Book Review: The Familiars by Stacey Halls

Lancashire 1612: The trial of the ‘Pendle witches’, twelve accused living around Pendle Hill in Lancashire at the time, most from two families the Devices and Chattoxes who apparently also made allegations against each other, besides others including one Alice Grey. The group was alleged to be responsible for the deaths of 10 people through…

Advertisement

Book Review: Attendant Lords: Bairam Khan and Abdur Rahim: Courtiers & Poets in Mughal India by T.C.A. Raghavan

Taking its title from T.S. Eliot’s J. Alfred Prufrock, Attendant Lords: Bairam Khan and Abdur Rahim: Courtiers & Poets in Mughal India (2017), traces the stories of Bairam Khan (1501–1561) and his son Abdur Rahim (1556–1627), nobles of Persian ancestry who together served under the first four Mughal emperors and rose to high positions (both…

Book Review: The Flying Sikh by Stephen Barker

My thanks to Pen & Sword and NetGalley for a review copy of this book. ‘The Flying Sikh’ is an epithet we in India usually associate with athlete Milkha Singh, who won both Asian Games and Commonwealth golds, but this book is about a different ‘Flying Sikh’, the only Sikh airman to serve in the…

Book Review: Pirate Queens: The Lives of Anne Bonny and Mary Read by Rebecca Alexandra Simon

My thanks to Pen & Sword and NetGalley for a review copy of this book. Anne Bonny and Mary Read may not have been the only female pirates who operated in what is known as the Golden Age of Piracy (1650–1730; dates debated), but they were amongst the best known. From inspiring ballads and having…

Book Review: Madame de Pompadour by Nancy Mitford #1954Club

When Karen and Simon announced the #1954Club and I looked up options only to be bewildered by the sheer number of appealing titles published in the year, the one title I was absolutely sure I would read was Madame de Pompadour by Nancy Mitford, especially since I’d read and enjoyed her fiction but hadn’t so…

Book Review: Traitor in the Ice by K.J. Maitland

My thanks to Rachel Quin at Headline for a widget of this book via NetGalley. While a second in series, Traitor in the Ice was my introduction to the Daniel Pursglove series of historical mysteries by K.J. Maitland, a book I found to be an intense and engrossing read with excellent historical detail and atmosphere.…

Book Review: The Story of the Country House by Clive Aslet

My thanks to Yale University Press and NetGalley for a review copy of this interesting and informative read. [Country houses] are a document on which is written their owners’ changing lives, tastes and sources of income. In The Story of the Country House: A History of Places and People, architectural historian and writer Clive Aslet…

Book Review: A Short History of Spaghetti and Tomato Sauce by Massimo Montanari

My thanks to Europa Editions and NetGalley for a review copy of this book. A Short History of Spaghetti and Tomato Sauce is a short, readable, interesting and well-researched account of how Italy’s most iconic dish, described by some as the ‘premier Italian dish’, came to be. The author, Massimo Montanari, a professor of mediaeval…

Book Review: William of Orange and the Fight for the Crown by Brian Best

My thanks to Pen & Sword and NetGalley for a review copy of this book England in the seventeenth century saw a period fraught with religious and political tensions, the replacement of the monarchy on not one but two occasions and various changes which are reflected in the modern world. The execution of Charles I…

Book Review: Etta Lemon: The Woman Who Saved Birds by Tessa Boase

My thanks to Aurum Press and NetGalley for a review copy of the book. Etta Lemon: The Woman Who Saved Birds tells the story of Margaretta ‘Etta’ Lemon, who worked for around five decades to bring an end to a cruel practice—the slaughter of millions of birds every year, simply for the millinery industry—and who…