John Julius Norwich - An English Christmas - Hodder & Stoughton

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    • ISBN:9781473665941
    • Publication date:16 Nov 2017
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    • ISBN:9781473666313
    • Publication date:16 Nov 2017

An English Christmas

By John Julius Norwich

  • Hardback
  • £14.99

A Christmas anthology from legendary historian and Christmas Cracker compiler, John Julius Norwich.

'If I could work my will,' said Scrooge indignantly, 'Every idiot who goes about with "Merry Christmas" on his lips, should be boiled with his own pudding, and buried with a stake of holly through his heart.'

This year go carol-singing in the Cotswolds with Laurie Lee or attend church with a grumpy Samuel Pepys. Make plum puddings for bemused French villagers with Elizabeth David; go present shopping with Virginia Woolf or eat far too much with Agatha Christie. Celebrate Christmas at Chatsworth, in the workhouse or marooned in the ice with Shackleton ...

For the last forty-five years, the arrival of John Julius Norwich's latest Christmas Cracker has become as essential a part of the Christmas experience as holly and mistletoe. In An English Christmas the legendary popular historian has finally gathered all the best writing about this strangest and most memorable time of year into one book and his brilliant eye for a story is evident on every page.

Vividly evoking all the good things about the festive season, this unexpected anthology is just as entertaining about its darker aspects. Eight-year-old Princess Margaret's thank-you list jostles with moving letters home from the trenches. Sherlock Holmes solves his trickiest case. George Orwell writes about indigestion; Jane Austen about reluctant socialising and Thomas Hardy about the old folk belief that all animals kneel at midnight on 24 December. There are ghost stories, games and bizarre recipes. Diary-entries, recipes and letters sit alongside poems and short stories. An English Christmas could convert any Scrooge into an instant enthusiast.

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  • ISBN: 9781473665927
  • Publication date: 16 Nov 2017
  • Page count: 288
  • Imprint: John Murray
Its contents are like those of a Christmas stocking, in that small nuggets jostle alongside much larger pieces — The Times
A charming introduction that's almost worth the admission price alone — The Spectator
Hodder & Stoughton

The Christmas Holiday

Sophie Claire
Authors:
Sophie Claire
Hodder & Stoughton

A Gift in December

Jenny Gladwell
Authors:
Jenny Gladwell

Journalist Jane Brooke is getting over a career high...and love life low. When her editor nominates her to join some glamorous bloggers and cynical journalists on a trip to Norway for a feature on the story behind the famous Norwegian Christmas tree, dubbed the Queen of the Forest, which the country gifts each year to the UK to be displayed in Trafalgar Square, she feels only annoyance. But Jane hasn't anticipated discovering a moving story behind this historic gift, and she certainly isn't expecting to find love amidst all that snow, but this trip could turn out to be the perfect Christmas present.

Hodder & Stoughton

My Squirrel Days

Ellie Kemper
Authors:
Ellie Kemper
Hodder Paperbacks

Jane Austen at Home

Lucy Worsley
Authors:
Lucy Worsley

THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER'This is my kind of history: carefully researched but so vivid that you are convinced Lucy Worsley was actually there at the party - or the parsonage.' Antonia Fraser'A refreshingly unique perspective on Austen and her work and a beautifully nuanced exploration of gender, creativity, and domesticity.' Amanda ForemanOn the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen's death, historian Lucy Worsley leads us into the rooms from which our best-loved novelist quietly changed the world.This new telling of the story of Jane's life shows us how and why she lived as she did, examining the places and spaces that mattered to her. It wasn't all country houses and ballrooms, but a life that was often a painful struggle. Jane famously lived a 'life without incident', but with new research and insights Lucy Worsley reveals a passionate woman who fought for her freedom. A woman who far from being a lonely spinster in fact had at least five marriage prospects, but who in the end refused to settle for anything less than Mr Darcy.

John Murray

France

John Julius Norwich
Authors:
John Julius Norwich

I can still feel, as if it were yesterday, the excitement of my first Channel crossing (as a child of nearly 7) in September 1936; the regiment of porters, smelling asphyxiatingly of garlic in their blue-green blousons; the raucous sound all around me of spoken French; the immense fields of Normandy strangely devoid of hedges; then the Gare du Nord at twilight, the policemen with their képis and their little snow-white batons; and my first sight of the Eiffel Tower...This book is written in the belief that the average English-speaking man or woman has remarkably little knowledge of French history. We may know a bit about Napoleon or Joan of Arc or Louis XIV, but for most of us that's about it. In my own three schools we were taught only about the battles we won: Crécy and Poitiers, Agincourt and Waterloo. The rest was silence. So here is my attempt to fill in the blanks...John Julius Norwich (at 88) has finally written the book he always wanted to write, the extremely colourful story of the country he loves best. From frowning Roman generals and belligerent Gallic chieftains, to Charlemagne (hated by generations of French children taught that he invented schools) through Marie Antoinette and the storming of the Bastille to Vichy, the Resistance and beyond, FRANCE is packed with heroes and villains, adventures and battles, romance and revolution. Full of memorable stories and racy anecdotes, this is the perfect introduction to the country that has inspired the rest of the world to live, dress, eat -- and love better.

Coronet

Hurrah for Gin: The Daily Struggles of Archie Adams (Aged 2 ¼)

Katie Kirby
Authors:
Katie Kirby
John Murray

Four Princes

John Julius Norwich
Authors:
John Julius Norwich

'Never before had the world seen four such giants co-existing. Sometimes friends, more often enemies, always rivals, these four men together held Europe in the hollow of their hands.' Four great princes - Henry VIII of England, Francis I of France, Charles V of Spain and Suleiman the Magnificent - were born within a single decade. Each looms large in his country's history and, in this book, John Julius Norwich broadens the scope and shows how, against the rich background of the Renaissance and destruction of the Reformation, their wary obsession with one another laid the foundations for modern Europe. Individually, each man could hardly have been more different ­- from the scandals of Henry's six wives to Charles's monasticism - but, together, they dominated the world stage. From the Field of the Cloth of Gold, a pageant of jousting, feasting and general carousing so lavish that it nearly bankrupted both France and England, to Suleiman's celebratory pyramid of 2,000 human heads (including those of seven Hungarian bishops) after the battle of Mohács; from Anne Boleyn's six-fingered hand (a potential sign of witchcraft) that had the pious nervously crossing themselves to the real story of the Maltese falcon, Four Princes is history at its vivid, entertaining best. With a cast list that extends from Leonardo da Vinci to Barbarossa, and from Joanna the Mad to le roi grand-nez, John Julius Norwich offers the perfect guide to the most colourful century the world has ever known and brings the past to unforgettable life.

Two Roads

Mistress of the Just Land

David Ashton
Authors:
David Ashton
John Murray

Sicily

John Julius Norwich
Authors:
John Julius Norwich

'Sicily is the key to everything' Johann Wolfgang von Goethe The author of the classic book on Venice turns his sights to Sicily in this beautiful book full of maps and colour photographs.'I discovered Sicily almost by mistake . . .We drove as far as Naples, then put the car on the night ferry to Palermo. There was a degree of excitement in the early hours when we passed Stromboli, emitting a rich glow every half-minute or so like an ogre puffing on an immense cigar; and a few hours later, in the early morning sunshine, we sailed into the Conca d'Oro, the Golden Shell, in which the city lies. Apart from the beauty of the setting, I remember being instantly struck by a change in atmosphere. The Strait of Messina is only a couple of miles across and the island is politically part of Italy; yet somehow one feels that one has entered a different world . . . This book is, among other things, an attempt to analyse why this should be.' The stepping stone between Europe and Africa, the gateway between the East and the West, at once a stronghold, clearing-house and observation post, Sicily has been invaded and fought over by Phoenicians and Greeks, Carthaginians and Romans, Goths and Byzantines, Arabs and Normans, Germans, Spaniards and the French for thousands of years. It has belonged to them all - and yet has properly been part of none. John Julius Norwich was inspired to become a writer by his first visit in 1961 and this book is the result of a fascination that has lasted over half a century. In tracing its dark story, he attempts to explain the enigma that lies at the heart of the Mediterranean's largest island. This vivid short history covers everything from erupting volcanoes to the assassination of Byzantine emperors, from Nelson's affair with Emma Hamilton to Garibaldi and the rise of the Mafia. Taking in the key buildings and towns, and packed with fascinating stories and unforgettable characters, Sicily is the book he was born to write.

Two Roads

Fall From Grace

David Ashton
Authors:
David Ashton

BASED ON THE LONG-RUNNING BBC RADIO 4 McLEVY DRAMA SERIES...WHILE THE STREETS OF LONDON HAD SHERLOCK HOLMES, THE DARK ALLEYS OF EDINBURGH HAD INSPECTOR JAMES McLEVYELEGANT AND CONVINCING' The Times | 'ASHTON IS THE DIRECT HEIR TO ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON' Brian Cox | 'EXCELLENT' The Sherlock Holmes Society | 'DRIPPING WITH MELODRAMA AND DERRING-DO' HeraldA burglary and murder at the home of Sir Thomas Bouch, the enigmatic architect of the ill-fated Tay Bridge, sets Inspector James McLevy off on a train of brutal killings, lethal liaisons, and double suicide which leads to a violent encounter with an old enemy, Hercules Dunbar.Caught up in a terrifying storm as he tracks his foe to Dundee, McLevy watches the rail bridge collapse and plunge into the icy depths of the Tay. The aftermath brings the destruction of reputation and love as the inspector uncovers the secret passions which have led to murder.THE INSPECTOR MCLEVY SERIES1 - Shadow of the Serpent2 - Fall from Grace3 - A Trick of the Light4 - Nor Will He Sleep

John Murray

A History of England in 100 Places

John Julius Norwich, John Julius Norwich
Authors:
John Julius Norwich, John Julius Norwich

From battlefield to sacred building, from castle to cottage, from the Bridgwater Canal to Blackpool Pier, historian John Julius Norwich tells the political, cultural, social, religious and economic story of England through one hundred key places you can still visit today. Part narrative history, part exploration of our national heritage, his wide-ranging selection of sites will stimulate, entertain, inform - and certainly provoke - a debate about the most significant moments in English history.

Hodder & Stoughton

Thunder on the Right

Mary Stewart
Authors:
Mary Stewart
Hodder & Stoughton

Nine Coaches Waiting

Mary Stewart
Authors:
Mary Stewart

The original queen of the page-turner Mary Stewart transports her readers to mid-century Savoy for a plot of danger and deception, perfect for fans of Agatha Christie and Barbara Pym.'One of the great British storytellers of the 20th century' Independent'Mary Stewart is magic' New York TimesLinda Martin understands what is to be lonely: her parents died when she was young, and she was raised in an orphanage. When she is hired as a governess to the orphaned young Philippe, Comte de Valmy, Linda finds a kindred spirit in the lonely little boy. But Philippe is the heir to a vast estate in Savoy, and his dangerously handsome uncle may be willing to kill to ensure that Philippe never inherits it.Mary Stewart's wonderful novel of suspense and intrigue set in the idyllic countryside of Savoy. A classic tale by one of the world's most beloved authors.'A wonderful wordsmith' Scotsman'She built the bridge between classic literature and modern popular fiction. She did it first and she did it best' Herald

Hodder & Stoughton

Praire Home Christmas

Garrison Keillor
Authors:
Garrison Keillor
John Murray

Up and Down Stairs

Jeremy Musson
Authors:
Jeremy Musson
Hodder & Stoughton

Zulu Hart

Saul David
Authors:
Saul David

'Gems like this are too rare. I was hooked in ten pages.' Conn IgguldenGEORGE HART just wants to serve his Queen and honour his family. It's not that simple.BASTARDHe doesn't know his father, only that he's a pillar of the Establishment. His beloved mother is half Irish, half Zulu.ZULU In a Victorian society rife with racism and prejudice, George's dark skin spells trouble to his regimental commander.WARRIORBut George has soldiering in his blood - the only question is what he's really fighting for: ancestry or Empire. In the heat of battle he must decide . . .

Hodder & Stoughton

Strong Poison

Dorothy L Sayers
Authors:
Dorothy L Sayers

A must-read for fans of Agatha Christie's Poirot and Margery Allingham's Campion Mysteries, Lord Peter Wimsey is the immortal amateur sleuth created by Dorothy L Sayers.Can Lord Peter Wimsey prove that Harriet Vane is not guilty of murder - or find the real poisoner in time to save her from the gallows?Impossible, it seems. The Crown's case is watertight. The police are adamant that the right person is on trial. The judge's summing-up is also clear. Harriet Vane is guilty of the killing her lover. And Harriet Vane shall hang.But the jury disagrees.

Hodder & Stoughton

Unnatural Death

Dorothy L Sayers
Authors:
Dorothy L Sayers

The third book in Dorothy L Sayers' classic Lord Peter Wimsey series, introduced by crime writer Minette Walters - a must-read for fans of Agatha Christie's Poirot and Margery Allingham's Campion Mysteries. 'D. L. Sayers is one of the best detective story writers' Daily Telegraph'No sign of foul play,' says Dr Carr after the post-mortem on Agatha Dawson. The case is closed. But Lord Peter Wimsey is not satisfied . . .With no clues to work on, he begins his own investigation. No clues, that is, until the sudden, senseless murder of Agatha's maid. What is going on in the mysterious Mrs Forrest's Mayfair flat? And can Wimsey catch a desperate murderer before he himself becomes one of the victims?'She brought to the detective novel originality, intelligence, energy and wit.' P. D. James

Hodder & Stoughton

The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club

Dorothy L Sayers
Authors:
Dorothy L Sayers
Hodder & Stoughton

Whose Body?

Dorothy L Sayers
Authors:
Dorothy L Sayers

The first book in Dorothy L Sayers' classic Lord Peter Wimsey series introduced by crime writer Laura Wilson - a must-read for fans of Agatha Christie's Poirot and Margery Allingham's Campion Mysteries. 'D. L. Sayers is one of the best detective story writers' Daily TelegraphIt was the body of a tall stout man. On his dead face, a handsome pair of gold pince-nez mocked death with grotesque elegance.The body wore nothing else.Lord Peter Wimsey knew immediately what the corpse was supposed to be. His problem was to find out whose body had found its way into Mr Alfred Thipps' Battersea bathroom.'She brought to the detective novel originality, intelligence, energy and wit.' P. D. James