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David Thomson - Author

About the Author

David Thomson (1914-1988) was born in India of Scottish parents. After returning to Britain, he sustained an eye injury when aged eleven. This made school impossible for him until the age of fourteen and impaired his vision for the rest of his life. He was sent to stay with his grandmother in Nairn, and taught by private tutors. During and after university, Thomson took tutoring jobs, staying with one family in Ireland for almost ten years. These Scottish and Irish experiences were explicitly translated into his writing, most particularly in Nairn in Darkness and Light (1987), and Woodbrook (1974). From 1943 Thomson spent twenty-six years working for the BBC as a writer and producer of radio documentaries, writing many distinguished programmes. His love of the natural world, rural communities and oral traditions came together in the unforgettable style of The People of the Sea, his first book. He met his wife in 1952, whilst working for UNESCO, and continued to write fiction, children's fiction and non-fiction until his death.

Featured books by David Thomson

Other books by David Thomson

An Edition of the Middle English Grammatical Texts

An Edition of the Middle English Grammatical Texts

Author: David Thomson Format: Hardback Release Date: 11/04/2019

Published in 1984: This is a working text and guide to the context of treatises which have so far not played their full part in the study of the late Middle Ages.

Warner Bros The Making of an American Movie Studio

Warner Bros The Making of an American Movie Studio

Author: David Thomson Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 02/04/2019

Behind the scenes at the legendary Warner Brothers film studio, where four immigrant brothers transformed themselves into the moguls and masters of American fantasy Warner Bros charts the rise of an unpromising film studio from its shaky beginnings in the early twentieth century through its ascent to the pinnacle of Hollywood influence and popularity. The Warner Brothers-Harry, Albert, Sam, and Jack-arrived in America as unschooled Jewish immigrants, yet they founded a studio that became the smartest, toughest, and most radical in all of Hollywood. David Thomson provides fascinating and original interpretations of Warner Brothers pictures from the pioneering talkie The Jazz Singer through black-and-white musicals, gangster movies, and such dramatic romances as Casablanca, East of Eden, and Bonnie and Clyde. He recounts the storied exploits of the studio's larger-than-life stars, among them Al Jolson, James Cagney, Bette Davis, Errol Flynn, Humphrey Bogart, James Dean, Doris Day, and Bugs Bunny. The Warner brothers' cultural impact was so profound, Thomson writes, that their studio became one of the enterprises that helped us see there might be an American dream out there.

Sleeping with Strangers How Movies Shaped Desire

Sleeping with Strangers How Movies Shaped Desire

Author: David Thomson Format: Hardback Release Date: 29/01/2019

The Returned They Left to Wage Jihad, Now They're Back

The Returned They Left to Wage Jihad, Now They're Back

Author: David Thomson Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 18/05/2018

Since 2012, hundreds of men and women have left Western countries to join jihadist groups fighting in Syria. Many are still there, many have been killed, but some have chosen to return to their countries of origin. French Journalist David Thomson met some of those who came back. Bilel, Yassin, Zoubeir, Lena, each has a different profile and story. Some have returned disgusted by the violence of the Syrian battlefields, or the terrorist attacks that have struck across Europe; they try to become forgotten, living under extreme surveillance. Others return seriously wounded or psychologically destroyed. Others still are in jail, a breeding ground for broader radicalization. And some have come back to continue to carry out jihad in Europe. In utmost secrecy, David Thomson gathered their testimonies and recounts them in this remarkable and revealing book. With ISIS losing ground on all fronts, the steady flow of jihadists returning to Europe represents one of the greatest challenges facing countries across the continent. This nuanced analysis of the social, religious, political, familial and psychological factors that push people to violent extremism is more necessary now than ever. It will be essential reading for all those seeking to understand how we might address this threat.

The Returned They Left to Wage Jihad, Now They're Back

The Returned They Left to Wage Jihad, Now They're Back

Author: David Thomson Format: Hardback Release Date: 18/05/2018

Since 2012, hundreds of men and women have left Western countries to join jihadist groups fighting in Syria. Many are still there, many have been killed, but some have chosen to return to their countries of origin. French Journalist David Thomson met some of those who came back. Bilel, Yassin, Zoubeir, Lena, each has a different profile and story. Some have returned disgusted by the violence of the Syrian battlefields, or the terrorist attacks that have struck across Europe; they try to become forgotten, living under extreme surveillance. Others return seriously wounded or psychologically destroyed. Others still are in jail, a breeding ground for broader radicalization. And some have come back to continue to carry out jihad in Europe. In utmost secrecy, David Thomson gathered their testimonies and recounts them in this remarkable and revealing book. With ISIS losing ground on all fronts, the steady flow of jihadists returning to Europe represents one of the greatest challenges facing countries across the continent. This nuanced analysis of the social, religious, political, familial and psychological factors that push people to violent extremism is more necessary now than ever. It will be essential reading for all those seeking to understand how we might address this threat.

The People Of The Sea Celtic Tales of the Seal-Folk

The People Of The Sea Celtic Tales of the Seal-Folk

Author: David Thomson, Seamus Heaney, David Thomson, Stewart Sanderson Format: Paperback Release Date: 05/04/2018

When David Thomson took a journey to the sea coasts of Scotland and Ireland to seek out the legend of the selchies - mythological creatures who transform from seals into humans - a magical world emerged. Men were rescued by seals in stormy seas, took seal-women for their wives and had their children suckled by seal-mothers. Timeless and haunting, The People of the Sea retains its spellbinding charm and brings to life the enchanting stories of these mysterious creatures of Celtic folklore.

Warner Bros The Making of an American Movie Studio

Warner Bros The Making of an American Movie Studio

Author: David Thomson Format: Hardback Release Date: 03/10/2017

Behind the scenes at the legendary Warner Brothers film studio, where four immigrant brothers transformed themselves into the moguls and masters of American fantasy Warner Bros charts the rise of an unpromising film studio from its shaky beginnings in the early twentieth century through its ascent to the pinnacle of Hollywood influence and popularity. The Warner Brothers-Harry, Albert, Sam, and Jack-arrived in America as unschooled Jewish immigrants, yet they founded a studio that became the smartest, toughest, and most radical in all of Hollywood. David Thomson provides fascinating and original interpretations of Warner Brothers pictures from the pioneering talkie The Jazz Singer through black-and-white musicals, gangster movies, and such dramatic romances as Casablanca, East of Eden, and Bonnie and Clyde. He recounts the storied exploits of the studio's larger-than-life stars, among them Al Jolson, James Cagney, Bette Davis, Errol Flynn, Humphrey Bogart, James Dean, Doris Day, and Bugs Bunny. The Warner brothers' cultural impact was so profound, Thomson writes, that their studio became one of the enterprises that helped us see there might be an American dream out there.

Musings among the Heather

Musings among the Heather

Author: David Thomson Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 08/06/2017

Handy Book of Fruit Culture under Glass

Handy Book of Fruit Culture under Glass

Author: David Thomson Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 15/10/2016

Television A Biography

Television A Biography

Author: David Thomson Format: Hardback Release Date: 01/10/2016

In just a few years, what used to be an immobile piece of living room furniture, which one had to sit in front of at appointed times in order to watch sponsored programming on a finite number of channels, morphed into a glowing cloud of screens with access to a near-endless supply of content available when and how viewers want it. With this phenomenon now a common cultural theme, a writer of David Thomson's stature delivering a critical history, or biography of the six-decade television era, will be a significant event which could not be more timely. With Television, the critic and film historian, who wrote what Sight and Sound's readers called the most important film book of the last 50 years, has finally turned his unique powers of observation to the medium that has swallowed film whole. Over 22 thematically organized chapters, Thomson brings his provocatively insightful and unique voice to the life of what was television. David Thomson surveying a Boschian landscape, illuminated by that singular glow always on and peopled by everyone from Donna Reed to Dennis Potter, will be the first complete history of the defining medium of our time.

Guide to Growing Pineapples under Glass

Guide to Growing Pineapples under Glass

Author: David Thomson Format: eBook Release Date: 26/08/2016

All aspects of pineapple cultivation in the greenhouse are dealt with in this handy volume written by an expert on the subject. Thoroughly recommended reading for the budding gardener, it contains a wealth of information forming a complete how-to guide. This book contains classic material dating back to the 1900s and before. The content has been carefully selected for its interest and relevance to a modern audience.

Guide to Cultivating Melons Under Glass

Guide to Cultivating Melons Under Glass

Author: David Thomson Format: eBook Release Date: 26/08/2016

Contents Include: Growing Melons in Dung-beds or Pits; Sowing the Seed, and Management of Young Plants; Training and Stopping; Soil and Planting, etc; Moulding Up - Temperature; Impregnation, Watering, etc; Forms of Houses - Depths of Soil; Preparing the Plants, Planting; Watering; Temperature and Syringing; Ventilation; Impregnation, Training and Stopping; Very Early Forcing; Varieties; Insects and Diseases. This book contains classic material dating back to the 1900s and before. The content has been carefully selected for its interest and relevance to a modern audience.

How to Watch a Movie

How to Watch a Movie

Author: David Thomson Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 05/05/2016

From one of the most admired critics of our time, brilliant insights into the act of watching movies and an enlightening discussion about how to derive more from any film experience. Since first publishing his landmark Biographical Dictionary of Film in 1975 (now in its sixth edition), David Thomson has been one of the most trusted authorities on all things cinema. Now, he offers his most inventive exploration of the medium yet: guiding us through each element of the viewing experience, considering the significance of everything from what we see and hear on screen - actors, shots, cuts, dialogue, music - to the specifics of how, where, and with whom we do the viewing. With customary candour and wit, Thomson delivers keen analyses of a range of films from classics such as Psycho and Citizen Kane to contemporary fare such as 12 Years a Slave and All Is Lost, revealing how to more deeply appreciate both the artistry and manipulation of film, and how watching movies approaches something like watching life itself. Discerning, funny and utterly unique, How to Watch a Movie is a welcome twist on the classic proverb: Give a movie fan a film, she'll be entertained for an hour or two; teach a movie fan to watch, her experience will be enriched forever.

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