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B J Burton

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The Seven Champions of Christendom
The Seven Champions of Christendom
by William Henry Giles Kingston
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Odd, but charming., 1 Oct. 2012
Be warned - some people may think this includes spoilers - but the events I mention happen at the beginning of the book.

This is a most peculiar book - and it probably takes a peculiar person to read it. There are various versions by different authors in a variety of formats for sale on Amazon and not one of them has a single review; I can't say that I'm surprised, but I couldn't resist the chance to be the first to risk it.
I'd come across the phrase, `The Seven Champions', from time to time, but this summer when watching Seven Champions Mollies (a Morris dancing side) I decided it was time to check out the background.
This book was written by W H G Kingston in 1901, or thereabouts. It's a re-write of one written by Richard Johnson towards the end of the 16th century that, according to Giles, needed an update to make it acceptable. Judging by the examples of Johnson's prose that Giles quotes in his preface, he was probably right.
Johnson wrote that The Seven Champions of Christendom are St George of England, St David of Wales, St Andrew of Scotland, St Patrick of Ireland, St Denis of France, St James of Spain and St Anthony of Italy.
The book begins before the birth of St George with his mother suffering dreams that she believes foretell that she will give birth to a dragon. She doesn't, although her son does have some strange birthmarks - a green dragon, a red cross and a golden garter. His mother dies in childbirth and George is given to the care of four nurses called Prudence, Firmness, Gentleness and Carelessness (which gives you a flavour of the book). One day George is snatched by an evil enchantress (guess which nurse was looking after him), taken across the sea and imprisoned in her magic cavern where he grows up. He eventually escapes and in doing so he frees the other six Champions who were also being held prisoner.
The seven then go their separate ways in search of adventures that involve killing monsters, saving maidens and generally putting right wrongs.
I enjoyed the rich language (`every opprobrious epithet which he had so lavishly bestowed')and the gentle humour. I really don't know whether Johnson or Giles was responsible for the naming of the characters, but they include squires De Fistycuff and Le Crapeau, King Bobadildo of Timbuctoo and the dwarf, Crumpleback.
I suppose the mystery is what inspired Johnson to write the book in the first place. St George may be known for his knightly dragon conquest, but the other six achieved their saintly status through their religious acts - and I really didn't spot any hints of allegory.
I suspect that most people would dismiss this as a repetitive piece of nonsense, but I rather enjoyed it.


Diary of a Nobody
Diary of a Nobody

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delightful, gentle humour, 27 Sept. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Diary of a Nobody (Kindle Edition)
I don't think this book has ever been out of print since it was first published 120 years ago. A number of the editions are now available as free Kindle downloads.
George Grossmith was a very talented man - actor, singer, pianist, author, journalist, stand-up comedian. Jointly with his brother, Weedon, he wrote a series of humorous articles for Punch. These were expanded and published as the novel.
If you haven't read it I recommend that you treat yourself to this delightfully funny, warm and charming tale of socially insecure Charles Pooter who believes that his diary will be recognised as a work of literary and historical merit.
It is possible that the reader needs to have adult children to fully appreciate the relationship that Pooter has with his son, but even without that extra insight I'm sure you'll enjoy this classic.


Bosch AHS 41 Accu Cordless Hedgecutter
Bosch AHS 41 Accu Cordless Hedgecutter
Offered by RAI Technical Ltd
Price: £76.75

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Trimming hedges is (almost) a pleasure., 27 Sept. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I find trimming hedges and cutting the grass extremely tedious occupations, so anything that makes those tasks easier is very welcome. I gave up on hedgetrimmers with cables years ago when I sliced through the cable as well as the hedge - an unnerving, not to say shocking, experience. When the battery on my old cordless Black & Decker trimmer lost the ability to retain charge I was faced with buying an expensive new battery. As the cutters weren't as sharp as they used to be, I didn't feel inclined to splash the cash on that old machine and bought a new one instead. I chose this one because of the two batteries (as a breed they instinctively know the most inconvenient moment to run out of charge) and the positive reviews.
It's excellent. It runs slower than my last one, but as it cuts well that just means that it's quieter. It's so lightweight that I can easily cut over head height without straining non-existent muscles.
When the hedge needs trimming, I wouldn't say that I now clap my hands and skip into the garden, but at least the prospect doesn't make me as grumpy as it used to.


Ragged Kingdom
Ragged Kingdom
Price: £7.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A match made in musical heaven, 27 Sept. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Ragged Kingdom (Audio CD)
I was at the Oysterband & June Tabor concert at the Sidmouth Folk Festival in August and enjoyed the performance so much that I immediately bought this CD. Previously I'd been aware of both the Oysterband and June Tabor separately, but I'd never heard them perform together. Tabor's voice has an extraordinary emotional quality but, to be honest, I find that listening to one of her CDs can be an overwhelmingly bleak experience. This combination is inspired: having Tabor around seems to lift the Oysterband to new levels and, although her bleakness is still there at times, the mix of material actually makes that quality more effective.
When I first played the CD some tracks immediately became favourites, but the more I played it, the more the others grew on me. Now when I play it my favourite depends totally on the mood I'm in. A well-balanced album from a match made in musical heaven.


Victorinox Black Handled Kitchen Scissors
Victorinox Black Handled Kitchen Scissors
Offered by knives and More
Price: £14.20

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 27 Sept. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I already had a fish-filleting knife by the same maker and I've been pleased with the way that performs, so I was happy to buy these. Filleting knives are so sharp that bones can easily create notches in the blade; hence the need for scissors to cut through bones and trim off fins/spines. These are a satisfying weight, comfortable in the hand - and very sharp. They also feel solid enough to retain that sharpness for a long time.


The Complete What Ukulele Players Really Want To Know
The Complete What Ukulele Players Really Want To Know
Price: £4.32

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just what it says on the tin., 24 Sept. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The current boom in folk music in the UK means that thousands of would-be musicians are buying the cheaper instruments - and they don't come much cheaper than bottom of the range ukeleles. Which must mean that there are a lot of people out there who will find this invaluable. It deals with the basics in a very accessible way - and it's so cheap that it has to worth having.


Allsop ProLens Laser Lens Diagnostic Cleaner
Allsop ProLens Laser Lens Diagnostic Cleaner
Offered by Sivitec_Direct
Price: £7.49

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 24 Sept. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought this because the CD player in my car kept cutting out and I was advised that the lens probably needed cleaning. After my first attempt I thought that it just wasn't working, but I ran the disc several times and the problem was solved. As I only bought it for the lens cleaning function the other functions that sort out the tuning are a bonus.


Delphi Complete Works of H. Rider Haggard (Illustrated)
Delphi Complete Works of H. Rider Haggard (Illustrated)
Price: £1.83

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Extraordinary value, 24 Sept. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This Delphi Classics series of 'complete works' really does represent extraordinary value. As a teenager I read the famous Rider Haggard African adventure novels, such as 'She' and 'King Solomon's Mines', and I was familiar with about a dozen of his books. This collection includes all 57 novels, 12 short stories and 3 works of non-fiction, so much of this material is new to me - and has been a revelation. 'Dawn', for example, is a study of human relationships dealing with blighted loves and the power of bitter envy to corrupt. As much of the material was written about 100 years ago, the writing can feel rather dated and ponderous, with some of the social attitudes seeming downright weird. Nevertheless, the writing has power and conviction. The background notes are interesting. Acquiring this volume of work for under £2 has to be a 'must buy' - particularly as Delphi Classics appears to have a very robust ebook system with very, very few formatting issues.


The Yellow Wallpaper (Annotated)
The Yellow Wallpaper (Annotated)

4.0 out of 5 stars Compelling, 24 Sept. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
A short story that thoroughly deserves the classic status it has acquired. Based on the author's own experiences it is convincingly told and deals with a woman's descent into madness, with a significant contributing factor being the well-meant treatment by her medical practitioner husband of what we would now call post-natal depression.


IRISH SLIM WOODEN BONES IN ROSEWOOD TRADITIONAL MUSICAL PURCUSSION - ONE PAIR - SPECIAL OFFER
IRISH SLIM WOODEN BONES IN ROSEWOOD TRADITIONAL MUSICAL PURCUSSION - ONE PAIR - SPECIAL OFFER

4.0 out of 5 stars Easy on the hands., 24 Sept. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
These are lightweight, easy on the hands, but still make a satisfying sound. Good value - and a lot easier to play than those heavy wooden 'spoons' carved from a single piece of wood.


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