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Libby Purves - Author

About the Author

Books by Libby Purves

Coast and Countryside Joe Cornish, David Noton and Paul Wakefield

Coast and Countryside Joe Cornish, David Noton and Paul Wakefield

Author: Libby Purves, Richard Mabey, Joe Cornish, David Noton Format: Hardback Release Date: 17/07/2011

Over a hundred years ago, the National Trust was founded to preserve places of historic interest and natural beauty in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Today it protects around 252,000 hectares (623,000 acres) of land and over 700 miles (1126km) of coastline. This exquisite collection reveals the true beauty of Britain's countryside and coastal heritage. The variety is unmatched - from the fells and lakes of Cumbria and the wilderness wetlands of the Fens to the granite columns of Giant's Causeway and the spectacular beaches of the the Cornish Coast. This collection is not just a celebration of Britain's diverse and extraordinary beauty but also the photographer's art. Three leading British landscape photographers capture unforgettable images of Britain's remarkable natural heritage, and encourage the preservation of our unique countryside and coastline for future generations.

Shadow Child

Shadow Child

Author: Libby Purves Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 18/03/2010

'Family love is one of the most powerful elemental forces on earth, and at that moment, our last moment as a unit of three, we rode a great curling triumphant wave of it, all together. Death may have thought that he won, but I think otherwise.' There is no right way to deal with the loss of a beloved son. Marion and Tom are doing their dignified best, but their own relationship is taking a battering. So when a fierce, strange woman turns up and demands to see the dead boy, Marion is almost glad of the distraction. Against Tom's wishes, she determines to find out more about her son's life away from home. The quest takes her out of her comfortable, conventional world to a shabby office in East London, and a series of shocks. Tom, furious, finds his own solution, and amid scandal, sorrow and exaltation the quiet Middle-Englanders discover that there is more than one kind of family.

A Little Learning Broodings from the Back of the Class

A Little Learning Broodings from the Back of the Class

Author: Libby Purves Format: Hardback Release Date: 08/03/2007

This lively selection brings together journalist and broadcaster Libby Purves' experiences as journalist, parent, governor and former pupil of half a dozen assorted schools from Bangkok to Tunbridge Wells, displaying her eclectic and provocative opinions and ideas on teaching and learning. This collection of the best of her writing in the Times Educational Supplement covers - sometimes thoughtfully, sometimes mockingly - everything from national policy to the eccentricities of headteachers and the limitations of IT. Education professionals over the years have received her outsider view with enthusiasm, laughter, inspiration and occasional fury. From ministerial madness to the pitfalls of uniform and the vagaries of teenagers, this book is dedicated to the amusement of a cadre of professionals Libby once planned to join, until she lost her nerve. It is dedicated, with thanks and admiration, to all teachers.

A Little Learning Broodings from the Back of the Class

A Little Learning Broodings from the Back of the Class

Author: Libby Purves Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 08/03/2007

This lively selection brings together journalist and broadcaster Libby Purves' experiences as journalist, parent, governor and former pupil of half a dozen assorted schools from Bangkok to Tunbridge Wells, displaying her eclectic and provocative opinions and ideas on teaching and learning. This collection of the best of her writing in the Times Educational Supplement covers - sometimes thoughtfully, sometimes mockingly - everything from national policy to the eccentricities of headteachers and the limitations of IT. Education professionals over the years have received her outsider view with enthusiasm, laughter, inspiration and occasional fury. From ministerial madness to the pitfalls of uniform and the vagaries of teenagers, this book is dedicated to the amusement of a cadre of professionals Libby once planned to join, until she lost her nerve. It is dedicated, with thanks and admiration, to all teachers.

Love Songs and Lies

Love Songs and Lies

Author: Libby Purves Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/01/2007

Sally, Kate and Marienka. Three young women who meet as undergraduates in 1970s Oxford and share their romantically shabby canalside house with Max Bellinger - clever, attractive, enigmatic Max. Sally - our narrator - idolises Max, who is something of an homme fatale. But it is Max's wayward rock singer brother, Marty, who is to play the most important role in her life, when one of his songs (for which she provided the lyrics) becomes an unexpected hit. Although their paths diverge once they leave Oxford, Sally stays in touch with all the housemates and their lives remain interwoven throughout the momentous second half of the twentieth century.

Acting Up

Acting Up

Author: Libby Purves Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 14/02/2005

The Andersons are a military family with honours and traditions stretching back two hundred years. When the second Iraq war breaks out, it is only natural that their newest generations should be represented in the ranks of British officers: at 24, Lieutenant Susie Anderson delays her wedding to handsome fellow-officer Callum and joins her regiment on the hot sands of Kuwait. Brother Francis, meanwhile, continues his cabaret career as Madam Fanny Fantoni, drag chanteuse and net-stockinged vamp, with a stinging line in repartee and the most remarkable falsetto top C in Clapham. As the neighbours agree, it must be terribly difficult for their poor parents, especially the General. Real difficulties come, though, when Callum comes home injured, altered and bitter, and Susie and her family feel as though their lives are shattered. The solution to this tangle comes from the most unlikely source of all. Set against a background of desert war, seedy clubs, a hippie sailing-ship and quiet English village life, Libby Purves' latest novel is a commentary on changing social roles, the nature of courage and the futility of prejudice.

How Not to Be a Perfect Mother

How Not to Be a Perfect Mother

Author: Libby Purves Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 05/04/2004

A fresh new look brings this parenting classic up-to-date for a new generation of mothers and mothers-to-be. Taking an irreverent and humorous look at the trials and tribulations of motherhood, Radio 4's Libby Purves has created an invaluable survival guide so that even the most unpromising madonna can cope with the baby years. This is a parenting book with a difference- rather than a serious tome laying down the law, Libby Purves' lighthearted book shamelessly describes how to cut the corners and bend the rules that never mattered much anyway. Forget the other parenting books that hide the real truth- this is the true battle manual for mothers on the front line! This timeless guide to coping with motherhood has been revised, bringing it up-to-date for a whole new generation of mothers and mothers-to-be. Based on Libby Purves' own experience of domestic havoc with two babies and on the wit and wisdom of fifty like-minded mothers, this motherhood companion guide is full of down-to-earth tips and hilarious anecdotes. Topics covered include pregnancy, preschoolers, sibling fights, fraught outings, nannies and careers. This is an invaluable guide to being an imperfect mother- and, more importantly, enjoying it.

Continental Drift

Continental Drift

Author: Libby Purves Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 02/02/2004

Sometimes it takes a fresh pair of eyes to see yourselves clearly . . . Henry is a young, hip, radio DJ; Philip is an ex-MP ruined by scandal and disowned by his party; Diana, his long-suffering wife; Marianne's replaced her husband with chocolate eclairs and gin; and Lizzie is battling with illness. When Eva, a naive and happy Polish backpacker comes into their lives, the values of their comfortable world clash with those of Eastern Europe. And the five English characters find comedy, tragedy and romance unfolding with bewildering speed.

Radio: A True Love Story

Radio: A True Love Story

Author: Libby Purves Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 12/05/2003

Libby Purves has had an ongoing love affair with the radio since her childhood, when she saved her pocket money to buy a d-i-y transistor set. This was the 1950s, pre-television, when the family would gather round the 'wireless' to listen to classic shows such as 'The Glums' and 'Listen with Mother'. Her enthusiasm lasted through the teenage years of Radio Luxemburg and pirate station Caroline and while at university, Libby answered an ad for student volunteers for Radio Oxford. From then on she was hooked and entered the BBC as a trainee Programme Operations Assistant. The past thirty years have seen Libby as one of the most successful and popular BBC Radio 4 broadcasters, with a string of credits to her name including the Today programme, Midweek and The Learning Curve. She takes us behind the scenes of these programmes with amusing and entertaining anecdotes about the personalities involved, near-disasters and triumphs, and also makes an impassioned plea for continued funding and support for radio.

Mother Country

Mother Country

Author: Libby Purves Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 17/02/2003

Even her closest friend agreed that Shark Grayson wasn't fit to keep her baby. A heroin addict, living in a sordid London squat, she was already close to death when her American lover took charge of the situation by force, and carried off the baby Alexander to give him a loving home in the Mid-West and an affluent future. But now Alex is twenty-seven, orphaned again and afflicted by a sense of lost roots and a romantic vision of England. A business trip provides the chance to go and trace his unknown relatives. He finds friendship; encounters some startlingly predatory girls; and confronts mystery in the eccentric alternative health centre run by the austere Julia. He discovers that while some British people are very hard indeed to get along with, some turn out to be, after all, more closely akin to him than he could ever have imagined.

A Long Walk in Wintertime

A Long Walk in Wintertime

Author: Libby Purves Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 05/12/2002

Alice McDonald has escaped all the obvious traps that lie in wait for women. She loves her job but enjoys her clever, spirited children too; her husband (Dan the New Man) does his share at home, and their London house is always full of friends. At her thirty-seventh birthday party, Alice reflects that their life has been a pretty successful production so far. But love can be treacherous, and children are never quite what they seem. Two months later, far from home and alone on a desperate quest through the bleak lanes of Norfolk, Alice wonders how it fell apart so quickly. Were things ever as good as they seemed? Had the McDonalds really been happy, or was it no more than a stage illusion?

Yachting Monthly's This Cruising Life A Collection of Amusing Stories from the Popular Yachting Monthly Column

Yachting Monthly's This Cruising Life A Collection of Amusing Stories from the Popular Yachting Monthly Column

Author: Libby Purves Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 28/09/2001

A collection of amusing stories from the popular Yachting Monthly column.

Passing Go

Passing Go

Author: Libby Purves Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/02/2001

On the high ground above the great city, Roy and Helen live in brittle affluence inside a weary marriage. Of their four children, three have long vanished into the sprawling, sluttish metropolis beneath: Marcus the dotcom entrepreneur, Shona the shocking Britart princess, and Danny - the one nobody will talk about. But the last child Zack itches to know more about his lost brother; and gets his chance when the smooth surfaces of family life are abruptly blown apart. Roy is sacked on his fiftieth birthday, stages an unconventional protest in the office doorway and rapidly finds himself a homeless exile in the city's darkest streets. It is Zack's chance to escape down the hill in turn, while his mother Helen makes a bizarre decision of her own.

Nature's Masterpiece A Family Survival Book

Nature's Masterpiece A Family Survival Book

Author: Libby Purves Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 05/10/2000

'The family is nature's masterpiece' - George Santayana A compendium of practical advice and reflections on modern family life in the age of computer gaming, ever younger drug and drink problems, educational upheaval and concerns about the way children's freedom, health and personal development are threatened by considerations of safety. Libby also considers the maintenance of marriage in an age of rising divorce and stepfamilies, a balanced approach to sexual threats to children, and the dangers and opportunities for family life caused by dual careers, teleworking, and other trends in the modern workplace. Each subject is treated with wit and brevity to make the book a delight to read as well as providing a fund of useful advice.

How Not to Raise a Perfect Child

How Not to Raise a Perfect Child

Author: Libby Purves Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/10/1999

A perfect child: * Dresses neatly and practises the violin before breakfast * Comes top of the class and is captain of everything * Is unfailingly obedient and sweet-tempered * Is a perfect credit to its perfect mother A real child: * Prefers shoelaces undone and mismatched socks * Shouts 'Bum!' at Granny * Turns breakfast and bedtime into a battleground * Is the normal offspring of imperfect parents With affectionate lack of illusion and a refreshing honesty about her own shortcomings, Libby Purves examines the pleasures and pitfalls of raising children from three to eight years old. Playgroup, starting school, rude words, pets - all these topics are tackled with frank good humour and down-to-earth advice. Best of all is her reassuring reminder that there is no such thing as a perfect child.

More Lives than One

More Lives than One

Author: Libby Purves Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 17/06/1999

Kit Milcourt - impatient, quirky, idealistic and brilliant - has been a climber, diver in exotic waters and affluent young city banker. Now, because of his beloved Anna, he is a teacher. Glumly mediocre Sandmarsh High School, reeling under assaults from Inspectors and its own unpromising pupils, is hard put to contain his maverick ideas. Year Seven, on the other hand, love them. Only the soothing presence of Anna keeps the peace. But Anna can't guard her erratic husband on the school trip: instead a far darker, more malevolent staffroom presence crosses Europe and discovers what Kit has secretly planned for the children amid the dim alleys of winter Venice. But children are unpredictable too, and things move rapidly beyond both teachers' control. Between farce and tragedy the resulting events swiftly change Kit's and Anna's live in unthinkable ways, strain a great love to the limit and open a dark chasm into the past.