Thursday, 12 September 2013

Review: Noble Endeavours - Miranda Seymour

In 1613 a beautiful Stuart princess married a handsome young German prince. This was a love match, but it was also an alliance that aimed to weld together Europe's two great Protestant powers.
Before Elizabeth and Frederick left London for the court in Heidelberg, they watched a performance of The Winter's Tale. In 1943, a group of British POWS gave a performance of that same play to a group of enthusiastic Nazi guards in Bavaria. When the amateur actors suggested doing a version of The Merchant of Venice that showed Shylock as the hero, the guards brought in the costumes and helped create the sets.

Nothing about the story of England and Germany, as this remarkable book demonstrates, is as simple as we might expect. A shared faith, a shared hunger for power, a shared culture (Germany never doubted that Shakespeare belonged to them, as much as to England); a shared leadership. German monarchs ruled over England for three hundred years - and only ceased to do so through a change of name. 
 
My thoughts:
A lot of history, a lot of interesting people.

The thing about this book is that I liked some of the chapters and some not so much. The problem I had with some chapters is that the writing style was too much at once. It seemed like the author wanted to put in a lot of information and by doing that she jumped from one interesting person to another one and to another one and to another one, and then back to the first one.

So with those chapters I would have wanted less and more. Less people, and more information about the people in the book. I am like that, I always want more and here there was not enough.

Ok to the chapters I liked then, they were more fleshed out but I would have wanted even more. As I said there are A LOT of people mentioned in this book and some interesting ones were about Queen Victoria and her children. And the Winter Queen.

Conclusion:
For the historical non-fiction lover this is a true treasure. 300 years of history between Germany and England. A lot of people that were new to me, some I did not know a lot about and all the rest. And they sure wanted to better the relationship between the countries.

Hardcover, 512 pages
Published August 29th 2013 by Simon & Schuster UK
Non-fiction
From the publisher for a review


22 comments:

  1. I put this on my Christmas list! Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

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  2. This sounds interesting, and I love deets so I am curious if the extra chapters will captivate me or annoy me. Wonderful review!

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    1. I can't really tell you, read and excerpt and see :)

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  3. Hmm. That cover doesn't really convey 300 years of history.

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    1. Can't cram in it all in one ;)

      Friday!

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    2. Yesterday was my Friday - I have today off! :D

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    3. Eeeeeeeeeeeevil ;) Lucky you

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  4. I love history but this sounds like a big undertaking. STunning cover!

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  5. That sounds like my kind of book, regardless of whether there's too much information or not enough. Off to check it out...

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  6. I like the cover and I love history but would have to be awesome for me to tackle a chunkster :)

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  7. Non-fiction would be a step outside my comfort zone. *g* It does sound interesting though.

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    Replies
    1. Non-fiction is...well here I really should have read a chapter here and there

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  8. For me, it sounds awesome and that cover is beautiful.

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  9. Wow...I didn't realize Germany and England had that much history between each other.

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