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Prince: Inside the Music and the Masks

Wed, 18 Jan 2012 10:26:00 +0000

Over the past 30 years, Prince Rogers Nelson has been one of the most original and charismatic figures in music. Known for seminal hits such as 'Kiss', 'Little Red Corvette' and 'Let's Go Crazy', his restless creativity has made a profound mark on the music industry and popular culture. Even more remarkable, perhaps, is the scale and longevity of his success; at the height of his fame, his album Purple Rain sold a million copies a week in the US, and just four years ago his sell-out London concerts attracted over 350,000 fans.

Prince: Inside the Music and the Masks is the most intimate and authoritative biography ever to be written about this fascinating artist, and Aurum are delighted to be releasing it this February. Acclaimed music journalist Ronin Ro lays bare the life of one of one of the most extraordinary musicians of our time, chronicling Prince's journey from teenage obscurity to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Through unrivalled access to producers, bandmates and close friends, he peels away the masks to tell the story of a true modern icon.

You can read an exclusive excerpt from Prince: Inside the Music and the Masks at the Vanity Fair website.

Coming: February 2012
Format: Hardback, 384 pages
Price: £20

Ray Harryhausen's Fantasy Scrapbook

Tue, 17 Jan 2012 11:02:00 +0000

Ray Harryhausen's Fantasy Scrapbook by Ray Harryhausen and Tony DaltonNovember saw the release of Ray Harryhausen's Fantasy Scrapbook, a compendium of models, storyboards and concept drawings from the legendary pioneer of stop-motion animation. This new book is compiled from a wide range of never-before-seen artefacts from Ray's life and career, many of them only recently discovered in a Los Angeles garage. Through his original sketches, scripts and letters, it offers fascinating insights into the mind of one of Hollywood's great animators.With informative introductions to each film and detailed captions for every image, this illuminating volume is a must for all film fans. Harryhausen's seminal work on Jason and the Argonauts, The 7th Joyage of Sinbad and Clash of the Titans remains hugely influential and Ray Harryhausen's Fantasy Scrapbook does his creativity and imagination justice."Thoroughly engrossing, whether you’re a Harryhausen fan or just a film fan in general. It’s an absolute delight to browse through and, crucially, captures the character of the man behind the monsters""This collection truly is a thing of beauty ... A must buy for Ray's fans" Starburst MagazineRay Harryhausen's Fantasy Scrapbook is available to buy here. If the Fantasy Scrapbook has animated your interest and you're looking for more stop-motion history, then look no further. Aurum have published three more books by Ray Harryhausen and Tony Dalton:The Art of Ray Harryhausen by Ray Harryhuasen and Tony Dalton, with a foreword by Peter Jackson"A splendid volume... fabulous illustrations" Jonathan RossAvailable in paperback here.Ray Harryhausen: An Animated Life by Ray Harryhausen and Tony Dalton, with an foreword by Ray Bradbury"A sumptuous account of the veteran animator's life on celluloid" The IndependentAvailable in paperback here.A Century of Model Animation: From Méliès to Aardman by Ray Harryhausen and Tony Dalton"A work full of love for the subject" SFX MagazineAvailable in hardback here. [...]

Looking Forward to 2012

Mon, 16 Jan 2012 14:23:00 +0000

We're two weeks into the New Year, so if you haven't quite got round to joining the gym or learning a language yet, why not make it your resolution to read one of these great new books from Aurum:The Austerity Olympics by Janie HamptonIt can't possibly have escaped anyone's notice that London's Olympic year has finally arrived. But while we're getting caught up in this summer's excitement, 2012 will also be a time to look back to when Britain last hosted the Games.The London Olympics of 1948 were a vastly different occasion to this year's extravaganza. With the Blitz fresh in the city's memory and rationing still in force, the Games were organised for less than one hundredth of a per cent of 2012's massive budget. Janie Hampton's The Austerity Olympics is a vivid account of the Olympic Games of the past. With tales of athletes being ferried to events on double-decker buses and sewing their own kit in makeshift accommodation, the book depicts a world that is far removed from the Games of 2012. It will be a fascinating read for Olympic fanatics and sceptics alike.Interviews with some of the athletes who competed in 1948 can be read in Kate Youde's fascinating article for the Independent here."[Hampton] has an illuminating sense of detail, and her book tells a story that goes beyond that of a sporting event - a story of innocence, hope and pride." The Daily Telegraph"Hampton's excellent book should be compulsory reading for everyone involved in the 2012 London Olympics." Daily Mail Critics' Choice Re-issued: April 2012Format: Paperback, 368 pagesPrice: £8.99The previous edition of The Austerity Olympics is available to buy here.Banksy: The Man Behind the Wall by Will Ellsworth-JonesFrom his home city of Bristol to Los Angeles, New York and London, Banksy's exhibitions have attracted huge audiences. New works of graffiti go viral almost instantly, and such is the commercial value of his work that people have hacked whole walls from buildings because they bear his trademark stencilled designs.But how much do we really know about this notoriously secretive artist? How has he become the phenomenal success that he is today, and how does he protect his anonymity under the glare of worldwide fame? In Banksy: The Man Behind the Wall, Will Ellsworth-Jones pieces together his subject's life and builds a picture of the world in which he operates. Incorporating interviews with friends and enemies, those who knew him in his early, unnoticed days and those who have watched him come to terms with his new-found fame, this is a book that gets to the very heart of who Banksy is and what his life's work adds up to.Banksy: The Man Behind the Wall is released in March. In the meantime, you can see a few of his best works at his official website. Coming: March 2012Format: Hardback, 320ppPrice: £20Just Boris: The Irresistible Rise of a Political Celebrity by Sonia PurnellIn May, Londoners will go to the polls to choose their next mayor. The question on the minds of many will be whether the capital keeps Boris Johnson or ends his four-year spell at City Hall. Speculation that he has one eye on Downing Street continues to bubble to the surface, but one thing remains certain: Johnson is Britain's most recognisable and comically self-deprecating politician. He has become notorious for his gaffes and attracted controversy with his candid manner, but has climbed to one of Britain's highest political offices nonetheless.As a former colleague of Johnson's at the Daily Telegraph, Sonia Purnell holds a unique vantage point over the Mayor of London's remarkable career. In Just Boris, she examines how the archetypal old Etonian came to be a Man of the People capable of charming London; how a shy young boy from a broken home became one of our most distinctive political figures; and how the Johnson family has built a media and political dynasty.The first comprehensive account of his life and career, Just Boris unravels a political enigma and asks whether the man who has made his mark on London has[...]

A Round-up of 2011

Thu, 12 Jan 2012 16:11:00 +0000

With New Year's Eve already a fast-fading memory, it's time for a look back at Aurum's 2011. Here are some of the books we were most excited about last year...Britain's Lost Cricket Grounds by Chris ArnotOne of last year's biggest books for Aurum was Britain's Lost Cricket Grounds by Chris Arnot. In this sumptuously illustrated volume, Arnot takes a journey to forty of the country's former cricket grounds. In their heyday, they were cherished focal-points for their local communities, but each of them now has its own sad story of demise and abandonment. The Hastings ground has been replaced with a shopping centre; another, in Sheffield, made way for an expanding football stadium. What unites them all is that magical missing sound: the crack of leather on willow.Following the success of Britain's Lost Cities and Lost Victorian Britain, Chris Arnot tours the length and breadth of the country, hears the reminiscences of former players and spectators and unearths what is left of their once-loved grounds. The result is a rueful and reflective exploration of our lost sporting heritage.You can read Steve James's review of Britain's Lost Cricket Grounds for the Daily Telegraph here."A beautifully written volume that is rich in history and anecdote... some magnificent photos will invoke poignant memories." "Chris Arnot’s heady romantic hymn to a variety of once famous fields is a coffee-table classic for and of posterity. Everyone will mourn for a personal vanished favourite." The GuardianBritain's Lost Cricket Grounds is available to buy here.The Secret Life of Bletchley Park by Sinclair McKay2011 also saw the release in paperback of The Secret Life of Bletchley Park by Sinclair McKay. This critically acclaimed title, which was a surprise hit of 2010 in hardback, tells the story of the men and women whose code-cracking efforts were a decisive turning-point in the Second World War.While Bletchley Park may be famous for its work in breaking the Enigma code machine, McKay also brings to life the memories of the ordinary people who found themselves stationed at this secretive Buckinghamshire country home. Through the accounts of Bletchley Park's surviving residents, the book tells tales of winters spent skating on the estate's frozen lake, high-jinks in the accommodation blocks and lives of implacable secrecy. It is the most revealing insight yet into a unique, intriguing and distinctly British episode in history.You can read Keith Lowe's review of The Secret Life of Bletchley Park for the Daily Telegraph here."McKay has succeeded in honouring a genuinely remarkable group of people in a solid, often entertaining and above all warm-hearted way." Daily Mail"A remarkably faithful account of what we did, why it mattered, and how it all felt at the time." Patricia Brown, wartime Bletchley Park worker, The Guardian The Secret Life of Bletchley Park is available to buy here.Fred Trueman: The Authorised Biography by Chris WatersThroughout his cricketing career in the 50s and 60s, Fred Trueman was known for his fearsome fast bowling and fiery personality. Described by Prime Minister Harold Wilson as 'the greatest living Yorkshireman', he played with a fierce, full-blooded determination to win. Later in life, he would become known as an outspoken commentator for Test Match Special, cementing his status as a cricketing legend.Chris Waters' perceptive new biography, however, portrays a more complex and troubled figure than anyone might have expected. Drawing on dozens of new interviews with those who knew him best, Waters tells the story of the self-doubting personality beneath Trueman's apparent bravado. This balanced, authoritative study of Fred Trueman's life will surprise - maybe even shock - his many admirers, but also confirms him as an English folk hero.You can read Rob Bagchi's review of Fred Trueman: The Authorised Biography for the Guardian here."His multi-coloured life is given sharper focus by the meticulous research and[...]

Wed, 19 Oct 2011 10:21:00 +0000

(image) The World History of Animation by Stephen Cavalier

As a director at Disney and contributor to Spielberg's animation team, Stephen Cavalier has acquired a wealth of knowledge about the industry over the course of his career, and his new book, The World History of Animation, is a testament to this experience. This comprehensive collection features key figures from across Europe, North America and Asia, and includes everything from feature films and TV to digital animation and games. Organised chronologically, the book introduces landmark characters and technical innovations, while also paying special attention to the individuals and studios that made it all possible through biographies and interviews. It also lists certain must-see movies, complete with synopses and film stills, making it easy for readers to experience the world of animation on their own.

This beautiful, easy to follow book is perfect for both seasoned film buffs and those looking to expand their knowledge of this extensive and fascinating genre.

Coming: November 2011
Format: Hardback, 416 pp
Price: £35

Upcoming Titles: Autumn 2011

Wed, 19 Oct 2011 08:47:00 +0000

(image) The Ray Harryhausen Fantasy Scrapbook
by Ray Harryhausen and Tony Dalton

Widely acclaimed as one of the most influential film animators of all time, Ray Harryhausen is responsible for such classic films as Clash of the Titans, The 7th Voyage of Sinbad and Jason and the Argonauts. In the film world his name is synonymous with the pioneering of stop motion animation and he has been an inspiration to household names such as Stephen Spielberg and George Lucas, among many others.

The Ray Harryhausen Fantasy Scrapbook gives us a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the life and works of this creative genius. Designed in the form of a scrapbook, this collection includes everything from concept drawings, scripts and poster designs to outtakes from classic films, models from unrealised projects and letters from cast and crew. This book is a must-have for film buffs, Harryhausen fans and anyone interested in animation, graphics or the film-making process.

Coming: November 2011
Format: Hardback, 192 pp, 900 colour and b&w illustrations
Price: £30

2011 Releases so far...(Part 3)

Mon, 08 Aug 2011 10:32:00 +0000

Professor Gary Sheffield, The Chief: Douglas Haig and the British Army A radical reassessment of the most controversial general in British history In 1918, after the armies he commanded had helped to win the First World War, Douglas Haig was feted as the saviour of his country. On his death in 1928 he was mourned as a national hero. But within ten years his reputation was in ruins, and it has never fully recovered. In this scholarly yet accessible biography, Professor Gary Sheffield reassesses Haig’s reputation. Using extensive research into primary sources, he shows how Haig’s experiences on the Western Front not only made him a highly effective commander but helped him transform the shambolic amateur force of the Somme in 1916 to the victorious army of 1918. He also reveals how, after the war, Haig used his influence as a leader of ex-servicemen to help secure the peace. This is a powerful rehabilitation of Haig’s reputation as a military commander which offers original insights into his achievements and his place in British history. Available here: Greg King, Wallis: The Uncommon Life of the Duchess of Windsor The first unbiased account of the fascinating and outrageous life of Wallis Simpson, the commoner who bewitched the King of England … It was the love story of the century. In December 1936, King Edward VIII abdicated the throne to marry ‘the woman I love’, Wallis Warfield Simpson. American and twice-divorced, Wallis was hardly the sort of woman the Royal Family would have chosen for their future Queen. Their ostracism of her, coupled with a thinly veiled animosity in the British press tainted her reputation for the rest of her life. In his acclaimed biography Greg King sifts through the decades of rumour and accusation to reveal the woman behind the legend. Wild speculation about her past affairs, her domination of the Duke and her tragic, lonely end are answered. Using previously untapped sources, conducting hundreds of interviews with survivors and expertly marshalling a huge array of documentation, King presents a definitive and sympathetic portrait of the woman who was punished for falling in love. Available here: Andrew Vine, Last of the Summer Wine: The Story of the World’s Longest-Running Comedy Series NEW IN PAPERBACK Although Last of the Summer Wine came to the end of its last-ever episode in 2010 after 37 years, repeats are shown regularly on both UK Gold and the Yesterday channel, with new DVD box sets also being released in 2011. The programme has fan clubs from the US to Australia. Andrew Vine’s history of this phenomenal sitcom, which has sold over 10,000 copies in hardback, shows how a quiet comedy about three aimlessly pottering old men that began when British Leyland were still making the Austin Allegro, turned into a programme watched at its peak by a third of the population. It then managed to survive and reinvent itself even in the age of the iPhone, by which time its stars were touching ninety. It made the small town of Holmfirth into a tourist attraction, and gave actors from Thora Hird to Frank Thornton an Indian summer for their careers. ‘[An] authoritative history of the show’ – Mail on Sunday Available here: Sinclair McKay, The Secret Life of Bletchley Park: The WWII Codebreaking Centre and the Men and Women Who Worked There NEW IN PAPERBACK During World War Two at a rambling Victorian house in the Buckinghamshire countryside, thousands of young people intercepted, decoded and translated[...]

2011 Releases So Far... (Part 2)

Mon, 16 May 2011 09:34:00 +0000

S. N. Pike, Mile by Mile on Britain’s RailwaysThree classic guides to Britain’s mainline railways reissued in facsimile – with a fourth, new, pastiche treatment for the missing fourth (the Great Western).Fascinating maps to follow every mile from London to Edinburgh, Glasgow and Penzance.Extensive lineside commentary on sights to be seen from the window, gradients, water-towers for steam locos – all as it was in 1947‘the bygone era of travel by steam train is brought to life’- Daily TelegraphAvailable here: Whitney Port, True Whit Fashion icon and MTV mega-star Whitney Port shares personal stories, beauty and fitness secrets and invaluable advice on everything girls need to know to start out their independent lives in style.‘Intimate and honest, this book provides tips on everything from dating to decorating’- Heat MagazineAvailable here: Martin Smith, Kings, Queens and Four-Legged Athletes: The Telegraph book of Horse RacingIt is the sport of Kings and Queens, but also the sport of knaves and bounders, spivs and cheats. Horse racing is the sport of the ordinary man: from housewives with their 50p on whichever horse Lester is riding in the Derby, to anyone who has entered the office Grand National sweepstake. Kings, Queens & Four-Legged Athletes relives horse racing’s greatest moments through the passion and authority of the back pages’ true thoroughbreds past and present, including John Oaksey, Brough Scott, J.A. McGrath, Marcus Armytage, Peter Scott, Paul Hayward and Andrew Baker.‘A veritable treasure trove, the book covers the splendour of Royal Ascot and the Derby…through to the homeliness of the most humble country course’ – The Daily Telegraph‘Editor’s Top Choice’- Ireland’s Equestrian Magazine Jan. 2011Available here: Spedding, From Last to First Charlie Spedding describes himself as ‘not particularly talented’ – at least, compared to the group of people he had chosen to find himself among. These were the athletes in the Olympic marathon. So how did he end up with a bronze medal? How did he win the London Marathon? And why does he still hold the English record for the distance?In this remarkable autobiography he explains how someone who was almost bottom of the class when he first went to school, and even worse at sport, eventually turned himself into a genuinely world-class athlete, competing in top marathons all over the world, and genuinely going from last to first.Book of the Week, Independent on Sunday, 27 March: ‘It’s an equal pleasure to accompany him on that journey’Available here: B. Tankard, Gertrude Jekyll and the Country House GardenGertrude Jekyll was one of the most important garden designers of the twentieth century. A prolific writer and a hugely influential plantswoman, her circle of friends included some of the most distinguished architects, horticulturists, artists, and writers of the time. This new volume in the Country Life Archives series celebrates Jekyll's gardens and her legendary theories on color, planting, and design with a selection of her most famous collaborations with Sir Edwin Lutyens and other important architects. The text is illustrated with over 150 superb photographs that capture the enduring magic of Jekyll's creative genius.‘one to get your hands on…packed with rarely seen images of her work’- Th[...]

2011 Releases So Far... (Part 1)

Mon, 16 May 2011 09:03:00 +0000

Stephen Brook, MW, The Finest Wines of CaliforniaThis guide, the fourth in the acclaimed Finest Wines series, from Hugh Johnson’s award-winning team, casts a whole new light on the California region. Authoritative, bang up-to-date, and brimming with fascinating information, this essential guide is required reading for all wine lovers.‘This book is exceptional. It is well-written. It is informative. It is readable and entertaining’- Winesights, Toronto, Canada.Available here: Haigh, Ashes 2011 Most people gave England a modest chance of success. Some, like Glenn McGrath, insisted that history would repeat itself and Australia would administer another whitewash. What no-one anticipated was that the 2010-11 Ashes Tests would see one of the most complete performances ever by an England touring side and the first Ashes victory on Australian soil for 24 years, with, uniquely, three innings victories. It was a series full of remarkable records, and every member of the England side made crucial contributions.Now, Gideon Haigh tells the full story of this amazing sporting achievement. Beginning with the build-up to the series - Australia going into it on the back of an uncharacteristic losing run, England after a year of quietly solid consolidation – he covers each Test, day by day, with pithy match reports and elegant analyses.‘Cricket-lovers who know Gideon Haigh’s work will need no convincing: those who don’t will find this an ideal place to start. What makes Haigh so good? One reason is that he not only tells us what happened, he explains what it meant, where it fits into cricket history, of which he has a consummate grasp. Above all, he is a supreme stylist, with the ability to make one laugh out loud.’ – Simon Redfern, Independent on Sunday‘[Haigh] is the most elegant of writers whose prose is a delight to read whatever the content.10/10 – this is the best tour book we’ve read.’- cricketweb.netAvailable here:’s Bazaar FashionSophisticated, elegant and intelligent, Harper’s Bazaar Fashion is the style resource for women everywhere. Packed with invaluable style insight and practical advice, and illustrated with hundreds of fabulous photos of the world’s hottest celebrities, and beautiful original illustrations from the world’s top fashion designers, This stunningly presented gold style bible will no doubt become the must-have accessory of the season!‘bursting with tips’- Telegraph MagazineAvailable here: Hayden, Standing My Ground Matthew Hayden is one of the most commanding batsmen the game of cricket has ever seen – and one of the great enigmas. A devout Catholic and a ruthless on-field sledger. A brutal enforcer, and a soft-hearted family man. The Australian record-holder for highest score in Tests and One Day Internationals, who was at times troubled by self-doubt and doubters.In Standing My Ground Hayden confronts these contradictions head-on. He talks frankly about the forces that shaped his journey from fringe international to a giant of the game. He dissects Australia’s tactic of verbal warfare and his own role as a key aggressor, taking us on a privileged tour inside the sporting machine that dominated all corners in a golden age of Australian cricket.‘The book is not all serious analysis of the game of cricket. Hayden’s description of his first commentary stint with Geoffrey Boycott, and his confession he did not face Brett [...]

The Man Who Invented The Daleks

Thu, 12 May 2011 13:41:00 +0000

‘A tale of monsters, megalomaniacs and the golden age of British television’

In 1963, the Daleks were first introduced to British television and straight away became impressed on the nation’s consciousness. There they have remained, instantly recognisable, terrifying and delighting generation after generation. In his new biography, The Man Who Invented the Daleks, Alwyn Turner explores the often strange worlds of their creator, Terry Nation; a man whose impact on modern British culture has, until now, been relatively unexplored.

Turner not only reflects on how the Daleks became an overnight success, to be immersed in British pop culture for all time, but also reveals their inventor’s bemusement at the phenomenon he created, reflecting on tales of fan mail being addressed to simply ‘the Dalek man, London’. This biography however goes beyond the world of Dr. Who and his greatest nemesis to explore a career that influenced a great deal of the television culture we know today.

Alwyn W. Turner is the author of, amongst other titles, Crisis? What Crisis: Britain in the 1970s and Rejoice! Rejoice!: Britain in the 1980s.

‘Alwyn Turner shapes Nation's extraordinary career into a wonderfully rich account of British popular culture since the war. Carefully researched and beautifully written, his book covers everything from the early days of Doctor Who’

The Man Who Invented the Daleks is released in May 2011 and is available here:

True Whit Competition

Wed, 11 May 2011 13:39:00 +0000

Whitney Port, MTV reality star turned clothing designer, now launches her new lifestyle guide, True Whit; a personal and honest template for ‘designing a life of style, beauty, and fun’. Through a range of chapters on everything from career advice and relationship issues to fashion tips, fitness plans and even decorating ideas, Whitney shares the secrets to an independent and glamorous world.

Now, Aurum Press, in association with Lookfantastic, are offering you the chance to quiz the girl herself and receive some individual advice and ‘Whittyisms’ on any element of creating a fabulous and stylish life of your own. All you have to do is send your question to the Lookfantastic Twitter page and, on 19th May 2011, Whitney will be personally responding to a selection of submissions. For full details about the competition and how to enter, follow this link:

Whitney Port, True Whit is available to buy now:

You can see’s feature on the book here:

‘Intimate and honest, this book provides tips on everything from dating to decorating’- Heat Magazine.(image)

Spring 2011 Titles

Mon, 21 Feb 2011 12:44:00 +0000

Ashes 2011 by Gideon HaighEngland's stunning victory over Astralia in the Ahses series galvanised the nation. Now, Gideon Haigh, aclaimed as the 'finest living cricket writer', has written the first book about this remarkable sporting feat. Following each Test day by day, mixing vivid reportage with erudite wit, Haigh's chronicle is no 'instant bok' but rather a characteristically considered and memorable work.Coming: February 2011Format: Hardback, 256pp w./ 8pp colour platesPrice: £12.99The Sport of Kings, Queens and Four-Legged Athletes Edited by Martin SmithHorse racing is a massive commercial industry with a multi-million pound turnover in betting, breeding and prizemoney. But it is also a fun day out. The Sport of Kings... relives racing's greatest moments through the passion and authority of the sports pages' true thoroughbreds inclusing John Oaksey, Brough Scott and J.A. McGrath.Coming: February 2011Format: Hardback, 384pp Price: £20Mile by Mile on Britain's Railways by S.N. PikeBack in 1947 someone called S.N. Pike - we know almost nothing about him - published three pamphlets which mapped in forensic detail one of Britain's mainline rail routes. Today, Aurum reissues those three - adding a fourth in the same style - in this single volume. Full of period interst, this delightful book reminds us of what once could be seen at leisure on a long railway journey.Coming: March 2011Format: Hardback, 160pp w./ line drawings throughoutPrice: £12.99The Cheltenham Festival by Robin Oakley The Cheltenham Festival is nowadays the biggest event in the racing year in visitor numbers and 2011 marks a hundred years since the birth of the Festival. A work of both hisory and celebration, Oakley's book is a must have for both the committed festival-goer and the armchair racing fan.Coming: March 2011Format: Hardback, 304pp Price: £20Subdued Magic : Raymond Chandler a Life by Tom WilliamsA majour new biography of one of the twentieth century's most popular, influential and enduring literary figures. Tom Williams' fascinating book covers everything from Chandler's isolated upbringing to his growing alcohol problems, pointing out the origins of his prose, characters and style along the way. Coming: April 2011Format: Hardback, 400pp w./ 16pp B&W platesPrice: £20The Man Who Invented The Daleks by Alwym W. TurnerTerry Nation was one of the most successful and prolific writers for television and radio that Britain ever produced, and his most famous creations, the daleks, ensured the success of Doctor Who. This is the first serious, mainstream account of Terry Nation's life and tremendous contribution to British television.Coming: May 2011Format: Hardback, 356pp Price: £20The VW Camper Van: a biography by Mike HardingThe Volkswagen Camper van has long escaped its military origins and become the embodiment of freedom and the open road. Combining his endless curiosity flair for stand up comedy, Harding has created a wonderful social history of the postwar yearsthrough the prism of a single transport icon.Coming: April 2011Format: Hardback, 256pp Price: £16.99[...]

‘To The Last Round’ wins inaugural military history award

Thu, 02 Dec 2010 11:44:00 +0000

To The Last RoundThe Epic British Stand on the Imjin River, Korea 1951by Andrew SalmonOn the eve of Remembrance Day 2010, a book on Britain's bloodiest - but almost completely unknown - post-1945 battle won the inaugural Hampshire Libraries (Special Collections) Award for the Best Military Book of 2009 from a field of 60 key military titles.“In a list of very strong military books, this is an excellent book," said renowned broadcaster and bestselling historian Professor Richard Holmes, the patron of the award. "It well-deserves the winning award." "A neglected battle that in fact deserves to join the first rank of British military actions, To the Last Round is a book that does its subject proud," added Librarian Andrew Dalziel. "This is easily one of the best books I have read on a military subject in recent years: truly inspiring." The inaugural award is designed to highlight the three "armed services" collections - aviation, naval and military - in Hampshire Libraries. The military collection alone boasts 18, 000 titles. Salmon, a Seoul-based reporter, sent an acceptance speech filmed on the Imjn battleground, where the 1951 British positions remain fortified to this day against the North Korean threat."I'd like to thank the award panel for recognizing an unknown author writing about a forgotten war," Salmon said. "Though Korea remains the biggest, bloodiest and most brutal conflict fought by British soldiers since World War II, it is almost completely unknown in the UK; I hope this award will bring veterans some long-overdue recognition."Salmon and film makers Dan Gordon and Howard Reid are hoping to create a documentary on the book. The author is currently finalizing a prequel, Scorched Earth, Black Snow which tells the story of the Australian and British soldiers in North Korea in winter 1950, the most dramatic, but most terrible months of the war, in the words of the men who came home. It will be published by Aurum in early 2011.Richard Holmes handing the award to Sam Mercer (representing the author), a veteran of the Gloster battalion annihilated on the Imjin, and a survivor of the grim North Korean POW camps. A chance meeting with Mercer, who lost a leg and an eye in the fighting, provided Salmon with the inspiration for his book. Richard Sullivan of Osprey Publishing (the award sponsors) stands between them.Graham Eames was there on behalf of Aurum Press and Andrew Salmon [...]

Bon Voyage!

Tue, 26 Oct 2010 11:14:00 +0000


Bon Voyage!
The Telegraph Book of River and Sea Journeys
Edited by Michael Kerr

In this follow- up to the highly successful Last Call for the Dining Car, The Telegraph’s Michael Kerr has amassed the very best of the paper’s writing on journeys by water – from ocean liners, cruise ships, tramp and African river steamers, all the way to single-handed yachtsmen and canoeists tackling the Missouri.

Bon Voyage! details the last voyage of the QE2 and the first of the biggest cruise liner ever built. There is an account of the 1936 launching of the Queen Mary in front of 150,000 onlookers on the Clyde. It features no less than Henry Stanley, writing exclusively for the Telegraph in the nineteenth century about his epic African journey down the Congo.

Also included are pieces about Bombay’s insanely crowded commuter ferries, Francis Chichester rounding Cape Horn, and a couple who tried to sail their amphibious Volkswagen Beetle around the world but only got as far as the North Sea. Anyone who enjoys reading Gavin Young, Eric Newby or Jonathan Raban’s travel writing will love this book.

Michael Kerr is Deputy Travel Editor of the Daily Telegraph. He lives in Surrey.

Bon Voyage! The Telegraph Book of River and Sea Journeys is avaiable to purchase here.

New Gavin Stamp Book Released

Tue, 26 Oct 2010 09:09:00 +0000

(image) Lost Victorian Britain
A Vanished World of Nineteenth-Century Architecture
Gavin Stamp

"This is a book which no member of the Victorian Society should be without" The Victorian

"This is an important book. It tells the story of the loss of so much grace and beauty in the English architectural landscape. It should be on the desk of every architect and every town planner.” The Northern Echo

Aurum’s series of large-format, lavishly-illustrated architecture titles has in recent years hit a rich seam with its chronicles of lost architecture. The books cover the magnificent and grand buildings from previous centuries that for a variety of reasons – but above all cavalier demolition by twentieth-century planners devoted to the cause of modernism – are now no more, and exist only in heartbreakingly poignant photographs. Gavin Stamp’s own Britain’s Lost Cities was the most recent.

Now, Stamp follows with another superb book, chronicling an astonishing and depressing array of the finest Victorian architecture – all sacrificed to the wrecking ball. From public baths to hotels, town houses, factories and banks; photographs are all we have left. Gavin Stamp’s indignant and scholarly text looks back at the circumstances of their loss, and analyses the twentieth-century mindset that could hold so many magnificent buildings in such little regard.

Gavin Stamp is one of Britain’s most eminent architectural historians and writers. His other books for Aurum are Lutyens Houses and the acclaimed Britain’s Lost Cities. For many years he was Chairman of the Twentieth Century Society.

Lost Victorian Britain is available to purchase here.

New Release

Mon, 25 Oct 2010 16:03:00 +0000


The Classical Country House
From the Archives of Country Life
David Watkin

The Classical Country House takes a fresh, innovative look at the traditional British country house, revealing the major influence of Classicism from the seventeenth century to the present day.

Written in five parts, the book first examines the birth of English Classicism, then the flowering of Classical design, before recounting how eighteenth-century austerity gave way to the richer styles of the nineteenth century’s Italian Renaissance Revival. The final chapters look to the last century and beyond, and at how the Classical language of design is expressed in houses as diverse as Nashdom, Gledstone and the British Embassy in Washington D.C.

David Watkin has selected over 150 of the finest images from the Country Life archive to illustrate an incisive study of twenty-six important houses and their architects in what is a major addition to architectural history.

David Watkin is an Emeritus Fellow of Peterhouse and Emeritus Professor of the History of Architecture at the University of Cambridge. He is the author of over twenty books, including Morality and Architecture, A History of Western Architecture, and Roman Forum. He is a leading authority on Classicism and its successive renewals.

The Classical Country House is available to purchase here.

BBC VFX Book Released

Mon, 25 Oct 2010 15:24:00 +0000

(image) BBC VFX
The History of the BBC Visual Effects Department

By Mat Irvine and Mike Tucker

• The definitive history of the world’s first, largest and longest-running dedicated TV effects department.

• Covers fifty classic BBC shows in every genre.

• Series featured include Doctor Who, Blake's 7, Monty Python, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, The Goodies, Are You Being Served and many more.

• Filled with anecdotes and insights into how the effects were created.

• Illustrated throughout with fascinating production photos and sketches, most of which have never been published.

The BBC Visual Effects Department closed its doors in 2003. For almost fifty years it had been responsible for some of television’s most iconic images – from exploding newsreaders on Monty Python’s Flying Circus to Blake’s 7’s majestic Liberator sailing through outer space.

Using interviews with the effects designers, together with concept drawings, production photographs and stills from completed programmes, this book tells the story of the VFX Department and celebrates the work of a group of craftsmen who lived by the mantra, ‘If it can be imagined, it can be made…’

Working largely before the age of CGI, the Department was responsible for every kind of visual effect, from physical effects such as rain and explosions, to miniatures and models, to sculpture and animatronics.

Filled with fascinating insights, wonderful stories and numerous photographs and artworks which have never been published, this is an essential book for FX fans and anyone who loves television

Mat Irvine and Mike Tucker worked for many years in the BBC Visual Effects Department. Mat left the BBC in 1993 and has been pursuing other projects as writer, producer and director. Mike now runs The Model Unit at Ealing Studios. Both, individually, are writers, Mat having written twelve books on scientific and hobby subjects while Mike is the author of several original novels and Doctor Who novelisations.

BBC VFX: The History of the BBC Visual Effects Department is available to purchase here

Breakfast at Tiffany’s

Mon, 25 Oct 2010 15:07:00 +0000

Fifth Avenue, 5.A.M.
Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s

by Sam Wasson

‘A brilliant chronicle of the creation of Breakfast at Tiffany's… This is a memorable achievement’
Peter Bogdanovich

‘A sparkling time capsule of old Hollywood magic and mythmaking… as infectious as Mancini’s score’

Before Breakfast at Tiffany’s Audrey Hepburn was still a little-known actress with few film roles to speak of; after it – indeed, because of it - she was one of the world’s most famous fashion, style and screen icons. Truman Capote’s original novel is itself a modern classic, its high-living author of perennial interest.

Now, this little book - the first about Audrey Hepburn’s greatest screen role - tells the story of how it all happened: how Audrey got the role (for which at first she wasn't considered, and which she at first didn’t want); how long it took to get the script right; how she came to wear the little black dress; and how Henry Mancini’s soundtrack with its memorable signature tune ‘Moon River’ completed the irresistible package.

Sam Wasson is also the author of a biography of Blake Edwards.

Fifth Avenue, 5.A.M. Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany's is available to purchase here.

Exciting New Release

Mon, 25 Oct 2010 14:53:00 +0000

(image) Leonard Rossiter:
Character Driven

The Untold Story of a Comic Genius

Affectionate, honest and long overdue, Character Driven is the first biography of one of Britain’s greatest, but least-known character actors. Whether playing seedy landlord Rupert Rigsby in Rising Damp or frustrated suburban dreamer Reggie Perrin, Rossiter’s performances were iconic and utterly memorable. Like Peter Sellers or Ronnie Barker, his characters loom larger in our national consciousness than the actor who played them. Until now, Rossiter himself has remained a mystery.

Via exhaustive research and in-depth interviews with those who knew and worked with Rossiter, Guy Adams reveals the man behind the threadbare cardigan and manic grimace.

Leonard Rossiter: Character Driven will finally shed light on the personality of one of the greatest comic actors of the twentieth century, and reveal why he was able to give such epoch-defining performances.

Guy Adams worked as an actor for twelve years before becoming a writer, specialising in TV and entertainment. He is the author of the official guide to Life on Mars and the bestselling humour book based on the series, The Rules of Modern Policing: 1973 Edition. He also wrote the Torchwood novel The House That Jack Built.

Leonard Rossiter: Character Driven is available to purchase here.

I Could Go On...Unpublished Letters to The Daily Telegraph released

Wed, 20 Oct 2010 09:05:00 +0000

(image) • The follow up to last Christmas’ Best Seller AM I ALONE IN THINKING..?

• Another hilarious collection of letters

• Over 70,000 copies sold of its predecessor

• #1 Independent bookshops’ Christmas bestseller

'SIR – My first thought on seeing your headline, "Pupils to be taught about sex at seven" was "What, in the morning?"'

‘SIR- If anyone is unsure or not to vote for David Milliband, I would draw their attention to the photo of him in The Daily Telegraph wearing a two-buttoned suit with both buttons done up.’

'SIR – Having seen some pictures of Tiger Woods’ acquaintances, I’m thinking of taking up golf.'

In 2009 a small volume of unpublished letters to The Daily Telegraph, Am I Alone in Thinking….? captured the public imagination and became a Christmas bestseller. But to those who compile the newspaper’s daily Letters page the book’s huge appeal was no surprise. While they can publish no more than 20 letters each day, another 600 will have gone to waste and for every serious contribution there are many more that are simply very funny, and, alas, there’s never enough room to include them all.

Here then is the eagerly-awaited sequel chronicling yet another year through the whimsical preoccupations and hobbyhorses of the Telegraph’s wonderfully waggish readers. Chris Evans’ supplanting of Sir Terry Wogan on Radio 2; Tiger Woods’ peccadilloes; Gordon Brown’s long farewell – such are among the issues that exercised 2010 epistolarians.

Iain Hollingshead was deputy Letters editor of the Daily Telegraph and is now one of the paper's feature writers. He lives in London.

I Could Go On... is available to purchase online here.

Excitement Surrounds the Launch of New Star Wars Book.

Tue, 19 Oct 2010 10:06:00 +0000

(image) Excitement has surrounded the launch of J.W.Rinzler’s new book, The Making Of: The Empire Strikes Back. For months, fan websites and blogs have been ablaze with activity as Star Wars fans and cinephiles across the world eagerly anticipated the sequel to Rinzler’s critically acclaimed The Making Of: Star Wars. Fortunately, they have not been disappointed. With its exclusive access to the Lucasfilm archives, The Making Of: The Empire Strikes Back offers a treasure trove of never-before published photos, design sketches, paintings, production notes, interviews, anecdotes, and scripts, to offer a complete behind-the-scenes look at the production of an iconic film.

On Saturday fans celebrated the launch of The Making Of: The Empire Strikes Back at Bristol’s Forbidden Planet with an Empire Strikes Back themed extravaganza. Complete with costumes and lightsabers, fans from all generations enjoyed celebrating both the movie and the launch of this highly anticipated book. Similar celebrations have been planned at Southampton’s Forbidden Planet for this Saturday (23/10/10).


The Making of The Empire Strikes Back is available to buy online here.

Exciting New Release

Mon, 18 Oct 2010 14:58:00 +0000

The Making of The Empire Strikes Back
J.W. Rinzler
Foreword by Ridley Scott

An exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the making of arguably the greatest and most cherished of all the Star Wars films, the most important motion picture sequel of all-time, and a movie that changed pop culture forever: Star Wars: Episode V- The Empire Strikes Back.

J.W. Rinzler, author of the acclaimed The Making of Star Wars, once again uses his unprecedented access to the Lucasfilm archives, and their treasure trove of never-before published photos, design sketches, paintings, production notes, interviews, anecdotes, and scripts, to take us back thirty years to relive the entire production process for one of the most anticipated movies ever produced- along the way unveiling stories as entertaining, enthralling and mind-boggling as the film itself.

As a longstanding member of the Lucasfilm staff, J.W. Rinzler has enjoyed unparalleled co-operation and support from the original moviemakers, including both George Lucas and veteran director Irvin Keshner. The result is a truly definitive account that is destined to become a must-have for all true Star Wars fans and serious cinephiles.

Johnathan Rinzler is a New York Times bestselling author and longtime editor at Lucasfilm Publishing.

It’s not often we come across jobs we’re envious of, but JW Rinzler’s role as official chronicler of LucasArts films sends us into fits of jealousy. As with his Star Wars and Indiana Jones books, this is an immaculately presented trawl through the dustiest recesses of the Skywalker Ranch activities, packed with unseen concept art, on-set pictures and hours of interviews recorded in 1980 (but never used) that capture the uncertainty about the film that plagued the set. Unendingly fascinating.” The Shortlist

The Making of The Empire Strikes Back is available to buy online here.

Playing to Win Released in Paperback

Tue, 14 Sep 2010 15:06:00 +0000

(image) ‘A bona fide football man…Whelan should be celebrated’ The Independent

Few figures in British business or sport have enjoyed Dave Whelan’s success. As a footballer he played in all four divisions. As a businessman he created one the country’s leading high street brands. And as chairman of Wigan Athletic he’s taken his club all the way from the Third Division to the Premiership.

Dave’s story is one of ambition, enterprise and tenacity – but also of a fierce loyalty. It begins in wartime Wigan with the Whelans’ desperate struggle to survive. Dave describes the terrifying wasp-like hum of the Luftwaffe; he remembers the deathly winter of 1942, peeing on his hands to stop his fingers from freezing; admits how hunger drove ordinary families to lie, cheat and steal; and relives a remarkable reunion with the father he’d never known – a returning soldier.

In peacetime a boyhood love affair with football leads him to sign with Blackburn Rovers and when national service calls he joins the Army football team, becoming close friends with ‘Busby Babes’ Bobby Charlton and Duncan Edwards.

Then, a vicious tackle in the 1960 FA Cup final spells the twilight of his playing career – but a new dawn in business. Starting as a market trader, he breaks the mould from day one: taking on Boots single-handedly in the Appeal Court; negotiating the sale of his supermarket chain to Ken Morrison – whilst stood at a urinal; and transforming a single tackle shop in Wigan into JJB Sports, the UK’s biggest sports retailer and a £1 billion PLC.

In 1995 he used his personal fortune to buy struggling, hometown Wigan Athletic, vowing to take the Latics all the way to the Premier League. At the time he was ridiculed, but ten years later, on the final day of the Championship, Dave watched, ecstatic, as his club beat Reading 3-1 to finally secure their place.

Sometimes tragic, frequently controversial and always heartfelt, Playing to Win lifts the lid on a life lived on the pitch and in the boardroom and tells how a hungry kid from Wigan’s backstreets became a national success and a local hero. Whelan's story was a great success in hardback, turning him into a local hero and now with the new release in paperback, Playing to Win offers football fans and general readers another chance to catch this engaging read.

Dave Whelan was the founder of retailer JJB Sports and is the chairman of Wigan Athletic Football Club. All the author’s profits will go to the new Wigan Boys and Girls Club

Playing to Win is available to buy in paperback now in local bookstores and online via the following link:

More Great New Releases

Tue, 14 Sep 2010 11:40:00 +0000

Bordeaux has long symbolised the peak of prestige for French wine. Yet despite its outstanding reputation, the region has remained relatively closed to consumers, as forbidding as the highest château gates or the most tannic of its young wines. However, in this highly approachable, beautifully illustrated guide, Master of Wine James Lawther draws on his insider’s knowledge to open up Bordeaux.

He has identified the 90 producers with the finest wines and the most interesting stories to tell, taking us inside their châteaux and offering intimate portraits of both the properties and the people who shape this fascinating region. Lawther uses language but also over 100 original colour photographs; beautifully designed maps; flap page-markers and silk ribbon to weave these hidden stories.

Published in conjunction with The World of Fine Wine Magazine, current holder of the coveted Gourmand award for The World’s Best Wine Magazine, this guide, the third in the acclaimed Finest Wines series, from Hugh Johnson’s award-winning team, brings the region to life more vividly than ever before.

The Finest Wines of Bordeaux is authoritative, bang up-to-date, and full of actionable information making it required reading for all wine lovers and the perfect present!

James Lawther MW passed the Master of Wine examination in 1993. He has been based in Bordeaux for the past 15 years, making the region his speciality and tasting widely. He is a contributing editor of Decanter magazine, a contributor to The World of Fine Wine, and author of The Heart of Bordeaux.

The Finest Wines of Bordeaux is available to pre-order now on

More Great New Releases

Tue, 14 Sep 2010 10:39:00 +0000

(image) Admirers called it God’s Wonderful Railway' and detractors knew it as the 'Great Way Round' - but 175 years after its foundation, the Great Western Railway company is remembered with the most affection of any of Britain's great railways.

Published as part of the GWR's 175th anniversary - this new book by Andrew Roden is the first one-volume history of the railway in over 20 years.

It built and ran the great main line from London to the West Country and Cornwall and was engineered by the legendary Isambard Kingdom Brunel, who built wonders including Box Tunnel and the Saltash Bridge. Its locomotives were designed by great men like Gooch, Churchward and Collett and were complemented by stations from the soaring Paddington and Bristol Temple Meads to those idyllic country byways with little more than a pagoda shelter and a couple of milk churns awaiting collection. With its burnished green engines, chocolate and cream carriages, the 'Cornish Riviera' and that fabulous stretch of railway at Dawlish, the Great Western Railway has passed into legend.

In this celebratory book, railway journalist Andrew Roden offers a comprehensive insight into this remarkable railway's history but also reveals why all of us owe this great company a huge debt of thanks. A thrilling read, Great Western Railway will satisfy not only railway enthusiasts but the casual reader alike.

Great Western Railway is out now and is available to buy in local bookstores and online at