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FREE EPUB ⚜ Traces Remain: Essays and Explorations Ü In these wonderfully stylish and eclectic essays, Charles Nicholl pursues the fugitive traces of the past with the skill and relish that have earned him a reputation as one of the finest literary and historical detectives of our time His subjects range from a murder case in Renaissance Rome to the disappearance of Jim Thompson in s Malaya, from the boyhood of Christopher Marlowe to the crimes of Jack the Ripper, from the remnants of a lost Shakespeare play to the last days of the poet boxer Arthur Cravan in a Mexican fishing port Full of insights, curiosities and unexpected discoveries, these thirty pieces written over two decades show the author of The Lodger and Leonardo da Vinci at his inquisitive best 25 essays, most of which I found extremely interesting, very informative and well written Many of them encouraged me to readabout the subjects of the essays.Essays as follows 1 Thomas Coryate s last journeyings2 Mr Mountjoy at the Magistrate s Court in connection with a Naughty House 3 A Celebration of John Aubrey4 Edward Kelley alchemist in Bohemia5 English Portraiture in the Sixteenth Century6 Christopher Marlowe s Boyhood7 Ben Jonson and the Uses of Comedy8 The Remnants of 25 essays, most of which I found extremely interesting, very informative and well written Many of them encouraged me to readabout the subjects of the essays.Essays as follows 1 Thomas Coryate s last journeyings2 Mr Mountjoy at the Magistrate s Court in connection with a Naughty House 3 A Celebration of John Aubrey4 Edward Kelley alchemist in Bohemia5 English Portraiture in the Sixteenth Century6 Christopher Marlowe s Boyhood7 Ben Jonson and the Uses of Comedy8 The Remnants of a Lost Shakespeare Play9 Shakespeare s First Biographer10 Shakespeare Authorship Controversy11 Antonio Pigafetta in the New World12 The Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci13 The Secrets of St Proculus statue in Rome , a reattribution14 Ippolito d Este and Lorenzo de Medici15 The Case of Beatrice Cenci16 A New Byron Portrait Man in Fur Hat 17 In Search of Sarah Walker18 Arthur Rimbaud s African House19 Jack the Ripper A new suspect 20 Arthur Cravan in Mexico21 The Gold Prospectors of El Dorado22 The Legend of Colonel Fawcett23 Alexandria Past and Present 24 The Disappearance of Jim Thompson25 CrowsI m inclined to agree with the Irish Times review of the book Some writers are so good at what they do that they can take you anywher Charles Nicholl is one of them He s a man of many parts which include being a raconteur, sleuth, commentator Fictional short stories don t generally do it for me, essays are a quite different kettle of fish, particularly CH s Warmly recommended Charles Nicholl is a very worthy writer I think I would read any topic he chooses He is familiar with playwrights of the 16th and 17th century, of a tale of an Abruzzo girl who is remembered centuries later with a history that has perhaps no truth in it He also writes about Dublin the 80s and the mystery of Jim Thompson s disappearance.He is interested in a great many topics all of which are well researched I want to readof him. The very best type of popular history entertainingly and provocatively written but also balanced and grounded in serious research Nicholl provides compelling new angles on household names such as Shakespeare and Leonardo da Vinci and familiar stories such as Jack the Ripper whilst also shining a light on some fascinating characters who have disappeared into historical obscurity A particular standout for me was the French Swiss boxer poet adventurer Arthur Cravan Fabian Lloyd many of the char The very best type of popular history entertainingly and provocatively written but also balanced and grounded in serious research Nicholl provides compelling new angles on household names such as Shakespeare and Leonardo da Vinci and familiar stories such as Jack the Ripper whilst also shining a light on some fascinating characters who have disappeared into historical obscurity A particular standout for me was the French Swiss boxer poet adventurer Arthur Cravan Fabian Lloyd many of the characters in this book have multiple or uncertain names, nationalities and professions , who vanished somewhere off Mexico in 1918 but sightings of whom continued to be reported years afterwards in various parts of the world Cravan s story has been inexplicably neglected in the English speaking world at the time of writing there had still been no English language biography and only a handful of media articles and he is one of several people covered in this book that I ve come away wanting to learn and researchabout Nicholl s other great achievement is to communicate human emotion powerfully and credibly without appearing to take major liberties with the source material, which in most cases is very limited Cravan s tempestuous relationship with the poet Mina Loy, for example, and the essayist critic William Hazlitt s humiliating infatuation with his land lady s daughter are communicated in a way that is immediately recognisable, pathetic in the older sense of that word and makes these characters come affectingly alive, in some cases across multiple centuries