Donald Sturrock - Love from Boy - Hodder & Stoughton

Time remaining

  • -- days
  • -- hours
  • -- minutes
  • -- seconds
Other Formats
  • Paperback £9.99
    More information
    • ISBN:9781444786286
    • Publication date:02 Mar 2017
  • E-Book £P.O.R.
    More information
    • ISBN:9781444786262
    • Publication date:02 Jun 2016

Love from Boy

Roald Dahl's Letters to his Mother

By Donald Sturrock
Read by Andrew Wincott and Thomas Judd

  • Downloadable audio file
  • £P.O.R.

On the 100th anniversary of his birth comes a revelatory collection of letters from the nation's favourite storyteller.

'Dear Mama,
I am having a lovely time here. We play football every day here. The beds have no springs . . .'

So begins the first letter that a nine-year-old Roald Dahl penned to his mother, Sofie Magdalene, under the watchful eye of his boarding-school headmaster. For most of his life, Roald Dahl would continue to write weekly letters to his mother, chronicling his adventures, frustrations and opinions, from the delights of childhood to the excitements of flying as a World War II fighter pilot and the thrill of meeting top politicians and movie stars during his time as a diplomat and spy in Washington. And, unbeknown to Roald, his mother lovingly kept every single one of them.

Sofie was, in many ways, Roald's first reader. It was she who encouraged him to tell stories and nourished his desire to fabricate, exaggerate and entertain. Reading these letters, you can see Roald practicing his craft, developing the dark sense of humour and fantastical imagination that would later produce such timeless tales as The BFG, Matilda, Fantastic Mr Fox and The Witches.

The letters in Love from Boy are littered with jokes and madcap observations; sometimes serious, sometimes tender, and often outrageous. To eavesdrop on a son's letters to his mother is to witness Roald Dahl turning from a boy to a man, and finally becoming a writer.

Praise for Storyteller

'A truly magnificent biography . . . a masterly account' A N Wilson

'Superb . . . hugely readable' Sunday Telegraph

(P)2016 John Murray Press

Letters by Roald Dahl © 2016 Roald Dahl Nominee Ltd. Introduction, essays, selection and compilation copyright © 2016 Donald Sturrock.

Biographical Notes

Roald Dahl was a spy, ace fighter-pilot, chocolate historian and medical inventor. He was also the author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda, The BFG and many more brilliant stories. He remains the world's number one storyteller.

Donald Sturrock grew up in England and South America. After leaving university he joined the BBC, where he wrote and produced television documentaries, including one about Roald Dahl. Since leaving the corporation, he has translated plays and written five opera librettos. He is the author of critically acclaimed biography of Roald Dahl, Storyteller, which was longlisted for the BBC Samuel Johnson Prize 2011 and won the Spear's Book Award for Biography 2011.

  • Other details

  • ISBN: 9781473631403
  • Publication date: 02 Jun 2016
  • Page count:
A touching collection that throws new light on one of the greatest of all children's book writers . . . The sense of humour, often dark and subversive, that would come to delight the readers of Matilda, Fantastic Mr Fox and The Witches, dances through the pages of this wonderful book . . . Each chronological subdivision of this lovely book is illustrated with drawings, maps and photographs and prefaced by Donald Sturrock's exemplary editorial explanations. The letters become a delightfully original form of biography, as their author changes from child into student, into trainee fighter pilot in Iraq and Egypt, wartime daredevil in Greece and Palestine, diplomat in Washington, and unlikely British spy — Juliet Nicolson, Evening Standard
Love From Boy, in all its cunning unreliability, becomes more fascinating the more you think about it. It is a work of showmanship, written for someone to whom the author would always be a child. As the backdrop to one of the world's greatest children's writers, it's so wonderfully complicated you'd have thought even Dahl couldn't have made it up. Except that he did — Daily Telegraph
Sturrock's carefully chosen letters, complemented by a judicious selection of biographical and photographic material, testify to a bond between mother and son that is unbreakable, even in the face of boarding school, war and sexual jokes about Hitler — The Times, Book of the Week
Sturrock is right to claim that the letters to his mother show, in embryo, essential features of Dahl's art, such as his fantastical imagination and his sadistic sense of humour — Sunday Times
[An] entertaining and eye-opening collection . . . it is his younger self that is captured here - jaunty and anarchic, yet a recognisable forerunner of that more subtly anarchic, stooping, cardiganed figure who was the world-famous author, gazing out on the world from his garden shed with watery, mischievous eyes — Literary Review
[An] enjoyable selection from Dahl's devoted four-decade correspondence with his mother . . . an intriguing mixture of absolute intimacy, a total disregard for priggishness or decorum, fierce candour, and, in certain respects, a complete absence of it — Guardian
Sturrock's commentary on the letters is meticulous, thoughtful and kind. Anyone looking for revelations, kiss and tell or psychoanalytic exposure will be disappointed. It's a fascinating view of an extraordinary mid-20th century, upper-middle-class British boy and man talking to his extraordinary Norwegian mother — Michael Rosen, Observer
It offers an insight not only to Dahl's close relationship with his mother but also a glimpse into how he became one of the greatest children's authors of the 20th century — Independent
A fascinating collection — Mail on Sunday
Lovingly edited and deftly commented upon by his biographer Donald Sturrock — Spectator
Two Roads

Pie and Mash on the Roman Road

Melanie McGrath
Authors:
Melanie McGrath

Hodder & Stoughton

Things My Dog Has Taught Me

Jonathan Wittenberg
Authors:
Jonathan Wittenberg

A dog's guide to life - how to be a kinder, compassionate, more mindful and wiser human.Anyone who has ever fallen hopelessly in love with a dog will know dogs have the capacity to love us back unconditionally, welcome us home with unbridled excitement, forgive us endlessly for our impatience, comfort us when we're feeling low - and then play games with wholehearted contentment - bringing endless joy to our lives.Dogs' sheer zest for embracing life in all its fullness is something we humans can only marvel at. But can our dogs teach us to approach life in this full, technicolour way too? How to love and care for one another with unconditional acceptance; how to be fully present in someone's company; how to be more mindful of the beauty of the natural world around us; how to comfort each other when we're grieving or afraid; and, how to let excitement and joy bubble over in our hearts.Dogs do all these things instinctively and more naturally than their human friends - yet they love us just the same. And in this charming and entertaining story of his beloved canine companion, Jonathan Wittenberg shares with dog lovers everwhere his inability to resist the big, brown-eyed look which says, 'I'll melt your heart if you even think of going out without me', to the security he feels on a twenty-mile trek across the bleak Scottish Highlands with not a soul for a friend but his collie - and everything else he's learned along the way.(P)2017 John Murray Press

Teach Yourself

Teach Yourself to Fly

Nigel Tangye
Authors:
Nigel Tangye

'An airman's vanity is a most curious thing.'Nigel Tangye was a British hero; journalist, author, airman, teacher, and possibly even spy. What better man to help you learn to fly?First published in 1938, Teach Yourself To Fly was not only one of the very first Teach Yourself books to be published but the first to actually change the world. It was used on the eve of the second world war to prepare pilot recruits and conscripts before they were called for service, and as such it was read religiously by thousands of young men, some as young as 17, and directly impacted on the British war effort.This beautiful new printing of the book captures all of the feelings of that extraordinary time - it's nostalgic, understated, inspiring and very British indeed, warning young pilots, amongst other things, not to feel 'too discouraged' in the event of a crash landing.Technology has changed hugely, but the principles of aviation as they were in the middle of the twentieth century are perfectly summarised in this lovely book. Get hold of the right vehicle, and it really can teach you to fly. What happens when you're up there, however, is your responsibility.'Never move an inch without making quite certain that there is not a lawn-mower or something else in your way.'Since 1938, millions of people have learned to do the things they love with Teach Yourself. Welcome to the how-to guides that changed the modern world.

John Murray

Charles Darwin

A N Wilson
Authors:
A N Wilson

'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 CadburyCharles 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.

Two Roads

The Gender Games

Juno Dawson
Authors:
Juno Dawson
Hodder & Stoughton

Should You Ask Me

Marianne Kavanagh
Authors:
Marianne Kavanagh

'I've come about the bodies. I know who they are.' Just before D-Day in 1944, on the Isle of Purbeck in Dorset, an elderly woman walks into a police station. She has information, she says, about human remains recently discovered nearby. The bodies could have stayed buried for ever - like the pain and passion that put them there. But Mary Holmes is finally ready to tell the truth. The young constable sent to take her statement is still suffering from the injuries that ended his army career. As he tries to make sense of her tale, William finds himself increasingly distracted. Mary's confession forces his own violent memories to the surface - betrayals and regrets as badly healed as his war wounds. Over six days, as pressure builds for the final push in Europe, two lives reveal their secrets. Should You Ask Me is a captivating story about people at their worst and best: raw, rich, and utterly compelling.

Hodder & Stoughton

Martin Luther

Peter Stanford
Authors:
Peter Stanford

'A compelling biography of one of the greatest men of the modern age. Stanford is particularly brilliant on the tensions inside Luther's private and spiritual life. This is a very fine book, written with a flourish.' Melvyn BraggThe 31st of October 2017 marks the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther pinning his 95 'Theses' - or reform proposals - to the door of his local university church in Wittenberg. Most scholars now agree that the details of this eye-catching gesture are more legend than hammer and nails, but what is certainly true is that on this day (probably in a letter to his local Archbishop in Mainz), the Augustinian Friar and theologian issued an outspokenly blunt challenge to his own Catholic Church to reform itself from within - especially over the sale of 'indulgences' - which ultimately precipitated a huge religious and political upheaval right across Europe and divided mainstream Christianity ever after.A new, popular biography from journalist Peter Stanford, looking at Martin Luther from within his Catholic context, examining his actual aims for Catholicism as well as his enduring legacy - and where he might fit within the church today. 'Peter Stanford makes the life of Luther into a thrilling narrative, told from a modern Catholic perspective' Antonia Fraser

Hodder & Stoughton

Love, Henri

Henri J. M. Nouwen
Authors:
Henri J. M. Nouwen

'This invaluable collection of over 200 letters by the late Nouwen (The Wounded Healer), a beloved author, pastor, and priest, provides insight into his personal struggles, insecurities, and faith and offers the heartfelt guidance Nouwen shared so generously with individuals to a wide audience ... The courage and kindness with which Nouwen shares his vulnerabilities and honest feelings, combined with his willingness to provide direction, advice, companionship, and affection, ensure that Nouwen's legacy as inspired spiritual guide will continue, enhanced by this testimony to his sincere desire to live with gratitude, faith, and love.'- Publishers Weekly 'When I write I think deeply about my friends, I pray for them, I tell them my emotions and feelings. I reflect on our relationship and I dwell with them in a very personal way.' - Henri NouwenOver the course of his life, priest, professor and writer Henri Nouwen wrote thousands of letters to friends, acquaintances, parishioners, students and readers of his work all around the world. He held a deep conviction about the value of reaching out to others through letters, believing that a thoughtful letter written in love could truly change someone's life. As a result, many people looked to Nouwen as a long-distance spiritual advisor. This collection of previously unpublished letters stretches from the earliest years of Henri's career through to his last ten years at L'Arche Daybreak. Rich in spiritual insights as well as touching details of Henri's daily life, the letters are organised around themes that emerge not just in his correspondence but in his writing, too: vocation and calling; solitude and prayer; suffering and perseverence; belovedness; and community. Across all these letters, what emerges most clearly is Henri's belief in the rich value of human relationships.As relevant today as they were forty years ago, and full of insight and encouragement, these letters offer a deeply personal look into the mind of a spiritual giant of the twentieth century, and are an ideal introduction to his life and thought.

Sceptre

Becoming Steve Jobs

Brent Schlender, Rick Tetzeli
Authors:
Brent Schlender, Rick Tetzeli
Coronet

Beyoncé: Running the World

Anna Pointer
Authors:
Anna Pointer

'Everything you ever wanted to know about the world's biggest singing star.' 5* - BestBeyoncé: Running The World is the full story of Houston born-and-bred Beyoncé's extraordinary life, which saw her join her first pop group at the age of nine before fronting the girl band Destiny's Child - the biggest-selling female group of all time. After embarking on a solo career in 2003, Beyoncé's status as a superstar was sealed and to date she has won more than 220 awards internationally and the hearts of millions of fans the world over. The most definitive and up-to-date telling of Beyoncé's story ever written, this book provides an intimate close-up on both her professional and personal life, with the inside story on how she and rapper husband Jay-Z became the biggest power couple on earth. With reports that their marriage was crumbling before the world's eyes on their 2014 joint tour, On The Run, it pieces together the split rumours that plagued them at every turn and documents exactly how they coped with such intense public scrutiny.The book also analyses Beyoncé's role as a mother to young daughter Blue Ivy and explores the hidden heartbreaks of her past, including a tragic miscarriage, a lengthy battle with depression and an agonising rift with her manager father Mathew.While celebrating Beyoncé's greatest triumphs Beyoncé: Running The World uncovers the truth behind the headlines, finding out exactly who 'Queen Bey' is and what really goes on behind the scenes...Contains an extra chapter with the most up-to-date information on the world's biggest star.

Sceptre

Shame and the Captives

Thomas Keneally
Authors:
Thomas Keneally

On the edge of a small Australian town, far from the battlefields of the Second World War, a camp holds thousands of Japanese, Italian and Korean prisoners of war. The locals are unsure how to treat the 'enemy', though Alice Herman, whose young husband is himself a prisoner in Europe, becomes drawn to the Italian soldier sent to work on her father-in-law's farm. The camp commander and his deputy, each concealing a troubled private life, are disunited. And both fatally misread their Japanese captives, who burn with shame at being taken alive. The stage is set for a clash of cultures that has explosive, far-reaching consequences.

Hodder & Stoughton

The Soundtrack to My Life

Dermot O'Leary
Authors:
Dermot O'Leary
John Murray

Lesley Blanch

Anne Boston
Authors:
Anne Boston
John Murray

Operation Sealion

Leo McKinstry
Authors:
Leo McKinstry

'Superbly written and gripping' Daily ExpressThe thrilling true account of Hitler's first defeat.In the summer of 1940, the Nazi war machine was at its zenith. France, Denmark, Norway and the Low Countries were all under occupation after a series of lightning military campaigns. Only Britain stood in the way of the complete triumph of Nazi tyranny. But for the first time in the war, Hitler did not prevail. The traditional narrative of 1940 holds that Britain was only saved from German conquest by the pluck of RAF Fighter Command during the Battle of Britain. The image of Dad's Army recruits training with broomsticks is a classic symbol of the nation's supposed desperation in the face of the threat from Operation Sealion, as the German plan for invasion was code-named. Yet as Leo McKinstry details, the British were far more ruthless and proficient than is usually recognised. The brilliance of the RAF was not an exception but part of a pattern of magnificent organisation. In almost every sphere of action, such as the destruction of the French naval fleet or the capture of German spies, Britain's approach reflected an uncompromising spirit of purpose and resolution. Using a wealth of primary materials from both British and German archives, Leo McKinstry provides a ground-breaking new assessment of the six fateful months in mid-1940, beginning with Winston Churchill's accession to power in May and culminating in Germany's abandonment of Operation Sealion.

Yellow Kite

One Million Lovely Letters

Jodi Ann Bickley
Authors:
Jodi Ann Bickley

In the summer of 2011, aged only 22, Jodi Ann Bickley contracted a serious brain infection that would change her life forever. Jodi had been performing at Camp Bestival on the Isle of Wight. Returning with pockets full of glitter, and her favourite bands' songs still playing in her head, She thought the happy memories would last forever. A week later, writhing in pain on the doctor's surgery floor and unable to put the pain she was suffering into words, Jodi found out that she had been bitten by a tick and contracted a serious brain infection. Learning to write and walk again was just the start of the battle. In the months that followed Jodi struggled with the ups and downs of her health and the impact it had on her loved ones. Some days the illness was too much for Jodi to bear and she found herself wondering whether she could go on. She had two choices: either to give up now or to do something meaningful with the time she had been given. Jodi chose the latter. This is the story how she turned her life around, and in doing so, touched the lives of millions. ONE MILLION LOVELY LETTERS is one woman's inspirational journey to recovery, and is a witty and uplifting testament to the power of words to heal heart and mind. www.onemillionlovelyletters.com http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QXxglvEMUQc

Hodder & Stoughton

C. S. Lewis: A Life

Alister McGrath
Authors:
Alister McGrath
Hodder & Stoughton

THE GREAT ESCAPER: The Life and Death of Roger Bushell 'The mastermind behind The Great Escape' – The Times

Simon Pearson
Authors:
Simon Pearson

Roger Bushell was 'Big X', mastermind of the mass breakout from Stalag Luft III in March 1944, immortalised in the Hollywood film The Great Escape.Very little was known about Bushell until 2011, when his family donated his private papers - a treasure trove of letters, photographs and diaries - to the Imperial War Museum. Through exclusive access to this material - as well as fascinating new research from other sources - Simon Pearson, Chief Night Editor of The Times, has now written the first biography of this iconic figure. Born in South Africa in 1910, Roger Bushell was the son of a British mining engineer. By the age of 29, this charismatic character who spoke nine languages had become a London barrister with a reputation for successfully defending those much less fortunate than him. He was also renowned as an international ski champion and fighter pilot with a string of glamorous girlfriends. On 23 May, 1940, his Spitfire was shot down during a dogfight over Boulogne after destroying two German fighters. From then on his life was governed by an unquenchable desire to escape from Occupied Europe.Over the next four years he made three escapes, coming within 100 yards of the Swiss border during his first attempt. His second escape took him to Prague where he was sheltered by the Czech resistance for eight months before he was captured. The three month's of savage interrogation in Berlin by the Gestapo that followed made him even more determined. Prisoner or not, he would do his utmost to fight the Nazis. His third (and last escape) destabilised the Nazi leadership and captured the imagination of the world.He died on 29 March 1944, murdered on the explicit instructions of Adolf Hitler.Simon Pearson's revealing biography is a vivid account of war and love, triumph and tragedy - one man's attempt to challenge remorseless tyranny in the face of impossible odds.

John Murray

Let Not the Waves of the Sea

Simon Stephenson
Authors:
Simon Stephenson

LET NOT THE WAVES OF THE SEA is Simon Stephenson's account of his journey following the loss of his brother in the Indian Ocean tsunami. If it is a story of grief, it is also a story of hope and of the unexpected places where healing can be found. Simon's journey takes him from Edinburgh in the immediate aftermath of the disaster, to Downing Street in London, to Thailand and the island where his brother died, to the scene of an ancient tsunami on the north-west coast of the United States, and to the town where he and his brother's favourite childhood film was made. Along the way there is heartbreak, dengue fever, Greek mythology, and hard physical labour in the tropical heat, but there is also memory, redemption and humour as well.

Hodder Paperbacks

Gypsy Boy on the Run

Mikey Walsh
Authors:
Mikey Walsh
Hodder Paperbacks

The Essential Dave Allen

Graham Mccann
Authors:
Graham Mccann

When Dave Allen passed away in March 2005, we lost a true comedy great. Sitting cross-legged on a high stool, whiskey in one hand, cigarette in the other, Dave Allen's exasperated commentaries on the absurdities of modern life struck a chord with millions of fans in Britain, Ireland and Australia for over four decades. He was a compelling storyteller - able to spin shaggy dog stories out of the almost any subject, including the missing tip of his fourth finger of his left hand, for which he provided various unlikely explanations. But his gentle, laconic wit could also give way to ferocious attacks on the media, the state and, most famously, the Catholic Church. He was a unique talent - a comic who could make his audiences laugh, cry, and be shocked, all in one.This official celebration of Dave Allen's comedy has been drawn together by Graham McCann - Britain's best-loved entertainment writer. It is a treasure trove of stories, stand-up routines, sketches, interviews and photos, which takes us on a journey from the cradle to the grave. It will delight Dave Allen's million of fans, old and new alike.'Dave Allen was our greatest storyteller and nobody ever came close to his ability to spin a yarn. He was unique, right up there with the greats.' Jack Dee