Pen & Sword Review: A History of The Undead: Mummies, Vampires and Zombies, by Charlotte Booth

A History of the Undead
Imprint: Pen & Sword History
Pages: 224
Illustrations: 30 black and white illustrations
ISBN: 9781526769060
Published: 9th February 2021

£12.79

Are you a fan of the undead? Watch lots of Mummy, zombie and vampire movies and TV shows? Have you ever wondered if they could be ‘real’?

This book, A History of the Undead, unravels the truth behind these popular reanimated corpses.

Starting with the common representations in Western Media through the decades, we go back in time to find the origins of the myths. Using a combination of folklore, religion and archaeological studies we find out the reality behind the walking dead. You may be surprised at what you find.

My Review

Thanks to Rosie Crofts at Pen & Sword for my review copy. I’m going to read the author’s book about ancient Egypt next.

The Rosie Synopsis

The book is divided into seven chapters, two each on mummies, two on zombies and three on vampires. The author covers the literary and film history of the undead in one chapter and then the folklore in the second chapter. In the vampire section Booth also covers the modern ‘vampires’ – people who think they’re vampires or live a ‘vampire lifestyle’.

The Good

I liked the way the author wrote the chapters as individual essays, because they can be dipped into, and the illustrations. It is a good introduction to the subject, and the author states that it is an introduction not the be-all-end-all on the subject.

The Not-So-Good

Despite my enjoyment of academic texts, I found it was a bit dry at times and there were some errors in reference to some of the televsion series.

It would have been good to have a summation chapter drawing all the thought lines together.

The Verdict

Not a bad introduction to the subject.

Review: ‘The Oshun Diaries’, by Diane Esguerra

The Oshun Diaries

High priestesses are few and far between, white ones in Africa even more so. When Diane Esguerra hears of a mysterious Austrian woman worshipping the Ifa river goddess Oshun in Nigeria, her curiosity is aroused.

It is the start of an extraordinary friendship that sustains Diane through the death of her son and leads to a quest to take part in Oshun rituals. Prevented by Boko Haram from returning to Nigeria, she finds herself at Ifa shrines in Florida amid vultures, snakes, goats’ heads, machetes, a hurricane and a cigar-smoking god. Her quest steps up a gear when Beyoncé channels Oshun at the Grammys and the goddess goes global.

Mystifying, harrowing and funny, The Oshun Diaries explores the lure of Africa, the life of a remarkable woman and the appeal of the goddess as a symbol of female empowerment.

Trailer – https://vimeo.com/340907769

Purchase Links

Readers can order the book from the Lightning Books website at 30% off (with free UK p&p) if you enter this code at checkout – BLOGTOUROSHUN

http://eye-books.com/books/the-high-priestess-of-oshun

Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Oshun-Diaries-Encounters-African-Goddess-ebook/dp/B07SYLJ9YC

Amazon US –  https://www.amazon.com/Oshun-Diaries-Encounters-African-Goddess-ebook/dp/B07SYLJ9YC

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Colouring book review: ‘Uzbekistan: An experience of cultural treasures to colour’

I do enjoy colouring in when I’m stressed. Or bored. And when this one came up, I just had to accept it.

My Review

The book pairs images of architecture, fabrics, mosaics, carvings and paintings from the last couple of thousand years with line images for the reader to colour in.

The paper is dense and high quality, and I’m scared to get my pencils anywhere near it. It’s so beautiful! And informative. As a cross-roads of cultures and civilisations, Uzbekistan has an artistic legacy that continues to this day.

Thanks to Rosie Crofts at Pen & Sword for sending me this book. I think I’m just going to stroke it a bit rather than try any colouring in.

Bonus Review: ‘A History of Trees’, by Simon Wills

A History of Trees
Published by: Pen & Sword – White Owl
Publication Date: 12th December 2018
Format: Hardback
I.S.B.N.: 9781526701596
Price: £25.00
Purchase Link

Blurb

Have you ever wondered how trees got their names? What did our ancestors think about trees, and how were they used in the past? This fascinating book will answer many of your questions, but also reveal interesting stories that are not widely known. For example, the nut from which tree was predicted to pay off the UK’s national debt? Or why is Europe’s most popular pear called the ‘conference’? Simon Wills tells the history of twenty-eight common trees in an engaging and entertaining way, and every chapter is illustrated with his photographs.

Find out why the London plane tree is so frequently planted in our cities, and how our forebears were in awe of the magical properties of hawthorn. Where is Britain’s largest conker tree? Which tree was believed to protect you against both lightning and witchcraft?

The use of bay tree leaves as a sign of victory by athletes in ancient Greece led to them being subsequently adopted by many others – from Roman emperors to the Royal Marines. But why were willow trees associated with Alexander Pope, Napoleon Bonaparte, and Samuel Johnson? Why did Queen Anne pay a large sum for a cutting from a walnut tree in Somerset? Discover the answers to these and many other intriguing tales within the pages of this highly engrossing book.

Continue reading “Bonus Review: ‘A History of Trees’, by Simon Wills”

Review: ‘The Monumental Secret of the Crucifixion’, by Julian Doyle

41968402
Published By: Independently published
Publication Date: 20th May 2018
Format: Paperback
I.S.B.N.: 9781719390163
Price: £10.20
Purchase Links

Blurb


Throughout the history of Christianity there have been those claiming a monumental secret. Often centered around the Church of St. Sulpice in Paris and associated with French esoteric circles like Debussy who wrote in a review: 

“Perhaps it’s to destroy that scandalous legend that Jesus Christ died on the cross.” 

But even Canon Alfred Lilley came back from St. Sulpice questioning the crucifixion. There must have been some documentation in the church that convinced these people of something portentous. BUT now searching links between the history of Rome and the latest Biblical research, we finally reveal the extraordinary facts that prove exactly what the monumental secret was and its validity making the revaluation of Christianity, as we knew it, inevitable.

Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/41968402-the-monumental-secret-of-the-crucifixion

Amazon Link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Monumental-Secret-Crucifixion-Julian-Doyle-ebook/dp/B07D6LSTF8

Continue reading “Review: ‘The Monumental Secret of the Crucifixion’, by Julian Doyle”

Review: ‘Faerie Stones’, by Ceri Norman

Moon Books sent me this book in return for an honest review. They’re probably going to wish they hadn’t.

 

Faerie StonesPublished by: Moon Books

Publication Date: 30th Marc 2018

Format: Paperback

I.S.B.N.: 9781785357190

Price: £13.99

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blurb

Faerie Stones explores the Faerielore and Folklore associated with different stones and various crystal formations, from the ancient Neolithic arrows known as Elfshot to magical Faerie dusted geodes known as Fairy Cavern Quartz. It deals with the metaphysical aspects of the stones, their traditional uses and healing qualities, and discusses which types of Faerie and which Deities/Faerie Monarchs are associated with each stone. It also offers practical tips and two meditations for working with Faeries and stones for spiritual development. Aimed at all those who love Faeries and Crystals, it is ideal for the beginner or the more experienced practitioner.

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First Bonus Book Review of the Month

I asked Moon Books for a copy of this seasonally appropriate book and it arrived yesterday. Since it was snowing and freezing yesterday, I went to bed early and had a read.

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All Hallows Eve?

Evening ladies and gents.

It’s Halloween or Samhain for some people. Whether as a religious or secular occasion, it has been a few years since I gave much thought to it. I don’t celebrate either the religious festivals of All Hallows Eve etc., or Samhain. Nor am I a child so I find the whole trick or treat business a nuisance. I have dogs; random strangers knocking at the door upsets them.

from http://pixabay.com/en/photos/halloween/
from http://pixabay.com/en/photos/halloween/

Continue reading “All Hallows Eve?”