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- Learning and Bildung in Times of Globalisation
Lima explains that the first circular inscriptions have been dated to about 40, years ago, when ancient humans carved circular marks called petroglyphs into rock. Ten thousand years ago, he says, the circle infiltrated every area of human knowledge, from architecture and urban planning to linguistics and objects. Today, it remains a dominant form in the world of information design. We know that humans are more attracted to curvilinear shapes than angular shapes, something backed by several recent studies. Those are signifiers of danger.
The psychologist John N. Bassili conducted an experiment in in which he painted the faces of participants black, and then added luminescent dots. The circle, in the context of his research, is an abstract symbol for happiness, while the pointed triangle represents anger. As much as Fenton is still my favorite character, I have to say Martin grew on me even more during this sequel, and Charles put himself firmly into my heart. His story of recovery is remarkable, and made his parents soften in their Victorian ways, which was an interesting turn, and one I welcomed.
I also enjoyed Alexandra's story. While I would have preferred to see more of her life with Robbie, I was obsessed with her semi-love triangle. She had a recovery, as well, and while hers wasn't nearly as poignant as Charles's, it was still a beautiful read. Martin is the star of this series, and I've really grown to like his introspection and the way he moves the story forward. Weaving his story into the story of the birth of the Nazi party was a stroke of brilliance, and truly pulls you into the early days, before the death and destruction that Hitler would wreak on Europe less than twenty years later.
The only thing I didn't love was Winnie's indiscretion. I saw it coming and I hated it. She was lonely while Fenton was Iraq? I almost wish Fenton had discovered it, but he didn't and he remains blissfully unaware as he pines for his wife. The whole thing just seemed contrived and a silly plot point, but I guess that happens. Starting the 3rd book now Absolutely pick up this series if you're a sucker for historical fiction, you won't regret it.
I picked this book up at a second hand book store because of the cover picture and back cover description. I ave a fascination in the Great War and World War 2 and the description made it evident that the era between these wars would provide the subject matter of the book. Martin Rilke, a journalist more by chance than design is the character who seems to be the main focal point of the story though others also recur regularly.
I found it interesting to read about the morals of the time and the aftereffects of the Great War. England and Germany provide the main settings for the story although the influence of Americans is also felt. I would recommend this to anyone interested in learnng more about that time period and the build up to the second war. I don't know if there is a third book in the sage, but I would suspect that there is and I would be interested in reading it. In volume two of a trilogy, the aftermath of World War I is explored as our characters move through a changing world order and the end of an era in Great Britain of the great morality and and the order of wealthy and titled.
Here we also get a glimpse at the Weimar Republic and the beginnings of the rise in Nazism. A enjoyable historical novel. With this written so many years ago I find that these first two books were a road map for the writers of Downton Abbey. Even better than book 1, particularly in its depiction of Germany between the two world wars. I enjoyed seeing the adult lives of the Greville siblings and the continuing story of their American cousin, Martin Rilke. Feb 15, Susan added it. Fantastic read - this was written in the early 80s and the writing is spare and the characters are deeply developed - my favorite type of novel.
Can't wait for the third book in the trilogy but must read Z Zelda Fitzgerald first for a book club. View 2 comments. Due to some complications with the shipping of the second and third books in this series, my tour dates got pushed back. As such it has been over a month since I read The Passing Bells. That's enough time for a lot of the little details to go rushing out of my head. Thankfully, who was who came back quite quickly. Circles of Time is just as enjoyable, both from a family drama perspective and a historical perspective as the first book in the series. Fiction set during WWI and WWII abounds, but the Due to some complications with the shipping of the second and third books in this series, my tour dates got pushed back.
Circles of Time covers the years , the post-war period in which Europe tries to rebuild and find its footing in this new world. The first half of the novel focuses primarily on the disconnect between the modern lifestyle of the s and the old-fashioned values embodied by old estates and money, like Abingdon Pryory. The conflict between modern sensibilities and tradition comes up in a lot of ways, especially in the romance. Where marriages of convenience, made for financial concerns or to obtain a title, ruled the upper classes before the war, more and more couples are marrying for love, even if it offends the family.
Alexandra is the best example of this. Her marriage to a Scottish doctor just barely before she became pregnant resulted in a rift with her family, who cannot except that a lady would have an affair with a married man or almost have a child out of wedlock. Increasingly, love is winning out over social concerns. Romantic and family drama comprise most of the first half, and I found Alexandra's arc in particular quite touching. In the postwar period, there's also a move towards the acknowledgement of just how awful the war was for everyone.
War was once this glamorous thing, romanticized and considered an honorable death for a man. WWI, with its trench warfare and unbelievable death toll, was nothing but a mindless slaughter. Martin Rilke's story arc deals with the tension between those determined to cover up the senselessness of most of the fighting and those who think the truth should out. The second half of Circles of Time changes gears to focus almost entirely on post WWI Germany, during the years of the unstable Weimar Republic, reparations, and Hitler's initial rise to prominence. The Weimar years are really sad, because France's desire for reparations destroyed the German economy, which printed off money like it was going out of style to pay the French.
That brought about rampant inflation to the degree that money no longer had any meaning. The inflation resulted in desperation in the people, and the desire for a leader to make things better. Then came Hitler. I've not seen this period in fiction before, and, as it's one of my favorite eras to study, I loved reading about it here.
However, those who are less into history will probably be disappointed in the change in tone and focus from the more Downton-esque first half. I'm excited to finish up the trilogy this week. The war to end all wars has finally come to an end and with it comes great change. For the Grevilles, though, it does mean something of a return to normalcy: Abingdon Pryory will soon be returned to its former glory and Lord Stanmore is anxious to return to the country estate.
Alexandra, now widowed and with a young son in tow, has returned from overseas but there's tension between her and her father. Charles also has returned and is showing marked improvement. Meanwhile, Martin has taken a posi The war to end all wars has finally come to an end and with it comes great change. Meanwhile, Martin has taken a position with a large international news agency and Fenton Wood-Lacy has been exiled to the Middle East.
Oh, I can't tell you have happy I was to return to this series! After all, we'd learned that Martin was a widow and Charles was out of his mind thanks to shell shock. And what of William, who we barely met, and Alexandra and Robbie and all of the others?! Martin has decided to move on and Charles's friends are rallying together to get Lord Grantham, I mean Lord Stanmore to consider bringing him home for his recovery.
Now that the war has ended, the Grevilles and others like them are slowly putting the pieces of their lives back together. Alexandra is struggling with her father's old fashioned ideals. Lord Stanmore is, in fact, struggling with his old fashioned ideals as well and the way the world is changing around him. It was interesting to see him slowly come around to some of the social changes, especially once Charles began to recover.
That alone seemed to be the turning point for Anthony Greville, allowing him to finally put aside some of his staunch ideals and embrace the evolving world around him. And like many of the other reviews I've seen thus far, Martin remains by far my favorite character. His position as a journalist and writer not only gives him a unique viewpoint amongst the varied characters of the story, but also allows him to move around a bit -- both literally and figuratively socially.
He travels to the Middle East to interview Fenton, giving us a glimpse not only of the military activity there but finally bringing Fenton back into the story. Martin also travels to Germany and becomes the first character to discuss what he witnesses as a result of the war These are characters that I've come to know and love through Rock's writing and I will be sad to say goodbye with the final installment. Jan 25, Patty rated it really liked it. This book picks up a few years after the end of WWI as each of the characters the reader met in the first book struggles to adjust to life in a world turned upside down by a war that killed millions.
Abingdon Pryory is being rebuilt by Lord Greville exactly as it was before the war. He plans to move back there once the renovations are done despite the fact that Lady Greville does not seem as anxious to move back to the country and t Circles of Time is the second book in The Passing Bells Trilogy. He plans to move back there once the renovations are done despite the fact that Lady Greville does not seem as anxious to move back to the country and the large house.
Especially since their son Charles is in hospital suffering from what we now know as post traumatic shock syndrome. Their daughter Alexandra is back in England from Canada after what they consider to be a disastrous life choice and Lord Greville barely acknowledges her presence. Fenton Wood-Lacy butt heads with the upper echelons of Her Majesty's Army and is being encouraged to retire but he wants no other job so he accepts a posting that is supposed to be the end of his career leaving his pregnant wife with their two daughters to await him in England.
But this book I think is truly Martin Rilke's tale. Having written his book which told the truth about the true horrors of the war he is finally ready to leave his wife's grave in France and come back to England and further his career in journalism. He is the driver of this part of the trilogy and he is the perfect linchpin being friends to most and related to the rest of the main characters.
The book is told mostly through Martin's eyes - not all of it, but most of it. Just as with The Passing Bells I found myself completely wrapped up in the lives of these characters. In some ways even more so because they were like old friends. I felt the pain of the loss of some of them and was horrified by the aftereffects of the war on the people and the countries.
But peace was not to last forever as history showed us and this book ends just as Hitler is starting to spout his ugly rhetoric. I've given this a slightly lower rating than The Passing Bells because of the last third of the book. Too much wrapped up much too quickly in my opinion. The first book and the beginning of this book was so rich in character and detail I felt that so much happened so quickly and without all of that wonderful attention to what the characters were feeling and to the history of the time. It's as if the author was just ready to move on to the next book and needed to tie up loose ends.
A minor complaint indeed when applied to the whole of story so far. I am very much looking forward to the finale in A Future Arrived. The world is evolving and great change is coming, yet the Earl of Stanmore wishes for the simpler times of the past. Charles, the Earl's first born son and heir to the family estate, is suffering from severe PTSD that has caused him to withdraw and become noncommunicable.
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Hidden away in home up in Wales it becomes easy for the rest of the Greville family to p Circles of Time , the second novel in Phillip Rock's "Passing Bells" series, brings us back to the Greville family and their life post WWI. Hidden away in home up in Wales it becomes easy for the rest of the Greville family to put him to the back of their minds. Meanwhile his sister Alexandra, now a widow of the war, is practically being pimped out by her parents who are attempting to get her married ASAP.
Due to her having a child with her divorced-now-dead husband they feel ashamed. The earl is unable to reconcile to her. Gaps are everywhere. Yes, it's as ridiculous as it sounds. In the meantime, the family cousin and famous reporter Marin Rilke begins to try out broadcasting on the radio, bringing in the storm of the CBC craze. He travels throughout the world, sees the slow but inevitable rise of the Nazi party and worries that a bigger storm is coming.
In some ways I felt that this book was much softer than it's predecessor. Rock kills off some main characters in the first book but is much kinder in the second. To me it felt somewhat like a cop out, but it was still an enjoyable read. Most of the book is spent focused on the nearing of WWII and the economy of the world during the 20s. The Great Depression is alluded to, as well as the Wall Street crash and the rampant rise of communism in Russia.
Some parts are spent briefly explaining the establishment of the Arab government under British coaching. I found that reading the second book was easier than reading the first, perhaps because I was knowledgeable and comfortable with the characters. The dialogue was still spotty, but altogether it was a decent read. It didn't have the same boring rants about WWI that the first book did so I would give it a 3. Curse you Goodreads for not yet having half star rating abilities! Jul 29, Robin rated it really liked it Shelves: historical-fiction , reread. This novel follows the main characters of the series in the years It begins with a shock.
Ivy Thaxton Rilke died in the last gasps of the war. Martin Rilke is finally putting his life on track, and he is at the pinnacle of his career. Charles Greville is still locked away and Fenton Wood-Lacy is having to face the dire consequences of his actions at the end of The Passing Bells. Alexandra is back in England with a baby son and William Greville and his parents are not adjusting well to t This novel follows the main characters of the series in the years Alexandra is back in England with a baby son and William Greville and his parents are not adjusting well to the changes in their lives.
The Jazz Age is in full swing, but what Rock spends a great deal of the novel developing is how soon and disturbingly the seeds of WWII are sprouting and flourishing in Germany, and the terrible shortsightedness of the Treaty of Versailles. In the midst of this, many of the main characters do find their footing again and discover at least some personal peace and contentment again. A second generation is introduced that will move to center stage in the final novel of the trilogy. Martin Rilke and to a lesser extent Jacob Golden are the central thread that weaves the separate stories together, and so I felt a little let down that Martin is the only one who does not find a more personal happiness.
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I can't remember if it was so when I read this in , but I couldn't put this down. The novel had a few uneven spots, but it managed the rare feat of being both entertaining and powerful. Circles of Time is the sequel to The Passing Bells. I have to say that I like this book just as much, if not more, than the first. The war is over and now begins the reconstruction not only of building, but also of lives. The line that divided the classes no longer existed.
This is one of the major themes of this book: Exploring this new age. Once again the book focuses on Martin. He's from Chicago, but spent many years during the war as a journalist. He's written a book about the war that is getting a lot of publicity; both good and bad. One of things I liked most about this book is that we learn a lot more about the Greville family through Martin. After the mental breakdown of their son Charles and the unconventional path led by their daughter Alexandria, the family is thrown into a sort of tailspin.
The Greville family has always been set in their traditional ways.
8. Learning and Bildung in Times of Globalisation - NSU
However with the tide of change they must learn to sink or swim. Rock did an excellent job portraying the effect that the war had on people. The changes that England as well as many other countries went through. The horrors and the joys. May 05, Christine rated it really liked it Shelves: gilded-fiction. Having enjoyed The Passing Bells, I was excited to read Circles of Time and wasn't surprised to find out that I enjoyed it even more than the first book.
In the aftermath of the first world war the individual thoughts and motives of the characters deepened and my appreciation for them as unique people grew. I especially delighted in the nurturing yet unapologetic Winifred Wood-Lacy - woman, mother, pacifist, soldier's wife. The heavy backdrop of war and death, present in the first novel, was swa Having enjoyed The Passing Bells, I was excited to read Circles of Time and wasn't surprised to find out that I enjoyed it even more than the first book.
The heavy backdrop of war and death, present in the first novel, was swapped for a more subtle blanket of melancholy and confusion as the Grevilles and their English compatriots struggle to grieve, rebuild and attempt to comprehend the myriad principles their sons, brothers and husbands were sacrificed to protect.
Life has changed at Abingdon Pryory, in England and all over Europe as well. Phillip Rock does an exceptional job not only highlighting the British struggle but he also explores the utter upheaval of s Germany. As readers, we can feel the atmosphere of suffocating tension in Germany and Rock's expertly paced elaboration of the economic and political turmoil ominously paints the slow portrait of what we know will inevitably lead Europe to the second world war. So far this series has been a fascinating history lesson tucked carefully inside a sumptuous Edwardian novel.
I can't wait to pick up A Future Arrived and continue the saga! Jun 24, Alicia Prevost rated it it was amazing. Oh how I love this series! My one issue with the first book was that it started a little too slowly but definitely wasn't a problem with this one. It was right into the action, life going on after the war and things getting more normal. Or well new normal, I guess. I'm not even sure what to say about this book that I didn't say about the first one. The brilliance of it is the ensemble of characters and all the ways it shows the different ways people are moving on and recovering after the war.
Ther Oh how I love this series! There's a lot less action in this book, clearly, and some interesting build up to WWII and Hitler but overall it's just a really great story about people. Also the character growth in this one is wonderful, especially for characters like Charles clearly and Ross and Alexandra. The war changed them all so drastically that it's really interesting to see what they've become compared to who they were. And I still love Fenton. Which means while I feel for Winnie, I hate her a little.
Now off to read the last book in the series The second in the fabulous Abingdon Pryory series written in the 's. Downton Abby's primary source, for certain, there is even a chauffeur who transcends his station to marry one of the family's daughters. This volume mainly tells the tale of American reporter cousin Martin Rilke who writes a scathing tell all about life in the trenches during the war that has just ended and which most are trying to forget and bad leadership in the British army that cost lives.
He answers for that with los The second in the fabulous Abingdon Pryory series written in the 's. He answers for that with loss of credibility in the news world, as does his military accomplice-with a posting to chaotic Baghdad. However, he is reinstated and goes to Germany to cover the nascent Nazi party.
Lots of side stories to hold one's attention, too, including the patriarch trying to readjust to the new world order, his son overcoming debilitating shell-shock, and changing women's roles and expectations. Thoroughly enjoyable. This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I enjoyed this installment more than the first in the series!
I still found that events moved quickly - for instance Alexandra's sudden romance with Jamie which I enjoyed - much better suited for her than dreadful Noel! I did find the book I enjoyed this installment more than the first in the series! I did find the book dragged a bit when Martin went to visit Fenton, though luckily this was only a short part of the book! Mar 13, Pointsandwheels rated it liked it Shelves: fiction , historical-fictions. Everyone finds their own way to cope with the horrors of the war, and everyone gets a happy ending. Though it's the last part that irritated me; when you have a large group of characters, why is everyone happy and rich at the end?
Learning and Bildung in Times of Globalisation
It felt like each group had been blessed with the authorial fairy wand of being able to observe the torments of the world, but not be harmed by them. It gave the story a very off feel by the en this was a good coda to the lives of the people we met in The Passing Bells. It gave the story a very off feel by the end of it, and I think that's leading to my dislike of the third book. Although it's a good book I do think it deserves three starts , I really can't recommend it if you loved the highs and lows of The Passing Bells.
Sep 07, Anne rated it really liked it. The second book in the Passing Bells series is just as good as the first! It continues the story of the aristocratic Greville family and their family and friends in post-WW1 Britain. They like the rest of of British society are struggling with all the changes in the modern Britain in industry, society and politics. Rock writes with engaged prose and makes even the dryer passages enthralling.
The characters are smart and i The second book in the Passing Bells series is just as good as the first! The characters are smart and interesting - I want to know about them and their lives. If anything I only wish that the book was longer. At times the author glossed over things I wish had been narrated by a character instead.
Luckily there is still one volume left! Nov 07, Jen rated it really liked it. As I watched the first season of Downtown Abbey, I turned to my husband on more than one occasion and said "hmm, this seems lifted from 'Passing Bells' - a book I'd read, loved and lost in the early 90s and my husband tracked down for me in hardcover. One of my fav comfort reads. Needless to say, I was thrilled to read the sequel and even more amazed to find out that part of the story moved to my very not British hometown.
And, like so many sequels, it didn't have the punch of the first story. Holding off on reading the third for now. Mar 11, Ann Boytim rated it liked it. The family of Grevilles are rebuilding the family home after the home has been occupied during the war. The family has one son who has been in a shell shocked state and is in a hospital, their daughter is now home after a marriage and death of her husband and has a young son but this daughter is not in favor with her father who disapproved of the marriage.
Different eras and different times when upper class still rules but changes are about to happen. The one son finally comes home and another s The family of Grevilles are rebuilding the family home after the home has been occupied during the war. The one son finally comes home and another son is just interested in having a good time in the Jazz clubs of London. Family life is not what it used to be. It was fun to return to the Passing Bells characters and see where life took them next!
I did not love this sequel as much as I had loved the original, but it was still a solid historical fiction read. I really enjoy reading about Martin and his experiences with reporting during and after WWI and I thought his experiences in Germany were compelling in this book. I did find some of the drama in Circles of Time to be a bit unbelievable I will likely read the third book in the trilogy - I'm very curious to see what happens with the next generation!
Jan 26, Katie rated it it was amazing.