Tolstoy, Rasputin, Others, and Me: The Best of Teffi [EPUB]
07 June 2016, 07:09
2016 | EPUB | 1.61MB
Early in her literary career Nadezhda Lokhvitskaya, born in St. Petersburg in 1872, adopted the pen-name of Teffi, and it is as Teffi that she is remembered. In prerevolutionary Russia she was a literary star, known for her humorous satirical pieces; in the 1920s and 30s, she wrote some of her finest stories in exile in Paris, recalling her unforgettable encounters with Rasputin, and her hopeful visit at age thirteen to Tolstoy after reading War and Peace. In this selection of her best autobiographical stories, she covers a wide range of subjects, from family life to revolution and emigration, writers and writing.
Like Nabokov, Platonov, and other great Russian prose writers, Teffi was a poet who turned to prose but continued to write with a poet’s sensitivity to tone and rhythm. Like Chekhov, she fuses wit, tragedy, and a remarkable capacity for observation; there are few human weaknesses she did not relate to with compassion and understanding.
M: MI5's First Spymaster [EPUB]
07 June 2016, 04:23
2011 | EPUB | 0.69MB
This is the amazing true story of the real 'M', William Melville, MI5's founding father and the inspiration for Ian Flemings's character in "James Bond". Melville was one of the most influential counter-espionage figures of the twentieth century. From a tiny outfit based in Victoria Street, London, the counter-intelligence organisation that Melville lobbied the Government to create is today a household name and one of the world's leading intelligence agencies. He was perfect for the job, a velvet-gloved hardman who had run Scotland Yard's Special Branch and whose career had already taken in some of London's great crime dramas including the Jack the Ripper Investigation, countering Irish Republican terrorism, assassination attempts on Queen Victoria and anarchist bomb plots. Now, with the help of recently declassified records, family material and documents that have still not officially seen the light of day, the story of his Secret Service career - including the breaking of German spy rings prior to the outbreak of World War I - can finally be told.
The Last Torpedo Flyers: The True Story of Arthur Aldridge, Hero of the Skies [EPUB]
07 June 2016, 04:20
2014 | EPUB | 3.24MB
Imagine you are an RAF torpedo pilot in World War Two, sent on missions so dangerous that you're later likened to the Kamikaze. Suicide wasn't a recognised part of the objective for British airmen, yet some pilots felt they had accepted certain death just by climbing into their cockpits. There were times in 1942 when Arthur Aldridge felt like this. At the age of 19, this courageous young man had quit his studies at Oxford to volunteer for the RAF. He flew his Bristol Beaufort like there was no tomorrow - a realistic assumption, after seeing his best friend die in flames at the end of 1941.
Aldridge was awarded a DFC (Distinguished Flying Cross) for his bravery on the same strike on a German cargo ship during which he lost a wing tip by flying too close to the deck. He was equally lucky to survive his squadron's chaotic torpedo attack on the giants of Hitler's maritime fleet during the notorious Channel Dash, which saw 40 RAF planes shot down. As 1942 wore on, and the stress became intolerable, Aldridge and his Cockney gunner Bill Carroll held their nerve, and 'Arty' was awarded a Bar to his DFC for sinking two enemy ships off Malta and rescuing a fellow pilot while wounded, as his own Beaufort took four shells. Malta was saved by the skin of its teeth, Rommel denied vital supplies in North Africa, and the course of the war was turned. Aldridge was still only 21 years old. Now both 91, but firm friends as ever, Aldridge and Carroll are two of the last torpedo airmen who deserve their place in history alongside our heroic Spitfire pilots. Their story vividly captures the comradeship that existed between men pushed by war to their very limit.