Climber Alex Honnold (left and right) ascended the nose of El Capitan, in California's Yosemite Valley alone and without ropes in 2017. Alex chose a route called Freerider and any mistake would mean certain death. New book The Impossible Climb by Mark Synott (inset) follows the climb and also looks at the dirtbag communities who make up the history of climbing in the Valley. Documentary Free Solo was made about Alex's impressive climb.
From fear to respect to adoration: Churchill's secretaries were shouted at, worked 20-hour days and had to take dictation up ladders. But they all came to worship the great man in the end
Cita Stelzer's glorious new book, weaves together first-hand recollections by his secretaries. You'd be summoned to the Presence — and if it was the morning, he'd be sitting in bed in his brocade dressing-gown, lighting his cigar from a candle, with his cat as a hot-water bottle, all nine daily papers strewn over the eiderdown and a whisky and soda to take him through to lunchtime. He liked to dictate when he was in the bath. The female secretaries had to sit demurely outside the door, and they could hear him coming up from underwater, spouting and blowing bubbles. His one male secretary, Patrick Kinna, was the only one who could accompany him into the bathroom.
Fat and furious (but was it his fault?) Everyone knows Henry VIII was an obese insomniac with a foul temper, but a new book asks: was he really a terrible tyrant or the victim of a nasty disease?
Tudor expert Robert Hutchinson, recounts the life of King Henry VIII (pictured main) who reigned for almost 38 years in a compelling new book (inset). The Royal who ballooned to an estimated 28st in the last years of his life, survived malaria, suffered blows to the head while jousting, and was plagued by weeping leg ulcers. As his grip on England, Wales and Ireland grew stronger, Henry VIII expanded treason laws. Robert considers if the king who had six wives had Cushing’s syndrome, which can cause weight gain, insomnia and irritability.
The nasty piece of work behind the wit: Mel Brooks has made some of the funniest films ever, but a new biography claims he's a boorish dictator with a vicious temper
Funny Man by Patrick McGilligan (inset) shows Mel Brooks, 92, (main) to be cocky and obnoxious. The American filmmaker worked on the script of Springtime For Hitler, which later became The Producers, and also voiced commercials for Bic pens. Another of biographer McGilligan's bombshell revelations in the book are around Brooks' first marriage to dancer Florence Baum. He said he was told by witnesses that Brooks ‘cheated on Florrie left, right and centre’.