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Henrietta Maria
Henrietta Maria
by Dominic Pearce
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £16.59

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars and the tensions developing among the great European powers as they competed for empire, 26 Dec. 2015
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This review is from: Henrietta Maria (Hardcover)
The United States may elect a woman as President next year. It would be a landmark event, of course, if this happened, but meanwhile how enjoyable to read this subtly written account of the way a woman - at least, an aristocratic woman - could be such a political animal in England of the seventeenth century, and how Henrietta Maria grew with courage and intelligence into the role of queen. She was more than just a supporter of her husband Charles I, but a symbol of, and an active protagonist in, many important movements in European history of the time: Roman Catholicism when the counter reformation was obliging the whole of Europe to question the role of religion in politics, as well as in life; and the tensions developing among the great European powers as they competed for empire, with marital alliances forming a spider's web of connections between them. I agree with previous reviewers who rate this book highly. The history is fascinating, the character of Henrietta Maria is engaging, and the writer colors the text with some lovely passages of description, making some fairly conventional episodes (eg Henrietta Maria's marriage, by stages since it first happened by proxy, to Charles) stay in the mind after one has finished the book.


Various: Beyond All Mortal Dreams: American A Capella
Various: Beyond All Mortal Dreams: American A Capella
Price: £12.33

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a great discovery, 12 Nov. 2014
I agree with those reviewers who comment that these composers - and this CD - deserve to be better known. I heard the Rene Clausen piece on French radio (France Musiques) while doing something else. I stopped in my tracks to concentrate fully, so perfect I found the piece and the singing. I ordered the CD at once, and like others find it irresistible. I have taken time to study the words while listening, and am regularly moved by the way the music enhances and clarifies the sense of the simple, beautiful poetry chosen by the composers. A great discovery.


The Death of Ayrton Senna
The Death of Ayrton Senna
by Richard Williams
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

5.0 out of 5 stars A superbly written book, 28 Jan. 2013
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This is a wonderful book about Senna. It brilliantly analyses Senna's tantalisingly fascinating character, with the emphasis very strongly on his driving, and achievements as a sportsman. There are many wise and perceptive comments on the world of Formula One, with insights into many of the other characters that people the paddock, including engineers and fixers; and the cars too.

I immediately bought and devoured Williams' "Racers": equally good, and in some ways even cleverer. It sheds so much light on so many aspects of Formula One through the prism of a single year.

I knew very little about Formula One, but bought the Senna book after catching up this Christmas with the excellent 2011 movie, recommended on the strength of its qualities as a movie as much as its subject matter. Williams' knowledge and passion, as well as his beautiful writing style may have turned me into a devotee of the sport as a whole. I shall see as the new season unfolds


Classical Literature: A Concise History (Blackwell Introductions to the Classical World)
Classical Literature: A Concise History (Blackwell Introductions to the Classical World)
by R. B. Rutherford
Edition: Paperback
Price: £26.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars very wide ranging, without sacrificing subtlety of literary interpretation, 29 Nov. 2012
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This book gives an excellent overview of all the major writers, and includes intriguing insights into some lesser writers too. The literature is set in a historical framework, without being smothered by issues arising from context. The idea of literary genre, and the evolution of different genres, is beautifully treated, and enlightening to a modern reader less familiar with ancient literary practice: for example, the chapter on rhetoric. Organisation in thematic chapters makes eminently good sense. Balancing the broad sweep covered by the book, examples from specific texts are treated with enjoyable zest and subtlety. The occasional dry wit of the writing is most appealing. Having read the book myself, I bought copies as gifts for teenage sons studying classics. They loved it!


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