Aug. 29th, 2010

selene_13: (Bibliophile)
So I come back from a week's holiday on the wonderful warm Greek Isles, to a stormy, rain-soaked, cold and wintery home. Way to go, Holland, you fickle bastard.

I read two good books the past week (lounging on the beach, listening to the surf, basking in the heat... sigh), both about a period of time in English history that I find fascinating: "The Suspicions of Mr Whicher or the Murder at Road Hill House" by Kate Summerscale, which managed to put forth an atmospheric casefile of one of 19th Century England's most illustrous murders, very Gothic in its subject but factually dealt with; and the great "Wolf Hall" by Hilary Mantel, which details the rise (and rise) of Thomas Cromwell during the reign of Henry VIII.

Especially "Wolf Hall" was an excellent read; I cannot wait to get the sequel in hand whenever it finishes. She makes Cromwell's story in a time of great change and turmoil a fascinating read and his character is extremely sympathetic. I had to refresh my memory as to how the story will end and who fit exactly where (it almost felt like I was "spoiling" myself by refreshing myself to the data - how can you spoil yourself to history?! - but marks that the story was compelling. As an English grad I should be ashamed by what I've forgotten by the way).

This lead to me getting on Wikipedia and surfing through the pages, from Cromwell to Thomas More, to Hans Holbein, to Henry's six wives, to the reformation, to the royal line, to wondering about "what is this sweating sickness?", to Hantavirus, to cell pathology, to reading the details of Ebola virus. Yay Wiki dissemination. How I love thee.

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