By Marty Feldman
Completed before he died, thirty years ago, this is the newly discovered autobiography of one of the most influential comedians of recent times, Marty Feldman. Marty Feldman was one of the most essential creative forces in British comedy embodied also by his close friends and creative partners from Beyond the Fringe (especially Peter Cook and Dudley Moore) and Monty Python (especially John Cleese, Graham Chapman and Eric Idle).Marty played the fool, often very happily and with tremendous talent and volcanic, anarchic energy, for his entire life. Marty finished, and set aside eYE Marty soon before travelling to Mexico to shoot his final film. He did not know that he would die there, although he certainly felt he might die soon, and was haunted by the notion. The book is exactly as Feldman wrote it, with even the photos inserted where Feldman had noted they should go. Hilarious, deeply charming, aphoristic, ironic, charged throughout with lust for life and filled with scenes of great vanished eras and and portraits of other performers and friends, eYE Marty is the amazing discovery of the story of a man who was at the heart of the British comedy revolution.
By Justin Scroggie
DID YOU KNOW? There are 3 Freemason secret handshakesPutting a question mark in a movie title is considered bad luckThe Sudanese city of Khartoum is laid out in the shape of the Union JackEvery Victoria Cross is made from bronze Chinese cannonThe light on top of the Rock of Gibraltar flashes out the letters G-BThe wearer of a teardrop tattoo will claim to have killed someone in prisonBarbers once offered bloodletting services using leeches - advertised by the now common red and white poleThe MI5 codename for the Prime Minister's cat is 'Pegasus'In the English football league only clubs that have won the FA Cup can have triangular corner flagsYOU DIDN'T!?BUY THIS BOOK
England, Our England
By Alan Titchmarsh
An anthology and miscellany of everything an Englishman should know: - From Austen to Wordsworth - Jerusalem to the Scout's Honour - Kings and Queens of England to Land of Hope and Glory- Savile Row tailors to Jermyn St Shirt Makers - Tying a Windsor knot to making a pot of tea - Victoria sponge to fish pie - The rules of cricket to Gilbert and Sullivan operas
Empires of the Indus
By Alice Albinia
10th anniversary edition with new PrefaceOne of the largest rivers in the world, the Indus rises in the Tibetan mountains, flows west across northern India and south through Pakistan. For millennia it has been worshipped as a god; for centuries used as a tool of imperial expansion; today it is the cement of Pakistans fractious union. Five thousand years ago, a string of sophisticated cities grew and traded on its banks. In the ruins of these elaborate metropolises, Sanskrit-speaking nomads explored the river, extolling its virtues in Indias most ancient text, the Rig-Veda. During the past two thousand years a series of invaders - Alexander the Great, Afghan Sultans, the British Raj - made conquering the Indus valley their quixotic mission. For the people of the river, meanwhile, the Indus valley became a nodal point on the Silk Road, a centre of Sufi pilgrimage and the birthplace of Sikhism. Empires of the Indus follows the river upstream and back in time, taking the reader on a voyage through two thousand miles of geography and more than five millennia of history redolent with contemporary importance.
England In Particular
By Sue Clifford And Angela King, Angela King
'Should be at every curious Englishman's bedside' ALAN TITCHMARSH'As vital as it is joyous, and as timely as it is inspired . . . It should join Shakespeare and the Bible as a "must have" on any English man or woman's desert island' HUGH FEARNLEY-WHITTINGSTALL Apples, bandstands, causeways dialect, fens, gargoyles, heaths,ice houses, jet, lagoons, maypoles, nightingales, primrose banks, quicksand, rhubarb, sheep, terraced houses, weather, zawns... England is a land of extraordinary variety, rich in buildings, landscapes, peoples and wildlife. But this diversity is under siege. Mass production, fashion, increased mobility and the forceful promotion of corporate identity have brought with them standardised shop fronts, farm buildings, factories, forests and front doors, while intensive farming has created a bland, empty countryside. ENGLAND IN PARTICULAR is a counterblast against loss and uniformity, and a celebration of just some of the distinctive details that cumulatively make England. It is the culmination of more than twenty years' work by Sue Clifford and Angela King, who founded Common Ground with Roger Deakin. ENGLAND IN PARTICULAR is a ground-breaking work, destined to become a classic.Two pocket-sized hardback editions of extracted essays from ENGLAND IN PARTICULAR are also available: JOURNEYS THROUGH ENGLAND IN PARTICULAR: COASTING and JOURNEYS THROUGH ENGLAND IN PARTICULAR: ON FOOT.
Extremes along the Silk Road
By Nick Middleton
The Silk Road is the fabled route that cuts through one of the most extraordinary tracts of land on this planet. A vast region separating China from the Mediterranean, it rates as one of the least hospitable on Earth – a succession of hostile deserts and towering mountain ranges, a harsh terrain of howling winds, searing heat and blistering cold.No stranger to unforgiving territory, Nick Middleton follows in the footsteps of Alexander the Great and Marco Polo overland from China to Istanbul, surviving as they did the life-sapping Gobi desert, the icy passes of high altitude Tibet, and the great Steppes of Turkmenistan, and encounters those who eke out existences there today.Nick's great gift as an adventure writer is to weave together the personal experience of ridiculous endurance - from sleeping on steaming rocks in the middle of a sub-zero desert to eating the most dubiously-cooked local delicacies - with the bigger picture of our planet and its peoples.