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Reviews Written by
Phillyfan (Nottingham UK)
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William Morris Textiles
William Morris Textiles
by Linda Parry
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £22.75

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a brilliant book, 9 Jan. 2014
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I am surprised to find that I am the first person to review this book. It is produced by the Victoria and Albert museum and written by Linda Parry so I assumed I could guarantee its quality and authority, and I was not disappointed. It is slightly expensive but then it is a high quality book full of illustrations. It not only covers woven and printed textiles but also the tapestries and embroideries produced by William Morris and his family and associates. The methods of design and production are explored and there are several examples I had never seen before. If you are at all interested in art, design, social history, or the arts and crafts movement then you will enjoy this book.


A Presumption of Death
A Presumption of Death
by Jill Paton Walsh
Edition: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars Very good whodunnit, 9 Jan. 2014
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This review is from: A Presumption of Death (Paperback)
I picked up an inexpensive copy of this after hearing an interview with Jill Paton Walsh about her latest Peter Wimsey book. It is a thoroughly enjoyable whodunit. The principal characters are captured well enough though the murders are a little disappointing; the first is a common assault and the second, though spectacular, is far fetched even for detective fiction. What is very well done, as was always the case with Dorothy L Sayers, is that the sense of time and place is brilliantly captured. Being in a war when nothing has really happened yet but living under a constant threat is a consistent background. Then there are the difficulties of travel, rationing, suspicion of strangers, all woven into the plot and adding substance and reality to the story


A Short Book About Drawing
A Short Book About Drawing
by Andrew Marr
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £12.74

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Who is this for?, 9 Jan. 2014
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Having reading this book, I am ending up damning with faint praise. There is nothing wrong with it. It is well produced. But I cannot think, unless you are a big fan of Andrew Marr, that there is anything here that you could not get more of, and better, elsewhere. The drawings are very good but not exceptional. The text is fairly brief and did not say anything particularly new. I have enjoyed a lot of things done by Andrew Marr over the years, and thought his programmes on modern history exceptionally good, but this branching out seems not bad but just unexceptional


The Way We Live Now: Dilemmas in Contemporary Culture
The Way We Live Now: Dilemmas in Contemporary Culture
by Richard Hoggart
Edition: Hardcover

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Still relevant today, 7 Jan. 2014
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An interesting sequel to 'The Uses of Theory' although perhaps not such a fun read, this is a very thought provoking book. Although written almost 20 years ago, its comments on consumerism and relativism are still very relevant. I was reading this around the same time that Grayson Perry was giving the Reith lectures and they both explore the difficulty, and fear, of making judgements about culture. Could be seen as the views of a 'grumpy old man' but interesting to anyone concerned about the changes in values in society


Phoebe Anna Traquair: 1852-1936
Phoebe Anna Traquair: 1852-1936
by Elizabeth Cumming
Edition: Paperback

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unjustly neglected artist, 7 Jan. 2014
This is an artist who gets barely a mention in most works on the arts and crafts movement yet she produced many fascinating, beautifully crafted, works of art. Perhaps because her work spanned a variety of media from murals, to embroidery, to enamelling she is hard to categorise. She produced objects, and works of art, in the arts and crafts style but with much symbolism and use of shapes and colours which shimmer and move in and out of focus. This book is well illustrated and written and excellent value for money.


Sixties Fashion: From 'Less is More' to Youthquake
Sixties Fashion: From 'Less is More' to Youthquake
by Jonathan Walford
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £24.95

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant record of huge changes in fashion, 15 Dec. 2013
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Documenting the changing fashions of the 60s with excellent photos throughout. It is a reminder of how much changed so quickly. Starting with women pretty much wearing the same as their mothers and ending with them not even wearing the same as their older sisters! Lots to read and look at and should interest anyone interested in fashion, design, or social history. Lovely photo of Janis Joplin in full hippy garb.


Art of the Le Mans Race Car: 90 Years of Speed
Art of the Le Mans Race Car: 90 Years of Speed
by Stuart Codling
Edition: Hardcover

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The beauty of cars, 11 Dec. 2013
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The key word in the title is 'Art'. If high quality photos of beautiful cars have you drooling then this is the book for you. The text is good but what it is really about is the pictures and they do not disappoint. Many of the most iconic cars ever built and raced are shown from every angle possible and show the development over 90 years.


RHS Botany for Gardeners: The Art and Science of Gardening Explained & Explored
RHS Botany for Gardeners: The Art and Science of Gardening Explained & Explored
by Geoff Hodge
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £10.49

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars High quality book, 11 Dec. 2013
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
A lovely book, high quality paper and binding and beautiful botanical illustrations throughout. Probably aimed at the more experienced gardener, or ones with a particular interest in botany. There is quite a bit on the history of botany; plant collecting, cataloguing, and illustrators. Full of interesting information but not really comprehensive on any aspect.


What is English?: And Why Should We Care?
What is English?: And Why Should We Care?
by Tim William Machan
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £20.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, but not an easy read, 29 Nov. 2013
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There is lots of interesting information about the English language, and the way it has developed, in this book. I did not find it easy read. I did not find a consistent thread or argument running through it, but did find that it worked well as a book to dip into and then think about what I had read. Anyone interested in the English language should find much to enjoy. It is not aimed as an entertainment or in the style of other books such as Bill Bryson's or 'eats shoots and leaves'


The Art of Influence: Asian Propaganda
The Art of Influence: Asian Propaganda
by Mary Ginsberg
Edition: Paperback
Price: £19.99

4.0 out of 5 stars An interesting catalogue to an interesting exhibition, 8 Nov. 2013
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I went to see this exhibition at the British museum in the summer and found it an interesting mix of politics, recent history, and graphic design. It is a collection of propaganda, mainly posters but plenty of other items as well, from Asia from the 1930s onwards. So it covers Chinese views on the Japanese, Indian views on the British, and North Vietnamese views on pretty well everything. These are views which are not normally seen. They are also contemporary views without any benefit of hindsight. Almost everything is of interest. It is also very interesting from a graphic design point of view. The styles range from cutting edge, through communist realism, to a sentimental child's picture book style. This catalogue is a good reminder of the exhibition but stands in its own right as an interesting examination of the propaganda used in, and the historical background of, an area of the world growing more and more in importance.


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