The cultural history of misogyny you won't believe hasn't been written until now - Mary Beard is devastatingly lucid. Of all the excellent books around on the subject at the moment, Beard joins Solnit, Ngozi Adichie and Lorde on my list of feminist 'must reads'.
Select 'General Admission + Book' ticket type to include a hardback copy of The Last London (RRP £18.99)
Iain Sinclair has been documenting the peculiar magic of the river-city that absorbs and obsesses him for most of his adult life. In The Last London, he strikes out on a series of solitary walks and collaborative expeditions to make a final reckoning with a capital stretched beyond recognition. Here is a mesmerising record of secret scholars and whispering ghosts. Of disturbing encounters. Night hospitals. Pits that become cameras. Mole Man labyrinths. And privileged swimming pools, up in clouds, patrolled by surveillance helicopters. Where now are the myths, the ultimate fictions of a many times revised city?
Travelling from the pinnacle of the Shard to the outer limits of the London Overground system at Croydon and Barking, from the Thames Estuary to the future ruins of Olympicopolis, Sinclair reflects on where London begins and where it ends. A memoir, a critique, a love letter, The Last London is a delirious conclusion to a truly epic project.
Iain Sinclair is the award-winning writer of numerous critically acclaimed books on London, including Lights Out for the Territory, London Orbital and London Overground. He won the Encore Award and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for his novel Downriver. He lives in Hackney.
Brian Catling is a sculptor, poet, novelist, film maker and performance artist. His debut novel The Vorrh was praised by Tom Waits (‘I am glad to have the book as a companion on my own dark quest’), Alan Moore (‘The current century’s first landmark work of fantasy and ranking amongst the best pieces ever written in that genre’) and Michael Moorcock ('It is one of the most original works of visionary fiction since Mervyn Peake').
“We were the biggest empire the world had ever seen. The idea that you can have a domestic history apart from it doesn’t make sense. Take the industrial revolution: the stories about spinning jennys and water frames are all part of our heritage. But where does the cotton being spun in those machines come from? At school, we went to mills and factories and nobody at any point in my education pointed out that the cotton processed in those mills was made by enslaved black Americans. When we talk about the history of the industrial revolution, the missing people in that revolution are the 1.8 million enslaved people who made that cotton. It was our biggest export and almost all of it came from the American deep south.”
In support of Black History Month, our Non-Fiction Book of the Month throughout October will be David Olusoga's award-winning Black and British: A Forgotten History.
Black and British: A Forgotten History
From Pan Macmillan:
In Black and British, award-winning historian and broadcaster David Olusoga offers readers a rich and revealing exploration of the extraordinarily long relationship between the British Isles and the people of Africa. Drawing on new genetic and genealogical research, original records, expert testimony and contemporary interviews, Black and British reaches back to Roman Britain, the medieval imagination and Shakespeare's Othello.
It reveals that behind the South Sea Bubble was Britain's global slave-trading empire and that much of the great industrial boom of the nineteenth century was built on American slavery. It shows that Black Britons fought at Trafalgar and in the trenches of the First World War. Black British history can be read in stately homes, street names, statues and memorials across Britain and is woven into the cultural and economic histories of the nation.
Unflinching, confronting taboos and revealing hitherto unknown scandals, Olusoga describes how black and white Britons have been intimately entwined for centuries. Black and British is a vital re-examination of a shared history, published to accompany the landmark BBC Two series.