Autobiography/Bio/Non-Fiction

//Autobiography/Bio/Non-Fiction
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  • An authoritative  survey and analysis of Asimov's science fiction, offering a unique insight into the themes, stories, characters and settings that have enthralled millions of fans for over thirty years.  Every aspect of Asimov's works is investigated, from the very early shorts, through the Robot series, the Foundation series and the Lucky Starr novels, right up to and including the Gods Themselves.
  • How We Reached And Climbed A Volcano At The Ends Of The Earth. On November 5, 1964 the schooner Patanela left Sydney to sail 4,000 miles to Heard Island on the fringe on Antarctica.  Thre had been expeditions here before, but none had succeeded in conquering Mawson Peak, the highest point of the island's volcano, Big Ben.  This was the mission of the crew.  This was also the first privately sponsored expedition to leave Australia in just such a venture since 1930. Illustrated with black and white photographs.
  • A second volume of letters to that august, imposing publication, The Times from the early 1900s up until the 1980s - not only from the man in the street,  but from luminaries such as Evelyn Waugh (earning an honest dollar); Sir Thomas Beecham (on tempo, naturally);  Agatha Christie (on Shakespeare); Joyce Grenfell ('glamouramas') Robert Graves, author of I, CLaudius (on the bliss of being ignored) and so many more.  Other topics that have stirred a letter to The Times: trouser turn-ups; the origin of marmalade; the whereabouts of Ruritania; hygiene and the Communion cup; top hats; how to get a message to an express train (pre-mobile phone days...); Oliver Cromwell's head; the sinking of the Titanic and perfect manners.  Great for the social historian - or just for fun.
  • The Mongol queens of the thirteenth century ruled the largest empire the world has ever known. Yet sometime near the end of the century, censors cut a section from "The Secret History of the Mongols, " leaving a single tantalizing quote from Genghis Khan: Let us reward our female offspring. Only this hint of a father's legacy for his daughters remained of a much larger story. The queens of the Silk Route turned their father's conquests into the world's first truly international empire, fostering trade, education, and religion throughout their territories and creating an economic system that stretched from the Pacific to the Mediterranean. Outlandish stories of these powerful queens trickled out of the Empire, shocking the citizens of Europe and and the Islamic world. After Genghis Khan's death in 1227, conflicts erupted between his daughters and his daughters-in-law; what began as a war between powerful women soon became a war against women in power as brother turned against sister, son against mother. One of the most important warrior queens of history arose to rescue the tattered shreds of the Mongol Empire and restore order to a shattered world. Queen Mandhuhai led her soldiers through victory after victory. In her thirties she married a seventeen-year-old prince and bore eight children throughout a career spent fighting China's Ming Dynasty on one side and a series of Muslim warlords on the other. Her unprecedented success on the battlefield provoked the Chinese into the most frantic and expensive phase of wall building in history. Charging into battle even while pregnant, she fought to reassemble the nation of Genghis Khan and to preserve it for her own children to rule in peace. Despite the efforts to erase them from history, the Mongol queens live on.
  • Guiseppe Balsamo was born in the mid-eighteenth century in the slums of Palermo, Sicily. He would rise from obscurity to become the legendary Count Alessandro di Cagliostro, whose dangerous charm and reputed healing would make him the darling - and bane - of upper-crust Europe. Moving through the period between the Age of Enlightenment and the French Revolution - a time when reason and superstition co-mingled in the minds of even the best educated - Cagliostro earned a reputation for dazzling kings, feeding the poor, healing the ill and - most conspicuously - relieving the careless rich of their money. He was involved with major figures in Europe at that time:  Casanova, Mozart, Goethe and Catherine the Great just to name a few. Eventually a lifetime of political intrigue led him to become the key figure in The Diamond Necklace Affair, which many believe precipitated the French Revolution itself and which would lead to his imprisonment by Louis XVI. Also the leader of an exotic brand of Freemasonry, Count Cagliostro was indisputably one of the most influential and notorious figures of the latter eighteenth century, overcoming poverty and an ignoble birth to become the darling - and bane - of  noble society. Yet in London, Warsaw, and St. Petersburg, he established "healing clinics" for the poorest of the poor, and his dexterity in the worlds of alchemy and spiritualism won him acclaim among the European nobility.
  • This book about the disaster of A.D. 79 is concerned with the impact of Pompeii's rediscovery as well as an introduction to the various excavated sites for those new to this vast and ancient Roman time capsule. Not only Pompeii is of interest here - Herculaneum and other small towns nearby that were overwhelmed in the catastrophe are also covered. Illustrated with beautiful colour and black and white artistic  representations of ancient Roman life inspired by the rediscovery in 1748 as well as photographs of perfectly preserved artifacts.
  • A profoundly original and thought-provoking book - a critical appraisal of the evolution of science fiction and the part it plays in society today.  Intelligent and highly credible, a glimpse of a future in which science fiction has become science fact.
  • In Victorian England there was only one fail-safe authority on matters ranging from fashion to puddings to scullery maids: Beeton’s Book of Household Management. This biography pulls back the lace curtains to reveal the woman behind the book - Mrs. Beeton, the first domestic diva of the modern age - and explores the life of the book itself. Isabella Beeton was a twenty-one-year-old newlywed with only six months’ experience running her own home when - coaxed by her husband, a struggling publisher - she began to compile her own book of recipes and domestic advice in a day and age when such books where very few and far between. The aspiring mother hardly suspected that her name would become synonymous with housewifery for generations.  Nor would the women who turned to the book for guidance ever have guessed that its author lived in a simple house in the suburbs with a single maid-of-all-work instead of presiding over a well-run estate. Isabella would die at twenty-eight, shortly after the book's publication, never knowing the extent of her legacy. As her survivors faced bankruptcy, sexual scandal and a bitter family feud that lasted more than a century, Mrs. Beeton’s book became an institution. For an exploding population of the newly affluent, it prescribed not only how to cook and clean but ways to cope with the constant social flux of the emerging consumer culture: how to plan a party for ten, whip up a hair pomade or calculate how much money was needed to permit the hiring of a footman. This is also a vivid picture of Victorian home life and its attendant anxieties, nostalgia, and aspirations - not so different from modern life today.
  • The Australian wool industry has, in large measure, shaped Australian society, the economy and politics. But how important will wool be in coming decades? This is a collection of appraisal, forecast and discussion from experts in the wool industry; from botanists to economists and ecologists to historians.  Illustrated.