It's a Don's Life Paperback – 5 Nov 2009
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Delightful ... it has the virtues of brevity, eclecticism and learning worn lightly ... Beard is a very funny and penetrating commentator on academic life - and has a fantastic knack for controversy. If they'd had Mary Beard on their side back then, the Romans would still have their empire (Sam Leith Daily Mail 2009-12-11)
Enjoyable ... Beard is an exuberant communicator (Dinah Birch Observer 2009-10-25)
Sharply observed, often hilarious slices of academic life (Charlotte Higgins Guardian 2009-11-07)
Beard's studies of bygone times are infused with a peppering of wit that is unusual in an academic work, but given free rein here (Julian Fleming Sunday Business Post)
This collection of her posts is pithy and engaging. The casual, humorous tone is seemingly informal. But the rhythm and cadence of the short blog have been honed to a fine art ... Beard remains self-deprecatory, invigoratingly sane and zestful (Frances Spalding Independent 2009-11-30)
The marvellously educative, hilarious It's a Don's Life by Mary Beard, the blogging queen (Jane Gardam Daily Telegraph)
Beard has a spry, pithy, conversational style ... a diverting read (Edmund Gordon Sunday Times 2009-12-13)
Well-written, in short column-length bursts, it's the thinking person's loo book (Alastair Mabbott Glasgow Herald)
It's a Don's Life is, by turns, enlightening, funny, outrageous (Weekend Australian 2010-02-06)
Britain's best known classicist speaks her mind on the ancient, and modern, worlds. A wide-ranging selection from her 'best hit' blog.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
I had just finished Robert Harris's Lustrum when I picked this up, thinking the work of a Classics Professor would be a logical follow-up. It worked well on that level, and the humour was an unexpected bonus.
I mostly enjoyed this read. The blog posts are varied from the use of Latin by David Beckam to of all things book reviews on Amazon. These posts seem to give a peek into the world of a Classics Don and perhaps dispel some myths about the relative ease of academic life. Still a stylistic drawback is the author's occasional harping against the male power & privileges and budget constraints; the reader remains somewhat unsympathetic on reading of her expeditions to Pompeii and the US.
Some negatives are that blog articles do not come across well in a written book format. They are too short to give a more detailed insight into some of authors more interesting topics. As well, the reader lacks the necessary background information to put these in context.
Will seek out other Mary Beard books.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I find Mary Beard's writing style rather breathless and irritating, perhaps due to these essays being born as a blog??Published on 22 Aug. 2014 by antmo
Mary Beard is a heroine of mine. I was greatly distressed by the verbal attacks on the social media network, and wanted to learn more about her. This book fulfils that purpose.Published on 12 Mar. 2013 by Mrs. Angela READ