History

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The History Blog: Merovingian-era settlement excavated in France

Tuesday, October 13th, 2020; 10:54 PM Archaeologists have unearthed a full Merovingian settlement complete with church and burial ground in Pontarlier, eastern France. Grave goods including weapons and jewelry indicate the settlement was a prosperous one, not a sleepy pastoral village. It was strategically located near the village of Pontarlier, formerly the ancient waystation of […]

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Fun and Games Literature

The Halloween Creatures Book Tag

Rules: Answer all prompts. Answer honestly. Tag 1-13 people. Link back to this post. ( For me it was SnoopyDoo!) Remember to credit the creator. (Anthony @ Keep Reading Forward)< Have fun!   Witch A Magical Character or Book Terry Pratchett’s witches, particularly Granny Weatherwax. And DEATH (preferably in his Hogfather incarnation). No contest.   […]

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Literature Reviews

Kathryn Harkup: Death by Shakespeare

Hmmm.  After having read and liked — though not loved — Harkup’s book on Agatha Christie’s use of poisons in her mysteries (A Is for Arsenic), it took the Shakespeare fan in me about a millisecond to snatch up this third book of hers when I came across it earlier this year … only to […]

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Fun and Games Literature Reviews

Halloween Bingo 2020: The Second Week (+1 Day)

Posting this on Monday instead of Sunday again … oh well. I guess after a near-phenomenal first bingo week it was only to be expected that the second week would not be quite as fabulous. Mind you, I’m not complaining — my card is coming together nicely, and none of the books I read this […]

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Literature Reviews

Pete Brown: Shakespeare’s Local

This is one of those books that I’ve owned way too long before I finally get around to reading them: The discursive — in the best sense –, rollicking tale of one London (or rather, Southwark) pub from its earliest days in the Middle Ages to the 21st century, telling the history of Southwark, London, […]

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2020 Mid-Year Reading Review and Statistics

What with the pandemic still very much ongoing, BL acting up again, MR’s and Char’s resulting posts re: BookLikes, the BL experience, and moving back to Goodreads, this feels like a somewhat odd moment to post my half-yearly reading stats.  I hope it won’t be the last time on this site, but I fear that […]

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Literature Reviews

Agatha Christie / Matthew Pritchard (ed.): The Grand Tour

Letters and Photographs from the British Empire Expedition 1922 Agatha Christie’s letters, photos and postcards from the expedition to South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii, and Canada in which her first husband, Archibald, and she were invited to participate out of the blue shortly after the birth of their daughter Rosamund.  Lovingly edited by her […]

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Literature Reviews

Jamaica Kincaid: A Small Place

Jamaica Kincaid’s A Small Place is a short, brutal, angry dismanteling of any naive and romantic perceptions that white North American and European conceivably might be holding about her island home of Antigua.  Frankly, since I never held any such perceptions, she was pretty much barking up the wrong tree with me, and though I […]

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2019: The Books I’ve Been Most Thankful For

24 Festive Tasks: Door 11 – Thanksgiving: Task 2 With another full month to go in the year, it may be a bit early to do this task, but a substantial number of the books I’m going to be reading in December will be Christmas rereads, so here we go. The books / authors I […]

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Halloween Bingo 2019: Tracking Post — Blackout! (And bingos Nos. 12 and 13.)

  Many thanks to Moonlight Reader and Obsidian Blue for hosting this game for the fourth year in a row, bigger and better than ever before! Witih today’s call, I’ve blacked out my card, in addition to collecting my final bingos (nos. 12 and 13). Somewhat to my surprise, after completing my books for my […]

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Bingo call: 9/29/19 – Truly Terrifying

Reblogged from: Moonlight Murder   Non-fiction that has elements of suspense, horror or mystery, including true crime, both contemporary and historical. Examples would be The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher by Kate Summerscale, In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, or The Amityville Horror by Jay Anson. If you have another idea, run it by me – just remember that it has to […]

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Halloween Bingo 2019: Tracking Post — Bingo No. 3 and Reading Blackout

* Triple Bingo Happy Dance * Well, that went by much faster than I had anticipated … Many thanks to Moonlight Reader and Obsidian Blue for hosting this game for the fourth year in a row, bigger and better than ever before! I’ll continue tracking my bingos of course — and since we now have […]

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Diarmaid MacCulloch: Thomas Cromwell

Masterly. Simply put, the Cromwell biography to end all Cromwell biographies.  In his research for this book, MacCulloch took a fresh look at virtually every single document on which Cromwell’s vast legacy is based, and the resulting biography is a masterpiece of historical analysis which does away with many an often-repeated myth (beginning right at […]

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Tom Reiss: The Black Count

This is a highly fascinating biography: We’ve come to think of Alexandre Dumas père and fils as the two writers, but did you know that Dumas père’s father (also called Alexandre) — the son of a black Haitian slave and a French count — was a general in the French revolutionary army and, in his […]

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Banine: Days in the Caucasus

Well, looks like I was tempting fate after all.  As it turns out, not every memoir set in the former USSR in the years before and during the Russian Revolution was really shouting out to be written.  This is definitely one such — which is particularly disappointing as the writer’s father was a leading Azerbaijani […]

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All 61 squares revealed: 1 through 18 (New Squares & Horror)

Reblogged from: Moonlight Reader   All of the new squares (and scares) have been revealed, and I got these posts put together over the past few days, so I’m ready to reveal ALL OF THE SQUARES! Buckle up, butter cup. A note on book lists: where we have already got a working book list, I’ve […]

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New Space #4: Truly Terrifying

Reblogged from: Moonlight Reader   You get two new spaces today – I’ve been having chromebook issues at home over the weekend!     Non-fiction that has elements of suspense, horror or mystery, including true crime, both contemporary and historical. Examples would be The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher by Kate Summerscale, In Cold Blood by […]

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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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Crowdsourced History Reading — Supplemental List

Off my shelves as listed there and without regard to topical overlaps etc.: WOMEN Freya Stark: The Valleys of the Assassins and Other Persian Travels Freya Stark: Perseus in the Wind: A Life of Travel Stacy Schiff: Cleopatra Kara Cooney: When Women Ruled the World: Six Queens of Egypt Elizabeth Norton: Elfrida: The First Crowned […]

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Crowdsourced History Reading — Miscellaneous Further Addenda

TRAVEL HISTORY * Colin Thubron – The Lost Heart of Asia (Central Asia; post-USSR trip with historic sidelights) * Mark Twain – A Tramp Abroad (19th century; Germany, Austria, Italy) * David Dary – The Santa Fe Trail: Its History, Legends, and Lore (19th century; US) * Terry Townsend – Jane Austen’s Hampshire (19th century; […]

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