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Biography and True Stories | Children & Teenage | Fiction | Guides, Places and Lifestyle | History | Poetry & The Arts

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Biography and True Stories

From North Derbyshire by bike to Southern Portugal, James Kemp puffed, panted, sweated and occasionally swore over hundreds of miles of hot empty roads, through four countries and some inspiring sights.
Why did he do it? How did he do it? Was he glad when it was all over?
With maps, charts, pictures, his diaries, training schedules and his many memorable photographs, James takes us on his Long Ride Home.
The profits from the sale of this book go to Cancer Research UK

Enlisted in March 1940 at the time of the Dunkirk evacuation, Eric Bardsley soon found himself on a troopship bound for Egypt, from where he took part in Operation Lustre, the failed Allied attempt in April 1941 to resist the German invasion of Greece. Within four weeks of landing at Piraeus, Eric was captured and taken prisoner of war. This book tells of his experiences as a POW, principally in Stalag XVIIIA in southern Austria, and his eventual repatriation in June 1945. In words, photographs and in his contemporary drawings, Eric reveals a world of characters and adventures that perfectly reflect the times and the inner strength of those who endured the long years of captivity. 

My grandfather, Chris Loveridge, was a special man, a soldier of the Great War, whose life was deeply affected by that experience. This book tells the story of his life as a Brampton Boy with a job at the local gas works, through the physical and mental wounds of battle to a life after war, seeking peace in his faith and his family.
I can still see him now, in his open-necked shirt, bib and brace overalls, and a cigarette in the corner of his mouth, pushing me in his wheelbarrow back from his allotment, accompanied by the sound of his hobnail boots. It is a story that must be told and one that cannot be forgotten.

Much has changed in the 40 years since Christine Robinson joined the staff at Chatsworth House, and as Head Housekeeper, she probably knows Chatsworth better than most.
Her tale invites the reader to go beyond the door marked ‘private’ and join her on a fascinating journey through the day-to-day care of one of England’s best-loved country houses, revealing an enticing hidden story of parties and celebrations along the way.
For many generations, Christine’s family and that of her husband, have worked on the Chatsworth Estate; walked the land, raised their children, and played their part in making Chatsworth the vibrant, compelling and enthralling place that is enjoyed by tens of thousands of visitors every year.

Christine Robinson was Housekeeper at Chatsworth for 40 years, and caring for it has been a true vocation.
Following the success of her first book, Chatsworth, The Housekeeper’s Tale, Christine now invites the reader to join her on a journey through an ordinary house, but with particular reference to a specific House – Chatsworth.
Christine explores the history surrounding everyday objects, and reveals more of Chatsworth’s hidden stories from her long experience of working at one of the best-loved houses in the land.
The care of the precious objects at Chatsworth has been her life’s work, and here she shares some of the tips she has gleaned along the way, together with an invitation to raise a glass to all of those who share the responsibility of turning a house into a home. Tips, tales and tipples – irresistible fare!

A young Englishwoman falls in love with a Chilean man, leaves everything and goes to live in Chile. It is an unknown country, she doesn’t speak the language, and what’s more, she suddenly finds herself in the midst of monumental changes after the election of a Socialist President – Dr Salvador Allende.
This is Kate Clark’s personal story of her love affair with Chile and its people. Living and working as a lecturer in English and Phonetics at the University of Chile in a provincial city, Chillán, it is her story of those turbulent years of the Popular Unity Government, elected in September 1970 and brought down by a savage coup d’état in September 1973.
What was the Government of Salvador Allende trying to achieve? What were the difficulties and obstacles? Kate Clark describes the events of those exciting years from her viewpoint as a young Englishwoman living in a provincial Chilean city and attempts to answer some of the most fundamental questions.
This is a rare insight into the period leading up to Allende’s election and the three tumultuous years of his presidency facing growing opposition. She transmits the horror and fear caused by the bloody September 11th coup in 1973 and Allende’s tragic death that day in the Moneda Palace. And the reader feels her pain during the heart-breaking months following the coup when her beloved husband was imprisoned on Quiriquina Island.

‘Live life to the full, blend dream with the deed’. These words, by Geoffrey Winthrop Young, one of England’s early pioneers of rock climbing and mountaineering in the seminal 1920’s book ‘Mountain Craft’, were to become a leitmotiv for subsequent generations of young climbers. For John, David, Les, Johnny and Pam, they opened a pathway to adventure and an experience to sustain them through life.

Armand Rérat (1892-1976), was born at Etupes in eastern France, schooled in Paris and London. His career as an English teacher was interrupted by war and his mobilisation in August 1914, joining his French regiment, the 223e Régiment d’Infanterie in Lorraine. He fought at Verdun in 1916.
His English skills prompted his posting in December 1917 to the American Army as an instructor in the 165th US Infantry Regiment, 42nd Division – the ‘Rainbow Division’, with Douglas MacArthur as Chief of Staff, where he remained until the end of the war and the occupation of Remagen in Germany in the spring of 1919.
Armand spoke little of the war but wrote a memoir, which was only discovered at the bottom of a trunk in 2002 by his daughter, Gisèle. Translated from the original French, this published account describes his war from Langres to Remagen: The Battle of the Marne, the crossing of the Ourcq, the battle of St. Mihiel, the Argonne, crossing Luxembourg and finally the occupation of Germany.
He was very critical of the Americans, particularly regarding certain officers whose criminal negligence, according to him, led to many injuries and deaths. His vivid memories of those events, and his anger, present a fascinating story for the modern reader.
His survival through five years of total war was remarkable: his intensely personal account of those years presents a fascinating commentary and analysis of allies at war.

In the twilight of his years, Ernest Smith (Smudger), once Regimental Sergeant Major of the 1st Battalion the Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters, reflected on his life and on the time he spent in the Army before and during the Second World War. On the Battle of Anzio, he wrote:
“Now that the battle is over, it may be that the planners of that assault operation will reflect on their decisions. Maybe millions of words may be written by historians, tacticians, generals and anyone else who has access to the documents. But who will write about the men who fought and died there? Maybe just a word here and there. The suffering they went through, the conditions they endured, without moaning or complaining. We were led by our own officers, who endured just as the men endured, and died with their men. Maybe someone will record it, and it may ease the pain for those who fought and survived, especially the families of the fallen.”
Later, when the Batalion was fighting in the Italian mountains, before they were sent to Palestine, he wrote:
“So, after almost thirty months of continuous action, in some of the heaviest fighting in the War, and in terrible conditions, the Battalion could hold its head up and proudly say: ‘We helped’.”
The story of Smudger’s war and his life before and after it, is told here by his son-in-law, Trevor Finch. It is a tale worth telling, of times and people now past, but whose courage, endurance and humanity leave lessons for younger generations.

James Russell, above, was declared bankrupt in 1854 and his cabinet making and upholstery company was closed. However, within a few years he had set up a successful business in the new and expanding field of photography.
The new company went on to involve his son and grandson (the author’s grandfather) and many other members of the Russell family.
This short family history outlines their success over more than 50 years of photographing ‘distinguished persons’ of the time, including Queen Victoria and many of the Royal Family, as well as a huge number of the ‘celebrities’ of their day.

Samuel Page, a London provision merchant, invested in land in Adelaide, Australia in 1839.
Family descendant Penelope S Whitney narrates the lives of those who should have inherited the 134 country acres, known as Goodwood Section 8, on the death of Samuel Page in 1860. In Adelaide she discovered the musty old court papers dating from 1888. The land was held in Chancery until the case was resolved in 1917, upon which seven people, not all family members, received their inheritance. They all have stories to tell.
The Pages, who left footprints in Malta, India, the USA and Australia, were merchants, bankrupts, art collectors and military men. The children’s rhyme ‘Tinker, tailor, soldier, sailor, rich man, poor man, beggar man, thief’ covers all the Page characters in this family saga, spanning more than 150 years.

Children & Teenage

Sir Richard Arkwright of Cromford Mill fame, now has a little duck bearing his name… and soon the mill wheels will be turning again, with lots of help and plenty of luck from our little friend, Arkwright the Duck!

Imagination is an amazing thing. We can be warriors, film stars, explorers, it can transport us to outer space, the depths of the ocean, the jungles of Africa… wherever we choose, and safely back home again.
Yes, that’s how it all works doesn’t it?
Well that’s what Bradley Andrews thought, until the day his inventive young mind went into overdrive and took him to a parallel world, where imagination becomes reality.
Join him now and his sidekick Erin Baransky as they go back to Ancient Greece on the best of all possible adventures .

This is a tale of kittens three, Milly and Molly, and Maisy – that’s me!
This is a true story of three kittens who were born at an animal Rescue and Rehoming Centre. They were adopted by the author, who wrote about their adventures, scrapes and fun times.

Ned is a fluffy, black and white Border Collie – some people call him a sheepdog. He lives with his human Mum and Dad, Annie and Andy. Ned likes to keep busy and have fun. He hardly ever gets tired and never wants to go to bed!

Lucy and her younger brother William return to Rose Cottage Farm, where they embark on new adventures with their magical friends, Mr Fudge the scarecrow and Benjamin.
Joined by their cousins Tom and Katie, they explore the countryside around the farm, discovering strange goings-on in an old, ruined castle and unearthing the burial place of a mysterious medieval warrior.
The Little People who live underneath Bluebell Wood turn to the children to help bring back to life an old light-making engine, buried for years in an abandoned cavern. The deepest caves reveal more of the secret history the Little People, whose future now depends on these mysteries being kept safe forever in the Pendragon Code. Will Mr Fudge and the children find a way, or will they fail?
Based on stories written by ‘Papo’ for his grandchildren and richly illustrated with his watercolours, the book holds all the magic, mystery and excitement of the worlds above and below the seemingly tranquil landscape of South Dorset.


He took one last look around the house and catching his reflection in the hall mirror, remembered how haggard he’d looked before. Yes, he was thinner now, but his head wasn’t throbbing and his heart not thumping with apprehension. Surprisingly, he felt liberated. You’ve learned a lot in a short time, he told himself. He had no doubt there would be many rocky hills still to climb and dark places to survive. But, like a mountaineer at the base of Everest, he was ready to climb to the summit and meet his tomorrow.
This first collection of stories by Alvo de Chiro traces the routes from act to consequence. Ranging from Samir, whose days are spent in Petra creating sand pictures, to the wife who gets her way with ‘Tasty Persuasions’, and to the unsavoury Clown, whose real character hides behind his grease-paint. Alvo’s characters provoke empathy and distaste in equal measure – a collection that is both disturbing, yet compelling

We are living in the ideal society, with order, security and protection. Everything is under control. Would reasonable citizens quarrel with that? Not likely, you say. But a forceful undercurrent of opposition is growing... an uprising is brewing. Some young guards have rebelled against the New United Republic and failed…
Traitors to the Homeland, what mercy can such renegades expect? Perhaps none. Executions are demanded: the law must punish criminals. Will the Homeland overcome its dissenters? Will order prevail, or will the rebels break the power of the ruling party and its devoted elite of ‘Exemplary’ class citizens?
If you had to take sides, where would you stand? Who could you trust?

Joe Wright, a young naturalist, has inherited a Peak District farmhouse and old, abandoned quarry. The quarry is now home to rare species of flowers, grasses and birds, many found only in the Peak District and some only in Joe’s quarry; it has become a wildlife sanctuary. When a large quarrying company wants to buy the land and excavate the stone, Joe and the villagers fight to save it. Strange events – his girlfriend’s dog is nearly drowned; a break-in and a fire – seem threatening and suspicious. The villagers fear that Joe, tempted by an offer of millions, will sell out, leaving the quarry and village to blasting, vast robot earth-moving machinery and an army of lorries crushing quiet lanes. It seems that there is no protection for wild places in the Peaks. A strange combination of white bats, an inheritance and the Stock Market help to save Joe’s quarry.

After more than 300 years, Roman Britain ended abruptly in little more than one lifetime. An elderly man, Caradoc, born when Buxton was a thriving Roman spa, now lives on a farmstead below the ruined and abandoned town. He tells his story in the year 430 AD, over half a century before the Anglo-Saxon invaders arrived in force.
The cause of Roman Britain’s dramatic collapse is seen in the life story of the old man, through sixty turbulent years of Britain’s history; a witness to the demise of his civilization.
Caradoc sees the withdrawal of the rich from the towns as they move to the country to avoid taxation, the staged withdrawal of the Roman army to fight in foreign wars at the whim of men seeking power and self-glory and, finally, the collapse of the old order as the British tribes turn on one another in the settling of ancient scores. Throughout it all, only the thermal spring of Buxton runs constant.

Guides, Places and Lifestyle


Poetry & The Arts