Book picks similar to
The Rainbow Comes and Goes by Lady Diana Cooper
Testament of Youth
Vera Brittain - 1933
Abandoning her studies at Oxford in 1915 to enlist as a nurse in the armed services, Brittain served in London, in Malta, and on the Western Front. By war's end she had lost virtually everyone she loved. Testament of Youth is both a record of what she lived through and an elegy for a vanished generation. Hailed by the Times Literary Supplement as a book that helped “both form and define the mood of its time,” it speaks to any generation that has been irrevocably changed by war.
Goodbye to All That
Robert Graves - 1929
This is his superb account of his life up until that 'bitter leave-taking': from his childhood and desperately unhappy school days at Charterhouse, to his time serving as a young officer in the First World War that was to haunt him throughout his life. It also contains memorable encounters with fellow writers and poets, including Siegfried Sassoon and Thomas Hardy, and looks at his increasingly unhappy marriage to Nancy Nicholson. Goodbye to All That, with its vivid, harrowing descriptions of the Western Front, is a classic war document, and also has immense value as one of the most candid self-portraits of an artist ever written.Robert Ranke Graves (1895-1985) was a British poet, novelist, and critic. He is best known for the historical novel I, Claudius and the critical study of myth and poetry The White Goddess. His autobiography, Goodbye to All That, was published in 1929, quickly establishing itself as a modern classic. Graves also translated Apuleius, Lucan and Suetonius for the Penguin Classics, and compiled the first modern dictionary of Greek Mythology, The Greek Myths. His translation of The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám (with Omar Ali-Shah) is also published in Penguin Classics.
Those Wild Wyndhams: Three Sisters at the Heart of Power
Claudia Renton - 2014
Their dramatic lives are here unfolded in a rich historical biography certain to appeal to fans of Downton Abbey, ‘Georgiana’ and Stella Tillyard’s ‘Aristocrats’.Mary, Madeline and Pamela – the three Wyndham sisters – were painted by John Singer Sargent in 1899. For The Times it was, quite simply, ‘the greatest picture of modern times’. But these beautiful, fin de siecle gentlewomen came to epitomize a vanished world. The languor of their pose reflects the leisured, gilded, existence of the late Victorian aristocracy that was to be dealt a deathblow by the First World War.Yet the lives of these three Wyndham sisters were far more turbulent than their air of calm suggests. Brought up in artistic circles, their childhood was liberal and romantic. Their parents were intimate friends with the Pre-Raphaelites and the girls grew to become leaders of the aesthetic movement. Bowing to convention, they made excellent marriages but found emotional support from others – Mary with Arthur Balfour and the poet Wilfrid Scawen Blunt; Pamela with Liberal statesman and ornithologist Edward Grey. Their liaisons shocked society, while the First World War devastated their way of life.‘Those Wild Wyndhams’ is their first ever biography, and is based on the many letters they have left behind – compelling, humorous and brilliantly illuminating. This sparkling debut by Claudia Renton captures them and their age in an unforgettable piece of historical and political biography.
Agatha Christie: An Autobiography
Agatha Christie - 1977
Though she kept her private life a mystery, for some years Agatha had secretly written her autobiography, and when it was published after her death, millions of her fans agreed - this was her best story!From early childhood at the end of the 19th century, through two marriages and two World Wars, and her experiences both as a writer and on archaeological expeditions with her second husband, Max Mallowan, this book reveals the true genius of her legendary success with real passion and openness.
Old Before My Time: Hayley Okines' Life with Progeria
Hayley Okines - 2011
Born with the rare genetic condition progeria, she ages eight times faster than the average person. In medical terms her body is like that of a 100-year-old woman. Yet she faces her condition with immense courage and a refreshing lack of self-pity. In Old Before My Time, Hayley and her mum Kerry reflect on her unusual life. Share Hayley's excitement as she travels the world meeting her pop heroes Kylie, Girls Aloud and Justin Bieber and her sadness as she loses her best friend to the disease at the age of 11. Now as she passes the age of 13 -- the average life expectancy for a child with progeria -- Hayley talks frankly about her hopes for the future and her pioneering drug trials in America which could unlock the secrets of ageing for everyone...
Ma’am Darling: 99 Glimpses of Princess Margaret
Craig Brown - 2017
She cold-shouldered Princess Diana and humiliated Elizabeth Taylor.Andy Warhol photographed her. Jack Nicholson offered her cocaine. Gore Vidal revered her. John Fowles hoped to keep her as his sex-slave. Dudley Moore propositioned her. Francis Bacon heckled her. Peter Sellers was in love with her.For Pablo Picasso, she was the object of sexual fantasy. “If they knew what I had done in my dreams with your royal ladies” he confided to a friend, “they would take me to the Tower of London and chop off my head!”Princess Margaret aroused passion and indignation in equal measures. To her friends, she was witty and regal. To her enemies, she was rude and demanding.In her 1950’s heyday, she was seen as one of the most glamorous and desirable women in the world. By the time of her death, she had come to personify disappointment. One friend said he had never known an unhappier woman.The tale of Princess Margaret is pantomime as tragedy, and tragedy as pantomime. It is Cinderella in reverse: hope dashed, happiness mislaid, life mishandled.Combining interviews, parodies, dreams, parallel lives, diaries, announcements, lists, catalogues and essays, Ma’am Darling is a kaleidoscopic experiment in biography, and a witty meditation on fame and art, snobbery and deference, bohemia and high society.
Once Upon a Time in the East: A Story of Growing Up
Xiaolu Guo - 2017
They are strangers to her. When Xiaolu is born her parents hand her over to a childless peasant couple in the mountains. Aged two, and suffering from malnutrition on a diet of yam leaves, they leave Xiaolu with her illiterate grandparents in a fishing village on the East China Sea. It’s a strange beginning.Like a Wild Swans for a new generation, Once Upon a Time in the East takes Xiaolu from a run-down shack to film school in a rapidly changing Beijing, navigating the everyday peculiarity of modern China: censorship, underground art, Western boyfriends. In 2002 she leaves Beijing on a scholarship to study in a picturesque British village. Now, after a decade in Europe, her tale of East to West resonates with the insight that can only come from someone who is both an outsider and at home.Xiaolu Guo’s extraordinary memoir is a handbook of life lessons. How to be an artist when censorship kills creativity and the only job you can get is writing bad telenovela scripts. How to be a woman when female babies are regularly drowned at birth and sexual abuse is commonplace. Most poignantly of all: how to love when you’ve never been shown how.
The Perfect Summer: England 1911, Just Before the Storm
Juliet Nicolson - 2006
Through the tight lens of four months, Juliet Nicolson’s rich storytelling gifts rivet us with the sights, colors, and feelings of a bygone era. That summer of 1911 a new king was crowned and the aristocracy was at play, bounding from one house party to the next. But perfection was not for all. Cracks in the social fabric were showing. The country was brought to a standstill by industrial strikes. Temperatures rose steadily to more than 100 degrees; by August deaths from heatstroke were too many for newspapers to report. Drawing on material from intimate and rarely seen sources and narrated through the eyes of a series of exceptional individuals — among them a debutante, a choirboy, a politician, a trade unionist, a butler, and the Queen — The Perfect Summer is a vividly rendered glimpse of the twilight of the Edwardian era.
Diana: Her True Story in Her Own Words
Andrew Morton - 2004
"Startlingly candid".--People. Includes never-before-seen photographs.
Made in Reality
Stephanie Pratt - 2015
In Made in Reality, Stephanie gives an exclusive insight into the trials and tribulations of life on reality TV, taking us behind the scenes of The Hills, Made in Chelsea and even the Big Brother House. Nothing is off-limits, from the drama of her relationship with Spencer Matthews, to her issues with her brother Spencer Pratt. But there is more to Stephanie than the glamour of Beverly Hills and the Kings Road. For the first time, she shares her struggles with drug addiction, eating disorders, and the pressures of fame in the internet age.Inspiring, fascinating, and insightful throughout, this is an honest account of the truth behind reality.
Lorna Sage - 2000
An international bestseller and winner of the Whitbread Biography Award, Bad Blood is a tragicomic memoir of one woman's escape from a claustrophobic childhood in post-World War II Britain and the story of three generations of the author's family and its marriages.In one of the most extraordinary memoirs of recent years, Bad Blood brings alive in vivid detail a time -- the '40s and '50s -- not so distant from us but now disappeared. As a portrait of a family and a young girl's place in it, it is unsurpassed.
J.R.R. Tolkien: A Biography
Humphrey Carpenter - 1977
In the decades since his death in September 1973, millions have read THE HOBBIT, THE LORD OF THE RINGS, and THE SILMARILLION and become fascinated about the very private man behind the books. Born in South Africa in January 1892, John Ronald Reuel Tolkien was orphaned in childhood and brought up in near-poverty. He served in the first World War, surviving the Battle of the Somme, where he lost many of the closest friends he'd ever had. After the war he returned to the academic life, achieving high repute as a scholar and university teacher, eventually becoming Merton Professor of English at Oxford where he was a close friend of C.S. Lewis and the other writers known as The Inklings.Then suddenly his life changed dramatically. One day while grading essay papers he found himself writing 'In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit' -- and worldwide renown awaited him. Humphrey Carpenter was given unrestricted access to all Tolkien's papers, and interviewed his friends and family. From these sources he follows the long and painful process of creation that produced THE LORD OF THE RINGS and THE SILMARILLION and offers a wealth of information about the life and work of the twentieth century's most cherished author.
Four Meals for Fourpence
Grace Foakes - 2011
With a child’s uncluttered eye, she describes the small details—shopping in the market, men waiting for work at the dock gates, the rituals of washday, and the sights, sounds, and smells of the old East End of London. She also describes the fear—of illness, of unemployment, of the workhouse—that hung over her family and thousands like them, and her determination that her own children would never know the kind of poverty she had experienced.
The Beauty and the Sorrow: An Intimate History of the First World War
Peter Englund - 2008
Describing the experiences of twenty ordinary people from around the world, all now unknown, he explores the everyday aspects of war: not only the tragedy and horror, but also the absurdity, monotony and even beauty. Two of these twenty will perish, two will become prisoners of war, two will become celebrated heroes and two others end up as physical wrecks. One of them goes mad, another will never hear a shot fired.Following soldiers and sailors, nurses and government workers, from Britain, Russia, Germany, Australia and South America - and in theatres of war often neglected by major histories on the period - Englund reconstructs their feelings, impressions, experiences and moods. This is a piece of anti-history: it brings this epoch-making event back to its smallest component, the individual.