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Posts Tagged ‘British history’


Dom Moraes: Selected Poems
Ed. by Ranjit Hoskote | Penguin Modern ClassicsRs 499

In the introduction to the first-ever editorial selection of Dom Moraes poems, Ranjit Hoskote proposes a new reading of Moraes’ career as journalist, anthologist and editor, regarding him as an early but unrecognized trans-cultural artist. Hoskote emphasizes the less familiar Moraes, the non Romantic, who offered fierce testimony to the 20th century dramas of betrayal, slaughter and heroism as in this poem titled “Typed With One Finger”:

“Travel with me on the long road
into loneliness, where the hours
offer pardons to those still afraid.
Bursts of white and blue flowers
will surprise you in summer, with
denials of what is called death.”

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Bring Up The Bodies
Hilary Mantel | Fourth Estate | Rs 399

In her sequel to masterful Wolff Hall, for which she received the Man Booker Prize in 2009, Mantel takes a hard look at Thomas Cromwell, Secretary to King Henry VIII. In her telling Cromwell’s fortunes were closely tied with King’s second wife, Ann Boleyn, Queen of England (1533-36) who was subsequently beheaded. In Mantel’s controversial re-telling of the story, many of the events that led to English Reformation were instigated or manipulated by Cromwell. “I am not claiming authority for my version; I am making the reader a proposal, an offer,” says Mantel adding that Cromwell is “still in need of attention from biographers.”

(An edited version of the above reviews appeared on Saturday edition of the Mail Today, New Delhi, dated 7 & 14 July 2012)

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