Jonathan of Boston

Helpful votes received on reviews: 86% (24 of 28)


Top Reviewer Ranking: 871,513 - Total Helpful Votes: 24 of 28
The Time Traveller's Guide to Medieval England: A &hellip by Ian Mortimer
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
This is exactly what it says on the cover; read it, and you will be ejected in a heap from your time machine, and will land sprawling on the ground amid the noise and smells of the main road into medieval Exeter. From there you will be whisked, willy-nilly, from fashionable quarter to repulsive back-street hovel, and will meet some of the people with whom you will now have to associate. Much of what you discover will make you want to crawl back to the twenty-first century as fast as you can, but unfortunately you are stuck, and will just have to make the best of a bad job.
Luckily, you have Ian Mortimer's incredibly comprehensive guide to help you; you will find out how to behave,… Read more
Terry Jones' Medieval Lives by Alan Ereira
5 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Books written as "companions" to this or that television series are probably to be avoided, unless one wishes to preserve the initial effect that it had upon one, or to be reminded of various points raised and to use the text as a useful aide-memoire for further reading or study. They are written in order to increase the prospective earnings of those responsible for the initial idea for the series, which in this case was a so-called "populist" (i.e. attention-grabbing and cherry-picking re-working of established but lesser-known research) history of the medieval period.
Unfortunately, I had not heard of the television series, and imagined that the book was merely a light-hearted and… Read more
The Language Wars: A History of Proper English by Henry Hitchings
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Hitchings' title "The Language Wars" aptly sums up his impressively erudite and extremely readable account of the development of our language over the centuries, and deals not only with the emergence of early English and the battles that were fought both for and against it, but also with its modern progress. His style is easy and conversational, but he does not talk down to his readers, nor does he avoid necessary technical terms - although these are always elegantly and helpfully explained or enlarged upon.
I found the whole thing enormously enlightening, and far better than several others, whose authors evidently considered their work to be thorough and painstaking. Hitchings' book… Read more