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…

Book Review: The Gilded Cage on the Bosphorus by Ayşe Osmanoğlu

My thanks to BooksgoSocial and NetGalley for a review copy of the book. Imagine living in an opulent place, with rich furnishings, delicious, decadent dishes to eat, beautiful tailored clothes in the best of fabrics to wear, your every want satisfied, a retinue of people to attend you at all hours. But also imagine, never…

Book Review: Meet the Georgians by Robert Peal

My thanks to William Collins and NetGalley for a review copy of the book. The Georgian Era or the period between 1714 and the 1830s when the four Georges ruled England, as the author Robert Peal tells us, was set apart from the preceding Stuarts and succeeding Victorians, both sterner and duller (at least on…