What I've been reading this week...
I finally finished Loot - which was a good read. A study of what the French call 'elginisme' (after the earl who pinched the marbles), meaning the acquisition of cultural artifacts by an imperial power. That's a bit of a cheek really because, as Chamberlain shows, it was Napoleon who made it a state enterprise (until his invasion of Egypt the looting had been private enterprise). Chamberlain gives a good overview, then focuses on the activities of Napoleon, Hitler/Goering and the British in West Africa. I'd recommend this, but it does show the signs of being written in 1980: although a preface updates the story to 2003 (why a preface and not an epilogue?), there's hardly anything after the 1970s.
I then read Ted Allbeury, The Lantern Network, which is a thriller showing the terrible consequences of betrayal in French Resistance groups during World War II. Allbeury served with SOE durng the war, and it kind of shows. He had a fascinating life, and I'll be keeping my eyes open for more of his books
What I've bought this week....
Joe Abercrombie, Red Country - £5.00
Jack Campbell, Lost Fleet: Dauntless - £2.50
Norma Clarke, The Rise and Fall of the Woman of Letters - £1.00
Kitty Ferguson, Measuring the Universe: The historical quest to quantify space - £1.00
Michael Montgomery, Who Sank the Sydney? - £1.00
Robert Payne, The Crusades: A history - £1.00
David E Yelverton, Quest for a Phantom Strait: The saga of the pioneer Antarctic Peninsula expeditions, 1897-1905 - £1.99