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ABmonkey (UK)

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Inconvenient People: Lunacy, Liberty and the Mad-Doctors in Victorian England
Inconvenient People: Lunacy, Liberty and the Mad-Doctors in Victorian England
Price: £5.03

5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating read on a sensitive subject., 29 Sep 2014
This is a fascinating book covering the lives of lunatics and alleged lunatics in Victorian England. Mental illness was little understood and feared. Many people found it shameful to have a lunatic relative and so often such people were hidden away. The book covers several persons who, although eccentric, were misdiagnosed as insane, hauled away to either ‘private’ asylums or larger establishments, with little or no recourse to law.

The author often mentions fiction in which this occurs – namely Jane Eyre and Women in White but the truth was often not far, or sometimes even worse than fiction.

The reasons for incarceration ranged from relatives wanting control of finances; inconvenient wives; women who spoke out and behaved against the rigid, masculine status quo, and in one of the case studies a group involved with a cult. Each case is discussed in depth, sympathetically and the changes in law (if any applied) mentioned.
It is a good insight into the world of Victorian England, the rules governing the role of women, the sick, the upper-classes and how the populace reacted. Ignorance, spite, greed and misdirection fill these pages, along with love gone sour, obsession and most importantly – courage.

For anyone interested in Victorian history, the history of mental illness treatment or psychiatry might find this book a good read.


The Lore of the Land: A Guide to England's Legends, from Spring-heeled Jack to the Witches of Warboys
The Lore of the Land: A Guide to England's Legends, from Spring-heeled Jack to the Witches of Warboys
by Jennifer Westwood
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars A great resource, 2 Sep 2014
This is a fascinating book covering every county in England. Tales of ghosts, giants, heroes, villains, monsters, place-names, kings, witches and so much more. England has a very rich history of folklore - some of it very strange indeed! The accounts are about a paragraph or so each, interspersed with longer two-page spreads, images and at 900 or so pages is a hefty read. This is a must for any fan of English history, folk-lore, fairy tales, ghost stories, and the general oddness of folk.


Relief-Xtra Magnet Therapy Magnetic Plasters x12
Relief-Xtra Magnet Therapy Magnetic Plasters x12
Offered by Muzamedical
Price: £8.40

4.0 out of 5 stars The sticking plaster is not the best, however, 31 Aug 2014
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These provide quite a bit of relief. The sticking plaster is not the best, however.


The Gates of Hell
The Gates of Hell
by C. J. Cherryh
Edition: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars intrigued as I loved Rogues in Hell and I am trying to get ..., 31 Aug 2014
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This review is from: The Gates of Hell (Paperback)
I picked this up in print, intrigued as I loved Rogues in Hell and I am trying to get through all the Heroes in Hell books. Gates of Hell is the second of the series – and a novel not an anthology. It is a lot of fun.

Where else would one find Julius Caesar, Alexander the Great, Cleopatra, Machiavelli and a whole host of characters from ancient times, medieval times and modern times trying to escape together from Hell, armed with tanks, ancient weapons, Uzis and cavalry? The ancient and modern seamlessly woven together as if it was perfectly natural to consider Julius Caesar riding a jeep.

For me it was a game of spot the ancient hero and the historical figure. There are many egos among the players and of course, being Hell, not all goes to plan and that plan itself has more twists and turns than the every changing river of Hell. Apparently there is a way out of Hell if only one can find it. Or so the rumour is. A rumour in hell? That will not end well.

There was humour, adventure, great characters, rogues and heroes and a wonderfully crafted universe. Each character has his or her own agenda – Julius believes Alexander and Achilles are part of him, Hatshepsut the female Pharoah wants a kingdom, Alexander wants, among other things his dead lover and the others – well that would be telling. This is a complex story with alliances and betrayal at every turn. They have their memories, their prejudices and their affiliations. Lies abound.
In places perhaps it was too convoluted – and keeping track of what everyone was doing makes the brain flip, but that too is fun. Such an adventure is not for the faint hearted or those who want an easy, simple read. The ending leads to a cliff-hanger – and thus on to the next in the series.


Creative HS800 Fatal1ty Gaming Headset with Detachable Noise-cancelling Microphone (PC / MAC)
Creative HS800 Fatal1ty Gaming Headset with Detachable Noise-cancelling Microphone (PC / MAC)
Price: £24.95

3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars, 31 Aug 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Pretty good sound quality, comfortable and easy to use. Only one complaint - the headband gets loose quite quickly.


The Tripods Collection: The White Mountains/The City of Gold and Lead/The Pool of Fire/When the Tripods Came
The Tripods Collection: The White Mountains/The City of Gold and Lead/The Pool of Fire/When the Tripods Came
by John Christopher
Edition: Paperback
Price: £16.71

4.0 out of 5 stars I loved this series and was delighted to see it reissued, 31 Aug 2014
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This set took me back to my younger days. I loved this series and was delighted to see it reissued. As good as I remember it, with adventure and courage, coming of age and a nod to War of the Worlds and the older Sci-fi books. Cleverly written with a world which is obviously Earth but could be near or far future, or even an alternate now. Medieval future, dystopian and dark but with hope and the battle of the human spirit. The ending is especially well done.

Recommended for young sci-fi fans and those wanting to find a simple, yet complex group of stories who are ypung at heart.


The Bard's Daughter (A Gareth and Gwen Medieval Mystery)
The Bard's Daughter (A Gareth and Gwen Medieval Mystery)
Price: £1.83

4.0 out of 5 stars albeit with not a great deal of detail but it is a short book, 27 July 2014
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This was fairly short - a teaser for the later novels I believe but was still enjoyable in its own right. Set in Medieval Wales it follows Gwen - the titular character who must save her father from a charge of murder. Some of the laws and traditions of Wales and the Norman lords appear, albeit with not a great deal of detail but it is a short book. The author covers a little more in an interesting appendix.

The character of Gwen is interesting, for although Wales had more equality for women at that time she is still seen as lesser by then men, but steps up and shows them what she can do. Solving the murder they cannot or will not. A love interest is mentioned, but he is absent in the book, and enough of a teaser is given that the reader is intrigued to find out if they are reunited in later books. Other characters mentioned are based on real figures, and it is obvious the author has done some research into the period and area. Although the scenes only take place around one specific location - a castle - I didn't feel more was needed.

In a similar vein to the Cadfael books this historical mystery is entertaining - especially without the modern knowledge of forensics, or such like. Recommended as short story for fans of the genre, and fans of Welsh fiction. I shall definitely be reading more by this author.


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Price: £12.85


Veil of the Dragon (Prophecy of the Evarun Book 1)
Veil of the Dragon (Prophecy of the Evarun Book 1)
Price: £2.68

4.0 out of 5 stars An epic journey, 23 July 2014
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This was an interesting fantasy, and to me at least I haven't read anything quite like it before. The pace starts fairly slowly but soon engages the reader well enough and the suspense continues until the end.

Revelations abound for the main character, and the reader and the Dragon of the title is both more and less than he, and the reader imagines. To me this is, in essence, a journey - a journey of faith, self belief (or the lack) and and the journey of life and death, which is not clear cut. It is also a journey of good versus evil.

I would have liked a wee bit more background and description as the history of the world is a little sparse. Over all however this is a great read.


High Moor
High Moor
Price: £1.02

4.0 out of 5 stars Good old school Horror, 7 Jun 2014
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This review is from: High Moor (Kindle Edition)
This has been on my reading list for a while, but it was well worth the read. An old-school werewolf story, set in Northern England it starts in the year 2000, but the story soon shifts back to the 1980s. It helps to understand the setting here; Thatcherite Britain, a run-down town with high unemployment, depression, and the malaise which fell over a lot of the country at this time. The main characters in the early part of the book are children raised in working class houses, with little concept that things will get better, alcoholic and violent parents and an overworked police force. Bring into the mix the prejudices of the time and you have a rather dark background. Then a werewolf arrives….
The book is violent, this is no shifter romance, but a brutal and horrifying account, reminiscent of wolfman films and older stories. The werewolves are not nice, they kill, they eat people and they cause total mayhem. That said there is some real depth and emotion in this book, the fear of the townsfolk, the bravery of those who seek to hunt the killers and the despair of John, the main protagonist. Some of the writing is superb, with vivid descriptions, dark humour and a fast pace which keeps up all the way through.
My only complaints were the slight implausibility of part of the ending, and the cliff-hanger, although the story was concluded well enough. I will definitely read the second part of the series.
Overall a great read, with fast paced action, terrifying monsters, but a few touching scenes. Well worth it!

*copied to Amazon.com


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