This episode is all about Grace, member of Team 3. We learn all about her past and how she came to work at the Society.
I have to say at first I didn't really care for this episode. I felt like there was a disconnect somewhere and I had a hard time understanding what the hell was going on. But in the second half of the episode, it all came together and finally made sense to me.
Grace has a pretty neat back story and I learned something about her I totally was not expecting. I look forward to seeing what the rest of the team's history looks like.
*I received Bookburners: The Complete Season One from NetGalley & Serial Box Publishing in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!
The character of Silk made her debut in the Original Sin storyline, where she is released from self-induced isolation for the good of the world. The events of her past are recapped enough to keep up if you haven't read Original Sin, as I hadn't (and don't really plan to). She is another of Marvel's new heroes that attempt to diversify the superhero landscape. Silk is Cindy Moon, a Korean-American girl who was also bit by the same spider that bit Peter Parker, but had gone into isolation shortly after. This volume is the first (though labeled "Volume 0") in her own title series.
Silk/Cindy Moon is a great addition to the Marvel Universe. She's adorable, she's imperfect, she's lost and searching. She's also got a great costume. It's one of my favorites of all-time. It's not incredibly different from the aesthetic that Spider-Man wears while having a totally different and gorgeous design, though not overly-feminine either. It plays in that beautiful medium between placating to women and girls and being made for the male gaze. In fact, what makes the whole thing great and perfect for girls to be picking up is that she's a superhero like any of the others. She's treated the same was as the boys and not sidelined, or needing to be saved all the time.
Okay, she needs to be saved some, but it's treated like a newbie thing and not a girl thing, which I think is just as important. Even superheroes don't get heroing right on the first try. Everything takes effort, everything takes work.
I know there are some out there that feel like the diverse heroes are just being thrown in out of nowhere and are pointless, but I personally love Silk! Check her out.
(Also, if you're diversifying your heroes and haven't checked out Kamala Khan's Ms. Marvel, you're missing out!)
Again, this is a free read you can find here:
At the moment the short version of this is: imagine an older relative rambling on about historic things that no one pays attention to anymore (kids these days, etc) and going off on historical tangents. At the same time patting himself on the back for knowing about these hidden places. It's definitely dull in spots, but I'm amused.
Mostly I'm really enjoying finding out what's changed since the 1919 publication date. The book itself was republished - and I think updated? - after 1919, so Bell may have made edits himself. (There's also a sequel that I'm going to read too, also a free-online ebook.)
[Trying an experiment here to see if this will link properly - trying to link you directly to the online scanned pages of this book - I'll note it in parentheses after the links. Let me know if it doesn't work.]
So far I've enjoyed seeing the photo of the shrine of Edward the Confessor surrounded by protective sandbags. (This page, if I'm linking correctly.) I think I'm so used to thinking about the precautions London had to take during WWII that I forget about the same thing occurring during the first world war.
The chapter on the Domesday book (that's a link to page) alerted me to the fact that the Public Record Office has now merged into The National Archives. And you can actually read as much of the Domesday book as you can stand online - because it's all been digitized. (More on the history of the book.)
The chapter An Old City Merchant's Mansion (link to page), has a bit of a sad "where is it now" ending. After searching a bit for No 34 Great Tower Street and coming up empty (and seeing nothing like it on Google maps), I did find a history book noting that this site was bombed and destroyed in the second world war. Same place, because it had this same image of the house: link to page. You'd never guess that particular city house was one of the many built immediately after the great fire of London, would you? It had all of the original woodwork and fireplaces in it as well. Sad.
Currently reading Roman's London Baths (link to page), and I'm already sidetracked by another story:
Roman Baths, Strand Lane (wikipedia)
"...The baths have a historical reputation of being Roman in origin. Although Roman London lay 1 mile (1.6 km) to the east, antiquarian finds of a Roman coffin and Roman pottery vessels are recorded on the Greater London Historic Environment Record from this part of the Strand. The visible remains, which lie 4 feet 6 inches (1.4 m) below the modern street level, date from a 17th-century refurbishment on the campus of King's College London.
...The true origin of the baths is lost in time, but it may be that they were built as cisterns for Arundel House over the spring. They were subsequently lost in the 16th century when the estate was broken up, the area was then built over by row houses, and later rediscovered after a fire in 1774."
‘Roman’ Bath, off Surrey Street, Strand, WC2
(Hidden London, The Guide)
"Victorian Londoners were a gullible lot, though they thought themselves highly sophisticated. When the owner of a little-known plunge pool suddenly began to promote it as dating from the first century ad, almost everyone was taken in.
...To be fair, the brickwork does bear a Roman resemblance – and there was little evidence to contradict the story of its ancient origin – but historians are now sure that the bath dates from the early 17th century.
Some have suggested that it was constructed as a spring water reservoir for Arundel House, the home of Thomas Howard, 2nd Earl of Arundel. Or perhaps it was created as an ornamental accompaniment to the ‘Arundel marbles’ – the hundreds of Roman statues, busts, sarcophagi, altars and fragments with which the extravagant earl adorned the extensive grounds of his mansion. Thus, right from the start, it could have been intended to look like a Roman bath – so maybe those gullible Victorians could be excused."
I've just started this chapter so will see how much depth the author puts into questioning whether the baths are Roman. (First page shows some skepticism.) While wikipedia sort of skims the "Roman or not" bit, it wouldn't be the only famous tourist attraction that wasn't historically what it was claimed to be.
It's been said that if you remember the 1960s, you weren't really there. In Then and Now, Attwood captures the mood of that turbulent time with a protagonist who writes down his memories of his college years to try to make sense of them.
Stan Nelson is middle-aged now, but in 1969 he was a graduate student at the University of Kansas. As he pieces together his memories, his story's narration shifts viewpoint to various people he knew there. Among them: Peter Thomas, who staged and directed an avant-garde production of the Greek tragedy Oresteia in which Stan improbably landed a part; Melvin Washington, originally from Trinidad, who found himself as angry as any native-born American black man; Yen Li, the Chinese woman Stan fell for; Charlie Wilson, the drugged-out non-student; Betty Reed, who would rather live on a farm without electricity than spend another night under the roof of her father, a racist cop.
Interspersed with their stories are Stan's updates on how they turned out, and how their memories of the events of '69 and '70 compare with his. As for Stan himself, he has built a tea house on a hillside to learn the Tao of tea.
My own college experience began several years later, but I had very little trouble recognizing the character types. (We even had our own Charlie Wilson, in a way; the late Leon Varjian made a name for himself at my alma mater, Indiana University, before going on to become a legend at the University of Wisconsin at Madison.) The difference for us was that the draft was no longer hanging over the heads of male students.
Anyway. The episodic nature of the narrative gives the book a feeling of being a little rough around the edges. But then, the late '60s were like that. If you're interested in what it was really like back then -- or if you find yourself struggling to remember -- I'd recommend Then and Now.
(The author gave me a copy of this book without requesting a review. The decision to review it is mine alone.)