Tag Archives: books

2019: Retrospect.

Photograph of Breaker Bay, New Zealand Our Christmas tree is twinkling in the bay window, there’s a chilly breeze in the London streets outside and 2019 has less than two weeks to run. I’ve not made any time for this blog over the past year but I thought I’d inject a little life into it […]

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Endeavour, Launch(es), John Sandoe and BBC History

Today marks a quarter of a millennium since HM Bark Endeavour left Plymouth to begin her voyage to the South Seas. Precisely 250 years ago (in an hour or two’s time) Joseph Banks set down the first of his many journal entries: 25 August 1768 After having waiting in this place ten days, the ship, […]

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Finished copies, Mary Soames Award, an audiobook and Michael Palin

There’s nothing like a book deadline to accelerate time. It hardly seems a moment since I set to work in the British Library in the summer of 2015; or I was paddling about Endeavour Cove in Queen Charlotte’s Sound a few months later; or standing on the foreshore of the Tūranganui River on New Zealand’s […]

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Oddingley – John Barnett’s Pigeon House?

A brief post about an old book. It is the best part of a decade since I was writing about the misdeeds of the Oddingley farmers in the summer of 1806. But recently that murderous tale was brought back to mind when I chanced upon the above picture of a half-timbered ‘pigeon house’. This building […]

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The Woman in White – #1 of my #tbr20

This post is part of this reading project. (Plot spoilers ahoy) At last I’m writing up the first book in this project. At 700 pages long Wilkie Collins’ The Woman in White is the kind of sprawling Victorian novel that I rarely get around to. But it was on the reading list of an evening […]

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