Adam Sedgwick was a priest and scholar. Roderick Murchison was a retired soldier. Charles Lapworth was a schoolteacher. It was their personal and intellectual rivalry, pursued on treks through Wales, Scotland, Cornwall, Devon and parts of western Russia, that revealed the narrative structure of the Paleozoic Era, the 300-million-year period during which life on Earth became recognisably itself. Nick Davidson follows in their footsteps and draws on maps, diaries, letters, field notes and contemporary accounts to bring the ideas and characters alive. But this is more than a history of geology. As we travel through some of the most spectacular scenery in Britain, it’s a celebration of the sheer visceral pleasure generations of geologists have found, and continue to find, in noticing the earth beneath our feet.
A lyrical account of the prehistory and archaeology of the Orkney archipelago, and a uniquely appealing fusion of archaeological, historical and topographic writing, rooted in knowledge of and deep affection for one of the most ancient and distinctive landscapes in the British Isles.
From Finnish saunas and soppy otters to grief, grandparents, and Kellogg’s anti-masturbation pants, ‘Slug’ is a book which holds a mirror lovingly up to the world, past and present, through Hollie’s driving, funny, hopeful poetry and prose.
Following the international critical acclaim of ‘The Cost of Living’, this final volume of Deborah Levy’s ‘Living Autobiography’ is an exhilarating, thought-provoking and boldly intimate meditation on home and the spectres that haunt it.
What does the foghorn sound like? It sounds huge. It rattles. It rattles you. It is a booming, lonely sound echoing into the vastness of the sea. When Jennifer Lucy Allan hears the foghorn’s colossal bellow for the first time, it marks the beginning of an obsession and a journey deep into the history of a sound that has carved out the identity and the landscape of coastlines around the world, from Scotland to San Francisco. Within its sound is a maritime history of shipwrecks and lighthouse keepers, the story and science of our industrial past, and urban myths relaying tales of foghorns in speaker stacks, blasting out for coastal raves. Here is an odyssey told through the people who battled the sea and the sound, who lived with it and loathed it, and one woman’s intrepid voyage through the howling loneliness of nature.
The award-winning Honeys are back with more delicious dishes from the Middle East, and this time their focus is firmly on the grill. Join them on a journey filled with flavour and fire as they visit their favourite ‘swim cities’ exploring the beaches and lakes of the Levant, collecting recipes, stories and culinary culture along the way.
Disasters are by their very nature hard to predict. Pandemics, like earthquakes, wildfires, financial crises and wars, are not normally distributed; there is no cycle of history to help us anticipate the next catastrophe. But when disaster strikes, we ought to be better prepared than the Romans were when Vesuvius erupted or medieval Italians when the Black Death struck. We have science on our side, after all. Yet the responses of a number of developed countries to a new pathogen from China were badly bungled. Why? The facile answer is to blame poor leadership. While populist rulers have performed poorly in the face of the pandemic, more profund problems have been exposed by COVID-19. Only when we understand the central challenge posed by disaster in history can we see that this was also a failure of an administrative state and of economic elites that had grown myopic over much longer than just a few years.
In 1833, a young Charles Darwin was astonished by a strange animal he met in the Falkland Islands: a set of handsome, social, and oddly crow-like falcons that were ‘tame and inquisitive,’ ‘quarrelsome and passionate,’ and so insatiably curious that they stole hats, compasses, and other valuables from the crew of the Beagle. Darwin met many unusual creatures in his five-year voyage, but no others showed an interest in studying him, and he wondered why these birds were confined to remote islands at the tip of South America, sensing a larger story. These birds – now called striated caracaras – still exist, though they’re very rare; and this book reveals the wild and fascinating story of their history, origins, and possible futures in a series of travels throughout South America, from the fog-bound coasts of Tierra del Fuego to the tropical forests of Guyana.
The struggles of Black Lives Matter and the attempt to achieve a new America have been challenged by the election of Donald Trump. For James Baldwin, these after times came in the wake of the Civil Rights Movement, when a similar attempt to force a confrontation with the truth of America’s racism was answered with the murders of Medgar Evers, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr. In the years from the publication of ‘The Fire Next Time’ in 1963 to that of ‘No Name in the Street’ in 1972, Baldwin became a more overtly political writer, a change that came at great professional and personal cost. But from that journey, Baldwin emerged with a sense of renewed purpose about the necessity of pushing forward in the face of disillusionment and despair. Glaude suggests we can find hope and guidance through our own after times, this era of shattered promises and white retrenchment.
In ‘Working’, Robert A. Caro offers a captivating account of his life as a writer, describing the sometimes staggering lengths to which he and his wife Ina have gone in order to produce his books and offering priceless insights into the art and craft of non-fiction writing.
This is the definitive story of one of the longest and most controversial conflicts in US history. Created in association with the Smithsonian Institution, this authoritative history of the Vietnam War examines the key figures and events of the conflict, and its lasting effects on the world. Combining compelling text with maps and archive photography, this volume is an all-encompassing showcase of every aspect of the fighting and the wider political landscape, from the struggle for civil rights to the treatment of prisoners. Detailed descriptions of events, from Operation Passage to Freedom to the evacuation of the US embassy in Saigon, are brought to life with eyewitness accounts and iconic photographs.
‘British Summer Time Begins’ is about summer holidays of the mid-twentieth century and how they were spent, as recounted to Ysenda Maxtone Graham in vividly remembered detail by people who were there. Through this prism, it paints a revealing portrait of twentieth-century Britain in summertime: how we were, how families functioned, what houses and gardens and streets were like, what journeys were like, and what people did all day in their free time. It explores their expectations, hopes, fears and habits, the rules or lack of rules under which they lived, their happiness and sadness, their sense of being treasured or neglected – all within living memory, from pre-war summers to the late 1970s.