athousandwinds: (Default)
Have discovered calling in life, that is, writing YA history books. (Not necessarily novels.)

Yes, what I really want to do with my life is be Terry Deary.
athousandwinds: (Aberystwyth)
I think the reason why I find economic history so mind-numbingly awful is that you can't prove a damn thing. In political history, this happens and that happens: there are incontrovertible facts to deal with which generally fit into a narrative. With economic history, you have to rely on official statistics (which don't agree from one historian to another) and you have to make horrible generalisations about people in Languedoc based on what people in Brittany were doing and basically. No proof.

Also, it helps if you know things about economics, which I don't. I barely grasped mercantilism, which is outdated even by the period I'm studying (19th century) and. I hate it.

How do you prove that a nation is on the brink of a Malthusian crisis, anyway? Or do you just wait until it has one, and then say, "Ah, I knew it all along"?
athousandwinds: (Default)
@ [ profile] the_shoveller:

What does Robert Service mean when he says:

"The problems of state organisation that had arisen in the 1930s remained unresolved. The party's role was yet again controversial and this time the protagonists were Zhdanov and Malenkov. Zhdanov wished to restore the party's role in selecting governmental cadres and in mobilising society whereas Malenkov opposed an increase in the party's authority and wished to keep the party organised along the lines of branches of the economy."

I get mostly what Malenkov's position is, but Zhdanov's seems to be a case where I understand what all the words mean individually, but not when they're written in that order.
athousandwinds: (Default)
Have discovered that am hopeless at military history. Is possible that focus on the Great Patriotic War for Russian history exam was a mistake.

brb, off to revise Brezhnev instead.
athousandwinds: (Default)
[ profile] fannish5: List your 5 favorite unrequited love stories.

My favourite unrequited love stories tend to end up requited, because my heart can't take it otherwise. I hate love triangles with a passion. Still, let's see:

1. Dean ----> Emily, Emily of New Moon. So Dean is highly disturbing in just about every respect to a modern reader: he was best friends with her father, he first encounters Emily when she's prepubescent and expresses interest in her straight away, he's controlling and goes out of his way to destroy her career ambitions because he wants all of her attention for himself. Daddy-Long-Legs has nothing on Dean. But I do like Dean, and he has the advantage over Teddy in that he manages a strong presence in all three books. This seems to be a theme in L. M. Montgomery's books: the romantic interest is absent for a while - Montreal for choice - which gives the heroine time to realise she loves him. I think the only series where this works really well is Anne, because Gilbert is only out of Anne's sphere for half of Anne of the Island and gets mentioned in every chapter anyway.

Dean is so sad when Emily breaks the engagement. I think that's it.

2. Sebastian ----> Charles, Brideshead Revisited. This is the part of the novel which interests me most - I can't stand Julia and I don't know why. I don't think I'm alone on the former, since I can remember reading critics who say the novel goes downhill after Sebastian and Charles separate (in all fairness, I suspect that I'm thinking of Christopher Hitchens, who would say that). Sebastian excites all my maternal instincts, that's what.

3. Basil ----> Dorian, The Picture of Dorian Gray. Basil is another character who makes me feel protective. I over-empathise with him, because being in unrequited love is bad enough, but being in unrequited love with someone who won't hesitate to use you and throw you away when they're done is ten times worse.

4. Martha ----> Tenth Doctor, Doctor Who. I'm kind of batshit about this one. I wouldn't necessarily count it as my favourite unrequited love story; I have too many issues with it (some of them to do with race and Rose, some of them with the writing). But I ship it. I ship it platonically, too. (Technically, I do that with all of these, but I'm not above quarrelling about this one.)

5. Brienne ----> Jaime, A Song of Ice and Fire. Brienne! Who's so loyal and kind and stalwart, and Jaime, who's...well, he's loyal. Up to a point. (That point would be when his idol sleeps with Lancel, Ser Osmund and Moon Boy, too, for all he knows.) And Jaime's learning to be kind, sometimes, when he feels like it.

My Book-a-Day project has already fallen behind, so I'm reading two today to make up for it. First, The Romanovs by Oliver Thomson )

I also read The Tales of Beedle the Bard by J.K. Rowling )

Today, I watched Dickens's Secret Lover )
athousandwinds: (icon by luna norvegese)
My New Year's Resolution: to read at least one book a day. I'd be fully capable of doing so, were it not for my Internet addiction. Alternatively, to read at least one hundred (new) books this year (as opposed to re-reads). It's for my own good (besides, my core modules require me to read at least one per week).

I made a start by finishing Born to Rule: Granddaughters of Victoria, Queens of Europe by Julia Gelardi. This is non-fiction, following the lives of five of Victoria's granddaughters from the birth of the oldest to the death of the youngest. And love is a thing that can never go wrong/And I am Marie of Roumania )

Happy New Year, everyone!

*uses Edwardian icon*
athousandwinds: (icon by hyel)
Dear Stephen J. Lee,

Not everyone speaks French as well as you do. Please refrain from quoting at length untranslated documents. Aside from that, thank you.


It occurs to me that I can argue a decent case for Louis XIV causing the French Revolution. Yeah, I don't like him.

Meme! ganked from [ profile] enaranie

1. Maedhros (The Silmarillion)
2. Mrs Lovett (Sweeney Todd)
3. Alec (Swordspoint)
4. Marian (Robin Hood 2006)
5. The Doctor (Doctor Who)
6. Éowyn (The Lord of the Rings)
7. Edmund Pevensie (The Chronicles of Narnia)
8. Juliet Capulet (Romeo x Juliet)
9. Much (Robin Hood 2006)
10. Martha Jones (Doctor Who)

meme! )

You know, I've been reading up on Anne Boleyn and I can't help suspecting she made some sort of deal with the devil. "You will only have your life's goal for three years and will die unfairly maligned; in exchange, your daughter will be called the greatest monarch England has ever had and you will be able to mock your husband and your other enemies from beyond the grave."


athousandwinds: (Default)

September 2012



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