Byzantium – A Very Short Introduction

This is a bit of a stretch for a travel blog but it does provide the background for some of the sights that ca be seen in modern Istanbul . Number 437 in the ‘A Very Short Introduction’ series. In 324 AD the Roman Emperor Constantine defeated the last of his foes, Licinius, at sea,Continue reading “Byzantium – A Very Short Introduction”

A very short introduction to Alexis de Tocqueville

This very short introduction allows the reader to understand the writings of Alex de Tocqueville most famously known for the two volume Democracy in America. Tocqueville travelled for 9 months in America in 1831-32 with his great friend Gustave de Beaumont. The first volume of Democracy in America appeared in 1835. This volume was aboutContinue reading “A very short introduction to Alexis de Tocqueville”

Life on the Golden Horn – Book Review

This is number 6 in the ‘Great Journeys’ series by Penguin. Lady Mary Wortley Montagu travelled to Constantinople (now Istanbul) in 1716 with her husband who had been appointed ambassador to the Ottoman Empire by King George I. This idea didn’t turn out very well and they were recalled in 1718. I’ve not seen anyContinue reading “Life on the Golden Horn – Book Review”

Where did the universe come from? Book Review.

OK, this is pushing the boundaries for a travel blog, but I would count a journey to the stars as travel! I suppose I should have expected the answers this book provides. I won’t say what those are because that would spoil the reading of the book for some people. Basically, physicists face a fundamentalContinue reading “Where did the universe come from? Book Review.”

Being Better – a book on Stoicism

Zeno of Citium founded Stoicism at the Stoa Poikile – the Painted Porch – a colonnade that stood outside the public market in Athens over two thousand years ago. Zeno’s followers took the name of the porch rather than Zeno’s name which says a lot about this philosophy. Zeno argued that there is only oneContinue reading “Being Better – a book on Stoicism”

Goddess of the North and the Angel of the North and Blanchland

An excerpt from the book: Travels through History – North-East England The chances are that you will have heard of one of these sculptures but not the other. The Goddess of the North or The Lady of the North or Northumberlandia is a huge land sculpture in the shape of a reclining female figure, startedContinue reading “Goddess of the North and the Angel of the North and Blanchland”

Hadrian’s Wall – Corbridge, Chesters, Brocolitia, Housesteads

An excerpt from the book: Travels through History – North-East England The permanent conquest of Britain by the Romans began in 43 AD and by about 100 AD there were army units along the stretch of land between the River Tyne and the Solway Firth. Their forts were linked by a road, now known asContinue reading “Hadrian’s Wall – Corbridge, Chesters, Brocolitia, Housesteads”