Tom Holland’s “Athelstan” – book review

“It was the most terrible conflict that anyone could remember. Entire kingdoms were mobilized for combat. Slaughter fit to stupefy poets was visited on the ranks of the rival combatants. The memory of it would long endure. (…)  “Æðelstan cyning lædde fyrde to Brunanbyrig”: Athelstan the king led the levy to Brunanburh. (…) At stake, though, was not just the future of Athelstan’s kingdom. Beyond the world … Continue reading Tom Holland’s “Athelstan” – book review

Jared Diamond’s “Upheaval” – book review

What better time to read Jared Diamond’s Upheaval? After all, the world is having a crisis of some sort at the moment. Sadly, the book doesn’t lay out a ten-step-plan to get ourselves out of the COVID-19 crisis, as it was published in 2019, a world away from what is actually going on now. Still. Jared Diamond’s Upheaval is a case study of 7 nations … Continue reading Jared Diamond’s “Upheaval” – book review

John Guy’s “Mary Queen of Scots” – book review

I picked up this copy of  John Guy’s “Mary Queen of Scots” at Sainsbury’s for 4 pounds, with a film tie-in cover, and I do not regret it. The book was published originally as “My Heart is My Own” and won the Whitbread Biography Award in 2004. I had read David Starkey’s biography of the young Elizabeth when I was in my early teens, but … Continue reading John Guy’s “Mary Queen of Scots” – book review