Category Archives: History

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

Bigamous reading

When I haven’t the energy to read Proust, I read something else. In that respect, I’m no different from anyone else. But the other day my daughter commented on how strange it was that I was sitting on the couch reading … Continue reading

Posted in Adventure, Graphic Novel, History, Humorous, Little Free Library, Mystery, reading, Travel book | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

Temporary obsession: AR

My latest obsession started two months ago with Christina Hardyment’s Arthur Ransome and Captain Flint’s Trunk, an excellent study of the sources, both geographic and human, for his famous books, with a satisfying number of illustrations as well. Fans probably … Continue reading

Posted in Adventure, Artist profile, History, Mystery, reading | Tagged , , | 7 Comments

This and that and some other things

For the past 3 weeks, it hasn’t been Radio WTWP (wall-to-wall Proust, with a tip of the hat to Prof. Peter Schickele) on my reading shelf. Here’s some other stuff I’ve been clearing out: Desmond Seward’s The Demon’s Brood, a 300-page bare-bones … Continue reading

Posted in Adventure, Graphic Novel, Historical fiction, History, reading | Tagged , , , , | 9 Comments