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Barrie England (United Kingdom)

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Arthur Conan Doyle: The Man Behind Sherlock Holmes
Arthur Conan Doyle: The Man Behind Sherlock Holmes
Price: 8.58

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Elementary, 27 Mar 2013
The first half of the book is about Conan Doyle's life and examines various aspects of the Holmes stories. Only in the second half does Norman tackle the prospectus, `the story of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's strange beliefs' in spiritualism and fairies. It's an interesting topic, and the author makes a good attempt at explaining it.

Unfortunately, my confidence in him as a reliable commentator was badly dented when I read his explanation of Holmes's question `Are you well up on your Jean Paul?' which he puts to Watson in `The Sign of Four'.

Norman tells us it's `a reference to the French existentialist philosopher, dramatist and novelist Jean-Paul Sartre'. `The Sign of Four' was published in 1890, 15 years before Sartre was born. Even the great Sherlock Holmes was not blessed with that kind of foresight. In any case, Watson replies `I worked back to him through Carlyle', who certainly predates Sartre, and in his subsequent speech, Holmes refers to Jean Paul as Richter, for Jean Paul was the German Romantic writer, Johann Paul Friedrich Richter.

Tunisian Dreams - A novel
Tunisian Dreams - A novel
Price: 5.14

5.0 out of 5 stars Weighty Matters with a Light Touch, 3 Jun 2012
Ivor Rawlnson has combined his first-hand knowledge of Tunisia with an outstanding story-telling talent to produce an engaging first novel. It flits with ease from archaeological sites to a Foreign Office reception to the darker side of life in Tunisia before the Arab spring to a hospital ward, with unexpected turns in many chapters. For those familiar with Tunisia, it will be a reminder of many of that country's delights, and of some of its earlier sorrows. For those who aren't, it will be an incentive. For all, it is an entertaining and thought-provoking tale.

The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language
The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language
by David Crystal
Edition: Paperback
Price: 30.35

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Monumental, 10 Feb 2009
If David Crystal had written nothing else - and all that he has written is worth reading - this alone would justify his place among the ranks of the great linguists.

Invitation Old English
Invitation Old English
by Bruce Mitchell
Edition: Paperback
Price: 32.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Accept This Invitation, 10 Feb 2009
This review is from: Invitation Old English (Paperback)
This is a book for those who have a serious interest in the Anglo-Saxons and their language, but who are unable to pursue an academic course in the subject. Bruce Mitchell is one of the leading Old English scholars of his generation and a champion of his subject. His enthusiasm and his friendly and encouraging presence are felt on every page. He has the rare quality of combining authority with complete absence of condescension.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 15, 2011 6:00 PM GMT

The Cambridge Guide to English Usage
The Cambridge Guide to English Usage
by Pam Peters
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 36.99

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Indispensable, 10 Feb 2009
As a corpus based style guide it knocks all others off the shelf. Required reading for all who which to gain an understanding of contemporary English. It considers usage in the major English-speaking countries and exposes all the hoary old lies about English you were taught at school.

Who's Who in Proust
Who's Who in Proust
by Patrick Alexander
Edition: Paperback

3.0 out of 5 stars Could do with a good editor, 10 Feb 2009
This review is from: Who's Who in Proust (Paperback)
A detailed and informative work of reference by an enthusiastic commentator, but one which has its authority undermined by numerous typographical errors.

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