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#316 dirac

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Posted 24 July 2008 - 11:01 AM

Sorry, I mean Eric Ives. :P


It's an excellent book and a serious research effort.

#317 canbelto

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Posted 24 July 2008 - 12:00 PM

Yes I think it'll be the definite book on Anne for years to come. If I'm not mistaken it's actually a rewrite of an older biography. Its the rare biographer who goes back and checks his research again.

#318 dirac

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Posted 24 July 2008 - 01:28 PM

Oh. I thought that this was the same version with a more dramatic title. I have the older book. I guess I'll have to buy the new version at some point. Is it very different?

#319 bart

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Posted 24 July 2008 - 01:42 PM

Is it very different?

dirac, I was curious about this, too, because I have the original version dating from the 1980s. The answer to your question is apparently: "Not all that much," at least based on the review of the new edition in the Guardian:
http://www.guardian....guardianreview3

Or at least not different enough to make me run to the book store -- or even to click Amazon above (Ballet Talk gets a percentage each time we order there).

It's definitely worth reading. I have the impression that Ives was one of the first historians to take the "Wives of Henry VIII" theme seriously, focusing not only on the personal melodrama of Boleyn's story, but her educational attainments, and artistic and theological interests. Boleyn herself may have been one of the first "difficult women" in English history for which detailed historical evidence exists. Good for her.

#320 dirac

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Posted 24 July 2008 - 02:26 PM

Good for her.


??? bart, she died an early and lonely death. I suspect she would have traded the (mostly hostile) historical mention for an obscurer but happier life. True, her daughter turned out quite well, but Anne would have had no way of knowing that.

There were serious biographies of Katharine of Aragon and others well before the eighties, I believe.

#321 canbelto

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Posted 24 July 2008 - 04:05 PM

I've also been rereading Don Quixote with the EXCELLENT translation by Edith Grossman.
Also, The Six Wives of Henry VIII by Antonia Fraser. I read the David Starkey book but I like Fraser's better. It rings more true to me, and goes into less excruciating details.

#322 bart

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Posted 24 July 2008 - 05:16 PM

Good for her.


??? bart, she died an early and lonely death. I suspect she would have traded the (mostly hostile) historical mention for an obscurer but happier life. True, her daughter turned out quite well, but Anne would have had no way of knowing that.

I should have explained myself more clearly. My closing phrase may have been unnecessarily flip, for which I apologize. :P

I did not mean to suggest that I approve of what happened to her -- or to deny the seriousness and even injustice of what happened. It's no secret that Anne became the focus of political and other sorts of hatred that led to divorce, humiliation, and death. As to whether she would have preferred an obscurer but happier life, there is no historical evidence to support this. Her own behavior suggests the contrary.

I enjoy Anne as a historical figure even though I suspect I would not have liked having to be in her company for very long. It's always interesting to read about strong women who dare. Even when they fall. Her education and patronage of writers and theologians commanded a level of intellectual respect (from supporters of the New Learning at least) that was unique among British queens up to that point.

#323 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 24 July 2008 - 08:45 PM

I've also been rereading Don Quixote with the EXCELLENT translation by Edith Grossman.

Great! I used to have a very old copy in Cuba, property of my great grandfather-(actually 3 thick volumes)-written in the original Cervantes Spanish, which was very hard for me to understand...I probably should try a more modern revission...(or maybe try it in English..?)...oh wait, now I know I'm really talking nonsense. A Latin guy thinking on reading a basement of the Spanish literature using an english translation . Blasphemy!

Anyways, in another matters...Suzy got back to Balanchine, and has more cats...(I know, I'm going sooo painfully slowly on this...)

#324 papeetepatrick

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Posted 26 July 2008 - 05:50 PM

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#325 bart

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Posted 26 July 2008 - 06:08 PM

I've also been rereading Don Quixote with the EXCELLENT translation by Edith Grossman.

Canbelto, you made me turn to some of the reviews, all of which are really, as you say, "excellent." I've ordered it. Thanks.

My J.M. Cohen translation (Penguin, only $1.85 when I bought it in the early 60s) has been unopened since the first reading. Time for a change. And ... it's fun to compare translations.

#326 dirac

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Posted 28 July 2008 - 09:19 AM

As to whether she would have preferred an obscurer but happier life, there is no historical evidence to support this. Her own behavior suggests the contrary.

My comment was in reference to what might have been her state of mind at the time of her execution, if you look at the entire sentence. Sorry if I wasn’t clear.

As for ‘evidence’ -- life as the Countess of Ormonde or the Countess of Northumberland would have been quite comfortable, but not necessarily exciting unless the married pair were at court. Certainly nothing that would place Anne in any history books. (The proposed Ormonde marriage, in which Anne apparently had no say, might have landed her in Ireland.) Alone in the Tower, awaiting her fate – who knows what she thought.

(I’m not sure what you mean by ‘her own behavior’ but it’s true she was no shrinking violet.)

#327 canbelto

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Posted 25 August 2008 - 09:20 AM

I finished reading Antonia Fraser's Marie Antoinette and I was very disappointed. I like Fraser's polished and witty writing style, her attention to detail (she points out the huge difference between the paintings of Marie Antoinette, which show a cherry mouth, with the sculptures and contemporary descriptions, which clearly indicate the infamous Hapsburg lip) but as history I found it to be lacking. I like that Fraser tries to clear the name of Marie Antoinette, who was no doubt a scapegoat and cruelly treated, but her knowledge of the French revolution seems very lacking. For instance, in the trial she brings up how Marie Antoinette was tried for the "Carnation Plot" but doesn't explain what the plot in much detail, nor does she speculate on the Queen's involvement. She writes that Marie Antoinette wrote many letters to her Austrian relatives asking for help, but doesn't quote a single one of those letters, and also doesn't really mention the queen's rigid royalist position. Her portrayal of Louis XVI is insensitive and crude. She seems openly contemptuous of him, taking some potshots at his perceived weakness of character and personal appearance, and even his hobbies. Scarce mention is made of his kind character and loyalty to his family.

This is not up to Fraser's other efforts.

#328 whetherwax

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Posted 25 August 2008 - 02:15 PM

You seem to be doing a great deal of historical reading Canbelto. For a mix of history and literature I am loving Dance to the Music of Time by Anthony Powell. I 've just finished re reading it and enjoying the BBC 4 DVD ( a brilliant adaptation). It gives such a picture of England in the 20's 30's up to the 70's. It consists of twelve novels and has 300 characters. Erudite and amusing.

#329 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 18 September 2008 - 01:31 PM

My current reading goes as follows. In my beach backpack I have like two John Grisham-(I know, I know, but it's a guilty pleasure, and I'm loving "The Firm" :dry: ). At my bedside I'm devouring Markova's "Giselle and I" and "Markova Remembers", and from my school bag there is "Gender-related differences in myocardial inflammatory and contractile responses to major burn trauma" by Jureta W. Horton, D. Jean White, and David L. Maass .

#330 dirac

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Posted 18 September 2008 - 02:21 PM

I kinda liked The Firm, too, until the Big Revelation at the end, which was a letdown.

No apologies needed, sometimes a little airport reading can be fun.


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