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Ms. O. Lowe

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The Tudor Wife
The Tudor Wife
by Emily Purdy
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.99

42 of 44 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not entirely unreadable, but not recommended, 4 April 2010
This review is from: The Tudor Wife (Paperback)
Having read a number of pieces of historical fiction from popular authors such as Alison Weir and Philippa Gregory, I thought it was time to venture into the more unknown works, from relatively unknown authors. I was disappointed with this book, very disappointed.

Whilst I do not expect historical novels to be entirely historically accurate (in fact, it's not always possible to be) this was just a farce- at times, I almost thought that Purdy was making a whole mockery. There were so many historical inaccuracies, so many entirely untrue and unbelieveable (in the bad sense) scenarios that occurred, that I struggled to finish the book. Although the drama in the novel keeps you slightly willing to read, I do not think this is entirely due to Purdy's ability or skill- many people who read these types of books do so because they have a thirst to read as much as they can about Anne Boleyn, Jane Boleyn, George Boleyn, Henry VIII etc and so are likely to read on anyway. I cannot entirely fault Purdy's writing, and she does command some literary skill, but it is very basic and I am sure that many people will find they have the same or similar talent if they tried writing a book.

There were also several over-used expressions and phrases, such as "Verily" said at the start of many a spoken sentence, and Jane refering to herself or to Anne or George Boleyn in a manner many many times, and this became boring. Very boring. It was almost as if there was a limited phrase book being used by Purdy.

Whilst not entirely unreadable, I would strongly not recommend this book to anyone, unless they had an ardent desire to read everything they could about Anne Boleyn- in that case, don't prepare yourself for something promising.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 2, 2010 10:55 AM BST

The Lady Elizabeth
The Lady Elizabeth
by Alison Weir
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.79

4.0 out of 5 stars A good book to pick your way through, 30 Mar 2010
This review is from: The Lady Elizabeth (Paperback)
Although, overall, not the best historical fiction, Weir's The Lady Elizabeth was intriguing and engaging as she takes us through the life of one of the world's greatest queens. Well written and lucid, Weir has delivered a fantastic piece of literature and the multiple viewpoints often give a lot more insight into this rather tricky time, especially when the time span can move quickly- one minute Elizabeth is a little girl, the next she is a teenager!

The only real flaws I can find are minor- to begin with, when Kat, the governess arrives (in Weir's book, eventually called Astley, for some reason...) she immediately establishes herself as Elizabeth's cousin and a relation to Anne Boleyn which sets herself up as a character to believe Anne's innocence and further tie her to Elizabeth. However, it was her husband, Sir John Ashley, that was a cousin to Anne Boleyn, through their mothers as sisters. Plus, it also drags into the reign of Queen Katherine Parr, as Kat's family ties to Elizabeth soon make her jealous and all that, but it is a minor historical flaw that only affects the plot very slightly. Then again, since Alison Weir is a historian specialising in this period, it does seem strange for her to have placed such an odd error in the book...

But nonetheless,this book is well written and an extremely interesting account of Elizabeth's life, especially as a young child.

Barbie Princess of Japan
Barbie Princess of Japan
Offered by B`n Doll`s Planet
Price: £59.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely Collector's Item, 2 Feb 2010
= Durability:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:4.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Barbie Princess of Japan (Toy)
The Princess of Japan Barbie really is a stunning tribute to the oriental fashion and culture of Japan. Her outfit, as a reviewer says, is a little tricky but is not really supposed to be removed anyway- if children rish to dress and redress her, all they have to do is wrap the gown around her again and re-velcro her obi. Her box also presents some educational information about Japan for children (and maybe even adults!) and suits her very well. She looks great inside or outside of her box, and she has a delicate, gentle face, unlike many of the harsh, bolder styles of other Barbie dolls. She looks simple and stunning and is very durable- I have had mine for 2 months and not a stitch has come loose, or a scratch has appeared! Would recommend for all Barbie collectors.

The World At War - Complete TV Series (11 Disc Box Set) [DVD]
The World At War - Complete TV Series (11 Disc Box Set) [DVD]
Dvd ~ Laurence Olivier

11 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Almost top standards, 17 Aug 2009
Being a history and english literature student, I thought it would be best to learn about one of the topics that crops up so often in both history lessons and literature- countless books I have read have been about the war, but you only get half hearted, biased versions in novels, so I decided I'd get a rather factual, definitive and decent knowledge of world war two.

Overall, I have to say that I was rather impressed. I had been warned by my father that, although it was a detailed and excellent description of the war, the presentation was a little dated. Whilst this was the case, I was not put off, and felt it hammered home the fact that the war happened not long before the making of the documentary.

The level of detail was incredible, with specific dates given and nothing was glossed over, as far as I am aware. They looked at all sides in detail, trying not to give biased opinions of views, and made sure that the voices of all countries were heard, including German and Russian officers, diplomats, British MPs and London Blitz survivors. I thought the interviewees were nicely unbiased as well, giving first hand accounts of what actually happened, then being followed by description from the narrator. I learnt an awful lot from this, and wouldn't look at another lightly, although I might explore, for the purposes of widening my knowledge, other DVDs and literature, for more detail on specific events, such as The Night of Broken Glass during the Holocaust.

On the downside, what I found rather annoying was Laurence Olivier. Whilst it might have seemed brilliant to have a famous narrator, and whilst each word is clear, Olivier is a very fast speaker. Words and names were often difficult to understand, and I found myself having to do much more research to work out spellings and who was who, such as the name of the French Prime Minister- now, I don't blame them for this, since it can be difficult to spell foreign names, but, in reality, if you are studying this in deep context, and need to know this information, it can be rather annoying, and I found myself having to skip back to specific parts. Unfortunately, I also found Olivier to be rather sarcastic and overly critical at times when it really wasn't necessary, especially during the DVD about France and their defeat. Of course, incompetance or defeat cannot be denied, but I think people have to be a bit more open about things like this, and try to understand that it must have been ever so difficult to be in any position during the war, whether this was soldier, leader, prime minister, president, diplomat, politician or civilian. This is only a minor annoyance, however, hence the lack of the 5th star, and is easy enough to overlook.

However, I was generally very happy with this product which, I think, should be watched by anyone wishing to gain a proper knowledge of the war.

Note: Just to add, as was mentioned in a comment to this review, in regards to subtitles, there were also no subtitles, as many people have mentioned in their reviews. This was another fault, I believe, for it limits this series away from those who are hard of hearing. It would also have been useful to have the subtitles for the foreign names and places.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 12, 2009 5:20 PM BST

The Constant Princess: 4 (Tudor series)
The Constant Princess: 4 (Tudor series)
by Philippa Gregory
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.99

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mixed views about this book, 10 Aug 2009
Whilst Phillipa Gregory is a well-established writer of the historical periods, and manages to make history readable, this book is not my favourite in the slightest. I read the Other Boleyn Girl and was not best pleased with how Mary was portrayed, since she was seen as a simpering little girl, but gave Phillipa the benefit of the doubt, and decided I'd read some of her other books too, hoping the characters would be more believable and realistic.
The Queen's Fool proved similar to The Other Boleyn girl, but I persevered and decided to read the Constant Princess. Although the book was well written, I did not like much of it at all.

I found Catherine/Katherine/The Spanish Infanta to be unrealistic, since she was always so perfect, even to the point of beauty that struck her father in law speechless. Whilst she may have been beautiful, and even if the historical king did desire her, it is just a waste of valuable space to go on about how men found her so beautiful and wonderful and perfect. She does no wrong, and even when she tells that great lie it is 'justifyable'. She is portrayed as this strong, almost modern woman, who will not let any man walk over her, yet the real Catherine of Aragon let her husband go through countless mistresses, only stopping with Anne Boleyn when Henry wanted to marry her! I thought this portrayal of her, whilst it may have been to sympathise with Catherine's hardships, just put me off her.

Also, the story consisted, mainly, of how Catherine hated England. Of course she's going to dislike it if the weather is duller and it is different to what she is used to, but by the end of the book I was almost offended at how Phillipa Gregory pretty much slated England and the English people, who were seen as almost inferior to the "wonderful Spaniards". Whilst it has not created any prejudice in me, I wish Gregory would have dulled down Catherine's dislike of England, purely so she could have added more plot instead of "It's not fair how cold it it- I want my mummy!"

Other than that, the book read fairly well, delving into romance and tragedy, with a reasonable outcome by the end, although my personal view on the last events slips my review down to 3 stars. I thought the ending was pretty much ridiculous, to be honest, and didn't seem to solve much at all.

Overall, read if you're a die-hard Gregory fan, but not if you're looking for a gripping or historical book.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix [DVD] [2007]
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix [DVD] [2007]
Dvd ~ Daniel Radcliffe
Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: £6.14

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Whilst I love the film, this item is NOT worth the money, 10 Aug 2009
This has been said on a review before, as far as I'm aware, but I do feel that this piece of merchandising is just a waste of money.

The film itself is brilliant. Absolutely wonderful. Yes, it has it's faults, but personally I believe it is a movie worth watching, no matter whether you are a book-devoted-fan or whether you just like the movies. Parts have been missed out and the plot has been mangled a litte here and there, but overall the special effects and majority of acting in the film makes up for that. The plot thickens, deepens and darkens as Harry's story continues, and those who have been following since they were children, as was Harry, will find this enjoyable.

However, this rating should be about this particular item, and what I suggest is:
- If you are a collector, I personally would not buy this unless you were adament that you had to have everything to do with Harry Potter.
- If you are looking for more than just the film, do not buy this: the 2 disc edition contains some wonderful extras, even an interactive piece where you can edit part of the movie!
- If you are looking for just a simple, clean HP5 DVD and have not got any of the DVDs already, then sure, buy the new set. They're clean and nicely packaged, they all match up and will look great on shelves.

But, as mentioned, I strongly advise against this if you already have this movie on another edition, and would reccommend spending that little bit extra on the 2 disc version.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 5, 2010 8:52 PM BST

The Diary of Anne Frank - Complete BBC Series [DVD]
The Diary of Anne Frank - Complete BBC Series [DVD]
Dvd ~ Ellie Kendrick
Offered by rarerarerare
Price: £36.69

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful adaptation, 12 May 2009
I was surprised to see the 3 star rating on here, because I honestly feel that this adaptation is worth at least 4 stars. The acting quality, for the most part, is brilliant- the only fault I can find, really, is the actress who plays Miep. She seems a little flat, but other than that the actors immerse themselves in their roles, and it is clear that they understand who they are playing incredibly well.

I believe it does fulfill its purpose and appeals to a younger audience- it encompasses the subtlties of the Holocaust within Anne's life and so less mature viewers are not blown away by the force of the Holocaust's sadness. It is a good start, I believe, for children and young people moving into the more sinister films regarding this particular era, and is a nice bridge up to it. It follows the diary very well and in an understandable way- I have read the book, and even though it missed out certain parts, it was easy and clear to see where it was going, and what had happened in between.

The Queen's Fool
The Queen's Fool
by Philippa Gregory
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: £8.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A pretty good read, 9 Feb 2009
Being a major fan of historical fiction, especially that which centres around the lives of the Tudor family, I expected this book to be a brilliant read, considering the author is well known for her Tudor fiction. I wasn't dissappointed. The historical accuracy was brilliant, the characters were reasonably believeable and she didn't stick to the stereotypes of Elizabeth and Mary. Both had their good points and their bad points.

However, at times I found Hannah, the main character, a little unrealistic and unbelieveable. There were moments where she was strong and feminist, and wonderfully written, but other moments where she conformed to the role that women had to play. I wasn't so keen on the ending, but overall it was a fairly thrilling read.
I would reccommend.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 12, 2009 8:58 AM GMT

Shrek - Kung Fu Princess Snow White
Shrek - Kung Fu Princess Snow White

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome!, 17 Jan 2009
= Durability:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:2.0 out of 5 stars 
The doll is awesome.
Not only is her princess outfit beautiful, and her face/hair etc, but her "kung fu" outfit is also very cool. Her legs go everywhere, like she can do the splits and kick up in the air, but don't feel like they're going to snap off at any point. She seems like a very sturdy doll, though a little of her hair malted when I undid the packaging.
Obviously, she's not considered educational, but that isn't the main feature of dolls, so it didn't cross my mind.
Overall, a very interesting and fun doll to buy, and very pretty to look at if you're not into kung fu fighting!

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