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The Hired Man

Melvyn Bragg
Authors:
Melvyn Bragg

Set in Cumbria and covering the period from 1898 to the early twenties, this is the powerful saga of John Tallentire, first farm labourer, then coal miner, and his wife Emily. John's struggle to break free from the humiliating status of a 'hired man' is the theme of a novel which has been hailed as a classic of its kind - as meticulously detailed as a social document, as evocative as the writings of Hardy and Lawrence.(P)2015 Hodder & Stoughton

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A Place in England

Melvyn Bragg
Authors:
Melvyn Bragg
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Kingdom Come

Melvyn Bragg
Authors:
Melvyn Bragg

Douglas Tallentire has at last achieved what his father and grandfather before him fought for so bitterly. Educated and independent, he can carve out his own career and spread his wings. But success, freedom and happiness are more elusive than ever in the fiercely competitive Seventies. From Cumbria to the frenetic whirl of sophisticated life in New York and London, Douglas, like all the Tallentires, must come to terms with private uncertainty and pain.(P)2015 Hodder & Stoughton

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Now is the Time

Melvyn Bragg
Authors:
Melvyn Bragg

In this gripping novel, Melvyn Bragg brings an extraordinary episode in English history to fresh, urgent life.At the end of May 1381, the fourteen-year-old King of England had reason to be fearful: the plague had returned, the royal coffers were empty and a draconian poll tax was being widely evaded. Yet Richard, bolstered by his powerful, admired mother, felt secure in his God-given right to reign. But within two weeks, the unthinkable happened: a vast force of common people invaded London, led by a former soldier, Walter Tyler, and the radical preacher John Ball, demanding freedom, equality and the complete uprooting of the Church and state. And for three intense, violent days, it looked as if they would sweep all before them.Now is the Time depicts the events of the Peasants' Revolt on both a grand and intimate scale, vividly portraying its central figures and telling an archetypal tale of an epic struggle between the powerful and the apparently powerless.

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Grace and Mary

Melvyn Bragg
Authors:
Melvyn Bragg

John visits his ageing mother Mary in her nursing home by the sea, and mourns the slow fading of her mind. Hoping to shore up her memory, he prompts her with songs, photographs and questions about the 1940s, when she was a young woman and he a child in a small Cumbrian town. But he finds that most of all it is her own mother she longs for - Grace, the mother she barely knew. John sets out to recreate their buried family history, delving into the secrets and silences of Mary's fractured childhood as he imagines the life of her spirited mother. Reaching from the late 19th century to the present, this becomes a deeply moving, reflective elegy on three generations linked by a chain of love, loss, and courage.

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The Book of Books

Melvyn Bragg
Authors:
Melvyn Bragg

The King James Bible has often been called the Book of Books both in itself and in what it stands for. Since its publication in 1611 it has been the best selling book in the world, and many believe, had the greatest impact. The King James Bible has spread the Protestant faith. It has also been the greatest influence on the enrichment of the English language and its literature. It has been the Bible of wars from the British Civil War in the seventeenth century to the American Civil War two centuries later and it has been carried into battle in innumerable conflicts since then. Its influence on social movements - particularly involving women in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries - and politics was profound. It was crucial to the growth of democracy. It was integral to the abolition of slavery and it defined attitudes to modern science, education and sex. As THE ADVENTURE OF ENGLISH explored the history of our language, so THE BOOK OF BOOKS reveals the extraordinary and still-felt impact of a work created 400 years ago.

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The South Bank Show: Final Cut

Melvyn Bragg
Authors:
Melvyn Bragg

What drives a musician to write extraordinary songs? How do writers create their worlds? How does an actor achieve greatness? For over thirty years of The South Bank Show, Melvyn Bragg has interviewed many of the greatest cultural icons of our age. These interviews offer revelatory insights into the lives and work of writers, actors, artists and musicians. In The South Bank Show: Final Cut he has revisited some of these artists and used the interviews as the basis for fuller portraits. The range of artists is remarkable and this book is true to The South Bank Show's ethos of seeking out the highest quality whatever the art form. Melvyn Bragg's unique perspective makes this book indispensable for anyone interested in the work and lives of some of the best artists of our time.

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In Our Time

Melvyn Bragg
Authors:
Melvyn Bragg

Melvyn Bragg's In Our Time series regularly enlightens and entertains substantial audiences on BBC Radio 4. For this book he has selected episodes which reflect the diversity of the radio programmes, and takes us on an amazing tour through the history of ideas, from philosophy, physics and history to religion, literature and biology. We can discover the reasons for the fall of the Byzantine empire, and why women were persecuted as witches in the seventeenth century. What shape is the origin of life? Where does our calendar come from? We can unearth the influence of prime numbers, Socrates and Tectonic plates. Melvyn Bragg orchestrates the ideas of leading academics in each field so that the dynamic and lively discussion from the programmes comes through vividly on the page. IN OUR TIME brings to life the signposts of history, the moments that significantly changed the world as we know it, and the individuals and ideas that made us what we are today.

Hodder Paperbacks

Rich: The Life of Richard Burton

Melvyn Bragg
Authors:
Melvyn Bragg
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Remember Me...

Melvyn Bragg
Authors:
Melvyn Bragg

A passionate but ultimately tragic love affair starts when two students - one French, one English - meet at university at the beginning of the sixties. From its tentative, unpromising early stages, the relationship develops into a life-changing one, whose profound impact continues to reverberate forty years later. REMEMBER ME... takes one of the oldest stories in the world and gives it renewed, visceral force. Here are characters who spring from the page, brought to vivid life with exceptional empathy and insight into the workings of the heart and mind. And here, captured in intimate, telling detail, are the emotions that bind two people together, and the subtle shifts in thought and feeling that can prise them apart. This is a novel of great emotional intensity, which leaves an unforgettable impression.

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Credo

Melvyn Bragg
Authors:
Melvyn Bragg

Britain during the Dark Ages is the setting for the fascinating story of Bega, a young Irish princess who became a saint, and her lifelong bond with Padric, prince of the north-western kingdom of Rheged. This dramatic, far-reaching tale brings to life a land of warring kings, Christians and pagans, and tribes divided by language and culture, illuminating a little-known yet critical period in British history.

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The Adventure Of English

Melvyn Bragg
Authors:
Melvyn Bragg

English is the collective work of millions of people throughout the ages. It is democratic, ever-changing and ingenious in its assimilation of other cultures. English runs through the heart of world finance, medicine and the Internet, and it is understood by around two thousand million people across the world. Yet it was very nearly wiped out in its early years.In this book Melvyn Bragg shows us the remarkable story of the English language; from its beginnings as a minor guttural Germanic dialect to its position today as a truly established global language. THE ADVENTURE OF ENGLISH is not only an enthralling story of power, religion and trade, but also the story of people, and how their day-to-day lives shaped and continue to change the extraordinary language that is English.

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A Son of War

Melvyn Bragg
Authors:
Melvyn Bragg

Longlisted for the Booker Prize After the upheavals of the Second World War, the Richardson family - Sam, Ellen and their young son Joe - settle back to working-class life in the Cumbrian town of Wigton. Yet for them, as for so many, life will never be the same again. As the old order begins to be challenged and new vistas open, Sam and Ellen forge their future together with differing needs and desires - and conflicting expectations of Joe, who grows up with his own demons to confront.

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The Soldier's Return

Melvyn Bragg
Authors:
Melvyn Bragg

'Unsentimental, truthful and wonderful' Beryl Bainbridge, Independent Books of the Year When Sam Richardson returns in 1946 from the 'Forgotten War' in Burma to Wigton in Cumbria, he finds the town little changed. But the war has changed him, broadening his horizons as well as leaving him with traumatic memories. In addition, his six-year-old son now barely remembers him, and his wife has gained a sense of independence from her wartime jobs. As all three strive to adjust, the bonds of loyalty and love are stretched to breaking point in this taut, and profoundly moving novel. 'An outstandingly good novel...utterly credible, utterly compelling, and very enjoyable' Allan Massie, Scotsman 'Deeply felt, beautifully realised' John Sutherland, Sunday Times 'The first Great War came alive in Faulks's Birdsong; the second Great War, and in particular the Burma campaign, comes very much alive in Melvyn Bragg's The Soldier's Return - wholly absorbing' John Bayley, Evening Standard 'Sympathetic, touching, infinitely believable...This is a highly accomplished novel' D.J. Taylor, Literary Review

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Autumn Manoeuvres

Melvyn Bragg
Authors:
Melvyn Bragg

Jimmie Johnston first became a Labour MP in Cumbria when there was a brave new post-war world to build. Now, in the late 70s, another general election looms but he is no longer so optimistic. And as he fights to keep his seat, his family begins to fracture around him and scandal threatens. In this absorbing and fast-paced novel, Melvyn Bragg's portrait of the mood and politics of the era remains as pertinent today as on its original publication.

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Time To Dance

Melvyn Bragg
Authors:
Melvyn Bragg
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The Nerve

Melvyn Bragg
Authors:
Melvyn Bragg

One August bank holiday, Ted Johnson wakes to a day of reckoning - with his past in Cumberland, his present in London and his fantasies. An inflamed nerve troubles his eye as he veers between elation and despair, overwhelmed by the noise and bustle of the streets, unable to connect even with a visiting girlfriend. Written in 1971, Melvyn Bragg's sixth novel draws a remarkable portrait of a man's courageous fight to keep his mental balance and regain a sense of identity amid the stress and intoxication of modern city life.

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The Silken Net

Melvyn Bragg
Authors:
Melvyn Bragg
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The Second Inheritance

Melvyn Bragg
Authors:
Melvyn Bragg
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Without a City Wall

Melvyn Bragg
Authors:
Melvyn Bragg

Disillusioned with his successful life in London, Richard Godwin moves to a remote Cumberland village in search of a more fulfilling existence. His arrival coincides with a birth of an illegitimate child to a local woman, binding her to a future she had hoped to escape. As these two outsiders struggle to come to terms with themselves - and each other - their passion, desperation and delight draw all those around them into conflict.