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Book reviews for "Erickson,_Carolly" sorted by average review score:

Kraus' Dental Anatomy and Occlusion
Published in Hardcover by BC Decker (1991)
Authors: Ronald E. Jordan, Leonard Abrams, and Bertram S. Kraus
Amazon base price: $73.95
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dark side of English history
What, out of print? What a shame. Carolly Erickson has outdone herself with this hefty volume, devoted to chronicling the dark side of English history. She fills us in on heartbreaking details of the Tudor family saga, keeps a lively sense of international conflicts; and very nearly creates sympathy for the self-described "unhappiest lady in Christendom" -- whose death was celebrated as a national holiday.

All the Presidents' Children: Triumph and Tragedy in the Lives of America's First Families
Published in Hardcover by Atria Books (2003)
Author: Doug Wead
Amazon base price: $18.20
List price: $26.00 (that's 30% off!)
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Heroic exploits, tragic figure
One has to look at the vicissitudes of life in the great tragic figures of history, Cortes, Columbus, Napoleon, etc., to find precedents in the relatively obscure life of Charles Edward Stuart, "The Great Young Pretender," Bonnie Prince Charlie.

Although towards the latter part of his life he came to stoop very low, he had, as a young man, decades earlier, reached out very high unto the stars with unwavering courage and determination in his conquest of Scotland and England. His defeat at Culloden in 1746 precipitated tragically what can only be described as the genocide of the Scottish Highlanders.

What a life! The life of Bonnie Prince Charlie is a study of human nature at its extreme. Belatedly, devastatingly, he found out the cruel fact that despite his forceful, determined personality, he was not the master of his own destiny. Be that as it may, he came to be vindicated.

This is a magnificent book of a great, albeit obscure, tragic figure of history.

Miguel A. Faria, Jr., M.D. is Editor-in-Chief of the Medical Sentinel of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS), and author of Vandals at the Gates of Medicine (1995) and Medical Warrior: Fighting Corporate Socialized Medicine (1997).

Probably Approximately Correct Learnability Theory (The Stanford Computer Science Video Journal: Artificial Intelligence reseaRch L)
Published in Hardcover by Morgan Kaufmann (1993)
Author: David Haussler
Amazon base price: $59.95
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Let 'em Eat Biscotti
Erickson paints a picture of a spoiled but sympathetic Antoinette, more historically accurate than the popular misconception of an insensitive elitist.

As always, Erickson writes entertaining non-fiction. This appears to be out of print at the moment, but grab it and any other Erickson titles as fast as you can.

Viva La Antoinette!
"To the Scaffild" meant "To the Guillotine". It is a brilliant account of French revolution, with two heroines, one Lady Liberty and the other its victim Marie Antoinette. Oxford American Dictionary defines guillotine as "a machine with a heavy blade used for beheading criminals in France". criminals? Luois XVI and his unfortunate wife Marie- Antoinette were definetely not criminals To the Scaffold", of course meant "to the guillotine". It is a brilliant account of French revolution. They were the unluckiest royal couple in all of history to get engulfed in a maelstrom of events beyond their control. They were of noble hearts and displayed tremendous courage against severe odds and went to the guillotine with heads high. The famine, bad weather, bankrupt treasury, countless corrupt officials at Versailles, and a inept, brooding Louis in charge. He was weak, lacked leadership and looked to his wife for advise. Antoinette was smart, intelligent but did not know how to govern. She did spend lavishly, foolishly and may have been the true culprit in bringing down the monarchy. But hey, that's what queens are supposed to do. She was so young, innocent, unaware of the treachery at Versailles. She had to learn on the job with no help from the dauphin, who was clumsy, shy, impotent and of weak mind. They were doomed.

Louis always believed that the revolutionaries were a minority and people at large loved him and all would be well in the end. Later on as events unfolded they reasoned Austria and Prussia would come to their rescue. That was their undoing, as Parisiners would never let foreigners invade their beloved city and annihilate them. They had to get rid of Louis. His old confidant, a black smith, betrayd him as the national guard found incriminating evidence of plots against the revolution, hidden in a safe. They marched him to guillotine.

Innuendoes, rumors did Antoinette in as she was always hated by the populace.... She was called [the] worst names, accused of incest, deprived of her children, and was sentenced to die on trumped of charges of treason.

The revolution germinated the day Louis XIV, the sun king, uttered the words, "Le Etas, Ce' moi". Ultimately his great great grand son paid the price. If other countries had intervened in time in the late 1790, the slaughter could have been averted. There would have been no Napolean, the whole history of the world would have been completely different. Edmund Burke so aptly said at that time "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing".

Great Read. Highly recommend it for all history buffs.

An in-depth account on the life of Marie Antoinette
"To the Scaffold" was one of the first biographies that I read on Marie Antoinette, and I must say that it was also one of the most enjoyable.

Erickson thoroughly covers Marie Antoinette's life from her youth in Austria to her last tumultuous days. As well, there are little additions about life in Versailles, and on the Paris streets.

One definite asset that this biography possesses is that one does not need much prior information about the Revolution to understand it. Different political ideologies, thoughts, and actions are carefully explained, yet the general flow of the book generally does not sway too far from Antoinette. This biography was also enjoyable to read because of the numerous (and sometimes amusing) quotations used, as well as the in-depth account of Antoinette's last days.

The only noticeable fault that I found was the tendency of the author to take sides. For example, it is said (with evidence provided in the footnotes) that Marie Antoinette and Fersen most definitely had an affair. This is, in my opinion, still a debatable topic.

Nonetheless, I highly recommend this biography to everyone. Novices to the revolution will find it an invaluable starting point, and the more knowledgeable will greatly enjoy the quotations and first-hand accounts recorded.

The First Elizabeth
Published in Paperback by St. Martin's Press (1997)
Author: Carolly Erickson
Amazon base price: $12.57
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Excellent, excellent biography!
I have never had the pleasure of saying that a biography was hard to put down, but this is. I first encountered this book in college while taking a British History course, and I was hooked. It has been eight years since I took that course, and I am on my fourth re-reading. Every time I notice a detail that I did not before. I am fascinated by the Tudors and especially Elizabeth I. Erickson's prose is so engaging and lively you will forget you are reading a historical biography. I have the film Elizabeth, but I was disappointed in the lapses and the fact that it only covers her first year as queen. Of course, it would be a very long movie if it covered her entire reign, but buy this book to discover more of the "real" Elizabeth. Great read!

The First Elizabeth- A great book about the Virgin Queen
This book is absolutely the best. I had to read it for a school biography and had a really great time learning about Queen Elizabeth. Her character, power, and history simply amaze me, and has gotten me more interested in world history. I feel very satisfied with the book and can't wait to read more of Ericksons books.

A real picture of her life and times.
This book was an enjoyable read and gave a realistic picture of what life was like during Queen Elizabeth's time. The vocabulary is appropriate for an educated person and is not too technical or too childish. There is quite a bit of background about Henry VIII and Bloody Mary, which then leads in to Elizabeth's reign. This book talks about Elizabeth as a real person, exploring her hopes and wishes as well as her political persona.

Great Harry
Published in Paperback by St. Martin's Press (1997)
Author: Carolly Erickson
Amazon base price: $12.57
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Almost, but not quite
Erickson is a great biographer, and her Tudor quartet are lively and throughly enjoyable. But one of her strengths--her ability to write as a novelist--makes her inevitably biased to her hero or heroine. In Great Harry, it's clear that she has no great love of the man, perhaps a grudging admiration, and certainly a good deal of pity as relates to his later years. That said, this is still an excellent bio, highly recommended to Tudor enthusiasts more interested in Henry's wives than his statesmanship--but they would be better served reading Alison Weir.

A Great Biography
Carolly Erickson's Tudor and Stuart biographies are all splendid affairs. "Great Harry" attacks the personality of this man and the issues with which he graplled in a compelling and well-researched fashion without ever losing the reader's attention. Henry VIII was as big and grand as the Tudor age and this book captures both well. I also recommend Erickson's other biographies, especially "The First Elizabeth," about Henry and Anne Boylen's (she was the second wife, the first to lose her head) daughter. Truly one of the best popular historians writing about this period.

Gives a great picture of the man and his times.
The book showed a different side of Henry VIII, not just thestereotype of the cruel, evil, lecherous king. A great picture of hisearly life and his life with Catherine of Aragon is given, along with the difficulties he faced while on the throne throughout his life. It showed how loved and admired he was through his life (at least until the last part of his life) and gives another perspective of the heir-to-the-throne problem.

Our Tempestuous Day: A History of Regency England
Published in Hardcover by William Morrow & Company (1986)
Author: Carolly Erickson
Amazon base price: $11.88
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I really like George IV
My reading life has acquired a second act. Commuting to work, I enjoy audiobooks from the public library. But you have to settle for what's available. This was among my recent favorites, and has led me to seek out three other books by Erickson (who is not a nincompoop). Tastes of the period are dramatically conveyed by the reader, Simon Prebble. The spectrum of prevalent mores represented ranges from the evangelical Hannah Moore to the depraved Lord Byron. The war with France takes an unexpected turn for the better thanks to the hero Wellington. And the miserables of the period are remembered: ... chimney sweeps, Luddites, victims of the the Corn Law, and of Peterloo. But most compelling is the Prince-regent, who will become George the Fourth. A man whose personal short-comings were not redeemed by his deep appreciation of art and beauty.

The characters come alive in this wonderfully written book.
Tempestuous indeed! I could not put this book down. This is a very readable historical narrative set in England during the Regency Period from 1810 to 1820. Erickson paints a very vivid picture of the chaotic times in which George IV ruled as Regent while his father King George III declined into madness at Windsor, alongside the already troublesome war with Napoleon, social unrest, and economic uncertainty.

Published in Paperback by Pocket Books (1998)
Author: Carolly Erickson
Amazon base price: $17.95
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Not A Book, But A Journey
I haven't finished The Arc Of The Arrow yet, but it really has my attention. It's more of a guided journey through your psyche, letting you explore your beliefs and challenge what you think you already know. I've become happily bogged down in the section where you basically outline your life's history, treading from my earliest memory onward through dark and murky waters, finding that light does indeed glisten in swamps sometimes. If delving into your inner reaches intrigues you at all, this book is a winner. I recommend it for those who are open minded in their religious beliefs and have time to spend jotting down their thoughts and observations. I've been working on this for a year now, but would never dream of rushing such a delicate and emotional process. It leaves you feeling like you've had some kind of an inner cleansing and everything seems a lot brighter and less stuffy inside. Go for it!

Great Harry: The Extravagant Life of Henry VIII
Published in Paperback by Summit Books (1984)
Author: Carolly Erickson
Amazon base price: $12.95
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History up close
Erickson demonstrates her profound knowledge of the Tudor era in England through the amazing variety of details she fits into her easy and engaging narrative of the life of one of England's most loved but notorious kings. The reader learns about the perosn, the monarch, his family and his country, and how all were intertwined. The development of Henry, second son not meant to inherit the throne, into Great Harry, fearless and fearsome king who practically destroyed his kingdom to get his own way are beautifully chronicled and bristles with personal touches. It's high drama and well worth it.

Published in Paperback by Griffin Trade Paperback (2000)
Author: Carolly Erickson
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I've Read Better
On the whole, I found this biography to be rich with detail and historical accuracies. It was an entertaining read and I recommend it to anyone who likes to read history. However, I found that Erickson was a little too biased in her position on the Empress; I felt as though I were reading a fluffed-up account of her life, to the point where the reader has no choice but to see her as an angel in a den of thieves--and she was hardly an angel. Erickson asserts that she knows the Empress well enough to make assumptions as to how she felt, or what she was thinking. It is also obvious that the author has a bias against Napoleon and her relationship with him. If the reader had no previous knowledge of their relationship, he would be confused. Erickson says on the one-hand how miserable Josephine was over her marriage to him, yet is mad with jealousy within the next few pages. There is no real development of their relationship. The authors feelings for her subject come through a bit too stong for my taste.

An Unlikely Empress
This was my first read of Carolly Erickson, and I was enthralled by her writing style. Yes, the book reads like a novel, but I don't find this detrimental. One of the biggest problems with historical biographies are they are often heavy and dull, and I don't think this should be the case when describing extraordinary times and events. I felt like I was transplanted "into the period;" and while Josephine had her share of vices, I found her accessible and human. A lot of times with biographies, I end up hating the subject, because the author relishes revealing the subject's tarnished persona in such an unflattering light. Ms. Erickson's Josephine I liked, despite her evident flaws.

My only complaint would be overindulgence in trivial detail, e.g., her "rotten teeth" and "fading beauty." No one really likes aging, do they?

A Rose by Another Name
Reading biographies in general can be a tricky thing, they can be either too textbook and boring, or they can be very enjoyable. I must say that the latter is true for this book.

Carolly Erickson draws the reader into the life and very turbulent times of the French Revolution. It is amazing that Josephine became the Empress of France.

Josephine Bonaparte was a true surviver for her time, even growing up on a failing sugar cane farm on Martinique and later in France as a prisoner. Unlike many biographies that I have read, this one reads easy. What I mean there is a fluid way in which Erickson writes, drawing in the reader like any good fiction novelist. I quickly read this book, devouring every page.

The Dwight and Lucille Beeson Wedgwood Collection at the Birmingham Museum of Art
Published in Paperback by Birmingham Museum of Art (1993)
Author: Elizabeth Bryding Adams
Amazon base price: $45.00

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