Could you be more precise

I'm afraid that Vlad Dracula was taken by the Turks as an hostage, with his younger brother Radu, when their father was still alive; It was a way to ensure a control over Vlad Dracul by sultan Murad. And it is only when Vlad Dracul died that the Sultan allowed Vlad Tepes to go back to Targoviste to take back the throne...

Posted 2020/06/21 by Rhea ( stars)


Posted 2020/01/01 by sd (04 stars)


Posted 2019/12/25 by ok (04 stars)

Best To Believe It

It's significant to realize and remember: There are no gods among men -- never were and never will be. But that delusion prevails and poisons the atmoshere through which humans trod -- like their imagined god.

Posted 2019/08/28 by Valmont DuBone (05 stars)

A fantastic story, elegant and engaging as ever. Best wishes to the author!

Posted 2019/02/14 by Galina Tarasova (05 stars)

Great book

Posted 2018/11/09 by Juli (05 stars)


It occurs to me that the very first of many known outbreaks of Egytomania was the worship of the Golden Calf (perhaps a form of the Apis Bull) in the Biblical tale of Exodus. Like the other outbreaks, it was a partial rebellion against "Western" (i.e., "Judeo-Christian") tradition.

Posted 2018/01/24 by Boria Sax ( stars)


First of all, the attitudes toward Russian and Communism that Lesley Chamberlain describes in Britain impress me as very close to those in the United States. I grew up in what was in many ways a Communist household, in fact my father was a spy who passed secrets from the Manhattan Project to the Russians. From a fairly early age, I rebelled against that heritage, which impressed me as rigid, in addition to isolating me from much of society. I went to mostly Black schools, where the students and teachers were primarily Baptists, and religion isolated me as much as race. I would at times do things to shock my elders such as entering a church and even attending mass. I retained a sort of love/hate relationship with Marxist theory, but only after the fall of Communism have I been able to seriously what its positive aspects may have been. But this is digressing. My main point for now is that, after 1989, it was amazing how quickly and completely Communists reverted to their previous heritage. The Russian Communists made their peace with the Orthodox Church, while the Jewish Communists became Zionists. The once-mighty Italian Communist Part was absorbed into the Christian Democrats. Communism seemed not to collapse but to simply disappear. Within a few years, it was as though it had never existed. That is perhaps the biggest riddle for me now. Why?

Posted 2018/01/24 by Boria Sax (04 stars)


There are those who say revenge is best taken cold. Stephen Fineman's book is not that. His studied romp through the subject takes us from the chill of hateful revenge, to the precision of calculated revenge and the thrill when revenge is the only way to gaining true justice.

Posted 2017/11/12 by Bob Hayes (04 stars)

Rousseau Connection

Smith's 'To Do' list; I really like the idea of the principle of this and might adopt it for the website below. I am in the process of reading your little book and very interesting it is too. I'd seen it in the Reaktion catalogue it must have been in the middle of last year and flagged it up - and I was very pleased to be able to buy it from Waterstones round the corner using funds on a book token given to me by my employer for being a good boy. Anyway, my motivation was to explore any links he had with Rousseau (see you note, after jumping to Chapter Three, that they probably didn't meet; the only time would have been, I think, in Paris in late 1765 perhaps and only through Hume. Not, I think, through salons, Rousseau wasn't great attender for many reasons and certainly not through Voltaire; a mortal enemy of Jean-Jacques. Nevertheless Jonathan, I'm finding your book informative, offers connections with other areas I've researched to a lesser or greater degree and engagingly readable and has, possibly, a slightly irreverent style which I tend to feel easy with in my own scribblings...

Posted 2016/03/18 by Andrew Sanders (04 stars)

Wonderful! Thanks for the sale. And here's hoping you have 30 more years of success!

Posted 2014/10/02 by Ricky Grove ( stars)

CostCo (odd but true)

Honestly, the best fish and chips, in the U.S. anyway, is available from the warehouse-grocery store CostCo ( First the fish: On CostCo's home page, search for "beer battered cod" and you'll find Trident Seafoods hand-cut, all-natural Alaskan cod fillets (

Posted 2014/10/02 by Jeffrey Hampl (05 stars)

Those da@&#!!ed Asiatic Lily Beetles!

So good to see the spectacular Casa Blancas photo. So many buds! Did the beetles attack these lilies? I have always planted spring and summer flowering bulbs in the fall; never knew they could be planted in the same year and just a couple of months before blooming. If you placed them in a spot where no lilies had been previously, I can see why this planting schedule would be more successful re the bugs. Those prolific and voracious gritters over-winter in the soil and are active from the minute the lilies sprout leaves and will eat, fornicate, deposit slimy larvae, hatch and start the cycle again, all throughout the season, not stopping until October or perhaps until the ground reaches a certain temperature. Last year they got into a large ceramic pot in which I had planted a miniature evergreen. The tree was about 5 yrs. old and had reached 10" wide X about same height. I always keep the outdoor pots well watered and when this started getting a little brown around the edges, I just gave it more water. Then I didn't pay much attention to its condition until it was totally dead. I moved the pot and found what seemed to be a cast of 1000s, every conceivable stage of development, from the tiniest red dot to the big guys. I never saw them on the tree. They had obviously come up from the soil into the bottom of the pot via the drainage holes. Yadda yadda yadda, I do get carried away! Between aliums and lilies, I probably have a couple hundred plants, so I have not much hope of staying ahead of the bugs. Best of luck with your new beauties. Loved reading your post. Will look for the new book.

Posted 2013/09/19 by Judy (05 stars)

scrambles their beetle brains!

Loved reading about your success. The image of a confused beetle was great. Can't wait till next year to see what in your garden eludes all those bugs and beasts!

Posted 2013/09/02 by Tina Fine ( stars)


It's intriguing to think of why, how, and when things do flower, and really stirring to think of Egyptian gardeners facing their own "tiny lumberjacks" and hungry beetles...all for the same reason throughout history: the pleasure of sight and scent. Thanks you for sharing your story and beautiful pictures!

Posted 2013/08/31 by Debra Mancoff (05 stars)

Don't agree

I don't think you're right at all

Posted 2012/11/08 by Someone else (03 stars)


Good article. Unbelievable tekkers

Posted 2012/11/08 by James Sessford (04 stars)