walden Pond, near Concord, Massachusetts.

Colours

H Macdonald (Author) , Henry McDonald (Author)

Henry McDonald's childhood and teenage years were dominated by the Troubles in Northern Ireland. Growing up in the Markets - a working-class Catholic district of central Belfast - he witnessed IRA men and British soldiers being shot down outside his door. His home was smashed up by the British troops on Internment Day in 1971, then bombed by loyalist terrorists four years later. But despite being caught up in the maelstrom of incipient civil war, McDonald managed to escape his background. He became a punk rocker in 1977 and, a year later, joined a group of young soccer hooligans who followed Irish League side Cliftonville.

Colours, however, is more than just a memoir about the formative years of someone born in the epicentre of political and sectarian conflict. McDonald time-travels in two directions: first, back to the dark days of Ulster's violent past; second, into the twenty-first century, using some of the key incidents of his boyhood and youth to compare the Ireland of the past with the Ireland of today. It is a journey that takes him from the GPO in Dublin, a revered site in the history of Irish republicanism where the 1916 Easter Rising was launched, to the sex shops and swinging parties of postmodern hedonistic Dublin.

Filled with football thugs, terrorists, paedophile priests, abuse survivors, drug dealers, comic writers and modern-day martyrs, Colours exposes Ireland in all its complexity and diversity, as seen through the eyes of someone who has experienced first-hand an island and a nation undergoing revolutionary changes.

The Hapless Teacher's Handbook

Phil Ball (Author)

When Phil Ball left university with a workmanlike English degree to his name and no discernible ambitions, he wasn't entirely sure what to do next. So like many before him he thought he'd giving teaching a go. Why not?

This is the comic story of one man's painfully slow metamorphosis into a teacher at an everyday comprehensive and his encounters with other remarkable teachers and pupils along the way. The good, the bad, the violent, the victimised and the clinically insane: from his first teaching practice nemesis, Alan Plant, who knows his dark secret, to the pupil who believes he is a reincarnation of the poet Andrew Marvell. It is a tale of the highs and lows of attempting to teach: from the joy of really making a difference to young minds to being physically set upon by a teenage horde.

And that's just what happens in the classroom. Beyond it is the real world of teachers behind staff-room doors: desperate lives, unseemly professional competition, a diet of cigarettes, alcohol and cold coffee, casual sex and general social dysfunction. Not a great example, but the truth...

Big Bosoms And Square Jaws

Jimmy McDonough (Author)

Bringing his anecdote-and-action-packed biographical style to the ultimate renegade of popular culture, Jimmy McDonough offers a wild portrait of Russ Meyer, the director, writer, producer and commando movie-making force behind such sexploitation classics as Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! and Beyond the Valley of the Dolls.

Beginning in 1959, this former combat photographer put his personal sexual obsessions (mostly involving women with huge breasts) on screen, creating a body of work that has influenced a legion of rock bands, filmmakers and even the occasional feminist.

Rich with wicked observations and memories from Meyer's friends, lovers, leading ladies, fellow filmmakers and fans, Big Bosoms and Square Jaws tells the full story of Meyer's life and career: it is a story of greed, lust and the American way.

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