2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Humphry Davy (Paperback)
This book is seriously marred by the author's confusing style of presentation. This really comes down to a basic carelessness in sentence construction. Here is a typical example -
The author writes 'Another friend from these days at Clifton who would play a significant role in Davy's life was Thomas 'Tom' Poole (1765-1837), a friend of Coleridge and his wife Sara. Poole was a partner in his father's tanning yard at Nether Stowey, as well as flourishing as a farmer. Thirteen years older than Davv, Poole had a comfortable...'
The reader, if he or she is trying to pay attention and take in what is being said, may wonder, 'whose wife was Sara - Poole's, or Coleridge's?' and further 'whose was the tanning yard - was it Poole's father?' Well, probably Sara was Coleridge's wife, and most likely Poole's father owned the tanning yard. But if the reader is trying to pay attention, there will be a momentary distraction while each of these little questions is sorted out. That does not matter much if it happens occasionally - but this author does this kind of thing constantly, page after page; and that becomes a major distraction (quite apart from questions about how relevant each of these scraps of information is to the argument. A professional writer just should not do this kind of thing constsntly.
There are better biographies available. Unfortunately they are significantly more expennsive than this one - but it's worth the extra money, just to get away from this kind of prose.