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20+ Works 2,747 Members 36 Reviews

About the Author

Lesley Adkins holds a degree in archaeology, ancient history, and Latin and an M.Phil for research in ancient settlement patterns Roy A. Adkins holds a degree in archaeology

Works by Lesley Adkins

Associated Works

MHQ: The Quarterly Journal of Military History — Summer 2008 (2008) — Co-Author "Don't Give up the Ship!" — 9 copies


Common Knowledge



Husband and wife authors and historians Roy and Lesley Adkins provide readers with insight into daily life as Jane Austen (1775-1817) would have experienced it. Each chapter looks at various aspects of life, from marriage and family life to home comforts, clothing and fashion, religious life, occupations, leisure and recreation, travel, crime and punishment, medicine, and death. Excerpts from letters, diaries and journals, and other writings of the period provide plenty of examples for readers. Besides examples drawn from Austen’s writings and writings of her family members, the Adkins also incorporate examples from the diaries of Somerset vicar William Holland, the diaries of Norfolk Parson James Woodforde, and the letters and diaries of north country governess Nelly Weeton. The volume of information makes for dense reading, but it’s never dull.… (more)
cbl_tn | 7 other reviews | Mar 2, 2024 |
A difficult book to read in its entirety. The opening chapter with Rawlinson precariously balanced on a ladder spanning a narrow path hundreds of feet up the cliff face was magnificent atmosphere. The following chapters were detailed reports of all the minutiae of young Henry's life and his unpleasant sea voyage to India. I abandoned the story at that point and cannot in all fairness assess the rest of the book, since I skimmed and read only the parts that captured the same sense of audacious adventure as the beginning. Such an intrepid historian and explorer deserved a better biography, though readers with a strong interest in cuneiform discoveries and translation will be pleased.… (more)
SandyAMcPherson | 2 other reviews | May 7, 2022 |
Jon_Hansen | 7 other reviews | Apr 30, 2022 |
The story of Henry Rawlinson who pioneered the translation of cuneiform, a man of many talents, all crucial: physical endurance, agility, great intelligence and ability to focus. Posted to India at first and finding himself with time on his hands he learned Persian and then was sent to what is now Iraq as a result. There he became fascinated by cuneiform even to clambering around on cliffsides to copy the figures. Twenty years with no return to England he was outstanding as an administrator, admired by all he encountered, and achieved amazing progress in his goals. While there were others on the same path none of them had his combined talents and he must get special credit for putting his outstanding qualities to good use.
Overall as a story, Adkins had no choice but to put in much detail about the pickier aspects of translating, but she does an admirable job at not going in too deep and staying focused on the main elements of Rawlinson's character and story. I spent a good deal of time reading about some of the places mentioned, looking for images and so on, always a good sign with me that I am engaged. Be aware though that this is not an 'exciting' read unless you are obsessed with cuneiform! ***1/2
… (more)
sibylline | 2 other reviews | Mar 9, 2022 |


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