It's a blog! Mainly of book reviews.
So I identified 6/100 of these photos of interesting details and views of Bath. Anything from gravestones to streetlights feature and the cityscape has changed most in these details over the last twenty years - some of these pictures are now historical records. Even in 2000 it would have been hard to identify all 100, though. Most are obscure and many are in outlying locations. "Within one mile of the Abbey," implies over three square miles to search.
The charm of the book, though, is not so much in the puzzle as in the focus on detail, which makes these pictures well out of the ordinary in terms of Bath photography - and Newland's eye and camera skills are very good.
Here's a Bath architectural detail photo I took myself:
YES! I've finally found my trusty dictionary that has served me well since 1985 when I was given it, along with a thesaurus, for Christmas. It's worn, torn and tatty but still holding together and I've missed it these last several years while it's been hidden in a box in a self-storage container. I've already used it: "Pertinacious" is now in my vocabulary.
A possible clearing of the mists: Emma is thinking Harriet fancies Frank. The evidence is more that she fancies Knightly. Frank seems more inclined towards Emma if anybody.
Will I be able to recognise any of these photos of "Secret Corners" of Bath - all within 1 mile radius of the Abbey? We'll see, but luckily for me, I have the answers in the back, unlike the original purchaser.
OK, I've read Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and seen The Glass Menagerie; both good. This is probaby equally famous - hopefully at least equally good!
One of Austen's humourous techniques is to have a character start out making some categorical statement then ramble on in long-winded fashion untilby the end contradicting the initial assertion.
I wanted to find out more about the work of the architect who inspired those who designed and built much of Georgian and Regency Bath. This book seemed the perfect opportunity. There's much that is good about it: great photography, willingness to give over an entire double page spread to one picture when appropriate, nice maps showing the locations of all the buildings, large format, but...you knew there was going to be a but, right?
But the book is let down heavily by the text. There's an architectural glossary but it is cursory and needs to be much more comprehensive. Some of the definitions differ from others I've come across. The author clearly isn't a native English speaker and the proof-reading cannot have been done by one either: a few sentences are entirely unintelligible and typos are sprinkled through-out. I never worked out what the author meant by "plastic" - none of the ordinary definitions seem to fit. The style is weirdly elliptical. Whilst interesting, it's not pleasant reading. Finally, at the end, there's a five page essay on "Palladio's Legacy," except only the final three sentences were actually on topic, which is a real shame as it's an interesting topic and most of the essay was just recapitulation of previous material.
Despite these flaws, it served my purpose, giving me very clear ideas on what techniques and motifs of Bath architecture are taken from Palladio. I could have acheived the goal just by looking at the pictures, though.
There is a genuine air of a New Arabian Nights, what with a Prince in disguise having an unlikely encounter and subsequent adventure. Still can't remember anything that's going to happen. Still feels familiar as I read it.