The Samuel Johnson Prize-winning author of 1599 offers an intimate portrait of one of Shakespeare’s most inspired moments: the year of King Lear, Macbeth and Antony and Cleopatra. 1606, while a very good year for Shakespeare, is a fraught one for England. Plague returns. There is surprising resistance to the new king’s desire to turn England and Scotland into a united Britain. And fear and uncertainty sweep the land and expose deep divisions in the aftermath of a failed terrorist attack that came to be known as the Gunpowder Plot.
In his latest curious adventures into human eccentricity the humorist investigator goes on patrol with America’s real-life superheroes, nerds a UFO convention in the Nevada Desert with Robbie Williams, and asks a robot whether it has a soul.
At the height of Hollywood’s Golden Age, Tony Curtis starred in Houdini and Spartacus, made comedy history with Jack Lemmon in the unforgettable Some Like It Hot, was friends with Frank Sinatra, Cary Grant and James Dean, and romanced screen sirens such as Marilyn Monroe, Janet Leigh and Natalie Wood.
Sparing no ego, Tony Curtis talks to Joan Bakewell about the characters he's played and known during his illustrious career, co-stars, wives, lovers and friends. The event launches the Hollywood legend's autobiography American Prince.
The photo-journalist shows and discusses his seminal 1960s reportage in b/w and colour from the industrial heartlands untouched by the Swinging Sixties.
The history of Russia’s Secret Services from the Revolution to the Fall of the Wall: the Military Intelligence, the codes and ciphers and the KGB.
No American statesman has been as revered and as reviled as Henry Kissinger. Hailed by some as the ‘indispensable man’, whose advice has been sought by every president from John F Kennedy to George W Bush, he has also attracted immense hostility from critics who have cast him as an amoral Machiavellian – the ultimate, cold-blooded ‘realist’. In his first volume of biography, the historian examines Kissinger’s early life (as a Jew in Hitler’s Germany, a poor immigrant in New York, a GI at the Battle of the Bulge, an interrogator of Nazis, and a student of history at Harvard) to understand his debt to the philosophy of idealism. By tracing his rise, fall and revival as an adviser to Kennedy, Nelson Rockefeller and Richard Nixon, Ferguson assesses Kissinger’s contribution to the theory of diplomacy, grand strategy and nuclear deterrence.
The horticultural historian and novelist considers how the lotus, lily, sunflower, rose and tulip have enflamed hearts and minds around the world. She shows how the opium poppy returned to haunt its originators in the West and how Confucius saw virtue and modesty in the orchid while the Greeks saw only sex. Above all, Potter demonstrates how these seven flowers have come to be metaphors for life, death, purity, passion, greed, envy, virtue, hope and consolation.