Winner of the 2021 Rubery Book Award. BBC music broadcaster Stephen Johnson (who has Bipolar Disorder himself) explores the power of Shostakovich’s music during Stalin’s reign of terror, and writes of the extraordinary healing effect of music on the mind for sufferers of mental illness.
This is the first ‘sampler’ which covers all of Thackeray’s versatile genius: his cartoons, his journalism, his carefully restrained sentimentality (much to Victorian taste), his cutting satire, his essayism and what one could grandly call the Thackerayan world view.
Each of the books in this collection reveals a moment of sudden, life-changing, epiphany.
For the armchair traveller, three poetic journeys that fundamentally changed those who took them.
The Paradoxal Compass is both historical narrative and environmental manifesto. Morpurgo compares our own tipping point with the ‘great unsettling’ faced by the Elizabethans more than four centuries ago. As the modern world continues to plunder the ‘infinite store’ of the earth’s riches, Morpurgo explores how our abusive relationship with the natural world began. He asks what the Age of Discovery might have to teach us in the current environmental crisis, as we too reappraise our place in the world.
The essays of Michel Eyquem de Montaigne, the 16th-century French philosopher, are an obvious addition to the Notting Hill Editions ‘Classic Collection’ due to the masterful balance of intellectual knowledge and personal story-telling conveyed in his writing. He popularised the genre of the essay form, coining the term from the French verb ‘essayer’, translated literally as attempts or trials. This selection is introduced by Tim Parks and is from the M A Creech translation.
The first in the NHE Classic Collection – selected writings from celebrated essayists throughout time.
Why read Hazlitt today? Because no one celebrates better than he did the imaginative power of the mind as it invests itself in theatre, painting, literature, music and philosophy. But there is nothing fanciful or lightweight about him. He sees clearly into the darkness of the human heart, perceives ‘its various threads of meanness, spite, cowardice, want of feeling, and want of understanding, of indifference towards others and ignorance of ourselves’. That undeceived vision and love of life makes him as compelling as ever. Duncan Wu
A dazzling meditation on the philosophical, scientific, and historical roots of attention, an attempt to pin down this elusive state of being.
A gathering of artful essays by one of Poland’s most translated post-war writers. Poet and essayist Zbigniew Herbert takes an intriguing look at the cultural, artistic, and aesthetic legacy of 17th-century Holland.
In 1811 eccentric millionaire Lewis Way had an epiphany on the road to Exmouth. From that moment he devoted himself to one goal: the return of the Jews to the Holy Land, revealing a forgotten life story.
In this revealing ‘psycho-geography’, Dennis Marks makes a journey through the eastern borderlands of Europe to uncover the truth about Roth’s lost world. The result is a riveting and involving documentary that reunites Roth with his creative and spiritual landscape.
Taking a panoramic view from the days of Thucydides up to the present, Heffer analyses the motive forces behind the pursuit of power, and, explains in a beautiful argument why history is destined to repeat itself.