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Last updated 10 years, 9 months ago



Recent reviews

Pseudo-history?

Posted : 9 years, 11 months ago on 7 January 2008 10:45 (A review of 1421 : The Year China Discovered the World)

Gavin Menzies is a retired submarine commander who has spent 15 years trying to prove that the Chinese discovered the world earlier than nearly everybody else. To aid him, he refers to maps with doubtful history, and second-hand stories from ancient sailors.

Unfortunately for Mr Menzies, the plural of anecdote is not evidence. His so-called wrecks of junks still haven't been confirmed, nor is there any evidence that his Chinese captains ever left on such a long voyage. His claim that the Bimini "road" is a man-made causeway contradicts studies that have shown it to be a natural formation, and his so-called junk wreckage on New Zealand's South Island appears to be a documented wreck called the Endeavour.

I would recommend that anybody reading this book also visit [Link removed - login to see]


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The Gunpowder Plot: Terror & Faith in 1605 review

Posted : 10 years, 7 months ago on 19 May 2007 11:34 (A review of The Gunpowder Plot: Terror & Faith in 1605)

I had always thought that the idea of the Gunpowder Plot was to destroy the Houses of Parliament. I didn't realise that it was mainly to dispose of King James I/VI and his sons, and abduct his daughter and set her up as a puppet queen. Nor did I know about the Shakespeare link.

I found this very well researched and reasonably easy to read, if a little dry in places. The main bug for me, though, was the pronunciation of Coughton Court. Cuffton? Cowton? Corton? It wasn't until I had finished the book that I thought to do some Googling. Apparently the family that live there pronounce it Coton.


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Posted: 10 years, 9 months ago at Mar 3 8:54
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