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John Harding was born near Ely. He is the author of the bestselling What We Did On Our Holiday, made into an ITV drama starring Shane Ritchie and Roger Lloyd Pack. He is a book reviewer for the Daily Mail and lives in London.
1891. In a remote and crumbling New England mansion, 12-year-old orphan Florence is neglected by her guardian uncle and banned from reading. Left to her own devices she devours books in secret and talks to herself - and narrates this, her story - in a unique language of her own invention. By night, she sleepwalks the corridors like one of the old house's many ghosts and is troubled by a recurrent dream in which a mysterious woman appears to threaten her younger brother Giles. Sometimes Florence doesn't sleepwalk at all, but simply pretends to so she can roam at will and search the house for clues to her own baffling past. After the sudden violent death of the children's first governess, a second teacher, Miss Taylor, arrives, and immediately strange phenomena begin to occur. Florence becomes convinced that the new governess is a vengeful and malevolent spirit who means to do Giles harm. Against this powerful supernatural enemy, and without any adult to whom she can turn for help, Florence must use all her intelligence and ingenuity to both protect her little brother and preserve her private world.
The remarkable group of Japanese Buddhists who traveled to Chicago's Columbian Exposition to participate in the 1893 World's Parliament of Religions combined religious aspirations with nationalist ambitions. Their portrayal of Buddhism mirrored modern reforms in Meiji, Japan, and the historical context of cultural competition on display at the 1893 World's Fair. Japan's primary exhibit, the Ho-o, or phoenix, Pavilion, provided an impressive display of traditional culture as well as apt symbolism: for Japan's modern rise to prominence, for Buddhist renewal succeeding devastating Meiji persecution, for Mahayana revitalization following withering attacks of Western critics, and for Chicago's own resurrection from the ashes of the Great Fire. This book examines the Japanese delegates' portrayal of Mahayana Buddhism as authentically ancient, pragmatically modern, scientifically consistent, and universally salvific. The Japanese delegates were active, and relatively successful agents who seized the opportunity of the 1893 forum to further their own objectives of promoting Japan and its Buddhism to the West, repairing negative evaluations of the great vehicle of Buddhism, differentiating Japanese Buddhism from the Buddhism of other countries, distinguishing their tradition as the evolutionary culmination of all religions, and shaping modern Buddhism in Asia and the West.
Thirty-somethings Nick and Laura have been married for 10 years and things aren't going well. She senses her biological clock ticking away and wants children while he doesn't. Not because he doesn't like children but because he feels a child would be just one responsibility too many. Nick's problem is his parents. He's devoted to them of course, but sometimes even he finds his patience wearing a little thin which in turn brings on the guilt. But they are rather a handful. They're conservative, highly eccentric and increasingly infirm. His Mum's so enormously overweight that her heart's now a bit dicky and she is certainly no longer up to looking after Dad by herself. He's got Parkinson's Disease - not the shaking kind, as Mum's always reminding people - but he's unable to do even the simplest task himself and needs constant care and attention. Nick knows the time has come to take the matter in hand but things need to be handled carefully. And so he and Laura take them to Malta for what they hope will be a happy final family holiday. Nick thinks his only problem is going to be avoiding Laura's amorous advances but this particular island turns out to be a sun-kissed cupboard with more than its fair share of skeletons... Tackling a taboo subject with sensitivity, understanding, great affection and good humour, What We Did On Our Holiday is a remarkably uplifting, moving and reassuring novel about a time in our lives when it seems roles are reversed and we find ourselves looking after the very people we'd always assumed would be there to look after us.
On a remote South Pacific island paradise, an elderly tribesman is translating Hamlet into local Pidgin English. Much to his annoyance, his struggles with the Bard are interrupted by the arrival of an unexpected visitor. William Hardt is a young American lawyer, he has Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and he has come to help. And from that moment on, nothing will ever be the same. For what (and who) he finds there will challenge both his and our values and our ideas about love, life and even death. Bursting with good things, from the islanders themselves - with their curious logic, strange notions about sex and addictive rendering of English - to moments of aching sadness as much as life-affirming farce, this exuberantly original novel confirms John Harding as one of contemporary fiction's most entertaining and observant chroniclers of the human condition.
At fifty the guarantee runs out... About to hit the big five-oh, obsessed with sex, cocaine-fuelled and gripped by a crippling fear of death, Professor Michael Cole is finding life a bit of a struggle. It's finding the time to squeeze everything in, really. He's supposedly writing the definitive biography of his literary hero, John Donne, but barely manages three hundred words a week. His insatiable enthusiasm for his prettier female students might be partly to blame, but they are only young once. And the fact that one of his female colleagues has yet to succumb to his charms is, admittedly, a distraction he could well do without. But throw in a fight for promotion, a wife to lie to and two small children to look after and it's no wonder his blood pressure has reached life-threatening heights. He knows the time has come to act his age. The question is how. Because Michael Cole is very much a creature of habit and, as we all know, old habits die hard. But it's when he's caught in the act of adultery by his grandmother that Cole truly begins to see the writing on the wall. After all, she's been dead for twenty-five years... Marrying humour, heart and a singular understanding of the human condition, WHILE THE SUN SHINES is an uproariously funny yet hugely affecting novel about growing-old disgracefully and the price we sometimes have to pay...
The purpose of this book is to bring together the most recent knowledge concerning the genetic improvement of ornamental plant species. Active researchers of many aspects of the genetics and breeding of these species have written chapters organized into three sections: Cytogenetics, Quantitative Genetics and Molecular Genetics. These titles identify the basic tools used in a variety of breeding situations. Some are traditional and well established; others offer new and exciting challenges for the future. vii Introduction The purpose of this book is to bring together recent knowledge concerning the genetic improvement of ornamental plant species. In the 20th century flower breeding has become widespread leading to many improvements in phenotypic and production characteristics of ornamental species. These methods depends on the creation and subsequent selection of genetic vari- ability. Lack of variability in gene pools has been a chief limitation to the success of flower breeding. Recent progress in molecular biology makes it possible to add genetically well-defined characteristics to gene pools, thus increasing the potential for genetic improvement. These methods also enable the specific silencing of genetic information to accomplish an intentional loss of function. This book compiles current knowledge of the cytogenetics, quantitative genetics, and molecular genetics of ornamental plant species. The three sections identify the basic tools used in a variety of breeding situations.
Cataract is the major cause of blindness in man throughout the world. It is usually dealt with by surgery but surgery is expensive and may lead to other ocular damage. Apart from surgery one might hope to prevent cataracts or to cure them, but these approaches require a much greater understanding of the structure and metabolism of the lens and of its weaknesses and strengths. The emphasis of this book is on recent findings. The first chapter deals with the normal lens and its structure, cellular composition, metabolism and proteins. In the following chapter the ageing of the lens will be discussed, and the third chapter discusses the epidemiology of cataract emphasizing the size of the problem of cataract and the associated risk factors. Surgery is discussed briefly but without detailed discussion of recent changes in surgical procedure. That is followed by a chapter on experimental cataracts and related in vitro studies. The studies of human cataracts are discussed in chapter 5. The last chapter deals with the prevention of cataract and its delay by anti-cataract agents. There have been advances in this area recently and there is the promise of an effective therapeutic treatment soon.
The structure of this play is a loosely connected sequence of sketches, some deliberately written for great comic effect, and others pitched in a much lower key. It is about a boy growing up in the period from the end of World War Two to the late 1960s.Large flexible cast