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What I am reading Wednesday
Wednesday 26th December 2018 3:21 pm

I updated WordPress, found the new Gutenberg editor confusing, then the template I have for this post wouldn't load. So back to the classic editor it is... until 2023.

What I Just Finished Reading
Love and Louis XIV by Antonia Fraser. This was all about the women in Louis XIV's life. I didn't know much about him or this time, at least in France. His reign coincided with that of James I of England (VI of Scotland) who came up quite a bit in Edinburgh (albeit just called James VI). So bits would be mentioned about what was happening in England (and other parts of Europe) and I'd think ah-ha - I know about that. But even apart from that I found it interesting to see how the women in hi life affected him and how he affected them. And it's made me want to go to Versailles, since the book talked about what was being built and what it looked like.

The Boss of Bethnal Green by Julian Woodford. This is about a man called Joseph Merceron who was in local government in Bethnal Green in the late 18th and early 19th century. He was the original Godfather, controlling everything and stealing from the poor and ending up the equivalent of a multi-millionaire (while the poor died of starvation). It was interesting to hear about him and what he got up to, and also what else was going on in England and Parliament and the amount of corruption going on. In complement to the last book, the French Revolution happened during this time.

Terms and Conditions: Life in Girls' Boarding Schools 1939-1979 by Ysenda Maxone Graham. This book starts from a position of what we know about girls' boarding schools coming from books like Mallory Towers and the Chalet School and then we learn how different it was in reality. There are a lot of differences between schools, but a lot of them didn't really teach girls anything much academic, some of them had incredibly strict rules, horrible bullying, but most meant the girls formed close, life-long friendships. There were bits that were some bits that were similar to the stories, but I definitely learnt how idealised they are.

What I'm Currently Reading
Diary of a Wartime Affair by Doreen Bates. This has the tiniest text I've ever seen. It also starts in 1934, so it's going to be a while before it's very wartimey (I'm currently in 1937). But it's the diary of a woman who is having an affair with a married man she works with. Which is not exactly accepted these days, but really not in those days. I can't decide if I like it or not because it's a bit samey. It all depends a bit on what happens.

What I'm Reading Next
I haven't decided yet, but it will be one of the following:
The Book of the Year 2018 by No Such Thing as a Fish (I read the 2017 one last year and enjoyed it - but it is in hardback, so a pain to read lying down)
The Chalet School Annexe by Adrianne Fitzpatrick (Chalet School written by someone else and set in the Austrian era so I am looking forward to it)
Joy in the Morning by PG Wodehouse (next Wodehouse borrowed from my sister)


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