26 Treasures: 4 national museums, 104 objects, 62 words each

I found 26 Treasures in the National Gallery New Year sale. The fact it only cost me One English Pound instead of £15.99 was a significant factor in my purchase: it could facilitate the illusion of my intellectualism (essential in masking the reality that a substantial proportion of my time is spent reading the gossip…

Catullus: the complete poems for modern readers

For Valentine’s Day today, some Roman poetry that is both bawdy and touching. Catullus  (c. 84 – 54 BC) was a Latin ‘neoteric’ poet in Republican Rome – focused on smaller scale stories borne from personal experience, in stark contrast to the ‘Homeric’ poetry which portrayed the feats of classical heroes. His poems were written…

Discovering Surnames: Their Origins and Meanings by J.W. Freeman

As this week’s Random Book of the Week I chose an old book of my Nan‘s, Discovering Surnames, as I wanted to show you the very cute retro 80s book cover. I thought I’d better actually read it before posting. No fraudulent activity on Brontë’s Page Turners. Well I’m glad I spent Sunday afternoon with…

The Penguin 60s Classics Boxed Set (1995)

To celebrate the 60th anniversary of the establishment of Penguin books – you remember, Sir Allen Lane’s ‘ag’ at failing to find a decent book to purchase for his onward journey at Exeter train station prompting him to launch high-brow paperbacks for the masses, rather than simply frowning meaningfully at the WH Smith lady like…

Twenty-Four Hours in the Life of a Woman by Stefan Zweig (1927)

This 1927 novella is a great introduction to the work of Austrian playwright, journalist and biographer Stefan Zweig, one of the most popular writers in the world in the 1920s/30s who has been enjoying a revival of late. His own tale is not a happy one. Spooked by Hitler’s rise to power in Germany, Zweig…