Rituals and Myths in Nursing Review

Hi guys!

Let me start of by saying I am not a nurse, and I don’t plan on being a nurse so this review is solely the opinion of an outsider getting a small peek into the world of nursing!

Anyway! Thank you to Pen and Sword books for sending me this book! I have always been quite interested in nursing, I’ve just never had the confidence or motivation to commit to it as a career choice, so I was super excited to be able to take on a little part of the profession in the form of this book!

Nursing is a complex profession steeped in tradition and history. Tried and tested ways of working have been the mainstay of how and why nurses do what they do. Completing tasks in a certain way because “Sister says so” describes the custom and practice of nursing, passed on through the generations that existed for most of the 20th Century and can still hold sway today.

Science and evidence-based practice have weakened the hold on tradition but ritual is still part of the fabric of nursing. Packed with amusing and sometimes poignant reminiscences this book paints a picture of nursing from the first registration of SRN No 1, Ethel Gordon Fenwick in 1919, to the present day.

Each chapter follows a theme, explores the historical background and brings it to life with stories told by nurses from different eras. We have tales of alcohol prescribed to dilate blood vessels or simply for the feel good factor. Enemas were less fun, given for almost all bowel conditions; ‘High, hot and a helluva lot!’ was the phrase for remembering this ritual.

Written with humour and a light touch, readers don’t need a nursing background to enjoy these stories, but those who trained as nurses will identify with many of the amusing and often eccentric traditions retold by generations of nurses.

I love this book so much! The author has such a way with words that I never felt like I didn’t know what was going on. Every chapter was a wonderful mix of humorous stories, life saving moments and examples of the strict rules of nursing! It is such a realistic insight into nursing, written from obviously a slightly biased view point because the author is a nurse, but she covers both the positives and the negatives to give a very honest, well rounded perspective on what it was like.

It was lovely to read a non-fiction book with a bit of personality too! I loved the chatty writing style, how it almost felt you were sitting down and chatting with the author! It definitely made me feel welcome in reading the book, and that I wasn’t putting my nose in an area it doesn’t belong!

This book is definitely very ‘user friendly’ in that I feel it is accessible to anyone that has an interest in nursing. Whether that’s because they are a nurse, what to be a nurse, have family history in nursing or horsefly even just that they have watched Call the Midwife and want some more factual information on the profession in the era!

I couldn’t recommend this book enough, it is probably my favourite Pen and Sword book yet! Thank you again to Pen and Sword for sending this to me!

I can’t give this any lower the 6/5⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ to be honest! I just adored it!

See you next time,

Elizabeth

Miss Cordelia- My Bothwell Character✨

Hi guys!

It’s been a while since I last posted here and I’m sorry about that! I’ve just been super busy with different projects and things that I haven’t had time to write blog posts!

If you follow my instagram (instagram.com/daintybeth), you will know who Cordelia is. Or at least know what she is.

Cordelia is a character of my creation that I plan on taking to a LARP called Bothwell School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. In case you don’t know what a LARP is; it stands for Live Action Role-play and is basically make believe for adults! The Bothwell LARP is inspired by the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and is a weekend long event in the South of England where you play a character attending a magical school. You get a lot of free reign when designing your character, but costume wise they have to adhere to the dress code, unless they don’t care about losing house points!

A portrait of Cordelia

The character I have created is called Cordelia. She was born in 1895, and was the first witch in her coven to successfully time travel a long distance forward, only he got stuck and had to start living her life in the 21st century. Her coven did not know this at the time, they thought she died, so they used magic to add her name to the list of people that went down on the titanic.

How ever, just over 100 years after Cordelia ‘travelled’ she suddenly arrives in the 21st century, in the exact same place she started only it looks very different now. There are taller buildings, faster cars, more people, busier streets. It is definitely not the town she remembers. However, Cordelia was prepped for a stranded situation, so she follows the instructions and begins to make the journey down the country to Herstmonceux Castle.

On her journey down, which takes her a long time because she has no money and only her wits and her magic, she learns a lot about this new age. She finds out about the internet, mobile phones, moving pictures WITH sound, airplanes and shorter skirts. She goes into a library to read about the tragedy that she was supposedly a part of and formed a great connection with that ship, feeling awful that everyone else really did die when she was sitting there completely fine.

Some of Cordelia’s possessions

She eventually made her way down the country to the castle, enrols in the school and restarts her magic education, constantly being amazed by the people she’s surrounded by and how much society has changed.

So! That is Cordelia’s story written out in full for pretty much the first time! I hope you love her as much as I do, and I cannot wait to play her! I will post updates (mainly in my instagram) as I develop her, and when I finally get my ticket to attend Bothwell I will document my whole journey and share all my costume pieces etc.!

Costume details

Thank you for reading my long spiel, and I hope to see you around here again soon!

Elizabeth

Where you can find Bothwell:

https://www.bothwellschoolofwitchcraft.com

The Girl the Sea Gave Back Review

Hi Guys!!

Today I am reviewing ‘The a Girl the Sea Gave Back’ by Adrienne Young, sent to me by Titan Books!

I haven’t read many books like this, most of the books are either super fantasy, victorian or contemporary! So when I got the email asking if I wanted to review a book about Vikings I was SO down! But it was definitely the blurb that pulled me right in!

“For as long as she can remember, Tova has lived among the Svell, the people who found her washed ashore as a child and use her for her gift as a Truthtongue. Her own home and clan are long-faded memories, but the sacred symbols and staves inked over every inch of her skin mark her as one who can cast the rune stones and see into the future. She has found a fragile place among those who fear her, but when two clans to the east bury their age-old blood feud and join together as one, her world is dangerously close to collapse. 

For the first time in generations, the leaders of the Svell are divided. Should they maintain peace or go to war with the allied clans to protect their newfound power? And when their chieftain looks to Tova to cast the stones, she sets into motion a series of events that will not only change the landscape of the mainland forever but will give her something she believed she could never have again—a home.”

I simply adored this book. It had me gripped from the first chapter and I loved all the characters. There were quite a few little twists in this book, and a few little subplots amongst the main clan feud plot. One thing I didn’t know about before reading this books was about the split perspective, and I feel like this actually helped to keep how the reader feels about both clans reasonably neutral.

The first perspective was Tova. Tova is the main character in the books and is the ‘Truthtongue’ of the Svell tribe. She was found washed ashore, and the taken in by a member of the Svell people so that they can use her gift to help them win battles and predicts the future of their people. I really felt connected to Tova’s story and I enjoyed being able see what she was thinking and feeling about all the different things that were unfolding before her.

The second perspective was of a boy from the opposing clan. I don’t want to say too much about him as I don’t want to write any spoilers but I really enjoyed seeing the story unfold from his perspective too. It was so interesting to see a battle happen from both sides of the battlefield. It definitely humanised everyone as both sides had friend and family they were worried about, and so it almost made it so there wasn’t really a ‘bad’ side, just two sides fighting because they didn’t seem to have any other choice.

I loved the ending of this book, it felt like such a natural and satisfying end to everything, and although I kind of saw it coming, it definitely didn’t happen exactly the way that I expected and I still loved to read it. Tova is a character that I love, her personality is so likeable and I’m obsessed with the idea of her being covered in tattoos too!

This book is Adrienne Young’s second novel, and it was truly amazing! It was written so well I felt like I was there most of the time, I could almost see and hear what was going on, and thanks to the candle I had lit it actually smelt like I was in the mountains!

I haven’t read her first book, but I definitely will now because this books was just amazing! I will also definitely be reading as many viking books as possible, I have definitely discovered a new genre to dive in to!

I rate this book 4.5/5⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️✨

Have you read this book?

See you next time!

Elizabeth

Edwardian Ladies Hat Fashions: Where Did You Get That Hat? (Pen and Sword)

Hi guys!

If you follow me on Instagram, you will know that I love Edwardian fashion! It is by far my favourite era, I love everything about it! From the elegant skirts, to the corsets and bustles I’m just obsessed! But one area I have never really focused on is hats! I was always in the mindset that a good straw hat would be good enough, and maybe it is! But what I didn’t fully realise was how intense the Edwardian hat culture was!

This book, Edwardian Ladies Hat Fashions is not only one of the most interesting fashion books I have ever read, but definitely one of the most beautiful! This pictures are simply stunning, and all the Women are so beautiful!

It was interesting yet horrific to read about the massive negative effect that the fashion industry had on the bird population. It even led to the RSPB being formed!

One of my favourite parts was when the author talked about hat pins, and how a lot of women use them for self defence! Although it’s sad that it was (and still is, let’s be honest) necessary, it was so fun! And there was even a little songs/poem that I will include a picture of below!

This is a book that I will definitely keep referring back to in my adventures through Edwardian fashion, and when I start to put together my own accurate costumes this will basically become my bible!

I can’t keep the magic of this book to myself, so I have decided to include a few of my favourite ladies and their amazing hats! If you want to see more, then you will have to buy the book! Which I couldn’t recommend highly enough!!

There was also a section full of street photography, showing women going about their day to day life instead of posing for postcard photos! I will put a couple of my favourites of these in too!

I definitely rate this book 5/5⭐️, I would rate it 6/5⭐️ if I could! I adore this book, and will definitely treasure it for a very long time! I do believe it may have kickstarted a need to collect some of these beautiful postcards for myself too!

See you next time!

Elizabeth

Struggle and Suffrage in Torbay (Pen and Sword)

Hi guys!

Today I am going to be talking about ‘Struggle and Suffrage in Torbay’ by Melanie Crump!

One of my favourite topics of history is the Suffragettes. I love to read about them and and just absorb as much information as I can about these amazing women! But, as I’m sure you are all aware, it can sometimes be quite difficult to relate to history as it just feels so far away!

However! I’ve been to Torbay many times, and I’m planning on moving there, so reading about all these places I recognise was just amazing! It even mentioned the college that I plan to go to, and how it used to be a place where they trained women for the Land Army!! Isn’t that just the coolest thing?

I think my favourite bits were learning about Agatha Christie (she’s incredible!!!) and I really liked the Seaside Holiday resort created for working women!! It was amazing how it changed and grew and became this really cool refuge for women that needed a break from work, and it stayed open until 1970s! I’m also overjoyed to learn that Winnaretta, the daughter of the man who created the ‘Singer’ sewing machines was a lesbian and was married twice, both out of convenience and once to a gay man, all the while having afraid with various women most of who were married! She is my new icon!

This book was so easy to read, it was so well written and I found that I couldn’t read it fast enough! I literally read half the book in one sitting, and then the other half in another!

I can’t wait to read more books about Suffragettes published by Pen and Sword! I certainly need to become basically a professional before I go to Bothwell in a year or two and play a girl who was a Suffragette!

Do you have a favourite part of history? What is it?

See you next time!

Elizabeth

Interpreting the Ripper Letters (Pen and Sword)

Hi guys!

Today I am going to be talking about this incredible book; Interpreting the Ripper Letters by M.J. Trow!

I have been fascinated by Jack the Ripper ever since I was about 16 years old! I have read so many books, watched shows and films and even visited a couple of the locations in London!! This books is definitely up there among the best ones I have read!

I don’t know whether it’s because I am super interested in the subject, but this book was just so easy to read! I read most of it in one day! The first chapter is all about the murders, intruding you into the mystery, so it’s a great book for people who haven’t read anything else before!

This book also talks about evidence and points that I haven’t read about anywhere else. It also dismisses evidence with proof that it wasn’t from Jack the Ripper, with evidence I have never seen explained away before!

I loved the photos and excerpts in the middle section of this book. It showed some of the letters supposedly sent by Jack the Ripper, doodles that were in some of the letters and photos of some of the suspects and police that worked on the case! It helps me a lot to see things connected to what I’m reading about when reading historical books. It helps to make it more real, and forces me to remember that this was actually a horrific time for Whitechapel, and one of the worst serial killers!

This book has definitely reignited my fascination with Jack the Ripper, an Im definitely going to go back and reread some of my other books and compare some of the new things I know!

I couldn’t recommend this book enough! Whether you are interested in serial killers as a whole, Jack the Ripper specifically or just want a more accurate portrayal of victorian police work, this book is AMAZING!

I definitely rate this book 5/5⭐️

See you next time!

Elizabeth

My Favourite Book Covers!

Hi Guys!

Today I wanted to tell you about all of my favourite book covers!

The books cover is the first thing you see, and although there is that famous phrase ‘Don’t Judge a Book By it’s Cover’, I feel like a lot of us do! And a very bad cover will definitely put some people off!

So I decided to share with you some breathtaking book covers, that also have amazing stories inside!!

The Silent Companions

“Newly married, newly widowed Elsie is sent to see out her pregnancy at her late husband’s crumbling country estate, The Bridge.With her new servants resentful and the local villagers actively hostile, Elsie only has her husband’s awkward cousin for company. Or so she thinks. For inside her new home lies a locked room, and beyond that door lies a two-hundred-year-old diary and a deeply unsettling painted wooden figure – a Silent Companion – that bears a striking resemblance to Elsie herself…

This book is an all time favourite of mine! I have spoken about it a couple of times before, but never specifically about the cover! I mean… just look at it!! The details are incredible, I could look at it for hours and still find something new!! And the keyhole is an actual cut out that when you open the book, there is a whole portrait!! I haven’t included photo of that so there is a little bit of a surprise if you buy this book!

This is the hardback edition of the book, which you only seem to be able to buy as used now, but it is definitely my favourite edition! The paperback is similar, but the background is black, and all the illustrations are in a shiny gold instead of a matte gold/brown!

I recommend this book so highly, for both story and cover!

The Way of All Flesh

“Edinburgh, 1847. Will Raven is a medical student, apprenticing for the brilliant and renowned Dr Simpson. Sarah Fisher is Simpson’s housemaid, and has all of Raven’s intelligence but none of his privileges.

As bodies begin to appear across the Old Town, Raven and Sarah find themselves propelled headlong into the darkest shadows of Edinburgh’s underworld. And if either of them are to make it out alive, they will have to work together to find out who’s responsible for the gruesome deaths.”

I have not actually read this one yet, so I cannot tell you if the actual book is good, but judging from the blurb, it sounds amazing! I absolutely adore books set in the Victorian Era, especially when there murder involved!

This cover is just amazing, I love the font so much, and all the swirly patterns and framing is so stunning! I don’t know if any of the imagery connects to the story, but I’m assuming that the bird and the snake do!

Upon first glance I actually thought the snake was the Caduceus symbol, which is often (mistakenly) used as a medical symbol in the US, but is actually a symbol from mythology! In Roman mythology, is was often shown in the left hand of Mercury, who was the messenger of the Gods, guide of the dead and protector of merchants, liars, gamblers and thieves! Which honestly doesn’t sound completely ridiculous for this book! So maybe that was intentional?

Anyway, I love this cover, and the map inside is even more beautiful! And I will leave that either as a surprise, or if you want to see if go to my instagram (daintybeth) and look at my post from the 22nd of July 2019!

The Wicked King (spoilers in the blurb!)

“You must be strong enough to strike and strike and strike again without tiring.
The first lesson is to make yourself strong.


After the jaw-dropping revelation that Oak is the heir to Faerie, Jude must keep her younger brother safe. To do so, she has bound the wicked king, Cardan, to her, and made herself the power behind the throne. Navigating the constantly shifting political alliances of Faerie would be difficult enough if Cardan were easy to control. But he does everything in his power to humiliate and undermine her even as his fascination with her remains undiminished.
When it becomes all too clear that someone close to Jude means to betray her, threatening her own life and the lives of everyone she loves, Jude must uncover the traitor and fight her own complicated feelings for Cardan to maintain control as a mortal in a Faerie world.

I adore how the cover art is actually a small ‘hint’ at part of he story! The detail on the crown is amazing, and I love the split perspective below and above the water! The colours are so beautiful, and I am obsessed with the gold foil effect!!

I may be biased, because these books are some of my all time favourites, but there’s just something about this cover that really pulled me in! This and the first book ‘The Cruel Prince’ have such stunning covers, I cannot wait to see what ‘Queen of Nothing’ looks like in real life!! I also can’t wait to read it because that cliffhanger…..

Wakenhyrst

“Something has been let loose…” 

In Edwardian Suffolk, a manor house stands alone in a lost corner of the Fens: a glinting wilderness of water whose whispering reeds guard ancient secrets. Maud is a lonely child growing up without a mother, ruled by her repressive father. 

When he finds a painted medieval devil in a graveyard, unhallowed forces are awakened. 

Maud’s battle has begun. She must survive a world haunted by witchcraft, the age-old legends of her beloved fen – and the even more nightmarish demons of her father’s past.

Wakenhyrst’s cover is so simple, but so beautiful! I love the dark red spots, the image of the raven and the font is stunning! But honestly my favourite thing about this cover is the texture! I’m not sure I can describe it accurately, but you know how most hardback sleeves are a sort of soft to the tough paper? With a little bit of sheen? This paper is completely matte and a little bit rougher! Like its either old or weathered, or something like that!

I haven’t read this yet, so I’m not entirely sure of the cover links up with the plot, but considering the blurb mentions a graveyard and a ‘battle’, I’m going to assume that it does!!!

This book is actually in the next few books on my tbr, so you can expect a review sometime soonish!!

The Binding

Imagine you could erase your grief.
Imagine you could forget your pain.
Imagine you could hide a secret.
Forever.

Emmett Farmer is working in the fields when a letter arrives summoning him to begin an apprenticeship. He will work for a Bookbinder, a vocation that arouses fear, superstition and prejudice – but one neither he nor his parents can afford to refuse.

He will learn to hand-craft beautiful volumes, and within each he will capture something unique and extraordinary: a memory. If there’s something you want to forget, he can help. If there’s something you need to erase, he can assist. Your past will be stored safely in a book and you will never remember your secret, however terrible.

In a vault under his mentor’s workshop, row upon row of books – and memories – are meticulously stored and recorded.

Then one day Emmett makes an astonishing discovery: one of them has his name on it.

This book is literally so stunning! I bought it mainly for how pretty it is, and I hadn’t even taken so the dust jacket yet! Let me just say; I literally gasped! It is designed like an only book but it’s all shiny gold foil!! The pattern is so intricate and detailed, I was literally in awe!

The artwork on the sleeve is just as pretty, it beautifully matched what’s underneath, while somehow being different! I love all the leaves and the old key! Again, I haven’t actually read this one yet but it sounds amazing, so if the story is as good as the cover is pretty then I think it’s going to become one of my favourites!!

————–

These are just a few of my favourites, but I could go on forever! If enough people are interested, I might do a part two one day! But for now, I hope you have found some new books to read!

What are some of your favourite book covers?

See you next time!

Elizabeth