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Mrs. M. Connolly (Leicester)
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The Bessie Marchant Omnibus Book; Goldmarked Charm; Sally Makes Good; Three Girls in Mexico
The Bessie Marchant Omnibus Book; Goldmarked Charm; Sally Makes Good; Three Girls in Mexico
by Bessie Marchant
Edition: Hardcover

5.0 out of 5 stars Delightful period adventures, 18 Sept. 2011
My aunt gave this book to my mother in 1932 and although I have always been familiar with its binding on the shelf, I have just read it for the first time. Bessie Marchant wrote a large number of girls' adventure stories, many set in exciting overseas venues. The first story in the omnibus is set in the Sudan, and was so convincing that until I looked up the author on the internet, I felt sure that she had lived in that region. Apparently not: she came from Kent and wrote her books in the delightful Oxfordshire village of Charlbury.The second story is set in Tasmania, and the third in Mexico. Bessie must have loved researching the different colonies for background to her stories, and learning about diverse economic activities, such as camel farming in the Sudan and perfume manufacture by traditional Indian methods in Mexico. I am looking forward to reading many more of Bessie Marchant's inspiring stories. The heroines are resourceful, kind and plucky girls who face up to challenging circumstances. The book entranced me. I have found out that an Australian academic, Michelle Smith, has been working on this gentre, and recently published 'Empire in British Girls' Literature and Culture'.
I look forward to reading this in due course.


The Rector's Daughter (VMC)
The Rector's Daughter (VMC)
by F.M. Mayor
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.98

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Maybe one to reread?, 12 Sept. 2011
This book came well recommended, so I was surprised to have been slightly disappointed.I did not take to the heroine, sadly, nor did I find her and her father very credible characters. Having grown up in a clerical household, they didn't really ring true, but then, it is set some years ago, when things were very different. I felt that Canon Jocelyn resembled a more academic Mr Woodhouse, laced with other derivative characteristics. I did not warm to the hero either. Once he had married someone else, I did wish Mary would find someone else too. I did not empathise with her fondness for windy unpleasant weather. What a pity to go to live with an old aunt in Croydon and become a young 'old lady' at less than 40.
I have read Freya Stark's autobiography 'Traveller's Prelude' this week since finishing 'The Rector's Daughter'.She underwent worse trials than Mary, but came out with her spirit still lively and in tact and took off to Arabia.


Traveller's prelude: An autobiography
Traveller's prelude: An autobiography
by Freya Stark
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful book, 12 Sept. 2011
I bought this book in a second hand shop on Monday and have been inseparable from it ever since. What a marvellous read!
I had a Freya Stark phase a few years ago, and concluded it with 'Passionate Nomad' a biography. However, this autobiography is a far more interesting read, though only covering her earlier years up to the start of her travels. I shall certainly be launching another Freya phase. How I admire her plucky attitude to the very challenging circumstances she faced: her unusual family circumstances, constantly travelling from England to Italy, her indifferent health,financial stringency, war service as a VAD, a broken engagement, and the loss of her sister and a close triend, all before she was 35. I am so delighted that she lived to be 100 and became one of the best known travellers in the Middle East, recording the fruits of her journeys in beautifully written books.
Do read this book! It is fantastic!


Chasing Dreams in Lefkas
Chasing Dreams in Lefkas
by Diane Griffith
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.07

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very light reading ideal for holidays, 18 Jun. 2011
Set in 1992, this book describes a couple's efforts to make and sell videos of places on the island of Lefkas, at a time when the husband had just been made redundant. It is great fun to read, and the fact that it is now somewhat dated adds to the humour.I would read this again if I very much wanted cheering up, as a slice of Greek sunshine. They had an idea, and tried to make it into a reality. Good for them! The book ends with the husband being offered another job in the UK, but as they are said now to live in Cyprus, I wondered what happened next. I assumed he had eventually retired. I wonder if he is making videos in Cyprus now!!
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 18, 2011 11:01 AM BST


Twice a Stranger: How Mass Expulsion Forged Modern Greece and Turkey
Twice a Stranger: How Mass Expulsion Forged Modern Greece and Turkey
by Bruce Clark
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.68

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Balanced and informative, 18 Jun. 2011
Bruce Clark has made a good job of giving an account of the exchange of populations between Greece and Turkey after the Treaty of Lausanne.It is carefully researched and balanced in its coverage, and enhanced by interviews with elderly survivors. However, there was a much more interesting book waiting in his head to be written, at which the extensive bibliographic chapters hint.In that book, Clark would have described his travels through the region in search of evidence for the book he was planning, the people he met and the ruins he encountered. It would have been well illustrated with his photographs, and had plenty of modern incident to throw light on the past.


The Cellist of Sarajevo
The Cellist of Sarajevo
by Steven Galloway
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Useful for school?, 18 Jun. 2011
In this book we meet three characters living in beseiged Sarajevo, and we do not envy them.I would suggest that this novel would be most useful as background reading for someone at school studying central European affairs, and it would stimulate a good class discussion.It would also be a excellent source of short extracts for an English teacher to use in examination work. As I read it,I was constantly reminded of the short extracts set in examinations, rather than becoming involved in the story. As a novel, it was reasonably interesting, well written and imaginative.


Icons and Saints of the Eastern Orthodox Church (Guide to Imagery)
Icons and Saints of the Eastern Orthodox Church (Guide to Imagery)
by Tradigo
Edition: Paperback
Price: £16.99

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful and informative, 18 Jun. 2011
This is a lovely book, illustrated with quite beautiful reproductions of icons. It is just what I have been looking for, with clear explanations and comprehensive coverage. If you want to know about icons, this is as good a starting point as any I have come across. Buy and enjoy!


Theology of the Icon: v. 1
Theology of the Icon: v. 1
by Leonid Ouspensky
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Hard going, but informative, 18 Jun. 2011
This is the first of two volumes (translations). I did not enjoy reading this book much and found it very hard going, although some sections were interesting and gave insight into how icons are viewed by the Orthodox community.This is not the book for you if you want to learn more about icons as objects telling the stoies of the saints. It is a very serious and carefully researched Theology book, grounded in a belief that his church teaches the Truth, rather than offers a tentative series of possibilites. His account of the iconoclast controversies is very thorough, and he places it firmly as a theologically based argument, rather than as a symptom of socio-political upheaval.This book would be most useful to someone writing an essay on the place of icons in the thought of the Orthodox church, for whom it would be essential reading.


Ikons: Meditations in Words and Music (A Fount Book)
Ikons: Meditations in Words and Music (A Fount Book)
by Mother Thekla
Edition: Paperback

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Be sure this book is what you expect!, 1 Jun. 2011
I saw this book at a recent weekend course on Icon Painting, and read most of John Tavener's interesting, rather autobiographical, introduction whilst still there.When my copy arrived today I was very keen to listen to the CD and to read Mother Thekla's insights on, as I expected, icons in Orthodoxy. I reread the introduction, then Ivan Moody's commentary on John Tavener's music. Now I was ready to listen to the tracks of the CD and read the associated meditations, having learnt from John Tavener how very wise and helpful he had found Mother Thekla to be personally.(She has cooperated with him on some musical works, writing the words to accompany his music).
I expected an Orthodox Sister Wendy, who would be discussing the (black and white, rather small) reproductions of icons at the start of each chapter. However, the meditations were not really about the icons. They were straightforward little devotional pieces, conservative in tone,and not saying very much about icons, which was disappointing to me. There are some good translations of Orthodox prayers, and the meditations could be useful to someone preparing a series of Lent talks.
Unfortunately, Mother Thekla does not approve of people (like me!) who tell her that they 'love icons' and she thinks those who try their hand at painting them are even worse, whilst those who try to teach others to do so are really beyond the pale.I thought this very sad, as interest in icons could well be a route for some to an interest in the Orthodox faith itself,of which I thought she should approve.Her reasons for this view are not very clearly set out, but seem to be that as icons are a treasure of her faith, they are too sacred to be worked on by a range of students with an interest in sacred art.However, Mother Thekla does not believe that icons are art, a contentious and interesting view.
The CD is superb, and I will be listening to it a great deal, and I hope exploring the complete works from which it contains excerpts.


Amazon.co.uk Print Gift Card (generic design)
Amazon.co.uk Print Gift Card (generic design)
Price: £1,000.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Easy present, 4 April 2011
An Amazon voucher was my solution to a choice of present for someone whose tastes I did not know a great deal about. The purchase and delivery was easy, and the recipient was delighted with her gift. I shall certainly use Amazon vouchers again, as it was a really simple process.


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