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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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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”

Books 14 and 15: The Paris Wife and A Moveable Feast

Both of these books look at the life of Ernest Hemingway and his wife, Hadley Richardson Hemingway in Paris in the 1920’s. The Paris Wife was written by Paula McLain and covers the life of Hadley Hemingway from the time she was 29 and marries the 21 year old Hemingway until the marriage ends in 1927. The story is told from Hadley’s point of view, … Continue reading Books 14 and 15: The Paris Wife and A Moveable Feast

Book 11: Grand Pursuit: The story of Economic Genius

Book 11 is a tome by Sylvia Nassar called The Grand Pursuit:The Story of Economic Genius. This well written but sometimes obstruse story of the history of economics is by the author of A Beautiful Mind. The story begins with Thomas Robert Malthus and  John Stuart Mill who held a pessimistic view that the poor would always be there because of increased population which would … Continue reading Book 11: Grand Pursuit: The story of Economic Genius

Book 10: Loving Frank

Book 10 is Loving Frank by Nancy Horan.  I prefer biography to historical fiction but this time the fictional account of a historical figure was quite well done. Frank Lloyd Wright was an architect, interior designer, writer and art collector.  He was also a charming man, attractive to women. This novel is the fictionalized account of his affair with one woman, Mamah Borthwick Cheney.  He … Continue reading Book 10: Loving Frank

Book 8: Effie

Book 8 for 2016 is “Effie: The Passionate Lives of Effie Gray, John Ruskin and John Everett Millais.”  I have always been fascinated by the story of those three people, and Suzanne Fagence Cooper has brought them to life in this outstanding biography. John Ruskin was a famous writer and art critic of the 1800’s.  He also had a, perhaps unhealthy, liking for young girls.  … Continue reading Book 8: Effie