Monday, October 06, 2008

Online reading: week of October 6, 2008

Torturing Machiavelli again

Of the few biographies I've read in the past decade, Niccolo's Smile: A Biography of Machiavelliis one of my favorites. However, the above article at The New Yorker provides a lot on his life and a relatively balanced picture of Machiavelli before the predictable ending.

Mrs. Woolf and the Servants

Mrs. Woolf and the Servantsis the recent book by Alison Light. A brief interview with the author is at the link. I think the conclusion is that the best association with the Bloomsbury Group was to be one of the members so you could discuss semen.
Q. How did you become interested in Woolf's servants?
A. By reading Woolf's diaries, which I love, but which contain appalling references to the servants: Lottie Hope or Nellie Boxall being compared to animals and vermin. Woolf's disgust riveted me. I also wondered why she and Boxall had such rows. Then the fact that my grandmother was in service and my mother's sisters started out in service before the Second World War.

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