Category: History

The Romanovs by Simon Sebag Montefiore

The Romanovs by Simon Sebag Montefiore

Even by the standards of European monarchs, many of the Romanovs were terrible people. Peter the Great had his oldest son killed by torture. Earlier, Peter’s half-sister Sophia had tried to prevent him from assuming the throne, and if he had lost that contest he might well have paid with his life. Ivan VI succeeded …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2023/01/15/the-romanovs-by-simon-sebag-montefiore/

Stolen Words / kimotinâniwiw itwêwina by Melanie Florence & Gabrielle Grimard

with Cree translations by Dolores Sand & Gayle Weenie. Happy Native American Heritage Month! Meant to post this earlier but had the worst time finding this book in the mess that is currently my household, the result of two busy working adults and three small children who can make an outsize mess. Anyhoo, my eight …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2022/11/04/stolen-words-kimotinaniwiw-itwewina-by-melanie-florence-gabrielle-grimard/

Native Realm by Czeslaw Milosz

Native Realm by Czeslaw Milosz

Czeslaw Milosz has a captivating mind. In Native Realm he invites readers to join him on what his subtitle calls “A Search for Self-Definition,” and is a journey from the wooded interior of what is today Lithuania, where he was born into a family of Polish-speaking gentry, through his young adulthood in interwar Warsaw, past …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2022/10/26/native-realm-by-czeslaw-milosz/

Inhuman Land by Jozef Czapski

Inhuman Land by Jozef Czapski

Seldom does a book’s title fit so perfectly, so terribly as Inhuman Land by Jozef Czapski (pron. “Chap-ski”). He was born into an aristocratic Polish family in Prague, at a time when that city was ruled from Vienna as part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Czapski grew up near Minsk, in present-day Belarus; he finished his …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2022/10/23/inhuman-land-by-jozef-czapski/

Before the West by Ayşe Zarakol

Before the West by Ayşe Zarakol

“How would the history of international relations in ‘the East’ be written,” asks Ayşe Zarakol, “if we did not always read the ending — the rise of the West and the decline of the East — into the past?” (frontispiece) Before the West: The Rise and Fall of Eastern World Orders is her effort to …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2022/10/22/before-the-west-by-ayse-zarakol/

Lessons from the Edge by Marie Yovanovitch

Lessons from the Edge by Marie Yovanovitch

If not for Donald Fucking Trump, Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch would have had a long, distinguished and inspiring career serving the United States of America that nevertheless remained practically unknown outside the circles of her work. Perhaps she would have been best known for providing a crucial piece of local knowledge when the embassy in Mogadishu …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2022/10/15/lessons-from-the-edge-by-marie-yovanovitch/

The Tower Of Life: How Yaffa Eliach Rebuilt Her Town In Stories And Photographs by Chana Stiefel & Susan Gal

This is an important book about the Holocaust and one woman’s efforts to memorialize the lives so tragically lost to Nazi cruelty. It’s an inspiring true story matched only by the astonishingly vivid artwork Susan Gal uses here to bring Yaffa Eliach’s story to life. Y’all, I could go on and on about this art. …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2022/10/06/the-tower-of-life-how-yaffa-eliach-rebuilt-her-town-in-stories-and-photographs-by-chana-stiefel-susan-gal/

Medieval Ethiopian Kingship, Craft, and Diplomacy with Latin Europe by Verena Krebs

Medieval Ethiopian Kingship

The name Solomon brings the word “wisdom” almost immediately to mind. Belatedly, it makes me think of the Temple. Now that I have read Medieval Ethiopian Kingship, Craft, and Diplomacy with Latin Europe by Verena Krebs, I will also remember the Solomonic dynasty of Ethiopia. That dynasty took power in the late 1200s and ruled, …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2022/09/11/medieval-ethiopian-kingship-craft-and-diplomacy-with-latin-europe-by-verena-krebs/

Something of a Milestone

Alice looking behind the curtain

This last day of August makes five full years that we at The Frumious Consortium have had at least 10 posts every month. For a site with two principal writers, that’s no small feat. We’ve only gotten there because of Doreen’s fabulous and prolific nature, and Frumious isn’t the only place she graces with her …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2022/08/31/something-of-a-milestone/

Magical History Tour #10: The First Steps On The Moon by Fabrice Erre & Sylvain Savoia

I continue to be genuinely pleased and impressed by the consistently high quality of this children’s graphic novel series, that speaks just as meaningfully to any adult with an interest in popular (and sometimes not-so-popular) history as to any curious child. The tenth installment of the Magical History Tour has Annie and Nico discussing spaceflight, …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2022/08/30/magical-history-tour-10-the-first-steps-on-the-moon-by-fabrice-erre-sylvain-savoia/