A N Wilson - Charles Darwin - Hodder & Stoughton

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    • ISBN:9781473651937
    • Publication date:07 Sep 2017
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    • ISBN:9781444794908
    • Publication date:04 Oct 2018

Charles Darwin

Victorian Mythmaker

By A N Wilson

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A radical reappraisal of Charles Darwin from the bestselling author of Victoria: A Life

'Hugely enjoyable' - Spectator
'A lucid, elegantly written and thought-provoking social and intellectual history' - Evening Standard
'As a historian trying to put Darwin in the context of his time, there is surely no better biographer than Wilson' - The Times
'A work of scholarship that is hard to put down' - Deborah Cadbury

Charles Darwin: the man who discovered evolution? The man who killed off God? Or a flawed man of his age, part genius, part ruthless careerist who would not acknowledge his debts to other thinkers?

In this bold new life - the first single volume biography in twenty-five years - A. N. Wilson, the acclaimed author of The Victorians and God's Funeral, goes in search of the celebrated but contradictory figure Charles Darwin.

Darwin was described by his friend and champion, Thomas Huxley, as a 'symbol'. But what did he symbolize? In Wilson's portrait, both sympathetic and critical, Darwin was two men. On the one hand, he was a naturalist of genius, a patient and precise collector and curator who greatly expanded the possibilities of taxonomy and geology. On the other hand, Darwin, a seemingly diffident man who appeared gentle and even lazy, hid a burning ambition to be a universal genius. He longed to have a theory which explained everything.

But was Darwin's 1859 master work, On the Origin of Species, really what it seemed, a work about natural history? Or was it in fact a consolation myth for the Victorian middle classes, reassuring them that the selfishness and indifference to the poor were part of nature's grand plan?

Charles Darwin: Victorian Mythmaker is a radical reappraisal of one of the great Victorians, a book which isn't afraid to challenge the Darwinian orthodoxy while bringing us closer to the man, his revolutionary idea and the wider Victorian age.

Biographical Notes

A. N. Wilson was born in North Staffordshire, and taught literature for seven years at New College Oxford, where he won the Chancellor's English Essay Prize and the Ellerton Prize. He is the author of over twenty novels, and as many works of non-fiction. His biography of Tolstoy won the Whitbread Prize in 1988. His biography of Queen Victoria was published to critical acclaim. He is also the author of The Victorians and of God's Funeral, an account of how the Victorians lost their faith. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, and a Member of the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters. He lives in London, and is the father of three daughters.

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  • ISBN: 9781444794892
  • Publication date: 07 Sep 2017
  • Page count:
  • Imprint: John Murray
A book to treasure. A. N Wilson throws down the gauntlet on the very first line, 'Darwin was wrong' he begins. What follows is a sharply observed and wonderfully compelling analysis which evokes the Victorian titan brilliantly and challenges received wisdom. A work of scholarship that is hard to put down — Deborah Cadbury
A lucid, elegantly written and thought-provoking social and intellectual history — Adrian Woolfson, Evening Standard
Hugely enjoyable . . . The picture of Darwin that emerges from this biography is a mixed one . . . Wilson unpicks these contradictions with a scientist's forensic skill and a novelist's imaginative touch — Robert Douglas Fairhurst, Spectator
As a historian trying to put Darwin in the context of his time, there is surely no better biographer than Wilson — Daisy Goodwin, The Times
Entertaining — Observer
As bold, audacious and entertaining as I knew it would be — The Spectator, Books of the Year
John Murray

Born Lippy

Jo Brand
Authors:
Jo Brand

Sometimes it's hard to be a woman and sometimes it's time to be a hard woman . . . This is a book for all those times.Once upon a (very very) long time ago Jo Brand was what you might describe as 'a nice little girl'. Of course, that was before the values of cynicism, misogyny and the societal expectation that Jo would be thin, feminine and demure sent her off down Arsey Avenue. The plot thickened, when due to a complicated fusion of hormones, horrible family dynamics and a no-good boyfriend they hated, Jo ended up leaving home at 16. Now she's considerably further along life's inevitable bloody 'journey' - and she's fucked up enough times to feel confident she has no wisdom to offer anyone. But who cares? She's going to do it anyway...Born Lippy is a gathering of all the things Jo Brand wishes she'd known, all the things she's learnt, and all the things she hopes for the future. A century after women got the vote (albeit married women over the age of 28) it's time to take stock of exactly what it means to be female today. And if there's one thing women are entitled to, it's having a bloody good moan about things big and small - so here goes . . .HOW TO MANAGE A BULLY * YOUR FAMILY AND HOW TO SURVIVE IT * WHAT NO-ONE TELLS YOU ABOUT THE FEMALE BODY * BEING DIFFERENT * SOCIAL MEDIA IS NOT SOCIABLE * HOW NOT TO FALL IN LOVE * FEMINISM: A RE-BRANDING * ADVENTURES IN YOUR HEAD * HAVING FUN * NOT HAVING FUN: WHAT TO DO WHEN IT ALL GOES WRONG * STAYING SANE * YOU ARE NOT WHAT YOU WEAR * MODERN MANNERS* HOW TO DO WHAT YOU WANT: OR NOT DO WHAT OTHERS WANT * BEING HEALTHY * GETTING ON A BIT * THE FEMALE OF THE SPECIES: MORE DEADLY THAN THE MALE?

John Murray

Brief Answers to the Big Questions

Stephen Hawking
Authors:
Stephen Hawking

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 VictoriaWho 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.

Hodder & Stoughton

The Wicked Cometh

Laura Carlin
Authors:
Laura Carlin

The nail-biting historical mystery with a heady romance at its heart 'Beguiling' Stylist*********Hester White once had a comfortable home and a loving family, but after the untimely death of her parents, her life was turned upside down, leading her to live with her aunt and uncle in the slums of London. As the years turn, people begin to disappear from these murky streets in mysterious circumstances . . . with nobody to investigate their absences.When a life-threatening accident crosses Hester's path with Calder Brock's, it appears Hester's fortune has changed. Handsome, charming and wealthy, Calder is quick to invite her into his home, introducing Hester to his mysterious sister Rebecca, who takes Hester under her wing. In the opulence of her new home, Hester believes she has now escaped the darkness of the slums for good.But, Hester is about to find out, appearances can hide the ugliest of truths. When she is lured back onto the streets to investigate the mystery, the clues seem to lead her back far closer to her new friends than she could ever have imagined. . .*********'Carlin can tell a good story' Observer'Contains lovely, lyrical writing . . . and a heady romance at its heart' Sunday Express

Hodder & Stoughton

Every Word is a Bird We Teach to Sing

Daniel Tammet
Authors:
Daniel Tammet

'Tammet's intriguing cases of linguistic idiosyncrasies expand our notions on what it means to be human . . . Would dazzle any storyteller in love with words and their deepest meanings' AMY TAN'A generous book and a beguiling read' REBECCA GOWERSFrom the bestselling author of Born on a Blue Day and Thinking in Numbers, a delightful and eclectic exploration of language, and what it can teach us about ourselves and our lives.Why is the name 'Cleopatra' not allowed in Iceland? Why do clocks 'talk' to the Nahua people of Mexico? And if we are what we eat, are we also what we say? These are just some of the questions Daniel Tammet answers in Every Word is a Bird We Teach to Sing, a mesmerising new collection of essays investigating the intricacies and profound power of human language. Tammet goes back in time to explore the numeric language of his autistic childhood; he looks at the music and patterns that words make, and how languages evolve and are translated. He meets one of the world's most accomplished lip readers in Canada, learns how endangered languages like Manx are being revived and corresponds with native speakers of Esperanto in their mother tongue. He studies the grammar of the telephone, contemplates the significance of disappearing dialects, and also asks: will chatbots ever manage to convince us that they are human?From the art of translation to the lyricism of sign language, Every Word is a Bird We Teach to Sing is a fascinating journey through the world of words, letters, stories and meanings, and an extraordinary testament to the stunning range of Tammet's literary and polyglot talents.

Coronet

Cocoa at Midnight

Tom Quinn
Authors:
Tom Quinn
Hodder Paperbacks

Bound to You

Nichi Hodgson
Authors:
Nichi Hodgson
Coronet

A Hell for Heroes

Theo Knell
Authors:
Theo Knell

Theodore Knell went through hell in the SAS - but his biggest battle began when he left. A Hell for Heroes is a searingly honest autobiography about what life in the military service is really like. This is my life story and the story of my time in the SAS. I hope that any soldier who reads it will find some sort of connection with their own. I have tried to share my experiences honestly, and as such all of the incidents portrayed within this book are true, some so dark and painful that I often questioned whether I wanted to remain part of the human race.I hope it will provide you an insight into the life and mind of a soldier - what makes us the way we are, what drives us on when other men would fold, what binds us together like no other brotherhood on earth, what makes us laugh and what scares us shitless.Watching men die violently for the first time is not something I would wish on any young man. Yes, many who have not served will say 'It will make a man out of you son'. but what do they know? In reality it will destroy far more men than it makes, leaving many dead or crippled for life, some with wounds you can see, but far more with wounds which you cannot.

Two Roads

The End of Your Life Book Club

Will Schwalbe
Authors:
Will Schwalbe

'A wonderful book about wonderful books and mothers and sons and the enduring braid between them.' - Mitch Albom, author of Tuesdays With Morrie'a true meditation on what books can do.' - Edmund de Waal, author of The Hare with Amber EyesMary Anne Schwalbe is waiting for her chemotherapy treatments when Will casually asks her what she's reading. The conversation they have grows into tradition: soon they are reading the same books so they can have something to talk about in the hospital waiting room. Their choices range from classic (Howards End) to popular (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), from fantastic (The Hobbit) to spiritual (Jon Kabat-Zinn), with many in between. We hear their passion for reading and their love for each other in their intimate and searching discussions. A profoundly moving testament to the power of love between a child and parent, and the power of reading in our lives.

Coronet

They Also Serve

Tom Quinn
Authors:
Tom Quinn

Hodder & Stoughton

Monty's Turn

Monty Panesar
Authors:
Monty Panesar

It's hard to believe MONTY PANESAR only arrived on the international cricketing scene in March 2006. His electric performances against India and in the Ashes series saw him catapulted to hero status in a matter of months, and widely rated as England's best spin bowler for 30 years. In MONTY'S TURN, Panesar takes a look at his extraordinary rise to stardom. Taught spin bowling by a friend of his father, Hitu Naik, his first experience of league cricket was with the Luton Town and Indians CC. His raw talent and utter dedication to his craft as a bowler soon saw him signed to Northamptonshire before he had completed his degree at Loughborough. Since his call-up to the England senior squad, Panesar's life has been a whirlwind of headlines and hero worship. The national outcry that met his exclusion from the first two Ashes Tests placed the weight of a despondent England's expectations on his comparatively inexperienced shoulders, but Panesar responded to the pressure with a scorching performance. Famously the first Sikh to represent a nation other than India in Test cricket, Monty credits his religion for his discipline in the nets - and it is this dedication along with his scintillating talent and unique celebration style that have made him a national treasure. He has declared his ambition to be the best, and it would seem that now it truly is time for MONTY'S TURN.

Coronet

Hope Street

Pamela Young
Authors:
Pamela Young

'When you read Hope Street, you are uplifted, exhilarated, excited at the profound truths that shine through. This radiant book will bring great comfort, healing and hope to all who are blessed by reading it.'Patricia ScanlanThis is the true story of a family with a spiritual gift, which has always lived in the heart of one of the traditional working class communities of the North. Their triumphs and tragedies unfolded in the cobbled streets, working men's cottages, terraced houses and council houses of Horwich, near Manchester.Hope Street North had more than their fair share of loss and heartbreak. A young girl was run over and killed by a horse and cart and another died of diphtheria. There were affairs, a secret pregnancy, an elopement and a double suicide. Every family has its secrets and tragedies, but this family had this unique psychic gift passed down from generation to generation: the women of the family were able to communicate with the Spirit worlds.Hope Street begins with Pamela's own Spiritualist childhood. One of her earliest memories, dating from when she was about five is of watching as Spiritualist friends arrived for one of her mother's sittings. She was a medium and the children would wait expectantly for the deep silence that preceded their mother's trances, and for the different voices of the spirits and other paranormal phenomena that spoke through her. Her father told her how on one occasion a carnation, real to the touch and bejewelled with dew, materialized in mid air. Pamela would see her mother gradually, and starting from her head down, disappeared before her very eyes.Hope Street continues with the saga of Pamela's family. She traces the way Spirit worked through generation after generation, culminating in her own remarkable mother. It was after her mother's death, when Pamela was in the depths of despair, that she found her own spiritual gift. Guided by the spirit of her mother, she finally understood the prophecy and message of hope for humanity that Spirit had been working to bring to the world. Introduction by Patricia Scanlan.

Hodder & Stoughton

Lewis Moody: Mad Dog - An Englishman

Lewis Moody
Authors:
Lewis Moody
Coronet

What Am I Still Doing Here?

Roger Lewis
Authors:
Roger Lewis

'Unremittingly glorious. I and the world demand more and we shall thump our tin mugs on the table demanding it until we are satisfied.'Stephen FryLoveable... Dreadful... Amazing... Learned... Baroque... Exquisite... Utterly wonderful... Uplifting... Stupendously Acute... Very scary... Genuinely mad...Having written acclaimed biographies of uncompromising and glittering geniuses such as Peter Sellers, Laurence Olivier, Carry On star Charles Hawtrey, and Anthony Burgess, of A Clockwork Orange fame, Roger Lewis, rotund, dark and difficult, has at long last stumbled upon the greatest monster of all - himself.As with bestselling and beloved Seasonal Suicide Notes, in this new book Lewis has produced a funny and appalling self-portrait, crammed with his clashes and frustrations.The calamities he describes, however, such as coming a pathetic fifth in the Oxford Chair of Poetry Election or throwing a party in what turned out to be a Cornish old peoples' home, are always offset by beautiful riffs - about Seville, a city he can't keep away from; or the train ride from Salzburg to Venice, where he stays in the restaurant car so long he alights in Zagreb by mistake; or the lush flowering magnolias he sees at Agatha Christie's house on the River Dart.It was when Lewis suggested in the press that Agatha Christie was a lesbian that the death threats began.Hearing the overture to Iolanthe played on Radio Three, and his own name mentioned by the announcer, Lewis is conveyed back to his extraordinary Welsh past, where Gilbert & Sullivan was put on in the village hall, and where Roger Lewis knew at once that his destiny was to become Evil Fairy, complete with wand.Who is to say he has not succeeded in this ambition?What Am I Still Doing Here? will win its author hordes more passionate devotees.'There is only one writer alive today who is as mordantly funny as Kingsley Amis, as acute about human misery as Philip Larkin, and as brilliant in skewering pretension and vanity as both. His name is Roger Lewis... Nothing funnier or wise has been published all year. If you love someone buy them this book. If they don't appreciate the gift then purge them from your life.' Mail on Sunday'The funniest book of the year. What Am I Still Doing Here? by Roger Lewis is a wonderfully splenetic journal - part-diary, part-diatribe - by a man who rages with an indignant eloquence against the modern world. But Lewis' furious rants are never far from hilarity, and his anger is redeemed by flashes of pur poetry. Like all the best comics, Lewis is a disappointed optimist rather than an outright cynic, and it's this thwarted idealism which makes this such a liberating, life-affirming read.'Independent

Coronet

The Maid's Tale

Tom Quinn, Rose Plummer
Authors:
Tom Quinn, Rose Plummer
Hodder & Stoughton

David Weir: Extra Time - My Autobiography

David Weir
Authors:
David Weir
Hodder Paperbacks

Nine Coaches Waiting

Mary Stewart
Authors:
Mary Stewart

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Hodder Paperbacks

The Ivy Tree

Mary Stewart
Authors:
Mary Stewart

Mary Stewart, one of the great British storytellers of the 20th century, transports her readers to rural Northumberland for this tale of romance, ambition, and deceit - a perfect fit for fans of Agatha Christie and Barbara Pym. 'There are few to equal Mary Stewart' Daily Telegraph'Mary Stewart is magic.' New York TimesWhitescar is a beautiful old house and farm situated in Roman Wall country. It will make a rich inheritance for its heirs, but in order to secure it, they enlist the help of a young woman named Mary who bears remarkable resemblance to missing Whitescar heiress, Annabel Winslow. Their deception will spark a powder-keg of ambition, obsession and long-dead love.The ivy had reached for the tree and only the tree's upper branches managed to thrust the young gold leaves of early summer through the strangling curtain. Eventually the ivy would kill it . . . 'One of the great British storytellers of the 20th century' Independent'The Ivy Tree has the ideal thriller blend of plot, suspense, character drawing and good writing' Daily Express

Hodder Paperbacks

Thunder on the Right

Mary Stewart
Authors:
Mary Stewart
Coronet

Mummy's Boy

Larry Lamb
Authors:
Larry Lamb

Acting wasn't a long-held childhood dream for Larry Lamb, instead his childhood memories are filled with recollections of his parents continuously fighting. His mother and father were totally mismatched, the only thing they shared in common was their children and life in the Lamb household veered from laughter and happy moments to hysterical outbursts and terrifying episodes. Larry, the eldest of three children was only too often caught in the middle and found himself at the centre of his father's raging anger, tormented by a man who struggled with the enormity of fatherhood. When his parents' marriage finally broke down, Larry's mother moved out along with her baby daughter and as they grew up, Larry and his brother, Wesley, lived with their father, seeing their mother and sister only in rushed meetings at bus stops and in public parks. For years Larry didn't know where his mum lived and he didn't dare talk of her at home, his mother's presence left a gaping hole. As soon as Larry was old enough, he left home. Putting as much distance as he could between himself and his volatile childhood, he set off on a journey that would take him to work as an encyclopaedia salesman in Germany, in the oil business in Libya and Nova Scotia until he found himself starring on Broadway. In time it would take him to Hollywood too and bring him leading roles on the Square in Eastenders and in Billericay in the much-loved comedy Gavin and Stacey.Along the way Larry wasn't just trying to make his own way in the world, he was seeking the close female companionship he'd missed out on with his mother too. After a series of relationships, he found himself back in England and father to George. Facing fatherhood was a pivotal moment, so easily he could have fallen into the ways of his own father but whilst his marriage to George's mother didn't last, he couldn't let the same mistakes be repeated again and he vowed to have the relationship with his son that he'd never been able to have with his father. Mummy's Boy is by turns heartrending as Larry recalls the relationship broken beyond repair with his father, searingly honest as he describes the effect his childhood had in later life and hugely entertaining as he tells captivating tales of making it as an actor, breaking out from his little world in Essex and finding himself in a new life on stage and screen.'What a life! I loved it. Almost as good as sitting with him and listening to his stories.' Rob Brydon'A wonderful story of survival against the odds told with compassion and humour. This is so much more than a showbiz autobiography.' Anne Robinson'Mummy's Boy manages to be touching, funny and uniquely warm all at once. A must-read.'Best