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In The Pursuit of Love, Mitford explored shellshock, abuse and xenophobia ... but in a funny way, says director Emily Mortimer
Jesus, Mary, Joseph and the wee donkey … does Sunday night television need another costume drama about posh English folk who live in a big house somewhere in the countryside?
The producers of BBC One’s The Pursuit of Love would unhesitatingly say yes. But Emily Mortimer, the actor who has adapted the Nancy Mitford novel and directed the three-part series, admits she asked herself the same thing.Continue reading...
Revealed: EU chief negotiator’s diaries, The Great Illusion, give blow-by-blow account of moves behind UK’s departure
Britain’s post-Brexit future was determined by “the quarrels, low blows, multiple betrayals and thwarted ambitions of a certain number of Tory MPs”, the EU’s chief negotiator has said in his long-awaited diaries.
The UK’s early problem, writes Michel Barnier in The Great Illusion, his 500-page account, was that they began by “talking to themselves. And they underestimate the legal complexity of this divorce, and many of its consequences.”Continue reading...
Duchess of Sussex draws on her life with Prince Harry and son Archie in picture book debut The Bench, published next month
The Duchess of Sussex has written her first children’s book, to be published next month and inspired by Prince Harry and their son Archie.
In a statement Meghan said The Bench, set for release on 8 June, explores the “special bond between father and son as seen through a mother’s eyes”. The story has pictures by the award-winning illustrator Christian Robinson and will be published by Penguin Random House. Meghan will also narrate the audiobook edition.Continue reading...
Gordon McCulloch’s 101 Poems becomes a hit on Amazon after his granddaughter asked her followers to take a look at the book
A self-published poetry anthology by a 92-year-old Scottish grandfather was outselling Amanda Gorman and Rupi Kaur on Amazon in the UK last week, after his granddaughter appealed to readers for reviews.
Gordon McCulloch self-published his collection, 101 Poems, on 24 March. Covering “a wide range of topics such as love, romance, relationships, religion, prayers, the meaning of life, death and our relationship with God”, it has become a surprise bestseller, last week topping the poetry anthology charts for Amazon in the UK, where it has received more than 1,000 five-star reviews. At time of publication, it is sitting at No 14 on Amazon’s UK poetry charts and No 8 in the US.Continue reading...
Watchmen and V for Vendetta writer lands six-figure deal for fantasy quintet Long London and short story collection
Two years after announcing that he had retired from comics, Alan Moore, the illustrious author of Watchmen and V for Vendetta, has signed a six-figure deal for a “groundbreaking” five-volume fantasy series as well as a “momentous” collection of short stories.
Bloomsbury, home to the Harry Potter novels, acquired what it described as two “major” projects from the 67-year-old. The first, Illuminations, is a short story collection which will be published in autumn 2022 and which moves from the four horsemen of the apocalypse to the “Boltzmann brains” fashioning the universe. Bloomsbury said it was “dazzlingly original and brimming with energy”, promising a series of “beguiling and elegantly crafted tales that reveal the full power of imagination and magic”.Continue reading...
Ivor Gurney’s writings from an asylum were ignored. But a new study reveals their genius
While he was locked up in an asylum, the great war poet and composer Ivor Gurney wrote hundreds of songs and poems that have never been seen or heard in public.
Dismissed as “too crazy” to publish during his lifetime, they reveal a startling new side to Gurney’s genius, according to a new biography of the poet, Dweller in Shadows – A Life of Ivor Gurney by Dr Kate Kennedy, that comprehensively considers his unpublished work for the first time.Continue reading...
Works inspired by messages from staff, volunteers and jab recipients will go on display at the Francis Crick Institute in London
Throughout the pandemic, the Francis Crick Institute in London has been closely involved: first with the research, and then with the fightback, once it had opened as a key vaccination hub. But from this weekend, the renowned biomedical research facility, the base of Nobel prize-winning geneticist Sir Paul Nurse, will also become the venue for a major poetic response to Covid-19.
Staff, volunteers and neighbours, along with those just coming to the institute for their jab, have all been invited to write words that capture their feelings about the disease and the role of science. These messages, written on postcards, have been used as the inspiration for a series of poems that will be arranged in a large rainbow display.
Placing a drop of hope
Into this bitter ocean of fear and pain
It is your single drop
That will turn it sweetly salt again.
New evidence shows miniature long held to be of Catherine Howard could depict Henry’s fourth wife, Anne of Cleves
Created in around 1540 by Hans Holbein, court painter to Henry VIII and one of the greatest portraitists of all time, the miniature is a prized treasure in the Royal Collection. But the sitter is unknown, with the artefact long catalogued merely as “Portrait of a Lady, perhaps Catherine Howard”, Henry VIII’s fifth queen.
Now, as a result of fresh research, she has been given a new identity: that of Anne of Cleves, Henry VIII’s fourth wife. Art historian Franny Moyle has amassed evidence to show that this is the face of the noblewoman whom the king married in 1540 to form a political alliance.Continue reading...
TV series finale coincides with true crime book launch about notoriously corrupt DS Derek Ridgewell
As Line of Duty completes its sixth and possibly final series, just how close to reality was it?
As it happens, the end of the run coincides with the publication of Rot at the Core, an in-depth investigation into the life and times of one of Britain’s most spectacularly corrupt police officers, whose career ended in disgrace before his death in a prison cell.
Rot at the Core, by Graham Satchwell and Winston Trew, is published by the History Press on 3 MayContinue reading...