Roderick Blyth

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Top Reviewer Ranking: 4,176
Helpful votes received on reviews: 82% (502 of 612)
Location: Oxfordshire, United Kingdom
Anniversary: 8 May
Birthday: 29 Jan
In My Own Words:
I was born in 1956 and spent much of my early life in Europe and Africa. I was educated at Worth Abbey in the United Kingdom and read Greats at Worcester College Oxford, taking a double first in 1979. I read Latin, Greek, and speak German, French and Italian. I have lived in France, Austria, and Greece, and know Italy well. I have travelled widely in the Middle East. I was called to the Bar i… Read more

Languages, European Literature, History, Theology, Classical Music, Cookery, Gardening and Small Stockholding,

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Top Reviewer Ranking: 4,176 - Total Helpful Votes: 502 of 612
Fatal Colours: Towton, 1461 - England's Most Bruta&hellip by George Goodwin
This is a short account of the background, personalities and events leading up to the battle which may be said to have dealt a blow to the mystique of the mediaeval monarchy from which it never really recovered. It has been written not for experts or for would-be experts, but for those with a broad interest in the period 1422-1461, and a particular interest in the area around York and Pontefract. As regards the general period, the book is useful in that it publishes to a wider public, and in popular form, recent academic work done by Michael Hicks, Ralph Griffiths, John Wattts and A.J.Pollard, but in relation to the battle, the writer's touch seems less sure. This is partly because… Read more
The Narnian: The Life and Imagination of C. S. Lew&hellip by Alan Jacobs
Towards the end of this study of the life and imagination of C.S.Lewis, the author quotes an article by the novelist and critic Philip Hensher in which the latter invites his readers to 'drop C.S.Lewis and his ghastly, priggish, half-witted, money-making drivel about Narnia down the nearest deep hole, as soon as conveniently possible. In fact', writes Hensher, 'I'd more or less assumed that these frightful books had stopped being read years ago... They are revolting, mean-minded books, written to corrupt the minds of the young with allegory, smugly denouncing anything that differs in the slightest respect from Lewis's creed of clean-living, muscular Christianity, misogyny, racism, and the… Read more
The Silence of Animals: On Progress and Other Mode&hellip by John Gray
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Although it is not strictly true, I sometimes think of Marcus Aurelius' 'Meditations' as the last gasp of the pagan world. That gasp, if not one of despair, is a gasp of deep melancholy. Of human life, the Emperor says that 'all things of the body are as a river, all the things of the spirit a dream and tomb: life is like a war and a sojourn in a foreign land'(Meditations 2.17); and of existence generally, he says 'In such a fog and filth, in so great a flowing past of being and of time, of movement and of things moved, what can be respected or pursued with enthusiasm I do not know' (Meditations, 5.10). It hardly needed the two references in the author's latest book (at pps.86 & 203) to… Read more

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