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text 2017-08-01 22:12
England (the Southern / Central Part), from East to West and Back: Bookish Souvenirs
Jane Austen's Hampshire - Terry Townsend
The Book of Margery Kempe - Margery Kempe,Barry Windeatt
Intimate Letters of England's Queens - Margaret Sanders
1415: Henry V's Year of Glory - Ian Mortimer
Bosworth: The Birth of the Tudors - Chris Skidmore
Constable in Love: Love, Landscape, Money and the Making of a Great Painter - Martin Gayford
The Invention of Nature: The Adventures of Alexander von Humboldt, the Lost Hero of Science - Andrea Wulf
The House of Rothschild: Volume 2: The World's Banker: 1849-1999 - Niall Ferguson
The Malice of Unnatural Death - Michael Jecks
The Late Show - Michael Connelly

The Trip:

* Chiltern Hills and Thames Valley (to mystery lovers, aka "Midsomer County" -- though given that this is an area chock-full of quintessential(ly) English villages, it's no surprise that it also routinely provides locations for other series, such as Inspector Morse, The Vicar of Dibley, and of course, adaptations of Agatha Christie's mysteries ... Christie herself, after all, also spent her last years in this area, in a village just outside of Wallingford, where she is also buried.)

* Chawton: Jane Austen's home

* Gloucester and Malmesbury

* The Welsh Borderland: The Welsh Marches, Herefordshire, and Shropshire

* Bosworth and Leicester

* East Anglia: Norfolk, Ely, and Stour Valley (aka [John] Constable Country)



The Souvenirs:

* Jane Austen:

- Pride and Prejudice -- an imitation leather-bound miniature copy of the book's first edition

- Lady Susan -- audio version performed, inter alia, by Harriet Walter

- Teenage Writings (including, inter alia, Cassandra, Love and Freindship, and The History of England)


* Terry Townsend: Jane Austen's Hampshire (gorgeously illustrated hardcover)

* Hugh Thomson:

- Illustrations to Sense and Sensibility, Northanger Abbey, and Persuasion

- Illustrations to Mansfield Park and Emma

* Pen Vogler: Tea with Jane Austen


... plus other Austen-related bits, such as a playing card set featuring Hugh Thomson's illustrations for Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, Emma, and Persuasion, two Austen first edition refrigerator magnets, two "Austen 200" designer pens, a Chawton wallpaper design notepad, and a set of Austen-related postcards.


* Margery Kempe: The Book of Margery Kempe
* Julian of Norwich: Revelations of Divine Love

(have read bits of pieces of both, but never yet the whole thing(s) -- something to be remedied soonish)

* Margaret Sanders (ed.):

- Letters of England's Queens

- Letters of England's Kings

("Queens" looks decidedly more interesting, but I figured since there were both volumes there ... Unfortunately, neither contains any Plantagenet correspondence, though; they both start with the Tudors.)

* Terry Jones: Medieval Lives

* Ian Mortimer:

- The Greatest Traitor: The Life of Sir Roger Mortimer, Ruler of England 1327-1330

- 1415: Henry V's Year of Glory

* Chris Skidmore: Bosworth -- The Birth of the Tudors

* David Baldwin: Richard III

* Richard Hayman: The Tudor Reformation

* Glyn E. German: Welsh History

(The last two are decidedly more on the "outline" side, but they're useful as fast, basic references)

* Martin Gayford: Constable in Love -- the painter John Constable, that is.

* Andrea Wulf: The Invention of Nature (yeah, I know, late to the party, but anyway ... and at least I got the edition with the black cover!)

* Chris Beardshaw: 100 Plants that almost changed the World (as title and cover imply, nothing too serious, but a collection of interesting tidbits nevertheless)

* Niall Ferguson: The House of Rothschild -- The World's Banker, 1849-1999



* Michael Jecks, Knights Templar:

- The Leper's Return

- The Boy-Bishop's Glovemaker

- The Devil's Acolyte

- The Chapel of Bones

- The Butcher of St. Peter's

- The Malice of Unnatural Death


* Shirley McKay: Hue & Cry (a mystery set in Jacobean St. Andrews, Scotland)


... and finally, two present-day mystery/thrillers, just to balance off (well, not really, but anyway ...) all that history:


* Jo Nesbø: The Snowman

* Michael Connelly: The Late Show

... plus several more mugs for my collection (because I clearly don't own enough of those yet), two Celtic knot bookmarks, a Celtic knot T-shirt, a Celic knot pin, a Celtic knot designer pen (can you tell I really like Celtic knot designs?), assorted handmade soaps and lavender sachets, and assorted further postcards and sticky notes, plus in-depth guidebooks of pretty much every major place I visited (which guidebooks I sent ahead by mail before leaving England, so they're currently still en route to my home).



Oh, and then there's John le Carré's The Pigeon Tunnel, which I bought at the airport right before my departure and am currently reading.  Books that you buy at the departure for a trip do qualify for a vacation book haul, don't they?









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review 2010-01-01 00:00
Rural Economy in New England at the Beginning of the 19th Century (Reprints of Economic Classics Series)
Rural Economy in New England at the Beginning of the 19th Century - Percy Wells Bidwell Bidwell based this book on the 1810 Census and related documents. So, he was writing about what Southern New England had been like 100 years earlier. He begins with a description of the inland town and the types of people found there. He is careful to note that in 1810, proto-businessmen like the “taverner or innkeeper, the country trader, the proprietors of the saw-mills, the grist-mills, the fulling-mills, the tanneries; the village artisans or mechanics, the blacksmiths, the carpenters and joiners, and the cobblers” were usually only able to ply their trades part time. Farming was their primary, and fall-back, occupation. (256-7)Bidwell attributes the “union of all trades, businesses, and professions with agriculture,” and the lack of division of labor to the lack of a market. Quoting the Wealth of Nations, he says “No better illustration than this could be desired of the famous dictum of Adam Smith that ‘the division of labour is limited by the extent of the market.’” (267, n. 1) The outside markets available to New England farmers in 1810 were New York (population nearly 100,000), the Southern states, and the West Indies. (294) The problem was, getting products to the coast. “The Connecticut River furnished the only means of cheap transportation through the central region of New England. Although originally navigable only as far as the falls at Enfield, Connecticut, some sixty-five miles above its mouth, a series of canals constructed in the years 1790-1810 had made possible the passage of small boats to the village of Barnet in northern Vermont, about 180 miles further.” (309) Since transportation limited access to markets, one would expect farmers to be less interested in “improvement” and production for market than their counterparts in England and Europe. This was the case, in the opinions of both foreign visitors and critics like Timothy Dwight of Yale. Bidwell says “Contemporary criticisms were deserved,” but suggests that there were good reasons for the state of farming. (345) “Inefficiency in Agriculture was not due to ignorance,” he insists. (346) “Land was cheap and labor dear,” he says, “Washington’s explanation.” (349) Bidwell agrees that emigration to the frontier drained New England’s population and postponed intensive agriculture (351-2), but he insists that the “real cause of inefficient agriculture was the lack of a market for farm products.” “The expense of labor was at this time a hindrance to the growth of manufactures also,” he observes, “but when the market was opened through the failure of European competition, during the period of the Embargoes and the War of 1812, manufacturers found it profitable to employ workers even at the high wages demanded.” (353) “All other stimuli to agricultural improvement,” Bidwell insists, “were futile as long as a market was lacking...Between the years 1810 and 1860 such a population arose in the manufacturing cities and towns of New England, and the market thus created brought changes which opened up a new era to the farmers of the inland towns.”
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