Weekend: Books: For Your Reference: Last Minute Christmas Gift Books

The Birmingham Post (England), December 21, 2002 | Go to article overview

Weekend: Books: For Your Reference: Last Minute Christmas Gift Books


Byline: Ross Reyburn and Martin Longley

How many famous people can you name who have been born in Birmingham? Intriguingly The Book of British Birthplaces (Breedon Books, pounds 8.99) lists a grand total of 50 with the industrialist Matthew Boulton (1728-1809), chocolate manufacturer and philanthropist George Cadbury (1839-1922), comedian Tony Hancock (1924-1968) among the front rank names, as well as the innovative scientist Sir Francis Galton (1822-1911), the man who devised forensic fingerprinting.

Avid followers of the romantic novelist Barbara Cartland (1901-1999) probably know she came from the city but websites tend to throw a smokescreen over the fact actress Felicity Kendal (1947-) was born in Birmingham by listing her birthplace as 'Olton, Warwickshire'.

First published in 1997, this book in its second edition has an A-Z of locations while a name index provides an essential cross-reference.

London dominates with some 16 pages of names but being born in upmarket locations doesn't seem an automatic route to fame. For example the only person of note Esher in Surrey seems to have produced is the Habitat creator Sir Terence Orby Conran (1931-) while the solitary entry for Sutton Coldfield is trade union leader Arthur Deakin (1890-1955) of all people.

That product of Goff's Oak in Hertfordshire, Victoria Beckham (1974-), getting listed is a sad indictment of modern day values. Strangely two of the greatest of all sportsmen, the legendary England footballer Duncan Edwards from Dudley, and the greatest bowler in cricket history, SF Barnes of Smethwick, are nowhere to be found. No matter, this publication is an interesting addition to the world of reference books. Firmly in the invaluable category is the paperback edition of Who Wrote What? A Dictionary of Writers and Their Works (Oxford University Press, pounds 14.99) edited by Michael Cox. The book has a pleasing symmetry with the writer's works neatly laid out in date order in the author index and the total of 23 novels written by Birmingham writers Jim Crace, David Lodge and Sebastian Coe are all listed. If you know the title but not the author, the second part of the book is the title index.

The works of Shakespeare may be well-known but how many know that Richard III(1592-93) was his first play and his last work not published until 1634 was The Two Noble Kinsmen? I was once told by a learned man of literature that the marvellous Just William series by Richmal Crompton depicting British youth at its glorious best in an era long gone included a book titled William and the Atomic Bomb. Disappointingly Cox lists no such title under Richmal Crompton (1890-1969). Russell Ash's The Top Ten of Everything 2003 (Dorling Kindersley, pounds 12.99) is the 14th edition of this bestselling reference book and is laden with fascinating facts.

The idea that the modern child has forgotten the art of reading in the computer age is contradicted by the fact that in the year 2001, JK Rowling's Harry Potter books sold an astonishing total of more than 3 1 /2 million copies in the UK. Stalingrad with an estimated two million dead, wounded and missing is in a league of its own as the battle with the most casualties.

Vincent van Gough's Portrait du Dr Gachet is the world's most expensive painting after its New York sale for pounds 44,378,696 to a Japanese buyer in 1990 but how many know Calla Lillies with Red Anemone by American painter Georgia O'Keefe bought for pounds 3,948,662 in another New York sale is the most expensive painting by a woman artist? …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Weekend: Books: For Your Reference: Last Minute Christmas Gift Books
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.