Dent's Modern Tribes
By Susie Dent
Did you know that . . . a soldier's biggest social blunder is called jack brew - making yourself a cuppa without making one for anyone else? That twitchers have an expression for a bird that can't be identified - LBJ (the letters stand for Little Brown Job)? Or that builders call plastering the ceiling doing Lionel Richie's dancefloor? Susie Dent does.Ever wondered why football managers all speak the same way, what a cabbie calls the Houses of Parliament, or how ticket inspectors discreetly request back-up? We are surrounded by hundreds of tribes, each speaking their own distinct slanguage of colourful words, jokes and phrases, honed through years of conversations on the battlefield, in A&E, backstage, or at ten-thousand feet in the air. Susie Dent has spent years interviewing hundreds of professionals, hobbyists and enthusiasts, and the result is an idiosyncratic phrasebook like no other. From the Freemason's handshake to the publican's banter, Dent's Modern Tribes takes us on a whirlwind tour of Britain, decoding its secret languages and, in the process, finds out what really makes us all tick.
By Stuart Tootal
Colonel Stuart Tootal is the first senior commander to provide an account of the fighting in Afghanistan. A gritty portrayal of unforgiving conflict, Danger Close captures the essence of combat, the risks involved and the aftermath.3 PARA was the first unit into Helmand in 2006. Sent on a peace mission, it became engaged in a level of combat that has not been experienced by the British Army since the end of the Korean War. Undermanned and suffering from equipment shortages, 3 PARA fought doggedly to win the break in battle.Numerous gallantry decorations were awarded, but they were not without cost. On returning from Afghanistan, Tootal fought to get proper treatment for his wounded and feeling frustrated with the Government's treatment of its soldiers, he resigned from the Army.This is a dramatic, and often moving insight into the leadership of soldiers and the sharp end of war.
By Franny Moyle
Their Bohemian lifestyle and intertwined love affairs shockingly broke 19th Century class barriers and bent the rules that governed the roles of the sexes. They became defined by love triangles, played out against the austere moral climate of Victorian England; they outraged their contemporaries with their loves, jealousies and betrayals, and they stunned society when their complex moral choices led to madness and suicide, or when their permissive experiments ended in addiction and death. The characters are huge and vivid and remain as compelling today as they were in their own time. The influential critic, writer and artist John Ruskin was their father figure and his apostles included the painter Dante Gabriel Rossetti and the designer William Morris. They drew extraordinary women into their circle. In a move intended to raise eyebrows for its social audacity, they recruited the most ravishing models they could find from the gutters of Victorian slums. The saga is brought to life through the vivid letters and diaries kept by the group and the accounts written by their contemporaries. These real-lie stories shed new light on the greatest nineteenth-century British art.
By James Lees-Milne, Michael Bloch
James Lees-Milne (1908-97) made his name as the country house expert of the National Trust and for being a versatile author. But he is now best known for the remarkable diary he kept for most of his adult life, which has been compared with that of Samuel Pepys and hailed as 'a treasure of contemporary English literature'. The first of three, this volume covers its first dozen years, beginning with his return to work for the National Trust during the Second World War, and ending with his tempestuous marriage to the exotic Alvilde Chaplin. The diary vividly portrays the hectic social life of London during the Blitz, when in the intervals between struggling to save a disintegrating architectural heritage he enjoys a dizzying variety of romantic experiences with both sexes. His descriptions of visits to harassed country-house owners are as perceptive as they are hilarious. With the war's end, the mood changes as he portrays a world of gloom and austerity. He shares the prevailing pessimism, yet during these years arranges the transfer of some of England's loveliest houses to the safe keeping of the National Trust. Finally he escapes from England to live on the Continent with his beautiful paramour, yet remains restless and dissatisfied. The diaries of James Lees-Milne were originally published in twelve volumes between 1975 and 2005. Michael Bloch, James Lees-Milne's literary executor and editor of the last five volumes of the complete work, has produced this skilful compilation from the first five volumes - including interesting new material omitted from the original publications.
Dictionary of Subjects and Symbols in Art
By James Hall
This dictionary relates in a succinct, readable way the themes, sacred and secular, on which the repertoire of European art is based. Cross-references enable the reader to identify the subject of a picture simply from some characteristic object or figure in it. Here in a single volume are combined religious and historical themes. The "Dictionary" also explores the "lost language" of symbol and attribute, thus opening up the whole field of allegory.