A 15 Minute Trip Around the World via the Internet

An Egyptian ceremonial shield dating to 1333-23 BC. Image from Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/71987294019489531/

An Egyptian ceremonial shield dating to 1333-23 BC. Image from Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/71987294019489531/

Weekly Web Links:

Historical Book Review for the Week:

Madame de Pompadour: Mistress of France by Christine Pevitt Algrant

Madame de Pompadour: Mistress of France

In all honesty, my interest in Madame de Pompadour was raised by a Doctor Who episode (who says TV isn’t educational? I’m sure the real Jeanne Antoinette Poisson was stalked by real robotic French courtiers that were actually from a spaceship/the future haha)but even without the science-fiction aspects (or the presence of David Tennant) the actual Madame de Pompadour was an exceptional woman who managed to be considered remarkable even within the glitz of the French court.

Unfortunately, while Christine Pevitt Algrant’s book does cover the basic facts of her life and includes mention of her many skills and accomplishments, it is presented in such a point by point, factual (I hate to say it but dry) tone, that it produces an end result that comes across as rather uninspiring and lacks much of the awe that this woman’s biography should inspire.

I feel I need to be clear that this is not a bad book; it’s well written, it’s factually accurate, and it covers exactly what it claims to on the back cover.  The issue is more that, with non-fiction books, all of the information is online.  If I just wanted to collect some facts about her as a historical figure, I could go onto Wikipedia, get them, and then spout them out at the next family dinner I attend and look brilliant.  I read history books and biographies because I love the construction of a story, the way certain authors have that skill of making you feel as if they are writing about whatever particular event they’re covering from a real-time perspective even though that would mean they would have to travel back in time (see what I did there?) and, unfortunately, this book just doesn’t have that narrative spark.

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