An Internationally Renowned Work

When, in August 1898, Czar Nicholas II of Russia called for all ‘the nations to join a conference for the limitation of armaments’ cynics mistrusted his motives, believing this was because his nation was so far behind the major powers with whom he would never be able to catch up without such breathing space. We learn this from ‘The Steady Drummer – The Hague: 1899 and 1907’, being the 5th Chapter of Barbara W. Tuchman’s ‘The Proud Tower’.

Tuchman chronicles the two conferences that took place in these years, making it clear that every nation involved, including the US and European in 1907 supplemented at the insistence of the Americans by the Latin-American States, would put their own interests ahead of the others; the strong and better armed belligerents wanted it kept that way; disarmament and arms reduction were out of the question. Some progress was eventually made on the conduct of war, which, of course, would come to be blatantly ignored during the next half century. Humanity’s natural competition, territorial greed, and distrust prevailed.

I finished reading this section of the book this afternoon.

I don’t know when I last read Charles Dickens’s ‘The Adventures of Oliver Twist’, but it would have been before I began blogging, otherwise I would have scanned and featured before now my Folio Society edition of 1984 with

Charles Keepings’s inimitable illustrations sprawling across the pages, the first of which is the frontispiece.

Christopher Hibbert has written a useful introduction. I have not felt it necessary to review such an internationally well-known work.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s spicy pasta arrabbiata with tender runner beans. The Culinary Queen finished the Greco di Tufo and I drank more of the Recital, involving an encore from another bottle.

Published by derrickjknight

I am a septuagenarian enjoying rambling physically and photographing what I see, and rambling in my head as memories are triggered. I also ramble through a lifetime's photographs

47 thoughts on “An Internationally Renowned Work

  1. The illustrations are just lovely.

    I have enjoyed every Charles Dickens Story since I first read Great Expectations back in primary school all those years ago. Joss tells me Dickensian might be on TV again this Christmas, something to look forward to whether or not its series one or two.

  2. So here we have a razor sharp indictment the treatment of poverty and homelessness. How can we make sure we don’t have to do anything to help change things. Or how much will it cost.
    Oh! I’ve got an idea. Let’s make a song and dance about it.
    Good. Then the only thing that I need to do it to buy a ticket for the show. It’s like wallpaper over the cracks.

  3. The Csar was right and his critics were also right: Russia was certainly unprepared for war and subsequently lost it. Nicholas was much happier tinkering in his woodworking shop.
    Illustrations are fabulous, reminiscent of Daumier’s caricatures.

    1. You may not have seen the post where I wrote that The Folio Society sought members’ suggestions for a pairing of books and artists for future publications. This was my suggestion. Glad you appreciate him too. Thanks very much, Anne

  4. I’ve enjoyed Mr. Dickens’ stories from the first time I read one. And these illustrations are wonderful! Great work, Mr. Keeping! 🙂 I’m captured in by the details and especially the clothing, hats, and faces/expression! 🙂
    The two books you shared here are important and interesting!
    An encore from another bottle, eh! 🙂
    We had goodly grilled chicken, fresh snappy green beans with sweet onions, and fresh tasty roasted corn on the cob. 🙂
    (((HUGS))) 🙂

  5. Hi Derrick, sorry I’ve missing in action for a couple of days, but I’m back on board now… and this could be a good time for me to reread some Charles Dickens stories..

      1. I’ll get a good rest tonight Derrick, I’m ok… it was a long day at the hospital, which as you know are very tiring on the system..

  6. Oliver Twist always whisks me back to childhood. Illustrations in modern day editions are a rarity except in abridged versions of children. Charles Keepings has kept the pace with Mr Dickens here.

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