Category Archives: History

The voyage so far

As promised, here’s the first of what may be several updates on my tour of books set on water in honor of Herman Melville’s 200th birthday. Initially I had planned to make these reviews brief, but, well, you know … … Continue reading

Posted in Adventure, Classic, Fan fiction, History, Travel | Tagged , | 13 Comments

Sea cruise, baby!

No need to get excited. I plan to travel virtually, in honor of Herman Melville’s 200th birthday. Over the next few months I’ll be aboard stories set on ships (with perhaps a rowboat or two) that will take me up … Continue reading

Posted in Adventure, Am reading, Classic, Fiction, History | Tagged | 7 Comments

Super-Tramp!

No, not the 1970s prog-rock group (although their song, “Take the Long Way Home” may be apt for what will become obvious reasons). For this month’s Wales Readathon, Book Jotter has selected William H Davies’ Autobiography of a Super-Tramp as … Continue reading

Posted in Am reading, Dewithon, History, Travel book, Wales Readathon | Tagged | 4 Comments

Brueghelian Obsession

The fourth and last in a series of novels involving the search for lost art. But a new slant here: this novel is for adults. Headlong, Michael Frayn (1999), Picador, 342 pp. Remember that Rod Serling story, where the Nazi … Continue reading

Posted in Art, History, Mystery | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Unexpected endings

Rest in Pieces: The Curious Fates of Famous Corpses, Bess Lovejoy (2013) Lovejoy gives us a list like no other: what happened to the mortal remains (bones, ashes, or otherwise) of historical figures, from Alexander the Great to Hunter S. … Continue reading

Posted in Biography, History, Macabre | Tagged | 2 Comments

History for the curious

Frances and Joseph Gies, Women in the Middle Ages (1978) A brief review here. Gies and Gies, famous for their intelligent books on Medieval Europe, provide a guide to the lives of women from the fall of the Western Roman Empire to the … Continue reading

Posted in History | 5 Comments

Spiritualism and the Mafia

Norman Lewis, Jackdaw Cake (1985) Here’s a life for you: Raised by your grandfather and three odd aunts. Reclaimed by your spiritualist parents when the aunts go doolally. Married into a Sicilian family (probably mafiosi), then separated from your partner by WWII … Continue reading

Posted in Adventure, History, Memoir | Tagged | 2 Comments