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Tag Archives: Reference Books

I have another cheesy post for you this Wednesday. At the day and night job we have begun transitioning onto the new severs. This means that although I will actually be heinously busy over the next two weeks, after that, this crisis will be behind me. And none too soon. Did I mention that I have revisions due? Yes. I should be doing that, not blogging.

Then again, this blog gives me an excuse to tell you that you may now join the Arjun Rampal Fan Club for Romance Authors and Readers. Leave a comment over at my blog and you’re in.

Also, I can post this from a really wonderful review of Indiscreet over at Goassmer Obessions.

Some books, some blessed books, grab you with the first page, with language so lyrical and hooked you’re excited to keep reading even before you’re entirely sure what you’re reading, with settings so vivid and intricately described, yet never so vivid and intricately described as the characters.

Indiscreet is one of them. It has the plot of an Italian opera, the theme of a fairy tale, and a writing style as rich, textured and gorgeous as only romances can be.

So, that was a highlight of my week.

Man Stuff or is it Girl Stuff?

Here’s another hightlight:

Reference Books

In other miscellaneous news, I have two favorite research books to share with you.

The first is The Oxford Companion to the Law by David M. Walker. What I LOVE about this book, besides the explanations of the state of British law with almost uniform reference to WHEN the laws were like what (awesome!) there are also lists of the names of every person ever to have held office in Britain from 975 (NO, I did not miss a digit) forward. Kings, Queens, Regents, Judges, Chancellors, Vice-Chancellors, Cabinet members etc AND THE YEARS THEY HELD THE OFFICE.

I often refer to this book. I bought it way back when I lived in the used book store heaven of Berkeley, California. Naturally, the Univ. of California Press had a bookstore, and they also had a good used section.

The other is new. Roget’s International Thesaurus, Seventh Edition. It’s fun and useful to just flip idly through the pages. Interestingly enough, this book has a cover blurb. Seriously. “A sterling reference tool.” — Time

Who the heck was in charge of lining up blurbs for this book?

“Thumb-Indexed for Easier Browsing!” with a graphic of a thumb. That’s totally cheesy but I love this new and updated thesaurus. It IS easier to use.

My previous Roget’s is from 1965 and was published by St. Martin’s Press. The cover blurb is unattributed: “The best thesaurus in the world”

Somehow I missed the news that the NEW Roget’s jumped ship to Collins, though I did hear the news of the updated edition and pre-ordered it about a year in advance (it was late).

And there’s all the news that matters for Wednesday.

What are you favorite reference books?

I recently purchased two reference books that I adore.

The first is The Great Houses of London by David Pearce (The Vendome Press) in which there is a floor plan for 26 Grosvenor Square (Derby House) c 1773 by Adams.

The floor plan shows two stories on a rectangular lot that was 50 feet wide. The house is shaped a bit like a squared off lower case b with the bottom portion of the B being the street facing side. The gap between the upstroke of the b and the rectangle of the lot appears to be a garden or other outdoor area. There was also a square structure at the back, the width of the lot, also two stories. That housed the kitchen on the ground floor and was connected by a walkway to the main house. The first floor of this structure housed the laundry, the hayloft and the groom’s room.

In the house proper, in the lower (square) of the b, the entry is on the left into the hall. To the right of the hall is an ante-room. “Above” the hall are two staircases, one to the left, the other to the right. To the right of the right-most staircase is a parlor.

In the upstroke of the b, from bottom to top are:

Great Eating Room
Lord Derby’s Dressing Room
Staircase || Cabinet
a staircase || a space into which the kitchen passage would exit.

Following that same pattern for the 1st floor:

Ante Room || First Drawing Room
Stairs || 2nd drawing room

In the upstroke of the b:
Third Drawing room
Lady Derby’s Dressing Room
Bed Chamber
stairs || Closet

Do you notice there is only one bedchamber?

The library is an oval (on its side)

Lady Derby’s Dressing Room is easily 1.5x the size of the bedchamber and, since it is over the library, it is also oval.

Lord Derby’s Dressing Room is really pretty small, and on the ground floor, while Lady Derby’s HUGE dressing room is on the 1st floor.

The 3rd drawing room as built opens into Lady Derby’s Dressing room and the opening is wide wide wide with columns. There would be no privacy between the two spaces.

The other book I bought is The Lost Mansions of Mayfair by Oliver Bradbury (Historical Publications). It is, as you might guess, all about Mayfair mansions that no longer exist. There are a LOT of pictures and illustrations. This book is lovely, but it makes me sad.


So. Why do YOU think Lord Derby’s Dressing Room is so small and where did he sleep?

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