Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Bon Voyage!

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

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.

Monday, October 25, 2010

New Release

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

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

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

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.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

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Unpublished Letters to The Daily Telegraph released

• 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.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Excitement Surrounds the Launch of New Star Wars Book.

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.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Exciting New Release

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.