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Mrs. D. J. Smith "eowyngreenleaf" (Luton, England)
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The Warden: The Chronicles of Barsetshire (Oxford World's Classics)
The Warden: The Chronicles of Barsetshire (Oxford World's Classics)
by Anthony Trollope
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.85

4.0 out of 5 stars Classic Edition, 12 July 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This volume contains both The Warden, the first story in the Barsetshire series, as well as The Two Heroines of Plumplington, which is the last story based in Barsetshire and was written as a short story for christmas. As you would expect from an Oxford World Classics edition, the paper is very smooth and feels high quality, making reading this an additional pleasure. There is also a Introduction, a note on the text (what a difficulty in choosing a 'definitive' edition of the text!) and notes on the text (I didn't read these as it interrupts the flow of the novel, but they can be very useful in explaining to modern readers that which contemporary readers would have intrinsically understood). There's a chronology of Trollope, a map of Barsetshire and a note on the clergy at this time, as context.

The Warden was the first novel by Trollope I had read, although I has sampled some of his short stories, so I knew I had no issues with his writing style (I find Dickens far too verbose - it's clear he got paid by the word!). This is what is called a 'condition of England' novel, and in some of the issues dealing with the power of the press, I found a particularly modern relevance to in The Warden.

In short, I enjoyed The Warden and The Two Heroine of Plumplington. The Warden is not a long novel and as the first in a series is probably a good place to start if you are new to Trollope. This is a nice edition with plenty of additional information should you feel you require it.


Richard III: The King in the Car Park
Richard III: The King in the Car Park
by Terry Breverton
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £16.99

1.0 out of 5 stars Badly written bandwagoner, 23 Jun. 2015
I quote from the final page of this publication: "The writer of this book will face similar virulent criticism. It will be savaged in the book reviews on Amazon, mainly by non-readers, to take its ratings and thus popularity down." In fact, this is the last, but by no means the only rant by the author who appears to have a definite chip on his shoulder for some reason. Since he subjects Thomas Penn's work, 'The Winter King' to such virulent criticism, one can only suspect that he was turned down by Penn's publisher. One can hardly be surprised. I have read this book, despite wanting on a number of occasions to give up in disgust. It is full of errors of spelling (e.g. youngest for younger, now instead of not), so has evidently not had either a proof reader or an editor. There are also many factual errors with names and titles becoming hopelessly confused. On one page we're told that Sir James Tyrell was hanged and a couple of pages later we're told that Henry Tudor was so kind as to merely condescend to cut his head off!

I will admit that with pro-Ricardian sympathies I was probably never going to like this book, but it is a bit of a mess and feels like another case of jumping on the bandwagon. There is no index, no footnotes/endnotes and only a partial list of sources, which is enough to raise questions about academic rigour. If you are going to publish opinions, particular in The Great Debate, these really should be backed up by factual evidence. I think I am most irked by the hypocrisy of Mr Breverton telling us at one point that he is going to take a fresh impartial look at the subject and then immediately showing us exactly which colour he prefers his roses.

His list, near the back of the volume, of all the 'crimes' he thinks Richard III was guilty of really does teeter on the brink of blindness and absurdity. Apparently he is guilty in the case of the Earl of Warwick, son of Richard's older brother, George of Clarence, but whose claim to the throne was barred by his father's attainder (always reversible, but Warwick was then only a child of about 8 years). I'm pretty sure this Warwick was sent to Sheriff Hutton Castle to be brought up with other young persons, as befitted his status by Richard. Of course, as soon as Henry Tudor usurped the throne, this boy was locked up in the Tower only to be executed later on a trumped up charge. I think I know who the guilty party is in that case.

That is my frank opinion on this volume; I will now expect said author to savage me as he has everyone else who has pointed out the self-evident shortcomings in this work.


The Dublin King: The True Story of Edward Earl of Warwick, Lambert Simnel and the 'Princes in the Tower'
The Dublin King: The True Story of Edward Earl of Warwick, Lambert Simnel and the 'Princes in the Tower'
by John Ashdown-Hill
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £15.58

5.0 out of 5 stars More fascinating research from John Ashdown-Hill, 22 Jun. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I was pleased to learn recently that John Ashdown-Hill is due to be honoured by the Queen - I can't think of anyone who has contributed so much to our understanding of late medieval history or is capable or writing in such a clear and rational style.

This book deals with what is known of The Dublin King - probably what most of us might think of from our school history as 'Lambert Simnel'. There are no easy or clear answers here, but anyone with even a rudimentary understanding must wonder why a genuine Yorkist claimant (The Earl of Lincoln) would support such an obvious pretender as the 'Lambert Simnel' is always shown to be. Ashdown-Hill sifts through contemporary sources to give some thought provoking theories on what was really going on. so much is difficult to prove, which is a little frustrating, but it has been a worthwhile exercise to draw together all the known facts here. There are quite a number of references to his own other works, but then no one else has gone quite as far as he in studies of this period, so in many ways it is inevitable. He has such an accessible style that his books are definetly worth reading.


The Mythology of Richard III
The Mythology of Richard III
by John Ashdown-Hill
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £13.59

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The More Things Change, The More They Stay The Same...., 13 Jun. 2015
As usual, Ashdown-Hill has given us a well-written and accessible book with an extensive index and bibliography and reasoning well backed up with factual evidence; I find his books are always worth reading an a refreshing change from a lot of the nonsense there is out there. In this particular book he looks at myths and legends, both old and rather worryingly modern, that surround one or our best known monarchs.

Early chapters deal with the mythology perpetuated by Tudor propagandists and blinkered 'traditionalists' despite lack of evidence in many cases and even explicit evidence to the contrary in others! He looks at how some stories, such as the 'body in the river' became perpetuated over time so that they eventually become accepted as 'truth' by the uninformed. Even I had taken rather at face value the story of the White/Blue Boar Inn, but as Ashdown-Hill points out, it would be much more logical for Richard III to have stayed at Leicester Castle, as he had on a previous occasion, and also there is no evidence that an inn with a boar in its name existed at all in Leicester at this time!

The latter part of the book deals with more modern myths and I was really rather saddened and disappointed that it was necessary to have to set the record straight on many aspect of the rediscovery of the king's grave. I completely understand Ashdown-Hill's need to do so. After reading his earlier book 'The Last Days of Richard III' I was thoroughly convinced by his well reasoned arguments and never for a moment did I seriously doubt that that is where Richard III's resting place was. I was almost ready to go and dig the car park up myself! Whatever the rights and wrongs of it, I did find all the arguments over a final resting place to be somewhat distasteful, with some people sinking very low in voicing their opinions. It is disheartening that a British University PR department is less interested in truth than in trying to keep all the kudos for itself and I hope that people will read this and know the truth. With all its apparent misinformation I doubt I will be bothering with the visitor centre in Leicester any more than I have bothered to visit the putative site of Bosworth.


Shieldwall
Shieldwall
by Justin Hill
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly Solid pre-1066 History, 4 Jun. 2015
This review is from: Shieldwall (Paperback)
This was one of those books I picked up on spec in The Works on a 3 for £5 deal. I seem to do quite well with some of the things I pick up there 'just because' - possibly partly because I don't have great expectations, but I have found some really enjoyable books and this is one of them.

I did initially think the Shieldwall of the title referred to The Battle of Hastings but this is actually the story of Godwin, father of King Harold. Lots of characters such as Ethelred, Edmund Ironside and Knut whose names are familiar but placing them in an historical context is a bit more hazy. At over 500 pages it's quite a long read, but I found myself getting drawn into the story quite quickly and not being sure which way things would go. hill has gone for time appropriate names for people and places but simplified these a little where it helps improve clarity, which I think was sensible. I enjoyed this a lot more than I expected and would recommend this if you enjoy historical fiction and fancy perhaps a period of history less done to death than the Tudors!


The Chosen Queen (Queens of the Conquest 1)
The Chosen Queen (Queens of the Conquest 1)
by Joanna Courtney
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £12.08

4.0 out of 5 stars Pre 1066 (and all that....), 2 Jun. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I do enjoy historical fiction, and set in the pre-1066 English world, this was something of a change from the reams of Tudor based novels glutting the market.

Overall this was a fairly light read, although with some battles and deaths of major characters, but Courtney made you care about her protagonist, Edyth, and be this means care about other characters that Edyth cared about. We all know how 1066 ends, but you do find yourself with Edyth willing to outcome to be different.

There is quite a substantial afterword, which I always find interesting. The one thing I wasn't completely sold on was the 'simplifying' of some of the names. It helps to use variants where several real life characters had the same name as it can get confusing, but I don't think Gunnhild is a difficult name, for example, so not clear why this was changed to Hannah.

I do now want to find out a little more about the real Edyth, which is always a good thing to come out of an historical novel! If you like historical fiction with a dash of romance then I think this could be a goo choice for you.


Olay Total Effects Moisturiser Day and Night Cream 37 ml - Duo Pack
Olay Total Effects Moisturiser Day and Night Cream 37 ml - Duo Pack
Offered by Activecare Online
Price: £14.41

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Olay Duo, 6 April 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This due of day and night creams are pretty good value - currently £15 on Amazon. They seem a bit of an odd size (37ml) but a little product seems to go a long way. They are both light moisturisers - packaging and consistency the same, so do check the label to make sure you are not mixing up your day and night creams! I'm been more used to a slightly heavier night cream, but this has actually worked really well and my skin has been feeling soft and smooth. Not such help with my enlarged pores, but then I've yet to find something that is!


Forensic Shakespeare (Clarendon Lectures in English)
Forensic Shakespeare (Clarendon Lectures in English)
by Quentin Skinner
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £20.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting but Scholarly, 21 Mar. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Forensic doesn't mean this is the Shakespeare equivalent of Silent Witness - this is a book looking at a group of Shakespeare's plays (and one poem), of which several are often considered 'problem' plays and the use of rhetoric within them. Skinner argues that this is deliberate and relates to a re-emerging interest in the Roman Rhetoricians in the Tudor period. The book is based on a series of lectures given by Skinner, so although as a casual reader I found it interesting, it was also hard work at times, particularly the opening chapters.


Revlon ColorStay Makeup Foundation for Combination/Oily Skin - 30 ml, Sand Beige
Revlon ColorStay Makeup Foundation for Combination/Oily Skin - 30 ml, Sand Beige
Price: £12.00

3.0 out of 5 stars Solid Foundation, 15 Feb. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This was quite a reasonable match for my fair-ish skin. It's a liquid foundation that goes on fairly easily and gives good coverage. Does it really last 24 hours - who knows! I wear my make up for work and then am glad to take it off at the end of the day! I found it does transfer a bit - for example of a tissue if I have to blow my nose (and I'm a great sneezer!).

My main issue is that it comes in a glass bottle and is difficult to get the right amount out - I'm more used to a thicker consistency in a tube or a jar. To start with I thought I'd never get any out and then you either end up with too much or not enough - so the packaging could do with a rethink!


Revlon Blush Brush
Revlon Blush Brush
Price: £5.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Won't raise a blush!, 15 Feb. 2015
This review is from: Revlon Blush Brush (Personal Care)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
My old blusher brush has done a few years service, so I was pleased to be able to try this one out. It's a lot softer than my old one and so feels very nice on application. It hold the power well - the first time i used it I was a little heavy handed, but you soon get used to this. It's a nice brush and at a reasonable price. Certainly worth a place on my dressing table.


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