Profile for judith > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by judith
Top Reviewer Ranking: 83,660
Helpful Votes: 30

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
judith

Show:  
Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6
pixel
AmazonBasics Hard Black Carrying Case for My Passport Essential
AmazonBasics Hard Black Carrying Case for My Passport Essential
Price: £3.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Useful, 10 Aug. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
For an off-PC storage device to be portable, you need to be able to carry it around safely.
This carrying case does just that.


WD My Passport 1TB Portable Hard Drive - Silver
WD My Passport 1TB Portable Hard Drive - Silver

5.0 out of 5 stars A necessity for me . . ., 10 Aug. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
One of my hobbies is digital photography, especially the creative use of digital photographic images for exploring the possibilities of a rather neat and tidy creative printmaking process. This takes a lot of computer memory, so it's necessary to store negatives and images "off-PC". This handy little device does that admirably, and it's portable. (You can get an AmazonBasics carrying case for it, too.)
Does what it says. Does what I wanted. No problems.


Blood & Beauty
Blood & Beauty
by Sarah Dunant
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £14.88

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 1492 and all that . . ., 10 Aug. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Blood & Beauty (Hardcover)
I have only recently discovered how important a turning point the year 1492 was in European history. Of course, Columbus sailed the ocean blue that year, but it was also the year of the reconquista in Spain (after which Spain rewrote it's own history . . . and what did happen to the Visigoths?) and the year of the first Borgia pope (interestingly, also Spanish -- the first non-Italian pope). In this year, Katherine of Aragon was still a young women, her marriage into England still a few years in the future. (see Philippa Gregory's "The Constant Princess" for that story.)

I love Sarah Dunant's books because they enhance my understanding of European history from the point of view of the Italian peninsula . . . well researched and well told. So, if you are trying to piece together a history of "Europe", rather than histories written from the perspectives of present day national boundaries, this book is an important part of the jigsaw puzzle. (It does make me wonder why such a history is underpinned by "women's stories" -- dynastic marriage is not a sufficient explanation, but I suppose it is part of the explanation . . . it was the women who moved from place to place as they were married.)


The Lady of the Rivers (Cousins War Series Book 3)
The Lady of the Rivers (Cousins War Series Book 3)
Price: £4.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Once upon a time . . . ., 10 Aug. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This book is chronologically first in the series on the Cousins' War. It tells the story of Jaquetta Rivers, Elizabeth Woodville. In terms of piecing together the history of the wars, it is necessary to read it in order to set the remainder of the group of books into sequence and explain how the past shows in present actions of some of the other women. Jaquetta Rivers was, herself, an interesting woman, so the book also introduces the reader to women's position in the period: strengths, weaknesses, tactics and strategies open to women . . . as well as the sense of the "numinous wondrous", which was widely shared in the population, and later showed up as accusations of witchcraft against the Woodville matriarch.

I liked this book a lot, not quite as much as I liked "The White Queen" (which is outstanding). What I like about the whole sequence of books is that the women themselves tell their own stories -- and what they feel about the other women. This is very different from "documentary history", which tells stories "about the women". There is an important historiographic point here. Because these are novels, we "know" they are "stories" -- in contrast to the "storylines" being more hidden in dryer, apparently more "factual" histories. In short, imagination is as important as "documentable fact" in all history-writing. A second important point is that each of the books in the series gives us different insights -- as the heroines of each novel recount their perspectives on the other heroines. This leads to a very intricate understanding, both of the times and of the whole set of books.


Vanished Kingdoms: The History of Half-Forgotten Europe
Vanished Kingdoms: The History of Half-Forgotten Europe
Price: £6.02

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A kind of guidebook, 20 Dec. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I was going to Montenegro, whose history is a bit complex . . . first you see it, then you don't . . . so this filled me in on the link between Montenegro's landscape and its political history. Important, because at the moment, it's not a good idea to discuss politics with people in this part of the world. There are other half-vanished kingdoms as well in the book, and Davies way of writing gives a real understand of why "histories" of "undocumented" places are so difficult to construct with any certainty. Since I am also interested in historical novels -- how does an author construct a tale out of the gaps in a documented history? --, Davies very careful work as an "historian" helps to understand the gaps in our knowledge which allow different tales to be told. Where does history "end" and imagination "begin"?


London: Urban Pattern, Problems and Policies
London: Urban Pattern, Problems and Policies
by David V. Donnison
Edition: Hardcover

4.0 out of 5 stars A classic, 20 Dec. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought this because it is a classic book in the field . . . and to find a copy still available was a treat. It was very much of its time . . . one of the first in the field . . . and, in some way, reminds us of dimensions to ways of looking at cities which have been dissolved into academic subdivisions and, more recently, the ways in which political spin obscures more basic issues.


The Moor's Last Sigh
The Moor's Last Sigh
by Salman Rushdie
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.19

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Laughed and . . ., 20 Dec. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Moor's Last Sigh (Paperback)
Rushdie has an amazing English style . . . witty enough to make you think twice. This book is a hilariously funny account of growing up, which does feature Mumbai as a main character . . . and a complex plot behind how everyone got to Mumbai, a kind of comic epic. . . So, you laugh and laugh, and then you get to the end and it is painful and there is this kind of bitter aftertaste . . . In other words, the moral content of the narrative is presented in a way which makes you laugh and then makes you start to wonder how you missed the undertones . . . how does the wit and verve of the story-telling make us blind to some rather less pleasant things? Is this an example of how we can construct our own personal life-narratives to delude ourselves? . . . and other such serious philosophical questions . . . How does the "exoticism" of the tale take us outside of ourselves so that we can turn around and see what we have been blind to in ourselves? I am, at the moment, very intrigued by the construction of moral/practical arguments . . . and this book gives much sensuous pleasure in the process . . .


Landscape Photographer of the Year Collection: 5 (Photography)
Landscape Photographer of the Year Collection: 5 (Photography)
by AA Publishing
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £19.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great pix, 20 Dec. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
There are some great landscape pix in this collection . . . what else would you expect?
I bought this as a gift for someone, and only leafed through it before putting the Christmas wrapping paper on it. My cavils have to do with the British Railways prize pictures, which were, in general, a bit on the conventional side. The main landscape competition yielded some much more interesting images, which I looked at in order to look mainly at composition. (This is the main point of access to images for us non-techie amateurs . . . I understand why the techies would want more info about exposure times, apertures and all that . . . but for me and -- I hope -- my friend, compositions which capture our experience in the great outdoors are what we are aiming for.)

Also, unlike many "image books" produced in UK (for example exhibition catalogues from the major museums) the publisher/editor of this book appears to have paid a lot of attention to the accurate reproduction of the images (colour replication, quality of paper, binding, etc).

I would have given it five stars, but the BR sub-competition was a bit off.


Death in Paradise - Series 1 [DVD] [2011]
Death in Paradise - Series 1 [DVD] [2011]
Dvd ~ Ben Miller
Price: £6.20

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great giggle, 17 Nov. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is a series about a very up-tight London police detective deployed to a more or less French formerly colonial island in the Caribbean. It has to be the best and funniest send up of English vs (French) Caribbean stereotypes I have ever seen. just kept giggling at the situations as they developed. It's also a send up of the standard policier series.

Having enjoyed the series so much, I bought it for some special friends who have experienced the joys and pitfalls of cross cultural living, and who will enjoy the stereotyping of the English detective.


The Birth Of Venus
The Birth Of Venus
Price: £4.31

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good way to learn a little history, 14 Sept. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
All good novels have a double plot. The plots in this one have to do with Savonarola's effect on Florence (and a bit more widely, the counter-reformation) and with a young woman who wants to be a painter. Mills and Boon meet the Medici, so to speak.

It's a good read: flows easily, gives you a sense of the times. Not quite as good as Sacred Hearts, which deals with the period just before The Birth of Venus. Both novels are set in the convents which provided "women's spaces" at the time and how the counter-reformation wiped out these places of security for more rebellious women. But I'm generally interested in the phenomenon of how women can carve out these spaces for themselves. And it's far more pleasant to imagine the spaces through a novel than in the dry work of "proper historians".

So I enjoyed the novel. It's well constructed and written and provided good stimulating holiday reading. Read it if you're interested in the times of religious change around the emergence of protestantism and the response of the official Catholic church.


Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6