Review of “The Children of Ash and Elm; a History of the Vikings” By Neil Price (2020)Assessment 10 out of 10

I absolutely loved this book, it is an easy read of big ideas, reflecting a life’s work of study and thought. I have set out below notes I took whilst reading it, and occasionally, in italics , my commentary, so you can either skip the notes, skip the commentary or both. Price doesn’t say so Continue reading Review of “The Children of Ash and Elm; a History of the Vikings” By Neil Price (2020)Assessment 10 out of 10

Review: Dostoevsky in Love – An Intimate Life by Alex Christofi (2021)Assessment 7 out of 10

Christofi writes “Even though [Dostoevsky] never wrote his memoirs, those who knew him could unearth them” [in his novels.] This is what Cristofi tries to do. He had previously written two novels. You are left asking, “Is this a biography or a novel?” “Many of Dostoevsky’s ideas remain disconcertingly relevant, [including] that a society without Continue reading Review: Dostoevsky in Love – An Intimate Life by Alex Christofi (2021)Assessment 7 out of 10

On a Maritime Borderland; Overnight on Les Écréhous

On a neap (7.3m) tide on Monday 22 March with six companions, I made my first trip this year to the Écréhous, the reef 10 km North-East of Jersey and 15km from the French coast. See the Strava record of the trip below. A couple of things stand out. < First how close the reef Continue reading On a Maritime Borderland; Overnight on Les Écréhous

Paddling to the Dirouilles; the site of an unrecognised Megalithic Alignment?

The Dirouilles are the smallest and least visited of the three reefs north of Jersey. The largest the Écréhous are 10km to its north east, the Paternosters 4km north of Sorel.  The Dirouilles are 8km off Jersey’s NE corner, approximately two-thirds of the way from the Paternosters to the Écréhous. In Jersey Place Names [1] Continue reading Paddling to the Dirouilles; the site of an unrecognised Megalithic Alignment?

Discussion of “The Book of Eels” by Tom Fort and “The Gospel of Eels” by Patrik Svensson

Tracey reviewed the reviews. Unusually there were two books to review, “The Book of Eels” and “the Gospel of Eels”. She had read both. The choice between the two eel books was an accident. Leonard had intended to read The Book of Eels, but ended up ordering The Gospel of Eels. Both books were well Continue reading Discussion of “The Book of Eels” by Tom Fort and “The Gospel of Eels” by Patrik Svensson

The Gospel of the Eels by Patrik Svensson (2019) translated by Agnes Broome (2020) Assessment 9 out of 10

“Metaphysics is what exists beyond the objective; there is something metaphysical about the eel; living at the intersection between knowledge and faith”. Eels present a metaphor for the questions, “Who am I? Where do I come from? Where am I going?” The Eel Question arises as the eel is ”uncommonly difficult to observe, due to Continue reading The Gospel of the Eels by Patrik Svensson (2019) translated by Agnes Broome (2020) Assessment 9 out of 10

Review: The Interest; How the British Establishment Resisted the Abolition of Slavery by Michael Taylor (2020) Assessment 8 out of 10

“The sufferance of evil has endured only in consequence of being removed out of site” Wilberforce Emancipation can happen “if comparable with the safety of the colonies and with a fair and equitable consideration of the interests of private property” Canning “To excite exaggerated expectations in those who are the objects of benevolence would be Continue reading Review: The Interest; How the British Establishment Resisted the Abolition of Slavery by Michael Taylor (2020) Assessment 8 out of 10

Review:The Great Sea; A Human History of the Mediterranean by David Abulafia (2011) Assessment 9 out of 10

Despite its length (650 pages plus notes, plates & index), this is a very concise and readable book, which you sail through at a rate of Knots.  Mediterranean History is divided into five periods by times of disruption when there was significant change, the late Bronze Age Collapse, the end of the Roman Empire in Continue reading Review:The Great Sea; A Human History of the Mediterranean by David Abulafia (2011) Assessment 9 out of 10

Discussion of The Origins of Sex by Faramerz Dabhoiwala

It was generally thought a very good book, which stimulated debate, Wendy noting that if you are looking to be titillated, this wasn’t the book for you. Ruth highlighted the lack of chronology and timeline. She and Peter both thought Dabhhiwola in writing on the 18th Century media revolution, went beyond his subject of attitudes Continue reading Discussion of The Origins of Sex by Faramerz Dabhoiwala

Review: The Origins of Sex by Faramerz Dabhoiwala (2012) Assessment 8 out of 10

This is the work of a professional historian relying on detailed reading of documents to reach long researched but quickly written (or at least quickly read) conclusions. To begin with I thought just the introduction would be like that. It all was. It was breathless. The story is illustrated both on the pages and in Continue reading Review: The Origins of Sex by Faramerz Dabhoiwala (2012) Assessment 8 out of 10