Humphrey Carpenter - The Seven Lives of John Murray - Hodder & Stoughton

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The Seven Lives of John Murray

The Story of a Publishing Dynasty

By Humphrey Carpenter

  • Hardback
  • £25.00

The gripping history of a venerable publishing house and its behind-the-scenes sagas

From the burning of Byron's memoirs, Jane Austen's clipped businesslike manner, and the lucrative controversy caused by the publication of Darwin's Origin of Species, through to the discovery of the new young poet John Betjeman, the name John Murray has for more than two hundred years been synonymous with challenging, intelligent and progressive publishing.



From its birth in 1768, when the first John Murray of Edinburgh came down to London, each of its seven leaders has made his own contribution to the dissemination of literature and the understanding of the world. One became Byron's publisher and confidante; another began the revolutionary series of Murray handbooks which transformed world travel in the early years of the railways; a third broke controversial new ground with the publication of Queen Victoria's letters. So the tradition progressed to the end of the twentieth century, and a list of literary giants including Patrick Leigh Fermor, Osbert Lancaster, Fransoise Sagan and Poet Laureate, John Betjeman. Written in Carpenter's rollicking and iconoclastic style, it is an affectionate and vibrant account of the longest-surviving publishing house in the world.

Biographical Notes

Humphrey Carpenter began his career working for the BBC and appeared on Radio 3 and 4 many times since. He has written many bestselling, award-winning biographies whose subjects include Tolkein, CS Lewis, Ezra Pound, WH Auden, Bejamin Britten, Spike Milligan. He was a prolific author of childrens' book and a skilled jazz musician. He died in January 2005.

  • Other details

  • ISBN: 9780719565328
  • Publication date: 10 Jul 2008
  • Page count: 384
  • Imprint: John Murray
'Humphrey Carpenter's history of the firm, completed by other hands after his death in 2005, is an evocation of a vanished age' — Jeremy Lewis, Daily Telegraph
'A treasure-trove of fascinating information paced into Humphrey Carpenter's riveting history of the world's longest surviving publishing house ...Terrific' — Val Hennessy, Daily Mail
'The late Humphrey Carpenter, a delightful and generous-minded man to whose memory I doff my cap, died while still at work on the manuscript of Seven Lives' — Independent on Sunday
'The highs and lows of the literary world are reported with panache in this fascinating book. Superb photographs too' — Tatler
John Murray

The Stonemason

Andrew Ziminski
Authors:
Andrew Ziminski

A stonemason's story of the building of Britain: part archaeological history, part deeply personal insight into an ancient craft. In his thirty-year career, stonemason Andrew Ziminski has worked on many of our greatest monuments. From Neolithic monoliths to Roman baths and temples, from the tower of Salisbury Cathedral to the engine houses, mills and aqueducts of the Industrial Revolution and beyond, The Stonemason is his very personal history of how Britain was built - from the inside out. Stone by different stone, culture by different culture, Andrew Ziminski (with his faithful whippet in tow) takes us on an unforgettable journey by river, road and sea through our countryside showing how the making of Britain's buildings offers an unexpected and new version of our island story.'My school history lessons were focused around flat pages of facts, events and royal personalities, but for me it was the material aspects of the past, the tangible remnants left behind that were thrilling, and that it was these buildings and places, and learning how they worked, that really brought the past alive.'

Hodder & Stoughton

Gladys, Duchess of Marlborough

Hugo Vickers
Authors:
Hugo Vickers
Hodder & Stoughton

To War With the Walkers

Annabel Venning
Authors:
Annabel Venning

'We were one of those lucky families. Six of us and we all survived the war. And yet one knew of other families who lost all of their children.' Ruth WalkerThis is the story of the Walkers, six siblings (including the author's grandfather) who survived Blitz, battle and internment and lived to tell the tale. This ordinary family's extraordinary experiences combine to tell a new social history of World War Two. Harold was a trainee surgeon who spent a week in a coma after St Thomas's Hospital was bombed in the Blitz, burying him under the rubble. Glamorous Bee married an American airman and was widowed just weeks before the end of the war. Peter suffered terrible torture as a Japanese POW. Edward fought with 1 Jaipur Infantry against the Germans in Italy. Ruth worked on a plastic surgery ward, helping to construct skin grafts on severely burned servicemen. And Walter fought with the 8th Gurkhas against the Japanese in Burma.Together, the stories of these ordinary yet extraordinary siblings tell the story of WW2 from the home front to Italy, Burma, Malaya and Thailand.

Two Roads

Natives

Akala
Authors:
Akala
Coronet

Pilgrim Spy

Tom Shore
Authors:
Tom Shore
Hodder & Stoughton

Queen Victoria

Lucy Worsley
Authors:
Lucy Worsley

'Such a brilliant idea! Drilling down into Victoria's diaries Worsley gives us Victoria in all her infinite variety - queen and mother, matriarch and minx...I loved it.' Daisy Goodwin, author, and creator of ITV's Victoria'The glory of this book is in the details, and the specific moments, that Worsley chooses to single out for mention, and in her cheerful voice as she leads us by the hand to the next window of Victoria's life calendar.' The TimesWho was Queen Victoria? A little old lady, potato-like in appearance, dressed in everlasting black? Or a passionate young princess, a romantic heroine with a love of dancing? There is also a third Victoria - a woman who was also a remarkably successful queen, one who invented a new role for the monarchy. She found a way of being a respected sovereign in an age when people were deeply uncomfortable with having a woman on the throne. As well as a queen, Victoria was a daughter, a wife, a mother and a widow, and at each of these steps along life's journey she was expected to conform to what society demanded of a woman. On the face of it, she was deeply conservative. But if you look at her actions rather than her words, she was in fact tearing up the rule book for how to be female. By looking at the detail of twenty-four days of her life, through diaries, letters and more, we can see Victoria up close and personal. Examining her face-to-face, as she lived hour to hour, allows us to see, and to celebrate, the contradictions at the heart of British history's most recognisable woman.

John Murray

Bad Girls

Caitlin Davies
Authors:
Caitlin Davies

'Davies's absorbing study serves up just enough sensationalism - and eccentricity - along with its serious inquiry' SUNDAY TIMES'[A] revealing account of the jail's 164-year history' DAILY TELEGRAPH, 5* review'Insightful and thought-provoking and makes for a ripping good read' JEREMY CORBYN'A much-needed and balanced history' OBSERVER'Davies explores how society has dealt with disobedient women - from suffragettes to refugees to women seeking abortions - for decades, and how they've failed to silence those who won't go down without a fight' STYLISTSociety has never known what to do with its rebellious women. Those who defied expectations about feminine behaviour have long been considered dangerous and unnatural, and ever since the Victorian era they have been removed from public view, locked up and often forgotten about. Many of these women ended up at HM Prison Holloway, the self-proclaimed 'terror to evil-doers' which, until its closure in 2016, was western Europe's largest women's prison. First built in 1852 as a House of Correction, Holloway's women have come from all corners of the UK - whether a patriot from Scotland, a suffragette from Huddersfield, or a spy from the Isle of Wight - and from all walks of life - socialites and prostitutes, sporting stars and nightclub queens, refugees and freedom fighters. They were imprisoned for treason and murder, for begging, performing abortions and stealing clothing coupons, for masquerading as men, running brothels and attempting suicide. In Bad Girls, Caitlin Davies tells their stories and shows how women have been treated in our justice system over more than a century, what crimes - real or imagined - they committed, who found them guilty and why. It is a story of victimization and resistance; of oppression and bravery. From the women who escaped the hangman's noose - and those who didn't - to those who escaped Holloway altogether, Bad Girls is a fascinating look at how disobedient and defiant women changed not only the prison service, but the course of history.

Hodder & Stoughton

Magna Carta

David Starkey
Authors:
David Starkey

'A soaring account of the months that transformed a messy feudal squabble into Magna Carta...his crisp storytelling, based around short chapters and rolling rhetoric, is extremely entertaining.' Dan Jones, Mail on Sunday'I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Good history is descriptive, narrative and analytical. This is good history.' Gerard DeGroot, The TimesAt Runnymede, on the banks of the River Thames, on 15 June 1215, the seal of King John was attached to the Magna Carta, and peace descended upon the land. Or that's what successive generations have believed. But is it true? And have we been persuaded (or persuaded ourselves) that the events of 15 June 1215 not only ended a civil war between the king and the barons but - as if by magic - established a British constitution beloved and copied throughout the world?Often viewed as a victory for the people over the monarchy and a cornerstone of democracy, the true significance of Magna Carta is misunderstood and misrepresented. In Magna Carta: The True Story Behind the Charter, David Starkey paints a vivid portrait of the years 1215-1225, ten revolutionary years of huge significance that produced not one but four charters. Peopled by colourful historical figures - John, the boy-king Henry, Pope Innocent III, Archbishop Stephen Langton, William Marshal - Starkey tells a story of treachery and idealism, politics and peace-making that is surprising and enthralling.Informative, entertaining and controversial, Magna Carta: The True Story Behind the Charterchallenges centuries of myth-making to demonstrate how important it is we understand the true significance of that day beside the Thames, over eight hundred years ago.

John Murray

The King's Grave

Philippa Langley, Michael Jones
Authors:
Philippa Langley, Michael Jones

Discover the official inside story of the life, death and remarkable discovery of history's most controversial monarch.On 22 August 1485 Richard III was killed at Bosworth Field, the last king of England to die in battle. His victorious opponent, Henry Tudor (the future Henry VII), went on to found one of our most famous ruling dynasties. Richard's body was displayed in undignified fashion for two days in nearby Leicester and then hurriedly buried in the church of the Greyfriars. Fifty years later, at the time of the dissolution of the monasteries, the king's grave was lost - its contents believed to be emptied into the river Soar - and Richard III's reputation buried under a mound of Tudor propaganda. Its culmination was Shakespeare's compelling portrayal of a deformed and murderous villain, written over a hundred years after Richard's death. Now - in an incredible find - Richard III's remains have been uncovered beneath a car park in Leicester. The King's Grave traces this remarkable journey. In alternate chapters, Philippa Langley, whose years of research and belief that she would find Richard in this exact spot inspired the project, reveals the inside story of the search for the king's grave, and historian Michael Jones tells of Richard's fifteenth-century life and death. The result is a compelling portrayal of one of our greatest archaeological discoveries, allowing a complete re-evaluation of our most controversial monarch - one that discards the distortions of later Tudor histories and puts the man firmly back into the context of his times.

Hodder & Stoughton

Spike Milligan

Humphrey Carpenter
Authors:
Humphrey Carpenter

Spike Milligan was one of our best-loved comics as well as one of our most original. In this first major assessment of Spike's life and career, the highly respected biographer Humphrey Carpenter has - through copious research and access to many of those closest to the great man - unearthed a character who could be as difficult and contradictory as he was generous and talented.The creator of The Goons was to influence a whole generation of comics, yet was never to feel fully valued. His periods of depression were matched by periods of high creativity - there were poems, novels, volumes of biography, as well as TV series and a one-man show as Spike searched for his best means of expression. There was also, as revealed here, his inveterate womanising. Married three times and with four children to whom he was devoted, two illegitimate children were to remain barely acknowledged,Detailing both his private and professional life, Humphrey Carpenter gives us the most revealing portrait yet of this highly complex genius.

John Murray

Nathaniel's Nutmeg

Giles Milton
Authors:
Giles Milton

In 1616, an English adventurer, Nathaniel Courthope, stepped ashore on a remote island in the East Indies on a secret mission - to persuade the islanders of Run to grant a monopoly to England over their nutmeg, a fabulously valuable spice in Europe. This infuriated the Dutch, who were determined to control the world's nutmeg supply. For five years Courthope and his band of thirty men were besieged by a force one hundred times greater - and his heroism set in motion the events that led to the founding of the greatest city on earth.A beautifully told adventure story and a fascinating depiction of exploration in the seventeenth century, NATHANIEL'S NUTMEG sheds a remarkable light on history.

Humphrey Carpenter

Humphrey Carpenter began his career working for the BBC and appeared on Radio 3 and 4 many times since. He has written many bestselling, award-winning biographies whose subjects include Tolkein, C. S. Lewis, Ezra Pound, WH Auden, Bejamin Britten, Spike Milligan. He was a prolific author of childrens' book and a skilled jazz musician. He died in January 2005.

J R Moehringer

J R Moehringer is a Pulitzer Prize-nominated journalist who has written for the Los Angeles Times and many others. He lives in Denver, Colorado.

Jason Robinson

Jason Robinson began playing full-time rugby at the age of 16 with Wigan Warriors, the most successful club in Rugby League at the time. He made the transition to Rugby Union with Sale Sharks in 2000 and was fast-tracked to the England squad. His speed, unpredictability and charisma has ensured that he is widely acknowledged as one of the most exciting players in the world. He announced his intention to retire from the sport at the end of the 2007 season, but if selected will play in the 2007 Rugby World Cup.

Jeremy Musson

Jeremy Musson is an architectural historian and has been Architectural Editor of Country Life for many years. In his work, Jeremy has always been committed to engaging a wider public to the glories of historic buildings and to exploring the influence of ideas about the past and preservation. He has written and edited hundreds of articles on historic country houses, from Garsington Manor to Knebworth House. He also presented Curious House Guest on BBC2 and is the author of two books, including How to Read a Country House. Jeremy is married with two children.

John Devane

John Devane still practices as a lawyer in his home town of Limerick, Ireland. He is married with a family.

John Gielgud

Sir John Gielgud spent a lifetime on the stage and in front of the camera; his first film was in 1924 when he starred as Daniel in Who Is The Man? Venerated for giving gravitas to a variety of Shakespearean roles, Gielgud made the role of respected old sage his own, and is considered by many to have been one of the greatest actors of the twentieth century. He died in May 2000.

John Humphrys

John Humphrys has reported from all over the world for the BBC and presented its frontline news programmes on both radio and television, in a broadcasting career spanning forty years. He has won a string of national awards and been described as a 'national treasure'. He owned a dairy farm for ten years and has homes in Greece and London.

John Kercher

John Kercher has been a full time professional writer and journalist for more than thirty years, during which time he has published several thousand articles and interviews for the British and overseas newspaper and magazine markets. He is the author of 'The Film Biography of Warren Beatty' and has written 24 children's annuals and edited several magazines. He holds a BSc degree in Sociology from London University and lives in Surrey.

John O'Donoghue

John O'Donoghue was born in North London in the late 1950s, to Irish parents. He first became mentally ill in the 1970s and suffered a series of breakdowns. In 1988, at the age of 30, with only three O Levels and an Elementary Swimming Cerificate, he got into the University of East Anglia, and met his wife. From 2000-2005 he was Chair of Survivors' Poetry, a national charity which publishes and promotes the work of survivors' of mental distress. He lectures in Creative Writing and lives in Brighton with his wife and four children.