Category Archives: B – READING


255940. (Jacques Futrelle) The Prob­lem of Cell 13 [story]
255941. (Andrew Armitage) Com­par­ing the Pol­icy of Abo­rig­i­nal Assim­i­la­tion: Aus­tralia,
. . . . . Canada, and New Zealand
255942. (Jean-Paul Gagnon) Democ­racy and The­o­ret­i­cal Physics [arti­cle]
255943. (Natalia Loukacheva) The Arc­tic Promise — Legal and Polit­i­cal Auton­omy of
. . . . . Green­land and Nunavut
255944. (Mark James Dwyer & Kir­rill Vladimirovich Istomin) Mobil­ity and Tech­nol­ogy:
. . . . . Under­stand­ing the Vul­ner­a­bil­ity of Two Groups of Nomadic Pas­toral­ists to Rein­deer
. . . . . Losses [arti­cle] Read more »


255913. [3] (H. G. Wells) The Time Machine
255914. (H. G. Wells) The Chronic Arg­onauts [story]
255915. (Mark McCor­mack) The Declin­ing Sig­nif­i­cance of Homo­pho­bia — How Teenage
. . . . . Boys are Redefin­ing Mas­culin­ity and Het­ero­sex­u­al­ity
255916. (W. W. Jacobs) The Well [story]
255917. (Mehmet Özdoğan) Recon­sid­er­ing the Late Neolithic Period in South­east­ern Turkey:
. . . . . A Regional Per­spec­tive [arti­cle]
255918. (Vong Sot­heara) The Role of Khmer Monks dur­ing 16th-19th Cen­turies [arti­cle] Read more »


255871. (Tim Flan­nery) The Final Fron­tier — An Eco­log­i­cal His­tory of North Amer­ica and Its
. . . . . . Peo­ples
255872. (Vic­tor L. Whitechurch) The Affair of the Ger­man Dispatch-Box [story]
255873. (Colin New­bury) Tahiti Nui — Change and Sur­vival in French Poly­ne­sia 1767–1945
255874. (Ali­son Leonard) Vikings in the Pre­his­toric Land­scape: Stud­ies on Main­land Orkney
. . . . . . [arti­cle]
255875. (M. P. Shiel) The Stone of the Edmuns­bury Monks [story]
255876. (Ramita Navai) City of Lies — Love, Sex, Death and the Search for Truth in Tehran Read more »


255766. (Tiant­ian Zheng) Recast­ing Gen­der and Pro­phy­lac­tic Use in China: A His­tor­i­cal and
. . . . . Anthro­polig­i­cal Per­spec­tive [arti­cle]
255767. (Joël Plouffe & Harry Bor­lase) L’Arctique de Stephen Harper
(Jann Pasler ̶ ed.) Camille Saint-Saëns and His World:
. . . . 255768. (Jann Pasler) Decon­struct­ing Saint-Saëns [pref­ace]
. . . . 255769. (Mitchell Mor­ris) Camille Saint-Saëns in [Semi-]Private [arti­cle]
. . . . 255770. (Paul Viar­dot) Saint-Saëns, The Play­ful [arti­cle] Read more »


25669. (Henry Reynolds) A His­tory of Tas­ma­nia
25670. (Mau­rice M. Durand & Nguyẽ̂n Trà̂n Huân) An Intro­duc­tion to Viet­namese Lit­er­a­ture
25671. (Soth Polin) Com­mu­ni­cate, They Say [story]
25672. (Soth Polin) The Dia­bolic Sweet­ness of Pol Pot [arti­cle]
25673. (Sharon May) In the Shadow of Angkor: A Search for Cam­bo­dian Lit­er­a­ture [arti­cle]
25674. (Kurt E. Don­goske) Ethics of Field Research for the Hopi Tribe [arti­cle]
25675. (Jake Hess) Washington’s Secret Back-Channel Talks with Syria’s Kur­dish “Ter­ror­ists”
. . . . . [arti­cle] Read more »


24575. (V. M. Whit­worth) The Traitor’s Pit
24576. (Judith Beyer) Order­ing Ideals: Accom­plish­ing Well-Being in a Kyr­gyz Coop­er­a­tive of
. . . . . Elders [arti­cle]
24577. (Ken­neth J. Lavo­vara, et al) A Gigan­tic, Excep­tion­ally Com­plete Titanosaurian
. . . . . Sauro­pod Dinosaur from South­ern Patag­o­nia, Argentina [arti­cle]
(Shiva Rah­baran) Iran­ian Writ­ers Uncen­sored — Free­dom, Democ­racy, and the Word in
Con­tem­po­rary Iran: Read more »

Two Excellent Historical Novels by V. M. Whitworth

Æthelflæd as depicted in the cartulary of Abingdon Abbey

Æthelflæd as depicted in the car­tu­lary of Abing­don Abbey

V. M. Whitworth’s The Bone Thief (Ebury, 2012), and it’s sequel The Traitor’s Pit (Ebury, 2013) are exem­plary his­tor­i­cal nov­els. The author is known, by another name, as a medieval his­to­rian. I read the first book merely out of curios­ity, because I knew her schol­arly work. But, after a few pages, I was hooked. The set­ting is Eng­land Before Eng­land Was, the reigns of Æthelred, King of Mer­cia and Edward of Wes­sex, who was soon to unify the two king­doms and make con­sid­er­able inroads on the Danelaw. The future Eng­land has long been split between Pagan and Chris­t­ian kings, but the Norse Gods are fad­ing as the Scan­di­na­vian con­querors are adopt­ing Chris­tian­ity (with vary­ing degrees of sin­cer­ity), and the two cul­tures are merg­ing. The action of the first book is inspired by an inci­dent recorded in the Anglo-Saxon Chron­i­cle as occur­ring in the year 909. The fic­tional hero is Wulf­gar, a young cleric in the ser­vice of his­tor­i­cal Æthelflæd, who is one of the more inter­est­ing women known from the period. For years, Æthelred has been too ill to rule, and The Lady of the Mer­cians rules in his stead. In The Bone Thief, she sends Wulf­gar on a secret mis­sion into the Viking-controlled Five Bur­roughs, to obtain the bones of St. Oswald, which she hopes will rally peo­ple to the Mer­cian cause. The bones have been lost, but are buried anony­mously behind Bard­ney Abbey (which in 2014 is noth­ing more than a few stony lumps in a field north­west of the vil­lage of Bard­ney — see image below). Wulf­gar is a timid soul, and is soon over­whelmed by the con­spir­a­cies, treach­eries, and bru­tal­ity of royal power pol­i­tics. He has been cho­sen for the task pri­mar­ily because he speaks some Dan­ish. No adventure-seeker, he has a naïve belief in most of the things he was taught, which oth­ers around him regard as use­ful fic­tions or dis­pos­able for­mal­i­ties. In the sequel, he is assigned yet another mis­sion, while at the same time try­ing to prove the inno­cence of his elder brother, who has been charged with par­tic­i­pat­ing in an attempt on the life of Edward. This leads into even more con­vo­luted pol­i­tics, vio­lence, and tragedy. In both books, Wulf­gar is con­stantly men­aced by his neme­sis, a bul­ly­ing and bru­tal half-brother, and con­stantly aided by a fierce and rogu­ish Dano-English female adven­turer. Read more »


24633. (Mau­rice LeBlanc) [Arsène Lupin] L’Aiguille creuse
24634. (Oliver Gold­smith) An Essay on the The­atre [arti­cle]
24635. (Oliver Gold­smith) Reg­is­ter of Scotch Mar­riages [arti­cle]
24536. (Lester B. Pear­son) The Cri­sis of Devel­op­ment
24537. (Jane J. Lee) First Nation Tribe Dis­cov­ers Griz­zly Bear “High­way” in Its Back­yard
. . . . . [arti­cle]
24538. (Amy Ger­man) Oujé-Bougoumou Finally Attains For­mal Recog­ni­tion [arti­cle]
24539. (Keith Knapp) Review of Death in Ancient China by Con­stance A. Cook [review] Read more »


24598. [6] (Edgar Pang­born) A Mir­ror for Observers
24599. (Mikhail Vasi­lye­vich Lomonosov) An Evening Reflec­tion Upon God’s Grandeur
. . . . . Prompted by the Great North­ern Lights [Вечернее размышление о божием
. . . . . величестве при случае великаго северного сияния] (poem)
24600. (Mikhail Zoshchenko) Hon­est Cit­i­zen [story]
24601. (Brian M. Sta­ble­ford) Jour­ney to the Cen­ter
24602. (Anon. c. 1300) Ómag­yar Mária-siralom [Lamen­ta­tions of Mary] Read more »

We have seen thee, queen of cheese

I’m doing a lit­tle research on Cana­dian lit­er­a­ture of the 19th cen­tury. This is not a field that over­whelms the researcher with an abun­dance of mas­ter­pieces. Canada, at this time, was an empty, rugged, pio­neer­ing place, vaguely British in the soci­ety of its small urban elite, but for most peo­ple cul­tur­ally closer the the west­ern parts of the United States. Mon­treal had a mod­est lit­er­ary life in French, draw­ing on sev­eral cen­turies of folk­lore and even pro­duc­ing a few operas. These works were unknown in the rest of the French-speaking world. English-speaking Mon­treal­ers were more inter­ested in com­merce than cul­ture. Out­side of Mon­treal, the only real city, there was not much other than small towns, farms and wilder­ness. Read more »