Autobiography/Bio/Non-Fiction

//Autobiography/Bio/Non-Fiction
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  • In the 1890s, when a woman's role was seen as marrying well and raising a family, Daisy Bates reinvented herself from humble governess to heiress, traveller and 'woman of science'. She would become one of the best-known and most controversial ethnologists in history, and one of the first people to put Aboriginal culture on the map. Born into tough circumstances, Daisy's prospects were dim; her father an alcoholic boot-maker, her mother dying of consumption when Daisy was only four years old. Through sheer strength of will, young Daisy overcame her miserable start and in 1883 she migrated to Australia with a boatload of orphans, passing herself off as an heiress who taught 'for fun'. Marriage followed - first with the young Breaker Morant, then bigamously with two other husbands. For decades she led a double life. But who was the real Daisy Bates? While other biographies have presented her as a saint, historian Susanna de Vries gives readers a more complex portrait of the 'Queen of the Never Never'.
  • F.J. Thwaites, well-known Australian novelist, took ship with his wife and son from Newcastle-on-Tyne to Oslo for an exhilarating tour through Norway, Sweden, Denmakr, Germany, France  and Switzerland:  Destintation Spain! Lured there by the low cost of living: '...live like a lord for less than £10 a week...a tourist's paradise...' The reader becomes a fourth passenger in a Hillman Estate car as it hurtles across Europe; see behind the scenes at a bullfight; saunter through the fabulous Alhambra and see castles, villages and monasteries from the medieval period. Illustrated with black and white photographs.
  • After their around the world trip in 2004, Ewan and Charley, inspired by their UNICEF visit to Africa, knew they had to return and experience this fantastic continent in more depth. And so began their 15,000 mile adventure, experiencing some of the toughest terrain, the most spectacular scenery, extreme temperatures and meeting some of the friendliest people. It was their hardest challenge to date - but their trademark humour and honesty, as always,  made for a magical and wonder-filled journey. Illustrated with colour photographs.
  • Originally published in 1883, La Meslee saw what Australian and English eyes missed or merely took for granted about the new colony. Melbourne Cup Day; a politician's maiden speech; a coach journey along what is now the Hume Highway; the meeting of two French Counts in Townsville - all these events and more are brought to life again, presenting a fascinating picture of a developing society full of vitality and brash self-confidence. Illustrated with beautiful black and white sketches.

  • Catherine was a powerful and fascinating woman and, with Peter the Great, is celebrated as one of the founders of the Russian state.  She is also remembered for her astounding procession of lovers, her dangerously autocratic temperament, her extravagance - as well as the deposing (and possibly disposing) of her own husband, Tsar Peter III. She came from a minor German family, thrown into one of the most treacherous and brutal courts of Europe - and deliberately became more Russian than Russian in order to successfully fight her way to the top.
  • Mayada was born into a powerful Iraqi family.  When Saddam Hussein and his Ba'ath party seized power, the devastation on her life made her a divorced mother of two alone in Baghdad, earning a meagre living printing brochures - until one morning, in 1999, she was arrested by Saddam's Secret Police and taken to the notorious Baladiyat Prison, accused of producing anti-government propaganda.  She and seventeen other women were imprisoned, tortured without trial and threatened with execution. Illustrated with black and white photographs.
  • The biography of Arthur Upfield, creator of the famous 'Bony' detective stories. Here is Upfield's own story, the author of those remarkable murder mysteries set in odd corners of Australia and featuring the Aboriginal sleuth named 'Bony' - a detailed 'dossier' compiled with the cheerful candour of the subject himself. An Englishman by birth, Arthur Upfield tried his luck in Australia. After a short spell as a waiter in Adelaide, Upfield felt drawn towards the Interior where he became a boundary-rider, offside-driver, cattle-drover, opal-gouger, rabbit-trapper, vermin fence patroller and manager of a camel station, drifting through the strange terrains and unusual company which were later to become the subject of his novels. He also tells how he unwittingly provided a real outback murderer with a 'fool-proof' method of disposing of a body, and who was the original on whom the character of 'Bony' was based. With a  forward by 'Detective Inspector Napoleon Bonaparte'. Illustrated with black and white photographs.
  • Russell started his newspaper career with the Newcastle Chronicle before joining the Daily Express when it was launched by Arthur Pearson in 1900. He eventually moved to the Reuters News Agency where he became a special foreign correspondent. After covering the Gallipoli campaign he became on of the five journalists selected by the government to report the war on the Western Front. Over 1921 and 1922 he accompanied the Prince of Wales, the future Edward VIII, on a tour of Japan and India, writing during the course of the journey, which was, 'by no means conducive to quiet composition...'  Illustrated with black and white archival photographs.
  • Kenneth Williams, star of stage, radio and Carry On, gives us, 'A Year in the Life Of...': in which he has trouble with the installation of a new 'loo, catches a cold, travels to Australia and has a wonderful time, investigates a novelty window washing device and gets into trouble over his interpretation of a recipe for gooseberry cup.  Laurence Olivier, playwright Alan Bennett, Bill Kerr, Maggie Smith and even the ubiquitous Maudie 'Fun With A Frankfurter' Fittleworth make appearances, as well as many others.