Sunday, March 05, 2006

Going back to the well

Peter Ackroyd is one of those authors I have always meant to read but haven't gotten around to doing. Beatrice has a bit on his newish book on Shakespeare. He has also written extensively on British history with a focus on biography. So much so he even has begun a series called Ackroyd's brief lives with books on Chaucer and Turner so far. Both of those sound quite good. When I find a good readable historian I try to read other books by the same author. I find Roy Jenkins to be of this mold. I really liked his one volume Churchill and I was pleased as punch to find a used copy of the out of print (in hardcover) book on Gladstone. His slim volume on FDR awaits as well. If I like the Gladstone I will expect I will have to dig up a copy of his book on Asquith. You know, do the whole Britsh PM thing.

I have a few books by Alistair Horne on France's military history. Haven't read them yet, that's nothing new of course. I recently stacked all my unread mass market paperbacks in the bedroom and my wife was taken aback when she counted seventy. At the rate I check out library books, it will take me awhile to get to Horne.

The downside of reading the same author is that while you are reading a number of books on a subject you are getting a single perspective. I suppose one is better than none.

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