Tag: Eastern Europe

On the Field of Glory by Henryk Sienkiewicz

On the Field of Glory by Henryk Sienkiewicz

Henryk Sienkiewicz, an early Nobel laureate, wrote historical novels set mostly in the days of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth that, like Shakespeare’s history plays, have a resonance well beyond their initial audiences and historical settings. Sienkiewicz lived and wrote at a time when Poland’s imperial neighbors had erased it from the map of Europe, and yet …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2022/07/24/on-the-field-of-glory-by-henryk-sienkiewicz/

The Invention of Russia by Arkady Ostrovsky

Invention of Russia by Arkady Ostrovsky

The subtitle to The Invention of Russia — From Gorbachev’s Freedom to Putin’s War — unfortunately now has to be followed with a question: which one? Even when the book was published in 2015, his wars were already plural (Chechnya and Georgia) but the author clearly means Russia’s seizure of the Crimean peninsula and its proxy war …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2022/05/22/the-invention-of-russia-by-arkady-ostrovsky/

Ivan the Terrible by Robert Payne and Nikita Romanoff

Ivan the Terrible by Robert Payne and Nikita Romanoff

Ivan IV, not yet known as the Terrible, ascended to the throne as Grand Prince of Muscovy at the tender age of three. His father, Vasily III, “was a mild-mannered prince, well-liked by the people. Unlike his more famous father, Ivan III, known to history as Ivan the Great, who conquered large territories and fought …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2021/06/23/ivan-the-terrible-by-robert-payne-and-nikita-romanoff/

The Lights Of Prague by Nicole Jarvis

How to make the now well-worn trope of vampires and monster hunters feel fresh and new again? Set the proceedings in historic Prague, with a firm eye on local history and mythology free of the influence of the too-standard figures of modern, Western-European-leaning pop culture, while also infusing a 21st-century sensibility to the proceedings. We …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2021/05/24/the-lights-of-prague-by-nicole-jarvis/

Genghis Khan by Leo de Hartog

I’m glad that Leo de Hartog did not title this biography A Life of Genghis Khan because there is astonishingly little life between its covers. I would have thought the biography of someone who rose from a tribal noble to rule the largest land empire this world has ever known would be positively gripping, but …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2021/04/14/genghis-khan-by-leo-de-hartog/

Georgia: In the Mountains of Poetry by Peter Nasmyth

In his preface to this, fourth, edition of Georgia: In the Mountains of Poetry, Peter Nasmyth writes that he has seen the book migrate from the Travel section of bookstores over into History. Likewise Nasmyth has transformed from a footloose twentysomething seeker, happening to stop in Moscow on his way from India back to England, …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2021/03/28/georgia-in-the-mountains-of-poetry-by-peter-nasmyth/

Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins written by Eric Kimmel

Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins by Eric Kimmel

Kid One first fell in love with this book as an elementary school student, a Protestant child living in an Orthodox country enjoying a very Jewish story. And what’s not to like? Hershel of Ostropol wanders into an unnamed Central European village on the first night of Hanukkah expecting celebration and hospitality. Instead, he finds …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2021/02/02/hershel-and-the-hanukkah-goblins-written-by-eric-kimmel/

From Page To Screen: The Witcher by Andrzej Sapkowski

I’m not deeply knowledgeable regarding The Witcher property, having only started with the third game (brilliant) and going on to enjoy The Last Wish, the first of Andrzej Sapkowski’s phenomenally successful fantasy series. While Blood Of Elves and The Time Of Contempt languish still on my TBR pile, I did manage to find time to …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2020/11/23/from-page-to-screen-the-witcher-by-andrzej-sapkowski/

Nobody Leaves by Ryszard Kapuscinski

Nobody Leaves

Before he became a famous foreign correspondent, Ryszard Kapuściński wrote a series of astonishing dispatches for the weekly newspaper Polityka from Poland’s small towns and backwaters. Poland in 1959 still bore many visible scars of the war that had ravaged it a decade and a half previous. With Stalin’s death in 1953 the worst excesses …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/12/20/nobody-leaves-by-ryszard-kapuscinski/

Edge of Empires by Donald Rayfield

Edge of Empires

Edge of Empires is a one-volume history of Georgia from the earliest discernible traces through June 2018, a remarkable feat of synthesis and scholarship. In fact, the main text runs just four hundred pages, so in some sense Rayfield positively gallops through four millennia of events in the Transcaucasus and eastern Anatolia. He’s very up …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/10/23/edge-of-empires-by-donald-rayfield/