Hywel James

"Hywel James"
Manche, August 2014
Top Reviewer Ranking: 677
Helpful votes received on reviews: 88% (1,132 of 1,289)
Location: Devon, United Kingdom
Birthday: 12 July
In My Own Words:
Most of my reviews are on the UK Amazon site. A few only on the USA site.

Music, theatre, the visual arts including cinema, and reading, mainly history and contemporary fiction.

Frequently Used Tags


Top Reviewer Ranking: 677 - Total Helpful Votes: 1132 of 1289
The People: The Rise and Fall of the Working Class&hellip by Selina Todd
Selina Todd's passionate and committed history of the Working Class over the century between 1910 and 2010 has elicited some lengthy reviews here on Amazon, indeed some have struck me as essays to be handed in after the vacation rather than straightforward evaluations of the book: good, bad or something in-between. I think the response has been a vindication of Todd's book. People have reacted very positively or negatively to its themes, largely depending upon their own political attitudes, and some in fact have attributed to the book views and opinion which it does not express.

I have no intention of writing an essay here. It is a highly worthwhile book which is both… Read more
Secret Muses: The Life of Frederick Ashton by Julie Kavanagh
Julie Kavanagh's comprehensive and highly entertaining biography of Frederick Ashton is wonderful in many ways, not least in offering a highly detailed - sometimes, indeed, day-to-day - account of the choreographer's life. She worked in close association with Ashton towards the end of his life and was thus able to take down reminiscences of his distinguished and colourful career. She also interviewed and corresponded with a great number of Ashton's contemporaries as preparation for her work.

I read the book chiefly to gain some insight into the music of the period and while there was a good deal of information about Ashton's professional and personal relationships with… Read more
Vaughan Williams: A London Symphony ~ Dan Godfrey
Four stars for the restricted sound of this fascinating 1925 recording of Vaughan Williams' "A London Symphony" in its 1920 revised version, but as a document this issue, whether as a download or in compact disc form, deserves a full five stars. Dan Godfrey is a heroic figure in many ways, in enabling a seaside band to become a fine orchestra and through his championship of the work of a great many British composers during the first thirty years or so of the last century.

In actual fact, as with most reissues of early recordings, the ear quickly adjusts to the restricted sound of the time and, after that, the symphony under Godfrey's direction becomes a wholly satisfying… Read more