The Joy of Unexpected Books!

Tredegar HouseNicola here, musing on the pleasure of discovering unexpected reads. Last week I visited Tredegar House, which is a fabulous 17th century mansion in Wales, once the home of the Morgan family. Like so many of these places, the house is magnificent and the family history riveting. There’s also a connection to Ashdown House, which made it even more interesting for me so I wandered around looking at the family portraits and admiring the rooms before heading off to the gift shop and the tearoom!

Most National Trust properties these days have a second hand bookshop and browsing through the 1066 history section I came across a non-fiction book about the Norman Conquest. It was a “retired” library book called 1066 The Hidden History of the Bayeux Tapestry. I hadn’t studied the Norman Conquest of England since I was at college and hadn’t read much about it in the intervening time, so this looked intriguing and I’m also a total sucker for books that promise to solve a history mystery or tell me some sort of secret I didn’t know. That night I sat down to read it, not really expecting a thriller-style read, and I was totally hooked. Even though it was non-fiction it read like a page-turner, putting forward a story that challenged the traditional interpretation of the Bayeux Tapestry as a piece of Norman propaganda and suggesting it had a secret hidden message showing the Anglo Saxon side of the story. It was pretty convincing and I loved it.

One episode in the book particularly caught my interest. It was talking about how the tapestry had survived from 1066 until the present day, which is pretty astonishing when you think about it. It had some fairly close escapes, most notably during the French Revolution when some of the people of Bayeux wanted to rip it up to use it to cover their carts! Soon after that, though, it became a propaganda tool again, this time for Napoleon.

220px-Inspecting_the_Troops_at_Boulogne _15_August_1804In 1803, Napoleon was making vast and detailed plans to invade Britain. He had 2000 ships moored between Brest and Antwerp and 200 000 soldiers, the Armée d'Angleterre (Army of England), encamped at Boulogne. (He also considered invading by balloon and appointed a woman, Sophie Blanchard, as his Air Service Chief. Sophie was a professional pioneer balloonist and worth of a blog all of her own!)

Napoleon was very keen to draw on the Bayeux Tapestry as propaganda for the invasion of England. After all, it showed as a conquering French Army routing the perfidious English (even if it was actually the Normans who had triumphed in 1066 and they did not consider themselves to be French!)

In November 1803 he ordered the Tapisserie de la Reine Mathilde, as it was known, to be brought to Paris for exhibition at the Bayeux tapestryLouvre, then called the Musee Napoleon, for public exhibition. The exhibition took place in the Galerie Apollon from December 8th. This time the people of Bayeux had been keen to hold on to it but the local authorities felt they could not really refuse. Crowds flocked to see the exhibit and it soon became a fashionable topic of conversation in high society. Napoleon spent considerable time brooding over its message, apparently, walking around the gallery on his own, studying it. A souvenir exhibition brochure was produced to accompany the public display as well.

Bayeux cometIn late November 1803 a comet passed over France and Southern England just like in the tapestry. Napoleon could not believe his luck, and a description of the comet was hastily printed and included in the exhibition brochure: “Dover December 6 1803. Last night about 5pm we observed a superb comet which rose in the south west and moved towards the north. It had a tail about thirty yards long. The whole countryside was lighted for many miles all around and after it disappeared, one smelled a strong odour of sulphur.”

Meanwhile to exploit the full propaganda effect of the occasion, a play called Queen Mathilde’s 1024px-Le_théâtre_de_l'Opéra-Comique_rue_Feydeau_-_Dessin_de_Courvoisier _gravure_de_Dubois_-_Parouty_1998_p16 Tapestry was written, a musical comedy that showed William the Conqueror’s wife Matilda stitching away whilst a fictious boy called Raymond sang about wanting to be a soldier-hero like those depicted in embroidery. All in all, Paris must have been full of Bayeux Tapestry fever that year!

In the end the planned invasion of Britain came to nothing. The balloon army idea didn’t work because of contrary winds and the combination of tides, winds and the British Navy blockade of the English Channel prevented the flotilla from invading. The Bayeux Tapestry was sent back home and it’s role in Napoleon’s propaganda war was over.

The LouvreThere’s a lot more fascinating stuff in the book but this episode really caught my imagination. I could imagine the cream of Parisian high society flocking to the Louvre to admire the ancient tapestry and maybe plan a new one for when Napoleon’s own invasion succeeded!

Which all brings me back to the book that started it all, and I was so happy to have found it. There’s something even nicer about it when you’re not expecting to find such an interesting book in the first place, or when a book surprises you! So my question is:

Have you ever stumbled unexpectedly across a really brilliant books somewhere, fiction or non-fiction? Or has a book you’ve picked up with one expectation turned out to be completely different?

140 thoughts on “The Joy of Unexpected Books!”

  1. I love finding books like the one you found and learn about new-to-me historical gems that shed a new light on a period of history.

    Reply
  2. I love finding books like the one you found and learn about new-to-me historical gems that shed a new light on a period of history.

    Reply
  3. I love finding books like the one you found and learn about new-to-me historical gems that shed a new light on a period of history.

    Reply
  4. I love finding books like the one you found and learn about new-to-me historical gems that shed a new light on a period of history.

    Reply
  5. I love finding books like the one you found and learn about new-to-me historical gems that shed a new light on a period of history.

    Reply
  6. I can empathize with those feelings of expectation and excitement associated with second hand book stores!
    I remember many years ago when visiting some of the second hand bookshops in Hay-On-Wye, I stumbled on ‘The Water of the Wondrous Isles’ by William Morris. I had associated Morris with stained glass, wall paper designs, Arts and Crafts, artists of the pre-Raphaelite movement and Socialism. I had no idea that he wrote romantic fantasy novels so bought it out of curiosity. I was immediately hooked and went on to ‘Waters of the Wondrous Isles’ and the rest of his fantasy work. They were my introduction to romantic fiction, though a very different style to modern authors!

    Reply
  7. I can empathize with those feelings of expectation and excitement associated with second hand book stores!
    I remember many years ago when visiting some of the second hand bookshops in Hay-On-Wye, I stumbled on ‘The Water of the Wondrous Isles’ by William Morris. I had associated Morris with stained glass, wall paper designs, Arts and Crafts, artists of the pre-Raphaelite movement and Socialism. I had no idea that he wrote romantic fantasy novels so bought it out of curiosity. I was immediately hooked and went on to ‘Waters of the Wondrous Isles’ and the rest of his fantasy work. They were my introduction to romantic fiction, though a very different style to modern authors!

    Reply
  8. I can empathize with those feelings of expectation and excitement associated with second hand book stores!
    I remember many years ago when visiting some of the second hand bookshops in Hay-On-Wye, I stumbled on ‘The Water of the Wondrous Isles’ by William Morris. I had associated Morris with stained glass, wall paper designs, Arts and Crafts, artists of the pre-Raphaelite movement and Socialism. I had no idea that he wrote romantic fantasy novels so bought it out of curiosity. I was immediately hooked and went on to ‘Waters of the Wondrous Isles’ and the rest of his fantasy work. They were my introduction to romantic fiction, though a very different style to modern authors!

    Reply
  9. I can empathize with those feelings of expectation and excitement associated with second hand book stores!
    I remember many years ago when visiting some of the second hand bookshops in Hay-On-Wye, I stumbled on ‘The Water of the Wondrous Isles’ by William Morris. I had associated Morris with stained glass, wall paper designs, Arts and Crafts, artists of the pre-Raphaelite movement and Socialism. I had no idea that he wrote romantic fantasy novels so bought it out of curiosity. I was immediately hooked and went on to ‘Waters of the Wondrous Isles’ and the rest of his fantasy work. They were my introduction to romantic fiction, though a very different style to modern authors!

    Reply
  10. I can empathize with those feelings of expectation and excitement associated with second hand book stores!
    I remember many years ago when visiting some of the second hand bookshops in Hay-On-Wye, I stumbled on ‘The Water of the Wondrous Isles’ by William Morris. I had associated Morris with stained glass, wall paper designs, Arts and Crafts, artists of the pre-Raphaelite movement and Socialism. I had no idea that he wrote romantic fantasy novels so bought it out of curiosity. I was immediately hooked and went on to ‘Waters of the Wondrous Isles’ and the rest of his fantasy work. They were my introduction to romantic fiction, though a very different style to modern authors!

    Reply
  11. Long ago, back when I was in high school, one of the summer reading books we had ben assigned was “Man on a Donkey” by H.F.M. Prescott. I put off reading it until the last minute because I thought it was going to be one of those soppy religious books like “The Robe.” To say I was mistaken is a wild understatement. It’s about the Pilgrimage of Grace during the reign of Henry VIII, and it is probably the best historical novel I have ever read—and I’m including Vanity Fair and War and Peace.
    I should have trusted Miss Sherman.

    Reply
  12. Long ago, back when I was in high school, one of the summer reading books we had ben assigned was “Man on a Donkey” by H.F.M. Prescott. I put off reading it until the last minute because I thought it was going to be one of those soppy religious books like “The Robe.” To say I was mistaken is a wild understatement. It’s about the Pilgrimage of Grace during the reign of Henry VIII, and it is probably the best historical novel I have ever read—and I’m including Vanity Fair and War and Peace.
    I should have trusted Miss Sherman.

    Reply
  13. Long ago, back when I was in high school, one of the summer reading books we had ben assigned was “Man on a Donkey” by H.F.M. Prescott. I put off reading it until the last minute because I thought it was going to be one of those soppy religious books like “The Robe.” To say I was mistaken is a wild understatement. It’s about the Pilgrimage of Grace during the reign of Henry VIII, and it is probably the best historical novel I have ever read—and I’m including Vanity Fair and War and Peace.
    I should have trusted Miss Sherman.

    Reply
  14. Long ago, back when I was in high school, one of the summer reading books we had ben assigned was “Man on a Donkey” by H.F.M. Prescott. I put off reading it until the last minute because I thought it was going to be one of those soppy religious books like “The Robe.” To say I was mistaken is a wild understatement. It’s about the Pilgrimage of Grace during the reign of Henry VIII, and it is probably the best historical novel I have ever read—and I’m including Vanity Fair and War and Peace.
    I should have trusted Miss Sherman.

    Reply
  15. Long ago, back when I was in high school, one of the summer reading books we had ben assigned was “Man on a Donkey” by H.F.M. Prescott. I put off reading it until the last minute because I thought it was going to be one of those soppy religious books like “The Robe.” To say I was mistaken is a wild understatement. It’s about the Pilgrimage of Grace during the reign of Henry VIII, and it is probably the best historical novel I have ever read—and I’m including Vanity Fair and War and Peace.
    I should have trusted Miss Sherman.

    Reply
  16. What an enjoyable post, Nicola, about a fascinating find.
    I volunteer at my public library where I shelve returned books. I like to shelve in the new books area, and I might …occasionally… peruse the other new books. (It’s not as though they can dock my pay!) I found Andy Weir’s The Martian that way and quite enjoyed it.

    Reply
  17. What an enjoyable post, Nicola, about a fascinating find.
    I volunteer at my public library where I shelve returned books. I like to shelve in the new books area, and I might …occasionally… peruse the other new books. (It’s not as though they can dock my pay!) I found Andy Weir’s The Martian that way and quite enjoyed it.

    Reply
  18. What an enjoyable post, Nicola, about a fascinating find.
    I volunteer at my public library where I shelve returned books. I like to shelve in the new books area, and I might …occasionally… peruse the other new books. (It’s not as though they can dock my pay!) I found Andy Weir’s The Martian that way and quite enjoyed it.

    Reply
  19. What an enjoyable post, Nicola, about a fascinating find.
    I volunteer at my public library where I shelve returned books. I like to shelve in the new books area, and I might …occasionally… peruse the other new books. (It’s not as though they can dock my pay!) I found Andy Weir’s The Martian that way and quite enjoyed it.

    Reply
  20. What an enjoyable post, Nicola, about a fascinating find.
    I volunteer at my public library where I shelve returned books. I like to shelve in the new books area, and I might …occasionally… peruse the other new books. (It’s not as though they can dock my pay!) I found Andy Weir’s The Martian that way and quite enjoyed it.

    Reply
  21. And on your question ‘has a book you’ve picked up with one expectation turned out to be completely different?’ I can answer that I picked up a book and found something unexpected.
    A few years ago while browsing the old book section of a local thrift store, I found something nifty in an old logic book: A University of California, Schedule of Final Exams for April – May, 1915
    It was then ninety-nine years old and in wonderful condition; it looked as though it could have been printed that day.
    The vast majority of exams were three hours long. (My husband who attended UCB in the seventies said that was true then as well.)
    To name just a few (amongst the hundreds listed), there were exams in:
    Civil Engineering
    Geology
    Hygiene
    Celtic
    Mining
    Greek
    Oriental Languages
    Mechanics
    Sanskrit
    Jurisprudence – X
    English – X
    Zoology – X
    Philosophy – X
    Chemistry
    Agriculture: Viticulture
    Domestic Art
    Latin (many, many sections)
    I’ve marked with an X the exams the owner of this paper was scheduled to take.
    The final exam for Subject A was scheduled for Monday, April 26, at 2:00pm. My husband said that Subject A was still offered when he attended and was commonly referred to as Bonehead English.
    My husband went looking for, and found, exam times for Professor Hildebrand’s Chemistry classes. This professor who was teaching classes in 1914 was still a member of the department some sixty years later when my husband was there.
    We don’t live in California. So this paper had done some traveling in both time and distance.

    Reply
  22. And on your question ‘has a book you’ve picked up with one expectation turned out to be completely different?’ I can answer that I picked up a book and found something unexpected.
    A few years ago while browsing the old book section of a local thrift store, I found something nifty in an old logic book: A University of California, Schedule of Final Exams for April – May, 1915
    It was then ninety-nine years old and in wonderful condition; it looked as though it could have been printed that day.
    The vast majority of exams were three hours long. (My husband who attended UCB in the seventies said that was true then as well.)
    To name just a few (amongst the hundreds listed), there were exams in:
    Civil Engineering
    Geology
    Hygiene
    Celtic
    Mining
    Greek
    Oriental Languages
    Mechanics
    Sanskrit
    Jurisprudence – X
    English – X
    Zoology – X
    Philosophy – X
    Chemistry
    Agriculture: Viticulture
    Domestic Art
    Latin (many, many sections)
    I’ve marked with an X the exams the owner of this paper was scheduled to take.
    The final exam for Subject A was scheduled for Monday, April 26, at 2:00pm. My husband said that Subject A was still offered when he attended and was commonly referred to as Bonehead English.
    My husband went looking for, and found, exam times for Professor Hildebrand’s Chemistry classes. This professor who was teaching classes in 1914 was still a member of the department some sixty years later when my husband was there.
    We don’t live in California. So this paper had done some traveling in both time and distance.

    Reply
  23. And on your question ‘has a book you’ve picked up with one expectation turned out to be completely different?’ I can answer that I picked up a book and found something unexpected.
    A few years ago while browsing the old book section of a local thrift store, I found something nifty in an old logic book: A University of California, Schedule of Final Exams for April – May, 1915
    It was then ninety-nine years old and in wonderful condition; it looked as though it could have been printed that day.
    The vast majority of exams were three hours long. (My husband who attended UCB in the seventies said that was true then as well.)
    To name just a few (amongst the hundreds listed), there were exams in:
    Civil Engineering
    Geology
    Hygiene
    Celtic
    Mining
    Greek
    Oriental Languages
    Mechanics
    Sanskrit
    Jurisprudence – X
    English – X
    Zoology – X
    Philosophy – X
    Chemistry
    Agriculture: Viticulture
    Domestic Art
    Latin (many, many sections)
    I’ve marked with an X the exams the owner of this paper was scheduled to take.
    The final exam for Subject A was scheduled for Monday, April 26, at 2:00pm. My husband said that Subject A was still offered when he attended and was commonly referred to as Bonehead English.
    My husband went looking for, and found, exam times for Professor Hildebrand’s Chemistry classes. This professor who was teaching classes in 1914 was still a member of the department some sixty years later when my husband was there.
    We don’t live in California. So this paper had done some traveling in both time and distance.

    Reply
  24. And on your question ‘has a book you’ve picked up with one expectation turned out to be completely different?’ I can answer that I picked up a book and found something unexpected.
    A few years ago while browsing the old book section of a local thrift store, I found something nifty in an old logic book: A University of California, Schedule of Final Exams for April – May, 1915
    It was then ninety-nine years old and in wonderful condition; it looked as though it could have been printed that day.
    The vast majority of exams were three hours long. (My husband who attended UCB in the seventies said that was true then as well.)
    To name just a few (amongst the hundreds listed), there were exams in:
    Civil Engineering
    Geology
    Hygiene
    Celtic
    Mining
    Greek
    Oriental Languages
    Mechanics
    Sanskrit
    Jurisprudence – X
    English – X
    Zoology – X
    Philosophy – X
    Chemistry
    Agriculture: Viticulture
    Domestic Art
    Latin (many, many sections)
    I’ve marked with an X the exams the owner of this paper was scheduled to take.
    The final exam for Subject A was scheduled for Monday, April 26, at 2:00pm. My husband said that Subject A was still offered when he attended and was commonly referred to as Bonehead English.
    My husband went looking for, and found, exam times for Professor Hildebrand’s Chemistry classes. This professor who was teaching classes in 1914 was still a member of the department some sixty years later when my husband was there.
    We don’t live in California. So this paper had done some traveling in both time and distance.

    Reply
  25. And on your question ‘has a book you’ve picked up with one expectation turned out to be completely different?’ I can answer that I picked up a book and found something unexpected.
    A few years ago while browsing the old book section of a local thrift store, I found something nifty in an old logic book: A University of California, Schedule of Final Exams for April – May, 1915
    It was then ninety-nine years old and in wonderful condition; it looked as though it could have been printed that day.
    The vast majority of exams were three hours long. (My husband who attended UCB in the seventies said that was true then as well.)
    To name just a few (amongst the hundreds listed), there were exams in:
    Civil Engineering
    Geology
    Hygiene
    Celtic
    Mining
    Greek
    Oriental Languages
    Mechanics
    Sanskrit
    Jurisprudence – X
    English – X
    Zoology – X
    Philosophy – X
    Chemistry
    Agriculture: Viticulture
    Domestic Art
    Latin (many, many sections)
    I’ve marked with an X the exams the owner of this paper was scheduled to take.
    The final exam for Subject A was scheduled for Monday, April 26, at 2:00pm. My husband said that Subject A was still offered when he attended and was commonly referred to as Bonehead English.
    My husband went looking for, and found, exam times for Professor Hildebrand’s Chemistry classes. This professor who was teaching classes in 1914 was still a member of the department some sixty years later when my husband was there.
    We don’t live in California. So this paper had done some traveling in both time and distance.

    Reply
  26. I can’t address the issue of coming across an unexpected great book, but I can address this great post.
    I saw the Bayeux Tapestry a few years ago and fell in love with it. Wanted to spend more time looking at it, but we were strongly encouraged to move along. As soon as I read this post, I went on line to see if my library had it, and then put an immediate hold on it. I am so looking forward to reading it.
    You guys have the best posts. Thank you.

    Reply
  27. I can’t address the issue of coming across an unexpected great book, but I can address this great post.
    I saw the Bayeux Tapestry a few years ago and fell in love with it. Wanted to spend more time looking at it, but we were strongly encouraged to move along. As soon as I read this post, I went on line to see if my library had it, and then put an immediate hold on it. I am so looking forward to reading it.
    You guys have the best posts. Thank you.

    Reply
  28. I can’t address the issue of coming across an unexpected great book, but I can address this great post.
    I saw the Bayeux Tapestry a few years ago and fell in love with it. Wanted to spend more time looking at it, but we were strongly encouraged to move along. As soon as I read this post, I went on line to see if my library had it, and then put an immediate hold on it. I am so looking forward to reading it.
    You guys have the best posts. Thank you.

    Reply
  29. I can’t address the issue of coming across an unexpected great book, but I can address this great post.
    I saw the Bayeux Tapestry a few years ago and fell in love with it. Wanted to spend more time looking at it, but we were strongly encouraged to move along. As soon as I read this post, I went on line to see if my library had it, and then put an immediate hold on it. I am so looking forward to reading it.
    You guys have the best posts. Thank you.

    Reply
  30. I can’t address the issue of coming across an unexpected great book, but I can address this great post.
    I saw the Bayeux Tapestry a few years ago and fell in love with it. Wanted to spend more time looking at it, but we were strongly encouraged to move along. As soon as I read this post, I went on line to see if my library had it, and then put an immediate hold on it. I am so looking forward to reading it.
    You guys have the best posts. Thank you.

    Reply
  31. I have often found books that aren’t what I expected, but none were as different and as thrilling as your experience! Thank you so much for sharing this adventure with us!

    Reply
  32. I have often found books that aren’t what I expected, but none were as different and as thrilling as your experience! Thank you so much for sharing this adventure with us!

    Reply
  33. I have often found books that aren’t what I expected, but none were as different and as thrilling as your experience! Thank you so much for sharing this adventure with us!

    Reply
  34. I have often found books that aren’t what I expected, but none were as different and as thrilling as your experience! Thank you so much for sharing this adventure with us!

    Reply
  35. I have often found books that aren’t what I expected, but none were as different and as thrilling as your experience! Thank you so much for sharing this adventure with us!

    Reply
  36. In my mother-in-law’s attic, when I was helping her clear her house to move, I found a large collection of Baedeker’s guide books for countries all over Europe and several for Great Britain, all from the beginning of the nineteenth century. Some of them even included handwritten notations in some of the margins from whomever originally visited the sites. There was also one from just after WWI. These might be boring to some, but they’re a treasure trove if you’re writing, or even reading, Georgian and Regency novels. You can sort of ‘see’ what was there at that time instead of guessing based on what remains now. It was also interesting to compare England, especially London, before and after WW I. My mother-in-law happily gave all of the books to me and I still treasure them. They weren’t in a bookstore, but they were still an unexpected find.

    Reply
  37. In my mother-in-law’s attic, when I was helping her clear her house to move, I found a large collection of Baedeker’s guide books for countries all over Europe and several for Great Britain, all from the beginning of the nineteenth century. Some of them even included handwritten notations in some of the margins from whomever originally visited the sites. There was also one from just after WWI. These might be boring to some, but they’re a treasure trove if you’re writing, or even reading, Georgian and Regency novels. You can sort of ‘see’ what was there at that time instead of guessing based on what remains now. It was also interesting to compare England, especially London, before and after WW I. My mother-in-law happily gave all of the books to me and I still treasure them. They weren’t in a bookstore, but they were still an unexpected find.

    Reply
  38. In my mother-in-law’s attic, when I was helping her clear her house to move, I found a large collection of Baedeker’s guide books for countries all over Europe and several for Great Britain, all from the beginning of the nineteenth century. Some of them even included handwritten notations in some of the margins from whomever originally visited the sites. There was also one from just after WWI. These might be boring to some, but they’re a treasure trove if you’re writing, or even reading, Georgian and Regency novels. You can sort of ‘see’ what was there at that time instead of guessing based on what remains now. It was also interesting to compare England, especially London, before and after WW I. My mother-in-law happily gave all of the books to me and I still treasure them. They weren’t in a bookstore, but they were still an unexpected find.

    Reply
  39. In my mother-in-law’s attic, when I was helping her clear her house to move, I found a large collection of Baedeker’s guide books for countries all over Europe and several for Great Britain, all from the beginning of the nineteenth century. Some of them even included handwritten notations in some of the margins from whomever originally visited the sites. There was also one from just after WWI. These might be boring to some, but they’re a treasure trove if you’re writing, or even reading, Georgian and Regency novels. You can sort of ‘see’ what was there at that time instead of guessing based on what remains now. It was also interesting to compare England, especially London, before and after WW I. My mother-in-law happily gave all of the books to me and I still treasure them. They weren’t in a bookstore, but they were still an unexpected find.

    Reply
  40. In my mother-in-law’s attic, when I was helping her clear her house to move, I found a large collection of Baedeker’s guide books for countries all over Europe and several for Great Britain, all from the beginning of the nineteenth century. Some of them even included handwritten notations in some of the margins from whomever originally visited the sites. There was also one from just after WWI. These might be boring to some, but they’re a treasure trove if you’re writing, or even reading, Georgian and Regency novels. You can sort of ‘see’ what was there at that time instead of guessing based on what remains now. It was also interesting to compare England, especially London, before and after WW I. My mother-in-law happily gave all of the books to me and I still treasure them. They weren’t in a bookstore, but they were still an unexpected find.

    Reply
  41. Nicola – what a splendid post! I’m going to want to read that book about the tapestry. I love a page-turner! Regarding a seminal book that was a game-changer – for me, it was “Little Women” by Louisa May Alcott. When I first read it, it was just a story. I didn’t realize that many aspects of the book mirrored Alcott’s own life. But getting back to the seminal part…like the sisters in the book, I started acting out the plot (in the privacy of my room, behind closed doors.) The subjects of my imagining were Jo and Laurie, who I was sure should have been together at the end. (Amy was a brat and didn’t deserve him.) So every night, behind closed doors, I would re-write the book in my head, arranging the ending as I preferred. And I strongly feel Little Women is what set me (eventually) on the road to writing. The other seminal book is Mary Stewart’s Madam, Will You Talk? But that’s a tale for another time.

    Reply
  42. Nicola – what a splendid post! I’m going to want to read that book about the tapestry. I love a page-turner! Regarding a seminal book that was a game-changer – for me, it was “Little Women” by Louisa May Alcott. When I first read it, it was just a story. I didn’t realize that many aspects of the book mirrored Alcott’s own life. But getting back to the seminal part…like the sisters in the book, I started acting out the plot (in the privacy of my room, behind closed doors.) The subjects of my imagining were Jo and Laurie, who I was sure should have been together at the end. (Amy was a brat and didn’t deserve him.) So every night, behind closed doors, I would re-write the book in my head, arranging the ending as I preferred. And I strongly feel Little Women is what set me (eventually) on the road to writing. The other seminal book is Mary Stewart’s Madam, Will You Talk? But that’s a tale for another time.

    Reply
  43. Nicola – what a splendid post! I’m going to want to read that book about the tapestry. I love a page-turner! Regarding a seminal book that was a game-changer – for me, it was “Little Women” by Louisa May Alcott. When I first read it, it was just a story. I didn’t realize that many aspects of the book mirrored Alcott’s own life. But getting back to the seminal part…like the sisters in the book, I started acting out the plot (in the privacy of my room, behind closed doors.) The subjects of my imagining were Jo and Laurie, who I was sure should have been together at the end. (Amy was a brat and didn’t deserve him.) So every night, behind closed doors, I would re-write the book in my head, arranging the ending as I preferred. And I strongly feel Little Women is what set me (eventually) on the road to writing. The other seminal book is Mary Stewart’s Madam, Will You Talk? But that’s a tale for another time.

    Reply
  44. Nicola – what a splendid post! I’m going to want to read that book about the tapestry. I love a page-turner! Regarding a seminal book that was a game-changer – for me, it was “Little Women” by Louisa May Alcott. When I first read it, it was just a story. I didn’t realize that many aspects of the book mirrored Alcott’s own life. But getting back to the seminal part…like the sisters in the book, I started acting out the plot (in the privacy of my room, behind closed doors.) The subjects of my imagining were Jo and Laurie, who I was sure should have been together at the end. (Amy was a brat and didn’t deserve him.) So every night, behind closed doors, I would re-write the book in my head, arranging the ending as I preferred. And I strongly feel Little Women is what set me (eventually) on the road to writing. The other seminal book is Mary Stewart’s Madam, Will You Talk? But that’s a tale for another time.

    Reply
  45. Nicola – what a splendid post! I’m going to want to read that book about the tapestry. I love a page-turner! Regarding a seminal book that was a game-changer – for me, it was “Little Women” by Louisa May Alcott. When I first read it, it was just a story. I didn’t realize that many aspects of the book mirrored Alcott’s own life. But getting back to the seminal part…like the sisters in the book, I started acting out the plot (in the privacy of my room, behind closed doors.) The subjects of my imagining were Jo and Laurie, who I was sure should have been together at the end. (Amy was a brat and didn’t deserve him.) So every night, behind closed doors, I would re-write the book in my head, arranging the ending as I preferred. And I strongly feel Little Women is what set me (eventually) on the road to writing. The other seminal book is Mary Stewart’s Madam, Will You Talk? But that’s a tale for another time.

    Reply
  46. I found a wonderful book called “London’s lost riverscape : a photographic panorama” at a book fair.in 1937 the Port of London Authority commissioned a series of photos of both banks of the Thames, from London Bridge to Greenwich. The photos link to show the whole route, in a long-vanished view of the ships, barges, warehouses and quays of London’s maritime past. Most of them disappeared during the war or were destroyed later. Many of the Victorian
    buildings were probably familiar to my great-grandfather, growing up in Rotherhithe. The photographer’s name hasn’t survived, but he left a marvellously evocative series of pictures.

    Reply
  47. I found a wonderful book called “London’s lost riverscape : a photographic panorama” at a book fair.in 1937 the Port of London Authority commissioned a series of photos of both banks of the Thames, from London Bridge to Greenwich. The photos link to show the whole route, in a long-vanished view of the ships, barges, warehouses and quays of London’s maritime past. Most of them disappeared during the war or were destroyed later. Many of the Victorian
    buildings were probably familiar to my great-grandfather, growing up in Rotherhithe. The photographer’s name hasn’t survived, but he left a marvellously evocative series of pictures.

    Reply
  48. I found a wonderful book called “London’s lost riverscape : a photographic panorama” at a book fair.in 1937 the Port of London Authority commissioned a series of photos of both banks of the Thames, from London Bridge to Greenwich. The photos link to show the whole route, in a long-vanished view of the ships, barges, warehouses and quays of London’s maritime past. Most of them disappeared during the war or were destroyed later. Many of the Victorian
    buildings were probably familiar to my great-grandfather, growing up in Rotherhithe. The photographer’s name hasn’t survived, but he left a marvellously evocative series of pictures.

    Reply
  49. I found a wonderful book called “London’s lost riverscape : a photographic panorama” at a book fair.in 1937 the Port of London Authority commissioned a series of photos of both banks of the Thames, from London Bridge to Greenwich. The photos link to show the whole route, in a long-vanished view of the ships, barges, warehouses and quays of London’s maritime past. Most of them disappeared during the war or were destroyed later. Many of the Victorian
    buildings were probably familiar to my great-grandfather, growing up in Rotherhithe. The photographer’s name hasn’t survived, but he left a marvellously evocative series of pictures.

    Reply
  50. I found a wonderful book called “London’s lost riverscape : a photographic panorama” at a book fair.in 1937 the Port of London Authority commissioned a series of photos of both banks of the Thames, from London Bridge to Greenwich. The photos link to show the whole route, in a long-vanished view of the ships, barges, warehouses and quays of London’s maritime past. Most of them disappeared during the war or were destroyed later. Many of the Victorian
    buildings were probably familiar to my great-grandfather, growing up in Rotherhithe. The photographer’s name hasn’t survived, but he left a marvellously evocative series of pictures.

    Reply
  51. I hope you enjoy the book, Mary Jo, and that you get to see the tapestry. It’s many years since I saw it and when I heard there was a plan to exhibit it in the UK soon I was very excited! I’d have to take the book along to interpret it step by step!

    Reply
  52. I hope you enjoy the book, Mary Jo, and that you get to see the tapestry. It’s many years since I saw it and when I heard there was a plan to exhibit it in the UK soon I was very excited! I’d have to take the book along to interpret it step by step!

    Reply
  53. I hope you enjoy the book, Mary Jo, and that you get to see the tapestry. It’s many years since I saw it and when I heard there was a plan to exhibit it in the UK soon I was very excited! I’d have to take the book along to interpret it step by step!

    Reply
  54. I hope you enjoy the book, Mary Jo, and that you get to see the tapestry. It’s many years since I saw it and when I heard there was a plan to exhibit it in the UK soon I was very excited! I’d have to take the book along to interpret it step by step!

    Reply
  55. I hope you enjoy the book, Mary Jo, and that you get to see the tapestry. It’s many years since I saw it and when I heard there was a plan to exhibit it in the UK soon I was very excited! I’d have to take the book along to interpret it step by step!

    Reply
  56. Wow, that’s fascinating, Quantum! I didn’t know that about William Morris either. What a polymath he was! I must check out his writing.
    I haven’t been to Hay for many years – too dangerous to my bank account!!

    Reply
  57. Wow, that’s fascinating, Quantum! I didn’t know that about William Morris either. What a polymath he was! I must check out his writing.
    I haven’t been to Hay for many years – too dangerous to my bank account!!

    Reply
  58. Wow, that’s fascinating, Quantum! I didn’t know that about William Morris either. What a polymath he was! I must check out his writing.
    I haven’t been to Hay for many years – too dangerous to my bank account!!

    Reply
  59. Wow, that’s fascinating, Quantum! I didn’t know that about William Morris either. What a polymath he was! I must check out his writing.
    I haven’t been to Hay for many years – too dangerous to my bank account!!

    Reply
  60. Wow, that’s fascinating, Quantum! I didn’t know that about William Morris either. What a polymath he was! I must check out his writing.
    I haven’t been to Hay for many years – too dangerous to my bank account!!

    Reply
  61. LOL! Miss Sherman was obviously a good judge of a book!
    That’s another one for my list then. I’d love to read more about the Pilgrimage of Grace. Thank you for the recommendation!

    Reply
  62. LOL! Miss Sherman was obviously a good judge of a book!
    That’s another one for my list then. I’d love to read more about the Pilgrimage of Grace. Thank you for the recommendation!

    Reply
  63. LOL! Miss Sherman was obviously a good judge of a book!
    That’s another one for my list then. I’d love to read more about the Pilgrimage of Grace. Thank you for the recommendation!

    Reply
  64. LOL! Miss Sherman was obviously a good judge of a book!
    That’s another one for my list then. I’d love to read more about the Pilgrimage of Grace. Thank you for the recommendation!

    Reply
  65. LOL! Miss Sherman was obviously a good judge of a book!
    That’s another one for my list then. I’d love to read more about the Pilgrimage of Grace. Thank you for the recommendation!

    Reply
  66. That is a truly remarkable story! A real life history detective piece of work too. I love the way that finds in books link us to people and the past. There’s another blog topic there…Thank you for sharing!

    Reply
  67. That is a truly remarkable story! A real life history detective piece of work too. I love the way that finds in books link us to people and the past. There’s another blog topic there…Thank you for sharing!

    Reply
  68. That is a truly remarkable story! A real life history detective piece of work too. I love the way that finds in books link us to people and the past. There’s another blog topic there…Thank you for sharing!

    Reply
  69. That is a truly remarkable story! A real life history detective piece of work too. I love the way that finds in books link us to people and the past. There’s another blog topic there…Thank you for sharing!

    Reply
  70. That is a truly remarkable story! A real life history detective piece of work too. I love the way that finds in books link us to people and the past. There’s another blog topic there…Thank you for sharing!

    Reply
  71. Thank you so much, Alison! I do think we have a great mix of posts on this blog and it’s always nice to hear that people enjoy them. One of the problems with very popular museum exhibits these days seems to be the crowds of people and the way you’re moved along. It’s great that so many people get to see them but it’s impossible to get a really in depth look at a story like the Bayeux Tapestry if you’re being hurried! With this book you can at least look at the pictures to see what the author is talking about and you can do it in your own time.

    Reply
  72. Thank you so much, Alison! I do think we have a great mix of posts on this blog and it’s always nice to hear that people enjoy them. One of the problems with very popular museum exhibits these days seems to be the crowds of people and the way you’re moved along. It’s great that so many people get to see them but it’s impossible to get a really in depth look at a story like the Bayeux Tapestry if you’re being hurried! With this book you can at least look at the pictures to see what the author is talking about and you can do it in your own time.

    Reply
  73. Thank you so much, Alison! I do think we have a great mix of posts on this blog and it’s always nice to hear that people enjoy them. One of the problems with very popular museum exhibits these days seems to be the crowds of people and the way you’re moved along. It’s great that so many people get to see them but it’s impossible to get a really in depth look at a story like the Bayeux Tapestry if you’re being hurried! With this book you can at least look at the pictures to see what the author is talking about and you can do it in your own time.

    Reply
  74. Thank you so much, Alison! I do think we have a great mix of posts on this blog and it’s always nice to hear that people enjoy them. One of the problems with very popular museum exhibits these days seems to be the crowds of people and the way you’re moved along. It’s great that so many people get to see them but it’s impossible to get a really in depth look at a story like the Bayeux Tapestry if you’re being hurried! With this book you can at least look at the pictures to see what the author is talking about and you can do it in your own time.

    Reply
  75. Thank you so much, Alison! I do think we have a great mix of posts on this blog and it’s always nice to hear that people enjoy them. One of the problems with very popular museum exhibits these days seems to be the crowds of people and the way you’re moved along. It’s great that so many people get to see them but it’s impossible to get a really in depth look at a story like the Bayeux Tapestry if you’re being hurried! With this book you can at least look at the pictures to see what the author is talking about and you can do it in your own time.

    Reply
  76. Oh wow, what a find, Lucy! That’s really special. It feels like a bridge to the past, particularly when places have changed so much in the last century that it can be difficult to find the historical bits of a city like London beneath the modern. One of my favourite things is looking for traces of history in the modern day and having a Baedeker guide to help you would be amazing.

    Reply
  77. Oh wow, what a find, Lucy! That’s really special. It feels like a bridge to the past, particularly when places have changed so much in the last century that it can be difficult to find the historical bits of a city like London beneath the modern. One of my favourite things is looking for traces of history in the modern day and having a Baedeker guide to help you would be amazing.

    Reply
  78. Oh wow, what a find, Lucy! That’s really special. It feels like a bridge to the past, particularly when places have changed so much in the last century that it can be difficult to find the historical bits of a city like London beneath the modern. One of my favourite things is looking for traces of history in the modern day and having a Baedeker guide to help you would be amazing.

    Reply
  79. Oh wow, what a find, Lucy! That’s really special. It feels like a bridge to the past, particularly when places have changed so much in the last century that it can be difficult to find the historical bits of a city like London beneath the modern. One of my favourite things is looking for traces of history in the modern day and having a Baedeker guide to help you would be amazing.

    Reply
  80. Oh wow, what a find, Lucy! That’s really special. It feels like a bridge to the past, particularly when places have changed so much in the last century that it can be difficult to find the historical bits of a city like London beneath the modern. One of my favourite things is looking for traces of history in the modern day and having a Baedeker guide to help you would be amazing.

    Reply
  81. I love the way this book had such an influence on you, Binnie, and your writing future. You never forget those seminal books, do you. I think we should have another blog post about Mary Stewart soon as well!

    Reply
  82. I love the way this book had such an influence on you, Binnie, and your writing future. You never forget those seminal books, do you. I think we should have another blog post about Mary Stewart soon as well!

    Reply
  83. I love the way this book had such an influence on you, Binnie, and your writing future. You never forget those seminal books, do you. I think we should have another blog post about Mary Stewart soon as well!

    Reply
  84. I love the way this book had such an influence on you, Binnie, and your writing future. You never forget those seminal books, do you. I think we should have another blog post about Mary Stewart soon as well!

    Reply
  85. I love the way this book had such an influence on you, Binnie, and your writing future. You never forget those seminal books, do you. I think we should have another blog post about Mary Stewart soon as well!

    Reply
  86. A glimpse into a lost world, Suzanna! How wonderful, and so interesting to think this was the view your grandfather would probably have seen.

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  87. A glimpse into a lost world, Suzanna! How wonderful, and so interesting to think this was the view your grandfather would probably have seen.

    Reply
  88. A glimpse into a lost world, Suzanna! How wonderful, and so interesting to think this was the view your grandfather would probably have seen.

    Reply
  89. A glimpse into a lost world, Suzanna! How wonderful, and so interesting to think this was the view your grandfather would probably have seen.

    Reply
  90. A glimpse into a lost world, Suzanna! How wonderful, and so interesting to think this was the view your grandfather would probably have seen.

    Reply
  91. Thanks for this post. I think one of the books which really got into my head was 84 Charing Cross Road. It was an eye opener. Then the film was wonderful too.

    Reply
  92. Thanks for this post. I think one of the books which really got into my head was 84 Charing Cross Road. It was an eye opener. Then the film was wonderful too.

    Reply
  93. Thanks for this post. I think one of the books which really got into my head was 84 Charing Cross Road. It was an eye opener. Then the film was wonderful too.

    Reply
  94. Thanks for this post. I think one of the books which really got into my head was 84 Charing Cross Road. It was an eye opener. Then the film was wonderful too.

    Reply
  95. Thanks for this post. I think one of the books which really got into my head was 84 Charing Cross Road. It was an eye opener. Then the film was wonderful too.

    Reply
  96. I can’t at the moment recall a similar situation to what you describe, Nicola, but I daily receive far too many book-related emails, newsletters, reviews, etc. If I read about something that looks appealing, I do a quick search to see if I can get it in print or audio from the libraries in my area and then often end up in a long queue to borrow it. By the time the selection finally comes to me, I sometimes have absolutely no recollection of why I wanted it. At lease three times in the last year I’ve ended up with a book that I looked at skeptically and then was blown away by: A Place For Us, by Fatima Farheen Mirza, Miracle Creek, by Angie Kim, and currently: The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai. I’m so grateful that I resisted the temptation to just shrug and move on.
    As for the Bayeux Tapestry, my husband and I were lucky enough to get to see it on a day when the museum was relatively empty. Unfortunately, our far too observant six and eight-year-old daughters somehow managed to zoom in on the many “adult only” sections of the tapestry, and I ended up having to run past it, pulling them along with exhortations about the ice cream we needed to go track down outside. Alas, I’ve never made it back.

    Reply
  97. I can’t at the moment recall a similar situation to what you describe, Nicola, but I daily receive far too many book-related emails, newsletters, reviews, etc. If I read about something that looks appealing, I do a quick search to see if I can get it in print or audio from the libraries in my area and then often end up in a long queue to borrow it. By the time the selection finally comes to me, I sometimes have absolutely no recollection of why I wanted it. At lease three times in the last year I’ve ended up with a book that I looked at skeptically and then was blown away by: A Place For Us, by Fatima Farheen Mirza, Miracle Creek, by Angie Kim, and currently: The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai. I’m so grateful that I resisted the temptation to just shrug and move on.
    As for the Bayeux Tapestry, my husband and I were lucky enough to get to see it on a day when the museum was relatively empty. Unfortunately, our far too observant six and eight-year-old daughters somehow managed to zoom in on the many “adult only” sections of the tapestry, and I ended up having to run past it, pulling them along with exhortations about the ice cream we needed to go track down outside. Alas, I’ve never made it back.

    Reply
  98. I can’t at the moment recall a similar situation to what you describe, Nicola, but I daily receive far too many book-related emails, newsletters, reviews, etc. If I read about something that looks appealing, I do a quick search to see if I can get it in print or audio from the libraries in my area and then often end up in a long queue to borrow it. By the time the selection finally comes to me, I sometimes have absolutely no recollection of why I wanted it. At lease three times in the last year I’ve ended up with a book that I looked at skeptically and then was blown away by: A Place For Us, by Fatima Farheen Mirza, Miracle Creek, by Angie Kim, and currently: The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai. I’m so grateful that I resisted the temptation to just shrug and move on.
    As for the Bayeux Tapestry, my husband and I were lucky enough to get to see it on a day when the museum was relatively empty. Unfortunately, our far too observant six and eight-year-old daughters somehow managed to zoom in on the many “adult only” sections of the tapestry, and I ended up having to run past it, pulling them along with exhortations about the ice cream we needed to go track down outside. Alas, I’ve never made it back.

    Reply
  99. I can’t at the moment recall a similar situation to what you describe, Nicola, but I daily receive far too many book-related emails, newsletters, reviews, etc. If I read about something that looks appealing, I do a quick search to see if I can get it in print or audio from the libraries in my area and then often end up in a long queue to borrow it. By the time the selection finally comes to me, I sometimes have absolutely no recollection of why I wanted it. At lease three times in the last year I’ve ended up with a book that I looked at skeptically and then was blown away by: A Place For Us, by Fatima Farheen Mirza, Miracle Creek, by Angie Kim, and currently: The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai. I’m so grateful that I resisted the temptation to just shrug and move on.
    As for the Bayeux Tapestry, my husband and I were lucky enough to get to see it on a day when the museum was relatively empty. Unfortunately, our far too observant six and eight-year-old daughters somehow managed to zoom in on the many “adult only” sections of the tapestry, and I ended up having to run past it, pulling them along with exhortations about the ice cream we needed to go track down outside. Alas, I’ve never made it back.

    Reply
  100. I can’t at the moment recall a similar situation to what you describe, Nicola, but I daily receive far too many book-related emails, newsletters, reviews, etc. If I read about something that looks appealing, I do a quick search to see if I can get it in print or audio from the libraries in my area and then often end up in a long queue to borrow it. By the time the selection finally comes to me, I sometimes have absolutely no recollection of why I wanted it. At lease three times in the last year I’ve ended up with a book that I looked at skeptically and then was blown away by: A Place For Us, by Fatima Farheen Mirza, Miracle Creek, by Angie Kim, and currently: The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai. I’m so grateful that I resisted the temptation to just shrug and move on.
    As for the Bayeux Tapestry, my husband and I were lucky enough to get to see it on a day when the museum was relatively empty. Unfortunately, our far too observant six and eight-year-old daughters somehow managed to zoom in on the many “adult only” sections of the tapestry, and I ended up having to run past it, pulling them along with exhortations about the ice cream we needed to go track down outside. Alas, I’ve never made it back.

    Reply
  101. Great Post, Nicola. Please explain the connection between Tredegar House and Ashdown House.
    Yes, I have sometimes stumbled across books unexpectedly in charity shops or rummage sales. Years ago I discovered Joan Last’s Winged Pharoah with its back cover missing in a junk shop and have kept the same copy ever since. I think that is how I came across The Matriarch by G.B. Stern and quite a few others. And I think I found Black Idol by Lisa St. Aubin de Terán in one of those shelves in hotels where people leave behind the books they have finished reading. All brilliant.

    Reply
  102. Great Post, Nicola. Please explain the connection between Tredegar House and Ashdown House.
    Yes, I have sometimes stumbled across books unexpectedly in charity shops or rummage sales. Years ago I discovered Joan Last’s Winged Pharoah with its back cover missing in a junk shop and have kept the same copy ever since. I think that is how I came across The Matriarch by G.B. Stern and quite a few others. And I think I found Black Idol by Lisa St. Aubin de Terán in one of those shelves in hotels where people leave behind the books they have finished reading. All brilliant.

    Reply
  103. Great Post, Nicola. Please explain the connection between Tredegar House and Ashdown House.
    Yes, I have sometimes stumbled across books unexpectedly in charity shops or rummage sales. Years ago I discovered Joan Last’s Winged Pharoah with its back cover missing in a junk shop and have kept the same copy ever since. I think that is how I came across The Matriarch by G.B. Stern and quite a few others. And I think I found Black Idol by Lisa St. Aubin de Terán in one of those shelves in hotels where people leave behind the books they have finished reading. All brilliant.

    Reply
  104. Great Post, Nicola. Please explain the connection between Tredegar House and Ashdown House.
    Yes, I have sometimes stumbled across books unexpectedly in charity shops or rummage sales. Years ago I discovered Joan Last’s Winged Pharoah with its back cover missing in a junk shop and have kept the same copy ever since. I think that is how I came across The Matriarch by G.B. Stern and quite a few others. And I think I found Black Idol by Lisa St. Aubin de Terán in one of those shelves in hotels where people leave behind the books they have finished reading. All brilliant.

    Reply
  105. Great Post, Nicola. Please explain the connection between Tredegar House and Ashdown House.
    Yes, I have sometimes stumbled across books unexpectedly in charity shops or rummage sales. Years ago I discovered Joan Last’s Winged Pharoah with its back cover missing in a junk shop and have kept the same copy ever since. I think that is how I came across The Matriarch by G.B. Stern and quite a few others. And I think I found Black Idol by Lisa St. Aubin de Terán in one of those shelves in hotels where people leave behind the books they have finished reading. All brilliant.

    Reply
  106. LOL, Margaret, as long as you enjoy the books when they finally come to you, that’s all that matters!
    I love your description of the day at the Bayeux Tapestry with your daughters. Yes there are quite a few X-rated bits of it!

    Reply
  107. LOL, Margaret, as long as you enjoy the books when they finally come to you, that’s all that matters!
    I love your description of the day at the Bayeux Tapestry with your daughters. Yes there are quite a few X-rated bits of it!

    Reply
  108. LOL, Margaret, as long as you enjoy the books when they finally come to you, that’s all that matters!
    I love your description of the day at the Bayeux Tapestry with your daughters. Yes there are quite a few X-rated bits of it!

    Reply
  109. LOL, Margaret, as long as you enjoy the books when they finally come to you, that’s all that matters!
    I love your description of the day at the Bayeux Tapestry with your daughters. Yes there are quite a few X-rated bits of it!

    Reply
  110. LOL, Margaret, as long as you enjoy the books when they finally come to you, that’s all that matters!
    I love your description of the day at the Bayeux Tapestry with your daughters. Yes there are quite a few X-rated bits of it!

    Reply
  111. The shelves of hotels and rental cottages and cruise ships are also great places to find treasures, aren’t they, Julia! I love the element of surprise too. You never know what you are going to find.

    Reply
  112. The shelves of hotels and rental cottages and cruise ships are also great places to find treasures, aren’t they, Julia! I love the element of surprise too. You never know what you are going to find.

    Reply
  113. The shelves of hotels and rental cottages and cruise ships are also great places to find treasures, aren’t they, Julia! I love the element of surprise too. You never know what you are going to find.

    Reply
  114. The shelves of hotels and rental cottages and cruise ships are also great places to find treasures, aren’t they, Julia! I love the element of surprise too. You never know what you are going to find.

    Reply
  115. The shelves of hotels and rental cottages and cruise ships are also great places to find treasures, aren’t they, Julia! I love the element of surprise too. You never know what you are going to find.

    Reply
  116. Sorry, forgot the Ashdown connection… There is a portrait of Sir Charles Morgan of the Tredegar family amongst the collection at Ashdown. He was a soldier whose path crossed that of William Craven during teh 30 Years War.

    Reply
  117. Sorry, forgot the Ashdown connection… There is a portrait of Sir Charles Morgan of the Tredegar family amongst the collection at Ashdown. He was a soldier whose path crossed that of William Craven during teh 30 Years War.

    Reply
  118. Sorry, forgot the Ashdown connection… There is a portrait of Sir Charles Morgan of the Tredegar family amongst the collection at Ashdown. He was a soldier whose path crossed that of William Craven during teh 30 Years War.

    Reply
  119. Sorry, forgot the Ashdown connection… There is a portrait of Sir Charles Morgan of the Tredegar family amongst the collection at Ashdown. He was a soldier whose path crossed that of William Craven during teh 30 Years War.

    Reply
  120. Sorry, forgot the Ashdown connection… There is a portrait of Sir Charles Morgan of the Tredegar family amongst the collection at Ashdown. He was a soldier whose path crossed that of William Craven during teh 30 Years War.

    Reply

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