Spartacus

Watch the story of history’s greatest gladiator unfold with graphic violence and the passions of the women that love them. This is Spartacus. Last week I finally finished watch the whole Spartacus saga. I had watched the first season back when it was on the telly, but had never finished the whole saga. So I […]

The man in the picture

Part of my RIP VIII reading. Oliver is visiting his old Oxford tutor when Theo begins to tell him a story. It is a cold January night, perfect for huddling round the fire and telling a ghostly atmospheric story. But Theo’s story is not just a ghost story to him, it is the history of […]

Rappacini’s daughter [essay]

This week’s essay for my Coursera Course got a 5. W00t :) Beatrice, Beatrice, let down your hair. Giovanni is not a pregnant woman, but his longing looks[1] into the enclosed garden next door echo the desires that resulted in Rapunzel being taken from her parents. Beatrice may live with her father but she shares […]

Mosses from an Old Manse

Rappaccini’s Daughter

Giovanni moves to a new city, and finds that his apartment overlooks an enclosed garden where beautiful flowers grow. And a beautiful woman tends to them. She is Beatrice, the daughter of Rappaccini. But a friend of his father, Baglioni, warns Giovanni away from Rappaccini. He values knowledge and science too much, he pursues it […]

The black opera by Mary Gentle

The Black Opera

Conrad Scalese’s latest opera was a great success. Unfortunately the theatre in which it was performed has just been stuck by lightening. And since the composer and many of the performers have fled Naples the church decides to blame him. As the librettist his words caused God’s wrath to strike down the building. But, as […]

ghosts of vesuvius

Ghosts of Vesuvius

It is hard to blurb this book. On the one hand it is about Vesuvius and volcanic explosions and disasters both natural and man-made. But it is also a book about the origins of the earth, of the universe, and about how precarious our existence is. How so much of what we are today is dependent on natural events a thousand years ago, or a millennia ago, or so long ago that it is almost pointless to count the time because it is so difficult to grasp those sort of numbers.

Spartacus : Gods of the arena

First things first, this is an awesome show. Awesome! Anyone who says different is just plain wrong!

When I first started watching Spartacus : Blood and Sand I have to say that I wasn’t overly impressed. Obviously influenced by the style and look of 300 it seemed to be a show that existed only to show glossy violence and sex. And boy did it ever show that. But after the first few episodes it developed into a very enjoyable, almost addictive, show. But then its star was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma and so film making was delayed as he underwent treatment. And so instead of a second season we got a prequel. Spartacus : gods of the arena. Don’t be fooled by that name in the title, this has no Spartacus as all, instead it tells the story of how John Hannah’s Lentulus Batiatus comes to run the family ludus, and how Crixus becomes a gladiator.

Read more about Spartacus : Gods of the arena

Blameless

ISBN: 9781841499734
An Alexia Tarabotti novel, The Parasol Protectorate: Book the Third
Read for RIP challenge

If you haven’t yet read Soulless and Changeless then I am afraid that this review will contain spoilers for those two books. Always the way with reviewing books in a series.
I’ve just realised that I’ve never really mentioned the covers in my review of these books, but just take a second to take a proper look at them. Aren’t they wonderful! I’m not sure if that is exactly how I picture Alexia, she always seems, how would she put it, more substantial than the model on the cover, but the are so very appropriate. And just look at that othnithopter over Paris. Oops, spoilers, because yes, Alexia heads to France and then on to Italy. How exciting.

Read more about Blameless

A Thread of Grace

ISBN: 9780552772884 This book I loved. Loved. But I should have guessed, I’ve loved most of Russell’s books. I wasn’t hugely fond of part of Children of God, as I recall, but I still intend to reread it at some point. She just writes such wonderful characters. And then puts them in such interesting plots. […]

Rome 2.6 Philippi

We start off this episode with Brutus and Cassius riding along with their army. Brutus is in good form, he has been chatting with the men, but Cassius is a tad on the grumpy side, all these mouths to feed. Brutus tells him he has such an unromantic view of the army. They are marching to take on Caesar/Octavian, for the good of the republic[1] Read more about Rome 2.6 Philippi

Linknotes:

  1. – Anyone remember those in the national interest sketches from Bull Island?

Rome 2.5 Heroes of the Republic

After the excitement of the last episode it seems that Timon has refound religion[1] as this episode begins with him and his brother praying at Temple. I do wonder will this last[2] But there isn’t too much time to think about this as soon we switch attention to Mark Anthony in the woods. With a beard. And a nasty, nasty beard it is too. So nasty we don’t really spend much time watching him gut the deer he’s been hunting. Instead we return to Lamb and Chicken, and the rescued children. Chicken suggests that they maybe shouldn’t return to the life of crime[3] and brutality, seeing as Anthony isn’t around and his orders really don’t stand. Lamb, of course, is steadfast in his duty and says that of course they will take up their old duties, keeping the peace through mafia-esque activities on the Avantine[4] While they discuss this, and meet up with some soldiers who fill in all the details about Caesar, we switch attention to the children in the back of the wagon. They are planning to run away, but must wait until they can make some money.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us Read more about Rome 2.5 Heroes of the Republic

Linknotes:

  1. he must have had SOME religion in the first place so all I think that refound is accurate
  2. and indeed, what it will lead to. Nothing good and happy I’m betting
  3. he really has turned quite sensible
  4. order through chaos! peace through crime! etc