When the famous portrait artist Napier Todd stumbles across Edith Hanson scrubbing floors, he is immediately struck by her beauty. Within a few weeks Napier and Edith are married and she moves into his large country house - much to the envy of the other maids. However the marriage is troubled and Edith falls seriously ill. Napier takes her to the idyllic Cornish fishing village of Newbourne to convalesce where Edith meets Celandine.Celandine Benyon is a struggling artist who moved to Paris to seek inspiration and fell in love with another painter, Sheridan Montague Robertson. The couple eloped to Gretna Green after Celandine was disowned by her mother, and together they set up home in Newbourne. Because Celandine understands Napier's artistic temperament, she tries to help Edith with her troubled marriage. However, although her advice succeeds beyond Edith's wildest dreams, it also causes tragic repercussions. And with the dangerously attractive Alfred Talisman waiting in the wings, will Edith ever find happiness?
Christmas 1913. Kitty and Lady Partita are best friends despite vastly different backgrounds. Partita has invited her friend, Kitty, to stay at her ancestral home, Borders Castle. The grandeur of Partita's family seat is in stark contrast to Kitty's home in London where she and her mother, Violet, struggle to maintain appearances despite Kitty's father gambling away the family money. Kitty is introduced to the aristocracy; a fascinating, decorative and theatrical world. Kitty is enthralled and desperately wants to be part of this way of life, far removed from the genteel poverty in which she and her mother are forced to exist. But war breaks out, not only irrevocably changing society, but also the lives of these two beautiful young women. The headstrong Partita and down-to-earth Kitty become nurses and selflessly care for the men horrifically injured in the trenches of WWI. This novel is about the mothers and daughters, sisters and wives left at home holding things together on the homefront and caring for their men. It's about love and heartbreak, but most importantly of all, the remarkable nature of female friendship.
In 1450, all Europe's books were handcopied and amounted to only a few thousand. By 1500 they were printed, and numbered in their millions. The invention of one man - Johann Gutenberg - had caused a revolution. Printing by movable type was a discovery waiting to happen.Born in 1400 in Mainz, Germany, Gutenberg struggled against a background of plague and religious upheaval to bring his remarkable invention to light. His story is full of paradox: his ambition was to reunite all Christendom, but his invention shattered it; he aimed to make a fortune, but was cruelly denied the fruits of his life's work. Yet history remembers him as a visionary; his discovery marks the beginning of the modern world.
It is 1941, and England is at its lowest ebb, under-nourished, under-informed and terrified of imminent invasion. Even at Eden Park, the beautiful country estate where Poppy, Lily, Kate, Marjorie and her adopted brother Billy are working in espionage, confidence is at an all-time low, and that is before the authorities discover there is a double agent operating from its MI5 unit. Lily volunteers to be dropped into France, only to find herself linked to Poppy's husband Scott. Meanwhile, Kate's lover Eugene is in Sicily to sabotage the bombers besieging Malta while her mother is recruited to work for Jack Ward, known affectionately as 'the Colonel'. As further agents are wiped out by the informant at Eden Park, Poppy leaves to train as a pilot. But as she closes the wooden shutters at the House of Flowers, the old folly where she and Scott began their married life, she realises that they were made over a century before to keep out another invader. England survived then, and will again.
Genghis Khan is history's greatest conqueror. As a teenager he was an outcast fleeing enemies on a mountain in northern Mongolia, an exile, a nobody. Yet it took only twenty years for Genghis to build the largest land empire in history - four times the size of Alexander's, twice the size of Rome's.How did he do it? What lessons does his life reveal about the nature of leadership? What is 'greatness' in leadership? What traits did Genghis possess exactly? Were they unique, or might some apply in other times and other places - even here and today?In Leadership Secrets of Genghis Khan, John Man re-examines the life of Genghis Khan to discover the qualities, characteristics and strategies that made him the great leader that he was. The answers are sometimes surprising. Genghis was far from just the tyrant that history records, but rather a leader of exceptional vision and modernity. And many of the secrets of his success are as valuable and applicable in today's competitive business world as they were in rallying the Mongol hordes.
The Terracotta Army is one of the greatest, and most famous, archaeological discoveries of all time. 6,000 life-size figures of warriors and horses were interred in the Mausoleum of the First Emperor of China - each is individually carved, and they are thought to represent real members of the emperor's army. This is the remarkable story of their creation, the man who ordered them made, their rediscovery and their continuing legacy as a pre-eminent symbol of Chinese greatness.The First Emperor, Qin Shi Huang, was king of the Chinese state of Qin and the first man to unite China into a single empire. He built the first Great Wall and brought a single written script to the whole country. He was an inspired and ruthless ruler, but one also beset by paranoia and a desire for immortality. He is still considered the founding father of the modern state of China. On his death in 210 BC he was buried in a giant mausoleum near modern-day Xi'an. Legends of the treasures contained therein still tantalize the imagination today.In 1974 local farmers digging a well for water broke through into the burial mound and found the first of the Terracotta warriors. Further excavations have revealed the full splendour of the buried army. But the majority of the mausoleum is yet to be opened, including the burial chamber itself - myth tells us that amongst the treasures yet to be uncovered is a vast map of the First Emperor's kingdom with rivers marked with channels of flowing mercury. The story of the First Emperor and the Terracotta Army is a fascinating one, not least for the discoveries yet to be made.
**A SOURCE FOR MARCO POLO, A NETFLIX ORIGINAL SERIES**
Marco Polo's journey from Venice, through Europe and most of Asia, to the court of Kublai Khan in China is one of the most audacious in history. His account of his experiences, known simply as The Travels, uncovered an entirely new world of emperors and concubines, great buildings - 'stately pleasure domes' in Coleridge's dreaming - huge armies and imperial riches. His book shaped the West's understanding of China for hundreds of years.John Man travelled in Marco's footsteps to Xanadu, in search of the truth behind Marco's stories; to separate legend from fact. Drawing on his own journey, archaeology and archival study, John Man paints a vivid picture of the man behind the myth and the true story of the great court of Kublai Khan.
When the stock market crashes on the Thursday before Easter, you - an ambitious, though ineffectual and not entirely ethical young broker - are convinced you are facing the Weekend From Hell.You don't know the half of it!Obviously, before the market reopens on Monday, you're going to have to scramble and scheme to cover your butt, but there's no way you can anticipate the baffling disappearance of a 300-pound psychic, the fall from grace of a born-again monkey, or the intrusion in your life of a tattooed stranger intent on blowing your mind and most of your fuses.Over these fateful three days, you are jerked from one trial and one revelation to another; forced to confront things ranging from mysterious African rituals to legendary amphibians, from tarot card bombshells to street violence, from your own sexuality to outer space.The weekend isn't from Hell, it's from Sirius the Dog Star.And by the time it's over, the glide path of your destiny has been knocked widely askew.You may or may not be a better person, you may or may not have found love, the world may or may not be a different place, yet cosmic connections have been established that cannot be broken.And as an indication of just how strange it has all become, you - prosaic, materialistic, irritable you - are left with a complete understanding of the surprisingly serious phrase 'half asleep in frog pajamas'.
Tilo, an immigrant from India, runs an Indian spice shop in Oakland, California. While she dispenses the classic ingredients for curries and kormas, she also helps her customers to gain a more precious commodity: whatever they most desire. For Tilo is a Mistress of Spices, a priestess of the secret, magical powers of spices.Through those who visit and revisit her shop - Ahuja's wife, caught in an unhappy, abusive marriage; Jagjit, the victim of racist attacks at school; the noisy bougainvillaea girls, rejecting the strict upbringing of their tradition-bound Indian parents; Haroun who drives a taxi and dreams the American dream - we get a glimpse into the life of the local Indian expatriate community. To each Tilo dispenses wisdom and the appropriate spice: coriander for sight; turmeric to erase wrinkles; cinnamon for finding friends; fenugreek to make a rejected wife desirable again; chillies for the cleansing of evil. But when a lonely American comes into the store, a troubled Tilo cannot find the right spice, for he arouses in her a forbidden desire, and following her own desires will destroy her magical powers.Compelling and lyrical, full of heady scents and with more than a touch of humour, this novel explores the clash between East and West even as it unveils the universal mysteries of the human heart.
This is an extraordinary new approach to healing by an extraordinary physician-writer - a book filled with the mystery, wonder, and hope of people who have experienced seemingly miraculous recoveries from cancer and other serious illnesses. Dr Deepak Chopra, a respected New England endocrinologist, began his search for answers when he saw patients in his own practice who completely recovered after being given only a few months to live. In the mid-1980s he returned to his native India to study Ayurveda, humanity's most ancient healing tradition. Now he has brought together the current research of Western medicine, neuroscience, and physics with the insights of Ayurvedic theory to show that the human body is controlled by a 'network of intelligence' grounded in quantum reality. Not a superficial psychological state, this intelligence lies deep enough to change the basic patterns that design our physiology - with the potential to defeat cancer, heart disease, and even aging itself. In this inspiring and pioneering work, Dr Chopra offers us both a fascinating intellectual journey and a deeply moving chronicle of hope and healing.
The inside of Derren Brown's head is a strange and mysterious place. Now you can climb inside and wander around. Find out just how Derren's mind works, see what motivates him and discover what made him the weird and wonderful person he is today. Obsessed with magic and illusions since childhood, Derren's life to date has been an extraordinary journey and here, in Confessions of a Conjuror, he allows us all to join him on a magical mystery tour - to the centre of his brain... Taking as his starting point the various stages of a conjuring trick he's performing in a crowded restaurant, Derren's endlessly engaging narrative wanders through subjects from all points of the compass, from the history of magic and the fundamentals of psychology to the joys of internet shopping and the proper use of Parmesan cheese. Brilliant, hilarious and entirely unlike anything else you have ever read before, Confessions of a Conjuror is also a complete and utter joy.
'All I want is to stay where I am . . . My heart and soul are in this place.'
(Willie Corduff, one of The Rossport Five)In a remote, beautiful part of the west of Ireland, a David and Goliath struggle rages between multinational oil company, Shell, and some of the local community of Rossport, County Mayo. In 1996, Enterprise Oil, subsequently bought by Shell, found a major source of valuable gas offshore in the Corrib gas field. In the attempt to build an onshore pipeline and refinery the oil giant has come into conflict with a small group of locals who, anxious about the safety of their families, the environmental impact of the project and the future of their community, are resisting Shell's plans. The eyes of the nation fell on this tiny community when, in 2005, five of the residents were jailed for refusing to allow Shell onto their land, in contempt of court orders. These men have become known as The Rossport Five.Irish Times correspondent Lorna Siggins has been covering the controversy from the beginning. No one is better placed to unravel the twists and turns of this fascinating human drama and its political, cultural and environmental shockwaves. In a new Ireland where economic logic goes largely unchallenged, the Corrib Gas pipeline controversy raises uncomfortable questions about the ways in which Ireland has changed.
Exploding pressure cookers, a thwarted wife's deadly revenge and transvestites in distress - manning an ambulance in the seventies kept you on your toes.Having survived the rites of passage as a probationer, Les Pringle now has to face up to the reality of life as an ambulance man in Thatcher's Britain. He does this with humour and fortitude - two qualities which are essential if he is to cope with cases ranging from the absurd to the heart rending.From attending murder scenes to delivering babies ... it's quite a life for Les, and one that he and his shift mates tread with warmth and humour in equal measure.
Paradise has been home to generations of Trevannions: Paradise, the house at the head of a sheltered Cornish valley where Mrs Trevannion lives, surrounded by her family. Frail and elderly Honor Trevannion, bedridden following a nasty fall, is inexplicably anxious and distressed by the arrival of a young American bearing an old black and white photograph of a double wedding and looking for a long-lost relation. Her children Bruno and Emma, granddaughter Joss and faithful cousin Mousie try to nurse Honor back to health, unaware of the secrets which she keeps from those closest to her. Increasingly troubled and confused, she begs Joss to find a cache of letters which have been hidden for fifty years.Too late to hear the story from Honor herself, the family are faced with revelations which could destroy the tranquillity of life in their beloved valley. Will they be torn apart or can they unite in admiration for one woman's courage in standing by the life-changing decision she made so many years ago?Praise for Marcia Willett:
'A genuine voice of our time' The Times
'Riveting, moving and utterly feel-good' Daily Mail
DEEP JUNGLE is an exploration of the most alien and feared habitat on Earth. Starting with man's earliest recorded adventures, Fred Pearce journeys high into the canopy - home to two-thirds of all the creatures on our planet, many of whom never come down to earth. During his travels he encounters all manner of fantastic flora and fauna, including a frog that can glide from tree to tree, a spider that can drag live chickens into its burrow and a flower that smells of decaying flesh.It is in the jungle that Pearce discovers secrets about how evolution works, the intricate links that connect us all, and maybe even clues to where humans came from - here is the key to our future foods and medicines, our climate and our understanding of how life works. At the start of a new millennium Pearce asks why we continue to waste precious time - and billions of dollars - looking for signs of life elsewhere in our universe when the greatest range of life-forms that have ever existed lies right here on our doorstep. Today environmentalists say we are on the verge of destroying the last rainforests, and with them the planet's evolutionary crucible, and maybe even its ability to maintain life on Earth. But nature has a way of getting its own back. The Mayans and the people of Angkor went too far in manipulating nature and paid the ultimate price. Their civilisations died and the jungle returned. Nature reclaimed it's own and it may do so again ...
Dan Shanahan is a legend in modern hurling, a three-time All Star and winner of 'Player of the Year' in 2007. His time as an inter-county senior hurler coincided with the remarkable revival in Waterford's fortunes, which saw them win the Munster Final four times in the last decade.In this candid and revealing autobiography, Dan speaks about his love of the game, which grew out of an idyllic childhood in Lismore and his apprenticeship with the Lismore club. He first made his mark as a senior player with Waterford in 1998, under the management of Gerald McCarthy. But it was when Justin McCarthy took over as manager in 2002 that the Waterford team really began to shine, Dan sharing the glory with such outstanding players as Tony Browne, Eoin Kelly, John Mullane and Ken McGrath. Yet tensions between the players and manager built up in 2007/2008, culminating in a frustrated Dan famously refusing to shake Justin's hand in public. McCarthy resigned and was replaced by Davy Fitzgerald, who led Waterford to the 2008 All-Ireland Final.Dan's charisma and extraordinary goal-scoring ability earned him a place in Waterford hearts. His goal in extra time in the 2010 Munster Final against Cork proved what a vital player he remained, and was a fitting climax to a great career. He retired from inter-county hurling shortly after.A tattoo on Dan's arm reads: If you don't know me, don't judge me. It's a testament to Dan's determination to succeed in the face of adversity.
Genghis Khan - creator of the greatest empire the world has ever seen - is one of history's immortals. In Central Asia, they still use his name to frighten children. In China, he is honoured as the founder of a dynasty. In Mongolia he is the father of the nation. In the USA, Time magazine, voted Genghis Khan 'the most important person of the last millennium'. But how much do we really know about this man? How is it that an unlettered, unsophisticated warrior-nomad came to have such a profound effect on world politics that his influence can still be felt some 800 years later?
How he united the deeply divided Mongol peoples and went on to rule an empire that stretched from China in the east to Poland in the west (one substantially larger than Rome's at its zenith) is an epic tale of martial genius and breathtaking cruelty. John Man's towering achievement in this book, enriched by his experiences in China and Mongolia today, is to bring this little-known story vividly and viscerally to life.
Known collectively as The Priests, Fr Martin, Fr Eugene and Fr David, have taken the music world by storm. Since they signed their much-reported Sony contract in front of Westminster Cathedral in April 2008, their album has sold almost 2,000,000 copies worldwide and broke the Guinness record for the fastest-selling debut classical album in the UK. It has also chalked up an impressive fifteen weeks at No. 1 on the Classic FM chart and was nominated for a Classical Brit Award. In June 2009, The Priests topped off their incredibly successful year with a highly-acclaimed mini-tour of the UK and Ireland. But long lunches in swanky restaurants and celebrity parties count for little with these down-to-earth, wonderfully talented singers, because first and foremost, David, Martin and Eugene are priests; their faith and the work they undertake in their busy parishes takes priority over everything else they do. So, whilst their gruelling promotional schedule for the album has taken them around the world - from Europe to Montreal and Toronto, from Washington to New York and Sydney, where they have played to packed houses and given dozens of press, radio and tv interviews - they have always been happy to return to their parishes in Belfast and the people they serve. Now in Soul Song, The Priests draw upon their unique experiences as priests and performers, their love of music and their faith, as they weave together a rich, illuminating tapestry of spiritual wisdom. Insightful and engaging, it is a treasury of memories which offers us all a rare and timely opportunity to reflect on our own journey through life.
WHAT WAS LOST WILL BE FOUND...Harvard professor Robert Langdon is summoned to deliver an evening lecture in the Capitol Building, Washington DC. But within minutes of his arrival, a gruesome and disturbing discovery is made at the epicentre of the Rotunda. Langdon recognizes it as an ancient invitation, beckoning its recipient towards a long-lost world of hidden wisdom. And when Langdon's revered mentor is brutally kidnapped, he realizes his only chance to save his old friend is to accept this sinister summons...All that was familiar is transformed into a shadowy, clandestine world in which Masonic secrets and never-before-seen revelations seem to be leading him to a single impossible and inconceivable truth. As Langdon will discover, there is nothing more extraordinary or shocking than the secret which hides in plain sight...A brilliantly composed tapestry of veiled histories, arcane icons and enigmatic codes, The Lost Symbol is an intelligent, lightning-paced thriller that offers surprises at every turn. This exclusive edition features over 250 photographs and illustrations, allowing the reader to explore the rich historical research from which Dan Brown drew his inspiration, and uniquely complementing the reading experience.
When Marines enter an abandoned house in Fallujah, Iraq, and hear a suspicious noise, they clench their weapons, edge around a corner, and prepare to open fire.What they find during the US-led attack on the 'most dangerous city on Earth', however, is not an insurgent bent on revenge, but a tiny puppy left behind when most of the city's population fled before the bombing. Despite military law that forbids the keeping of pets, the Marines de-flea the pup with kerosene, de-worm him with chewing tobacco, and fill him up on Meals Ready to Eat. Thus begins the dramatic rescue attempt of a dog named Lava and Lava's rescue of at least one Marine, Lieutenant Colonel Jay Kopelman, from the emotional ravages of war.From hardened Marines to wartime journalists to endangered Iraqi citizens, From Baghdad, With Love tells an unforgettable story of an unlikely band of heroes who learn unexpected lessons about life, death, and war from a mangy flea-ridden refugee.
A picture is worth a thousand words, or so they say. Yet our world, our civilisation has grown up on a foundation of words - laws, constitutions, treaties, charters, creeds - words that have tamed and liberated in equal measure. Our education, from earliest childhood, emphasises the importance of words. We take the world before our eyes and define it in a verbal language, and in so doing we capture it, understand it, celebrate it. But there are costs. In our reliance on the cold efficency of language we have neglected the wordless ways of the brain. The uniquely complex human mind is capable of the most exquisite images and visions. But visualisation is not merely about sight and the imagined, it is about the way we interact with the world through our five senses.In THE MIND'S EYE Ian Robertson demonstrates how we are underutilising our brain's powers of visualisation. Taking the lessons of hard science, he explains how the brain works and how important visualisation can be. But more importantly, how we can all unleash the awesome power of our brains. Following simple exercises Ian Robertson describes how visualisation can:
improve memory and learning power
be the key to creative thinking and problem solving
offer powerful ways of combating stress
fight physical illness and pain
enrich musical and artistic experience
enhance sporting skill and strengthIn his trademark accessible and imaginative style, Ian Robertson brings to life the hidden workings of the brain, and teaches us all how we can best capitalise on our inate abilities. A must read for anyone interested in how the brain works, or unlocking our mind's full potential.
'Rocket' Ron Haslam started racing on the professional circuit in 1972 at the age of 15 and developed into one of the finest, and fastest, racers the UK has ever seen. Winner of three World titles and four British championships, as well as a record six Macau GPs, he rode in more than 100 Grands Prix. Despite tragically losing two of his brothers in motorbike accidents, Haslam kept on riding, setting speed records wherever he went.His son, Leon, the 'Pocket Rocket', is following in his father's extremely speedy footsteps. A national Motorcross champion and national Scooter champion at the age of just 14, he became the youngest ever rider to compete in the 500cc World Championship and is now one of Britain's top racers, competing for Stiggy Honda in the World Superbike Championship.This is the extraordinary story of a father and a son who are addicted to motorbikes, with all the thrills and spills, miraculous escapes and multiple broken bones that involves. Both colourful characters, their story takes us all the way from the 1970s to today and is full of hilarious high-octane derring-do, a cast of characters including legends like Fast Freddie Spencer and Barry Sheene, and nothing less than terrifying but exhilarating adventure.
Why did Gandhi hate iodine (I, 53)? Why did the Japanese kill Godzilla with missiles made of cadmium (Cd, 48)? How did radium (Ra, 88) nearly ruin Marie Curie's reputation? And why did tellurium (Te, 52) lead to the most bizarre gold rush in history?The periodic table is one of our crowning scientific achievements, but it's also a treasure trove of passion, adventure, betrayal and obsession. The fascinating tales in The Disappearing Spoon follow carbon, neon, silicon, gold and every single element on the table as they play out their parts in human history, finance, mythology, conflict, the arts, medicine and the lives of the (frequently) mad scientists who discovered them. Why did a little lithium (Li, 3) help cure poet Robert Lowell of his madness? And how did gallium (Ga, 31) become the go-to element for laboratory pranksters? The Disappearing Spoon has the answers, fusing science with the classic lore of invention, investigation, discovery and alchemy, from the big bang through to the end of time.
On the evening of 30 March, 1982, Commander David Hall, chief engineer of the British nuclear submarine HMS Conqueror received a telephone call giving him the order to 'store for war'. At first he didn't believe it. In the early hours of 2 April, Argentine forces invaded the Falkland Isles.The sinking of the Belgrano was one of the most dramatic moments of the Falklands conflict. For many it signalled Britain's entry into the war and it has been seen as a politically motivated decision deliberately designed to take the country irrevocably into the fight. Now Mike Rossiter - with unprecedented access to sailors from the Belgrano and HMS Conqueror - gives us a dramatic and definitive retelling of the events that led up to the sinking.With all the pace and tension of a thriller, Sink the Belgrano takes us inside the battle for the South Atlantic and shows us the human drama behind the famous, and controversial, Sun headline 'Gotcha!' We track the collision course between the British submarine Conqueror and the Argentine warship - as the two sides and everyone aboard head towards the climactic moment just outside the exclusion zone set up by the British around the Falkland Isles. We witness the behind-the-scenes arguments , discussions and powerbroking that led to the decision to fire the three torpedoes. And, for the first time, we hear from the sailors on both sides - the personal testimony of the hunt for and attack on the Belgrano, and from the Argentine side the experience of being under attack and the sinking that left 340 members of her crew dead.