Matthew Parker - Author

About the Author

Born in Central America in 1970, MATTHEW PARKER spent part of his childhood in the West Indies. He has written for most UK national newspapers as well as History Today, BBC History Magazine and the Literary Review and has also lectured around the world and contributed to TV and radio programmes in the UK and US. His bestselling and critically-acclaimed books include Monte Cassino, Panama Fever and The Sugar Barons.

Featured books by Matthew Parker

Goldeneye Where Bond Was Born: Ian Fleming's Jamaica

Goldeneye Where Bond Was Born: Ian Fleming's Jamaica

Author: Matthew Parker Format: Hardback Release Date: 14/08/2014

A completely fascinating, authoritative and intriguing book - especially for anyone interested in Ian Fleming and the James Bond phenomenon . (William Boyd). Goldeneye: the story of Ian Fleming in Jamaica and the creation of British national icon, James Bond. From 1946 until the end of his life, Ian Fleming lived for two months of every year at Goldeneye - the house he built on a point of high land overlooking a small white sand beach on Jamaica's north coast. All the James Bond novels and stories were written here. Fleming adored the Jamaica he had discovered, at the time an imperial backwater that seemed unchanged from the glory days of the empire. Amid its stunning natural beauty, the austerity and decline of post-war Britain could be forgotten. For Fleming, Jamaica offered the perfect mixture of British old-fashioned conservatism and imperial values, alongside the dangerous and sensual: the same curious combination that made his novels so appealing, and successful. The spirit of the island - its exotic beauty, its unpredictability, its melancholy, its love of exaggeration and gothic melodrama - infuses his writing. Fleming threw himself into the island's hedonistic Jet Set party scene: Hollywood giants, and the cream of British aristocracy, the theatre, literary society and the secret services spent their time here drinking and bed-hopping. But while the whites partied, Jamaican blacks were rising up to demand respect and self-government. And as the imperial hero James Bond - projecting British power across the world - became ever more anachronistic and fantastical, so his popularity soared. Drawing on extensive interviews with Ian's family, his Jamaican lover Blanche Blackwell and many other islanders, Goldeneye is a beautifully written, revealing and original exploration of a crucially important part of Ian Fleming's life and work.

Other books by Matthew Parker

Willoughbyland England's Lost Colony

Willoughbyland England's Lost Colony

Author: Matthew Parker Format: Paperback Release Date: 29/02/2016

At the beginning of the 1650s, England was in ruins - wrecked, impoverished, grief-stricken by plague and civil war. Yet shimmering on the horizon was an intoxicating possibility, a vision of paradise: Willoughbyland. Ambitious and free-thinking adventurers poured in, attracted by the toleration, the optimism, the rich soil and the promise of the gold of El Dorado. It was England's most hopeful colony. But the Restoration saw the end of political freedom, and brought in its place spies, war, rebellion and treachery. The advent of racial slavery poisoned everything. What started out as a heaven was soon to become one of the cruellest places on earth. The history of Willoughbyland is a microcosm of empire, its heady attractions and fatal dangers.

Goldeneye Where Bond was Born: Ian Fleming's Jamaica

Goldeneye Where Bond was Born: Ian Fleming's Jamaica

Author: Matthew Parker Format: Paperback Release Date: 21/05/2015

THE TOP 10 SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER 'Completely fascinating, authoritative and intriguing' William Boyd 'The big bang of Bond books... Beautiful, brilliant' Tony Parsons Goldeneye: the story of Ian Fleming in Jamaica and the creation of British national icon, James Bond. From 1946 until the end of his life, Ian Fleming lived for two months of every year at Goldeneye - the house he built on a point of high land overlooking a small white sand beach on Jamaica's north coast. All the James Bond novels and stories were written here. Fleming adored the Jamaica he had discovered, at the time an imperial backwater that seemed unchanged from the glory days of the empire. Amid its stunning natural beauty, the austerity and decline of post-war Britain could be forgotten. For Fleming, Jamaica offered the perfect mixture of British old-fashioned conservatism and imperial values, alongside the dangerous and sensual: the same curious combination that made his novels so appealing, and successful. The spirit of the island - its exotic beauty, its unpredictability, its melancholy, its love of exaggeration and gothic melodrama - infuses his writing. Fleming threw himself into the island's hedonistic Jet Set party scene: Hollywood giants, and the cream of British aristocracy, the theatre, literary society and the secret services spent their time here drinking and bed-hopping. But while the whites partied, Jamaican blacks were rising up to demand respect and self-government. And as the imperial hero James Bond - projecting British power across the world - became ever more anachronistic and fantastical, so his popularity soared. Drawing on extensive interviews with Ian's family, his Jamaican lover Blanche Blackwell and many other islanders, Goldeneye is a beautifully written, revealing and original exploration of a crucially important part of Ian Fleming's life and work.

Goldeneye

Goldeneye

Author: Matthew Parker Format: eBook Release Date: 11/03/2015

Amid the lush beauty of Jamaica's northern coast lies the true story of Ian Fleming's iconic creation: James Bond.For two months every year, from 1946 to his death eighteen years later, Ian Fleming lived at Goldeneye, the house he built on a point of high land overlooking a small white-sand beach on Jamaica's stunning north coast. All the James Bond novels and stories were written here.This book explores the huge influence of Jamaica on the creation of Fleming's iconic postwar hero. The island was for Fleming part retreat from the world, part tangible representation of his values, and part exotic fantasy. Goldeneye also examines Fleming's Jamaican friendships-his extraordinary circle included Errol Flynn, the Oliviers, international politicians, and British royalty, as well as his close neighbor Noel Coward-and traces his changing relationship with Ann Charteris (and hers with Jamaica) and the emergence of Blanche Blackwell as his Jamaican soul mate.Goldeneye also compares the real Jamaica of the 1950s during the buildup to independence with the island's portrayal in the Bond books, to shine a light on the attitude of the likes of Fleming and Coward to the dramatic end of the British Empire.

African American Church Leadership Principles for Effective Ministry and Community Leadership

African American Church Leadership Principles for Effective Ministry and Community Leadership

Author: Matthew Parker, Dr Paul, Dr Cannings, Dr Hank Allen Format: Paperback Release Date: 08/07/2013

How can African American church leaders maximize their leadership potential? What are current models for effective leadership in the African American Christian community? This book answers those questions and more with up-to-date research and current best practices regarding leadership principles and strategies. African American church communities and those who interact with and work with these communities will find this book particularly useful. ParkerBooks are written to equip and encourage African American ministry leaders.

The Sugar Barons

The Sugar Barons

Author: Matthew Parker Format: Paperback Release Date: 02/02/2012

For 200 years after 1650 the West Indies were the most fought-over colonies in the world, as Europeans made and lost immense fortunes growing and trading in sugar - a commodity so lucrative that it was known as white gold. Young men, beset by death and disease, an ocean away from the moral anchors of life in Britain, created immense dynastic wealth but produced a society poisoned by war, sickness, cruelty and corruption. The Sugar Barons explores the lives and experiences of those whose fortunes rose and fell with the West Indian empire. From the ambitious and brilliant entrepreneurs, to the grandees wielding power across the Atlantic, to the inheritors often consumed by decadence, disgrace and madness, this is the compelling story of how a few small islands and a handful of families decisively shaped the British Empire.

Panama Fever

Panama Fever

Author: Matthew Parker Format: eBook Release Date: 18/03/2008

The building of the Panama Canal was one of the greatest engineering feats in human history. A tale of exploration, conquest, money, politics, and medicine, Panama Fever charts the challenges that marked the long, labyrinthine road to the building of the canal. Drawing on a wealth of new materials and sources, Matthew Parker brings to life the men who recognized the impact a canal would have on global politics and economics, and adds new depth to the familiar story of Teddy Roosevelt's remarkable triumph in making the waterway a reality. As thousands of workers succumbed to dysentery, yellow fever, and malaria, scientists raced to stop the deadly epidemics so that work could continue. The treatments they developed changed the course of medical history. The opening of the Panama Canal in 1914 spelled the end of the Victorian Age and the beginning of the "e;American Century."e; Panama Fever brilliantly captures the innovative thinking and backbreaking labor, as well as the commercial and political interests, that helped make America a global power.

Hell's Gorge The Battle to Build the Panama Canal

Hell's Gorge The Battle to Build the Panama Canal

Author: Matthew Parker Format: Paperback Release Date: 06/03/2008

2014 is the 100-year-anniversary of the panama canal: one of the most extraordinary engineering feats in world history. Hell's Gorge traces a heroic dream that spanned four centuries: to build a canal linking the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.The human cost was immense: in appalling working conditions and amid epidemics of fever, tens of thousands perished fighting the jungle, swamps and mountains of Panama, a scale of attrition comparable to many great battles. Matthew Parker explores the fierce geo-political struggle behind the heroic vision of the canal, and the immense engineering and medical battles that were fought. But he also weaves in the stories of the ordinary men and women who worked on the canal, to evoke everyday life on the construction and depict the battle on the ground deep in 'Hell's Gorge'. Using diaries, memoirs, contemporary newspapers and previously unseen private letters, he draws a vivid picture of the heart-breaking struggle on the Isthmus, in particular that of the British West Indians who made up the majority of the canal workforce. Hell's Gorge is a tale of politics, finance, press manipulation, scandal and intrigue, populated by a dazzling cast of idealists and bullies, heroes and conmen. But it is also a moving tribute to the 'Forgotten Silvermen', so many of whom died to fulfil the centuries-old canal dream.

Monte Cassino

Monte Cassino

Author: Matthew Parker Format: Paperback Release Date: 02/08/2004

The six-month battle for Monte Cassino was Britain's bitterest and bloodiest encounter with the German army on any front in World War Two. At the beginning of 1944 Italy was the western Allies' only active front against Nazi-controlled Europe, and their only route to the capital was through the Liri valley. Towering over the entrance to the valley was the medieval monastery of Monte Cassino, a seemingly impenetrable fortress high up in the 'bleak and sinister' mountains. This was where the German commander, Kesselring, made his stand. MONTE CASSINO tells the extraordinary story of ordinary soldiers tested to the limits under conditions reminiscent of the bloodbaths of World War One. In a battle that became increasingly political, symbolic and personal as it progressed, more and more men were asked to throw themselves at the virtually impregnable German defences. It is a story of incompetence, hubris and politics redeemed at dreadful cost by the heroism of the soldiers.

The Battle of Britain June-October 1940

The Battle of Britain June-October 1940

Author: Matthew Parker Format: Paperback Release Date: 02/08/2001

In the summer of 1940, Britain's army had been driven ignominously from France, her allies had collapsed and the population was seized with invasion panic. It seemed only a matter of time before Britain was forced to surrender to Germany's terrifying and efficient fighting machine. Into this terrible moment stepped Winston Churchill and the fighter squadrons of the RAF. A ruthless battle to the death ensued in the skies of southern England. The story of how Britain survived the rest of that year to inflict on Hitler his very first defeat is about tactics, aircraft and leadership. But above all, it is a story of heroism and endurance told from both sides.

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