‘A Greek tragedy’ is the cliché most often used to describe the love triangle of Aristotle, Maria and Jackie but none of them, in truth, were genuinely Greek. Their story is, however, a tragedy in all other senses. If you needed a cautionary tale on the themes of love, money, gender politics, and their association with happiness, then this would be it.
Here you have passionate, life-changing love; breath-taking misogyny, fabulous amounts of money and no lasting happiness. Both Aristotle and Maria were wretched and miserable in their final years, if not before. Jackie eventually found contentment, but only after searing events which almost took her sanity. Aristotle’s only surviving child, Christina, who inherited wealth beyond the dreams of avarice, was always a profoundly unhappy woman who repeatedly attempted suicide and died alone at the age of thirty-seven.
Volume 2 of Philip Hogge's popular anthology of stories set in flying's Golden Age. Although fiction, all of Philip's tales are based on fact, and relate to real situations experienced by him or his colleagues. If you have ever wondered how it felt to be in the cockpit of a BOAC passenger jet in the mid to late 20th century, then Philip Hogge's fact-based stories will take you there with all the colour, detail and human drama that you could wish for.
Let one of Britain's most senior airline captains tell you what it was really like to fly for an iconic British airline in the final years of flying's Golden Age. Meet the pilots, engineers, stewards, stewardesses and endless characters of Philip's long career.
For all our nostalgia about the “Golden Age of Air Travel”, it was more mythical than we like to think. As with other forms of transport then, until the 1970s, commercial and military aviation were strictly gendered and racist divisions of labour, both in the cockpit and cabin – piloting was a lifetime career for white men, “stewardessing” a temporary one for women. Western culture was built upon images of men as chivalrous knights, cowboys, and soldiers — all living rugged manly lives, their greatest joy the comradeship on cattle drives, or men-of-war or in the trenches. In reality, by the beginning of the twentieth century, few males had ever been cowboys or seen active military service. Nevertheless, fueled by paperback novels and later Hollywood, the mythology persisted. National identity was defined by masculinity- in the United States it was the cowboy, in Australia the “digger” and in Canada, the lumberjack, the Mountie and since the last war, the air ace. Women in pulp fiction and movies were either the faithful forgiving wife and mother, the schoolmarm - or the dance hall prostitute. Pilots were defined by their training, professionalism, and their courage in the air. To frightened passengers – and that was everyone then, whoever sat in the flight deck was omnipotent.
Alan Lester’s Deny and Disavow is a new analysis which challenges the distancing, denial and disavowal of British racism, and racially-charged violence, especially Britain’s response to the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement. Prof. Lester is a world expert in studies of Empire and colonial history. He is coeditor of a leading book series on imperial history, Studies in Imperialism, and has written nine books over the last 25 years, the latest being Ruling the World: Freedom, Crisis and Liberalism in the Nineteenth-Century British Empire, Cambridge University Press, 2021.
Deny and Disavow boldly confronts apologists for the British Empire (including the Prime Minister and Cabinet Secretaries). Lester contends that this ‘distancing, denial and disavowal policy is part of a deliberate strategy to refute the claims and resist the demands of those who want recognition and reorganisation’. His analysis draws upon thirty years of research and writing and supports BLM’s call for increased awareness of the legacies of structural racism bequeathed by the British Empire.
Nigel Harrisson always wanted to be a pilot. From an early age he built balsa wood models, flying them from the grounds of the Alexandra Palace, and he joined the wartime RAF as soon as he was old enough. He was trained in South Africa and later became a flying instructor on Harvards, first in the RAF and later for the civilian operator Airwork.
In the 1950s he joined BOAC as a Second Officer on Constellations, later flying Britannias and Comets, before gaining his command on the iconic VC10. Upon retirement from BA, he flew for the royal family of Abu Dhabi.
In this moving, frank and deeply personal account he tells not only of the delights of flying during the Golden Age of travel, but also of the ups and downs of a long haul-pilot’s family life and the tragic loss of a much-loved son from a sudden heart attack.
Grave Concerns explores the bizarre and unexpected tales to be uncovered in British graveyards. From the last man to die in a duel, to star-crossed lovers, family feuds, tragic romances and a dancer’s final curtain she takes us behind (or rather, beneath) the strangest tombstones you will ever see.
Nicola Kelleher is an an author, actress and television presenter who lives in London with her family and two dogs. She has always been fascinated by the paranormal and has regularly appeared as both a presenter and contributor on television shows. In 2012 she presented a documentary, Supernatural Guernsey, combining her passion for history with her knowledge of the paranormal. She has also presented wildlife television shows for Animal Planet, on location in Africa. She is the author of Very Practical Magic, (2019) a modern take on witchcraft.
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