Helpful votes received on reviews: 100% (7 of 7)


Top Reviewer Ranking: 708,501 - Total Helpful Votes: 7 of 7
Women in the Eighteenth Century: Constructions of &hellip by Vivien Jones
5.0 out of 5 stars Revelatory anthology, 1 Nov 2013
I wish I'd read this when it first came out. It's a brilliant anthology of extracts from essays, novels and poems by or about women from the late 17th century until 1799. Contributions range from frankly misogynistic denunciations of 'unsexed women' to fiercely feminist polemic. Most of the writers are long-forgotten by non-specialists, but there are several here whose work I will now hunt down as a matter of urgency: clear-headed, urgent, and often wittily angry. It's tempting (for me, anyway) just to read this as an introduction to Austen and Radcliffe, or to focus on those whose arguments feel particularly contemporary, but Jones' selection and analysis is particularly impressive for its… Read more
The Train in the Night: A Story of Music and Loss by Nick Coleman
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
This is beautifully written, and very thoughtfully organised, as Coleman shifts between an account of the development of the deafness and disorientation which stripped him of access to the music that he loved, and a retrospective account of the part music had played in his life as a young man: it's a very crafty way of writing a kind of autobiography, and a lot of the pleasure of the book lies in anecdotal recollections of, say, a teenager's terror of buying uncool LPs from the kind of people who run record stalls in markets. As you'd expect from a veteran of both The Independent and the NME, Coleman writes with incredible poise about the ways in which particular tracks work on the ear -… Read more
A Man of Misconceptions: The Life of an Eccentric &hellip by John Glassie
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mad and wonderful, 18 Dec 2012
If you want to know how volcanoes work, the obvious solution is to get yourself lowered into a semi-active crater... Kircher was a Jesuit priest who managed to be wrong about almost everything (arguing for wonderful concepts such as 'Universal Sperm' and the interaction of tides and magma in a model inspired by theories of the circulation of the blood), and also something of a fraud - while also contriving to be genuinely brilliant and oddly admirable. He seems to have spent most of his early life escaping from the various massacres of the 30 Years War, but in the occasional intervals between scrambling over frozen rivers, he became proficient in dozens of tongues and literatures, wrote a… Read more