“Hot July brings cooling showers,
Apricots and gillyflowers.”
– Sara Coleridge, Pretty Lessons in Verse
June was a terrible month for blogging since I didn’t blog at all during the month. However, I did manage to read two books which I am counting as a win since I’ve had a hard time reading at the moment. This month I aim to read more and to blog more. Fingers crossed.
Three Early Modern Utopias by Thomas More, Francis Bacon, and Henry Neville
With the publication of Utopia (1516), Thomas More provided a scathing analysis of the shortcomings of his own society, a realistic suggestion for an alternative mode of social organisation, and a satire on unrealistic idealism. Enormously influential, it remains a challenging as well as a playful text. This edition reprints Ralph Robinson’s 1556 translation from More’s original Latin together with letters and illustrations that accompanied early editions of Utopia.
A Sicilian Romance by Ann Radcliffe
In A Sicilian Romance Ann Radcliffe began to forge the unique mixture of the psychology of terror and poetic description that would make her the great exemplar of the Gothic novel, and the idol of the Romantics. This early novel explores the cavernous landscapes and labyrinthine passages of Sicily’s castles and convents to reveal the shameful secrets of its all-powerful aristocracy.
The Secret Adversary by Agatha Christie
Tommy and Tuppence, two young people short of money and restless for excitement, embark on a daring business scheme – Young Adventurers Ltd.
Their advertisement says they are ‘willing to do anything, go anywhere’. But their first assignment, for the sinister Mr Whittington, plunges them into more danger than they ever imagined…