Biography/Autobiography Braille Grade Compiled: 2007



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Biography/Autobiography

Braille - Grade 2. Compiled: 2007.

The titles in this booklist are just a selection of the titles available for loan from the RNIB National Library Service braille collection.

Books are lent for up to 3 months, but you can renew your books by telephone, letter or email, unless another reader requires them.
If you would like to read any of these titles then please contact the Customer Services team:
Call: 0303 123 9999

Email: library@rnib.org.uk


If you would like further information, or help in selecting titles to read, please visit our website at www.rnib.org.uk/reading or contact the Reader Services team:
Call: +44 (0)161 406 2524

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Write to us at: RNIB National Library Service, Far Cromwell Rd, Bredbury, Stockport, SK6 2SG, United Kingdom.

Akhbar, M.J.

Nehru: the making of India. 1988. 18v. UK Loan only.


Jawaharlal Nehru, India's first Prime Minister, was the ideological and political heir of Gandhi. Building on Mahatma's foundations as leader both of Congress and of independent India from 1947, M.J. Akbar looks at Nehru's life against the background of volatile political forces that have dominated twentieth-century India. He also examines the social and cultural milieu in which Nehru grew up, giving a fascinating picture of the man behind the public figure.

Amis, John.

A miscellany: my life, my music. 1985. 4v.


Heavily involved with music both behind the scenes and in front for longer than he can care to remember. You name the musician; the author has met him or her; often they have become his friends, and if not he can always be counted on for a reminiscence or anecdote.

Armstrong, Karen.

Muhammad: a Western attempt to understand Islam. 1991. 6v. UK Loan only.

This biography offers a picture of Muhammad which facilitates a more accurate and profound understanding of Islam and the people who adhere to it so strongly.

Armstrong, Lance and Jenkins, Sally.

It's not about the bike: my journey back to life. 2000. 5v. UK Loan only.


In 1996, 24-year-old Lance Armstrong was ranked number one cyclist in the world. But that October tests revealed that advanced testicular cancer had spread to his lungs and brain. In this book, he reveals his journey from a 20% chance of survival, to victory in the 1999 Tour de France. Although scarred physically and emotionally, Armstrong considered his cancer a "wake-up call" - one that crystallized the blessings of good health, family, friends and marriage. Since 1996, he had dedicated himself to fighting cancer and supporting the cancer community, establishing an educational and fund-raising foundation, the Lance Armstrong Foundation, in his hometown of Austin, Texas. This autobiography is about Lance Armstrong who won the 1999 Tour de France in spectacular style, taking four stages and both a mountain and a time trial. His story is even more remarkable because he was diagnosed with stage four testicular cancer in October 1996.

Ashworth, Andrea.

Once, in a house on fire. 1998. 6v.


Andrea Ashworth's father drowned when she was five and her sister was three. They lived in Manchester where money was tight, but people were kind. Then, with a new father, and a new baby sister, came a new smell, of meat and onions and fear. As Andrea grew, she discovered that there was another life to be lived; a happier world, hidden in pictures and music and - especially - in books.

Avedon, John F.

In exile from the land of snows. 1984. 10v. UK Loan only.

In this book, the author gives a complete and graphic account of the Dalai Lama and Tibet since the Chinese conquest. In 1950, completely unprovoked, the Chinese People's Liberation Army took Tibet by storm. Communist reforms resulted in widespread revolt, and in 1959 the Dalai Lama fled to exile in India, followed by 100,000 refugees. Twenty-five years later, the Tibetan refugees have not only endured; they have created a nation-in-exile.

Babington-Smith, Constance.

Amy Johnson. 1967. 7v. UK Loan only.


Constance Babbington-Smith has written a compelling and penetrating study of a woman whose death was in keeping with her unconventional life. She has succeeded not only in recreating the adventure of Amy's great world flights but also, because she had discovered previously unknown series of letters, has found out what inspired and sustained her passion for the air.

Bailey, Paul.

An English madam: the life and work of Cynthia Payne. 1982. 4v. UK Loan only.


This biography of a high-class brothel keeper, Cynthia Payne, christened `Madame Sin' by the tabloids on her arrest in December 1978, is both honest and explicit.

Warning: Unsuitable for family reading



Barltrop, Robert.

Jack London: the man, the writer, the rebel. 1976. 5v. UK Loan only.


Jack London was a pirate, a hobo, an adventure, a factory worker, a seaman, a journalist, a propagandist and many other things. He was also a writer, read by millions. Robert Barltrop tells more than the story of a dramatic life. He explains how Jack London came to be a radical, how he succeeded as a popular writer, and why he still lives as a story-teller all over the world.

Bellamy, David.

Jolly green giant: the autobiography of David J Bellamy OBE, Hon FLS, an Englishman. 2002. 7v.

This autobiography depicts a childhood of discovery and adventure in Carshalton during the Second World War. His growing love of nature is interwoven with loving, often hilarious, portraits of the various characters he meets along the way. From his days as a student in fifties' London, to his trial by fire lectureship at Durham University with a young wife and ever-growing family to support, Bellamy reveals his many great loves from sports cars to ballet. He also writes of more serious issues, battling against big enterprises and corporations and campaigning.

Blunden, Margaret.

The Countess of Warwick: a biography. 1967. 8v. UK Loan only.


Lady Warwick was born into a world of elegance, luxury and mid-Victorian tranquillity. But she lived to identify herself with the turbulence of a changing society in which the self-confident supremacy of her class and the restrictive barriers of her sex were gradually broken down. An heiress in her own right, young and beautiful, she found the world at her feet when she was launched into society at the age of eighteen. But Lady Warwick was not by nature a selfish woman and it disturbed her conscience to be surrounded by so much poverty. Gradually the seed of Socialism grew in her, bore fruit and matured in the most surprising abundance and variety.

Bower, Tom.

Fayed: the unauthorized biography. 1988. 10v. UK Loan only.


Mohamed Al Fayed has become Britain's most controversial tycoon. Few men enjoy so much publicity and provoke so many questions about themselves as the Egyptian owner of Harrods, bereaved father of Dodi, and instigator of the "cash for questions" row that occurred during the last Tory government. Mohamed Al Fayed has become Britain's most controversial tycoon. Warning: Contains sex scenes

Brahms, Caryl.

Song by song: the lives and work of 14 great lyric writers. 1984. 9v.

Caryl Brahms and Ned Sherrin write affectionately and perceptively about the personal and professional lives of fourteen of the greatest lyric writers of this century - their families and friends; their triumphs and disasters; their musical associates and the impresarios who helped or frustrated them. The principal lyrics, shows and films, for which each of the writers has been responsible, are listed in the appendix.

Branson, Richard.

Losing my virginity: the autobiography. 1990. 10v.


This autobiography looks at the highs and lows of Richard Branson's life, what he has achieved, and why he has done it. The book discusses how Virgin was made into what it is today, and its vision for the next century.

Brittain, Vera.

Envoy extraordinary: a study of Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit and her contribution to modern India. 1965. 5v. UK Loan only.


The author has brought her gifts of analysis to this portrait of a famous woman whose political and diplomatic career has contributed a new chapter to the history of women, and whose ideals, in spite of a totally different background, are similar to those of her biographer. Vera Brittain's correspondence with Mrs Pandit began in 1940, and developed into friendship between 1954 and 1961, when Mrs Pandit was the Indian High Commissioner in Britain

Britton, Paul.

The jigsaw man: the remarkable career of Britain's foremost criminal psychologist. 1997. 14v.

Forensic psychologist, Paul Britton, has an almost mythic status in the field of crime deduction because of his ability to detect the psychological characteristics of those who stalk, torture, rape, abduct and kill other human beings. In recent years he has been at the centre of more than a hundred headline-making investigations, from the murder of Jamie Bulger to the slaying of Rachel Nickell. Over the past dozen years, Britton has assisted the police in over one hundred cases involving murder, rape, arson, extortion and kidnapping. He has also advised the FBI and the Russian Ministry of the Interior. Warning: Contains sex scenes.


Burns, Peggy.

Louis Braille. 1993. 1v.


In 1812, at the age of three, the little French boy Louis Braille was blinded in an accident. In those days no one believed blind people could learn to read, but Louis was determined, and learned to read raised letters with his fingertips. Later, he invented a new reading system for the blind, using raised dots. His idea is now used all over the world.

Bragg, Melvyn.

The adventure of English 500AD to 2000: the biography of a language. 2007. Coming soon.


In this book Melvyn Bragg shows us the story of the English language; from its beginnings as a minor guttural Germanic dialect to its position today as a truly established global language. The Adventure of English is not only an enthralling story of power, religion and trade, but also the story of people, and how their day-to-day lives shaped and continue to change the extraordinary language that is English.

Bryson, Bill.

The life and times of the Thunderbolt Kid: a memoir. 2006. 4v.

Across the moth-holed chest was a golden thunderbolt. It may have looked like an old college football sweater, but young Bryson knew better. It was obviously the Sacred Jersey of Zap, and proved that he had been placed with this innocuous family in the middle of America to fly, become invisible, shoot guns out of people's hands from a distance, and wear his underpants over his jeans in the manner of Superman. Bill Bryson's first travel book opened with the immortal line, 'I come from Des Moines. Somebody had to.' In his deeply funny new memoir, he travels back in time to explore the ordinary kid he once was, and the curious world of 1950s America. It was a happy time, when almost everything was good for you, including DDT, cigarettes and nuclear fallout. Warning: Contains swear words.


Campbell, Nicky.

Blue-eyed son: a story of an adoption. 2004. 4v.


Nicky Campbell was adopted as a tiny baby into a comfortable Protestant Scottish family. He was in his thirties when he embarked on the hunt for his birth mother. When he found her, he learned he had a sister who like him had been given up for adoption. His natural father was not only an Irish Catholic, but a committed Irish Republican and his paternal grandfather had served in the IRA at the time of Michael Collins in the 1920s. The clash of cultures, of creed and of ideology between their world and the world he grew up in couldn't be more striking.

Carpenter, Humphrey.

Robert Runcie: the reluctant archbishop. 1996. 10v. UK Loan only.


In this biography we learn the former Archbishop's opinions of the Pope, Terry Waite, the Falklands War, Margaret Thatcher and the survival of the monarchy. Meanwhile, Graham Leonard, Hugh Montefiore, Eric James, the new Bishop of London, Richard Chartres and, not least, Rosalind Runcie, the Archbishop's sometimes controversial wife, are among those who in turn shed light on the enigmatic figure who became the 102nd Archbishop.

Chamberlain, Ena.

29 Inman Road. 1990. 4v.


This lyrical, poignant autobiography belongs to the 1920s, to a street in South West London, to its people - and especially to Ena Chamberlain. It is a celebration of the women who dominate street society, shape it or perish by it. But it is Ena's adored father who is the catalyst for the end of the story, and the end of childhood.

Cookridge, Edward, Henry.

Orient Express: the life and times of the world's most famous train. 1979. 4v. UK Loan only.

The Orient Express was the greatest train in the world. From Agatha Christie to Graham Greene it provided a magical formula with its luxury and glamour, its legendary association with secret agents, intrigue and sabotage, and the mystery which enshrouded its destinations on the edge of the civilised world. Subtitled 'The life and times of the world's most famous train', this biography of the train and its passengers presents a history which confirms that truth is often stranger than fiction.

Coote, Stephen.

A play of passion: the life of Sir Walter Raleigh. 1993. 9v.


In the first biography of Raleigh for over twenty years, the author describes one of the most compelling figures in English history. This book describes Sir Walter Raleigh as an explorer, pirate, lover, poet, courtier, philosopher and political prisoner, a man of many achievements who fashioned himself as the "universal renaissance man".

Crawford, Michael.

Parcel arrived safely: tied with string: my autobiography. 1999. 8v.


In his autobiography, Crawford recalls his childhood, his early years in show business and the friendships it led to. Stage shows like "The Phantom of the opera" and films such as "Hello Dolly!" are all remembered, and he offers a wealth of professional and personal behind-the scenes anecdotes.

Curtis, Douglas.

Dartmoor to Cambridge: the autobiography of a prison graduate. 1973. 4v. UK Loan only.

Douglas Curtis was first convicted through a bureaucratic bungle. Imprisoned on numerous occasions, he finally decided to reform and characteristically aiming high, he made Cambridge his objective. He writes of the injustices he has witnessed, his personal achievements, and his ambitious plan to help the criminal population of this country. In 1973, he left Cambridge with an honours degree in Economics and Sociology.


Derry, John Wesley.

Castlereagh. 1976. 6v. UK Loan only.


Despite the fact that he served his country faithfully and with distinction, the political reputation of Lord Castlereagh (1769-1822) suffered from the vilification of his opponents, and from misrepresentation after his death. The author shows how his careers reflected the assumptions and circumstances of the time, and contributed to the development of a distinctive political tradition. He hopes that the book will help to rescue Castlereagh from the abuse of posterity.

Dirie, Waris and Miller, Cathleen.

Desert flower: the extraordinary journey of a desert nomad. 2001. 5v.


Waris Dirie, whose name means "desert flower", was born in Somalia of nomadic parents. She underwent extreme female circumcision at the age of five, and when she was 13 her father sold her into marriage with a 60-year-old for five camels, at which time she ran away. She was discovered by a fashion photographer in the United States whilst working as a janitor at McDonald's, and became a model whom has been used to promote Revlon skin-care products. She also speaks on women's rights in Africa and travels the world to give lectures on behalf of the UN. This is her autobiography.

Du Boulay, Shirley.

Cicely Saunders: founder of the modern hospice movement. 1984. 6v. UK Loan only.

This biography of the founder of the modern hospice movement is a story of personal dedication and faith, of love and loss, and of a revolution in the medical care of the dying. According to "The Lancet" this book "Describes the philosophy of modern hospice care better than any other book yet published. A skilfully balanced, perceptive, and sensitive picture of a great woman of our time".


Eames, Andrew.

The 8.55 to Baghdad. 2004. 5v.


Andrew Eames is an adventurous, insightful observer who sets out to travel from London to Baghdad by train, following the route of the old Orient Express. Interwoven through his own experience, with the colourful cast of characters he encounters, is an identical journey made by Agatha Christie in 1928, a journey which led to her spending 30 seasons on archaeological digs in the deserts of Syria and Iraq. Merges literary biography with an intensely personal travel adventure, and ancient history with contemporary events.

Easton, Carol.

Jacqueline du Pré: a biography. 1989. 6v. UK Loan only.


Jacqueline du Pre, her enormous courage notwithstanding, was neither golden girl nor saint: away from her cello she was completely and achingly human. As a child, she had been isolated by her phenomenal talent; as an adult, she was confined to the rarefied insular concert world. During the last fifteen years of her life, she lived in the inexorably shrinking world of the invalid. The true story of her life is as extraordinary as her talent.

Fry, Stephen.

Moab is my washpot. 1997. 8v.


Sent to boarding school at the age of seven, Stephen Fry survived beatings, misery, love, ecstasy, carnal violence, expulsion, imprisonment, criminal conviction, probation and catastrophe to emerge at eighteen years of age, ready to try and face a world in which he had always felt a stranger. In this book the man, whose public face has been seen on TV and cinema screens the world over, reveals his private face. Warning: Contains swear words.

Goodwin, Cliff.

To be a lady: the story of Catherine Cookson. 1994. 8v.

As a child Catherine Cookson was shamed by her illegitimacy and torn between hatred for her drunken mother and love for her violent grandfather. Almost every day of her adult life she has endured a bleeding fit - the legacy of her mother's "gentleman" lover. Yet she has never given up. Guided and guarded by her husband, Tom, she has continued to produce scores of bestsellers

Greenfield, George.

Enid Blyton. 1998. 2v.


Who was the real Enid Blyton? Was it the driving force who wrote 600 books in her 40-year career and yet found time to be a devoted mother and a friend to countless young readers? Or the cold self-absorbed woman described by her younger daughter? Or perhaps a mixture of both? This biography describes her life and background, her two marriages, the development of her career and her writing methods - sitting hunched over a manual typewriter, supported by a plank on her knees, her "inspiration", style and characterization. It also deals with the multi-million pound business that the Enid Blyton industry has become since her death in 1968.

Hancock, Freddie.

Hancock. 1969. 5v.


"Anthony Aloysius St. John Hancock was a comic fiction who had total reality for millions of people. Anthony John Hancock, clown, was not content with this, and searched for reality, and more truth until he finally lost himself in a fantasy world". So begins this biography of the comedian who at his peak commanded the attention of a third of the adult population of the United Kingdom for half and hour a week, and won its enduring affection.

Han Suyin.

The crippled tree: China: biography, history and autobiography. 1965. 11v. Sequel 1.

Through the life of her two families, eastern and western, the author evokes the story of China from 1885 to 1928.


Harris, Rolf.

Can you tell what it is yet?: my autobiography. 2001. 8v. UK Loan only.


The life story of one of the most enduring show business figures working today. Rolf Harris arrived in Britain from Australia in 1952 with his meagre life savings and enrolled in art school, paying his fees from cabaret work. His diverse career includes painting, singing and performing. Warning: Contains swear words

Hawkes, Jacquetta.

Mortimer Wheeler: adventurer in archaeology. 1982. 7v.


A writer and archaeologist herself, the author tackles the biography of a man who made a name for himself in archaeology, became widely known as a television personality, served in two World Wars and managed a number of fairly notorious amorous adventures along the way.

Hughes, Kathryn.

The short life and long times of Mrs Beeton. 2005. 12v.


This biography examines the private and public life of Isabella Beeton, and explores just how a young woman who died at the age of twenty-eight managed to become one of the most powerful cultural icons of all time.

Hyland, Paul.

Wight: biography of an island. 1997. 7v. UK Loan only.


One of the most acclaimed books on the Isle of Wight to be published, and already regarded as a modern classic. This book is recommended by the Isle of Wight Tourist Board. One of the most acclaimed books on the Isle of Wight to be published, and already regarded as a modern classic. This book is recommended by the Isle of Wight Tourist Board.

LeBor, Adam.

Milosevic: a biography. 2002. 10v.

This biography of Slobodan Milosevic offers an account of a man who started wars, whose rhetoric whipped up Serb nationalism to a frenzy of 'ethnic cleansing' and yet, who retained for a decade the ability to wrap the 'international community' round his little finger.

Lennon, Cynthia.

John. 2005. 4v.


This is the definitive biography and most intimate portrait yet of the iconic John Lennon - by his first wife Cynthia. Cynthia and John Lennon's relationship spanned ten crucial years of the Beatles phenomenon. But as well as new insight into the Beatles years, Cynthia has a compelling personal story of marriage, motherhood and the man who was to become the most idolised and admired of all the Beatles. Cynthia is candid about the cruel and the loving sides of John. She tells of the end of their marriage and the beginning of his relationship with Yoko Ono in more detail than ever before, and reveals the many difficulties estrangement from John - and then his death - brought for herself and Julian. Cynthia is a remarkable survivor and this is her extraordinary story and unique insight into a man loved and idolised all over the world.

Lott, Tim.

Rumours of a hurricane. 2003. 6v.


The death of homeless man Charlie Buck is unremarkable to everyone except the few passers-by who witness his drunken and apparently voluntary fall beneath a speeding lorry. No loved ones or friends attend his last breaths in hospital, his possessions amount to a National Insurance card, a digital watch and a newspaper obituary for a dead composer. But Charlie was a person. He had a wife and a son, his own set of dreams and personal demons, a biography no more and no less studded with dramas, defeats and victories than anyone else's.

Lovejoy, J.

Sven-Göran Eriksson. 2002. 6v.

This in-depth biography of Sven Göran Eriksson, the first foreign manager of the England football team, chronicles his time in the hot seat. It relates his time from his baptism of fire on succeeding the incumbent Kevin Keegan through to the 2002 World Cup Finals in Japan and South Korea.


McCann, Graham.

Morecambe and Wise. 1998. 11v.


This is not just a biography of Britain's best-loved double-act, it is also the biography of one of British television's best-loved shows. Morecambe and Wise worked together for more than forty years, honing skills drawn from the music-hall, variety, radio, movies and television and then combining them to produce an award-winning show that became the jewel in the crown of BBC's light entertainment output.

McEnroe, John and Kaplan, James.

Serious. 2002. 7v.


This autobiography covers his amazing tennis career, marriage to movie star Tatum O'Neal and where arguably one of the greatest tennis player of all time goes from here. John McEnroe enjoyed tremendous success at all levels of tennis and owns 77 career singles titles, including seven Grand Slams. He joined the circuit in 1978 and it took him only three years to attain the No. 1 ranking. The 1980 Wimbledon final, between McEnroe and Bjorn Borg, is considered by many tennis experts to be the best match ever, a five-set thriller which McEnroe avenged the following year for his first Wimbledon title. This autobiography chronicles the tennis career of John McEnroe. From his first Wimbledon in 1977, when he stunned the tennis world by reaching the semi-finals, and shocked it with his on-court behaviour. What followed was a double act of technique and temperament that set the sport alight. The book also covers his life outside tennis from his friendship with Keith Richards and Jack Nicholson, his stormy marriage to Tatum O'Neal, his forays into the worlds of art and rock music, and his arrival as one of the most astute sports commentators around.

Madeley, Richard and Finnegn, Judy.

Richard & Judy: the autobiography. 2002. 7v.

Described as the nation's best-loved couple, Richard and Judy have been on television together for eighteen years. For thirteen of those they fronted "This Morning", the most popular British daytime programme ever, and their departure gave rise to huge newspaper coverage when they left in 2001. Now back with a Channel 4 show, the couple write the full story of their lives: their childhoods, unsuccessful first marriages and professional and personal lives together.

Meade, Marion.

Dorothy Parker: what fresh hell is this?. 1988. 14v.


When Dorothy Parker died in 1967 at the age of 73, she was already a legend, famous as the wittiest woman in America. Yet behind the wisecracks, the dazzling word-play, the vertiginous high-living, was a wealth of private sadness. This is a portrait of a unique but ultimately tragic figure who lived centre-stage through some of the most dramatic and colourful decades in American history.

Midwinter, Eric C.

Red shirts and roses: the tale of two Old Traffords. 2005. 5v.

For generations the two Old Traffords - the famous homes of Manchester United and Lancashire County Cricket Club - have been the arenas for important and exciting sporting events and their reputations are international in compass. Here is a parallel biography of the two grounds and the two clubs, narrating the story of how both came to be developed close by one another and how they have provided Manchester, indeed Britain and the world, with glittering sporting entertainment. This study is part the fascinating tale of great teams, with acute profiles of leading players and personalities; part social and cultural history, describing the intriguing context in which the two venues and their famed clubs grew in ascendancy; and part the personal memoir of an enthusiastic fan, born close to the two Old Traffords and drawing on 70 years of memories.


Miller, John.

Judi Dench: with a crack in her voice: the biography. 1998. 8v.


This biography looks at the life of the actress Judi Dench, and her successful career on stage, television, and big screen. In his quest to discover the secret of her extraordinary success, the author talked to most of her directors, and fellow actors, and spent many hours with Judi herself.

Mortimer, John.

Murderers and other friends: another part of life. 1994. 6v. Sequel 2.


John Mortimer's first career found him in his father's profession, occupying his chambers and continuing his work as a barrister. In the intensity of murder trials, he discovered that a strange kind of short term friendship was established between the accused and his barrister. Later he turned to full-time writing and worked in film, theatre and on television, which brought new, and sometimes just as unpredictable, friends and acquaintances. In this second volume of autobiography, Mortimer tells of his court work and his breakthrough to fame with Rumpole and "Brideshead". Portraits of Tony Hillerman, David Niven, John Gielgud, Harold Wilson and others are included.

Muir, Frank.

A Kentish lad: the autobiography of Frank Muir. 1997. 8v. UK Loan only.


For more than twenty-five years Frank Muir has produced comedy for radio and television. In this book he recalls a happy 1920's childhood, and his early discovery that humour and writing could be combined. During the war years he began his career as a scriptwriter and performer. He recalls his theatre work in London in the early 40s and 50s. Then came the BBC and his partnership with Denis Norden.

Murphy, Dervla.

Wheels within wheels: autobiography. 1979. 4v.

The author recalls her first thirty years growing up in Ireland, exploring the countryside and preparing herself, both mentally and physically for later journeys in remote parts of the world.

Nasar, Sylvia.

A beautiful mind. 1998. 13v.


Tells how mathematical genius John Forbes Nash, jr., suffered a breakdown at age thirty-one and was diagnosed with schizophrenia, but experienced a remission of his illness thirty years later. This biography tells the story of John Nash, the mathematician who laid the foundations of game theory, and his meteoric rise in the world of mathematics in the age of Einstein and the Cold War; his relationship with an extraordinary woman who never abandoned him; and his terrible struggle with schizophrenia. The author reveals how this great mind endured, and finally triumphed over tragedy.

Palin, Michael.

Michael Palin's Hemingway adventure. 1999. 4v.


One hundred years after the birth of Ernest Hemingway, Michael Palin sets out to discover the man behind the legend: a hard-drinking womaniser who liked cats and shooting - but wrote like a dream and left an indelible impression on the twentieth century through his work

Pavarotti, Luciano and Wright, William.

Pavarotti: my world. 1995. 4v. UK Loan only.

This autobiography is a candid portrait of an extraordinary artist, offering clues to his character and to his ability to move millions of people by the power of his voice and personality. It covers the major events of his life, and the operatic venues where he has enjoyed the greatest triumphs. It also tells of the difficult times in his career and of his work in Philadelphia helping struggling singers. Finally, it tells of his family and private life, including his daughter's near-fatal illness, and his battles with his own health.


Pelzer, Dave.

A man named Dave. 2001. 6v. Sequel 3.


"A Man Named Dave" is the conclusion to Dave Pelzer's trilogy of memoirs. With extraordinary generosity of spirit, Dave takes us on his journey confronting his past. In a dramatic reunion he confronts his father and ultimately faces the mother who so brutally abused him. Finally Dave finds the courage to break the chains of the past and learn to love, trust and live for the future.

Pey, Tom.

Bang! you're dead. 2001. 3v.


This biography is set in rural Ireland back in 1961, with swinging London and The Beatles about to break upon the world.

Stirling, Richard.

Julie Andrews: an intimate biography. 2007. Coming soon.


Julie Andrews is the last of the great Hollywood musical stars - her extraordinary career spans more than forty years. Her first film, "Mary Poppins", was Disney's most successful film, and in 1965 "The Sound of Music" rescued Twentieth Century Fox from bankruptcy. Three years later, "Star!" almost put the studio back under, and the leading lady of both films fell as spectacularly as she had risen. But Julie Andrews is nothing if not a survivor; and despite many setbacks - including the tragedy of losing her singing voice in 1997 after a botched operation - she's still a performer, recently starring in Shrek and The Princess Diaries. Richard Stirling's deeply researched biography - based on many years of contact with Julie - is a frank but affectionate portrait of an enduring icon of stage and screen.

Tomlinson, Ricky.

Ricky. 2003. 6v.

Famous as the lovable couch potato Jim Royle of "The Royle Family", Ricky Tomlinson has entertained millions without ever leaving his armchair. In his autobiography, he tells a story of love, hardship, humour, injustice and triumph. He has been a plasterer, banjo player, stand-up comic, union agitator, political activist, film extra, award-winning actor and unwilling guest of Her Majesty's prison service. Renowned for his honesty, wit and integrity, Ricky brings all of these qualities to his moving and inspiring story


Robinson, Anne.

Memoirs of an unfit mother. 2001. 8v.


Anne Robinson's mother was a cross between Robert Maxwell and Mother Teresa. When she became a young reporter in Fleet Street, her mother, a wealthy market trader, bought her a mink coat and told her to have a facial once a month. But Robinson's early success almost ended in her destruction. A doomed marriage was followed by a secret custody battle for her two-year-old daughter, Emma.

Seymour, Miranda.

Mary Shelley. 2001. 18v. UK Loan only.


This biography looks at the life of the creator of Frankenstein's monster, Mary Shelly. Using a variety of sources, her life in the Romantic Age, her life with Shelley and her imagination are all explored.

Sharman, Helen and Priest, Christopher.

Seize the moment: the autobiography of Helen Sharman. 1993. 3v. UK Loan only.


Astronaut wanted - no experience necessary. Helen Sharman heard the radio advertisement as she drove home one day. She applied, and from over 13,000 people, and after eighteen gruelling months of training, to her astonishment she was chosen. This is the gripping account of how an `ordinary' British girl did something extraordinary. It is a vivid evocation of space flight.

Smith, Sean.

J K Rowling: a biography. 2002. 4v.


J.K. Rowling's rise to superstardom status is the stuff of tabloid legend - how she would spend hours in a cafe in Edinburgh, nursing a single coffee and a glass of water while she wrote the Harry Potter novel that would bring her fame and fortune. This is her life story.

Spark, Murial.

Curriculum vitae. 1992. 4v.

The two questions that are put to Muriel Spark most frequently are these: "Are your novels autobiographical?" and "Why did you become a Catholic?" The first of these questions Muriel Spark has consistently deflected. Now in this volume of autobiography, she allows her readers to find the answers to both questions for themselves. The two questions that are put to Muriel Spark most frequently are these: "Are your novels autobiographical?" and "Why did you become a Catholic?" The first of these questions Muriel Spark has consistently deflected. Now in this volume of autobiography, she allows her readers to find the answers to both questions for themselves.


Spink, Kathryn.

Mother Teresa: an authorised biography. 1997. 9v.


On September 5th 1997, as the world mourned the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, came the news of a second devastating loss for humanity. At 87 years old, Mother Teresa of Calcutta had died. Drawing on private conversations and letters previously unpublished, this authorized biography portrays a compassionate woman, who had become one of the best-known Christian figures of the twentieth century.

Hildred, Stafford and Ewbank, Tim.

David Jason: the biography. 1997. 6v.


This affectionate biography traces the life of one of Britain's favourite actors, from his humble roots in North London through his days as an electrician to the real David Jason of today. His undisputed status has been hard earned and achieved at great personal cost. There have been disappointments, embarrassing failure, and the heartbreak of losing actress Myfanwy Talog, the women he described as "the love of my life", to cancer. A remarkable new biography which traces the life of Britain's favourite actor, from his humble roots in North London to the real David Jason of today.

Townsend, Peter.

Time and chance: an autobiography. 1978. 4v.


The candid autobiography of a professional airman who became a royal equerry, and an honest account of his friendship with Princess Margaret which was to bring such sadness to them both

Weston, Simon.

Walking tall: an autobiography. 1989. 5v.

Simon Weston is familiar to millions as the Welsh Guardsman who suffered horrific burns as a result of the attack on the "Sir Galahad" during the 1982 Falklands War. The subject of two major BBC television documentaries, Simon now gives his own account of his experiences, from his childhood in the small Welsh village of Nelson, to the dreadful events on the "Sir Galahad" and his subsequent struggle to find peace and happiness.


Whitaker, Katie.

Mad Madge: Margaret Cavendish, Duchess of Newcastle, royalist, writer and romantic. 2004. 12v. UK Loan only.


This biography examines the life of Margaret Cavendish. Born in 1623, Margaret Lucas went into Court service, accompanying the Queen during the Civil War and sharing her hair-raising escape to France in 1644. She married William Cavendish, Marquis of Newcastle, and together they became part of the royalist circle that included Aristocrates and the intellectual giants of the day, such as Descartes and Hobbes. In defiance of social convention, Margaret made her mark as the most determined and wide-ranging female writer of the age, and became Britain's very first literary celebrity.

Williams, Richard.

Enzo Ferrari: a life. 2002. 5v. UK Loan only.


Ferrari, the name itself evokes the world of speed, a world of fast cars.

Wogan, Terry.

Is it me?: Terry Wogan: an autobiography. 2000. 6v.


Terry Wogan brings to the reader a wry take on everyday life, mixed with a self-deprecating humour, as he describes his whole life, both personal and professional.

Wright, Peter and Greengrass, Paul.

Spycatcher: the candid autobiography of a Senior Intelligence Officer. 1987. 11v. UK Loan only.

For five years we bugged and burgled our way across London at the State's behest, while pompous bowler-hatted Civil Servants in Whitehall pretended to look the other way". Peter Wright, ex-MI5 agent, tells with startling frankness and detail the devastating story of a government agency operation outside the law, where the only rule was the 11th Commandment "Thou shalt not get caught".



Young, Hugo.

One of us: a biography of Margaret Thatcher. 1990. 18v.


Margaret Thatcher has provoked more adulation and more enraged vilification than any other post-war leader. Hugo Young, award winning political columnist, has set out to describe and explain the Thatcher phenomenon. He traces the evolution of the Grantham shopkeeper's daughter into the self-styled embodiment of a nation's values, and provides an absorbing and meticulous analysis of how this transformation occurred.


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