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Elena "Inveterate romantic and lover of 19th Century (and earlier) European literature with an obsession for Dostoyevsky!"

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Napoleon the Great
Napoleon the Great
by Andrew Roberts
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £20.40

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book, Great author, Great research., 24 Feb. 2015
This review is from: Napoleon the Great (Hardcover)
This is a fabulous book, really, truly fabulous! I have the audible version and am enjoying it so much! As others have said, there is a bias, he obviously has great sympathy with Napoleon, the man, and you can understand why in a way as he includes a real warts and all story where you come to see him a bit as a loveable, if dreadfully misguided at times, rogue. I think the title gives the clue as to where Andrew Roberts is coming from (The Great!) and he doesn't try to hide his bias - he's very upfront about it in his author's introduction so at least you know where he's coming from and what you are getting.

Despite his sympathies towards Napoleon,he does manage to include even the most negative aspects although perhaps he doesn't focus on them as others have done or would do. On the other hand, Napoleon's life is so full of myth-information and legend that it's nice to have a properly researched book such as this which tries to cut through all the stories and tales which have arisen over the centuries, and focus on real events which definitely happens.

There is also great humor in this book and I love author's who do that with straight history books. He mentions Josephine's marvellous sexual abilities including something (which we never really get to the bottom of - no pun intended!) called "zig zag" which I guess is best left to each reader's imagination (mine is quite good!) but he really personalises the characters and makes them 'real' if that makes sense.

I found it to be a thoroughly wonderful book which I would have no hesitation in recommending to others.

Sir William Waad, Lieutenant of the Tower, and the Gunpowder Plot
Sir William Waad, Lieutenant of the Tower, and the Gunpowder Plot
by Fiona Bengtsen
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.95

5.0 out of 5 stars Really Excellent Piece of Diligent Research by Ms Bengsten, 5 Feb. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is an excellent, independently researched and published-on-demand book which really does deserve a wider audience than I imagine it has. Possibly the fact that William Waad is not particularly well known unless you happen to be a Jacobean or Gunpowder Plot nut (yes, that would be me!) but he really was a fascinating fellow and well worthy of further investigation.

Ms Bengsten provides copious notes and a very decent bibliography, she references quotes and doesn't just leave you guessing as to who said what to whom (which so many books do!) She's clearly very knowledgeable about this entire subject and, as someone who is writing a book on another subject but the Gunpowder Plot features in a minor way and therefore I suppose I do know the story reasonably well, I found Ms Bengsten's book contained many little tidbits of information that I hadn't previously read elsewhere (not even in the super-marvellous Antonia Fraser "The Gunpowder Plot" book).

I do wish history was higher up publishers list but it rarely is - this whole story has such a genuinely fascinating, larger than life, stranger than fiction, narrative that it still warrants more books on it and I daresay it's one of those historical events which will warrant books for years to come but, for the sake of this review, I would urge anyone who is interested in the Gunpowder Plot, or even just in the machinations of this horrible little man (William Waad!), to give Ms Bengsten's book a go as it really is a little gem and well worth the money invested.

Considering The Gunpowder Plot never actually resulted in an explosion , it has to be the best known historical failure of all time!

Great book, I highly recommend it and commend the author for her hard work and diligence in producing new information and evidence for what is a very old, and repeatedly told, tale. Great job. :-)
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 5, 2015 5:31 PM GMT

Gwynne's Latin: The Ultimate Introduction to Latin Including the Latin in Everyday English
Gwynne's Latin: The Ultimate Introduction to Latin Including the Latin in Everyday English
by N. M. Gwynne
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £6.74

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Some very bizarre ideas..., 17 Jan. 2015
Absolutely hated this book. He is a jack of all trades and seems to teach every subject under the sun with no particular expertise in any of them (which is half the problem I think as he seems clueless as to the most basic (and obvious) reasons why Classical Latin has been taught as it has, very successfully, for a very long time. I take issue mostly with his utterly bizarre approach to pronunciation - he appears to believe that it's better to pronounce it 'wrongly' (his words) to begin with and then somehow, magically, learn to pronounce it correctly at a later point - presumably when you've thrown his book away.

It reminds me of a strange system set up in British schools in the mid to late 1970's whereby they decided to teach children to read and spell phonetically (I can't remember what it was called offhand - I'm sure Google will know!) ... Great idea (not) as it meant that children did indeed learn to read and/or write fairly quickly, and possibly quicker than they had in the past, but then they were almost totally unable to switch to normal spelling at a later point (which should have been obvious but apparently wasn't!)

Seriously, to anyone who has an iota of intelligence , PLEASE avoid this book and get yourself pretty much any other! I don't particularly favour any other particular course or book but the Cambridge Latin Course (also sold by Amazon I imagine) is very good, pronounces correctly from the beginning and is not quite so patronising as Mr Gwynne.

I would avoid this like the plague if you ever intend to say anything out aloud in Latin rather than just amusing yourself within the confines of his book on a wet Sunday afternoon. It is quite simply one of the worst Latin 'trainers' I have ever seen (and I've seen a few)!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 14, 2015 5:49 PM GMT

The Life of Thomas Wentworth, Earl of Strafford and Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland
The Life of Thomas Wentworth, Earl of Strafford and Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland
Price: £6.38

1.0 out of 5 stars don't bother with the sample, 11 Jan. 2015
It only includes the title page and blank pages. No idea if the facsimiles are any good or unreadable. No wonder it's reduced. It may be a wonderful book but the sample gives you no clue. A real shame.

LG 32LB580V 32-inch Widescreen 1080p Full HD Wi-Fi Smart TV with Freeview HD
LG 32LB580V 32-inch Widescreen 1080p Full HD Wi-Fi Smart TV with Freeview HD
Price: £249.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Great Telly for the Price, 18 Dec. 2014
I really love this telly. The sound, as others have said, isn''t great and I overcame this by getting an LG soundbar (probably any soundbar or add-on speakers would do as well) and although it's still not perfect, I'm unsure whether this is to do with the quality of sound delivered with the programme or the actual sound coming from the soundbar because I've noticed a substantial difference in sound quality when watching HD delivered programmes (ie it's much better!)

The HD Freeview Tuner works with both VuTV and TV Player (both are channels within the Freeview platform but are extras which one can subscribe to) - I previously had TalkTalk and their boxes do NOT facilitate either of those two platforms so rubbish are they.

The Freeview Tuner is obviously HD and the HD quality is superb.

The internet (wi-fi) connection can be a problem but if you wire it initially, it will download the latest version of the software and, once I'd done that, I found the wi-fi worked perfectly (before the update, wifi kept dropping off each time I turned off the TV requiring a full re-connection with putting password in etc every time which was a pain).

I've also got a Now TV box connected to it and that works perfectly too.

The Smart aspect to the TV isn't so 'smart' if I'm honest but LG are not alone in this. The BBC Iplayer and 5 OD both froze constantly and were annoying so I just watch them via the Now TV Box to save me from having to reboot the telly every time. I must admit that I haven't tried them since I updated the software so it may work OK now.

It gives very easy switching between plugged-in devices via icons, far easier than having to flick up and down channels on the remote to find where devices are!

I linked my mobile phone (not an LG phone, a Sony) via Smart Share really easily and also downloaded the LG remote app which worked fine. Can't work out how to turn off smart share from phone which is annoying as it smells of them spying on us!

Had problems working out how to bring up the virtual keyboard (Tip : press OK and the cursor and keyboard magically appear!) and also found the remote (which came with it) a bit clunky and tricky to get used to. I will probably buy a magic remote (the telly is magic-remote ready) so overcome this but it's really a question of getting used to it, that's all.

Definitely recommend.

Horace: Odes and Epodes (English and Latin)
Horace: Odes and Epodes (English and Latin)
by Horace
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.22

1.0 out of 5 stars AVOID THIS BOOK - it's the worst book I've ever seen!, 22 Nov. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
AVOID THIS BOOK AT ALL COSTS! The Latin and English are nowhere near each other. The titles and numbering does not relate to anything in particular and, in short, I threw it away ten minutes after receiving it. TOTAL WASTE OF MONEY. Front part is Latin but it's impossible to find the English equivalent (which seems to come as the end) as it relates in no way to the latin (different number - totally different titles). The book is a very bad joke. DO NO BUY.

Medix Lifecare Adult Nebuliser Face Neb Set Mask Single Patient Use L3605491
Medix Lifecare Adult Nebuliser Face Neb Set Mask Single Patient Use L3605491
Offered by Healthcare4all Ltd
Price: £5.22

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Terrible - used once and ruined, 2 Jun. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I used this once and it seemed great. However, I then washed it in hot water as directed (and as I always have done in the past with no ill-effect) and the bottom of the medication chamber somehow shrunk so that the top no longer screws into it. Fortunately, I had still got my old mask and kit but this will have to be thrown away.

Really disappointed as I'm a regular nebuliser user, know how to clean the kit and have NEVER had this happen before.

John Frieda Miraculous Recovery Intensive Masque 150ml
John Frieda Miraculous Recovery Intensive Masque 150ml
Price: £4.00

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great if you've had chemo, 17 May 2014
I tried using this on the advice of a cosmetologist (no,not someone who reads your stars, a person who deals with corrective skin and hair issues for various medical conditions such as post cancer!) as I've had chemo and also now take long-term chemo tablets (leukemia) and have had truly awful problems with my hair.

My hair used to be a bit wavy but went straight on drying but subsequent to the chemo, much fell out and that which didn't just turned into a frizz which was not stylable. For two years I ended up wearing a wig as I could do nothing with the remains of my hair and, due to the ongoing chemo, it grows much more slowly than normal.

Finally, I had the bits which hadn't fallen out cut to try to make it at least the same length (very short but at least I didn't look insane!) but still the frizz was just unmanageable. I lost all the weight in my hair, literally no weight at all, it would just stand up in the air and refuse to go down so I used this stuff and seriously, wow! My hair is amazingly different - OK, so it's still not great but I CAN at least wear it without a wig and it looks perfectly normal. I'd love for my hair to return to true normal so that I could style it and do all sorts of things with it but at least I can now go through the summer without having to wear a great hot wig which makes me feel like I've got a beef-eater hat on!

I also use the stay-in hair spray stuff they do which reacts to heat so you can comb it straight while drying it and the combo is phenomenal.

For anyone who's had or is having chemo, definitely try this as it's rescued my hair which I'd concluded was beyond any repair at all.


iRig Mic Handheld Microphone for Audio and Vocal Recordings Compatible with iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad - Black / Silver
iRig Mic Handheld Microphone for Audio and Vocal Recordings Compatible with iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad - Black / Silver
Price: £35.16

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Terrible background noise, 28 Mar. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I would give it less stars if it were possible. I plugged this in to both Amplitube and Vocalive and it is simply not fit for purpose. The background noise (hiss, crackle, hum) make the vocals unhearable and one cannot cut it out via any of the effects.

I am very surprized because I have other irig products which are great but this will be going back to Amazon as it is completely unusable.

I would avoid this if you're looking for good sound quality on lead vocals, you won't get them!

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (Original German Cast Recording)
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (Original German Cast Recording)
Price: £5.92

4.0 out of 5 stars LOVE this version!, 14 Mar. 2014
I agree with the previous reviewer that there is an ultra high cheese factor on this recording but it's interesting in a number of other ways too!

It has a female narrator which, until I heard this version, I'd never heard previously. I find her a bit screechy at times but tend to think this is just Andrew Lloyd Weber's unreachable score and no fault of the singer's.

The translations ARE indeed dodgy at times but no more so than, say for example, Anatevka, which is the German version of Fiddler on the Roof (if you speak German and haven't heard the German version, you MUST as it's far and away the better of the two if you compared it with the English - it just sounds right in German!) In Anatevka they even alter the story to make it more politically acceptable to a German audience! But with Joseph, it's essentially exactly the same deal as you get with the English version (dodgy translations aside - and, bear in mind, they have to make them rhyme and having done translations such as this myself, that isn't easy!) - this is a nice production and worth hearing.

Only really odd bit in it is the strange mash-up at the end (final track) which is just bizarre!

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