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.

Joan of Arc

We all know the story of Joan of Arc. A peasant girl who hears voices from God. A warrior leading an army to victory, in an age that believes wuntitledomen cannot fight. The Maid of OrlĂ©ans, and the saviour of France. Burned at the stake as a heretic at the age of just nineteen. Five hundred years later, a saint. Her case was heard in court twice over. One trial, in 1431, condemned her; the other, twenty-five years after her death, cleared her name. In the transcripts, we hear first-hand testimony from Joan, her family and her friends: a rare survival from the medieval world. What could be more revealing? But all is not as simple as it seems, because this is a life told backwards, in hindsight – a story already shaped by the knowledge of what Joan would become.

In Joan of Arc: A History, Helen Castor tells this gripping story afresh: forwards, not backwards, setting this extraordinary girl within her extraordinary world where no one – not Joan herself, nor the people around her, princes, bishops, soldiers or peasants – knew what would happen next.

The Romance of Motoring

This classic guide to motoring still has the power to capture the imagination of motorists everywhere. Reproduced with original photographs, it is both a nostalgic snapshot of a vanished world and a joyful celebration of our motoring heritage. ‘This is the thrilling tale of the trials of the motor-car pioneers; of the men who made the dream of ‘motoring for the million’ come true; of racing motorists and record-breaking; of amazing accidents and escapes; of the tanks during the War; of the spread of motor crime and Scotland Yard’s answer; of bootlegging and smuggling by car; of exploring by car; of great car journeys round the world and across Africa; of dirt-track racing; of a day in the Morris motor works; of road tests; of the romance of petrol; and of the work of the Automobile Association.

The final chapter foretells developments of the near future.’

Worcester History Tour

Worcester History Tour takes a reader on a journey through the Midlands town, which became the centre of glove making, and home to the iconic Lea & Perrins sauce. From the cathedral to the riverside, Ray Jones explains the history of the town’s well-known landmarks. Since then, Worcester has markedly changed, and this guide takes you on a tour of times past.

Country House Society : The Private Lives of England’s Upper Class After the First World War

The First World War particularly affected the landed classes with their long military tradition; country houses were turned into military hospitals and convalescent homes, while many of the menfolk were killed or badly injured in the hostilities. When the war ended efforts were made to return to the pre-war world. Pleasure-seeking in night-clubs, sporting events and country-house weekends became the order of the day.

Many of the former rituals, such as presentation at Court for debutantes, were revived. Yet, overshadowing all were the economic pressures of the decade as increased taxation, death duties and declining farm rentals reduced landed incomes. Some owners sold their mansions or land to newly enriched businessmen.

Others turned to city directorships to make ends meet or, in the case of the women, ran dress shops and other small businesses. The 1920s proved a decade of flux for High Society, with the lighthearted antics of the ‘Bright Young People’ contrasting with the financial anxieties and problems faced by their parents’ generation. Pamela Horn draws on the letters and diaries of iconic figures of the period, such as Nancy Mitford and Barbara Cartland, to give an insight into this new post-war era.

 

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