More work for Margery Allingham

In a vague attempt to become highbrow and a proper litblogger instead of always featuring crime fiction and the like, a few months ago I subscribed to the TLS newsletter. Not much use, actually, the darn thing arrives in my inbox each week and when I read the toc, as we call it in the trade (table of contents), my heart sinks.  I struggle through some of the articles, but that is what it is — a struggle.

Richard Morrison, the admirable Times (not TLS) columnist and music critic, thinks the Philistines were in fact a pretty cultured lot, but I expect he is in the minority, and that I am one, unreconstructed. I was slightly heartened, though to read this article: More work for Margery Allingham – TLS Highlights – Times Online among the astral planes of the rest of the offerings for the current issue. At least the TLS caters for the common man (or woman) now and again. I’ve never been a huge fan of Allingham, she does not endure as well as some of the older writers, but it is a nice review, built around the reissue of three of her books. It is a bit pretentious in the first half, but gets better (by which I mean I don’t really understand the first half but I do the second).

Changing the world

From the History Bookshop. "Summer is here – albeit intermittently if you live in the UK – and we have some wonderful new paperback history books. We can recommend Lucy Moore’s Liberty, a study of six women in revolutionary France, Carola Hick’s history of the Bayeux Tapestry, and Robert Harvey’s wonderful narrative account of the Napoleonic Wars.  See the full list below and at History Bookshop  – all at great discounts. "

"Fateful Choices: 10 decisions that changed the world" looks like a good one. Unfortunately, it takes rather a narrow timeframe, 1940 to 1941 to be precise. The author is clearly a specialist par excellence. Not just 10, but "He examines closely eleven episodes at the heart of the War where there was an immense range of options open to planners and decision-makers. From declarations of war down to operational priorities, choices were made that could have resulted in an almost unrecognisably different conflict."