Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History
by Robert M. Edsel
From 1943 to 1951, 350 or so men and women from thirteen Allied nations served as the men and women of the Monuments, Fine Arts & Archives section (MFAA) of the Allied armed forces, the eyes, ears and hands of the first and most ambitious effort in history to preserve the world's cultural heritage in times of war. They were known simply as Monuments Men. But during the thick of the fighting in Europe, from D-Day to V-E Day, when Germany surrendered, there were only 65 Monuments Men in the forward operating area. Sixty-five men to cover thousands of square miles, save hundreds of damaged buildings and find millions of cultural items before the Nazis could destroy them forever.
Monuments Men is the story of eight of these men in the forward operating theatre: America's top art conservator; an up-and-coming young museum curator; a sculptor; a straight-arrow architect; a gay New York cultural impresario; and an infantry private with no prior knowledge of or appreciation for art, but first-hand experience as a victim of the Nazi regime.
They built their own treasure maps from scraps and hints: the diary of a Louvre curator who secretly tracked Nazi plunder through the Paris rail yards; records recovered from bombed out cathedrals and museums; overheard conversations; a tip from a dentist while getting a root canal. They started off moving in different directions, but ended up heading for the same place at the same time: the Alps near the German-Austrian border in the last two weeks of the war, where the great treasure caches of the Nazis were stored: the artwork of Paris, stolen mostly from Jewish collectors and dealers; masterworks from the museums of Naples and Florence; and the greatest prize of all, Hitler's personal hoard of masterpieces, looted from the most important art collections and museums in Europe and hidden deep within a working salt mine - a mine the Nazis had every intention of destroying before it fell into Allied hands.
How does the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History end? As is often the case, history is often more extraordinary than fiction.
Mrs Dolby's Memory Magic: A Comprehensive Compendium of Tools, Tips and Exercises to Help You Remember Everything
by Karen Dolby
'Nothing fixes a thing so intensely in the memory as the wish to forget it'
How many times have you said:'I've got a memory like a sieve'? Who hasn't cursed their inability to remember information for exams and been jealous of those that seem to be able to retain anything with ease. Well it's not a God given talent. It's something you can easily learn.
If you want to remember poetry, speeches, lists, I will show you how. Everything from language and spelling, general knowledge, history, astronomy, science, geography, which monarch followed which, how many days in each month, the sequence of planets and much much more. Did you know that there are just 100 words in French, Spanish and German that give you the fundamentals to communicate? Did you know how easy it is to remember numbers and shopping lists and indeed almost anything?
After all, I'm just like you. I've got a memory like a sieve as well. That's why I wrote this book!
On the Slow Train Again
by Michael Williams
Michael Williams has spent the past year travelling along the fascinating rail byways of Britain for this new collection of journeys. Here is the 'train to the end of the world' running for more than four splendid hours through lake, loch and moorland from Inverness to Wick, the most northerly town in Britain. He discovers a perfect country branch line in London's commuterland, and travels on one of the slowest services in the land along the shores of the lovely Dovey estuary to the far west of Wales. He takes the stopping train across the Pennines on a line with so few services that its glorious scenery is a secret known only to the regulars. Here, too, is the Bittern Line in Norfolk and the Tarka Line in North Devon as well as the little branch line to the fishing port of Looe in Cornwall, rescued from closure in the 1960s and now celebrating its 150th anniversary taking families on holiday to the seaside. From the most luxurious and historic - aboard the Orient Express - to the most futuristic - on the driverless trains of London's Docklands Light Railway - here is a unique travel companion celebrating the treasures of our railway heritage from one of Britain's most knowledgeable railway writers.
On The Slow Train: Twelve Great British Railway Journeys
by Michael Williams
Never was the sadness of the end of an affair so poignantly expressed than in Flanders and Swann's elegy The Slow Train:
This beautifully-packaged book will take the reader on the slow train to another era when travel meant more than hurrying from one place to the next, the journey meaning nothing but time lost in crowded carriages, condemned by broken timetables. On the Slow Train will reconnect with that long-missed need to lift our heads from the daily grind and reflect that there are still places in Britain where we can stop and stare. It will tap into many things: a love of railways, a love of history, a love of nostalgia.
This book will be a paean to another age before milk churns, porters and cats on seats were replaced by security announcements and Burger King. These 12 spectacular journeys will help free us from what Baudelaire denounced as 'the horrible burden of time.'
One Leg Too Few
by William Cook
One Leg Too Few will feature an extensive range of fresh interviews, previously unpublished archive material and a wealth of information about the most creative (and explosive) double act that British comedy has ever produced.
One Leg Too Few is a book about an extraordinary relationship: a friendship, a partnership - almost, at times, a marriage. Like a lot of marriages it ended badly, but for nearly 20 years, between the first date and the inevitable divorce, Peter Cook and Dudley Moore were the funniest thing on three continents.
One Leg Too Few is the story of that relationship, and the comedy that came from it.