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Reviews Written by
markr
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Thomas Becket: Warrior, Priest, Rebel, Victim: A 900-Year-Old Story Retold
Thomas Becket: Warrior, Priest, Rebel, Victim: A 900-Year-Old Story Retold
by John Guy
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.39

4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, but a little overlong, 9 July 2016
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Enjoyable enough, and I learned far more than I knew previously about Thomas Beckett and his times. The casual brutality of the time, coupled with how religion pervaded almost all aspects of life is made clear. I was fascinated by the power of the threat of excommunication - it could certainly bring recalcitarant rulers to attention, but not always stop them from brutality.

An interesting, if perhaps overlong, account


The Brother Gardeners: Botany, Empire and the Birth of an Obsession
The Brother Gardeners: Botany, Empire and the Birth of an Obsession
by Andrea Wulf
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.68

4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting account of botany and people who made it all happen, 19 Jun. 2016
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Although not really a gardner myself, I enjoyed this account of how botany and gardening flourished during the Enlightenment. As interest in all things scientific grew plants were transported around the world to become features of new landscaping and gardens, particularly in England. This book is the story of how that happened and has quite a case of characters - Joseph Banks who was on the first Captain Cook expedition which found Botany Bay, and tracked the transit of Venus from Tahiti- Captain Bligh, whose mission to transplant breadfruit trees ended in mutiny - although he succeeded superbly later and Erasmus Darwin, grandfather of the more famous Charles.

There is also interesting account of the work by the Swedish Botanist Carl Linnaeus to classify and name plants, and of the opposition encountered. All fascinating and informative stuff - I had no idea so many of the plants we see everyday in England started as native species somewhere else and were deliberately brought to the shores.


Burma's Spring: Real Lives in Turbulent Times
Burma's Spring: Real Lives in Turbulent Times
by Rosalind Russell
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.95

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting and informative account of lives in Burma, 11 Jun. 2016
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Very interesting account of the lives of people in Burma, as the country beings to recover from military rule which kept the people of the country isolated and the economy moribund. I have just returned form a short visit and found this book really helpful in understanding what is going on as the country and its people face the challenges and opportunities created by the opening up


Entry Island
Entry Island
by Peter May
Edition: Paperback
Price: £3.85

5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic tale of two times and places, 11 Jun. 2016
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This review is from: Entry Island (Paperback)
This is a wonderful novel, which traces two stories - a modern murder investigation in Canada, and the tragedy of the Highland Clearances in 19th century Scotland. The writing is so vivid you can almost see Scotland of the time, and the characterisation so strong I shed a tear at the ending.

I could hardly put this down and it is without doubt one of the best novels I have read in recent years


Social Class in the 21st Century (Pelican Introduction)
Social Class in the 21st Century (Pelican Introduction)
by Mike Savage
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: £6.74

5.0 out of 5 stars what makes class differences in the UK - and why they are widening, 11 Jun. 2016
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This s a fascinating look at the data behind the BBC class survey, and a very informative development which looks at what makes for class differences in the UK today - wealth, culture, and networks. They are largely interconnected of course, and the author makes clear that reaching the top is harder than ever, as the top gets further and further away from the rest of society due to the accumulative process of all three kinds of capital over time.

The charts are fascinating, the qualitative analysis illuminating, and the writing fluid and interesting


Coming Up for Air (Penguin Modern Classics)
Coming Up for Air (Penguin Modern Classics)
by George Orwell
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.98

4.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating picture of pre war England, 11 Jun. 2016
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This isn't one of Orwell's very best works, but it is an enjoyable read, which paints a fascinating picture of the time it was written, just before World War 2. Like every generation the main protagonist George Bowling, laments the passing of the world he grew up in, and dreams of returning to a simpler time. He is haunted by the coming war and sees clearly the destruction which is to come, as well as a vision of dystopian post war future.

Nothing much happens in this novel, but I learned a great deal about what life was like in pre war England, and in enjoyed the account of Bowlings struggles with his lot in life


5L Pump Action Pressure Sprayer - use with water, fertilizer or pesticides
5L Pump Action Pressure Sprayer - use with water, fertilizer or pesticides
Offered by Garden Selections
Price: £7.97

3.0 out of 5 stars Easy to use but weak pressure, 15 May 2016
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This does the job, just about. Easy to pump, and reasonable well lasting with the pump pressure, i used it for spraying cleaner on outside stonework. The water pressure is pretty low though and i found that i had to hold the nozzle close to the target


Blackfriar BKFSB250 250 ml Paint for Wood and Metal - Satin Black
Blackfriar BKFSB250 250 ml Paint for Wood and Metal - Satin Black
Price: £5.95

5.0 out of 5 stars good paint - nice finish and dries quickly, 15 May 2016
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very good product which smartened up my garden furniture beautifully. It dries quickly as well


Render Restorer 5Lt, easily cleans render, masonry and stone. Removes algae, mould, moss and dirt to leave walls looking as good as new.
Render Restorer 5Lt, easily cleans render, masonry and stone. Removes algae, mould, moss and dirt to leave walls looking as good as new.
Offered by Magic Bullet Products
Price: £19.95

4.0 out of 5 stars It works - but expensive for the amount it will do, 15 May 2016
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This works pretty well. I used it on a stone balustrade which was almost black with years of dirt, moss and the like and it cleaned it well with the use of a pump spray. The only thing is that i didn't have enough in one can to do it all - and it is very expensive


tesa 56172 Universal Double Sided Tape, 50mm x 25m
tesa 56172 Universal Double Sided Tape, 50mm x 25m
Price: £7.93

5.0 out of 5 stars It works - easy to use and great value, 15 May 2016
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I am delighted with this. We have tried all sorts of ways to stop a runner rug in our hallway from moving around including expensive carpet grips. Nothing really worked, but thanks to other reviews on here I bought this - and the rug has not moved since. It is so easy to use, the tape tears and doesn't even need scissors - but once laid it sticks well.

Great product and great value


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