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Peter And The Wolf: Narrated By Sting [DVD] [1993] [NTSC]
Peter And The Wolf: Narrated By Sting [DVD] [1993] [NTSC]
Dvd ~ Claudio Abbado
Price: 14.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well worth a look, 15 Dec 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Choosing an item such as this for children - especially very young ones - is always a bit of a gamble, and no-one ever knows what the reaction will be; but I took the gamble here, with a not-quite-three-year-old granddaughter, and it came off. Of course, you don't get any very sophisticated critique from so young an audience, and the reaction will differ from one day to the next, sometimes quite brutally; but she did, one morning, sit contentedly through the entire programme (which includes not only Peter and the Wolf, but also the same composer's Overture on Hebrew Themes and his Classical Symphony - this embellished with wonderful caricatures - for those who can recognise them - of Bach, Mozart, Wagner and no doubt a few more) Towards the end my young companion fell asleep, but it was a contented sleep; and the next week she came back for more. A gamble, of course, with children so young, but one worth taking.


The Course of French History
The Course of French History
by Pierre Goubert
Edition: Paperback
Price: 27.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A rare combination of scholarship and wit, 15 Dec 2012
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There are plenty of dull books - reliable, clear, scholarly, but in the end rather dull - on French history. This one however stands out from the crowd. There's no lack of plain basic narrative and analysis here, but the author has the gift of leavening it with variety and wit, yet without being in any way facile or flashy. I have looked and looked for a straightforward narrative of French history, and found plenty that seem sound, but none, before this one, which served up the sound material in a lively (and occasionally diverting) style. If you want a straightforward history of France which will also keep you engaged as a general reader, this is the one to go for.


Beyond A Boundary
Beyond A Boundary
by Cyril Lionel Robert James
Edition: Paperback
Price: 7.69

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic, 15 Dec 2012
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This review is from: Beyond A Boundary (Paperback)
This book is unique - the work of a unique author. A person who can write with equal authority, wit and - on occasion - poignancy on cricket (this book) and on the Haiti slave revolt (The Black Jacobins) deserves respect and gratitude. 'Beyond a boundary' is a cricket book for the cricket enthusiast, but it's frame of reference is so much wider than cricket. A classic.


Luxury Small 12'' Traditional Christmas Wreath - Table Decoration
Luxury Small 12'' Traditional Christmas Wreath - Table Decoration
Offered by CELEBRATIONS
Price: 7.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The one we received is only 10", 15 Dec 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The wreath we received is no more than 10" and not strong enough to support candles on top. A German friend had showed me how to heat and bend strong wire to fix candles to the frame. As it is we have used separate candles in holders round the edge.
In truth the 10" size fits our table well, and is attractive, but not quite as we'd hoped the Advent wreath could be.


In Darkest England, and the Way Out (Classic Reprint)
In Darkest England, and the Way Out (Classic Reprint)
by William Booth
Edition: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars A sobering analysis, and still frighteningly relevant, 22 Nov 2011
As a document of its time this book can rank alongside Engels' analysis of a generation earlier in The Condition of the Working Class in England. Yet while Engels' book now has value mainly as analysis and historical evidence, many of the problems identified by Booth are still frighteningly with us, and his proposals for dealing with them are always specific and practical. The only thing that has changed, one might say, is the style of writing English prose - in that respect the book is indeed a period piece!


CitiBlocs Wooden Building Blocks (300 Pieces)
CitiBlocs Wooden Building Blocks (300 Pieces)

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hugely popular with the grandchildren, 22 Nov 2011
= Durability:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This is a very simple concept - just a box of 300 identical parts, in wood - and that is its beauty. It's the same idea as Planx (though the dimensions of the blocks are slightly different) which seem no longer to be so readily available. A 2-year-old can have fun with it, and a 5-year-old a lot more - and it is quite challenging for an adult, both to design and to execute an item. I speak from experience, at all those levels. It needs a steady hand, an understanding of the properties of the medium, and as much inventiveness as one can muster. Brilliant!


Humphry Davy: Science and Power (Cambridge Science Biographies)
Humphry Davy: Science and Power (Cambridge Science Biographies)
by David Knight
Edition: Paperback
Price: 28.25

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a fine work, 5 Nov 2011
This biography of Humphry Davy ticks all the boxes - well researched, authoritative, clear, very readable and, when the occasion requires, dramatic (the chapter on the Davy Lamp especially). Not the cheapest on the market, but worth every penny.


Humphry Davy
Humphry Davy
by Raymond Lamont-Brown
Edition: Paperback
Price: 16.81

1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars a disappointment, 29 Oct 2011
This review is from: Humphry Davy (Paperback)
This book is seriously marred by the author's confusing style of presentation. This really comes down to a basic carelessness in sentence construction. Here is a typical example -

The author writes 'Another friend from these days at Clifton who would play a significant role in Davy's life was Thomas 'Tom' Poole (1765-1837), a friend of Coleridge and his wife Sara. Poole was a partner in his father's tanning yard at Nether Stowey, as well as flourishing as a farmer. Thirteen years older than Davv, Poole had a comfortable...'

The reader, if he or she is trying to pay attention and take in what is being said, may wonder, 'whose wife was Sara - Poole's, or Coleridge's?' and further 'whose was the tanning yard - was it Poole's father?' Well, probably Sara was Coleridge's wife, and most likely Poole's father owned the tanning yard. But if the reader is trying to pay attention, there will be a momentary distraction while each of these little questions is sorted out. That does not matter much if it happens occasionally - but this author does this kind of thing constantly, page after page; and that becomes a major distraction (quite apart from questions about how relevant each of these scraps of information is to the argument. A professional writer just should not do this kind of thing constsntly.

There are better biographies available. Unfortunately they are significantly more expennsive than this one - but it's worth the extra money, just to get away from this kind of prose.


A Delusion of Satan: The Full Story of the Salem Witch Trials
A Delusion of Satan: The Full Story of the Salem Witch Trials
by Frances Hill
Edition: Paperback
Price: 11.72

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars a useful introduction to a complex and bewildering subject, 28 July 2011
I was looking for a book which would provide an introduction to this topic, of which I knew nothing beyond a dim memory of a production of Arthur Miller's play 'The Crucible' (about 50 years ago). So I needed, at least a narrative of the events, but preferably also a broader perspective of the historical context - Puritanism, American frontier life in the 17th century, government and society in Massachusetts, etc. Truth to tell, I guessed that it was wishing for the moon to expect all that in one, digestible, book. This book does however supply quite a lot of that, probably as much as can reasonably be expected in a single monograph. I felt confident too that the author has done her research thoroughly, for there is plenthy of evidence of that in the text. I read the earlier chapters closely, but it was hard work getting a wider view among the (necessary) mass of specific detail, and in later chapters I had to resort to speed-reading - skimming - so as not to get bogged down. That's not the author's fault - she set out to do her job thoroughly and she does that - but I think other readers may find it helpful to be aware that it is that kind of book, so as to get value from it and not be disappointed.


Queen of Science
Queen of Science
by Mary Somerville
Edition: Paperback
Price: 8.67

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A worth-while book on an important but neglected subject, 5 Nov 2010
This review is from: Queen of Science (Paperback)
This is not a biography, nor an autobiography in the usual sense but what its subtitle says - personal recollections of the subject, Mary Somerville. It has a self-evident value as such, unique as a view into her own personality, but if one wants a perspective on this very remarkable woman in her own time and context one will have to look elsewhere.

The text has also given the editor trouble, for it combines Mary Somerville's own words with later posthumous glosses by her daughter, and it isn't always easy (particularly in the opening pages) to sort out who is writing at any particular point. This almost caused me to abandon the book, but the going does get easier later on.


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