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Anthony Parsdon (Cambridgeshire)

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Nelson: The Sword of Albion
Nelson: The Sword of Albion
by Dr John Sugden
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.91

5.0 out of 5 stars Superb!, 26 July 2014
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Like the famous warship, this biography triumphs. The build up to Trafalgar is particularly well written; real tension before battle, then the explosive action with no sparing of horrific detail, finally great pathos in the description of Nelson's death. Masterly from beginning to end, throughout two hefty volumes.


Roman Britain: A New History
Roman Britain: A New History
by Guy de la Bédoyère
Edition: Paperback
Price: £11.87

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Revised Edition Contains Little New Information, 13 Feb 2014
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This is a highly readable account of the history and archaeology of Roman Britain, well-illustrated and presented. I bought it when it was first published in 2006, and I also bought the new edition recently as I thought it would contain a substantial updating of recent archaeological discoveries and interpretations; there have after all been considerable developments in the subject since 2006. However, the textual amendments and additions are slight, together with a very few extra, or replacement, illustrations. I wish I had viewed the new edition first before purchasing through Amazon!


Stonehenge: Exploring the Greatest Stone Age Mystery
Stonehenge: Exploring the Greatest Stone Age Mystery
by Mike Parker Pearson
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.99

5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent synthesis of information on Stonehenge and its landscape, 28 Dec 2013
Written in a popular anecdotal style aimed at a general readership, with much use of archaeologists' Christian names (and none the worse for that approach), this account brings the reader right up to date with the latest discoveries and interpretations concerning Stonehenge and its landscape, many of which have been achieved through the author's own inspired excavations. Hopefully, a new edition will add information from the recent Vespasian's Camp Mesolithic findings. Mike Parker Pearson is clearly now THE authority on Stonehenge, a high achievement considering all the other academics in the field.


The Roman Invasion of Britain: Archaeology Versus History
The Roman Invasion of Britain: Archaeology Versus History
by Birgitta Hoffmann
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £13.59

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A useful account but flawed, 25 Nov 2013
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This book deserved much better editing than it appears to have received. In some places it reads like a first draft, with many awkward sentences, poor punctuation, and some egregious errors, e.g. 'Claudius' for 'Caratacus' in one place and the East and West ends of Hadrian's Wall confused. Despite this criticism, it contains a wealth of information not easily obtainable elsewhere, with some well-stated arguments for caution in our interpretation of the evidence for the Roman Army in Britain.


Under Another Sky: Journeys in Roman Britain
Under Another Sky: Journeys in Roman Britain
by Charlotte Higgins
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £13.60

41 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Most enjoyable journey around Roman Britain, 6 Aug 2013
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This is an excellent book, informative, erudite, and up to the minute in its discussions of the latest discoveries and thinking about Roman Britain. Charlotte Higgins writes very well, evoking the differing Roman sites and landscapes in flowing, often atmospheric, prose. Her use of imagery, and her clear delight, in particular at the flora that can clothe these ancient sites, give considerable pleasure. Personal details from her journeys - for example, the oft breaking-down camper van or the dodgy individuals met along the Antonine Wall - provide context, reader empathy, and often amusement, but never overly intrude. She displays her academic credentials in some detailed commentaries on, for example, literary sources and the iconography of mosaics, accompanied by a fair sprinkling of Latin quotations (happily, with translation). She gives as well many interesting facts from the life stories of antiquarians and archaeologists who have been involved in the subject of Roman Britain over the recent centuries. Leading archaeologists today clearly co-operated in her site visits, enabling her to represent the very latest views on a number of controversial issues.

I haven't enjoyed a book on Roman Britain so much for a long time. The nearest parallel is Leonard Cottrell's 'Seeing Roman Britain', but that is now nearly 60 years out of date and did not perhaps have the same professional rigour as the present work. Charlotte Higgins' book was very much needed. It could be turned into an excellent TV series. The only thing I spotted not quite right - other than for one or two typos - is the statement, repeated, that Hod Hill is near Maiden Castle: they are, in fact, well over 20 miles apart!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 15, 2013 6:23 PM BST


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