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Christmas Holiday Reading Wishlist

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Some of the books I would most love to get this Christmas.

    Bitten By Witch Fever

    "As to the arsenic scare a greater folly it is hardly possible to imagine: the doctors were bitten as people were bitten by the witch fever." (William Morris on toxic wallpapers, 1885). Bitten by Witch Fever presents facsimile samples of 275 of the most sumptuous wallpaper designs ever created by designers and printers of the age, including Christopher Dresser and Morris & Co. For the first time in their history, every one of the samples shown has been laboratory tested and found to contain arsenic. Interleaved with the wallpaper sections, evocative commentary guides you through the incredible story of the manufacture, uses and effects of arsenic, and presents the heated public debate surrounding the use of deadly pigments in the sublime wallpapers of a newly industrialized world.

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    The Other World, It Whispers

    From the secrets of the forest, to the magic of the sea, these nine stories tell of what happens when passion, desire, loneliness and imprisonment lead us on a search for freedom and empowerment - no matter what the cost.A woman makes a deal with gods and goddesses in order to bring a slanderous town down to its knees, a man who has lost everything finds himself in the graveyards of Paris, turning to dark magic to ensure success, an opulent masked ball becomes the stage of spite and revenge, a teenage boy who believes he is in the wrong body calls out to mermaids to enchant him.With strands of classic fairy and folklore weaved through, the unknown - the silent and dark - is explored. Where spirits, deities and witches lurk, but also where the beauty of life and renewal can be found.

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    Sherlock Holmes

    Ever since his creation, Sherlock Holmes has enthralled readers. Our perception of him and his faithful companion, Dr Watson, has been shaped by a long line of film, TV and theatre adaptations. This richly illustrated book, compiled by Alex Werner, Head of History Collections at the Museum of London, is an essential guide to the great fictional detective and his world. Using the museum's unrivalled collections of photographs, paintings and original artefacts, it illuminates the capital city that inspired the Sherlock Holmes stories, in particular its fogs, Hansom cabs, criminal underworld, famous landmarks and streets. Accompanying the landmark exhibition at the Museum of London, the first since 1951, this book explores how Arthur Conan Doyle's creation of Sherlock Holmes has transcended literature and continues to attract audiences to this day. Authoritatively written by leading experts, headed by Sir David Cannadine, this thought-provoking companion sheds new light on the famous sleuth and reveals the truth behind the fiction, over 125 years after the first Sherlock Holmes story was written.

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