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Mr. P. J. Brown "hermesbooksamazon" (United Kingdom)
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A Curl of Copper and Pearl
A Curl of Copper and Pearl
by Kirsty Stonell Walker
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.15

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Resurrecting Alexa, 29 May 2014
Beautifully written, who could not love Alexa (Alice) and her relationship with Rossetti and the other Pre Raphaelites. The background is Victorian London,vividly brought to life. Like her biography of Fanny Cornforth the depth of research really shows and brings Alexa to life in a way all readers will enjoy.


The Facebook Effect: The Real Inside Story of Mark Zuckerberg and the World's Fastest Growing Company
The Facebook Effect: The Real Inside Story of Mark Zuckerberg and the World's Fastest Growing Company
Price: £3.95

2.0 out of 5 stars Poor conversion, 19 Feb 2014
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At least on my Kindle it will periodically jump to the end of the book and is difficult to get back to the page you were on.

Fair overview of the history of fb but I don't feel any wiser of Zuckerberg's motives or what drives him on.


The Collected Letters of Jane Morris
The Collected Letters of Jane Morris
by Jan Marsh
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £95.00

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jane Morris in her own words, 18 Oct 2012
The Collected Letters of Jane Morris

Jane Morris, the wife of William Morris and the muse of Rossetti still exercises a fascination that never seems to fade. Starting as the daughter of a lowly groom in Oxford her story is so fascinating that new books retelling are produced every few years. Jan Marsh has written her definitive biography and with Frank Sharp discovered 500 letters most of which have not been published before.

In good time to coincide with the Tate exhibition (which features a number of Rossetti's paintings of her) the letters reveal a much more complex character than has often been portrayed. She helped her husband, loved and worried about her children (particularly the epileptic Jenny) and had strong views that help bring her alive as more than Rossetti's vision of her or the limp invalid who married just for the money. The extensive notes reflect new research on her and those around her and the colour plates have been well chosen.

Its hard to see how this book could be superseded and combined with Fiona MacCarthy's biographies of William Morris and Edward Burne-Jones throws new light on these leading lights of the pre raphaelites and their environment.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 18, 2012 4:55 PM BST


Stunner: The Fall and Rise of Fanny Cornforth
Stunner: The Fall and Rise of Fanny Cornforth
by Kirsty Stonell Walker
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.07

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magnificant Second Edition, 5 Sep 2012
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In the second edition, the author has doubled the size of the book, added more photographs (though of locations rather than artworks) and added so much that is interesting into the life and influence of this often neglected but important muse of Dante Rossetti. With the imminent Tate exhibition, Alicia Craig Faxon's new biography (2011) and the publication later this year of Jane Morris' letters, this is a timely new edition that helps round out the great artists life. Simple errors in the first edition have been corrected and the new research has been added seamlessly in an often light-hearted way that makes the book easy to read and really adds to our knowledge of the Pre-Raphaelites. My only suggestion for future editions is for an index. The authors blog The Kissed Mouth includes more material that adds to the book.


Azincourt
Azincourt
by Bernard Cornwell
Edition: Hardcover

3.0 out of 5 stars Not one of his best, 10 Jan 2009
This review is from: Azincourt (Hardcover)
As others have said this seems very similar to the Harlequin series. The main character is so down played that he is not always very interesting and his love interest unlikely. It also seems very violent, often done for effect even if it may be historically accurate. And the Deus-ex-Machina of the Saints talking to Hook annoyed me and seemed very much an authors trick. But the battle scenes are very good and since I didn't know this period of history in detail I did learn a lot.


Once Upon a Windowsill
Once Upon a Windowsill
by Tovah Martin
Edition: Hardcover

5.0 out of 5 stars Victorian houseplants, 2 Aug 2008
This review is from: Once Upon a Windowsill (Hardcover)
Tovah Martin really knows her houseplants. Although called 'A History of Indoor Plants' it is principally about the Victorian period in North America and the use of the increasing number of plants imported and bred for use in the house, including the fascinating Fern and Palm crazes. The writing is a little awkward at times but the information is there and makes a fascinating story. The illustrations (mainly from Victorian periodicals and books) are well chosen, but a few photographs would have helped at times. The rise of houseplants and the 'beautification' of the mainly middle class American home is well argued, but to my mind the building and popularisation of botanic gardens could have been more emphasised.


A Thing in Disguise: The Visionary Life of Joseph Paxton
A Thing in Disguise: The Visionary Life of Joseph Paxton
by Kate Colquhoun
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.99

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The hardest working man in Victorian England, 2 Aug 2008
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This is one of those rare but exciting biographies that reads like a novel and is gripping all the way through. Kate Colquhoun really knows her material and the diversions always add to the story.

Faults are that it reads like hagiography at times and even by Victorian standards Paxton treated his family appallingly and reaped what he sowed in his wayward son.

But for the story of the design of the Crystal Palace and the foundations of modern horticulture, this can't be beaten.


The Hounds of the Morrigan (Puffin Books)
The Hounds of the Morrigan (Puffin Books)
by Pat O'Shea
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars Great Irish tale, 20 July 2008
Anyone, adult or child, with a love of Irish folk tales will love this book, that lives on in the memory long after it has been finished. Wonderful characters, an underrated classic.


Setting Up Themed Aquariums: Fishes and Plants in Harmony
Setting Up Themed Aquariums: Fishes and Plants in Harmony
by Axel Gutjahr
Edition: Paperback

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Never fulfils its ambition, 15 July 2008
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Axel Gutjahr (the book is translated from a German edition) obviously knows his stuff and if read carefully there are some good tips. But to my mind he has been let down by the publisher. Passing quickly over a picture of a marine fish opposite 'My Aquarium' (this book is solely about tropical freshwater aquaria), why are there no tank plans or photographs of the suggested setups. The Question and Answer sections seem out of place in a book not really meant for beginners and I am doubtful personally about recommending Angel Fish as quiet community dwellers. This could have been a good book, although at 63pp it is too short, but hard to recommend as it is.


The Moral State We're In
The Moral State We're In
by Julia Neuberger
Edition: Hardcover

8 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A critique of our lack of kindness, 14 Dec 2005
Rabbi Julia Neuberger is an impassioned speaker and in this superb book looks at how we really treat the vulnerable in our society, the old, the young, those in prison so on. There are a lot of statistics in this book but the case for a new look at what we are doing comes overpoweringly through. Pity this book can't be made compulsary reading for those who run our NHS, Social Services etc. Kindness certainly seems in short supply and often just common decency and respect to towards those least able to defend themselves.


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