Category Archives: Book of the Month

Legoland by Gerard Woodward

Legoland by Gerard Woodward

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?

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The High Mountains of Portugal

The High Mountains of Portugal

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.

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Catullus’ Bedspread Daisy Dunn Book Launch

Daisy Dunn Catullus Bedspread book launch
Ian Hislop, Daisy Dunn and Victoria Hislop

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.

Daisy Dunn book launch
Daisy Dunn, Gordon Corera and Michael Cockerell

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…

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‘We Knew You Were Coming’

Victoria Cross in Surrey

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.

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