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Pyers Symon (Worcester United Kingdom)
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Melanie's Marvelous Measles
Melanie's Marvelous Measles
by Stephanie Messenger
Edition: Paperback
Price: 11.38

10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Dangerous, vile, rubbish, 11 Jan 2013
This book is obviously named after Roald Dahl's "George Marvelous Medicine". Guess what? Roald Dahl's daughter died of measles .....


Nelson: The Sword of Albion
Nelson: The Sword of Albion
by Dr John Sugden
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 20.40

12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quite quite outstanding, 9 Nov 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Having waited 8 years for the second volume, I have astonished at the quality and detail of the scholarship shown here. I haven't finished the book yet (it is many hundreds of pages long) but what I have read makes it one of the best biographies I have ever read. It is not a military history so don't expect details of battles except where they pertain to Nelson himself. Quite brilliant. One tiny tiny quibble: the notes and references are dreadful to use when compared with Vol 1


1356
1356
by Bernard Cornwell
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 13.94

52 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A review about the contents of the book - not the price or the kindle, 29 Sep 2012
This review is from: 1356 (Hardcover)
1356 is - as any history buff will know - about the Poitiers campaign which culminated in the crushing defeat of the French by the Black Prince. Cornwell reintroduces use to Thomas of Hookton - now older, married with a son. We follow his fights against the normal crop of enemies that Thomas seems to accumulate: fat counts, sadistic churchmen, power mad cardinals (plus a meeting with the Pope who at that time was resident in Avignon)... Sir Thomas (yes knighted by the Earl of Northampton!) has a group of archers by his side who follow him on his adventures picking up damsels in distress, a dodgy sword - oh and a "perfect gentle-knight" who possible takes chivalry a little bit too far....

It all ends at Poitiers - where one of the great English (ok plus Gascon and Welsh!) victories of the 100 Years War occurs.

The book stands apart from the Vagabond trilogy - prior reading is not required (although it will help if you have read them of course if only to get the characters) and is characterised by Cornwell's detail to historical accuracy (as always the historical note section at the end of the book is fascinating).

Oh: violence and blood. Lots of it ....


Bradshaw's Handbook - A Facsimile of the Famous Guide (Old House)
Bradshaw's Handbook - A Facsimile of the Famous Guide (Old House)
by George Bradshaw
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 7.00

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb, 1 Feb 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I have been watching Portillo since Season one and have been entranced by the television programmes so when I saw this facsimile on offer for such a ludicrously cheap price I, like many others, leaped at the chance to buy the Bradshaws that is used. Before I look at the the contents people must be aware of the a disclaimer that states that owing to the size and condition of the original maps not all of them have been published. OK a pity and if this was a 30 book then I would have been cross but its not. It's a fiver and at that price I can more than live with it.

I looked up places that I know well and it is amazing both how much and how little they have changed. Mass communications already existed - most towns had a telegraph station - hotels are present today that were there then - albeit under different names. But is the Victorian style that intrigues me. Sherlock Holmes in "Valley of Fear" described the language as "the vocabulary of Bradshaw is nervous and terse, but limited." and I couldn't agree more but the detail is fascinating, a snapshot of Britain and Ireland as it was 150 years ago


Kenwood Mincer and Food Grinder Attachment AT950 - for Kenwood Chef and Major
Kenwood Mincer and Food Grinder Attachment AT950 - for Kenwood Chef and Major
Price: 39.90

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great attachment - devil to clean, 5 Nov 2011
Just made our first batch of sausages using both the grinder and sausage skin filler. The sausages came out fine (if accompanied by hysterical giggling from teenage sons) and the machine worked perfectly. A couple of points that have arisen: when grinding and filling the sausages use a quantity of chopped old, stale bread that can be used to push the last remnants of the sausage meat through the machine, otherwise a fair amount is wasted since it remains in both the spiral feed and in the sausage filler.

My real gripe is cleaning. It really is a devil to get clean. The instructions say that none of it is dishwasher safe and it really is fiddly to clean and to remove the last bits of raw food. A bottle brush of the sort that can be used to clean babies
bottles is possibly the best method.

It works; it works brilliantly but be prepared to spend a long time in cleaning it!


An Archaeological Map of Hadrian's Wall
An Archaeological Map of Hadrian's Wall
by Heritage English
Edition: Map

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An update of the old Ordnance Survey map, 28 Sep 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
About 40 years ago (the second edition in 1972 to be precise !), the Ordnance Survey produced a 2" to 1 Mile map of Hadrian's Wall which showed the Wall as a series of 5 strip maps which ran from east to west and showed the archaeology of the Wall as it was then known. At long long last English Heritage have produced a modern updated, version of the same (the two maps use identical symbols for the Roman sites - red for supposed and black for extant for example) but this time using a scale of 1:25,000 and instead of 5 maps, there are now 7. This is the major change. The original map stopped at Bowness-on-Solway; the new map now continues to Maryport, an acknowledgment, perhaps, that the Wall's defences extended right round the Solway for another 40 miles. One of the interesting tasks is to see what has been discovered over the last 40 years: Segedunum (Wallsend) is now firmly on the map in black (not red) for instance, civilian settlements are now marked and these show the size of the vicus associate with each fort. One or two oddities: Corbridge is called Corstopitum not Coria for instance. One minor grouse: the amount background information on the Wall was better (for its time) in the 1972 map but the clarity of the modern map is better.


The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution
The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution
by Richard Dawkins
Edition: Hardcover

15 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A near miss, 11 Sep 2009
Dawkins almost produces a perfect book on evolutionary science here covering geology, paleontology, embryology, compararive zoology together with molecular biology. At yet it is the latter subject which now provides the gratest evidence for evolution that it is his weakest subject. There is an underlying unity in biochemistry (and not just DNA) that is present throughout living things - common basic pathways, common basic chemicals etc etc as well as the discussed enzymes and DNA and maybe Dawkins would have been better to go into these subjects in much greater detail than he does and then hammer home these points in addition to his well worn paths. One other point: the book would have been better without the swipes at the creationists and concentrated on a purely scientific theme. People who buy this book will probably have no truck with the ID brigade but would want a clear understanding of what evolution is about without the digressions (ok I will forgive the appendix which is scary)
It is for that reason that I have lopped off a star


Bloody Victory: The Sacrifice on the Somme and the Making of the Twentieth Century: The Battle, the Myth, the Legacy
Bloody Victory: The Sacrifice on the Somme and the Making of the Twentieth Century: The Battle, the Myth, the Legacy
by William Philpott
Edition: Hardcover

32 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Puts the Somme into the wider context, 5 July 2009
This is an extraordinary book that put the Somme back into the wider context of the First War. Too many books in English only deal with the British aspect of the Battles (all of them - Philpott lists 5 although, understandably, the 1916 action dominates this book) of the Somme - some are open about this (Middlebrook states that his story deals only with the British side) but the majority ignore, for instance, the French involvement in the actions of July 1st which was crucial. Philpott queries the myth of the Somme as "something that went wrong" rather as an critical, victorious event in the middle of a long war - almost analogous to Stalingrad 27 years later. The battle destroyed the figments of any form of legitimacy in the German Government, creating a dictatorship of Ludendorff and Hindenburg who only paid lip service to the Kaiser. It effectively ensured that Germany could not win the war - the March 21st 1918 offensive not withstanding.

The Somme is remembered as a national tragedy - especially in Northern Ireland (and in places such as Newfoundland as well as the homes of the Pals Battalions). Philpott argues, convincingly, that the Somme should be remembered as a victory - albeit one not recognised at the tme.


Nemesis: The Battle for Japan, 1944-45
Nemesis: The Battle for Japan, 1944-45
by Max Hastings
Edition: Hardcover

184 of 198 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A comprehensive view of the collapse of Japan, 4 Oct 2007
Most accounts of the fall of Japan follow, understandably, the progress of the US across the Pacific, culminating in the invasions of the Philippines, Iwo Jima, Okinawa and finally the cataclysmic events of August 1945. Hastings paints a much broader picture, following events in Burma, where the British Empire forces were engaged in a stunningly successful but ultimately pointless, in terms of the final destruction of Japan, campaign, to Borneo where the Australians where relegated to fighting in a backwater, losing much of their stature gained in the Western Desert 3 years before, and being hampered by in-fighting. Macarthur's arrogance - megalomania even - in the Philippines is described with the savage battle for Manila. The necessity for the battle for Iwo is seriously questioned with the normal answer "it saved allied aircrews" being doubted. Some of what he describes is well-known - the fire bombing of Japan's cities, the battle for Okinawa are covered well but less-known aspects are handled well: the China war (which had been going on for far longer that WW2), the Soviet invasion of Manchuria (Stalin's race to grab land before the war ended - the battles there continued for some days after the "official" surrender) and the choking of Japan's logistical supplies by the relatively small (compared with the U-Boats a couple of years earlier) US submarine force. Hastings makes the point that the sinking of Japan's merchant navy dwindled back in late '44 and early 45 for the very simple reason: there was pretty well nothing more to sink. He criticises the USAAF (a la Bomber Command) for not diverting more resources into the mining of the Inland Sea. When this did happen, the results almost crippled Japan's inter-island traffic. The actual nuclear attacks are briefly covered - I suspect that Hastings realised that they are just too well known - but the political build up, in Washington, Tokyo and Moscow, is covered is some detail.

For those used to Hastings's earlier work dealing with the end of WW2 in Europe - Armageddon and Overlord - will be familiar with his technique of mixing personal memories and reflections with the broader picture - both military and political. In Nemesis he succeeds again admirably and this book thoroughly deserves five stars.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 2, 2009 3:19 PM GMT


The First Casualty
The First Casualty
by Ben Elton
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 16.14

6 of 17 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A truely dreadful book, 12 May 2006
This review is from: The First Casualty (Hardcover)
Ben Elton has borrowed from a library a standard history of WW1 and forced a ludricrous plot around it. All the WW1 cliches are here but the basic premise is completely barking: a senior policeman is hauled in front of the courts for being a conchie? er no. Police were a reserved occupation so that wouldn't have happened for a starter! The whole book is full of such episodes which seem plausible from a superficial reading but become completely unrealistic if you have any knowledge of WW1


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