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 What are you reading currently? 
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Post Re: What are you reading currently?
To be honest, I think that West Europeans are incredibly tight fisted and selfish. But I have not only lived a year in Russia, but I spent a lot of years with my Russian friends whose customs are quite similar to the ones you described.

One acquaintance of mine is Russian, has been living in Luxembourg most of his life and even lost his Russian nationality. He still cannot get used to it. A funny example is when he was invited to a barbecue by Luxembourgish friends and he had to bring his own meat ! :lol:

However, I think these differences are not so deep in meaning, human relationships being more or less the same everywhere.

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Fri Jan 20, 2012 1:23 pm
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Post Re: What are you reading currently?
Mines are the same everywhere, but not everyone reacts the same to working in them. And sometimes those things are quite tied to the character of a Nation and its' people.

As usual I prefer to take a middle line in such a discussion and I do agree with you that there are social themes running through Europe which are common to all these writers. However not all men of all Nations react the same to them. Through Gerald Brangwen Lawrence almost knocks at, almost mocks the awful passiveness, submissiveness of the English miners who accept such a life of drudgery and hardship, and yet they seem closer to God, less perverse than the aristocratic owners who seek to modernize the mines at the expense of the formers' livelihood.

So yes I prefer to say that a distant non-English reader can definitely
be close to Lawrence by reading his works without ever setting foot in Derbyshire, reading up on the writer's life, the social context of the time, the effect of the war on that northern industrialized society, but I do believe to see for himself the towns and people Lawrence describes, despite the immense changes they have undergone since that time, would inevitably bring him to a closer understanding. Just as I understood Dostoyevsky so much better for having experienced Russia and in particular St Petersburg, and Kafka for having been to Prague. However this could be a personal quirk which you may have to forgive in me! :lol: And I agree that my argumentation on this point is not my strongest! :lol:

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Mon Jan 23, 2012 3:57 pm
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Post Re: What are you reading currently?
baron de batz wrote:
Mines are the same everywhere, but not everyone reacts the same to working in them. And sometimes those things are quite tied to the character of a Nation and its' people.

As usual I prefer to take a middle line in such a discussion and I do agree with you that there are social themes running through Europe which are common to all these writers. However not all men of all Nations react the same to them. Through Gerald Brangwen Lawrence almost knocks at, almost mocks the awful passiveness, submissiveness of the English miners who accept such a life of drudgery and hardship, and yet they seem closer to God, less perverse than the aristocratic owners who seek to modernize the mines at the expense of the formers' livelihood.



Point well taken. Though would be difficult to establish a comparison, at least this is an example. Thanks. I suggest we move on.

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Mon Jan 23, 2012 4:16 pm
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Post Re: What are you reading currently?
baron de batz wrote:
And I agree that my argumentation on this point is not my strongest!



Just on this point!? :lol: Joking!!! :angel8:

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Mon Jan 23, 2012 6:23 pm
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Post Re: What are you reading currently?
I mentioned the two volumes on Louis XVI's and MA's trials I purchased on EBAY, written just five years after the Queen's execution and re-edited/ published in 1814. They are also very well written, and so far the author describes the lead up to the revolution. He seems to take a stance which is sympathetic to the new ideas whilst deploring the treatment of the Royal family, which I would have expected from him as this book was published around the time of the Restoration.

One interesting point he makes and seems sure of is that the Queen was on the side of the ultras after July 14th and before October 5th 1789, and was conspiring to get Louis XVI removed to safety. Also that she was very much the one in favour of what went on at the famous banquet. I have always thought it likely that the Queen was on the side of all those looking to maintain a hard line monarchy. After all she did send compromising letters with battle plans to exiled foreign powers. What tempers this opinion is the fact that she was always trying to keep control of her sister in law who was corresponding with her brother Artois and inciting him to action which could only harm the captive Royal family. As and when this book reveals any new facts I will publish them here.

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Wed Jan 25, 2012 2:26 pm
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Post Re: What are you reading currently?
So incredible to read a book mentioning the "recent death of the King...."

The author describes the full military disposition of the defenders of the Tuileries on the 10th August, exactly where they were posted around the castle and under whose command.

There were 12 cannons.

2600 National Guard

950 Swiss Guards

200 Gentleman/Royalist sympathizers in the castle

912 Mounted horse guards

Enough I would have thought to put up a damn good fight against what was basically an army of thugs brought up from Marseilles.

Another fatal error of judgemejnt by Louis XVI.

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Wed Jan 25, 2012 3:57 pm
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Post Re: What are you reading currently?
They were up against 20.000.... :(

But then they had cavalry, cannon and the advantage of defending a building...against untrained assailants.

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Wed Jan 25, 2012 4:33 pm
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Post Re: What are you reading currently?
baron de batz wrote:

One interesting point he makes and seems sure of is that the Queen was on the side of the ultras after July 14th and before October 5th 1789, and was conspiring to get Louis XVI removed to safety. Also that she was very much the one in favour of what went on at the famous banquet. I have always thought it likely that the Queen was on the side of all those looking to maintain a hard line monarchy. After all she did send compromising letters with battle plans to exiled foreign powers. .


What is patriotism ? It seems like you can love a country and still side with its enemies. I would draw a comparison, if I dared... but I will not. :D

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Thu Jan 26, 2012 9:31 am
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Post Re: What are you reading currently?
Begins with P and ends with N......?

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Thu Jan 26, 2012 1:17 pm
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Post Re: What are you reading currently?
Great quote, that I ddin't know, from the Queen....

As Roederer suggested to her and the King to leave the Tuileries for the relative sanctuary of the Assemblée Nationale on the 10th August, she said she would rather the assailants "nailed her to the wall"!

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Thu Jan 26, 2012 1:20 pm
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Post Re: What are you reading currently?
As far as I know, Roederer's role is controversial. It seems he was either bribed, or that he secretly sided with the attackers. He drilled into the King that the Tuileries were not defendable -which, as you said, was blatantly untrue. I think that before the attack began, Louis XVI hammered home that he would never leave the Tuileries.

How far were the protagonists informed of the actual situation ? What we objectively know now may not have been available to them. But at any rate Roeder's was relied upon to provide the King with a well-founded appraisal of the situation.

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Last edited by Ludy on Thu Jan 26, 2012 4:25 pm, edited 3 times in total.



Thu Jan 26, 2012 1:42 pm
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Post Re: What are you reading currently?
baron de batz wrote:
Begins with P and ends with N......?


Just a quip.

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Thu Jan 26, 2012 1:46 pm
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Post Re: What are you reading currently?
I'm currently reading two books (there are so many and so little time!): "Catherine the Great" by Henri Troyat and "Madame du Barry: The Wages of Beauty" by Joan Haslip. Both are enjoyable reads and the two women had such conflicting personalities and minds, it's amusing learning about them at the same time.


Sat Mar 17, 2012 2:18 am
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Post Re: What are you reading currently?
Woodland Nymph wrote:
I'm currently reading two books (there are so many and so little time!): "Catherine the Great" by Henri Troyat and "Madame du Barry: The Wages of Beauty" by Joan Haslip. Both are enjoyable reads and the two women had such conflicting personalities and minds, it's amusing learning about them at the same time.



I read the Haslip's bio on Madame du Barry and it is an excellent read. I very much enjoy Haslip's wroks : she is very astute and her judgments are often right on the mark.


About Henri Troyat, I read his biography of Ivan the Terrible. He's good but I think he isn't considered as a very serious historian -he embroiders a lot of things.) I read a biography of Catherine the Great some time ago. I have never looked up to her. Amongst all the Russian historical figures I could mention, she would fall way down my list. I do think that if she hadn't been a woman, nobody would care about her because her achievements are in fact very scanty.

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Sat Mar 17, 2012 9:46 am
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Post Re: What are you reading currently?
Ludy wrote:

I do think that if she hadn't been a woman, nobody would care about her because her achievements are in fact very scanty.


Quite a sweeping statement....! Perhaps you might enlarge on that just a bit, at the risk of infuriating you beyond measure! :)

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Mon Mar 19, 2012 10:23 am
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