Thursday, 28 June 2007

Two biographies

I recently read Patrick Marnham's " Wild Mary: a life of Mary Wesley" while on holiday in France (weather being absolutely awful ) and found it quite interesting. I had read several of her novels not long after they were published and proving to be very popular with the reading public. I enjoyed reading them, but don't necessarily think of them as great literature, more as good middle-brow reads. I feel that the biography is about the same level - I found it filled in many gaps in my knowledge of the authors life and background, and did re-awaken my interest in her novels. I found a second-hand copy of A Dubious Legacy, which is one title I don't remember reading, so am looking forward to catching up with that soon.
I also finished Alexander Master's "Stuart: a life backwards", which one of my book club companions found a bit too much like work. I found it a bit hard to get into, as I didn't think I would find the subject particularly sympathetic, but was soon gripped by the events by which Masters gets to know Stuart. The Book Club felt that although Stuart's life may not have merited a footnote in anyone else's view, Masters had written a sympathtic biography of a man who had come to mean a lot to him as a friend and fellow campaigner in the fight to free two Cambridge charity workers who were unjustly jailed for allegedly allowing drugs to be sold in the charity premises, and that Stuart's life, with his dysfunctional family, disability and frequent imprisonments, still came across as a real, though exasperating person.

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