One Minute Book Review – Girolamo Savonarola: The Renaissance Preacher by Samantha Morris

Girolamo Savonarola was a 15th century Dominican friar. For most people today, he is known either for his striking portrait by Baccio della Porta (Fra Bartolomeo) or for his association with the Bonfires of the Vanities in Florence where Savonarola’s supporters publicly burnt thousands of objects considered to be distractions from religious duties and possible … Continue reading One Minute Book Review – Girolamo Savonarola: The Renaissance Preacher by Samantha Morris

One Minute Book Review – Shakespeare’s Restless World by Neil MacGregor

In 2012 Neil MacGregor, then Director of the British Museum, gave a series of fifteen-minute talks on Radio 4 called Shakespeare's Restless World which took twenty objects from the late Elizabethan/early Jacobean period and examined them in detail, setting them not only in their historical setting, but also in that of Shakespeare’s plays. This book, … Continue reading One Minute Book Review – Shakespeare’s Restless World by Neil MacGregor

One Minute Book Review – The Lodger Shakespeare: His Life on Silver Street by Charles Nicholl

In 1612 William Shakespeare gave evidence in a case at the Court of Requests brought by Stephen Belott against the tire-maker, Christopher Mountjoy who was his father-in-law and with whom he had served an apprenticeship. Belott was suing Mountjoy for failure to pay in full the dowry promised when Belott had married Mountjoy's daughter Mary … Continue reading One Minute Book Review – The Lodger Shakespeare: His Life on Silver Street by Charles Nicholl

One Minute Book Review – The Secret Library by Oliver Tearle

The Secret Library: A Book-Lovers’ Journey Through Curiosities of History is a delightful collection of books and related facts covering around 3,000 years. The books mentioned are not only literature and notable works but lesser known books in a range of areas. The ninety-nine books selected also tell something of the age that produced them. … Continue reading One Minute Book Review – The Secret Library by Oliver Tearle

Book Review – A Writing Life: Helen Garner and her Work by Bernadette Brennan

Helen Garner is one of Australia's best loved writers. Her first novel Monkey Grip was published in 1977 and since then she has published further novels, short stories, full length non-fiction works, screenplays, as well as numerous essays, articles and newspaper columns. A Writing Life: Helen Garner and her Work (2017) by Bernadette Brennan is … Continue reading Book Review – A Writing Life: Helen Garner and her Work by Bernadette Brennan

Book Review – One Woman’s War and Peace by Wing Commander Sharon Bown (Ret’d)

When I think of Australian women’s military service, particularly in relation to World War 1, I think of the women of Australian Army Nursing Service. 2,139 AANS nurses served overseas during World War I attending wounded Australian soldiers in all major campaigns. They worked behind the lines in field hospitals and on hospital ships that … Continue reading Book Review – One Woman’s War and Peace by Wing Commander Sharon Bown (Ret’d)

One Minute Book Review – The Forgotten Highlander by Alastair Urquhart

This week something slightly longer than a one minute review. The Forgotten Highlander. My Incredible Story of Survival During the War in the Far East is a memoir by Alistair Urquhart (1919-2016). It  touches on Urquhart's childhood and post-war life but concentrates on the period in which he was a Prisoner of War of the … Continue reading One Minute Book Review – The Forgotten Highlander by Alastair Urquhart

One Minute Book Review – The Beauty and the Sorrow by Peter Englund

The Beauty and the Sorrow is subtitled 'an intimate history of the First World War' and comprises a collection of letters and diary entries from twenty people who lived through the First World War. The diaries and letters are interspersed with narrative which traces the war, year by year. The individuals followed come from a … Continue reading One Minute Book Review – The Beauty and the Sorrow by Peter Englund

One Minute Book Review – The Criminal Conversation of Mrs Norton by Diane Atkinson

The starting point of The Criminal Conversation of Mrs Norton by Diane Atkinson is the legal case brought by George Norton against William Lamb, Lord Melbourne, in 1836 for compensation for illegal use of his property, Norton’s wife Caroline. Norton was, in essence, suing Melbourne for adultery. Norton lost the case, Melbourne remained as Prime … Continue reading One Minute Book Review – The Criminal Conversation of Mrs Norton by Diane Atkinson

One Minute Book Review – Australia’s Birthstain : The Startling Legacy of the Convict Era by Babette Smith

This book deals with Australia’s convict beginnings and the attempt, in the century following the ending of transportation, by both families and society, to cover up the past. Smith focuses on the convicts of six ships who are representative of the range of convict experiences and traces their lives from their conviction to freedom. Their … Continue reading One Minute Book Review – Australia’s Birthstain : The Startling Legacy of the Convict Era by Babette Smith