Charles: Victim or villain?


Penny Junor - 1988
    Now available complete with an updated epilogue, it will change the way you think about Charles, his Princess and his mistress.As the Prince of Wales turned fifty at the end of 1998, the media focused on the publication of Charles: Victim or Villain?, Penny Junor’s controversial biography of the heir to England’s throne. Directing the spotlight onto ‘the three people’ in the Royal marriage, this book has turned popular understanding on its head. But although Junor’s unique insight into these endlessly intriguing relationships caused fierce speculation, even outrage, nothing has been denied. Nobody has disputed that this is the true portrait of a marriage.Sourced from those closest to the Prince, the Princess and Camilla – some of whom have never spoken before – Penny Junor explodes and explains the popular myths. The result is a provocative new portrait of the man who will be King.

Queen Mary


James Pope-Hennessy - 1959
    As official biographer, the author had access to private papers which helped unfold the moving story of Princess May of Teck's impoverished childhood, her significant reign and her old age as the much admired Queen Dowager; she saw her fiancee, husband and three sons die, and another abdicate before her own death in 1953.

The Duchess of Windsor: A Memoir


Diana Mitford Mosley - 1980
    Written in her inimitable style Diana Mosley paints a remarkable portrait of her friend that is also realistic with regards to her flaws. What was it about her that utterly captivated the heir to the throne and made him renounce it when he became King? It is this question which Diana Mosley seeks to answer and which she is perhaps better qualified to answer than anyone else, given her marriage to Sir Oswald Mosley, Leader of the British Fascists.

The Sphinx: The Life of Gladys Deacon – Duchess of Marlborough


Hugo Vickers - 1980
     Born in Paris to American parents in 1881, she suffered a traumatic childhood after her father shot her mother's lover dead. Educated in America, she returned to Europe, where she captivated and inspired some of the greatest literary and artistic names of the Belle Époque. Marcel Proust wrote of her 'I never saw a girl with such beauty, such magnificent intelligence, such goodness and charm.' Berenson considered marrying her, Rodin and Monet befriended her, Boldini painted her and Epstein sculpted her. She inspired love from diverse Dukes and Princes, and the interest of women such as Comtesse Greffulhe and Gertrude Stein.It wasn't until she was 40 that she achieved the wish she had held since the age of 14 to marry the 9th Duke of Marlborough. Divorced from fellow American Consuelo Vanderbilt in 1921 she became his second wife. Now her circle included Lady Ottoline Morrell, Lytton Strachey and Winston Churchill, who described her as 'a strange, glittering being'. But life at Blenheim was not a success. When the Duke evicted her in 1933, the only remaining signs of Gladys were two sphinxes bearing her features on the west terraces and mysterious blue eyes in the grand portico.Gladys became a recluse. The wax injections she'd had to straighten her nose when she was 22 had by now ravaged her beauty. She was to spend her last 15 years in the psycho-geriatric ward of a mental hospital. There she was discovered by a young Hugo Vickers, who visited her for two years - intrigued and compelled to unmask the truth of her mysterious life.In his fascinating and revealing biography, drawing on Gladys's personal archive and his own research all over Europe and America, Hugo Vickers uncovers a beguiling, clever, independent woman who was the brightest star of her age. He once asked her, 'Where is Gladys Deacon?' She answered him slowly: 'Gladys Deacon? ... She never existed.'

The Last Queen: Elizabeth II's Seventy Year Battle to Save the House of Windsor


Clive Irving - 2021
    But through Irving’s unique insight there emerges a more fragile institution, whose extraordinarily dutiful matriarch has managed to persevere with dignity, yet in doing so made a Faustian pact with the media.   The Last Queen is not a conventional biography—and the book is therefore not limited by the traditions of that genre. Instead, it follows Elizabeth and her family’s struggle to survive in the face of unprecedented changes in our attitudes towards the royal family, with the critical eye of an investigative reporter who is present and involved on a highly personal level.

Jackie Style


Pamela Clarke Keogh - 2001
    And whether she liked it or not, she was, and still is, the most famous woman in the world."No one else looked like her, spoke like her, wrote like her, or was so original in the way she did things," said her brother-in-law Senator Edward Kennedy. Her style -- what made her Jackie -- has been emulated, imitated, even occasionally reviled, but never fully examined. For the first time, this biography details the singular life that made Jackie an icon and contributed so greatly to her enduring appeal. Drawing on original interviews with Valentino, Hubert de Givenchy, Manolo Blahnik, and Oleg Cassini, as well as close friends C. Z. Guest, George Plimpton, and John Loring, and family members such as Joan Kennedy, Hugh D. Auchincloss, and John Davis, this compelling volume brings to life the private Jackie her family and friends loved.With one hundred rare color and black-and-white photographs and sketches, and never-before-published personal letters, memos, and essays, Jackie Style re-creates not only Jackie's extraordinary history -- fashion being just one part of it -- but the world she came from, the White House she revived, the husband and children she adored, the causes she supported, and, finally, the life she chose to lead.

Lady from Savannah: The Life of Juliette Low


Gladys Denny Shultz - 1988
    is proud to reissue Lady from Savannah in response to widespread demands for a biography of our Founder, Juliette Gordon Low. In truth, however, this is much more than the story of one woman and the organization she started. It is first of all a chronicle of two great American families - the Kinzies who were founders of Chicago and the Gordons whose name is magic to this day in Savannah, Georgia - that in 1860 produced the gallant, willful, exasperating, generous, and wholly lovable Juliette (known as Daisy) Gordon. The narrative of Daisy's marriage to Willy Low also offers insider's view of Edwardian high society in England. The Girl Scouts are most particularly proud that this woman from a background of wealth and privilege was able to envision a youth movement "for the girls of all America," which serves a membership of ever-increasing diversity as the diversity of our country grows.

Churchill


Sebastian Haffner - 1967
    Perhaps the most determined and inspirational war leader in Britain's history, it was during that darkest summer of 1940 that Churchill's astonishing oratory seemed to rally the nation, from his opening statement to the House of Commons on May 13th that he had 'nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat'. Each successive crisis produced phrases that have resounded ever since, from the danger of invasion after the evacuation of troops from Dunkirk ('their finest hour') to the Battle of Britain (his tribute to the 'Few'). However, he lost the general election in June 1945. But he returned to Downing Street in 1951, finally retiring in 1955.

Philip and Elizabeth: Portrait of a Royal Marriage


Gyles Brandreth - 2004
    Her childhood was loving and secure, his turbulent: the Duke's grandfather was assassinated, his father arrested, his family exiled, his parents separated by the time he was ten. For almost sixty years theirs have been among the most famous faces in the world—yet the personalities behind the image remain elusive, and the nature of their marriage is an enigma.Gyles Brandreth has met all the principal players in the story. He quotes no anonymous sources; he has known the Duke of Edinburgh for twenty-five years and has interviewed him. This is a unique and revealing portrait of a remarkable partnership.

Kid Carolina: R. J. Reynolds Jr., a Tobacco Fortune, and the Mysterious Death of a Southern Icon


Heidi Schnakenberg - 2010
    R.J. "Dick" Reynolds Jr. was born into privilege and decadence, but his disastrous personal life eventually destroyed almost every relationship he cherished and stole his health at a relatively young age. Dick Reynolds was dubbed "Kid Carolina" when as a teenager, he ran away from home and stowed away as part of the crew on a freighter. For the rest of his life he'd turn to the sea, instead of his friends and family, for comfort. Dick disappeared for months at a time, leading the dual life of a business mogul and troubled soul, both of which became legendary.Despite his personal demons, Dick played a pivotal role in shaping twentieth-century America through his business savvy and politics. He developed Delta and Eastern Airlines, single handedly secured FDR's third term election, and served as mayor of Winston-Salem, where his tobacco fortune was built. Yet below the gilded surface lay a turbulent life of alcoholism, infidelity, and loneliness. His chaotic existence culminated in a surprise fourth marriage and was shortly followed by a strange death, the end of a life every bit as awe-inspiring as it was disturbing.

The Duchess Of Windsor: The Uncommon Life of Wallis Simpson


Greg King - 1999
    In December 1936, King Edward VIII renounced the throne to "marry the woman I love, " Wallis Warfield Simpson, a twice-divorced American. His wife soon became one of the century's most famous women. She was a woman of incredible style and dazzling wit but, until her death in 1986, she remained a figure of intrigue and mystery, and was both admired and reviled.The first sympathetic portrait of this exceptional woman, The Duchess of Windsor dispels the decades of rumor and accusation to reveal the woman behind the legend. Author Greg King explores the myths and the facts about this fascinating couple, including: their life in exile in France as the Duke and Dutchess of Windsor; the Duchess's hold over her husband; her alleged sexual secrets and experiences; the couple's bitter relationship with the British Royal Family; and their involvement with Hitler and the Third Reich. From her birth in Pennsylvania in 1896 during the Gilded Age, to her death in 1986, Wallis Simpson traveled in a world of privilege, palaces, titles, high society, and love, and lived a life surrounded by hatreds, feuds, conspiracies, and lies. And she consorted with some of the most renowned and infamous figures of her day, including Lady Diana Cooper; Harold Nicholson and Vita Sackville West; Nancy Astor, Noel Coward; Cecil Beaton, The Mountbattens, Adolf Hitler, Winston Churchill, and hundreds of other politicians and presidents, dictators and socialites.From the abdication crisis, for which the Duchess was wrongly blamed, to her life in exile with the Duke, this fascinating book not only explores the life of the Duke and Duchess, butof the glittering glamorous world they inhabited with such humor, joie de vivre, humor and compassion for others. Here readers are privy to the real Edward and Wallis, a couple who devoted enormous amounts of personal time and money to helping those less fortunate than themselves, including their years spent in the Bahamas, when Wallis devoted her time to improving the lives of native Bahamians.At once a captivating love story and a revealing portrait, The Duchess of Windsor finally pays homage to an incomparable yet misunderstood woman.

Elizabeth I: Legendary Queen Of England


Michael W. Simmons - 2016
    Born the heir to the throne, she was declared a bastard when she was three years old, after her mother was executed for treason, witchcraft, and incest. During the reign of her sister, Mary I, she was a prisoner in the Tower of London, where she was expected to die. But when she became Queen, at the age of 25, she swiftly stunned the royal court by stepping into the seat of power with grace, intelligence, and an air of majesty that maddened and enchanted the men around her. For 44 years, Elizabeth I guided England through religious upheavals and plots to overthrow the government. Courted by all the most powerful princes in Europe, she baffled her advisors by refusing to marry any of them. And when England stood under threat of invasion by the most powerful nation in Europe, Elizabeth’s navy destroyed the Spanish Armada so decisively that it was seen as an act of God. In this book, you will discover why no English monarch has ever been more famous, more successful—or more deeply loved by her people.

Home: The Story of Everyone Who Ever Lived in Our House


Julie Myerson - 2004
    house, an ordinary home, and ordinary people have lived in it for over a century. But start to explore what they did, who they were, what they believed in, what they desired and they soon become as remarkable, as complicated, as fascinating as anyone. Victorian terraced family house, of average size, in a typical Victorian suburb (Clapham) and she loves it. She wanted to find out how much those who preceded her loved living there, so she spent hours and hours in the archives at the Family Record Office, the Public Record Office at Kew, local council archives and libraries across the country. Like an archaeologist, she found herself blowing the dust off files that no-one had touched since the last sheet of paper in them was typed. detective hunt as, bit by bit, she started to piece together the story of her house, built in 1877, as told by its former occupants in their own words and deeds. And so she met the bigamist, the Tottenham Hotspur fanatic, the Royal Servent, the Jamaican family and all the rest of the eccentric and entertaining former occupents of 34 Lillieshall Road. The book uncovers a lost 130-year history of happiness and grief, change and prudence, poverty and affluence, social upheaval and technological advance. our front door lock, yet we rarely confront the shadows that inhabit our homes. But once you do -- and Julie Myerson shows you how -- you will never bear to part from their company again. This is your home's story too.

The Man in the Glass House: Philip Johnson, Architect of the Modern Century


Mark Lamster - 2018
    When Philip Johnson died in 2005 at the age of 98, he was still one of the most recognizable and influential figures on the American cultural landscape. The first recipient of the Pritzker Prize and MoMA's founding architectural curator, Johnson made his mark as one of America's leading architects with his famous Glass House in New Caanan, CT, and his controversial AT&T Building in NYC, among many others in nearly every city in the country -- but his most natural role was as a consummate power broker and shaper of public opinion. Johnson introduced European modernism -- the sleek, glass-and-steel architecture that now dominates our cities -- to America, and mentored generations of architects, designers, and artists to follow. He defined the era of "starchitecture" with its flamboyant buildings and celebrity designers who esteemed aesthetics and style above all other concerns. But Johnson was also a man of deep paradoxes: he was a Nazi sympathizer, a designer of synagogues, an enfant terrible into his old age, a populist, and a snob. His clients ranged from the Rockefellers to televangelists to Donald Trump. Award-winning architectural critic and biographer Mark Lamster's The Man in the Glass House lifts the veil on Johnson's controversial and endlessly contradictory life to tell the story of a charming yet deeply flawed man. A rollercoaster tale of the perils of wealth, privilege, and ambition, this book probes the dynamics of American culture that made him so powerful, and tells the story of the built environment in modern America.

The Lives of the Surrealists


Desmond Morris - 2018
    In Lives of the Surrealists, Desmond Morris concentrates on the artists as people—as remarkable individuals. What were their personalities, their predilections, their character strengths and flaws?Unlike the Impressionists or the Cubists, the surrealists did not obey a fixed visual code, but rather the rules of surrealist philosophy: work from the unconscious, letting your darkest, most irrational thoughts well up and shape your art. An artist himself, and contemporary of the later surrealists, Morris illuminates the considerable variation in each artist’s approach to this technique. While some were out-and-out surrealists in all they did, others lived more orthodox lives and only became surrealists at the easel or in the studio.Focusing on the thirty-five artists most closely associated with the surrealist movement, Morris lends context to their life histories with narratives of their idiosyncrasies and their often complex love lives, alongside photos of the artists and their work.