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Topic: What's your February biography selection?

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Subject: What's your February biography selection?
Date Posted: 2/2/2013 1:02 PM ET
Member Since: 11/18/2009
Posts: 551
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I'm almost done with  my January choice (E.F. Benson'sThe Life of  Alcibiades), and then I'll be tackling Joan Schenkar's The Talented Miss Highsmith.

What are you all reading in the biography line?

                                                                                                              Rose

Date Posted: 2/2/2013 6:01 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2005
Posts: 318
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I'm reading Florence Nightingale:  The Making of an Icon by Mark Bostridge for the influential woman category and listening to the audiobook of Thomas Jefferson:  The Art of Power by Jon Meacham.

Date Posted: 2/4/2013 6:06 PM ET
Member Since: 5/31/2009
Posts: 2,864
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Completed four shorter reads for January - biography and memoirs, entertainment, sports and geography/travel.  I think I''ll tackle my history choice:  The Post Reader of Civil War Stories edited by Gordon Carroll



Last Edited on: 2/4/13 6:08 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Subject: January & February
Date Posted: 2/5/2013 9:46 AM ET
Member Since: 11/15/2011
Posts: 56
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Last Edited on: 2/5/13 10:04 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Subject: February
Date Posted: 2/5/2013 10:03 AM ET
Member Since: 11/15/2011
Posts: 56
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For February I will be reading Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey by the Countess of Carnarvon.  I thought it would be interesting to see if there were any parallels with the fictional story I'm following on Masterpiece Theater.

I just finished reading the book today (Feb. 11th) and I must say that the real people were more interesting than the fictional Downton characters.  Unlike Cora, Almina did more than administer the hospital at Highclere during WWI.  She was involved with actual hands-on nursing and kept  in touch with the families of her patients.  The Earl co-discovered King Tutankhamun's tomb along with Howard Carter.  After her husband's untimely death, the Countess supported Carter so he could complete his work cataloging the artifacts.  

 



Last Edited on: 2/12/13 12:11 AM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 2/10/2013 9:37 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2005
Posts: 318
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I finished my read for the influential woman category, Florence Nightingale:  The Making of an Icon by Mark Bostridge, rating B+. I enjoyed it & felt Bostridge provided a well-researched portrayal of Nightingale.  She was not the sweet saint I had always envisioned.  She had a very strong personality, was a reformer and excellent at organization.  She suffered ill health after nursing in British military hospitals in Turkey during the Crimean War, and was confined to her rooms for most of her life, although she lived to 90.  She understood the strength of statistics and how to present them with her arguments.  She was an adherent of the sanitary movement, that keeping hospitals and homes clean & sanitary had much to do with good health and fighing sickness.  She was one of the first people to use pie charts to present her findings and statistics.   

Barb S. (okbye) - ,
Date Posted: 2/11/2013 2:55 PM ET
Member Since: 3/14/2011
Posts: 5,767
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She was also an ambitious woman who didn't care for competition. Something about Mary Seacole would be a good companion piece.



Last Edited on: 2/11/13 2:57 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/14/2013 6:51 AM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2005
Posts: 318
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For one of my free choices, I finished Thomas Jefferson:  the Art of Power by Jon Meacham.  I listened to the audiobook.  Meacham believes that Jefferson was a political person and that power was very important to him, although he disguised it by being very affable.  I thought Meacham was fair and even handed, and presented some interesting insights about Jefferson's character.  Meacham said that Jefferson's opinions tended to change to suit the role he currently played.  He liked to work behind the scenes and not get his hands dirty.  When he was in the federal government, he believed in a strong central government.  When he was governor of Virginia during the Revolutionary War, he believed in strong state governments.  I've always been very conflicted about Jefferson.  I think he was a flawed and hypocritical individual, but the Declaration of Independence was powerful with its implications and possibilities. 

I enjoyed the book, but I thought Meacham's Andrew Jackson biography was better.