Between the Sunset and the Sea : A View of 16 British Mountains

” One of the best, most interesting, engaging and informative books I have read in many a long day…not just on mountains..on art, science, discovery, poetry and much much more…..” keith

‘I watched the mirror for a last view, for now, of the frozen mountains of Glen Coe. As the road bent and the outline of Buachaille Etive Mor slid into sight, I did what I always did, and always would. I felt for that flutter of awe and that indefinable, unmistakable quickening of the pulse.’ In the late 18th century, mountains shifted from being universally reviled to becoming the most inspiring things on earth.

Simply put, the monsters became muses – and an entire artistic movement was born. This movement became a love affair, the love affair became an obsession, and gradually but surely, obsession became lifestyle as mountains became stitched into the fabric of the British cultural tapestry. In his compelling new book, Simon Ingram explores how mountains became such a preoccupation for the modern western imagination, weaving his own adventures into a powerful narrative which provides a kind of experiential hit list for people who don’t have the time nor the will to climb a thousand mountains.

For some of these mountains, the most amazing thing about them might be the journey they’ve taken to get here. Others, the tales of science, endeavour and art that have played out on their slopes. The mythology they’re drenched in.

The history they’ve seen. The genius they’ve inspired. The danger that draws people to them.

The life that clusters around them, human and otherwise. The extreme weather they conjure. The adventure they fuel.

The way that some raise the hairs on the back of your neck, and trigger powerful, strange emotions. And moreover, what they’re like to be amidst, under, on – just what that indefinable quality is that the British mountains wield which takes possession of you so powerfully, and never goes away. Ingram takes us high into the rafters of Britain’s most forbidding, unflinching and unchanging wild places through all the seasons of the year – from the first blush of spring to the deepest, darkest bite of the mountain winter.

From Beinn Dearg to Ben Nevis, he takes us on a journey spanning sixteen of Britain’s most evocative mountainous landscapes, and what they mean to us today.

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.

 

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