Hello my fellow bookworms, today I am bringing you my thoughts on two non-fiction books I read in December 2021.
At the beginning of the month, I finished off the biography of The Gilded Lily: The Life and Loves of the Fabulous Lillie Langtry by Ernest Dudley, originally published in 1958, that I had started as part of the Nonfiction November 2021 event but didn’t quite finish in time. This is an author and topic I have not read before – I wanted to give it a go due to my love of the theatre.
This comprehensive biography begins in Lillie’s childhood on the small island of Jersey and follows her to London in 1878, as a young, married, ambitious but unknown woman. Within a year though, she has captivated society, commoners, painters, writers, noblemen, businessmen and even the Prince of Wales. What follows is a glittering career of modelling, parties, theatre, travel and a string of torrid love affairs. But ending , for all her riches, conquests and triumphs, in 1929 at the age of 76, as a sad, somewhat lonely and tragic figure – yet beautiful, sensational and dramatic to the end.
Overall I thought The Gilded Lily: The Life and Loves of the Fabulous Lillie Langtry was an interesting, if not the most engagingly written, look into the glamorous and often scandalous life of the famed beauty and actress. A solid… Good read ⭐⭐
Not long after the above read, I also finished off the History of the Christian Church in the First Century by Edward Burton, a short non-fiction published in 2012, which I picked up as a freebie on the Kindle around about that time. I didn’t know the author, but it was free and about Christianity, so why not?
This direct history chronicles the life of the Apostles, how Christianity spread and how the early Church formed, immediately after Jesus’ death. Against the odds, seeing as it was first viewed as a small, heretical sect of Judaism. Persecuted first by the Jews and ignored by the Romans. Then as it rapidly spread and grew in numbers, the Romans became fearful, so began to arrest and kill prominent members, including the Apostles. By this time though the Church was already well established due to the hard work of the Apostles in travelling, sharing, supporting and suffering for their flocks.
Overall, I thought the History of the Christian Church in the First Century was a short, interesting look into the formative years of Christianity and the earlier believers that worked and suffered to build it, which, in turn, inspired me to re-read the letters of St Paul to the Corinthians. However it was just too short to rate higher than an… Okay Read ⭐
(I also counted both of these reads towards my Historical Fiction Reading Challenge 2021)
Have you read either of these? Have you read anything else on either of these topics? Please let me know your thoughts in the comments below!