Book Review: Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. HydeThe Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Reread from anthology “Sensational Tales of Terror Penny Dreadfuls”.

Not what I remember, and nothing like the myriad adaptions for stage and screen.

Very Victorian in language and gothic moodiness. Uses letters and diaries as a means to back into the story from different directions. I’ll admit I prefer the linear works of Wilkie Collins and Charles Dickens; however, I love the language and turn of phrase of R.L. Stevenson, so I will continue to read his works (and reread…).

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Book Review: The Forsyte Saga by John Galsworthy

The Forsyte Saga (The Forsyte Chronicles, #1-3)The Forsyte Saga by John Galsworthy
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

5 stars.

The great Forsyte Saga… I’m so glad I’ve finally read it. Some books deserve to be classics. John Galsworthy caught the essence of the periods he was writing about while telling a captivating story.

After a false start in 2015, I read parts 1 & 2 10/17-12/5/16 and part 3 4/16-25/18.

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Book Review – The Professor and the Madman by Simon Winchester

The Professor and the MadmanThe Professor and the Madman by Simon Winchester
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

5+ stars.

Brilliantly constructed.

Written by a true philologist. I do not think this subject could have, or should have been written by anyone else.

An apt quote from the book: “Few are the books that can offer so much please to look at, to touch, to skim, to read” (p. 89). This is one of those books.

Perhaps one of the reasons I’m such a fan of Victorian writing, “…any grand new dictionary ought to be itself a democratic product, a book that demonstrated the primacy of individual freedoms, of the notion that one could use words freely, as one liked, without any hard and fast rules of lexical conduct.” It continues:
“Any such dictionary certainly should not be an absolutist, autocratic project, such as the French had in mind. The English, who had raised eccentricity and poor organization to a high art, and placed the scatterbrain on a pedestal, loathed such middle European things as rules, conventions, and dictatorships. They abhorred the idea of diktats – about the language, for Heaven’s sake! – emanating from some secretive body of unaccountable immortals.”

The Victorian era is my favorite in all ways. After reading this book I feel more literate and educated.

The reading suggestions at the end are also particularly noteworthy.

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Book Review – Katharine Lee Bates From Sea to Shining Sea by Melinda M. Ponder

Katharine Lee Bates: From Sea to Shining SeaKatharine Lee Bates: From Sea to Shining Sea by Melinda M. Ponder

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

5+ stars.

It’s taken me a few months to write this review. I need to thank the author and the publisher, Windy City Press, for the complimentary copy and apologize for the delay in writing and posting a review. I’ve had a tremendous book hangover and haven’t been sure I can adequately express how much I loved this book.

This is historical non-fiction written at it’s best and as a bonus for me, about my favorite time periods and about books and authors.

While reading I took some notes, I’ll share them here:
Page 18, Beautifully crafted writing.
Page 24, Densely packed with fascinating facts and information. Not one word out of place.
Page 132, Sweeping history of the times while staying true to the central story of Katharine Lee Bates and her life.
Page 172, In the late 1890’s, Katharine Lee Bates wrote, “America has long realized that she stands pledged … to demonstrate the power of democracy, with its free schools, free ballot, and free religious thought, to elevate mankind.” A 120 years later this sentiment is more important than ever…

Any lover of writing, books, poetry, the history of publishing in America, Victorian era America, western expansion, Civil War reformation, women’s rights, American history, Falmouth and shipping, the founding of Wellesley College and more, will find something in this book.

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11 unconventional conventions you have to geek out at ** SPWF

Congratulations to Jeff Mach and Steampunk Worlds Fair for this well deserved notice.

Today I was packing up my corsets and bloomers wondering what new wonders will take place next May. 

I’ve been wearing a ring I bought this year, unusual for me, I’ve never been one for jewelry, but I’ve gotten a lot of complements and it allows me to share my love of Steampunk to a broad audience.

The parasol is my purchase from 2016, the bowler is Edwardian (unfortunately this was it’s last outing unless I can get it repaired), the sunglasses a gift, and the corset not quite small enough but the best I had on hand. I’m never sure what size corset I’m going to need each year. I couldn’t find a bustier that might have worked, but glad to get another year out of this corset.