On my person in my handbag on my staycation this year is:
Three books that have coloured my May. In brief: Continue reading Take Three Books
Literature is full of ‘doubles’: characters who seem to move in tandem; or twins, whose familial bond and similarities are frequently employed for farcical effect. In Shakespeare’s ‘Twelfth Night’, for example, the sense of a clear identity becomes a tangled mess as Viola, in disguise as a boy called Cesario, falls in love with Duke Orsino, who loves Olivia; Viola has to deliver Orsino’s love letters to Olivia, who quickly falls in love with her as Cesario. Sebastian, Viola’s twin brother who she thought had died, enters on stage, and Olivia is soon smitten with him.
Where was I?
The High Mountains of Portugal is comprised of three stories whose connection become clear throughout the book: the first, and strongest in my opinion, features Tomás in 1904 who discovers a journal, untouched since it was written by a Father Ulisses in the mid-seventeenth century, which details an object that he has made. Tomás makes it his mission to find the object. It chronicles his journey (in one of the very first Renault cars) through the high mountains of Portugal.
There was an excitable buzz last night at the launch of Daisy Dunn’s debut books: Catullus’ Bedspread: The Life of Rome’s Most Erotic Poet and The Poems of Catullus, at Peter Harrington Rare Books in Dover Street, Mayfair.
Among the 200+ guests pounding the shop’s floor were Ian and Victoria Hislop, Sir Simon Jenkins, Hannah Kaye, Mike Grady, Hugo Williams, Giles Milton, Suzannah Lipscomb, Michael Cockerell, Gordon Corera, Thane Prince…
This blog post took its genesis from a family friend who kindly lent me a fascinating booklet produced by The Maldens and Coombe Heritage Society that details the exceptional proportion of Victoria Cross medals that were awarded to military who hailed from this particular corner of Surrey. Interestingly, there were three Victoria Cross medal recipients from the New Malden area. To put that in perspective, there are only two other places in the world that share the same accolade and those are: Carluke in South Lanarkshire, Scotland and Euroa, near Melbourne, Australia. However, of the three, New Malden is the only town with no separate commemorative site, statue or memorial to visit.
A straightforward synopsis of Nobody is Ever Missing would read like this: a woman leaves her job and husband (and entire life) in Manhattan and buys a one-way ticket to New Zealand to go hitchhiking, without telling anyone.
Sounds a little bit like Gone Girl, doesn’t it?