Some interesting contributions here. More diversity in subjects would have been appreciated, though, as Elizabeth I is the subject of eight of the thiSome interesting contributions here. More diversity in subjects would have been appreciated, though, as Elizabeth I is the subject of eight of the thirteen chapters as well as the two poems at the end. From reading the copy on the back of the book, I had the impression that there would be some less well known queens and was looking forward to reading about them. And indeed there are; I found the chapter about Anne particularly enjoyable, as well as the one about Matilda. Most of the Elizabeth selections were also interesting, so their abundance in this volume is not at all detrimental....more
Good book about the role of women in the British army during the Victorian period. I started reading one of Bernard Cornwell's Sharpe books right afteGood book about the role of women in the British army during the Victorian period. I started reading one of Bernard Cornwell's Sharpe books right after finishing this, and found it very helpful in understanding some of the things in that novel, although it's set a little earlier than the period Trustram focused on. Be warned that this is not a fluffy popular history book; it is definitely written in academic style, and as such it can be really dry in places. The first few chapters have a LOT of statistics and tables of figures. But once you get past that and the narrative picks up, it's very interesting....more
The Nelson Almanac is an enjoyable book that will be appreciated by Nelson admirers or Age of Sail enthusiasts. As the description says, the book canThe Nelson Almanac is an enjoyable book that will be appreciated by Nelson admirers or Age of Sail enthusiasts. As the description says, the book can be divided into three sections: essays about Nelson, written by scholars and other people with expertise in naval history; shorter vignettes about contemporary people, places, or concepts; and the book of days itself. There are twelve chapters, one for each month of the year, each preceded by one of the essays and interspersed with the vignettes. The essays are about such topics as Nelson's early career, his relationship with Emma Hamilton, the battle of Trafalgar, and how the news of his death was carried to England. The vignettes range in topic from those obviously connected to Nelson, such as Napoleon or Josiah Nisbet, his stepson; to those that have very little to do with the man but which provide information about the time period: numerous political figures, the French Revolution, the Declaration of Independence, or early attempts at hot air ballooning. This is supported by the book of days, which is actually two books of days: one for Nelson, containing excerpts from his correspondence or logbooks, or sometimes material about him written by other people; and one for events that occurred in his life. Only one day (February 29) has no correspondence, since apparently there is no record of Nelson ever writing anything on that day.
The book itself is beautifully illustrated and pleasingly laid out, printed on very good paper. More maps would have been helpful. It would be a good coffee table book. Unfortunately, the copy editing is atrocious. Every chapter has spelling, punctuation, or typographical errors. I find these mistakes very distracting, and this is the reason why I have given the book only three stars. As far as the quality of the writing is concerned the essays, of course, vary, but are generally very good. I think it a good introduction to Nelson's life and career: there are many excellent biographies, but for someone who wants a briefer overview, this book would be a good choice....more