The Body by Bill Bryson

The Body: A Guide for Occupants by Bill Bryson was published in 2019 and is a very readable and comprehensive book about the human body covering interesting aspects of anatomy, physiology, disease, the history of medical science, the immune system, conception and birth, and much more. The author includes amusing (and sometimes horrifying) anecdotes to … Continue reading The Body by Bill Bryson

The Unconquerable (While Still We Live) by Helen MacInnes (1944)

Twenty-three year old Sheila Matthews had been living with her Uncle Matthews in London after her parents died when she was very young. As this story begins, she is visiting the Aleksander family in Poland. Andrew Aleksander had met her when he had visited her Uncle in London and had gone home and talked about … Continue reading The Unconquerable (While Still We Live) by Helen MacInnes (1944)

A Son at the Front by Edith Wharton (1923)

A Son at the Front was one of four novels written by Edith Wharton in the 1920’s after she had won the Pulitzer Prize in 1921 for her book Age of Innocence. These novels focussed on the growing sense that World War I had brought about irreparable damage that left an indelible mark on society.A … Continue reading A Son at the Front by Edith Wharton (1923)

Waverley by Sir Walter Scott

In 1805, Walter Scott sat down to write the opening chapters of Waverley, a book that was to usher in an entirely new type of literary genre, the historical novel.In the same year Scott had published his narrative poem, The Lay of the Minstrel, which was received enthusiastically, but when he submitted the first few … Continue reading Waverley by Sir Walter Scott

Dispatches from Lockdown #2

Just about all the men we know have grown beards, if they didn't have one already, and many are sporting razor cuts or obvious amateur jobs. It's desperate days when your husband gets his 16 year old daughter to razor cut his hair. It doesn't look too bad, actually, despite my initial horror when he … Continue reading Dispatches from Lockdown #2

The Citadel by A.J. Cronin

The Citadel by A.J. Cronin tells the story of Andrew Manson, a young Scottish medical doctor, who began his career in a Welsh mining town in 1924.Manson was ardent and idealistic and was appalled to discover the general condition of health care in the small community.He hadn’t been there long when an outbreak of typhoid … Continue reading The Citadel by A.J. Cronin

A Prince and a Spy by Rory Clements

A Prince and a Spy was published this year (2021) by Pegasus Books. It is set during World War II and the basis of the story is an actual historical event. In 1942, Prince George, Duke of Kent and Queen Elizabeth II’s uncle, died when his military plane crashed in Scotland on its way to … Continue reading A Prince and a Spy by Rory Clements

Charlotte Mason Exam Week

This past week has been an exam week for Year 11, Term 2. We've followed the AmblesideOnline schedule but with quite a few changes and substitutions. These are some sample questions & answers from this week: Poetry: 1. Write 8-10 lines of poetry from memory: The Donkey by G. K. Chesterton When fishes flew and … Continue reading Charlotte Mason Exam Week

The Enchanted April by Elizabeth von Arnim

The Enchanted April, published in 1922, was written by the Australian-born British novelist, Elizabeth von Arnim (1866-1941). She left Sydney as a young child, moved to London and then to Europe, and never returned to Australia. The delicate and delicious fragrance of the freesias came in through the door and floated round Mrs. Wilkins's enraptured … Continue reading The Enchanted April by Elizabeth von Arnim