I am deeply engrossed in a book that Tely recommended the other day. Since I’ve been crazy about most of the books he’s suggested in the past I bought a copy. (At Auntie's, of course.)
Joseph J Ellis’ His Excellency: George Washington (© 2004) is a deceptively simple book. I was reading along last night and considering the simplicity of the language and the smooth chronological structure I was puzzled at why I found it so riveting.
I looked back at what I had read, but it was so clean and dispassionate that I still fail to understand why it’s so absorbing. It’s Washington himself I suppose.
Other books recommended by Tely:
Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation (© 2000), also by Joseph J Ellis. “Every schoolchild in American should be required to read this book,” says Tely.
Ruled Britannia (© 2002), by Harry Turtledove. This is alternative history, which isn’t everybody’s cup of double bergamot Earl Grey, but it does make you think more carefully about what actually did occur during the reign of Elizabeth I.
Will in the World: How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare (© 2004), by Stephen Greenblatt. This non-alternative history/biography covers the some of the same territory as the Turtledove book.
Perfect Prince: The Mystery of Perkin Warbeck and His Quest for the Throne of England (© 2003), by Ann Wroe. The 15th century was a tough time anywhere, but in England, where the War of the Roses had just come to a gory end, to step forward and announce that you were Richard Plantagenet (one of the “princes in the tower”) and rightful heir to the throne was suicide.