Stephen Smith quite literally delves into the unknown country underneath ploughed fields, clifftops and market towns. UNDERGROUND ENGLAND will explore rudimentary earth dwellings and hidden Cold War cities; sulphurous natural springs and manmade underground waterways; priest holes and subterranean nooks created with more sinister purposes in mind. The author visits the endless military tunnels built below Chatham since the Napoleonic Wars; and the secret labyrinth quarried out under Liverpool by a religious eccentric. He gets into tight spots with speleologists, and gamely ventures down haunted tunnels and into the mythical resting-places of English kings. A fascinating and eye-opening exploration of the world that lies beneath our feet.
Take a journey, take a leap, and discover lands you never knew. Explore Lundy, the perfect refuge for pirates and a cast of other ne’er-do-wells; St Kilda, the tiny island that was inhabited for over 2000 years but now lies abandoned; or Hy Brasil, a mirage that was featured on maps for centuries but never even existed.
In Lundy, Rockall, Dogger, Fair Isle, words and art are brought together to create a uniquely beautiful treasure - an illustrated celebration of the islands around Britain and their rare magic.
Is Middle England about tradition and decency or closed minds and bigotry? Is it maypoles and evensong, or flooded market towns and binge drinkers in the park? And is Slough really as bad as Ricky Gervais and John Betjeman make out? From Shakespeare to JK Rowling, Vaughan Williams to Craig David, William Morris to B&Q, Stuart Maconie leads the expedition, with plenty of stop-offs for tea and scones, to discover the truth.
Hortense Joseph arrives in London from Jamaica in 1948 with her life in her suitcase, her heart broken, her resolve intact. Her husband, Gilbert Joseph, returns from the war expecting to be received as a hero, but finds his status as a black man in Britain to be second class. His white landlady, Queenie, raised as a farmer's daughter, befriends Gilbert, and later Hortense, with innocence and courage, until the unexpected arrival of her husband, Bernard, who returns from combat with issues of his own to resolve.
Told in these four voices, Small Island is a courageous novel of tender emotion and sparkling wit, of crossings taken and passages lost, of shattering compassion and of reckless optimism in the face of insurmountable barriers---in short, an encapsulation of that most American of experiences: the immigrant's life.