Autobiography/Bio/Non-Fiction

//Autobiography/Bio/Non-Fiction
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  • Somerset Maugham -  husband, father, bi-sexual; homosexual; playwright, author, thorough-going agnostic and - spy, recruited to the network of British agents who operated against the Berlin Committee during World War 1. Published in 1937, the aim of this book - which, according to the author, makes no attempt to be biographical in the strict sense - is to trace the developments of Maugham's style, technique and choice of subject matter in his novels, plays and short stories. There is also speculation of the the thought and philosophy of which Maugham's work is his eloquent expression.
  • William Swann was the foundation  headmaster of Naremburn Public School in 1887, having  previously served as headmaster of Bowning Public School from 1877 to 1880 and had then been in charge of several challenging country schools, where he had displayed his ability to cope with the many difficulties that beset such appointments. He married Elizabeth Devlin in 1870. In 1903, having a family of eleven children to house, he purchased the derelict MacArthur family's property, Elizabeth Farm House that stood on almost 6 acres of land at Parramatta. Deemed valueless due to the condition of the House, Swann knew he could restore it - and did so. He died in 1909 aged 72, but   the future of Elizabeth Farm House was assured. Elizabeth survived him by 31 years and the women of the family continued to maintain the house, keenly aware of its historical significance. It was finally sold to Parramatta Museum Trust in 1968 and was acquired by The Historical Houses Trust of New South Wales in 1984. Booklet, 16 pages with photographs.
  • On May 27, 1940, Wing-Commander Basil Embry (later Air Chief Marshal and Commander, Allied Air Forces in Central Europe 1953-56), although appointed to a higher command, decided to lead his old squadron into battle for the last time. Within the hour he was shot down in France and found himself alone, unarmed and in uniform. Capture was inevitable. He was, in fact, captured three times: on one occasion breaking from a column of prisoners under the muzzle of a German machine-gun and on another fighting his way out, killing three Germans with a stolen rifle and then hiding in a manure heap for nearly six hours. The most amazing of all of Embry's exploits was the occasion on which, in the role of a fanatical member of the Irish Republican Army, he shook his fist under the nose of a German inquisitor, yelling hatred and abuse of Britain until his captors finally turned him loose to find his own way home - which, by sheer courage and wit, he did, to fight and fly again. He was awarded the D.S.O. and three bars; and the D.F.C.
  • The period of persecution and execution of so-called witches is a venomous chapter of Western civilisation.  The hunt extended from the Middle Ages into the early modern era, and from the Old World to the New.  Although efforts have been made to understand this hysterical mass murder, many disturbing aspects are still shrouded in mystery.  The participation of small children and adolescents, whether as the accused or as accusers, is crucial.  Dr. Sebald examines a number of historic witch trials, including the infamous events at Salem, in England, Sweden, Austria and Germany.
  • The story of the greatest exploratory expedition ever performed in Man's history. It started in Melbourne; a convoy of sixteen men, twenty-four camels, innumerable pack-horses and a number of wagons carrying 20 tons of supplies. It ended with two exhausted, near-starving men, the leader and his second in command, deep in an impenetrable mangrove swamp on the edge of the Gulf of Carpentaria. Then began the long return trek, through swamp and desert, tormented by thirst and near starvation that reduced them to eating snakes and rats.   Illustrated with sketches and 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.
  • Many have lived through what Eugenia Ginzberg (1906 - 1977) survived, yet very few can narrate it and fewer still could write about. Eugenia survived - physically, morally and spiritually - Kolyma in Siberia, the worst province of Stalin's empire after being falsely accused of terrorism in 1937. She spent two years in the infamous Lefortovo and Butyrka prisons in Moscow before being transported via prison train and cargo hold to Magadan to work in a camp hospital and thence to Kolyma.   She was repeatedly snatched from extinction by assignments to inside work - in hospitals, nurseries, kitchens, farms - all of which, with their hapless inmates and all-powerful supervisors, she describes in vivid detail,   never losing interest in her interest in  human nature or her skills at observation. In this grim place, she met her future husband - Anton Walter, a German Catholic homeopathic physician - and convicts were not permitted to form 'attachments'.  She would spend 18 years in exile...
  • The colourful and exciting story of Australian aviation and the men who chanced their lives in the primitive 'box kites' and gliders that were literally made from wood, wire and fabric. Thanks to these men, it was not long before Australia was brought nearer to the rest of the world by spanning oceans and continents.  With fabulous archival photographs.
  • With biting humour, the irrepressible Hugh Lunn recounts his 17 years before the masthead on the Australian as  Rupert Murdoch's 'foreign correspondent' in Queensland. Hugh is Clark Kent - but never Superman - as he battle editors, colleagues and executives in News Corpoation's most remote and exotic outpost of world empire. And constantly hovering over Hugh's life is Rupert...every now and then, when he's least expected, dropping in for his 'terror from the sky' visits. From close quarters in 70s and 80s, Hugh observes the rise and rise of Rupert Murdoch and by way of contrast recounts his own roller-coaster career. On this wild ride, Hugh gets sacked, hired, sacked and hired again by a cast of editors who come and go like nappies on a baby. Australians know and love Hugh: they knew he went Over The Top With Jim and fell Head Over Heels for Sallyanne. And of course every Australian knows Rupert Murdoch - and here's what happens when two wildy disparate Australians come face to face. Illustrated with black and white photographs.