Countries and Regions
Capturing the LightPaperback â
An intimate look at the journeys of two men–a gentleman scientist and a visionary artist–as they struggled to capture the world around them, and in the process invented modern photographyDuring the 1830s, in an atmosphere of intense scientific enquiry fostered by the industrial revolution, two quite different men–one in France, one in England–developed their own dramatically different photographic processes in total ignorance of each other’s work. These two lone geniuses–Henry Fox Talbot in the seclusion of his English country estate at Lacock Abbey and Louis Daguerre in the heart of post-revolutionary Paris–through diligence, disappointment and sheer hard work overcame extraordinary odds to achieve the one thing man had for centuries been trying to do–to solve the ancient puzzle of how to capture the light and in so doing make nature ‘paint its own portrait’. With the creation of their two radically different processes–the Daguerreotype and the Talbotype–these two giants of early photography changed the world and how we see it. Drawing on a wide range of original, contemporary sources and featuring plates in colour, sepia and black and white, many of them rare or previously unseen, Capturing the Light by Roger Watson and Helen Rappaport charts an extraordinary tale of genius, rivalry and human resourcefulness in the quest to produce the world’s first photograph.
Joe Biden: American DreamerPap
The new biography of President Joe Biden by National Book Award winner and New Yorker staff writer Evan Osnos – A Financial Times, Guardian and Daily Express Book of the Year’A thoroughly readable primer’ Guardian’Biden has overcome unimaginable tribulation, multiple presidential primary humiliations, a potentially crippling speech impediment and his own mediocrity. Now he carries the hopes of billions upon his shoulders’ Sunday TimesPresident Joseph R. Biden Jr. has been called both the luckiest man and the unluckiest – fortunate to have sustained a fifty-year political career that reached the White House, but also marked by deep personal losses that he has suffered.Yet even as Biden’s life has been shaped by drama, it has also been powered by a willingness, rare at the top ranks of politics, to confront his shortcomings, errors and reversals of fortune. His trials have forged in him a deep empathy for others in hardship – an essential quality as he addresses a nation at its most dire hour in decades.Blending up-close journalism and broader context, Evan Osnos illuminates Biden’s life and captures the characters and meaning of an extraordinary presidential election. He draws on lengthy interviews with Biden and on revealing conversations with more than a hundred others, including President Barack Obama, Cory Booker, Amy Klobuchar, Pete Buttigieg, and a range of progressive activists, advisers, opponents, and Biden family members.In this nuanced portrait, Biden emerges as flawed, yet resolute, and tempered by the flame of tragedy – a man who just may be uncannily suited for his moment in history.
Gandhi 1914-1948: The Years Th
‘Essential reading … will not be bettered’ Ferdinand Mount, Wall Street Journal’Gandhi’s finest biographer’ David Kynaston, GuardianThe magnificent new biography of Gandhi by India’s leading historianA New York Times Notable Book of 2018Gandhi lived one of the great 20th-century lives. He inspired and enraged, challenged and galvanized many millions of men and women around the world. He lived almost entirely in the shadow of the British Raj, which for much of his life seemed a permanent fact, but which he did more than anyone else to destroy, using revolutionary tactics. In a world defined by violence on a scale never imagined before and by ferocious Fascist and Communist dictatorship, he was armed with nothing more than his arguments and example.This magnificent book tells the story of Gandhi’s life, from his departure from South Africa to his assassination in 1948. It is a book with a Tolstoyan sweep, both allowing us to see Gandhi as he was understood by his contemporaries and the vast, varied Indian societies and landscapes which he travelled through and changed beyond measure. Drawing on many new sources and animated by its author’s wonderful sense of drama and politics, Gandhi is a major reappraisal of the crucial years in this titanic figure’s story.
Mantel Pieces: The New Book fr
A stunning collection of essays and memoir from twice Booker Prize winner and international bestseller Hilary Mantel, author of The Mirror and the LightIn 1987, when Hilary Mantel was first published in the London Review of Books, she wrote to the editor, Karl Miller, â€˜I have no critical training whatsoever, so I am forced to be more brisk and breezy than scholarly.â€™ This collection of twenty reviews, essays and pieces of memoir from the next three decades, tells the story of what happened next.Her subjects range far and wide: Robespierre and Danton, the Hite report, Saudi Arabia where she lived for four years in the 1980s, the Bulger case, John Osborne, the Virgin Mary as well as the pop icon Madonna, a brilliant examination of Helen Duncan, Britainâ€™s last witch. There are essays about Jane Boleyn, Charles Brandon, Christopher Marlowe and Margaret Pole, which display the astonishing insight into the Tudor mind we are familiar with from the bestselling Wolf Hall Trilogy. Her famous lecture, â€˜Royal Bodiesâ€™, which caused a media frenzy, explores the place of royal women in society and our imagination. Here too are some of her LRB diaries, including her first meeting with her stepfather and a confrontation with a circus strongman.Constantly illuminating, always penetrating and often very funny, interleaved with letters and other ephemera gathered from the archive, Mantel Pieces is an irresistible selection from one of our greatest living writers.