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View Quest Retro Style DAB+/FM Radio with iPod/iPhone Dock, LCD Backlit Screen and AUX-In - Original Black
View Quest Retro Style DAB+/FM Radio with iPod/iPhone Dock, LCD Backlit Screen and AUX-In - Original Black
Offered by Electric Mania Store
Price: 68.95

1.0 out of 5 stars Looks great but........, 7 Jun 2014
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as many reviewers noted it was hit and miss with reception. Anyway, within the first day it stopped working altogether, and wouldn't switch on, and I've sent it back for a refund. When it did work it was ok in sound quality, bearing in mind that it is at the bottom end of the price spectrum.


The Old Knowledge
The Old Knowledge
Price: 3.20

5.0 out of 5 stars Unsettling little tales, 12 Mar 2014
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This review is from: The Old Knowledge (Kindle Edition)
These tales are all carefully crafted. They follow a few of M. R. James' "rules" for good unsettling tales; they move from the familiar to the unfamiliar at a measured pace, and they leave the possibility of rational explanation just about open. But the author has her own distinct style, and a characteristic which I really enjoyed was the perception that the adventure was only half way through when the stories come to an end. The e-publication of this book and others by Tartarus Press at this price is a fantastic bargain - check out the price of the hardbacks second-hand. Hats off to them in general, and for the publication of these little gems in particular.


Why Spencer Perceval Had to Die
Why Spencer Perceval Had to Die
Price: 5.14

1 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Just not very interesting., 14 May 2013
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The information in the book could have been condensed into a pamphlet or article. The background on Spencer Percival and his assassin is interesting enough, but after that there is considerable repetition regarding John Bellingham's attempts to gain redress from the British government for his financial loss, and endless returns to the international situation and the blockade of France which Linklater tries to link to the murder.

Linklater seems to postulate that there was more to the murder of Percival than the official version. This relies on two rather shaky pillars; that there was widespread celebration of the death of Percival; and an examination of the "cui bono?" argument. I would point out that in some quarters there seemed some widespread rejoicing about the death of Mrs. Thatcher, but no one has so far advanced a theory that she was actually murdered! More seriously, if the best an author can come up with is the who benefits from his death argument, then you know there's not much to it - that way lies the Oliver Stone JFK conspiracy theories and the "did the American's plan 9-11 for their own ends" nonsense and the like.

I wondered why there has not been much written on the Spencer Percival assassination before considering the industry generated by say the Lincoln and JFK deaths. Now I know. It's just not very interesting.


Reading Latin: Text
Reading Latin: Text
by Peter V. Jones
Edition: Paperback
Price: 17.99

2.0 out of 5 stars A Latin teacher says......, 3 May 2013
This review is from: Reading Latin: Text (Paperback)
I have been teaching Latin for 20 years in secondary schools in Scotland. The huge - and it is a huge disadvantage - of this text is the use of -u- in place of -v-, which renders this text out of line with modern practice for introductory Latin language books, and for all UK certificated undergraduate qualifications of which I am aware (e.g. Scottish Higher and National qualifications, A-levels). In my experience this is highly confusing for adult learners, who often wish to gain qualifications after learning Latin. For those who wish to do this, I would advise purchasing Wheelock's Grammar, and using the later stages of the Cambridge Latin Course (Stage 3 onwards).


Fascist Scotland
Fascist Scotland
by Gavin Bowd
Edition: Paperback
Price: 9.09

3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fair and Balanced and Erudite, 2 May 2013
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This review is from: Fascist Scotland (Paperback)
It is clear that this book has created a "stooshie" as we say in Scotland. It was the basis of an article in "Scotland an Sunday" which highlighted the parts of the book describing the links between the nationalist groups in Scotland at the time and the far-right dictatorships in Europe. The third chapter is entitled "The Nats and the Nazis" and discusses the flirtation of some extreme nationalists such as Wendy Wood with fascism and also Nazi interest in Scottish Nationalism. One of the two Amazon reviews on the website at the time of adding this one clearly reflects the views of some nationalists towards the content and timing of publication.

However the book is even handed; the first chapter discusses Scotland's role within the British fascist movement, chiefly Mosley's New Party and its successor the Union of Fascists. Here the Labour Party feature strongly; Bowd discusses the role of one of the main defectors to the New Party, the Labour MP for West Renfrewshire Robert Forgan. The second chapter looks at the level of Scottish support for the Nationalist side in the Spanish Civil War; much of it is a case study of the Duchess of Atholl, a Conservative MP, who left the party over appeasement and the policy of Non-Intervention in the Civil War, and the bitter by-election campaign in her constituency. Bowd here describes how many Tory supporters and MPs, often drawn from the ranks of the nobility, sided with Franco.

The subsequent embarrassment of supporting fascism is thus fairly evenly shared within the Scottish political groupings of the time.

Bowd clearly shows how the Scottish context of religious bigotry, attitudes to empire and relations with England resulted in support for fascism growing up in odd places, and was perhaps a contributory factor to the relative inability of fascism to gain root in Scotland. One rather hysterical review of the book points out that Bowd is not a historian - but he is an academic, a lecturer of French at St. Andrews University. I have given the book four stars, not five as the first and longest chapter in the book is a bit repetitive and could have been pruned. I nearly laid it aside at this point, but it did liven up.

As a final point, I remember watching Wendy Wood on Jackanory as "Auntie Gwen", the very personification of a kindly old Scottish granny, reading couthie wee Scottish stories. Little did I suspect her colourful, in fact slightly sinister, past as revealed in this book


THE NIGHT COMES ON
THE NIGHT COMES ON
Price: 4.61

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Passes the train test, 15 Mar 2013
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If you are a lover of traditional ghost stories, how many times have you seen the blurb "..in the tradition of M. R. James"? And how many times have you been disappointed? Well, this is the genuine article; Mr Duffy successfully treads the very narrow path between successful pastiche and original voice. The train test? Does it unsettle me on a busy train to work with all the distractions? Sure did.


Ghost Stories from the BBC: Whistle and I'll Come to You (1968 + 2010) [DVD]
Ghost Stories from the BBC: Whistle and I'll Come to You (1968 + 2010) [DVD]
Dvd ~ Sir Michael Hordern (1968)
Price: 10.77

6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The curate's egg...., 23 Aug 2012
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I agree that the original "Whistle" is much superior to the later version. However I know not all M R James fans agree; some feel Miller was a bit too "smart" in his psychoanalysis of James' portrayal of the pompous academic, and I never liked the final scene where Horden sucks his thumb....

However the production values and the extras in the DVD are excellent, especially the booklets with profiles of Miller, James and Horden.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 1, 2013 3:32 PM BST


Ted
Ted
by Tony DiTerlizzi
Edition: Paperback

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Bedtime Book Ever, 13 Aug 2012
This review is from: Ted (Paperback)
Bought this book for my eldest daughter now aged 10. Inherited by number two daughter now aged three. I never tire of reading this book at bedtime. Witty language and ironic, and has a good message without being preachy.


Reformation: The Dangerous Birth of the Modern World
Reformation: The Dangerous Birth of the Modern World
by Harry Reid
Edition: Paperback
Price: 9.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Racy, readable, a bit shallow., 15 Jun 2012
A bit of background. I'm a History teacher in Scotland, looking for a good book to recommend to pupils studying this topic in Higher History. There aren't many around. I found this one on sale at Jedburgh Abbey, and had it recommended from a Historic Scotland employee there.

Would I recommend it? On balance I would. It is a good, easy read. The author is honest that he comes from a Presbyterian background, and it shows a little, but overall he is fair to both sides of the debate. The main facts are laid out well, and in a lively and engaging manner. In my own teaching I used much of the detail to flesh out the story of the Reformation in (I hope) a more interesting way. the main characters of the story all come alive with Reid's prose.

My one concern was that I felt that in a few cases some characters, in particular some of the monarchs, are a bit crudely drawn. Some are, in my view, inaccurately portrayed - Edward VI is constantly referred to as "sickly" although recent historical research shows that this was not accurate - his early death was quite unexpected; Mr. Reid seems to have had his rose-tinted glasses on whilst assessing Henry VII. Admittedly these are not central characters, but James VI is. Reid is quick to point out his faults, chiefly his arrogance and physical cowardice, but on the other hand his skill and subtlety in handling the Scots nobles and the Kirk are not acknowledged. Reid is also generous in his assessment of the social policies of the Kirk - their treatment of the poor was not always as benign as Reid would have us believe(they began the process beloved by the Victorians of distinguishing between the "deserving" and "undeserving" poor, and the "undeserving" surely suffered), and the Kirk elders must have been a right bunch of prigs and snoopers, entering houses to search for signs of immorality and popery.

Still, these are more points of debate and interpretation, and the book is better at portraying the main religious figures of the time such as Luther, Calvin and Knox. The book brings the period alive for the general reader, and would be a super read for Higher History candidates studying this period.


Winter King: The Dawn of Tudor England
Winter King: The Dawn of Tudor England
by Thomas Penn
Edition: Hardcover

19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Henry VII - A better biography is yet to come., 27 April 2012
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First the positives. The book does give a reasonable picture of the personality of Henry VII - suspicious, greedy, wily and increasingly paranoid; the book explains the reasons for this in his disfunctional upbringing amid the chaos and slaughter of the Wars of the Roses. The clear inference is that Henry VII's personality was close to and heavily influenced that of his more famous son. The dynastic instabilty caused by the death of Henry's first son, and shortly after that of his wife in child birth, is well-laid out.

However the book is a bit of a mish-mash. It is in places quite tricky to follow - it has a large cast of supporting actors, and the accounts of the various plots are quite detailed - sometimes in fact the detail gets in the way of the pace of the story. At other times there are various quite tedious and pointless digressions - ten pages on the marriage ceremony between the Prince of Wales and Catherine of Aragon, or descriptions of the scholars orbiting the court.

At the end I felt I never really got to know Henry. The characteristics outlined at the start of the review emerge very early, and the portrait doesn't seem to change. I thought that Henry would be a more interesting character, often forgotten sandwiched as he is between two of the most famous occupants of the English throne. I still feel that there is a fascinating character there, but if there is Thomas Penn doesn't manage to uncover it. On the other hand if this is as good as it gets, perhaps it is now easier to understand why Henry VII has been neglected; such was his success in staying in the shadows, that it is now impossible for the historian to dig out the real man.

At any rate the book is a partial success, but does not deserve the fulsome hype it has received in some quarters.


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