Review: Victorians Undone by Kathryn Hughes

DNVX0212[1]I’ve been on a bit of classics hype over the last few weeks, rediscovering some authors I’d previously had a bit of a rockier relationship with, and realising that I do actually enjoy some of their works. If you’ve seen either my Ethan Frome post or my Silas Mariner post then you’ll know what I’m talking about, but if you haven’ t, let’s just say I was pleasantly surprised! Delving back into, not only classics, but also the Victorian period (which is my favourite!) was completely refreshing, and having finished both of the above books I was craving something a bit more focused on the historical aspect. That’s where Kathryn Hughes’s Victorians Undone came into play.

Victorians Undone: Tales of the Flesh in the Age of Decorum, is actually a non-fiction book, something I’m trying to make more of an effort to read. The premise is fairly straightforward and has an interesting concept; through five different Victorian body parts Kathryn attempts to not only look at what their owners lives were like, but also what it was like to be them, as well as calling into play the society they lived among. I was pretty instantly sold on the entire idea and loved the thought of discovering the Victorian in a slightly different way, so it was a fairly easy decision to pick this as my next read. Continue reading

Review: Medieval Europe by Chris Wickham

IMG_7221[1]As some of you may remember, it was recently my birthday, and I was lucky enough to receive some new books from my boyfriend. I’ve already read and reviewed the first book, The Unwomanly Face of War, which I absolutely adored (review here)! Feeling buoyed from such success, and following on from non-fiction November, I decided to go ahead and start the second book before the month was out.

Whilst The Unwomanly Face of War was still very much a non-fiction book, it was written using such an interesting technique that the book felt extremely personal and emotive, making it a very accessible piece of non-fiction. This next book, although falling into a similar genre of a non-fiction historical book, is very different in style. This book is an academic text which takes a much broader and far more removed look at a period of history. As you may guess from its title, Medieval Europe, the book is focused solely upon the medieval time period between the years 500 to 1500. Also commonly referred to as the Middle Ages or the Dark ages, Chris Wickham takes us on a journey which tracks the major changes and events which occurred throughout Europe. This timeline takes us from the decline of the Western Roman Empire, right up to before the infamous Reformation, with far more events in between.

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