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review 2018-10-20 01:21
Hmmm
Promised to the Crown (Daughters of New France) - Aimie K Runyan

Promised to the Crown is the story of three young women who are King's Daughters - women sent to New France (Quebec) to be wives.  Each women comes from or is fleeing a different circumstances.  Elizabeth fleeing an arranged marriage, Rose to escape froma sitution without end, and Nicole because her family is poor.  The women adjusted to life in early Quebec.

 

It's true that at times a few of the characters, in particular the men, feel a bit too modern.  And the term shotgun is used, which is particularly jarring.

 

Yet, there is something compelling about the book, and the characters are not perfect.  The conflict between Elizabeth and the priest is very well done.  The interactions with Indigeous people is also dealt with somewhat, and there are hints that such will be dealt with more fully in the next book.

 

Despite the almost too modern feel, the story is entertaining and enjoyable.  In particular, I like the dangers of childbirth at the time.

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text 2018-10-14 22:53
The Sunday Post - Paris Edition - Part Two (A Follow-Up...)

Happy Sunday!

 

It just occurred to me that I spent the whole day reading and pottering about but haven't actually sat down to follow up on my promise last week that I would share pictures of my exploring Paris south of the river last Sunday.

 

Let me remedy this:

 

So, most of you know how much I LOVE the Natural History Museum in London, right?

 

Much like myself (still suffering from that stupid cold), Paris was under the weather last Sunday, so I thought I'd go and explore Natural History Museum there as it is a little bit off from the tourist trail and I figured that there would not be as many crowds.

 

So, I set off on the Metro, which was empty. Landed at my stop, and turned down into an empty street. 

 

I finally got to this entrance:

 


It doesn't look like much when you first get there, does it?

 

Once you walk through the gates, you find yourself in the middle of a park. So, I thought "Okay, ... where now?" Then I walked further along the little path ahead and  ... Wow!


Trust the French to turn a museum into an entire park full of palace sized buildings (each dedicated to a different discipline), botanical gardens, benches, and public access for joggers and anyone else who wants to go for a stroll.
Phenomenal. 

 

 

I was pretty run down on account of the cold (and a little fever) so I didn't get to see everything I wanted to see. It's definitely a place I want to return to on the next trip. 

 

I did love the dinosaur exhibit, but then it is hardly surprising that this section should be impressive. After all, Georges Cuvier (a statue of whom is above) was as important in the history of this museum as Richard Owen was for the NHM in London, and as we know ... Georges Cuvier very much is one of the, if not the, founding father(s) of paleontology.  

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text 2018-10-07 16:53
The Sunday Post - Paris Edition - Part One

Hello.

 

There will be no soup in this post. If you're looking for a post about comforting soup, this is not it.

Instead, there will be lots of pictures from my brief interlude in Paris. 

 

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review 2018-10-02 13:30
FRONTLINE LIVES OF AVIATORS ON CANVAS, 1914-1918
Sky Fighters of France: Aerial Warfare, 1914-1918 - Henry Farré
  The greatest value that comes from "SKY FIGHTERS OF FRANCE" is that it is Henry Farré's account of the 4 years he spent (on attachment with the French Aviation Militaire) with a variety of aviation units (bombardment, reconnaissance/artillery spotting, and 'chasse' or fighter squadrons) on the Western Front --- and with a seaplane unit in the coastal city of Dunkerque.

Farré's remit, as an accomplished artist, was to capture on canvas various aspects of the lives of pilots in frontline settings. And judging from the reproductions of his paintings scattered throughout the book, the reader gets a palpable feel of what the thrills and perils of combat flying were like 100 years ago. For instance, there are paintings of nighttime bombing raids far behind enemy lines (Farré flew several missions as an observer with a night bomber squadron), a couple of crews from damaged seaplanes (referred to in the book as 'hydroplanes') barely above the waves being rescued by a French destroyer, and individual fighter planes engaged in 'mano-a-mano' aerial combat. There are also individual portraits that Farré drew of some of the aviators he met and with whom he established friendships. For example, one of the war's most famous and skilled aviators, Georges Guynemer, who, before his death on September 11, 1917, was credited with shooting down 53 German planes.

For me, as a First World War aviation enthusiast, "SKY FIGHTERS OF FRANCE" is a prized book that was easy to read. It enriched my understanding of what life at the Front was like for those aviators who took part in history's first air war. Merci, Monsieur Henry Farré.

 

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text 2018-09-28 14:45
Reading progress update: I've listened to 172 out of 943 minutes.
A Desperate Fortune - Susanna Kearsley,Katherine Kellgren

23 squares down, 2 to go.

 

So far it's mostly enjoyable -- let's hope it's going to stay that way.  Turns out I could also have included that in my "Summer of Spies" reading ...

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