Secret Gardens of the Cotswolds

Secret Gardens of the Cotswolds is a captivating photographic portrait of the greatest British gardens and the lords, ladies and gardeners who own and manage them, with a focus on the counties of Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire. It features 20 gardens designed by some of the leading contemporary garden designers from across the world. The lively text explores the design and planting achieved and the rich tradition of garden making in this beautiful corner of England.

This is a very personal view by photographer Hugo Rittson-Thomas and journalist Victoria Summerley, both residents of this green pocket with more than its fair share of beautiful and interesting gardens. Some of the gardens are strictly private, while others are regularly open to visitors, but all can now be savoured and enjoyed along with those who know them best.

The Narrow Road to the Deep North

This title is the winner of the Man Booker Prize 2014. Forever after, there were for them only two sorts of men: the men who were on the Line, and the rest of humanity, who were not. In the despair of a Japanese POW camp on the Burma Death Railway, surgeon Dorrigo Evans is haunted by his love affair with his uncle’s young wife two years earlier.

Struggling to save the men under his command from starvation, from cholera, from beatings, he receives a letter that will change his life forever. Hailed as a masterpiece, Richard Flanagan’s epic novel tells the unforgettable story of one man’s reckoning with the truth.

God’s Traitors : Terror and Faith in Elizabethan England

The year is 1606. A woman wakes in a prison cell. She has been on the run, changing her lodging every few days but the authorities have tracked her down and taken her to the Tower of London.

She is placed in solitary confinement and interrogated for her role in the Gunpowder Plot. The woman is Anne Vaux – one of several ardent, extraordinary, brave and, at times, utterly exasperating members of the Vaux family. In this superb history, award-winning author Jessie Childs explores the Catholic predicament in Elizabethan England through the eyes of a Catholic aristocratic family: the Vauxes of Harrowden Hall, in the Midlands.

Elizabeth I had criminalised Catholicism in England: for refusing to attend Anglican services her subjects faced crippling fines and imprisonment; for giving refuge to outlawed priests – the essential conduits to God’s grace – they risked death. Catholics, like the Vauxes, were beleaguered on the one hand by a Papacy that branded Elizabeth a heretic and on the other by a government that saw itself fighting a war on terror. With every invasion scare and attempt on Elizabeth’s life, the danger for England’s Catholics grew.

God’s Traitors is a tale of dawn raids and daring escapes, stately homes and torture chambers, ciphers, secrets and lies. From clandestine chapels and side-street inns to exile communities and the corridors of power, it exposes the tensions and insecurities masked by the cult of Gloriana. Above all, it is a timely story of courage and frailty, repression and reaction and the terrible consequences when religion and politics collide.

Cracking Yolks & Pig Tales : The Lid off Life in the Kitchen with 110 Stunning Recipes

Dishes with names such as Beef Carpaccio with Red Wine Octopus and Sweet and Sour Onions may seem like they belong firmly in the world of classy restaurants, but in this book Glynn Purnell breaks down the kitchen door, sharing his secrets with the home cook – then invites you to stay for the after party. He guides you through an array of dazzling dishes, including Mackerel and Potato Pakora, Pork Chops with Sauerkraut and Chocolate and Passion fruit Dome – all using affordable ingredients and accessible methods – in between sharing mischievous anecdotes detailing his exploits with his fellow chefs once the kitchen doors are closed. Illustrated with stunning photography throughout, it’ll ensure you never look at a cucumber in the same way again.

Parliament: the Biography (Volume I)

The history of Parliament is the history of the United Kingdom itself. It has a cast of thousands. Some were ambitious, visionary and altruistic.

Others were hot-headed, violent and self-serving. Few were unambiguously noble. Yet their rowdy confrontations, their campaigning zeal and their unstable alliances framed our nation.

This first of two volumes takes us on a 500-year journey from Parliament’s earliest days in the thirteenth century through the turbulent years of the Wars of the Roses and the upheavals of the Civil Wars, and up to 1801, when Parliament – and the United Kingdom, embracing Scotland and Ireland – emerged in a modern form. Chris Bryant tells this epic tale through the lives of the myriad MPs, lords and bishops who passed through Parliament. It is the vivid, colourful biography of a cast of characters whose passions and obsessions, strengths and weaknesses laid the foundations of modern democracy.

 

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