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Jaqueline Mitchell is an experienced publisher and book editor with expertise in British social history. She lives near Cirencester in Gloucestershire.
In 2012, as the new era of austerity kicks in and it feels like post-war Britain all over again, this book provides a survival guide and a perennial source of solutions for lean times, thanks to our cash-strapped forebears in Austerity Britain. Everything from advice on cooking, gardening, leisure time and fashion will be found between the covers.
Thomas Hardy notes the thrush's 'full-hearted evensong of joy illimited', Gilbert White observes how swallows sweep through the air but swifts 'dash round in circles' and Rachel Carson watches sanderlings at the ocean's edge, scurrying 'across the beach like little ghosts'. From early times, we have been entranced by the bird life around us. This anthology brings together poetry and prose in celebration of birds, records their behaviour, flight, song and migration, the changes across the seasons and in different habitats - in woodland and pasture, on river, shoreline and at sea - and our own interaction with them. From India to America, from China to Rwanda, writers marvel at birds - the building of a long-tailed tit's nest, the soaring eagle, the extraordinary feats of migration and the pleasures to be found in our own gardens. Including extracts by Geoffrey Chaucer, Dorothy Wordsworth, Richard Jefferies, Charles Darwin, James Joyce, John Keats, Charlotte Bronte, Emily Dickinson, Anton Chekhov, Kathleen Jamie, Jonathan Franzen and Barbara Kingsolver among many others, this rich anthology will be welcomed by bird-lovers, country ramblers and anyone who has taken comfort or joy in a bird in flight.
Over the centuries, Paris has intrigued, revolted, scandalized and most of all captured the heart of many a visitor. For Dickens it is the 'most extraordinary place in the world', for Hazlitt, 'a beast of a city', and for French writers, the essence of civilization: 'I maintain that, for people of breeding, there is no salvation out of Paris.' claimed playwright Moliere. Describing the capital variously as a city of lovers, gastronomy, fashion and filth, myriad quotations - sometimes poetic, sometimes humorous and always fizzing with insight - are collected here.
'Make your mark in New York and you are a made man' wrote Mark Twain, encapsulating both the naked ambition of its citizens and the opportunities up for grabs in the Big Apple. Others take a more cynical approach: it's 'an aviary over-stocked with jays' (O. Henry), 'a sucked orange' (Ralph Waldo Emerson) or 'fantastically charmless and elaborately dire' (Henry James). Over the last three-and-a-half centuries this glamorous, twenty-four hour city has attracted a multitude of thinkers, poets, novelists and playwrights, many of whom have brilliantly encapsulated its unique spirit through verse, prose or the ultimate wisecrack.
'To keep children clean is something that should never be attempted. It cannot be done.' 'The mere provision of the vegetable is not sufficient; it must be actually eaten.' 'If there is room enough for somersaults, the child can be satisfied.' Many books of advice for new parents were published during the 1920s and 30s, influenced by the growth of developmental psychology and aimed at the aspirant middle classes who were taking a more hands-on role in the raising of their offspring. This compendium brings together nuggets from the best of these titles in one handy volume. Chapters include good - and bad - behaviour, meals and mealtimes, dress and deportment, children's parties and playtime and storytelling, with sections on the all-important saying 'No!' and good bedtime habits. Illustrated with charming contemporary line drawings, this little book is full of no-nonsense, old-fashioned parenting advice: a gem of a guide for anyone new to the hardest job in the world.
'When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford,' said Samuel Johnson in 1777. Since then the capital has been characterised variously as a 'riddle', a 'cesspool' and a 'modern Babylon', and both Londoners and visitors alike have continued to share their candid views of a great city in a variety of literary forms. This compact gift book is packed full of witty, scandalous and entertaining quotations about this famous city from the Middle Ages to the current decade.