There have been many biographies of Stalin, but the court that surrounded him is untravelled ground. Simon Sebag Montefiore, acclaimed biographer of Catherine the Great's lover, prime minister, and general, Potemkin, has unearthed the vast underpinning that sustained Stalin. Not only ministers such as Molotov or secret service chiefs such as Beria, but men and women whose loyalty he trusted only until the next purge.
In a nationwide poll conducted by BBC Television's Bookworm to find the nation's favourite poem, Rudyard Kipling's "If" was voted number one. This compilation brings together over 40 poems from the poll, including the top 10, all stirringly read by John Nettles, Siobhàn Redmond, Greg Wise, and Emma Fielding.
"Love the poems from my school days and beyond!"
Told in a series of letters, this true story of the correspondence between a New York writer and a London bookseller has touched the hearts of thousands.
Drunk on rum at a country fair, Henchard sells his wife to a sailor for five guineas. Unable to find them and overcome with guilt and remorse he vows to be teetotal for 21 years. Many years later his wife seeks him out in Casterbridge, where he has gained both wealth and the well respected position of mayor.
Jane, a brave and sensual Englishwoman, is caught in a deadly romantic triangle between rival spies Ellis and Jean-Pierre. Love, hatred, and deception sweep them from terrorist conspiracies in Paris to full-tilt guerrilla warfare in Afghanistan.
Bergerac-obsessed Will Smith has one guiding force in his life - an audiobook of John Nettles reading the ancient Chinese text of the Tao. He has always used this audio to illuminate problems in his life, to find a way through when the road seems blocked. Now, Will brings the Tao of Bergerac to his audience, as each week he navigates the minefield of love, justice, individuality, and machismo with the help of some special guests from his favourite TV show.