THE SECRET LIVES OF SOMERSET MAUGHAM

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The Secret Lives Of Somerset Maugham

Author : Selina Hastings
ISBN : 9781611457049
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 25.44 MB
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He was a brilliant teller of tales, one of the most widely read authors of the twentieth century, and at one time the most famous writer in the world, yet W. Somerset Maugham’s own true story has never been fully told. At last, the truth is revealed in a landmark biography by the award-winning writer Selina Hastings. Granted unprecedented access to Maugham’s personal correspondence and to newly uncovered interviews with his only child, Hastings portrays the secret loves, betrayals, integrity, and passion that inspired Maugham to create such classics as The Razor’s Edge and Of Human Bondage. Portrayed in full for the first time is Maugham’s disastrous marriage to Syrie Wellcome, a manipulative society woman who trapped Maugham with a pregnancy and an attempted suicide. Hastings also explores Maugham’s many affairs with men, including his great love, Gerald Haxton, an alcoholic charmer. Maugham’s work in secret intelligence during two world wars is described in fascinating detail—experiences that provided the inspiration for the groundbreaking Ashenden stories. From the West End to Broadway, from China to the South Pacific, Maugham’s remarkably productive life is thrillingly recounted as Hastings uncovers the real stories behind such classics as Rain, The Painted Veil, Cakes & Ale, and other well-known tales.
Category: Biography & Autobiography

The Secret Life Of Houdini

Author : William Kalush
ISBN : 9780743298506
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 70.58 MB
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Handcuff King. Escape Artist. International Superstar. Since his death eighty-eight years ago, Harry Houdini’s life has been chronicled in books, in film, and on television. Now, in this groundbreaking biography, renowned magic expert William Kalush and bestselling writer Larry Sloman team up to find the man behind the myth. Drawing from millions of pages of research, they describe in vivid detail the passions that drove Houdini to perform ever-more-dangerous feats, his secret life as a spy, and a pernicious plot to subvert his legacy. The Secret Life of Houdini traces the arc of the master magician’s life from desperate poverty to worldwide fame—his legacy later threatened by a group of fanatical Spiritualists led by esteemed British author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Initiating the reader along the way into the arcane world of professional magic, Kalush and Sloman decode a life based on deception, providing an intimate and riveting portrayal of Houdini, the man and the legend.
Category: Biography & Autobiography

The Secret Lives Of Colour

Author : Kassia St Clair
ISBN : 9781473630826
Genre : History
File Size : 74.72 MB
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THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER 'A mind-expanding tour of the world without leaving your paintbox. Every colour has a story, and here are some of the most alluring, alarming, and thought-provoking. Very hard painting the hallway magnolia after this inspiring primer.' Simon Garfield The Secret Lives of Colour tells the unusual stories of the 75 most fascinating shades, dyes and hues. From blonde to ginger, the brown that changed the way battles were fought to the white that protected against the plague, Picasso's blue period to the charcoal on the cave walls at Lascaux, acid yellow to kelly green, and from scarlet women to imperial purple, these surprising stories run like a bright thread throughout history. In this book Kassia St Clair has turned her lifelong obsession with colours and where they come from (whether Van Gogh's chrome yellow sunflowers or punk's fluorescent pink) into a unique study of human civilisation. Across fashion and politics, art and war, The Secret Lives of Colour tell the vivid story of our culture.
Category: History

Nancy Mitford

Author : Selina Hastings
ISBN : 9780307949479
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 76.93 MB
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Nancy Mitford’s life was as glamorous and as dramatic as her most famous novels, The Pursuit of Love and Love in a Cold Climate. Mitford was witty, intelligent, often acerbic, a great tease, and an acute observer of upper-class English idiosyncrasies. With the publication of her comic novels, based in part on her eccentric family, she became a huge bestseller and household name. An inspired letter writer, she wrote almost daily to a wide variety of correspondents, among them Evelyn Waugh, Harold Acton, John Betjeman, and, of course, her famous sisters. Noted biographer Selina Hastings captures the gaiety and frivolity as well as the unhappy truth of Nancy Mitford’s life: her failed marriage and her long, unfulfilled relationship with her dashing but unfaithful French lover contrasting sharply with literary celebrity and glittering social success. Hastings has written a biography that is as superbly entertaining and clear-eyed as the unforgettable novels that are its subject’s lasting claim to fame.
Category: Biography & Autobiography

Tolstoy S False Disciple The Untold Story Of Leo Tolstoy And Vladimir Chertkov

Author : Alexandra Popoff
ISBN : 9781605987279
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 34.36 MB
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The new book from the critically acclaimed author of The Wives and ?Sophia Tolstoy sheds light on one of the strangest and most unusual relationships in literary history—which has been steeped in secrecy for more than a century. On the snowy morning of February 8, 1897, the Petersburg secret police were following Tolstoy's every move. At sixty-nine, Russia's most celebrated writer was being treated like a major criminal. Prominent Russians were always watched, but Tolstoy earned particular scrutiny. Over a decade earlier, when his advocacy on behalf of oppressed minorities angered the Orthodox Church and the Tsar, he was placed under permanent police surveillance. Although Tolstoy was wearing his peasant garb, people on the streets had no trouble recognizing him from his portraits. He was often seen in the company of his chief disciple, Vladimir Chertkov. A man of striking appearance, twenty-five years younger, Chertkov commanded attention. His photographs with Tolstoy show him towering over the writer, but who exactly was this imposing man? Close to the Tsars and to the chief of the secret police, Chertkov represented the very things Tolstoy had renounced ––class privilege, unlimited power, and wealth. Yet, Chertkov fascinated and attracted Tolstoy. He became the writer's closest confidant, even reading his daily diary, and by the end of Tolstoy's life, Chertkov had established complete control over the writer and his legacy. Tolstoy’s full exchange with Chertkov comprises more than 2,000 letters, making him the writer’s largest correspondent. The Russian archives have suppressed much of this communication as well as Chertkov’s papers for more than a century. The product of ground-breaking archival research, Tolstoy's False Disciple promises to be a revelatory portrait of the two men and their three-decade-long clandestine relationship.
Category: Biography & Autobiography

Treasures Of Time

Author : Penelope Lively
ISBN : 9780141958057
Genre : Fiction
File Size : 22.91 MB
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Treasures of Time is the twelfth novel by Booker Prize winning author Penelope Lively, a spellbinding story of the dangers of digging up the dark secrets of the past. This edition features an introduction by Selina Hastings. Penguin Decades bring you the novels that helped shape modern Britain. When they were published, some were bestsellers, some were considered scandalous, and others were simply misunderstood. All represent their time and helped define their generation, while today each is considered a landmark work of storytelling. Penelope Lively's Treasures of Time was published in 1979, and is an acutely observed study of marriage and manipulation. When the BBC want to make a documentary about acclaimed archaeologist Hugh Paxton, his widow Laura, daughter Kate and her fiancé Tom are a little nervous: digging up the past can also disturb the present . . . Penelope Lively is the author of many prize-winning novels and short-story collections for both adults and children. She has twice been shortlisted for the Booker Prize: once in 1977 for her first novel, The Road to Lichfield, and again in 1984 for According to Mark. She later won the 1987 Booker Prize for her highly acclaimed novel Moon Tiger. Her other books include Going Back; Judgement Day; Next to Nature, Art; Perfect Happiness; Passing On; City of the Mind; Cleopatra's Sister; Heat Wave; Beyond the Blue Mountains, a collection of short stories; Oleander, Jacaranda, a memoir of her childhood days in Egypt; Spiderweb; her autobiographical work, A House Unlocked; The Photograph; Making It Up; Consequences; Family Album, which was shortlisted for the 2009 Costa Novel Award, and How It All Began. She is a popular writer for children and has won both the Carnegie Medal and the Whitbread Award. She was appointed CBE in the 2001 New Year's Honours List, and DBE in 2012. Penelope Lively lives in London.
Category: Fiction

Collected Stories

Author : W. Somerset Maugham
ISBN : 9781101907795
Genre : Fiction
File Size : 65.44 MB
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From one of the twentieth century’s most enduringly popular fiction writers: the only hardcover edition of his short stories. Though W. Somerset Maugham was also famous for his novels and plays, it has been argued that in the short story he reached the pinnacle of his art. These expertly told tales, with their addictive plot twists and vividly drawn characters, are both galvanizing as literature and wonderfully entertaining. In the adventures of his alter ego Ashenden, a writer who (like Maugham himself) turned secret agent in World War I, as well as in stories set in such far-flung locales as South Pacific islands and colonial outposts in Southeast Asia, Maugham brings his characters vividly to life, and their humanity is more convincing for the author’s merciless exposure of their flaws and failures. Whether the chasms of misunderstanding he plumbs are those between colonizers and natives, between a missionary and a prostitute, or between a poetry-writing woman and her uncomprehending husband, Maugham brilliantly displays his irony, his wit, and his genius in the art of storytelling.
Category: Fiction

The Red Earl

Author : Selina Hastings
ISBN : 9781408187388
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 46.64 MB
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In The Red Earl Selina Hastings tells the extraordinary story of her father, Jack Hastings, 16th Earl of Huntingdon. In 1925, Hastings infuriated his ultra-conservative parents by turning his back on centuries of tradition to make a scandalous run-away marriage. With his beautiful Italian wife he then left England for the other side of the world, further enraging his family by determining on a career as a painter. The couple settled first in Australia, then on the island of Moorea in the South Pacific. Here, they led an idyllic existence until a bizarre accident forced them to leave the tropics forever. En route back to England, they stopped for a year in California, where Hastings continued to paint while enjoying a glamorous social life with actors such as Charlie Chaplin and Douglas Fairbanks. While in San Francisco, Hastings met the great Mexican artist Diego Rivera, and persuaded him to take him on as an assistant. For the next nearly four years he lived at close quarters with Rivera and with his wife, Frida Kahlo, first in San Francisco, then Detroit, and finally Mexico City. When eventually Hastings returned home it was to be faced with fighting on all fronts: in Spain during the Civil War; in England with his parents; and lastly with his wife, determined to keep him locked into a marriage from which by now he was desperate to escape. This enthralling story, superbly well written, not only gives a new perspective on two of the 20th-century's greatest artists, Rivera and Kahlo, but also reveals in fascinating detail the private life of an aristocratic family of 100 years ago.
Category: Biography & Autobiography

A Writer S Notebook

Author : W. Somerset Maugham
ISBN : 9780307816153
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 32.84 MB
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Filled with keen observations, autobiographical notes, and the seeds of many of Maugham's greatest works, A Writer's Notebook is a unique and exhilarating look into a great writer's mind at work. From nearly five decades, Somerset Maugham recorded an intimate journal. In it we see the budding of his incomparable vision and his remarkable career as a writer. Covering the years from his time as a youthful medical student in London to a seasoned world traveler around the world, it is playful, sharp witted, and always revealing. Undoubtedly one of his most significant works, A Writer's Notebook is a must for Maugham fans and anyone interested in the creative process.
Category: Biography & Autobiography

Somerset Maugham

Author : Jeffrey Meyers
ISBN : 9780307491114
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 31.78 MB
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An instinctive and magnificent storyteller, Somerset Maugham was one of the most popular and successful writers of his time. He published seventy-eight books -- including the undisputed classics Of Human Bondage and The Razor’s Edge -- which sold over 40 million copies in his lifetime. Born in Paris to sophisticated parents, Willie Maugham was orphaned at the age of ten and brought up in a small English coastal town by narrow-minded relatives. He was trained as a doctor, but never practiced medicine. His novel Ashenden, based on his own espionage for Britain in World War I, influenced writers from Eric Ambler to John le Carr?. After a failed affair with an actress, he married another man’s mistress, but reserved his greatest love for a man who shared his life for nearly thirty years. He traveled the world and spoke several languages. Despite a debilitating stutter, and an acerbic and formal manner, he entertained literary celebrities and royalty at his villa in the south of France. He made a fortune from his writing--the short story “Rain” alone earned him a million dollars–yet true critical recognition, and the esteem of his literary peers, eluded him. The life of Somerset Maugham, as told by acclaimed biographer Jeffrey Meyers, is an intriguing, glamorous, complex, and extraordinary account of one of the twentieth century’s most enduring writers. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Category: Biography & Autobiography