Archive for Non-fiction

Catherine Blyth’s “The Art of Conversation”

Posted in Books, Non-Fiction, The Art of Conversation with tags , , , , , on 5 July, 2009 by Nicola

I simply could not finish this book since Catherine Blyth appears to be unable to write in a clear, concise and coherent manner. Too many times I found myself re-reading passages trying to grasp her meaning. She is at her worst when explaining her personal experiences; it took several tries to determine what was even going on, who she was talking about and who said what.

I cannot possibly tell you which is worse: her choice of diction or her sentence structure. They are both terribly bad and make for very frustrating reading. Having six clauses in one sentence and employing high-brow phrases and obscure words are not the marks of a good writer. This book has every sign of a wannabe writer trying too hard. Continue reading

Karen Lindsey’s “Divorced, Beheaded, Survived: A Feminist Reinterpretation of the Wives of Henry VIII”

Posted in Books, Henry VIII, History with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 3 December, 2008 by Nicola

This is a well researched and written book that gives a gliding over view of each of Henry VIII‘s wives.  Each of the wives, however, are not given equal page space, and as you can well imagine, Catherine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn have about four chapters to themselves whilst Jane Seymour has one, but is barely mentioned in it as the author goes on tangents about other things.  After the more fully developed chapters on the two first wives, the other four seemed to be tacked on as almost an afterthought.

This is quite understandable, given how much we know about Seymour, and how much we know about Boleyn and not to mention just how much had to occur to get Boleyn on the throne.  However, Catherine Howard‘s and Katherine Parr‘s chapters are almost neglected, only Parr’s chapter is fleshened out by the authors addition of Anne Askew; a Protestant Martyr.  Whilst very interesting, the author, who did her PhD research project on Anne Askew, has clearly thrown her in Parr’s chapter because the author favours her, and gives her the most tenuous link to Parr to justify it.  Continue reading