Listening as I do to the BBC and its wonderful presenters of book revews and interviews with their authors
I ran through the list of Review Books in the Guardian Weekend and my attention was attracted by a
black and white photograph lying close to the title: Close encounters under the genre: Non Fiction
and starts with ... Rosemary Hill on the etiquette of neighbourly relations: ... referring to
"Cheek by Jowl: A History of Neighbours" by Emily Cockayne 288pp Bodley Head £2O:
Apparently the records of the London Assize of Nuisance tell us that in 1333 a terrible row broke out between
Joan and Andrw de Aubrey and their neighbours - De Aubrey were livid because the people next door had taken away some of the boarding round the shared privy so that when anyone used it their extremities were clearly visible .. they felt was altogether intolerable ... but today it would be parking spaces, hedges or bins, and the nub of it would be the same
How people get along, or dont with those towhom their only connection is random proximity - with no preexisting ties of kinship or occupation, the balance of common to conflicting interest amoong neighbours shifts constantly - they may end up by murdering one another or getting married.
So that's a fairly juicy introduction to this review adding to it all would make any keen reader want to read more so do read on and find out what happens next!
A Time Traveller's Guide to Elizabethan England by Ian Mortim 432 pp Bodley Head £2O: .... Thomas Pennn taes a vivid trip back to the 16th century; fresh from his acclaimed tour through 14th century England Ian Mortimer travels forward 2OO years in his time machine .... seteting us down in the reign of Elizabeth I he aims to recreate as he puts it - the reality of the past - to help the reader understand more vividly the doubts, hopes,, customs and practices of daily Elizabethan life: - so the writer continues to discuss the strong points of this book and says Mortimer underscorees the changes, big and small that make Elizabethan England distinctive How he refers to Catholics life became hard - 35 years see Catholicism change from norm to minority .... one wonders is the writer describing the British, The Irish or the Celts as its not clear from this passage however its a dig in the ground for old graves to be dug up! Read On!