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Philip Ziegler - Author

About the Author

Philip Ziegler was a diplomat before becoming an editorial director at the publishers William Collins. His many books include acclaimed biographies of Laurence Olivier, William IV, Lady Diana Cooper, Lord Mountbatten and Harold Wilson, as well as the classic history of the Black Death.

Featured books by Philip Ziegler

Between the Wars 1919-1939

Between the Wars 1919-1939

Author: Philip Ziegler Format: Hardback Release Date: 06/10/2016

At the end of 1918 one prescient American historian began to write a history of the Great War. What will you call it? he was asked. The First World War, was his bleak response. In Between the Wars Philip Ziegler examines the major international turning points - cultural and social as well as political and military - that led the world from one war to another. His approach is panoramic, touching on all parts of the world where history was being made, examining Gandhi's March to the Sea and the Chaco War in South America alongside Hitler's rise to power. It is the tragic story of a world determined that the horrors of the First World War would never be repeated, yet committed to a path which in hindsight was inevitably destined to end in a second, even more devastating conflict. Each chapter bears the unmistakable stamp of Ziegler's scholarship: a keen eye for the telling anecdote, elegant and fluid prose, and calm and fair judgments. In a world that grows ever more uncertain, its perspective on how hopes of peace can dissolve into the promise of war becomes more relevant with each passing day.

Other books by Philip Ziegler

George VI (Penguin Monarchs) The Dutiful King

George VI (Penguin Monarchs) The Dutiful King

Author: Philip Ziegler Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 28/06/2018

The acclaimed Penguin Monarchs series: short, fresh, expert accounts of England's rulers - now in paperback If Ethelred was notoriously 'Unready' and Alfred 'Great', King George VI should bear the designation of 'George the Dutiful'. Throughout his life he dedicated himself to the pursuit of what he thought he ought to be doing rather than what he wanted to do. Inarticulate and loathing any sort of public appearances, he accepted that it was his destiny to figure regularly and conspicuously in the public eye, gritted his teeth, largely conquered his crippling stammer and got on with it. He was not born to be king, but he made an admirable one, and was the figurehead of the nation at the time of its greatest trial, during the Second World War. This is a sparklingly brilliant and enjoyable book about him.

Between the Wars 1919-1939

Between the Wars 1919-1939

Author: Philip Ziegler Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/09/2017

At the end of 1918 one prescient American historian began to write a history of the Great War. What will you call it? he was asked. The First World War, was his bleak response. In Between the Wars Philip Ziegler examines the major international turning points - cultural and social as well as political and military - that led the world from one war to another. His approach is panoramic, touching on all parts of the world where history was being made, examining Gandhi's March to the Sea and the Chaco War in South America alongside Hitler's rise to power. It is the tragic story of a world determined that the horrors of the First World War would never be repeated, yet committed to a path which in hindsight was inevitably destined to end in a second, even more devastating conflict. Each chapter bears the unmistakable stamp of Ziegler's scholarship: a keen eye for the telling anecdote, elegant and fluid prose, and calm and fair judgments. In a world that grows ever more uncertain, its perspective on how hopes of peace can dissolve into the promise of war becomes more relevant with each passing day.

George VI (Penguin Monarchs) The Dutiful King

George VI (Penguin Monarchs) The Dutiful King

Author: Philip Ziegler Format: Hardback Release Date: 04/12/2014

Written by Philip Ziegler, one of Britain's most celebrated biographers, George VI is part of the Penguin Monarchs series: short, fresh, expert accounts of England's rulers in a collectible format If Ethelred was notoriously 'Unready' and Alfred 'Great', King George VI should bear the title of 'George the Dutiful'. Throughout his life, George dedicated himself to the pursuit of what he thought he ought to be doing rather than what he wanted to do. Inarticulate and loathing any sort of public appearances, he accepted that it was his destiny to figure conspicuously in the public eye, gritted his teeth, battled his crippling stammer and got on with it. He was not born to be king, but he made an admirable one, and was the figurehead of the nation at the time of its greatest trial, the Second World War. This is a brilliant, touching and sometimes funny book about this reluctant public figure, and the private man. Philip Ziegler is the author of the authorised biographies of Mountbatten, Harold Wilson and Edward Heath. His other books include The Duchess of Dino, William IV, The Black Death and most recently Olivier. Initially a diplomat, he worked for many years in book publishing before becoming a full-time writer.

Olivier

Olivier

Author: Philip Ziegler Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 04/09/2014

Hollywood superstar; Oscar-winning director; greatest stage actor of the twentieth century. His era abounded in greats - Gielgud, Richardson, Guinness, Burton, O'Toole - but none could challenge Laurence Olivier's range and power. By the 1940s he had achieved international stardom. His affair with Vivien Leigh led to a marriage as glamorous and as tragic as any in Hollywood history. He was as accomplished a director as he was a leading man: his three Shakespearian adaptations are among the most memorable ever filmed. Off-stage, Olivier was the most extravagant of characters: generous, yet almost insanely jealous of those few contemporaries whom he deemed to be his rivals; charming but with a ferocious temper. With access to more than fifty hours of candid, unpublished interviews, Philip Ziegler ensures that Olivier's true character - at its most undisguised - shines through as never before.

Melbourne A Biography of William Lamb, 2nd Viscount Melbourne

Melbourne A Biography of William Lamb, 2nd Viscount Melbourne

Author: Philip Ziegler Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 18/04/2013

'I agree with Lord David [Cecil] that Melbourne as a friend or relative must have been one of the most delightful, wise and entertaining of men, but in public life I believe him also to have been ambitious, cynical and almost wholly without political principle. He was, in short, much less of a carefree amateur, much more of a politician.' Philip Ziegler, from his Preface First published in 1976, Philip Ziegler's Melbourne drew on hitherto unused material and made an unprecedently searching assessment of the eminent Whig statesman of the 1830s/40s. It is extraordinary enough that Queen Victoria's first Prime Minister should have been dragged through the courts by an aggrieved husband not once but twice. Yet Melbourne's 'problematic' personal life is only one reason why Ziegler, even-handed and scrupulous, was compelled to test the validity of Victoria's famous final judgement that Melbourne was 'not a good or firm minister'.

King Edward VIII

King Edward VIII

Author: Philip Ziegler Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 16/02/2012

The authorised life story of the king who gave up his throne for love, by one of our most distinguished biographers. In this masterly authorized biography, Philip Ziegler reveals the complex personality of Edward VIII, the only British monarch to have voluntarily renounced the throne. With unique access to the Royal Archives, Ziegler overturns many myths about Edward and tells his side of the story - from his glamorous existence as Prince of Wales to his long decline in semi-exile in France. At the heart of the book is an unflinchingly honest examination of Edward's all-consuming passion for Wallis Simpson, which led to his dramatic abdication. Elegant and devastating, this is the most convincing portrait of Edward ever published.

Edward Heath The Authorised Biography

Edward Heath The Authorised Biography

Author: Philip Ziegler Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 15/09/2011

The magisterial official life of Britain's complex and misunderstood former prime minister, which offers a fundamental reassessment of his reputation. Edward Heath arguably changed the lives of the British people more than any prime minister since Winston Churchill. By securing Britain's entry into Europe he reversed almost a thousand years of history and embarked on a course that would lead to the legal, political, economic and social transformation of this country. By abolishing the Resale Price Maintenance he cleared the way for the all-conquering march of the supermarket and revolutionised every high street in the country. He forced through both reforms by a combination of determination, patience and persuasive powers, against the inertia or active hostility of a large part of the British population, including many in his own party. Yet Heath today is a largely forgotten figure, completely eclipsed by his more famous successor. His working class origins and suspect accent made him an unlikely Tory leader. But he was a trail-blazer, and without him it is unlikely that Mrs Thatcher would ever have risen to prominence. With exclusive access to the huge collection of Heath's personal papers, distinguished biographer Philip Ziegler reassesses the contribution of one of the most resolute and forceful politicians in recent British history.

Diana Cooper The Biography of Lady Diana Cooper

Diana Cooper The Biography of Lady Diana Cooper

Author: Philip Ziegler Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/05/2011

Lady Diana Cooper was in her prime widely regarded as the most beautiful woman in England and the idol of her generation. She was witty, outrageous, generous and loyal. Famous as a member of the aristocratic and intellectual group 'The Cotorie', she later edited the magazine Femina before starting a career as an actress on the stage and then in films during the 1920s. Her husband, Duff Cooper, was parliament in 1924 and Diana continued as a society hostess until his retirement in 1947. Diana wrote three volumes of memoirs in the 1950s which are also published by Faber Finds, and she died in 1986 aged 93. Philip Ziegler's biography is a compulsive read, telling the story of a remarkable woman and her passionate life. 'For nine decades a symbol of all that is dashing and daring, a synonym for courage and wit and inspired friendship.' Sunday Telegraph 'Combines total honesty with total affection... A portrait which you can laugh over, cry over and think over as well.' Punch 'No wonder Evelyn Waugh loved her.' Scotsman

Queen Elizabeth II A Photographic Portrait

Queen Elizabeth II A Photographic Portrait

Author: Philip Ziegler, Emma Blau Format: Hardback Release Date: 01/08/2010

This book is a photographic portrait of Queen Elizabeth II, from her first official photograph as a baby in 1926 to her greeting President Obama at Buckingham Palace in 2009. Each of the book's chapters begins with a text by bestselling historian and biographer Philip Ziegler, covering the key royal and historical events of the period, with some contextual photographs, followed by a sequence of plates in chronological order. With over 200 images of the Queen by internationally distinguished photographers such as Cecil Beaton, Lord Snowdon and Rankin, the Queen is captured in a variety of poses, from formal photographs as a working monarch, to intimate portraits relaxing with her family at Balmoral and Windsor. All the images have been officially approved by the Palace, making this the only illustrated book that anyone will ever need on Queen Elizabeth II.

The Black Death

The Black Death

Author: Philip Ziegler Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 11/12/2008

Between 1347 and 1350, the Black Death killed at least one third of Europe's population. Philip Ziegler's classic account traces the course of the virulent epidemic through Europe and its dramatic effect on the lives of those whom it afflicted. First published nearly forty years ago, it remains definitive. 'The clarity and restraint on every page produce a most potent cumulative effect.' Michael Foot

Legacy Cecil Rhodes, the Rhodes Trust and Rhodes Scholarships

Legacy Cecil Rhodes, the Rhodes Trust and Rhodes Scholarships

Author: Philip Ziegler Format: Hardback Release Date: 11/04/2008

To be chosen as a Rhodes Scholar is to join the company of a highly select group: former scholars include presidents, prime ministers, ambassadors, archbishops, authors, judges, and other important figures. Over 7,000 individuals have received the world's most prestigious scholarship in the century since Cecil John Rhodes, the British-born founder of the De Beers diamond company, established through his will the Rhodes Trust and Rhodes scholarships. This fascinating history traces the evolution of the Trust and its scholarship program from Rhodes's vision in 1902 to the new world of the twenty-first century. Rhodes specified the criteria for selecting scholars, stipulating public service as their highest aim. An avowed imperialist, he dreamed of a white masculine Anglo-Saxon hegemony that would lead to world peace and prosperity. The book explores how the organization changed after the Empire faded and how Rhodes's vision has been made relevant today, particularly through the vital contributions of the Mandela Rhodes Foundation in South Africa. Prominent American Rhodes Scholars include: J. William Fulbright - Robert Penn Warren - Bill Bradley - Wesley Clark - Bill Clinton - Strobe Talbott - David Souter - George Stephanopoulos

Rupert Hart-Davis Man of Letters

Rupert Hart-Davis Man of Letters

Author: Philip Ziegler Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 04/08/2005

Rupert Hart-Davis (1907-1999) not only founded a prestigious publishing company; he also involved himself vigorously in literary politics. His story is the story of literary life in the 20th century. He worked for William Heinemann and Jonathan Cape (who sacked him), and numbered among his close friends Duff and Diana Cooper, Peter and Ian Fleming, Arthur Ransome, John Betjeman, Eric Linklater and Joyce Grenfell. His mother - to whom he was obsessively devoted - died when he was at Oxford. Desolated, he left without a degree, to try his hand at acting. He played alongside Richardson, Gielgud and Olivier - and found himself having to choose between two attractive young actresses: Celia Johnson and Peggy Ashcroft. When he told Celia he was marrying Peggy, she broke down in tears. The marriage didn't last, and Rupert went on to marry three more times. Before marrying his colleague, Ruth Simon, he lived for some years with his wife, Comfort, in the country at weekends, and with Ruth in London during the working week. After Ruth's death, he married his secretary June, with whom he lived in retirement in his beloved Yorkshire dales.

The Black Death

The Black Death

Author: Philip Ziegler Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/05/2003

A series of natural disasters in the Orient during the 14th century caused the most devastating period of death and destruction in European history. One third of the people in Europe were killed over a period of just three years, and there was social and economic upheaval on an unparalleled scale. Philip Ziegler's overview of this crucial event synthesises the records of contemporary chroniclers and the work of later historians in one volume. This illustrated narrative presents the full horror and destruction the disease had, and how much it contributed to the disintegration of an age.

Soldiers

Soldiers

Author: Philip Ziegler Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 05/09/2002

What leads a man to join the Army? To fight and perhaps die for his country? To enjoy a semi-monastic life among his comrades? To belong to a regiment in which he can take pride? To obey orders? Or just to escape into a secure environment? Rich in narrative and anecdote this poignant and important book has at its heart short biographies of Chelsea Pensioners whose lives span the twentieth century and who have seen action from Passchendale to Anzio, from the Malayan emergency to the Mau Mau uprising, from Aden to Indonesia. Philip Ziegler is fascinated by the values which these veterans share, and which the Army inculcated in them: self-discipline, acceptance of risk or pain, patriotism, loyalty to their fellows. And of course, sometimes bigotry, narrow-mindedness, even blinkered stupidity. Are the old values relevant today or is the Royal Hospital a museum of fossilised ideals and attitudes? To read this book is to understand what soldiers are all about, what they fight for, and how they fit into the world of the twenty-first century.

London At War

London At War

Author: Philip Ziegler Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/03/2002

In 1939 London was not merely the greatest city in the world, it was the most tempting and vulnerable target for aerial attack. For six years it was the frontline of the free world's battle against Fascism. It endured the horrors of the Blitz of 1940 and 1941, the V1s, the V2s. Other cities suffered more intensely; no other city was so constantly under attack for so long a time. This is the story of London at war - or, perhaps, of Londoners at war, for Philip Ziegler, known best as a biographer, is above all fascinated by the people who found their lives so suddenly and violently transformed: the querulous, tiresome yet strangely gallant housewife from West Hampstead; the turbulent, left-wing retired schoolmaster from Walthamstow, always having a go at the authorities; the odiously snobbish middleclass lady from Kensington, sneering at the scum who took shelter in the Underground; the typist from Fulham, the plumber from Woolwich. It was their war, quite as much as it was Churchill's or the King's, and this is their history. Through a wealth of interviews and unpublished letters and diaries, as well as innumerable books and newspapers, the author has built up a vivid picture of a population under siege. There were cowards, there were criminals, there were incompetents, but what emerges from these pages is above all a record of astonishing patience, dignity and courage. 'I hope,' Ziegler writes, 'we will never have to endure again what they went through between 1939 and 1945. I hope, if we did, that we would conduct ourselves as well.'

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