Then and Now by W. Somerset MaughamAmazing historical fiction. Utterly amazing author and prose!
Then and Now by W. Somerset Maugham follows four months of the year 1502 in the life of Niccolo Machiavelli (1469-1527)--Florentine author, playwright, philosopher, politician and diplomat. It is about the man Machiavelli and how he came to write the play La Mandragola / The Mandrake and the treatise Il Principe / The Prince. The former is a five-act satirical play about Callimaco who passionately desires Lucrezia, the young and beautiful wife of Nicia who desires above all else an heir. Could it be he that is barren? The latter is a political treatise inspired by the nobleman, politician and all powerful Duke of Valentinois--Cesare Borgia (1475- 1507). One compares what Maugham writes with what Machiavelli has written with what actually happened.
Are you curious about Machiavelli, famed for the credo that “the ends justify the means”? Do you want to get into his head, see how he may have thought and what he may have said? Yes? Then read this book. You will not be disappointed. You might think it pointless to get into the head of a 16th century politician. You might think it would be boring. It is not. He was astute, a careful observer of the world around him. Much is still valid today. Mugham has captured his eloquence magnificently. The book is filled with innumerable lines worth quoting, lines that speak aptly of human behavior. Here follows just one:
“Truth is the most dangerous weapon a man can wield, and so we must wield it with caution.”
The book has humor, particularly in what the women say and do. Machiavelli says, ”Women are capricious and uncertain,” but just look at how clever they are here.
There is suspense and excitement. You will find yourself holding your breath. I was. At one point we are held back, waiting, waiting, waiting. I could not be held back another second longer; I was jumping out of my seat.
The book has interesting historical content. We observe the warring Italian city-states of the Renaissance. That Cesare Borgia was seeking to unite Italy back in the early 1500s is noteworthy considering hat three centuries had to pass before this came to be!
The audiobook I listened to was narrated by Andrew Wincott. I did not love the narration. The tone employed is often ingratiating, at times affected and overly dramatized. The tone does fit the text, but it is nerve-wracking to listen to. I had difficulty distinguishing the names of Italian people and places. They are spoken too quickly for a listener not fluent in Italian. With repetition, recognition becomes easier. Either I got used to the narration or it improves as you go along; I am not sure which. I have given the narration three stars.
The story is cleverly drawn, has interesting historical content, suspense, humor and eloquent prose that wonderfully befits Machiavelli. The author makes a person you most probably do not look upon with warmth fascinating.
My ratings of Maugham’s books:
Then and Now 5 stars
Mrs Craddock 4 stars
Cakes and Ale 4 stars
The Painted Veil 4 stars
Liza of Lambeth 3 stars
The Razors Edge 3 stars
Christmas Holiday 3 stars
Theatre 2 stars
The Moon and Sixpence 2 stars
Of Human Bondage 2 stars
I am terribly impressed by Maugham’s ability to create widely varying stories, each executed in strikingly different ways, each unique and special. I will be reading every book I can get by this author.
Now and Then
Skip to main content. Then and Now Books. In stock. Rogers Georgia. Then and Now covers three generations of technology.
A two-part story, it was the first in the series since What He Wants It also featured the surprise return of comics character Abslom Daak , who had originally been introduced during early issues of Doctor Who Magazine. This comic chooses to go back to basics with Daak — of carrying around Taiyin in order to find a way to revive her, in spite of the prior stories Nemesis of the Daleks and Emperor of the Daleks! The comic is also notable to non-Daak fans as being the first story since The Day of the Doctor to depict the Curator , and the only one to directly connect him to the Doctor. While the previous story had only hinted that he might be a future incarnation of the Time Lord, this comic decided to clearly show the figure as one of the Doctor's forms when time is distorted around him and Alice. He appears in front of the Eleventh Doctor, who is in front of the First Doctor , suggesting that his is indeed a future incarnation.
The Then and the Now was a legend used to scare Gallifreyan children. The legend said that it was a person who got its hands on a time machine and.
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The Then and the Now was a legend used to scare Gallifreyan children. The legend said that it was a person who got its hands on a time machine and destroyed its own timeline, then became an impossible walking paradox. The truth was that the Then and the Now was created when the War Doctor reversed the origins of a chrono-tracker collected from the Then and the Now in its future. That, after reacting with the Psilent songbox , created the Then and the Now in the paradox. The Then and the Now later gained its sentience.
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All songs written by Pete Townshend except where noted. The song was written for The Who's former bassist John Entwistle , who died two years prior to the release of Then and Now before a tour of North America. The riff at the end of the song predated the actual song by a few years, being played at the end of some versions of "My Generation" from the tour. The riff was also played in a performance of the same song during Entwistle's last show, at the Royal Albert Hall on 8 February Portions of the song were also played sometimes after "My Generation" on the band's after Entwistle's death , , , and tours.