Ancient Rome

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An Alphabet of My Likes and Dislikes: “J”

This is a post belonging to a new blogging project — the title is pretty much self-explanatory, I think; the project’s introductory post can be found HERE.  Credit for the idea: BeetleyPete. As always, the only thing linking the two items mentioned in this post in my mind is that they both start with the […]

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An “Out of My Reach” Book Wishlist to St. Nick

24 Festive Tasks: Door 14 – St. Nicholas’ Day / Sinterklaas, Task 1: Write a book wish list to St. Nick / Santa Claus for books that you’ve been eyeing but can’t justify the expense of purchasing.  (E.g., art books? Collector’s editions? Boxed sets?)   Dear Saint Nick, it would be really nice if one […]

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Royalty Moonlighting as Commoners in Fiction

24 Festive Tasks: Door 10 – Russian Mothers’ Day, Task 2: Towards the end of the 17th century, there was a Russian apprentice carpenter and shipwright going by the name Peter Mikhailov in the Dutch town of Zaandam (and later in Amsterdam), who eventually turned out to be none other than Tsar Peter the Great, […]

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Halloween Bingo 2019 PreParty — Question for 08/02 (Day 2): Vampires, Werewolves, Zombies or Other?

Witches. One of my very first literary heroine was a little witch who manages to get the better of all the bigger, older witches after having been put down by them — the heroine of Otfried Preußler’s Little Witch.  (In fact, I loved that book enough to write my very first fan letter to the […]

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My Personal Literary Canon, Part 2: “Veteran” Readership

24 Festive Tasks, Door 5, Task 3: Tell us: What author’s books would you consider yourself a veteran of (i.e., by author have you read particularly many books – or maybe even all of them)?   The authors by whom I’ve read the most books don’t coincide exactly, but substantially with those that I’d also […]

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My KYD Reads … or: Harry Potter, and What Else I read in March 2018

A big thank you to Moonlight Reader for yet another fun, inventive BookLikes game!  I had a wonderful time, while also advancing — though with decidedly fewer new reads than I’d origianlly been planning — my two main reading goals for this year (classic crime fiction and books written by women).   Harry Potter – […]

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Literature Reviews

Robert Harris: Imperium

The first part of Harris’s Cicero trilogy, and both a truly fast-paced and a well-researched piece of historical writing; covering Cicero’s ascent from young Senator to Praetorian and, eventually (and against all the odds), Consul. The first part of the book deals at length with one of Cicero’s most famous legal cases, the prosecution of […]

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16 Tasks of the Festive Season: Square 12 – Saturnalia

  Tasks for Saturnalia: Wear a mask, take a picture and post it. Leave a small gift for someone you know anonymously – a small bit of chocolate or apple, a funny poem or joke. Tell us about it in a post. –OR– Tell us: If you could time-travel back to ancient Rome, where would […]

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Literature Reviews

Gregory Doran & Antony Sher: Woza Shakespeare — Titus Andronicus in South Africa

Man, what a trip.  Titus Andronicus is not, and never will be my favorite play by William Shakespeare, but having read this book, I’d give anything to be able to watch a recording of this particular production. In the 1980s (when Apartheid was still in full swing) Gregory Doran (later: Artistic Director of the Royal […]

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Literature Reviews

Ovid: Metamorphoses & Apollodorus: The Library of Greek Mythology & Plutarch: Life of Theseus

For the “Monsters” square, I decided to revisit Ovid’s Metamorphoses — I had initially only been planning on the “Perseus and Medusa” and “Theseus and the Minotauros” episodes, but David Horovitch’s fabulous reading drew me right back in and I decided to — with apologies to Odysseus and his companions at Circe’s court — go […]

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Stratford-upon-Avon — Oxford — London: Shakespeare, Hogwarts and Shopping

Stratford A Scene at the RSC Book and Gift Shop The date: June 17, 2017. The time: Approximately 10:00AM. TA and friend enter; TA asks for a shopping basket and makes straight for the shelves and display cases. An indeterminate amount of time is then spent browsing. Whenever her friend points out something and asks […]

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Oldest handwritten documents in UK unearthed in London dig | Culture | The Guardian

  Early writings found under office block being cleared for new Bloomberg HQ give glimpse of Roman London Source: Oldest handwritten documents in UK unearthed in London dig | Culture | The Guardian Merken Merken Merken Merken

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Literature Reviews

Iain Pears: The Dream of Scipio

A Fascinating blend of philosophy, morality and historical fiction. Like probably nothing else, the breakdown of social order forces us to reach into ourselves, to draw for guidance on our innermost beliefs and moral values; for absent direction by the established rules of society, we only have ourselves to turn to for advice. – Such […]

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