In The Steps of Chaucer’s Pilgrims by Jack Ravensdale

In the Steps of Chaucer's Pilgrim. Jack Ravensdale

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“How much can we still see of the roads and landmarks that Chaucer’s pilgrims would have passed on their journey from Southwark to Canterbury to visit the tomb of St Thomas a’ Beckett? To the car driver racing down the A2, there must seem little that has not been built  over or cultivated, but in fact this can be a journey into another age.

Using a wealth of colour and black and white photographs, taken both from the air and  while exploring the route on foot, one of Britain’s leading medievalists and landscape historians guides us into a bygone era, when much of the country between London and Canterbury was heavily wooded, when the perils of thieves and bad weather forced travellers to seek safety in numbers and the higher more secluded tracks that ran parallel to the main road, Watling Street and when the recognised stopping places were marked by cheerful hostelries, religious house and chapels.

From the impressive ruins of the Bishop of Winchester’s Palace, hidden among warehouses and office blocks behind Southwark Cathedral, the author takes us on an enthralling – through Dartford with its partly Norman church, past the church and alm houses at Cobham, through historic Rochester with it magnificent castle and cathedral, and on through Sittingborne to the perfect Maison Dieu at Ospringe. Aerial photographs show up the parallel  ways which the pilgrims would have often followed.

For the modern pilgrim on foot, this book provides a wonderful guide to possible routes and place of interest. For the traveller by train or car, there are many  opportunities for stopping and exploring particular areas rich in medieval remains. The photographs, all taken especially for this book, in themselves encapsulate the living medieval heritage that awaits the explorer.

 

Flying High New York. Michael Yamashita.

Flying High New York. Michael Yamashita

 

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“While the scale of Manhattan’s skyscrapers at ground level can be dwarfing, even dehumanizing, from above, they seem like sturdy anchors, securing the occasionally frayed edges of the crazy quilt of the city to the earth.

From above it really is possible to see that the Bronx is up and The Battery is down. One can see the shape of the reservoir in Central Park and watch runners make a graceful loop around it. One can see toy sized cabs, buses and ferries taxiing passengers into and around the bustling city and one can follow the topography of the Island, from low lying blocks of a downtown area created by landfill to the angled inclines of Murray Hill”. (From The Introduction)

 

“Michael Yamashita has combined his dual passions of photography and travel. For over 25 years working for the National Geographic.For a Geographic photographer shooting aerials is part of the job – often the most exciting part. Following the the photographer’s axiom of “Go High” to get the best overview of a place, Yamashita has hung from Russian helicopters in Afghanistan, floated over Myanmar in a hot-air balloon and flown above the Mekong Delta, shooting New York from above was a dream assignment for him, a chance to shoot some of the most spectacular architecture in the world, all within an hour of his home in rural New Jersey” (From the book’s introduction)

 

 

 

 

 

Who Is Anna Akhmatova?

Anna of All The Russia

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Anna Akhmatova is recognised as one of the greatest poets of Russian Literature, an iconic figure who gave voive to the suffering of the Russian people during the brutal years of Stalin’s Terror. (Description from the back cover of Anna of All The Russias)

“Lydia Korneevna Chukovskaya  was born in St Petersburg in 1907. Her father, Korney Chukovsky, was a respected literay figure and one of Russia’s  best-loved writers for children. She worked in the Leningrad office of Detizadt (the State Publishing House for Children’s Literature) under Samuil Marshak, until almost its entire editorial staff was purged in 1937, an experience she touches on in her book In the Editor’s Laboratory (Moscow 1963). She was expelled from the Writers’s Union in 1974 for writing an article in support of Alexander Solzhenitsyn and Andrei Sakharov (published in the collection The Process of Expulsion Paris 1979).

n addition to the  Akhmatova Journals her many other books include two novellas Sofia Petrovna and Going Under, a book of childhood memoirs and two volumes of poetry. In 1976 she was awarded the first PEN Club Freedom on the original publication of the Journals in Russian in Paris, and in 1990 she was awarded the first Sakharvov Prize for the courage displayed in her life’s work. (Description from the cover of The Akhmatova Journals – about which you can read more here)

The Akhmatova Journals. 1938-1941. Lydia Chukovskaya.

Akhmatova Journals

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“Lydia Chukovskaya and Anna Akhmatova were brought together by the tragedy of Stalin’s purges. Akhamatov’s son, Lev Gumilyov, had been arrested in 1935 but was released after Akhmatova wrote personally to Stalin (though he would be arrested again in 1938); Chukovskaya’a husband, the physicist Matvey Bronshteyn had been arrested in 1937. These were the circumstances in which the young Lydia Chukovskaya first sought Akhmatova’s advice on how to secure her husband’s release, and found herself becoming the poet’s confident and amanuensis, memorizing poems that the poet did not dare to commit to paper.

In common with many thousands of Russian women, they shared the routine of the prison queue; keeping faith with their husbands and sons in almost total silence, standing in line for whole days to glean scraps of news and to hand over meagre parcels of food and clothing. But they also shared a love of literature and thus sustained them. These were the years in which Akhmatova wrote Requiem, her poem of terror and Chukovskaya her novella Sofia Petrovna.

The Akhmatova Journals 1938-41 (the first of three volumes), translated from the Moscow edition of 1989, especially revised for this edition, are the record of an extraordinary friendship and present an intimate portrait of a supremely gifted poet and a remarkable spirit – imperious, poor, recklessly generous, harassed by self-serving, often vicious critics, yet of a triumphant natural dignity, courage and warmth.. They convey Akhmatova views on Russian writers of the past (Pushkin whom she held in the highest esteem, Tolstoy whom she abhorred for his treatment of Anna Karenina), on her contemporaries and on Western writers too, including Hemingway, Joyce, Mauriac and Proust. In addition the Journals offer a wider portrait of the Russian intelligentsia as seen through the  sharp, humane, occasionally humorous eyes of the young Lydia Chukovskaya”. (Text from the dust jacket description).

The Mughal Throne by Abraham Eraly

The Mughal Throne by Abraham Eraly

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The Mughal rule marked the the last Golden age of India, epitomised by the peerless grandeur and beauty of the Taj Mahal. Complesx and talented, the Murghals built a great empire, raising the elite urbsn culture of Britain to its pinnacle. Yet the end of the Murghal rule would be as chaotic as its dramatic rise.

“An excellent introduction to this period and the sometimes forgotten moment of multicultural assimilation it represented…a superbly readable narrative….from Barbur, born in 1483, to Aurangzeb, who died in 1707, Erarly gives a richly readable account of one of the most crucial and misrepresented periods of Indian history” William Dalrymple – Sunday Times

“This book marks the return of the narrative i  historical writing. Early weaves together accounts of the people and politics of the Empire and explodes myths about controversial emperors like Babur and Aurangzeb” Outlook

(Quotes and description from the cover)

 

 

Sean O’Casey

Sean O'Casey Biography

You may be able to find this edition of Sunset and Evening Star here at Amazon UK

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The concluding volume of Sean O’Casey’s remarkable autographical series is written, as it were, under the mute compassion of the evening star. The book opens on his return from the United States, and brings us up until 1954.
Scene after scene springs to life as he writes: the London refugee children flooding the Devon Lanes and fields, spending most of their time trying to tear their loneliness to pieces; American soldiers on O’Casey’s Devon home; a cold night in a cold room in Cambridge and the thoughts it stimulates. There is a long passage on Bernard Shaw.
Life, as seen through O’Casey’s eyes and perhaps more markedly in this last volume, wear all its masks, gay, sad, ridiculous and terrible; but life, we are reminded is young and has plenty of time to make good. The note that is left with the reader is one of courage and wonder. No writer of our time has produced so searching an examination of himself and combined it with so vivid and memorable a picture of this strange, difficult and remarkable world in which we are living.

Sean O'Casey Family

Neues Lexikon des Judentums by Julius H. Schoeps (Editor)

Neues Lexikon Des Judentums

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Unsere Vorstellung von der Wirklichkeit jüdischen Lebens ist von Bildern des Leidens und der Zerstörung bestimmt. Aufgabe und Ziel des “Neuen Lexikons des Judentums” ist es daher, die Vielfalt und den Reichtum einer mehr als dreitausendjährigen Kulturgeschichte vor Augen zu führen. Über 100 Wissenschaftler aus 14 Ländern- unter ihnen namhafte Historiker, Religions-, Kultur- und Literaturwissenschaftler, Soziologen und Politologen-bieten darin fundierte Informationen über zentrale Aspekte der jüdischen Geschichte: die Religion und die Kultur des Judentums; jüdisches Leben in der Antike und im Mittelalter; die Geschichte des deutschen Judentums; die Geschichte der Juden in den anderen Ländern; den Neu-beginn jüdischen Lebens nach dem Holocaust; die Entstehung und Entwicklung des Staates Israel. In 31 Essays sind Themenkomplexe dargestellt, die sowohl für die Geschichte des Judentums von herausragender Bedeutung sind als auch die Beziehungen zur nichtjüdischen Umwelt einschließen, so etwa “Jüdische Philosophie”, “Jüdisches Lernen”, “Reformjudentum”, “Zionismus”, “Synagogen bau”, “Kirche und Judentum”, “Judengesetzgebung”, “Emanzipation und Assimilation”, “Antisemitismus”, die “Geschichte des deutsch-jüdischen Verhältnisses, “Holocaust und Vergangenheitsbewältigung”. Im Mittelpunkt steht die tragische Geschichte des deutsch-jüdischen Beziehungsgeflechts, eine Geschichte, die mit dem Holocaust nicht beendet ist, sondern bis in die Gegenwart reicht. Nicht Vollständigkeit im enzyklopädischen Sinne sollte und konnte das Ziel sein, sondern es galt, die Fülle und Vielfalt der jüdischen Geschichte an exemplarischen Ereignissen und Gegebenheiten darzustellen und dem Benutzer des Lexikons nahezubringen. Exemplarisch sind auch die 20 illustrierten Schwerpunktthemen.

Scales Of Justice by Ngaio Marsh

Scales Of Justice Ngaio Marsh

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Scales of Justice offers readers an opportunity that comes their way too rarely nowadays, for here is the classical detective novel at its very best. With it Ngaio Marsh returns to the genre in its absolute form ; detection arising equally from character, suspense and a set of extraordinary circumstances. The village of Cheyning nestles, perhaps a trifle smugly, in the charming of valley of Cheyne. Nothing mars the seemliness of the prospect. Even the eccentricities of the inhabitants would appear, on first acquaintance, to follow a time honoured convention. We have, for instance, Lady Lacklander’s size and she is as vast as she is wily; Commander Syce’s inebriated archery; Mr. Danberry-Phinn’s cats, Colonel Cartarette’s angling; his wife’s equivocal attitude to the the elder male Lacklander; his daughter’s love for the younger. There is Nurse Kettle pedalling briskly about the landscape and finally that monster trout, the Old ‘Un in his lurk by Bottom Bridge. It sounds harmless enough yet these are the ingredients which boil up into a s pretty a hell-brew, as strange a murder and as ingenious a solution as ever graced the case book of Mr Roderick Alleyn.(From the Dust Jacket)

The lives of the inhabitants of Swevenings are disrupted only by a fierce competition to catch the monster trout – the Old ‘Un – which is known to dwell in a hole of the Cheyne, a beautiful winding trout stream that passes by their homes.

But one of their small community is murdered; near the corpse lies, also inexplicably, the monster trout, freshly killed.

Chief-Inspector Roderick Alleyn investigates the crime in a a fine story of classical detection.

 

Understanding Power: The Indispensable Noam Chomsky

Understanding Power. Noam Chomsky.“Noam Chomsky is universally accepted as one of the pre-eminent public intellectuals of the modern era. Over the last thirty years, broadly diverse audiences have gathered to attend his sell-out lectures. Now in Understanding Power, Peter R Mitchell and john Schoeffel have assembled the best of Chomsky’s talks on the past, present and furure of the politics of power.

In a series of enlightening and wide-reasoning discussions-published here for the first time-Chomsky radically reinterprets the events of the past three decades, covering topics from foreign policy during the Vietnam War to the decline of welfare under the Clinton administration. And as he elucidates the connection between America’s imperialistic foreign policy and social inequalities  at home. Chomsky also discerns the necessary steps to take forward social change. With an eye to political activism and the media’s role in popular struggle, as well as foreign and domestic policy, Understanding Power is definitive Chomsky” (From the cover)

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The Chapter subjects are:

Chapter 1: Weekend Teach-In: Opening Session

The Achievements Of Domestic Dissidence. The U.S. Network of Terrorist Mercenary States. Overthrowing Third World Governments. Government Secrecy. The Media: An Institutional Analysis. Testing the “Propaganda Model”. The Media and Elite Opinion. Filters on Reporting.Honest Subordination. “Fight It Better”: The Media and the Vietnam War.

Chapter 2: Teach-In: Over Coffee

“Containing” the Soviet Union in  the Cold War. Orwell’s World and Ours. Contemporary Poverty. Religious Fanaticism.  “The Real Anti-Semitism”. Ronald Reagan and the Future of Democracy. Two New Factors in World Factors. Democracy Under Capitalism. The Empire. Change and the Future.

Chapter 3: Teach In: Evening

The Military-IndustrialComplex. The Permanent War Economy. Libyan and American Terrorism. The U.S. and the U.N.. Business, Apartheid and Racism. Winning the Vietnam War. “Genocide”: the United States and Pol Pot. Heroes and Anti-Heroes. “Anti-Intellectualism”. Spectator Sports. Western European Activism and Canada. Dispelling Illusions.

Chapter 4: Colloquy

The Totalitarian Strain. A Lithuania Hypothetical. Perpetuating Brainwashing Under Freedom. Journalism LeMoyne-Style: A Sample Of The Cynical Aspect. Rethinking Watergate. Escaping Indoctrination. Understanding The Middle East Conflict. The Threat Of Peace. Water and the Occupied Territories. Imperial Ambitions and the Arab Threat. Prospects for the Palestinians. Legitimacy in History. Qualifications to Speak on World Affairs; A Presidential Campaign.

Chapter 5: Ruling The World

Soviet Versus Western Economic Development. Supporting Terror. “People’s Democratic Socialist Republics”. The Organ Trade.  The Real Crime of Russia. Panama and Popular Invasions. Muslims and U.S. Foreign Policy. Haiti: Disturbance atan Expert Platform. Texaco and the Spanish Revolution. Averting Democracy in Italy. P.R. in Somalia. The Gulf War. Bosnia: Intervening Questions. Toying with India. The Oslo Agreement and Imperialist Revival.

Chapter 6. Discussion  Circle.

The Early Peace Movement and a Change in the 1970s. The Nuclear Freeze Movement. Awareness and Actions. Leaders and Movements. Levels of Change. Non-Violence. Transcending Capitalism. The Kibbutz Experiment. “Anarchism” and “Libertarianism”. Articulating Visions. “Want” Creation. Dissidents: Ignored of Vilified. Teaching About Resistance. Isolation. Science and Human Nature. Charlatans in the Sciences. Adam Smith: Real and Fake. The Computer and the Crowbar.

Chapter 7. Intellectuals and Social Change

The Leninist/Capitalist Intelligentsia. Marxist  “Theory” and Intellectual Fakery. Ideological Control In The Sciences and Humanities. The Functions of the Schools. Subtler Methods of Control. Cruder Methods of Control. The Fate of an Honest Intellectual. Forging Working Class Culture. The Fraud of Modern Economics. The Real Market. Automation. A Revolutionary Change in Modern Values.

Chapter 8. Popular Struggle

Discovering New Forms of Oppression. Freedom of Speech. Negative and Positive Freedom. Cyberspace and Activism. “Free-Trade” Agreements. Defense Department Funding and “Clean Money” The Favoured State and Enemy States. Canada’s Media. Should Quebec Separate From Canada? Deciphering “China”. Indonesia’s Killing Fields: U.S.-Backed Genocide in East Timor. Mass Murderers at Harvard. Changes in Indonesia. Nuclear Proliferation and North Korea. The Samson Option. The Lot of the Palestinians/ P’L’O. Ambition. The Nation-State System.

Chapter 9. Movement Organizing

The Movie Manufacturing Consent. Media Activism. Self Destruction of the U.S. Left. Popular Education. Third Party Politics. Boycotts. “A Praxis”. The War on Unions. Inner City Schools. Defending the Welfare State. Pensions Funds and the Law. Conspiracy Theories. The Decision to Get Involved. “Human Nature Is Corrupt”. Discovering Morality. Abortion. Moral Values.

Chapter 10. Turning Point.

Bringing the Third World Home. Welfare: the pea and the Mountain. Crime Control and “Superfluous” People. Violence and Repression. International Capital: The New Imperial Age. The Fairy Tale Economy. Building International Unions. Initial Moves and the Coming Crisis. Elite Planning – Slipping out Of Hand. Disturbed Populations Stirring. The Verge of Fascism. The Furure of History.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jim Henson’s Muppet Knitting Book by Wendy

Muppet Knitting Patterns

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This book contains instructions on how to make:

1, Kermit Dancing Sweater. 2. Kermit Jacket. 3. Kermit Toy. 4. Miss Piggy Jacket. 5. Miss Piggy Cardigan. 6.Miss Piggy Toy. 7. Animal Sweater. 8. Gozo Flying Sweater. 9. Fozzie Bear Magician. 10. Fozzie Bear With 3D Tie Sweater. 11. Rowlf Sweater.