November 1925 found David and Frieda Lawrence on the Italian Riviera, looking for sun, sea air, and health. The Lawrences were exhilarated by life in their rented villa, set amid olive groves and vineyards, with a view of the sparkling Mediterranean. The drab English winter couldn’t have been farther away.
But before long Frieda found herself irresistibly attracted to their landlord, a dashing Italian army officer, and the resulting affair served as the background for Lawrence’s writing: while in the villa, he turned out two stories, “Sun” and “The Virgin and the Gypsy,” both prefiguring Lady Chatterley’s Lover in their depiction of women fatally drawn to earthy, muscular men.
Built on the unpublished, and previously unexplored, letters and diaries of Rina Secker, the Anglo-Italian wife of Lawrence’s publisher, and featuring never-before-published letters from Lawrence, Lady Chatterley’s Villa reconstructs the drama of the tempestuous marriage, and the ways it fired Lawrence’s creativity. Along the way, Richard Owen offers a new accounting of Lawrence’s passion for Italy, tracing his travels along the coasts and islands and his deep engagement with Italian culture. This exploration of a little-studied, but crucial period of the writer’s life will be a must for Lawrence’s many fans.
It is 2003, and Paul Arimond is serving as a paramedic in Afghanistan. The twenty-four-year-old has no illusions of becoming a hero. Rather, he has chosen the army to escape the tragedies of his past and his own feelings of guilt. As a result, he finds himself in the same land, now war-torn, where an ancestor of his, Ambrosius Arimond, a late eighteenth-century traveler and ornithologist, once explored and developed the theory of a universal language of birds.
As visceral horrors and everyday banalities of the war threaten to engulf Paul, he, like his great-great-grandfather, finds his very own refuge in Afghanistan’s natural world. In a diary filled with exquisite drawings of birds and ruminations on the life he left behind, Paul describes his experiences living with two comrades who are fighting their own demons and his befriending of an Afghan man, Nassim, as well as his dreams of escaping the restrictive base camp and visiting the shores of a lake visible from the lookout tower. But when he finally reaches the lake one night, he finds himself in the midst of a chain of events that, with his increasingly fragile state of mind, has dramatic—and ultimately heartbreaking—consequences.
A meditative novel that shows a new side to the conflict in Afghanistan, The Language of Birds takes a moving look at the all-too-human costs of war and questions what it truly means to fight for freedom.
Francis Beckett Haus Publishing, 2006 Library of Congress PN2598.O55B43 2005
In the 1930s he established himself as a wide-ranging Shakespearean actor. His marriage in 1940 to Vivien Leigh (his second wife) seemed to complete the image of the romantic star. From the mid-40s he excelled in directing himself in Shakespeare on film, such as his dramatically-shot Henry V (1944), with its timely excesses of patriotism. When the new wave of British drama began in the late 1950s, Olivier was immediately part of it. As an actor of such wide range, and a successful producer and director, Olivier was a natural choice to bring the National Theatre into existence in 1963. Together with his new wife Joan Plowright (they had married in 1961), he built up a brilliant company and repertoire at the Old Vic. Olivier became the first actor to be given a peerage.
Ninety years ago, the League of Nations convened for the first time hoping to create a safeguard against destructive, world-wide war by settling disputes through diplomacy. This book looks at how the League was conceptualized and explores the multifaceted body that emerged. This new form for diplomacy was used in ensuing years to counter territorial ambitions and restrict armaments, as well as to discuss human rights and refugee issues. The League’s failure to prevent World War II, however, would lead to its dissolution and the subsequent creation of the United Nations. As we face new forms of global crisis, this timely book asks if the UN’s fate could be ascertained by reading the history of its predecessor.
Summer 1918. The First World War is drawing to a close when Léon Le Gall, a French teenager from Cherbourg who has dropped out of school and left home, falls in love with Louise Janvier. Both are severely wounded by German artillery fire, are separated, and believe each other to be dead. Briefly reunited two decades later, the two lovers are torn apart again by Louise's refusal to destroy Léon's marriage and by the German invasion of France. In occupied Paris during the Second World War, where Léon struggles against the abhorrent tasks imposed upon him by the SS, and the wilds of Africa, where Louise confronts the hardships of her primitive environment, they battle the vicissitudes of history and the passage of time for the survival of their love.
Simone Veil, the former French lawyer and politician who became the first President of the European Union, was born Simone Jacob in 1927. In A Life, she describes in vivid detail a childhood of happiness and innocence spent in Nice that came to an abrupt end in 1944 when, at the age of 17, she was deported with her family to concentration camps. Though she survived, her mother, father, and brother all died in captivity. After the liberation of Auschwitz and upon her return to France, Veil studied law and political science and later became Minister for Health under the government of Jacques Chirac. It was there that she fought a successful political battle to introduce a law legalizing abortion in France. She was elected the first female President of the European Parliament and later returned to French government as Minister for Social Affairs. Over her many years of service, Veil was a bastion of social progress and a powerful individual symbol for the advancement of women’s rights around the world.
Veil was one of France’s most beloved public figures, most admired for her personal and political courage. Her memoir, published here in English for the first time, is a sincere and candid account of an extraordinary life and career, reflecting both her humanity and her determination to improve social standards at home and maintain economic and political stability in Europe. In the wake of her passing in 2017, this translation of her memoir stands as a fitting tribute to an unparalleled life of survival, selflessness, and unwavering public service.
Max has been married to Tina for twenty-five years. She is the love of his life, but now he must come to terms with the fact that she is to spend a year away on a work assignment—away, for the first time, from their home, their children and their life together. Her absence leaves him feeling like an Odysseus in reverse: he stays put whilehis Penelope goes out into the world.
Max, alone with his three teenage sons for the first time, is left contemplating life and the daily routine of the little bar of which he is the proprietor. As he spends more time with the regulars their problems begin to become his own. This new novel by Alex Capus is a hymn to trust, friendship and life’s small pleasures. Told with his trademark humor, Life is Good is a novel about finding contentment in rootedness as the world speeds up.
The great British dilemma is this: Britain is a country forever wrestling with two moral sides—whether to be viewed as a lion that roars and conquers, or a gentle lamb that gambols happily. In the days of the empire, one face meant the Magna Carta, Habeas Corpus, the Mother of Parliaments, and the country that harbored people forced to flee their homelands. But there also was an imperial face, where colonial subjects were made very aware that the British knew how to ensure obedience, even if that required the use of brutal force. Brexit has once again highlighted these dualities.
In Britain’s Eternal Dilemma, Mihir Bose shows how those who voted to leave the E.U. want Britain to roar like a lion. In contrast, the Remainers saw Brexit as a self-inflicted wound, believing the only option is to live symbiotically with the rest of Europe for a common future. Writing from the unique perspective of an immigrant, Bose personifies this ongoing debate: He has experienced racism in his near half century in Britain, but he has also been provided unimaginable opportunities to become a writer, opportunities he would never have had in his native India. This timely book demonstrates that Britain is still wresting with its two-sided identity while also showing that Brexit is still the number one priority on the European political agenda.
This omnibus edition brings together Nicholas Woodsworth’s critically acclaimed Mediterranean trilogy into a single volume for the first time, allowing readers to fully appreciate the scope of Woodsworth’s search for a distinctively Mediterranean “cosmopolitanism.” Combining travel narrative, history, and reflection on contemporary lives and cultures, Woodsworth finds an intimacy, a garrulous warmth, and an extraordinary sociability as he travels from Alexandria through Venice and finally installs himself in a former Benedictine monastery in Istanbul overlooking the Golden Horn. Responding to this experience, he argues that the sea should not be seen as an empty space surrounded by Europe, Asia, and Africa, but rather as a single entity, a place from whose coastlines people look inwards over the water to each other—for it has its own cities, its own life, its own way of being.
Meet Shakespeare, Heine and Hogarth south of the river, find Virginia Woolf in Bloomsbury, discovers Blake and Trollope in Westminster, happen on the Carlyles in Chelsea, come across John Keats in beautiful Hampstead and search for Bacon and Hanif Kureishi in the London suburbs.
From his earliest childhood, Giles Radice has held Europe close to his heart. Ten years after the end of World War II, at the age of 18, he set off to cycle across the continent. Meeting his European contemporaries, Radice discussed the prospects of building a new and better Europe, in which war might be ended forever and prosperity assured for all. It was clear to him that Europe should unite, and that Britain could not stay on the margins. Elected to Parliament, Radice did his part, pushing Britain to become and remain officially a part of Europe, and asking why the British always remained reluctant Europeans, forever skeptical about the benefits of greater union. Now, post-Brexit, he confronts those questions anew. Why have the underlying forces of the EU not pulled Britain closer to the continent? How much should we blame the negative influence of the media? From Thatcher’s Euroscepticism to Blair’s soundbites and the half-hearted campaign from both main parties in the referendum of 2016, Radice ultimately places the blame squarely on the political class itself.
Patrice Lumumba (1925–61) was one of the most famous leaders of the African Independence Movement. After his murder, he became an icon of anti-imperialist struggle, and his picture, along with those of Che Guevara and Ho Chi Minh, was brandished around the world at demonstrations in the 1960s.
This second edition of the only full biography of Lumumba presents his life and quest for the Congo’s liberation, which influenced how the Cold War would be fought in Africa and the nature of the independence granted to huge swaths of the globe after 1945. For those fighting for freedom, Lumumba became a figure of resistance against the imperial colonizers of the world. Including new archival material and information gained from British intelligence, this new edition is a valuable introduction to a pivotal figure of the twentieth century.