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Angel Dorothy is the inspiring biography of a formidable woman: wealthy American heiress Dorothy Elmhirst, who poured her considerable resources into founding Dartington Hall in 1925. What started as a progressive school rapidly transformed into a magnet for artists, architects, writers, philosophers and musicians, creating an exceptional centre for British cultural life. It was at Dartington in Devon that the Labour Party’s post-war manifesto was written and the Arts Council was conceived. Born in Washington, DC, into the influential Whitney family, Dorothy was a national darling: bells rang, flags flew and the American Navy’s new fast tugboat was named Dorothy. Orphaned at seventeen, she started giving away her inheritance at eighteen and buried herself in social and political work. She maintained her status as an unmarried woman until she fell in love with and married her first husband, Willard Straight, in 1911. Following Willard’s untimely death, Dorothy worked herself into a breakdown trying to fulfil his wishes. She recovered with the help of Leonard Elmhirst, an Englishman who shared her liberal beliefs; they married and moved to England in 1925 to start what would become Dartington Hall. In this vividly told biography, Jane Brown follows Dorothy from one side of the Atlantic to the other, a journey Dorothy made one hundred times to spread her political beliefs, her passion for education and her support of the arts for all. She traces the evolution of Dartington, from its restoration to its farming and forestry projects, and to its time as a home for the period’s greatest artists and intellectuals.
Spike Milligan's legendary war memoirs are a hilarious and subversive first-hand account of the Second World War, as well as a fascinating portrait of the formative years of this towering comic genius, most famous as writer and star of The Goon Show. They have sold over 4.5 million copies since they first appeared. 'The most irreverent, hilarious book about the war that I have ever read' Sunday Express 'Brilliant verbal pyrotechnics, throwaway lines and marvelous anecdotes' Daily Mail 'Desperately funny, vivid, vulgar' Sunday Times 'It's all over, Von Arnheim has surrendered and he's very angry.' 'This could mean war...' The third volume of Spike Milligan's laugh-a-line account of life as a gunner in World War Two resumes on the eve of victory in North Africa. Now Britain's looniest war hero must combat some of the direst threats a soldier has ever faced - boredom ('Christ, I just thought of Catford'), a cold ('In this weather?' 'Yed.'), moving camp ('It's a sort of Brighton with camels'), relaxing on the beach ('Life was golden, and we were the assayers'), moving camp again ('We're already somewhere else'), a visit to Carthage ('It's terrible, it's like Catford') and a perilous encounter with the gloriously endowed Mademoiselle Villion ('"Help! massage," I said weakly'). Against the odds, they survive and are sent at last to Italy to be killed... 'That absolutely glorious way of looking at things differently. A great man' Stephen Fry 'Milligan is the Great God to all of us' John Cleese 'The Godfather of Alternative Comedy' Eddie Izzard 'Manifestly a genius, a comic surrealist genius and had no equal' Terry Wogan 'A totally original comedy writer' Michael Palin 'Close in stature to Lewis Carroll and Edward Lear in his command of the profound art of nonsense' Guardian Spike Milligan was one of the greatest and most influential comedians of the twentieth century. Born in India in 1918, he served in the Royal Artillery during WWII in North Africa and Italy. At the end of the war, he forged a career as a jazz musician, sketch-show writer and performer, before joining forces with Peter Sellers and Harry Secombe to form the legendary Goon Show. Until his death in 2002, he had success as on stage and screen and as the author of over eighty books of fiction, memoir, poetry, plays, cartoons and children's stories.
Kauto Star, Nijinsky, Arkle, Desert Orchid, Frankel, Red Rum ... how do you rank the best British and Irish horses from both Flat racing and jumping? How do you compare a fleet-footed sprinter with the robust staying power of a steeplechaser? Robin Oakley’s highly personal list will provoke debate among racing fans everywhere. A lifelong devotee of racing and well known as the Turf correspondent for the Spectator, former BBC Political Editor Robin Oakley has made his selection not just on statistics but on the ‘fun factor’, giving prominence to horses who seized the public’s imagination. He brings the legendary names of past and present vividly to life with a wealth of fascinating stories behind their victories. Illuminated by archive photographs that illustrate the athleticism, character and courage of the horses, Britain and Ireland’s Top 100 Racehorses of All Time is the perfect gift for any fan of racing and its colourful history.
Robin Oakley brings alive the colourful world of those who ride and train jumping horses. With elegant production and gripping images The History of Jump Racing chronicles the social and economic changes which have brought the sport's ups and downs-like the development of sponsorships and syndicate ownership, the near loss of the Grand National, the growing domination of the Cheltenham Festival and the growth of all-weather racing to meet the bookies' demands for betting shop fodder. Pace and colour is provided by stories of the horses who have been taken to the heart of racing crowds, like the Irish-trained hurdler Istabraq and Best Mate, the three-times winner of the Cheltenham Gold Cup for England. Famous rivalries and memorable races are re-lived and key victories revisited in portraits of and interviews with the owners, jockeys and trainers who have dominated the sport. The emphasis will be largely on the past fifty years-from Arkle to Tony McCoy-but a significant introduction by Edward Gillespie encapsulates the past history of what was previously known as 'National Hunt Racing' and sets the stories in context. .

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