Six Minutes in May: How Churchill Unexpectedly Became Prime Minister (Every…


***Selected as a 2017 Book of the Year in the Guardian, Daily Telegraph, Observer and The Economist***

London, early May 1940: Britain is under threat of invasion and Neville Chamberlain’s government is about to fall. It is hard for us to imagine the Second World War without Winston Churchill taking over at the helm, but in SIX MINUTES IN MAY Nicholas Shakespeare shows how easily events could have gone in a different direction.

Britain’s first land battle of the war was fought in the far…

The Scarlet Sisters: My nanna’s story of secrets and heartache on the banks…


‘Oh my goodness – another girl Mrs Swain!’
Clara’s normal iron composure broke and she screamed, ‘No! That’s not the bloody deal!’
And that is how my nanna, Bertha Swain, entered the world.

When Helen Batten’s marriage breaks down, she starts on a journey of discovery into her family’s past and the mysteries surrounding her enigmatic nanna’s early life.

What she unearths is a tale of five feisty red heads struggling to climb out of poverty and find love through two world…

Florence Nightingale: A Life From Beginning to End


Florence Nightingale

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Florence Nightingale is usually thought of for her work in the Crimean War, where, as the “Lady with the Lamp,” she tirelessly nursed wounded soldiers at all hours of the night and day. But while these two years were a significant part of her life, she was also much more. She was a daughter and sister who consternated her family by…

All Creatures Great and Small: The Classic Memoirs of a Yorkshire Country V…


The first collection of memoirs from the author who inspired the BBC series All Creatures Great and Small.

Fresh out of Glasgow Veterinary College, to the young James Herriot 1930s Yorkshire seems to offer an idyllic pocket of rural life in a rapidly changing world. But from his erratic new colleagues, brothers Siegfried and Tristan Farnon, to incomprehensible farmers, herds of semi-feral cattle, a pig called Nugent and an overweight Pekingese called Tricki Woo, James finds he is on a…

The Unquiet Daughter



Danielle Flood, a journalist born of the wartime love triangle that inspired the one in Graham Greene’s The Quiet American, searches for her father after surviving a bizarre youth of privilege, estrangement and cruelty. As she yearns for her father’s love and presence, Danielle’s beautiful French and Vietnamese mother leaves her in burlesque house dressing rooms in the American Midwest, in convent schools in Long Island and Dublin, and with strangers in New York City. Meanwhile she lies to…

This Boy


Alan Johnson’s childhood was not so much difficult as unusual, particularly for a man who was destined to become Home Secretary. Not in respect of the poverty, which was shared with many of those living in the slums of post-war Britain, but in its transition from two-parent family to single mother and then to no parents at all…

This is essentially the story of two incredible women: Alan’s mother, Lily, who battled against poor health, poverty, domestic violence and loneliness to try to…