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Sceptre

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

Sceptre

A Place in England

Melvyn Bragg
Authors:
Melvyn Bragg

Joseph Tallantire has hope and ambition - like his father before him he is determined to make something of himself and improve his lot. But life is not easy for an uneducated young man in Cumberland before and during World War II, and Joseph's struggle against the odds is the subject of this moving and evocative novel. Suffering hardship and humiliation but eventually achieving a position of some independence, Joseph serves as a tribute to the many like him who lived through one of Britain's periods of greatest social change.(P) 2015 Hodder & Stoughton

Sceptre

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

Sceptre

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.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. They believed they were rescuing the King from his corrupt ministers, and that England had to be saved. 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.

Sceptre

Grace and Mary

Melvyn Bragg
Authors:
Melvyn Bragg

Reaching from late 19th-century Cumbria to the present, this elegiac novel celebrates two spirited women: Grace, a farm labourer's daughter who fatefully followed her heart, and Mary, the child she was forced to give up. Unsung heroines according to Mary's son who, as his elderly mother's mind begins to fail, lovingly recreates their lives and the vanished country of their pasts, linking three generations in a chain of enduring love, loss and courage.

Sceptre

The Maid of Buttermere

Melvyn Bragg
Authors:
Melvyn Bragg

Melvyn Bragg's highly acclaimed and bestselling historical novel, the story behind one of the 19th century's greatest scandals.Set in the Lake District in the early 19th century, the riveting story of an imposter, bigamist and fortune hunter who came to grief by falling helplessly in love with the famed 'Maid of Buttermere'.

Hodder Paperbacks

Rich: The Life of Richard Burton

Melvyn Bragg
Authors:
Melvyn Bragg

Richard Burton: star. The roaring boy from the Welsh coal valleys who came to sport on the banks of the old Nile, playing great Antony to Elizabeth Taylor's Cleopatra. From the West End to Hollywood, from Camelot to Shakespeare, he drank, dazzled and despaired, playing out his life on the public stage. But there was another, quieter, off-stage Richard Burton, a face hidden from the multitude. Melvyn Bragg, allowed free access to the never-before-revealed Burton private notebooks, and with the cooperation of friends who have never spoken about him before, has brought together the private and public sides for the first time. Rich is the complete Richard Burton: a revelation.

Sceptre

The Book of Books

Melvyn Bragg
Authors:
Melvyn Bragg
Hodder & Stoughton

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.

Sceptre

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.

Sceptre

The Silken Net

Melvyn Bragg
Authors:
Melvyn Bragg

Half-French with an agile, inquiring mind, Rosemary Lewis cannot help being out of the ordinary in Thurston, the Cumbrian market town where she grows up between the wars. An early, bruising failure in love drives her inwards to the solace of books until she meets Edgar - vigorous, down to earth and determined to win her. Charting their life together, this powerful novel probes with exceptional acuity the heights and tortured depths of a bond that becomes a shackle.

Sceptre

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.

Sceptre

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.

Sceptre

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

Sceptre

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.

Sceptre

Time To Dance

Melvyn Bragg
Authors:
Melvyn Bragg

A lifetime of restraint and placid affection erupts when a retired bank manager falls for a young girl, as far removed from him in background and experience as in age. Set in Cumbria, this is an intensely moving evocation of an overwhelming passion and its destructive kernel of jealousy.

Sceptre

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.

Sceptre

For Want of a Nail

Melvyn Bragg
Authors:
Melvyn Bragg

Growing up in an isolated cottage in the hills of Cumberland, Tom knows the bitter cold of shooting expeditions with his grandfather and long evenings spent with his father and mother. But taken away from the hills to live in the small town of Thornton, Tom experiences a tumult of conflicting emotions which he must master before he can come to terms with his identity.First published in 1965, FOR WANT OF A NAIL was acclaimed as the debut of a distinctive and talented new writer.

Sceptre

The Second Inheritance

Melvyn Bragg
Authors:
Melvyn Bragg

Set in the Border country of Northern England, The Second Inheritance follows two young men as they struggle with the constraints of a close-knit farming community. Amid the intimacies and tensions of their families, they discover that only through each other's passion for escape will they finally be able to live their youth.

Sceptre

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.