Tag Archives: history

Little London Adventures & Cockney Curiosities by Clare Newton

I have received a free e-copy of the book Little London Adventures & Cockney Curiosities by Clare Newton. To find out more about the author you may visit her website.

Little London Adventures & Cockney Curiosities by Clare Newton

Here is the book blurb.

Artist and photographer Clare Newton rediscovers and records the faint remnants of old London, only made visible when lit by a fleeting low winter’s sun. These images are the conduits through time, analysing the sometimes uncomfortable balance between a struggling heritage to exist and the insatiable appetite of modern regeneration. But deep inside East London also lies a Victorian era. The mother of inventions, which not only stimulated change across the world then but even now their lingering artefacts and sayings effect us even in today’s hi-tech social world.

Strange but true stories that explain how and where artefacts have come from. Including the roots of ‘Sarcasm’ or the colour purple, both invented in the east end. Or how Shoreditch got its name.

This book arose after many previous years exploration for a large exhibition displayed before the Olympics in London, called Riches Uncovered. The facts of which will be made into a series of photographic studies for all to enjoy and smile over.

I was intrigued what I would find in this book, as I have ancestry from East London. My great grandmother was from Bromley by Bow. Her father was a potter who I believe may have worked at Bow Pottery on Three Mills Lane. From maps, I am aware that the street they lived on, no longer exists, the houses having been demolished to make way for the Blackwall Tunnel.

Clare Newton has followed exactly the same premise, by photographing the area before it again changed forever with all the new build for the 2012 London Olympics. And she shares with us the origins of a Cockney and coster-mongers, along with some Cockney slang. I now know that Alfred Hitchcock was a Cockney and I’ve been introduced to Duckett’s Canal and Merry Jane of Shoreditch along with lots more.

The photography is excellent and the topics are all well researched. And I’m glad to say the Blackwall Tunnel gets a mention too.

Little London Adventures & Cockney Curiosities is available on Amazon, currently priced at £20 in hardback. The photographs and stories have been woven together brilliantly. A highly recommended book.


About the author

In 2001 Clare Newton was awarded the British Female Inventor of the Year, and she has received 5 international awards for innovation.

Born in London, her creative talents were expressed at a young age, first painting her bedroom to building wooden aeroplanes. But when she was given her first camera, a little Minolta, at the age of 14, it inspired her to build a dark room in the roof of her parents’ house, where she taught herself how to shoot and develop photographs, with neighbours encouraging her with small commissions. She took a degree in art and design in East London and worked as a Graphic & Interior Designer for many years. Photography really took off for her when the Olympics came to London. She made her first large photographic installation in 2009, ‘Riches Uncovered’, a collection of photographic montages to explain and document East London’s disappearing heritage. After this first project she went on to produce numerous extraordinary community art projects, involving hundreds of children and adults. The resulting photographic montages were displayed outdoors in unexpected public places, encouraging all to take part, share and learn about local heritage. Clare believes that it is through the passion of creating participatory public projects, that art can positively affect people in different and personal ways, even drawing communities together.

Clare’s next endeavour was to create Jump4London – the World’s Longest Photograph, with 5,000 people taking part, who appeared to jump simultaneously. Two meters high and one kilometre in length, it was printed on 2.5 tons of specialist photographic material, and documented an important piece of London’s history as people celebrated the 2012 Olympic Games. It made a Double Guinness World Record as part of the Cultural Olympiad’s World Record London.

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MamaMummyMum

Disclosure.  This post is a review of an e-book I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.

Revolution by Piet Hein Wokke

I have received a free e-copy of the book Revolution by Piet Hein Wokke to review. To find out more about the author you may visit his website.

Revolution by Piet Hein Wokke

Here is the book blurb.

Escape to the Middle East in this thrilling tale about Khalid, Abdullah and Jalal – young men who try to shape the kingdom of Beledar.

While the nearest battlefields of WWII are hundreds of miles of away, on the streets of Mayasin, the capital of Beledar, Abdullah struggles to survive. In a remote village, Khalid sets out in search of his father, and must face the brutal laws of the desert.

Jalal, the young king, wants to break through nepotism and corruption, but in a conservative, Islamic country, change doesn’t come easy. That the western world preys on his country’s oil fields, doesn’t make his life any easier either.

In this exciting book, Wokke expertly and poignantly shows the roots of modern conflicts in the Middle East, through the people and ideas that inhabit it.

The book swaps between the storylines of Abdullah and Khalid, interspersed with that of Prince / Emir / King  Jalal. It is set in the fictional Middle East kingdom of Beledar.

After a prologue 10 years earlier, it starts in 1942 with Abdullah, a boy trying to earn a living on the streets shining shoes and selling cigarettes or arak. However policeman Rizq is always on his case. When times get harder, he tries taking customers to a pimp. But when Rizq corners him, he grabs his dagger and stabs him in self-defence. He then goes to hide from the ghosts in the Green Mosque.

Prince Jalal becomes Emir in 1942 when his father dies. However he discovers that his uncles were plotting to have him killed, so he orders them to be hung. And in 1946 he becomes king.

Meanwhile in 1943, 9 year old Khalid and his brother Aadhil skip school when they hear that a caravan has been attacked in the desert, fearing that it is the caravan of their father and elder brothers. They join the force setting out from the village to avenge the attack. On the way back they talk to one of the prisoners, a boy Omar of a similar age to themselves and step in to avoid him being taken as a slave. But worse is to befall Omar. He is to die by scaphing, a horrible form of torture where bugs crawl over him for many days. Omar begs Khalid to end it now by killing him, so Khalid reluctantly smothers Omar.

Abdullah’s chance visit to the Green Mosque changed his life, as he was taken under the wing of scholar Mr al-Rubaie and 5 years later he gets a job as a clerk in the palace. Then a year before he is due to complete his degree, Aadhil persuades Khalid to run away with him against his parents wishes to join the army.

I won’t say any more but we continue to follow their lives until their paths cross in the revolution.

Revolution is available on Amazon, currently priced at £3.99 in Kindle format and is also available in hardback. I enjoyed this story, but not enough to add the Queen of Beledar follow-up novella to my wishlist.

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Disclosure.  This post is a review of an e-book I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.

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Who REALLY Wrote Shakespeare? by David Lawrence-Young

I was about to select a book on NetGalley when I realised I had one from earlier in the year that I had forgotten to read. I don’t know how this oversight happened, but I’ve now read Who REALLY Wrote Shakespeare by David Lawrence-Young.

Who REALLY Wrote Shakespeare by David Lawrence-Young

Here is the book blurb.

“William Shakespeare was a con man! A faker and a forger!” With these words from a fellow lecturer ringing in his ears, university lecturer, Daniel Ryhope, sets off on a quest to uncover the truth: Did Shakespeare really write Shakespeare?

Joined by his wife and two friends, Daniel begins the search: analyzing and sifting through information on writers and dramatists who were alive during the Shakespearean era. How could it be that the writer of the greatest works in English came from a small market town? Did the creator of Hamlet and Macbeth have to be rich and well-educated? Was Shakespeare a cover-name for an anonymous aristocratic playwright? Did Shakespeare have connections at court? Was the writer really a woman? Was it possible that the plays were written by a team?

In true detective fashion, Daniel and his friends investigate all the possible options and theories. In the end, they announce their conclusion, appropriately enough, in Stratford-upon-Avon, Shakespeare’s birthplace.

Using sources from far and wide, D. Lawrence-Young has written a fascinating novel of detection which throws much light on the perennial question: Who Really Wrote Shakespeare?

The blurb really attracted me to this book. I have to say that it had never occurred to me that someone else may have written Shakespeare’s plays and I was fascinated by the idea. Was the famous bard really who he said he was? The story is fictional but it references many earlier works as this question has been debated for over 200 years.

The story starts with fellow lecturer Anna stating that Shakespeare was a fraud. How could the son of a Stratford glovemaker write so well about things he hadn’t experienced first-hand like other countries, battles and sea-storms? History lecturer Daniel decides to try to find out whether Shakespeare really did write his plays and sonnets or was it someone else. He enlists the help of his friend and fellow history lecturer Mike. Soon Jenny, another history lecturer and also Mike’s girlfriend joins in. And later on, Daniel’s wife Beth gets in on the act too. There seems to be a wealth of material on the topic in the university library plus sources online. And I like how Daniel utilises his students too.

It is done in a Poirot detective style with them investigating each other possible candidate in turn. I loved how it is broken down into manageable chunks, with them stopping each session because it is time for favourite TV show or they are hungry, etc. I felt it was written in a style that many of us might write in. It made me feel that there could be a book in more of us than we realise.

I loved this book especially the conclusion reached. And it even had me looking up the question on Wikipedia myself afterwards.

David Lawrence-Young is a prolific author who has spent the last forty-five years teaching History and English. In addition to Who Really Wrote Shakespeare, he has written sixteen other novels – and many more magazine articles – about travelling and history, indicating not only his wealth of knowledge about these subjects, but his love of them too. Follow Lawrence-Young’s blog for more fascinating insights into the life and work of the famous bard.

Who REALLY Wrote Shakespeare is available on Amazon, currently priced at 99p on Kindle. I highly recommend this book, an  intriguing, historical detective novel.

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MamaMummyMum

Disclosure.  This post is a review of an e-book I received for free.  All opinions are my own.

The Wolf Wilder by Katherine Rundell – book review and giveaway

Son1 has received a free copy of The Wolf Wilder by Katherine Rundell to review.

The Wolf Wilders

Here is the book blurb.

Feodora and her mother live in the snowbound woods of Russia, in a house full of food and fireplaces. Ten minutes away, in a ruined chapel, lives a pack of wolves. Feodora’s mother is a wolf wilder, and Feo is a wolf wilder in training. A wolf wilder is the opposite of an animal tamer: it is a person who teaches tamed animals to fend for themselves, and to fight and to run, and to be wary of humans.

When the murderous hostility of the Russian Army threatens her very existence, Feo is left with no option but to go on the run. What follows is a story of revolution and adventure, about standing up for the things you love and fighting back. And, of course, wolves.

The Wolf Wilder by Katherine Rundell

This book is set a hundred years ago in Russia. The aristocracy send their unwanted pet wolves to Feo’s mother to rewild them. However General Rakov of the Russian Army comes saying that in future they must shoot these wolves. They refuse to comply when the next wolf arrives and Rakov returns, capturing her mother and burning their home. Feo, Ilya and the wolves set off for St Petersburg to try to free her mother, meeting friends and foes enroute.

Here is son1’s video review.

The Wolf Wilder is available on Amazon, currently priced at £5.59 in paperback compared to RRP of £7.99 or in hardback or Kindle format and published by Bloomsbury. We both highly recommend this lovely story. Targeted at children age 9-11.

And I’m hosting a rafflecopter competition to giveaway a copy of The Wolf Wilder to one lucky winner. comper friendly badge

a Rafflecopter giveaway – Please click on the link to enter.

And you may see my other giveaways here.

I’d love to hear about your child’s favourite book.

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MamaMummyMum

Disclosure.  This post is a review of a book I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.