Sunday, January 5, 2014

Anne Perry Part Two

Last night I finished reading Anne Perry's Half Moon Street. This book helped me to understand why I like to read books in a series. You get to know the author and their style of writing and what they feel is important. In the first two books that I read of hers, I could see that she brings much in the way of social commentary and problems into her books and proves the point that everything old is new again, or never went away in the first place and just gets worse. In one book she discusses the Irish question which helped me understand in an historical context why there is still so much problems between the Catholics and Protestants there.

Half Moon Street, takes place approximately 150 years ago. In this era, some women were starting to question their roles in society and why they were dependent on their husbands for everything and had to do what the husbands told them to. In the last few years in England the laws concerning husbands and wives had changed and women were no longer consider to be their husbands property and they were able own things, like their underwear and hairpins, in their own right. Theater performances, etc were still highly censored by the chief Chamberlain. Any play that delved too deeply into women's inner most thoughts and gave them voice was closed down. All this laid the groundwork for the societal problem that was considered in this book: pornography. Cameras were new and photography clubs seemed to abound looking for the best way to show light, water, shadows etc. to make for the best and and most beautiful photographs. With the good of photography came the evil of scandalous pictures sold only to certain customers in the back rooms of picture shops. Women that were so inclined at times posed for these photos that no real lady would ever do or even acknowledge that such pictures could possibly exist. It was a huge change from only a few years previously when women were hemmed in on every side.

The murder that Superintendent Pitt is investigating was that of a man that had been found murdered, chained in a rowboat wearing a torn velvet dress in a suggestive pose. After finding out who the deceased was, to find his murdered, they had to go down the rabbit hole of pornographic photos to find out the why and who. At one point Pitt saw a picture and realized that once seen he would never be able to erase it from his memory. Then he thought of his children and what they would think of human nature and most especially the relationships between men and women if they saw something like this. That was the main point that was brought out, even though the person may not mind themselves being in such pictures but what of their children and how would they respond to see their mother or father in these nasty pictures?

A very interesting book to read. I look forward to reading more of Anne Perry's books, but at this point I have four new books to read and review for Amazon and my Christmas present book stack to read before I can get back to her.

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