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New non–fiction for March 2014

Written by · Published Feb 28, 2014

Tiny stations: an uncommon odyssey around Britain’s railway request stops by Dixe Wills

Two turtle doves: a memoir of making things by Alex Monroe

The author – now a famed jewellery designer looks back on his 1970’s childhood by the river in Suffolk, where left to his own devices a love of making things was born.

The demon’s brood by Desmond Seward

The Plantagenets reigned over England longer than any other family – from Henry II to Richard III. Four kings were murdered, two came close to deposition, and another was killed in a battle by rebels. Based on contemporary sources and recent research, Desmond Seward provides an overview of the whole extraordinary dynasty.

Tiny stations: an uncommon odyssey around Britain’s railway request stops by Dixe Wills

The story of the author’s journey from the far west of Cornwall to the far north of Scotland, visiting around 40 of the most interesting request stops on the nation’s rail network.

Around 150 of the nation’s stations are request stops. Take an unassuming station like Shippea Hill in Cambridgeshire – the scene of a fatal accident involving thousands of carrots. Or Talsarnau in Wales, which experienced a tsunami.

Tiny Stations is the story of the author’s journey from the far west of Cornwall to the far north of Scotland, visiting around 40 of the most interesting of these little used and ill-regarded stations. Often a pen-stroke away from closure – kept alive by political expediency, labyrinthine bureaucracy or sheer whimsy – these half-abandoned stops afford a fascinating glimpse of a Britain that has all but disappeared from view.

There are stations built to serve once thriving industries – copper mines, smelting works, cotton mills, and china clay quarries where the first trains were pulled by horses; stations erected for the sole convenience of stately home and castle owners through whose land the new iron road cut an unwelcome swathe; stations created for Victorian day-tripping attractions; a station built for a cavalry barracks whose last horse has long since bolted; and many more.

Philby: a true story of Cold War espionage and betrayal by Ben MacIntyre

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 in the intelligence world, Nicholas Elliott of MI6 and James Jesus Angleton, the CIA intelligence chief, thought they knew Philby better than anyone – and then discovered they had not known him at all. With access to newly released MI5 files and previously unseen family papers, and with the cooperation of former officers of MI6 and the CIA, this definitive biography unlocks what is perhaps the last great secret of the Cold War. Another bestseller from the author of Agent Zigzag.

Brandon King

I work in the Suffolk Libraries Stock Team