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Showing posts from August, 2017

Snapshots - #22: The Hollow Crown, Season 2

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The War of the Roses Henry VI, Part I (♦♦♦♦♦)

Henry V has died. His body is not yet cold but three provinces of France have fallen for lack of men and resources. Henry's son, nine months old Henry, is named King Henry VI of England and France. His uncle, Humphrey Duke of Gloucester, is named the King's Lord Protector.
Seventeen years later, Edmund Mortimer (Michael Gambon), a Plantagenet in direct line of succession to Richard II, dies and leaves his nephew Richard as heir. The king recognizes Richard's claim and makes him Duke of York. Moreover, France is in turmoil again. Henry VI (Tom Sturridge) sends Lord Talbot Earl of Shrewsbury and his son, the Earl of Warwick, and Richard Duke of York to fight the French. William Earl of Somerset must provide them support and fails intentionally to do so, thus Lord Talbot and his son are killed at Rouen.
Joan of Arc, on behalf of France's Dauphin, leads the French army at Rouen and Anjou, where she is captured and burned at the sta…

Snapshots - #21: The Hollow Crown, Season 1

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Richard II (♦♦♦♦)

Henry Bolingbroke (Rory Kinnear), Duke of Hereford, cousin of King Richard II (Ben Whishaw), accuses Thomas Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk, of treason. Brought in front of the king, neither wants to go back on their word, thus, to prevent the spilling of blood, the king banishes to foreign lands his cousin for six years, and Mowbray for life.
Meanwhile, Ireland is in turmoil, and the king is surrounded by vain flatterers. Upon the death of his uncle Old John of Gaunt (Patrick Stewart), Duke of Lancaster, the king pilfers his uncle's possessions to fund an offensive in Ireland. Deprived of inheritance, Bolingbroke, now Duke of Lancaster (in title only), returns to England from exile, raising his men against the king and setting in motion the king's abdication.
The soft pastels of the king's attire are perhaps a metaphor for King Richard II being a monarch that values style above substance. He is surrounded by boy-men that, with honeyed words, have garnered coveted …

House of Spies by Daniel Silva (♦♦♦♦)

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Gabriel Allon Series Book 17
It's been a few months since Israeli art restorer and master spy Gabriel Allon has assumed the directorship of the Office. Not far from his mind are the events unfolded in Washington, DC months ago— at the center of the previous installment, The Black Widow— by master terrorist Saladin, and now new attacks have occurred in London and Paris with his signature all over. It will be up to Gabriel to plan, organize, and carry out an expensive operation, encompassing the world's preeminent intelligence agencies, to tease out Saladin’s whereabouts from prominent criminals in France's and Morocco's underbelly.
At the center of his plot is a couple— Mikhail posing as Dmitri Antonov (a Russian millionaire who has, presumably, amassed his enormous fortune dealing in arms) and Natalie Mizrahi posing as Sophie, his dazzling French wife— recruiting as an asset French businessman Jean-Luc Martel, who is rumored to be a world-class drug trafficker on the sid…