It is said that a picture may be worth a thousand words, but an old photograph can inspire many more. In this beguiling book, Alexander McCall Smith casts his eye over five chanced-upon photographs from the era of black-and-white photography and imagines the stories behind them. Who were those people, what were their stories, why are they smiling, what made them sad?
Father Brown, G. K. Chesterton's lovable little Norfolk priest, has an uncanny knack of unraveling mysteries that leave lesser mortals floundering. His sympathetic understanding of human nature never deserts him, even when he himself is touched by a breath of scandal, thanks to the hasty conclusions of a crusading newspaperman. In this collection, Father Brown uses his distinctive style of deduction to solve the seemingly insoluble.
"NOT ALL OF THE COLLECTION"
Michael Nostradamus is regarded as the most accurate prophet of all time. His prophesies were collected and published in a book called The Centuries, which was the 14th Century's best-seller after the Bible. Nostradamus predicted the German inflation of the 1930s, the war against Hitler, and aspects of General Franco's life. The most terrifying of his declarations, revealed here, has thankfully not materialized.
This collection features 14 of the most important and well-known speeches by some of the world's most influential religious leaders.
Adapted from the stories by Arthur Conan Doyle.... Sherlock Holmes is the greatest detective of them all. He sits in his room, and smokes his pipe. He listens, and watches, and thinks. He listens to the steps coming up the stairs; he watches the door opening – and he knows what question the stranger will ask.
In these three of his best stories, Holmes has three visitors to the famous flat in Baker Street – visitors who bring their troubles to the only man in the world who can help them.
"Actually, just eight of the twelve stories"
How did a German airship, the pride of the Third Reich, equipped as a flying five-star hotel, burst into flames before landing in New Jersey and being destroyed in less than a minute? Was it sabotage or an accident waiting to happen? This fascinating programme reconstructs the event and the subsequent investigation.
"Captain Nelson is a little man who cannot boast of being handsome, but who will, in my view, one day astonish the world." So said Sir William Hamilton to his wife Emma, when Captain Nelson first sailed into Naples Bay in 1793. Even that shrewd Ambassador could hardly have guessed how great the "little man" would become.
It was one of the most horrifying single acts of destruction in the First World War, and it was instrumental in bringing America into the war. Was it cold-blooded mass murder or a justifiable Act of War? This programme dramatically presents all sides of the story, as the German submarine U-20 stalks her giant prey.
The human mind is a dark, bottomless pit, and sometimes it works in strange and frightening ways. That sound in the night...is it a door banging in the wind, or a murdered man knocking inside his coffin? The face in the mirror...is it yours, or the face of someone standing behind you, who is never there when you turn round?
France had fallen. All Britain waited for the inevitable German invasion. But first the Luftwaffe must destroy the Royal Air Force. It was the greatest air battle of all time against seemingly overwhelming odds. This programme follows the events of the epic weeks of the summer of 1940 and pays tribute to Winston Churchill's "Few" who saved Britain from the Nazi hordes.
Ten miles west of Cairo is the plateau of Giza. Here, starkly dominating the skyline stands the largest stone construction on the planet. Its structure shows a highly developed understanding of mathematics, astronomy, precision engineering, navigational theory, and geography. The Pyramid of Cheops is an almost total enigma.
There has never been another novelist like Dickens. In his novels and stories, loved throughout the world, he created a host of fictional immortals, reflecting their eccentricities, their wit, their violence, and their pathos. They live today as vividly as ever. This engrossing dramatisation shows how his most famous creations were derived from his own experiences and from facets of his complex, almost demonic personality.
The earth teems with strange creatures. Most we know about. But there are others that seem to flit like ghosts in the background of our experience. Large footprints in the Himalayan snows start speculation about the yeti or abominable snowman. A harsh cry in the African jungle sparks fears of the dreaded chemosit. A dark shape rears up from the waters of a Scottish loch. Could it be Nessie, the Loch Ness monster? What about the sea serpents so feared by ancient mariners?