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David deJongh (Carrollton, TX United States)
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Writers: Historic Recordings from the British Library Sound Archive (The spoken Word)
Writers: Historic Recordings from the British Library Sound Archive (The spoken Word)

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good luck finding it!, 22 Mar 2006
Unfortunately some money-grubbing copyright owner stopped the British Library from publishing this gem after just a few months. I was able to buy one on eBay for an outrageous price, but there are some things you just have to have, regardless of cost.
Few of the writers have outstanding voices, but it is fascinating to be able to hear what they sounded like. Standouts are the high, piping voices of Chesterton and Wells; James Joyce's glorious flow in "Anna Livia Plurabelle"; Tolkien reading the One Ring inscription in Elvish; Wodehouse speaking as an internee in France during WWII, for which he was most unfairly vilified by the British press; Noel Coward and Gertie Lawrence in the balcony scene from Private Lives ("You're looking very lovely in this damned moonlight, Amanda").
This is one CD in a series of historic Spoken Word issues. The others (Poets, Children's Writers) are also well worth getting.


John Betjeman: New Fame, New Love
John Betjeman: New Fame, New Love
by Bevis Hillier
Edition: Hardcover

33 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A monumental work, 12 Jun 2003
Bevis Hillier's second volume of his Betjeman biography is a massive, extremely detailed work which will appeal to the same audience that enjoyed the first volume, Young Betjeman. The book follows JB's life and career from the early days of his marriage to Penelope Chetwode in the early thirties to the massive success of his "Collected Poems" in the late fifties.
Don't expect any opinions on Betjeman's poetry, except for excerpts from contemporary reviews. This is a book about his life, not his work. And what a life! At the start of his career, working as a film critic on the Evening Standard, his colleagues included Robert Bruce Lockhart (the celebrated/notorious "British Agent"), Malcolm Muggeridge and Osbert Lancaster, who became his lifelong friend. He was an unabashed social climber starting from his days at Oxford, and managed to charm his way into the very top echelons of British and Irish society.
Bevis Hillier has a clear, neutral and unobtrusive writing style that makes for easy reading. Having said that, this is a non-fiction book and not a "page-turner". It took several weeks of bed time reading and the wealth of detail would be too much to take in over a short period. It would also spoil the enjoyment of the book not to take time to mull over some of the episodes.
There are several hundred notes at the end of the book, almost all of them attributions, but with the occasional anecdote. After using a second bookmark for a little while, I decided to just read the book. Having finished it, I then read through the more interesting notes. Among these was the information that Lady Elizabeth Cavendish (Betjeman's long-time companion), along with Arthur Calder-Marshall (who?), was the only person who refused to provide any help whatsoever with the book.
This book, along with the preceding volume and the third, expected later this year, took twenty-five years to assemble. Many of the interviewees are now deceased. We can be thankful that Bevis Hillier had the tenacity to gather this information, and the skill to put it together with such grace.


Generations Family Tree Grande Suite 8.0 UK
Generations Family Tree Grande Suite 8.0 UK

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Expensive, worthless rubbish!, 27 Dec 2000
I bought this software assuming I would be able to track my U.K. family history through the supposed total of close to 2 billion names they advertise in their blurb. Wrong!!!
The vast majority of names are of people in America. The rest are mainly "Unknown birth date" and/or "Unknown location". If I had the information I wanted, I could create a beautiful family tree. Unfortunately, I don't have the information, and this collection of junk certainly doesn't help me find it!


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