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Showing posts from July, 2013

Duchess of Milan - A novel of the renaissance by Michael Ennis

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You know what it is like when you find such a good book that you never want it to end. When it does, it is like parting with a good friend. This is such a book. As you saw from my last blog I am into history (again) for the time being. Therefore I grabbed this book from my TBR shelves. And it sure was a good choice? I love books set in a historic perspective and especially when following history as well as this one. It's almost like reading a biography about a historic person. To sideline a bit I would just like to mention a couple of my favourite historic biographies:  'Potemkin' by Simon Sebag Montefiore (absolutely excellent). Luckily I have two other of his books on my TBR shelves ('Stalin' and 'Jerusalem') so something to look forward to. Another favourite writer of biographies is Mary S Lovell ('A Scandalous Life' (Lady Jane Digby), 'A Rage to Live' (Sir Richard Burton the explorer, absolutely fantastic) and 'The Mitford Girls'

Summertime - Sweden time and this year historic time

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Summertime is the time I go to Sweden. This year I was very lucky with the weather; sunshine but not too hot. I spent the time in Karlskrona which is situated in the south east corner of Sweden by the sea. It is built on islands so wherever you go you see the water. It is possible to walk around the whole city on the water front. Karlskrona was founded in 1680 by Carl XI who needed an ice free harbour for his war ships. The province of Blekinge where Karlskrona is situated was perfect. This area as well as Skåne and Halland was given back to Sweden from Denmark in the peace of Roskilde in 1658. However, the Danes were still trying to take it back so a harbour in this area seemed perfect. This year I decided to go historic in my reading (as you see from the reading list) and discover more about this city where I lived between 1968 and 1980.  The city has many houses still from the 18th and 19th century. Unfortunately there was a big fire in 1790 which destroyed most of the houses

Tess of the d'Ubervilles by Thomas Hardy

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Tess, Tess, Tess...! What can I say. What a miserable story this is. I recently read the wonderful 'The Mayor of Casterbridge' and earlier I re-read 'Far from the Madding Crowd'. I loved the two books and started with Tess with a very positive mind. What a gruesome story! Misery, misery, misery. Here we have poor Tess who is the daughter of a poor farmer. Their name is Durbeyfield and someone put in the head of the father that they are descendants from the noble family of d'Urberville. Since there is a family with such a name nearby the mother arrange for Tess to go there to work for the widow of the d'Uberville. It turns out that the son  Alec arranged everything and did not tell his mother of the possible relationship. So Tess come to work for the mother and all is well until Alec one evening takes advantage of Tess. She immediately quits her job and goes back to her family. It is soon discovered that she is pregnant and she gives birth to a son who soon dies.