Monday 27 August 2012

A Review Round-up

It's one of those posts where I post teeny tiny reviews of some titles for A Century of Books which (for whatever reason) don't warrant full reviews.  It's really just so I have somewhere to link from the main list, but do jump in with your thoughts nonetheless!

The Westminster Alice (1902) by Saki
It's Lewis Carroll's Alice, but re-imagined with various political figures from the turn of the century!  A fun idea, and some bits I found amusing, but mostly it went right over my head.  I'd heard of most of the people - Chamberlain, Balfour, Cecil etc. - but I don't know the ins and outs of their activities in 1902.  But it was diverting enough, and under 50 pages...

What It Means To Marry (1914) by Margaret Scharlieb
For my next chapter, I'm reading a few different people discoursing on marriage from the 1910s and '20s.  They mostly divide into the 'marriage is holy' and the 'free love ahoy' camps - this one falls in the former, but Scharlieb is always a bit of a doom-monger as well...

The Witch-Cult in Western Europe (1921) by Margaret Murray
This was a rather credulous account of medieval witchcraft, which I read for my chapter on Lolly Willowes.  It was a speedy read because I skipped all the untranslated Latin and Medieval French...

The Corner That Held Them (1948) by Sylvia Townsend Warner
I love Warner sometimes, but this novel covering decades in the life of a medieval nunnery really, really bored me.  And yet it was her favourite of her books, and I know some people who adore it.  Odd.

1 comment:

  1. "And yet it was her favourite of her books, and I know some people who adore it. Odd." Not all that odd, really. It is quite a common experience as a reader to be completely unmoved by a book that others are in raptures about. Similarly, one will often find oneself feeling hurt when others pour scorn on a book that one really liked. Nor is it even particularly unusual to like an author, but to be at variance with that author's preferences, even from among his or her own works. I suspect psychology and neuro-science will have much to tell us on how our tastes and opinions are shaped, but that all seems a bit heavy for what, in England, is a rather miserable public holiday.


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