The husband and wife historians, Roy and Lesley Adkins, have done it again. They've written a lively, immensely informative survey giving us a look at...moreThe husband and wife historians, Roy and Lesley Adkins, have done it again. They've written a lively, immensely informative survey giving us a look at life in England during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Going beyond the rather narrow world that Austen writes about, the authors give us a glimpse of the daily lives of the middle and lower classes, who comprised three-quarters of the British population -- a population that included the great novelist herself.
If you want to become more familiar with the England of Jane Austen's time, if you want to pop in on an average day and see a poor-to-middlin' person at work or at play, getting born, growing up, marrying, through sickness and in health, Jane Austen's England is your time machine. Immensely readable, either cover-to-cover or as a pick-up-and-browse, this book is ideal for both Austen aficionados, and those who like to read popular history. One of the Adkins' strength as authors is their inclusion of first-hand accounts, judiciously peppered throughout this fascinating survey.
The hardback version is beautifully produced, with maps, images, appendices --including a timeline. Well footnoted and indexed, the style is never-the-less very readable. Indeed, the work not only sheds light on the era, it brings it to life.
Published in England as "Eavesdropping on Jane Austen's England."
Also highly recommended by the same authors -- Nelson's Trafalgar, The War for All the Oceans, and Jack Tar. (less)
Is Alzheimer's the new Cancer? The very word certainly casts the fearful shadow the word "Cancer" once cast.
"Alzeimer's: My Journey to a Next Generati...moreIs Alzheimer's the new Cancer? The very word certainly casts the fearful shadow the word "Cancer" once cast.
"Alzeimer's: My Journey to a Next Generation" is a professional memoir about one man's quest to make available a simple drug proven to be highly effective in treating the symptoms of Alzheimer's dementia -- a better drug with far fewer unpleasant side effects than brand-name drugs currently prescribed.
You'd think it would be pretty straight-forward to develop a simple, inexpensive drug and get it on the market -- but no! The challenges he faced, and still faces, provide the conflict in Dr. Moss's true story -- a story of persistence, hope and determination over the course of more than thirty years.
Dr. Moss writes about his work in a manner most readers without a scientific background can easily understand and relate to. His is an important book because it offers hope for a new and better treatment for memory loss, while demonstrating the short-comings of our current system for drug development, the funding of which is pretty much left up to private, for-proftit corporations. His is an important book too, because it shows the value of determination; of finding a way when the money's not there. It's an enjoyable book because the author shares with us his obsession for his discovery -- as well as some of the ups and downs of a scientist's life.
I had the pleasure of being part of the Steamboat Springs Writers Group with whom the author shared parts of his work-in-progress. We were spellbound by the story of Donald Moss's work and his committment to it. I was impressed with his narrative ability as well. He writes with candor, compassion, and an eye for the little details. Like many scientists he has a quirky sense of humor that lightens and enriches the story.
The questions the story raises about how new drugs are patented and developed in the United States still has me thinking and should have all of us talking. Highly recommended(less)