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Hellraising in the Stuart era

Advantages: Interesting read about a colourful character
Disadvantages: Tends to overestimate his importance and play up his (few) good points

John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester, was the ultimate ‘live fast, die young’ icon of the Stuart age, the seventeenth-century embodiment of ‘Hope I die before I get old’. Restoration dandy, satirist and pornographic poet, he died a lingering death in 1680 ...

JOHNV 18.08.2014 · Read full review
Ciao members have rated this review on average: exceptional
Review of Blazing Star: The Life and Times of John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester - Alexander Laiman

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Grace - the real story behind the legend

Advantages: Incisive biography that probes beyond the sanitised legend
Disadvantages: Although a new edition, text clearly not updated [see review]

Twenty-five years before another so-called fairytale royal romance which turned out to be anything but, one of America’s most beloved screen goddesses crossed the Atlantic and married into the principality of Monaco. The ceremony in 1956 was hailed as th ...

JOHNV 02.08.2014 · Read full review
Ciao members have rated this review on average: exceptional
Review of Grace Her Lives - Her Loves - Robert Lacey

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Bess of Hardwick, and the family who adapted rather than died

Advantages: Interesting, readable and comprehensive family biography
Disadvantages: A little dry at times

The Devonshires According to the blurb on the back of this book, ‘the story of the Devonshires is the story of Britain’. That’s an extravagant claim, but it contains more than a germ of truth. Certainly one would be hard-pushed to find an aristoc ...

JOHNV 13.07.2014 · Read full review
Ciao members have rated this review on average: exceptional
Review of The Devonshires The Story of a Family and a Nation - Roy Hattersley

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Some insight into the man behind Mrs Brown

Advantages: Interesting read, ideal read for the summer, lots of information about Brendan O'Carroll's life
Disadvantages: I did find the comparisons between Brendan's life and Mrs Brown slightly annoying after a while

Being a big fan of the Mrs. Brown’s Boys TV show I had been wanting to read this book since I first seen it for sale last December.  However, I felt the price was a little excessive (the Kindle version was close to £10), so I decided to wait until the pri ...

euphie 08.07.2014 · Read full review
Ciao members have rated this review on average: very helpful
Review of The Real Mrs Brown - Brian Beacom

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Karl Ove Knausgaard gets deep and personal: A Death In The Family

Advantages: Wierdly fascinating
Disadvantages: Prostitution as art

Although I’ve written probably towards two thousand internet reviews and articles (and the odd published one) over the past 15 years, I still often pause and wonder whether I actually have anything valid to say or whether my words are simply assisting wit ...

cr01 30.06.2014 · Read full review
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Review of A Death in the Family My Struggle 1 - Karl Ove Knausgaard

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