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Amazon Customer "Jelly Bean" (Manchester, UK)

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Gender in Eighteenth-Century England: Roles, Representations and Responsibilities
Gender in Eighteenth-Century England: Roles, Representations and Responsibilities
by Hannah Barker
Edition: Paperback
Price: £22.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable and refreshing read., 2 Sept. 2009
I bought this book as a study aid to my course; Eighteenth Century England, and found althought it dealt with very specific issues and ideas, it was much easier to read than any 'General knowledge' book on Eighteenth Century England.
The book gives, what I think, is a very different perspective on Gender in Eighteenth Century England. It is not about the strong inequalities in gender, or a dominant feminist perspective, but a more balanced approach. Much of it argues the equalities women did have in the century and many of the inequalities men had. It tries to re-address the balance and encourage a study of men as well as women.
Thoroughly enjoyable and refreshing read.

I am still reading through the book, so will probably edit this to suit, once I have finished it!

Dodo Acad-pad Diary 2009/10 2009/10: Academic Mid Year Diary - a Combined Memo-doodle-planner-message-ment Book (Dodo Pad)
Dodo Acad-pad Diary 2009/10 2009/10: Academic Mid Year Diary - a Combined Memo-doodle-planner-message-ment Book (Dodo Pad)
by Naomi McBride
Edition: Diary
Price: £10.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I was dubious...but it's brilliant!!, 2 Sept. 2009
I really wasn't sure when I saw this diary.... I'd never heard of it but the reviews seemed really positive. I was dubious as it isn't the 'run of the mill' diary, and I quite like the more traditional ones so wasn't sure a change was a wise option. I got the diary and it hasn't left my side since, it has brought out the organised child in me; with colour co-ordinated information and timetabling. For some reason, because this diary is already sketchy and doodled it makes you want to join in the fun. It makes organising your life an enjoyable experience.
The layout of it is a lot different to normal diaries, which made me feel uneasy at first, but if you are open to new ideas then this one will definately work it's magic on you.

All in all, an unconventional diary for the creative,imaginative and unconventional person.

The Little Stranger
The Little Stranger
by Sarah Waters
Edition: Hardcover

8 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as previous Waters work......, 19 Aug. 2009
This review is from: The Little Stranger (Hardcover)
Review of Sarah Waters - The Little Stranger

It's obvious Waters' writing is evolving from familiar Victorian societal writings of her award-winning novel `Tipping the Velvet' to post-war in her new book `The Little Stranger'. In a change from her previous novels, detailing much of societal workings of inner cities and largely populated lifestyles, `The Little Stranger' takes a small-scale look at a family deteriorating along with their stately home.
Waters uses her poignant writing skills to allow the reader to sneak silently through the lives of three family members plagued by the burden of their crumbling family home. With the father long past, a decrepit and war- scarred son Rod is left to pick up the pieces of the crumbling house and outdated farm, but his troubled mind struggles with responsibilities, and paperwork becomes the least of his worries. With his spirits low, his loyal mother and frustrated sister organise a party. With the party in an awkward swing, Rods absence becomes a worry to all. It soon becomes clear that Rod's dark mood may be causing more of a problem than first thought when a terrible and mysterious incident occurs, threatening the wellbeing of the whole family.
As we follow the family doctor through the unnerving events that follow we are left feeling less scared, but intrusive and uncomfortable. We ride on the shoulder of a curious doctor seemingly unduly fascinated by the workings of the Ayres family, we are treated to his contradictory and sometimes crude thoughts about Rod's hardy and robust sister Caroline Ayres, or is it the thoughts he holds for Mrs Ayres? It seems Waters unintentionally confuses the reader to where the unpleasant doctor's affections lie. With compassionate occurrences between Dr. Faraday and Mrs. Ayres but also with the daughter, it is hard to decipher which character Waters is navigating the doctor towards. It becomes apparent that even the other characters of the book are as confused as the reader. Because of this, and Dr. Faraday's unlikable feelings for his fellow characters, we are left with a certain unfavourable taste for Dr. Faraday which is unfortunate considering Faraday's opinions and annoying interferences with the Ayres family holds a monopoly on the majority of the book.
Although we don't develop enough of a bond with two of the more likeable characters of Mrs. Ayres and Caroline, we do develop a sympathetic friendship with Rod. This bond, however, is unfortunately severed early on in the book leaving us again alone with Dr. Faraday and his musings.
A number of clunky attempts to build tension are obvious and leave the reader feeling as though her intelligence is being taken for granted. The tensions between the characters build slightly, leading us to the edge of our seats but Waters fails to deliver the goods as every seemingly interesting storyline fails to develop. Any loyal Waters fan will be sourly disappointed by the tension in this novel and will question the blurb labelling this novel a `Ghost story'.
The book is 20% warped romance, 20% ghost story and 60% watered down nothing. However, nothing is more disappointing than the story's conclusion which gives no obvious conclusion, reveals a number of gaping plot holes and leaves the reader with nothing more than a sense of slapdash.
Water's attempt to explore her writing abilities is admirable, however, I believe next time she may be more inclined to refuse those weekend writing workshops and stick with what she knows best.

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