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A to Z Challenge: N is for “Noel Coward: A Talent to Amuse”

N is for “Noel Coward: A Talent to Amuse” by Sheridan Morley. Noel Coward was born in 1899 and from an early age  was acting to help support his family. He eventually became a playwright, actor, singer,novelist and songwriter. He starred in movies and in many of his own plays.  I associate him, always, with the song he wrote, “Mad Dogs and Englishmen”. This biography … Continue reading A to Z Challenge: N is for “Noel Coward: A Talent to Amuse”

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A to Z Challenge: M is for “Murder at the Vicarage”

M is for “Murder at the Vicarage” by Agatha Christie.  Agatha Christie has long been a favourite of mine.  I love the little English villages where Miss Marple puts her understanding of human nature little play to find out who dunnit.  And I like the quirkiness and idiosyncrasies of Hercule Poirot, the Belgian private detective. “Murder at the Vicarage” has a fine bunch of characters- … Continue reading A to Z Challenge: M is for “Murder at the Vicarage”

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A to Z Challenge: L is for “Lytton Strachey”

L is for “Lytton Strachey: The New Biography” by Michael Holroyd. I love reading about anyone in theloomsbury group and Lytton Strachey was a founding member of the set. Strachey was a British writer and critic who wrote “Eminent Victorians”, a book covering the lives of four Victorians. Strachey wrote a new kind of biography with an emphasis on psychological insight and sympathy. He was … Continue reading A to Z Challenge: L is for “Lytton Strachey”

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A to Z challenge: K is for Kept in the Dark

K is for “Kept in the Dark” by Anthony Trollope.  I read this book back in 1998 so I had to go to Google to refresh my mind.  This is not one of Trollope’s better known books but any Trollope book has to be a winner with me. The story is about a young married couple in the late 1800’s who break up when the … Continue reading A to Z challenge: K is for Kept in the Dark

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A to Z Challenge: J is for Jean Rhys

J is for “Jean Rhys; Life and Work” by Carole Angier. One of my favourite books is “Wide Sargasso Sea” by Jean Rhys. This is a prequel to Jane Eyre, and tells the story of Rochester’s mad wife in the attic. It covers her childhood in the Caribbean and her marriage to a man who does not understand her and her culture.  I usually avoid … Continue reading A to Z Challenge: J is for Jean Rhys

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A to Z Challenge: I is for In Praise of Messy Lives: Essays

I is for In Praise of Messy : Essays by Katie Roiphe, one of my favourite modern writers.  This book is a collection of ten essays on topics as diverse as incest literature, Joan Dideon, Hillary Clinton, and her own unconventional life. Perhaps I like Katie Roiphe because I do not know what to expect from her- or perhaps I do-I expect the unconventional view.  … Continue reading A to Z Challenge: I is for In Praise of Messy Lives: Essays

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A to Z Challenge: H is for Heretics and Heroes

H is for Heretics and Heroes by Thomas Cahill. This book is part of the Hinges of History series, a proposed seven-volume work which will recount the main moments in Western civilization.  I have read two other books in the series –How the Irish Saved Civilization and Mysteries of the Middle Ages: And the beginnings of the Modern World. Heretics and Heroes, subtitled How Renaissance … Continue reading A to Z Challenge: H is for Heretics and Heroes

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G is for “Galileo’s Daughter”

G is for “Galileo’s Daughter” by Dava Sobol.  This book is based on 120 letters written by Suor Maria Celeste, Galileo’s daughter who was a nun, to her father. It tells of the close relationship between the two. Galileo was not married to the mother of his three children and the two girls’ illegitimacy made them unlikely to marry.  Galileo sent them both to a … Continue reading G is for “Galileo’s Daughter”

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A to Z Blogging Challenge: F is for Fanny Burney

F is for “Fanny Burney” by Claire Harman. This is a wonderful biography by a talented writer. Claire Harman has written biographies of Charlotte Bronte, Robert Louis Stevenson and Sylvia Townsend Warner whose book Lolly Willowes I recently read. Fanny Burney lived and wrote in the 1700’s, a time when women often had to write under a pseudonym to remain respectable.  Her father was a … Continue reading A to Z Blogging Challenge: F is for Fanny Burney

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E is for “Eminent Victorians”

Eminent Victorians was written by Lytton Strachey in 1918, and it is one of his better known books.  It contains biographies of four of Victorian England’s leading figures. Cardinal Henry Manning was an important religious figure in Victoria’s England. He began his career as an Anglican clergyman but became associated with the Tractarians and converted to Catholicism.  He eventually became a Roman Catholic Archbishop of … Continue reading E is for “Eminent Victorians”

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D is for “Death on the Nile”

Agatha Christie has long been a favourite of mine.  I love novels about sleepy little English villages with Miss Marple and tales set in more Cosmopolitan settings with Hercule Poirot, or vice versa.  The characters seem like old friends; we have met people with their virtues and foibles.  We can settle back with a cup of tea, an afghan, and an old paperback,  and read … Continue reading D is for “Death on the Nile”

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C is for Cod: A Biography of the Fish that Changed the World

My C entry in the Blogging A to Z 2016 Challenge is “Cod: A Biography of the Fish That Changed the World” by Mark Kurlansky. This is not the kind of book I often read, but because I live in Newfoundland, an island settled because of the codfish, it was an appropriate one for me to read and include in this challenge. This book tells … Continue reading C is for Cod: A Biography of the Fish that Changed the World

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B is for “Byron’s Daughter: A Biography of Elizabeth Medora Leigh”

Lord Byron had three daughters – Ada Lovelace, his daughter by his wife Isabella Milbanke, Allegra  Byron by his lover, Claire Clairmont, and Medora by his half-sister, Augusta Leigh. Although Medora took the surname of her mother’s husband, George Leigh, it is commonly believed that Lord Byron was her father. I am fascinated by the poets Shelley and Byron, not so much by their poetry … Continue reading B is for “Byron’s Daughter: A Biography of Elizabeth Medora Leigh”