The Spanish Tragedy by Thomas Kyd

Hello Readers!

I know I’ve only just posted my review of The Castle of Otranto by Horace Walpole (check that out here) but I’m on a bit of a role with my reading at the minute, and I’m even already half-way through my next book, Looking Backward by Edward Bellamy (look out for my post on this in the next few days). So here we have my review of The Spanish Tragedy by Thomas Kyd.

Although The Spanish Tragedy was published and much-liked in the later 1500s, it wasn’t actually attributed to Kyd until nearly more than two decades after it was first produced. The play is a short-ish revenge tragedy, which may have given Shakespeare some influence in writing his plays, particularly Hamlet.

I’m going to go right ahead and say that I thoroughly enjoyed reading this play, right up until the last Act. I found it engaging, interesting and I was really keen to keep reading, and then it got a bit weird and unnecessary for my liking. But that is often the way with me and revenge tragedies, although I am absolutely certain that I shall be bawling my eyes out as I watch Benedict Cumberbatch die on the 25th September! (See my post here for an explanation of this very strange remark.) As always I’ll start by describing the plot of the story, so watch out, readers, spoilers are headed your way!

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The Castle of Otranto by Horace Walpole

Hello readers!

So, I have finished reading The Castle of Otranto, and even started the next book on my list (!!!) The Spanish Tragedy by Thomas Kyd (tune in next time for my review of that little gem. It’s quite good so far actually…)

The Castle of Otranto then! The novel was published in 1764, and is one of the first in a very, very long line of Gothic novels. The Gothic novel is a novel we are all familiar with: dark, haunted mansions, heroes and heroines falling in love and dying, intrigue, and mystery. The Castle of Otranto is no different!

As always, readers, spoilers abound, so be careful!

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The Time Machine by H G Wells

Hello readers!

So just yesterday night I finished reading The Time Machine by H G Wells. I’m sure it’s a book that most of you have heard of, and if you haven’t, you’re probably aware of the 2002 film (nothing like the book at all by the way, just saying). Before I say anything more, I implore you to give this book a go. It’s only 100 or so pages, a very short novel when compared to Tolkien and authors of that ilk, and it’s definitely worth a read. A truly thought-provoking novel, and one I am glad that I have read.

Spoilers ahead readers, so if you want to read this book then please go ahead and do so before you continue!

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Amy Snow by Tracy Rees

Hello readers!

As promised, here is my review of Tracy Rees’ Amy Snow. 

Abandoned on a bank of snow as a baby, Amy is taken in at nearby Hatville Court. But the masters and servants of the grand estate prove cold and unwelcoming. Amy’s only friend and ally is the sparkling young heiress Aurelia Vennaway. So when Aurelia tragically dies young, Amy is devastated. But Aurelia leaves Amy one last gift. A bundle of letters with a coded key. A treasure hunt that only Amy can follow. A life-changing discovery awaits… if only she can unlock the secret.”

Amy’s life has always been difficult. She had to contend with an adoptive family that never really wanted her, a confused childhood as a servant who had no chores, an uneasy position as companion to Aurelia, her only friend, heartbreaking duties as Aurelia’s nurse, and finally, when Aurelia can’t hang on any longer, Amy is left with nothing and no one. Or so she thinks.IMG_1956

Amy’s journey to find herself and become her own person is undercut by interjections of Amy’s past, growing up alongside but always behind Aurelia. Rees is able to capture Amy’s personal development and the way that she sheds her oppressive history to grow into an individual.

Perhaps what I liked most about this book though, is the way that Rees also showed how Aurelia grew through the experiences that she shares with Amy posthumously.

For readers like me who enjoy a bit of romance, there is a slight romance element, but it by no means dominates the story. The characters are varied and well-developed, and it’s clear that Rees has taken a lot of time to make clear her characters’ motivations before writing.

There are plenty of twists and turns in the novel as Amy’s journey takes her on a path that Aurelia herself travelled in order to unwind the secret that Aurelia kept from her closest friend. Each plot twist revealed itself to me a few pages before it became known to Amy, but that didn’t dampen my enjoyment of the novel in anyway. In fact, I was pleasantly surprised with the time it took me to work out what was going on, as usually I can tell what’s going to happen at the end within the first few pages of a book.

Rees’ style definitely keeps you guessing, but it is enjoyable to discover the story with Amy, who is a likeable character. She only gets better as the story progresses – she is not afraid to admit her faults and she grows exponentially throughout the course of the novel.

Be warned though, readers. This book had me crying with the start and end of each new chapter! My friends will tell you that I am a highly emotional person, and if things don’t tend to affect you that way, you might be safe. I have to say though, I would put this book up there with My Sister’s Keeper and The Fault in Our Stars level of sadness. (In case you hadn’t worked out, I’m not a fan of loved ones dying in books… Don’t even get me started on Harry Potter…)

I don’t think I can say any more without giving away the plot of the novel, but it’s definitely a 10/10 would recommend sort of book!

’til next time, readers, much love.

Georgie xxx

Thomas More’s Utopia

Hello readers!

So, after over a week of trying, I have finally managed to finish reading Thomas More’s Utopia! It’s a bit ridiculous how long it’s taken me to be perfectly honest with you; it is only 100 pages long after all… I’m going to begin by saying that Utopia is by no means one of my favourite books,  nor am I likely to read it again. However, it does offer some interesting insight into the personal feelings of Sir Thomas More with regards to the political, social, and religious state of the country at the time of writing.

Spoilers ahead readers! (If I can call them that, there really isn’t much of a story to spoil.)

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