Profile for Dr. N. A. Hall > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by Dr. N. A. Hall
Top Reviewer Ranking: 726,496
Helpful Votes: 84

Learn more about Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
Dr. N. A. Hall "Nigel Hall" (Liverpool, United Kingdom)
(REAL NAME)   

Show:  
Page: 1 | 2
pixel
4M Kidz Labs Buzz Wire Kit
4M Kidz Labs Buzz Wire Kit
Price: £10.49

1.0 out of 5 stars Save your money!, 12 May 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: 4M Kidz Labs Buzz Wire Kit (Toy)
Bought this with high hopes as it is Science Museum recommended. High hopes were dashed! Very small indeed, some pieces did not fit and the buzzer failed after three goes with it. It is a game designed to test your patience and dexterity ... the only way this product tests your dexterity is in putting it together and when you are left fuming when it does not work. Grrrrr .... BUZZZZZZZ!!! Wish the manufacturers would kindly BUZZ OFF!


Tancred: Or the New Crusade   (Complete)
Tancred: Or the New Crusade (Complete)
by Benjamin Disraeli
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.90

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The New Crusade, 24 July 2008
'Tancred or the New Crusade' is the third book in Disraeli's trilogy of 'political' novels and was published in 1847 (the other two works in the trilogy are 'Coningsby' and 'Sybil').

Tancred, Lord Montacute, is the son of the respectable Duke of Bellamont. Upon coming of age Tancred, having thought much about the social and religious questions of the day, startles his parents by refusing a seat in Parliament. Instead, he decides to visit the Holy Land and hopes that there he will discover God's purpose for him.

In the Middle East, Tancred travels to Jerusalem and Sinai among other destinations, becomes involved in intriques, adventures and falls in love.

This book is not an easy read and, as a work of fiction, it is the least successful of Disraeli's political novels. However, for those interested in Disraeli and Victorian politics, it offers a further insight into Disraelian ideas. Of interest are his working out of the idea of 'theocratic equality'; the place of Jews in society and the direction in which the elites of Britain should lead society.


Coningsby (Nonsuch Classics)
Coningsby (Nonsuch Classics)
by Benjamin Disraeli
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.00

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An insight into Disraeli, 23 July 2008
Coningsby was published in 1844 and was the first in Disraeli's trilogy of 'political' novels (the others being Sybil and Tancred).

The story revolves around the ealy life of Harry Coningsby. Harry is the orphaned grandson of the Marquess of Monmouth, but Harry's parents incurred the wrath of Monmouth by their marriage. Harry is restored to his granfather's favour and sent to school at Eton. The story follows Harry's career at Eton and Cambridge. While at Eton, Harry saves the life of Oswald Millbank - the son of a northern industrialist. This commences a friendship between Oswald and Harry and leads Harry to fall in love with Oswald's sister, Edith.

In recent years, some historians have dismissed Disrael's political novels as a source for Disrael's creed. This notion can hardly be supported. The story of Harry Coningsby's early life as readable, but it is Disraeli's political critique which makes 'Coningsby' a fascinating read for those interested in Victorian politics.

'Coningsby' is firmly set against the political backround of the years between the passing of the Reform Bill of 1832 (which widened the voting franchise) and the fall of Lord Melbourne's Whig ministry in 1841. Disraeli comments and expounds political views throughout the novel, although generally placing his views in the mouths of one or other of the novel's characters.

In 'Coningsby', we find a critigue of the Toryism of Peel (which Disraeli perceived to be unprincipled), utilitarianism and the Whigs. In the end, Disraeli seems to suggest that there can be a unity of interest between traditional landed elites and the new 'millocracy' through some form of Tory Paternalism.


A. to Z. of Restoration London: City of London, 1676
A. to Z. of Restoration London: City of London, 1676
by William Morgan
Edition: Paperback

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finding your way around 1676 London, 22 July 2008
This atlas is a reproduction of the Ogilby and Morgan plan of the City of London, dating from 1676.

This map is an important primary source for historians of London and the general enthusiast. The original map was constructed just ten years after the Great Fire of London (1666). The great value of the plan is that it is very detailed. Ogilby and Morgan attempt to name not only every thoroughfare, but side streets, alleys and courts. Their scope was more ambitious still: Ogilby and Morgan's map attempts to deliniate every single building in the City. This map is certainly the best surviving map of London from this period.

Ralph Hyde's helpful introduction explains how the map came to be constructed and examines its usefulness and faults.


Disraeli (Lancaster Pamphlets)
Disraeli (Lancaster Pamphlets)
by John K. Walton
Edition: Paperback
Price: £18.99

5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Short Introduction to Disraeli?, 21 July 2008
This short work might possibly be the best short introduction to the life and political work of the great nineteenth century statesman Benjamin Disraeli.

It fell to Disraeli to lead the Conservative/Tory Party back from the political wilderness following Sir Robert Peel. Recently, attempts have been made to rehabilitate the reputation of the Early of Derby, who succeeded Peel as party leader. However, it was to 'Dizzy' that the revival of the party was chiefly due, eventually becoming Prime Minister and leaving the legacy of so-called 'One Nation' Conservatism.

The virue of Walton's book is that it is short, readable and yet scholarly. Walton outlines the debates concerning Disraeli and his policies and usefully discusses the work of key Disraelian historians.

An excellent book for AS/A2/undergraduate studies and the general reader with an interest in Victorian history and politics.


An Essay on the Principle of Population
An Essay on the Principle of Population
by T.R. Malthus
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Is Population Growth Unsustainable?, 21 July 2008
The seemingly inocuous (dull?) title of this work belies its importance. Thomas Malthus's essay was one of the most influential works of the early nineteenth century.

Malthus argues that population growth has a tendency to outstrip the resources needed to sustain it. He argues that while population grows geometrically, resources only increase arithmetically. The result? Population will oustrip resources. To boot, Malthus takes a side swipe at practices which he believed could tend to increase population without the means to sustain it: In his sights was the so-called 'Old Poor Law', under which justices of the peace provided aid to the poor and unemployed, linked to the price of bread. Malthus argued that this system would increase population without any means to sustain it.

Malthus's work was highly influential. The Census (which began in 1801) seemed to confirm Malthus's conclusions that population was increasing beyond the limit of resources while the 'New Poor Law', established in the 1830s embodied many Malthusian ideas - making it far harder to gain poor relief and this only to be given in workhouses.

In recent decades, empirical historical research into population growth in Britian in the early ninetweenth century and studies in poor relief have cast much doubt on the Malthusian thesis.

This work remains essential to anyone trying to understand early nineteenth century British 'political economy'. This is a nice edition with a helpful and instructive introduction.


Contrasts: AND True Principles of Christian or Pointed Architecture
Contrasts: AND True Principles of Christian or Pointed Architecture
by A. Welby Pugin
Edition: Hardcover

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Critique of the Nineteenth Century, 21 July 2008
There is a story that upon getting into a railway carriage, the Catholic Pugin crossed himself in preparation for the journey ahead - this shocked fellow passengers! Today, it is hard to see back into the religious and religio-architectural debates of the nineteenth century, but this work (a facsimile of Pugin's original) provides an interesting insight.

Pugin was one of the most influential architects and designers of the nineteenth century, associated with the gothic revival. As well as designing much of the decour of the Houses of Parliament (London), he designed countless churches.

For Pugin, the only style was the Gothic. Pugin believed that Gothic architecture was 'true' and/or 'Christian'; as opposed to classical and classical revival architecture which he believed was essentially pagan, deriving as it did from the pagan style of the Greeks and Romans.

'Contrasts' is a series of illustrations contrasting late medieval society with the nineteenth century. For this, Pugin depicts churches, houses, furniture and even a whole town. Pugin's illustrations make his views clear: Modern design and society are essentially ugly when compared to the pre-reformation style and srchitecture.

A beautiful and stimulating book.


The Peculiarities of German History: Bourgeois Society and Politics in Nineteenth-Century Germany
The Peculiarities of German History: Bourgeois Society and Politics in Nineteenth-Century Germany
by David Blackbourn
Edition: Paperback
Price: £42.00

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Did Germany have a 'special way'?, 21 July 2008
Since 1945 historical debate concerning Germany often characterized Germany as having a 'peculiar' or 'special way' ('Sonderweg'). Did Germany develop in an unusual, rather 'unhealthy' way? Was Imperial Germany characterized by the triumph of authoritarian Prussian aristocratic classes ('Junkers')?

The authors are deeply critical of this interpretation. They contend that Germany may have developed in a particular way and although devoid of a 'bourgeois revolution', the middle classes came to the fore in the economy, culture and society.

This is a stimulating read (for those already familiar with the debates and territory). Although first published in 1984, it remains a key contribution to the study of Imperial Germany.


The Cotton Trade of Great Britain: Including a History of the Liverpool Cotton Market and of the Liverpool Brokers' Association
The Cotton Trade of Great Britain: Including a History of the Liverpool Cotton Market and of the Liverpool Brokers' Association
by Thomas Ellison
Edition: Paperback
Price: £19.95

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Useful but Flawed, 20 July 2008
This is a reprint of Thomas Ellison's classic work of 1886. It has much to commend it, not least the vast amount of statistical work and collation which Ellison undertook for this volume. It is particularly unfortunate therefore that the publishers of this new edition have not included Ellison's most valuable statistical tables which were, in the original (and the 1968 edition) printed at the end of the volume.

The great weakness of Ellison's book is his history of the Liverpool cotton market. This, at first would seem surprising, given that Ellison himself was a Liverpool cotton broker. The problem is three fold: First, Ellison relies too much on anecdote rather than historical research; second, many of the most important research resources were simply not available to Ellison at the time; third, bias. Why biased and in what way? Well, as a Liverpool broker, Ellison always seeks to cast the Liverpool market in the most favourable light. As a result, he plays down criticisms of the Liverpool market which were made, particularly by British spinners - for instance, the role brokers played in raw cotton speculation; brokers acting for both merchants and sellers at the same time and the increasing importing activity of brokers trading on their own account.

A new history of the Liverpool cotton market is long overdue!


Democracy and Sectarianism: Political and Social History of Liverpool, 1868-1939 (E. Allison Peers Lectures)
Democracy and Sectarianism: Political and Social History of Liverpool, 1868-1939 (E. Allison Peers Lectures)
by P.J. Waller
Edition: Hardcover

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Sectarian Liverpool, 19 July 2008
Phil Waller takes a facinating subject for his book. The issue of sectraianism in mainland British politics is rarely discussed and here, in studying Liverpool, Waller makes a valuable contribution.

This is not a book for everyone - particularly not those who only have a general interest in Liverpool. It is densely (sometimes a little too densely) written and a great deal of information and detail is presented.

There is no doubt that this is the most authorititve book on the subject of religion and Liverpool's politics. Having said this, one at times wished that Waller connected local politics to what was happening at a national level in a more thorough manner. Also, Waller 'misses a trick' in that his work stops at the city limits and therefore ignores the sectarianism that could be found in outlying settlements which fed in and fed off Liverpool politically, socially, economically and politically.


Page: 1 | 2