Jun 6, 2013
Three stories of a girl growing up in Ohio, in Connecticut, and travelling in Europe, which make a wonderful picture of 19th-century Victorian America. Susan Coolidge's What Katy Did, What Katy Did At School, and What Katy Did Next, are about natural, normal, delightful people, and the way they lived then. Charming, and...
May 23, 2013
In Kipling's The Naulakha, Kate goes to New York to train as a nurse. In Louisa May Alcott's Good Wives, Jo goes to New York to work independently as a writer, and turns into a hack journalist for the blood and thunder magazines of the 1860s. But she needs to be saved from this terrible profession, so enter Professor...
May 9, 2013
Rudyard Kipling's jointly written novel with a writer we've all forgotten is really very good. The Naulakha may be spelt wrong (Kipling's fault) but its a gripping mix of Victorian adventure and trouncing of feminist aspirations, set in a very corrupt Indian kingdom. For readers whose plans go awry.
Apr 25, 2013
Gene Wolfe's The Shadow of the Torturer is about Severian, an apprentice torturer who is banished by his masters. His crime: to allow a client to die sooner than the law had intended. His mission: to not shame the guild. His real mission: to return the alien jewel to its owners. Science fiction par excellence, and...
Apr 11, 2013
It's not at all what you think it is, although a lot of Rosy Barnes's novel Sadomasochism for Accountants takes place in a fetish club. Half of the characters are sweeties, the other half are vile: watch their comeuppance and enjoy the freeing of lonely, fettered souls. Great fun for all the family.