I’ve been away a lot recently -well twice, but for me that’s a lot! We had a wedding and went camping in the Peak District at the end of May-beginning of June, and then we went away to the Brecon Beacons with some friends in July. Of course, it doesn’t matter where we go I always have to check out the local bookstores and it just so happened that this time I found some gems!
History Without the Boring Bits, Ian Crofton: A book I found in Brecon Bookstore, I picked this up not really knowing what to expect but instantly knew that I needed it. A book full of the weird and wonderful things in history -usually the bits that they don’t teach in school it’s broken down into small sections, detailing interesting factoids about what’s happened. Because of the small section in this book, I’m hoping it will be one that I can pick up and put down whenever I want.
Imperial Dancer: Mathilde Kschessinska and the Romanovs, Coryne Hall: Another Brecon buy, I always check out the history shelf when I visit. They always have such a great selection of history and it’s so well organised. I found this baby in the Russian history section; I have some books on Catherine the Great and the Romanovs, so I thought this would be an interesting read and a welcome addition to my library.
The Life of Francis Drake, A E W Alfred Edward Woodley Mason: A wonderful find in an amazing bookshop in Glossop that we found while camping in the Peak District. I came across this little book and a few other great historic reads. I’m really eager to read this but also can start off my Uncharted shelf of books with it.
Four Queens and a Countess: Mary Queen of Scots, Elizabeth I, Mary I, Lady Jane Grey and Bess of Hardwick, Jill Armitage: Quite a compact book considering it covers these five women, I’m hoping that means its fast-paced and succinct in its information. I’ve always been interested in Tudor history but have only recently became more aware of Bess of Hardwick from our visit to Chatsworth House so I’m hoping to learn a bit more about her then.
Who’s Who in Ancient Egypt, Michael Rice: Another buy from Glossop, I found this and another Egyptian history book below which both have the signed name of the their former owner within. I find that really cool and even better that the owner seemed just as interested in Egyptian history as me -I’d already bought them both together before realising. This book breaks down all the Ancient Egyptian elites and their roles, whether it be king, nobles, priests, etc.
Paris Spleen, Charles Baudelaire: I’ve long wanted to get into Baudelaire and saw this in Brecon so I had to snatch it up while I could.
Pygmalion, Bernard Shaw: the play Pygmalion has long been on my list and was very much on mind due to a nostalgia-disney binge that continued a viewing of Confessions of a Drama Queen so naturally when I saw it I had to get it!
At the Court of the Borgia, Ohann Burchard (Folio Society): After recently reading about Catherine de Medici and hearing so much of the rival family through podcasts, I have been wanting to delve into the Borgia family. From what I have read, this is a translated piece of work from an account of a master of ceremonies at the court of Borgia so it should be in an interesting read.
A Brief History of British Kings & Queens, Mike Ashley: A bit like my Egyptian book above, this book is another breakdown of who’s who but the difference is this one is laid out in date order as well as era and houses (ie. the house of Anjou, York, etc). I’m hoping this will be another book that I can simply dip in and out of rather than the more demanding reads.
The Borgias, Christopher Hibbert: Another Borgia book, I picked this up in the Peak District and I’m really looking forward to this read. I’m hoping to get into it in the next few weeks. It’s more of a historical account and biography but has been described as a political thriller too given all the drama and treachery the Borgia were said to have engaged in.
The Tomb of Tutankhamen, Howard Carter: The other Egyptian book that I picked up in Glossop, this has been on my list of books to pick up for a while now and I managed to find this cheap copy so I had to snag it while I could. A great addition to my Egyptian shelf, I’m sure this will be a great read. It’s also quite a compact copy. Most editions that I see are huge hardbacks -probably due to the photos but I have a variety of coffee-table books dedicated to Egyptian history and the tomb of Tutankhamen already so I don’t really need an illustrated copy of this book too.
The Gold of El Dorado, Benson & Hedges: An exhibit book from the 70’s at The Royal Academy Piccadilly London -it even holds leaflets for the exhibit within, something I still do with my leaflets or ticket stubs. This is another book I can add to my Uncharted shelf. The photography in here is quite detailed given its age.
Klimt’s Women, Angelika Bäumer: A simply little arty book, it showcases the women of Klimt’s art. I bought this just before we saw the Klimt immersive experience up London so I have already flipped through this.
The Folio Society of The 100 Greatest Portraits, Martin Baley: A Brecon Bookshop find, I always seem to find amazing Folio Society editions there. I haven’t had a proper read as of yet but I got really excited when I saw A Lady (‘Antea’) by Parmigianino, which featured in the Festival of Living Arts on Gilmore Girls! I also thought it was so cool seeing Beata Beatrix (Elizabeth Siddall) by Dante Gabriel Rossetti; he’s one of the many I mentioned in my Highgate Cemetery posts as he buried his muse and love Siddall with a book of poetry only to then want it back years later, when it had to be retrieved by his friends. I love it when you trip over things like that which you’ve already come across before.
Wonders of the World (Folio Society), Simon Goldhill, Richard Barber, Theodore K. Rabb and Jonathan Glancy: another find from when we were in Brecon, this Folio Society edition will be a wonderful addition to my collection. What I love about it is that it doesn’t just go through the ancient wonders of the world but also the medieval, the renaissance and the modern wonders of the world too. It also has a number of great photographs too and while you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, the cover is really pretty too.
So there we have it – I bought a lot of books recently. I should mention that all of them are from secondhand bookstores and in total didn’t cost me more than £50 which is quite the bargain when you factor in the Folio Society editions and the fact that the cheapest they are when new is usually £29.99! I’m so happy with this selection and cannot wait to get cracking with these babies!
Cheerio for now!