Selected for Richard & Judy's Book Club 2005
Mary Robinson was one of the most flamboyant women of the late-eighteenth century. After being raised by a middle-class father, Mary was married, age 14, to Thomas Robinson. His dissipated lifestyle landed the couple and their baby in debtors' prison, where Mary wrote her first book of poetry. On her release, Mary quickly became one of the most popular actresses of the day, famously playing Perdita in The Winter’s Tale for a rapt audience that included the Prince of Wales, who fell madly in love with her. This authoritative and engaging book presents a fascinating portrait of a woman who was, variously, darling of the London stage, an admired poet and a mistress to the most powerful men in England.
Audiobook of the Month
A Spy Among Friends - Ben Macintyre
This is another astonishing book from the accomplished biographer, Ben Macintyre, who, with access to newly released MI5 files and previously unseen family papers, and with the cooperation of former officers of MI6 and the CIA, unlocks what is perhaps the last great secret of the Cold War.
Kim Philby was the most notorious British defector and Soviet mole in history. Agent, double agent, traitor and enigma, he betrayed every secret of Allied operations to the Russians in the early years of the Cold War. His two closest friends thought they knew Philby better than anyone, and then discovered they had not known him at all... This is a story of intimate duplicity.