Some time ago, while reading a history of the Wars of the Roses, I saw that Edward IV’s queen, Elizabeth Woodville, died in 1492. By this time, Henry VII was on the throne, and he will soon be succeeded by his son, Henry VIII. The Wars of the Roses, which had occupied much of England’s 15th century, were over. Elizabeth Woodville, I thought, was the last medieval. Read more about 1492
That’s where David Malouf found room to write his wonderful little novel, Ransom (Vintage International) . Between the lines of Book XXIV of the Iliad, Malouf has drawn prose pictures of Achilles and King Priam, culminating in the King ransoming the body of his son, Hector, from his killer. In the process, he creates a hero of Priam, a king who wins one battle not with weapons but with an idea. Read more about Between the Lines
The good news is that it’s all different from last year’s.
The Lunatic Express: An Entertainment in Imperialism.
Published in 1971, this can be a hard book to find. I found a used copy in very good condition through Amazon, and I'm liking it very much. The "Express" of the title is the Mombasa-Nairobi railroad built in the early 20th century, infamous for attacks from the Lions of Tsavo, who feasted on a variety of African railway workers and even a few white guys. Read more about Reading List, October, 2015
Read more about The Revenge of Geography
There are things worse than communism, it turned out, and in Iraq we brought them about ourselves. I say this as someone who supported regime change.
The Perfect Summer: England 1911, Just Before the Storm reads rather like a glimpse into the lives of the passengers on the HMS Titanic. As a matter of fact, toward the end of the narrative, Elinor Glyn, one of Ms. Nicolson’s cast of characters, thinks to start a new life in New York and very nearly books passage on the pride of the White Star Line. Her sister goes without her, and survives the journey. Read more about The Perfect Summer