Tag Archives: British Writers

The Worsted Viper, by Gladys Mitchell: A Review

Before you begin this book, assuming that you are not intimately familiar with the towns of Wroxham, Acle, Thurne, Barton Turl and the like, do yourself a favour and take a brief excursion round the internet. Search for “Norfolk Broads … Continue reading

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Books in Groups: Fit the First

So today is another #DarwinDay, an annual event commemorating the birthday of English naturalist Charles Darwin, born this day in 1809. In honour of that fact… look, I made a pretty picture on the carpet: Since I’ve been in a … Continue reading

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Brave New World and Brave New World Revisited, by Aldous Huxley: A Review

Brave New World holds one of those distinctive places in literature, that of a book that people “know,” in some sense, even if they haven’t read it. Like its colleague in dystopian imaginings, 1984, Brave New World is a book … Continue reading

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A Reading List, Modestly Proposed, for the Recognition of the New Not-Normal State of the World

In times of trouble, my first impulse is to look at things through the prism of literature and history. Many great minds have tackled the problems of authoritarianism before, in fiction and non-fiction. So in order to balance matters a … Continue reading

Posted in Authors-Bradbury Ray, Authors-Huxley Aldous, Authors-Lewis Sinclair, Authors-London Jack, Authors-Orwell George, Authors-Roth Philip, Authors-Wells H.G., Book Reviews | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Dead Men’s Morris, by Gladys Mitchell: A Review

The seventh mystery featuring Gladys Mitchell’s crocodilian sleuth, Mrs. Beatrice Adela Lestrange Bradley, is set in the depths of rural Oxfordshire presumably in the middle-1930s. As Miss Mitchell spent her youth in the village of Cowley, south-east of Oxford town, … Continue reading

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Uncoffin’d Clay, by Gladys Mitchell: A Review

A charming late-era entry into the Mrs. Bradley mysteries, Uncoffin’d Clay is something of an inversion of the typical detective-story structure. Rather than presenting a rigorous clue-hunter stalking their foul, murdering prey (and it must be said that Gladys Mitchell’s mysteries hardly … Continue reading

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Periodic Tales: A Cultural History of the Elements from Arsenic to Zinc, by Hugh Aldersey-Williams: A Review

  One of my general rules in reading is to be wary of books that call themselves “a cultural history.” These books, like those calling themselves “social histories” or, indeed, those written by sociologists, can be perfectly reasonable and servicable … Continue reading

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