Last night I finally finished Max Adams' biography of the Martin brothers and the world they inhabited The Firebringers. To call it a biography is wrong. It is provides illumination on the early 19th century, through a variety of anecdotes and facts.
Because John Martin was born in Haydon Bridge, I was initially interested in learning more about him. What I had not realised was how bound up he was in London Society and invention as well his famous paintings. It was great to learn more about Prince Leopold, the unlucky consort of the Princess of Wales or Marc Brunel's troubles with the Thames tunnel or JMW Turner's double life.
I also learnt that in 1832, 32,000 people in England died from cholera. It rather puts the current swine flu panic in perspective. It is an enjoyable read and illuminates the time period nicely.
I now have Richard Holmes' The Age of Wonder to read. It covers the same period and deals with the growth of science before Darwin.
Donna Alward is doing something on conflict (her book The Soldier's Homecoming has just finalled in the Golden Quill -- go Donna!) and Kate Walker is finishing up her alpha posts.
The mole has once again been working overtime in my garden. SIGH. Why me?