I fell in love for the first time in life when I was in my seventh standard in school. There was something that mesmerized me in the same way I was fascinated with the charm of fairy tales in my early childhood. But that time, I fell in love with the tales of time travel. I fell in love with the fascinating tales of History!
Since then, I have fallen in love with this subject again and again. Whenever I saw a story with a historical twist, I rushed to grab it and then, I ate it. Literally. Such is my love for historical tales across the world. After some years, walking along the road of life, somewhere my teenage love faded into the dark alleys of time. But at a point of life, I perceived, once in a lifetime, your true love comes to surprise you in every possible way. Few years ago, I rediscovered my love for historical tales and I found solace in those pages of vintage memories.
So, when I saw Sonia Dogra’s Unlocked beautifully showcased in the library of the Blogchatter Ebook Carnival season five, I picked this book to rekindle the vintage love of mine.
The book seemed to me like a closet of undying tales from the forgotten alleys of history. Come, let’s peep inside the book and embark on the journey of travelling back in time with the tales of Unlocked.
The anthem ‘History is Boring’ is now passé.
Here is a collection of historical tales about rebellious dancers and whiskeys; mysterious burials and missing keys; lost medals and quarantines and all you could only imagine to be.
Presenting twenty-five delectable stories from the past that you may never have heard of before.
What’s more? They are sassy and classy; easy and breezy; terse and very much in verse!
Structure of the book:
The book is divided into two parts: The Famous and the Infamous and Epoch Making Episodes. The first part talks about some significant figures from the pages of History that include Adolf Hitler, Mahatma Gandhi, Genghis Khan, Muhammad Ali, Cleopetra and some more. Part two has a lots of intriguing stories in store for you like story of the Radcliffe line, mystery behind the sinking of Titanic, the lost speech of Abraham Lincon, the story behind the game of Monopoly and many more.
And here I must mention you that every story has its own twist to tell! What is the treasure does this book behold? Well this is the most curious thing about this book that every single story will leave you in an awe. Here comes the true essence of this book.
There is an introduction and a concluding note accompanying every poem. To add an extra level of brilliance, the author has presented all the poems with footnotes for historical terms and illustrated figures to make the reading experience an enriching one!
Before I step towards talking about the writing style of the book, let me ask you something. Have you ever imagined a book with historical tales presented to you with a bunch of wonderful verses? I leave it up to you but here I write the most beautiful surprise you are going to unlock in this book. And that is, historical tales in the form of verse. With soothing poetries, this book will take you to a momentary escape from the real time zone and you would love to seek refuge in the realm of these soul stirring verses.
A glimpse of the book:
I really liked the opening poem of this book where History speaks to us herself. Here are few lines from the poem From History, With Love:
Did you just say
you don’t like history?
Well, that’s not how it’s
supposed to be!
I peep into the mirror
and have a Jack Nohi at myself.
Then I look deeper,
What is it about me
that doesn’t make you eager?
No wonder in your eyes
you don’t jump out of your skin
Then the book starts with the bucket of stories waiting to be told.
The author takes us on a time travel with vintage tales of a vast range. Adolf Hitler’s abusive childhood in the very first poem, left me to contemplate the reverse theory of history asking you “What if…”
This is one such book where I really can’t choose my favourite chapters. But still, among them all, there is something that drenched my soul. The author has weaved poems on the bravery of unknown women warriors and their contribution to the freedom struggle.
The chapter “The Dance of Rebellion” begins with these lines:
the wrinkled pages
lie untold tales
of many a bravery.
If you pick this book, then I would like to say this chapter is a must read. It’s about Cawnpore courtesans and their bravery. There was an exceptional woman warrior Azeezunbai who battled with her utmost bravery but her name is hard to be found in the pages of history.
The poem “Virangana, the Valiant Women” acquainted me with some valiant female warriors of India about whom we hardly know. But, they will bear the flag of bravery forever in these pages of verses.
There are poems from Mahatma Gandhi, Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Genghis Khan’s life that are engraved inside me. The author has chosen lesser known incidents across the world, that are not often mentioned in history textbooks, thereby making the book so interesting. The author’s powerful words stringed with extensive research made me pause for a while and I was made to dive deep into thoughts about the gripping tales, even after I finished reading the book. After reading the book you will feel a longing to know more, to read more about these tales.
The author has done an extensive research to pick some lesser known stories from the ocean of history. And then, she has been too creative to present you that gems turning into a form of poetic time travel. If you love history, then you have to pick this book to give yourself a treat of historical tales in verse. And, if you are a person who loves to be miles away from historical tales, then you must pick this book to gift yourself something you have never dreamed of! While reading this brilliant book, you will fall in love with historical tales, I can assure.
The book is now available for free download. Grab your copy here.
Sonia Dogra worked as a teacher and a reporter for a children’s newspaper before she decided to switch over to freelance proofreading services. Her random ramblings on her blog ‘A Hundred Quills’ turned into serious writing as she began to pen for various
online portals. She has been part of an anthology, ‘Poems from 30 Best Poets’, published in 2019 by Literatureslight. She also has a collection of poems titled ‘Life, Women and Everything in Between’ on Juggernaut. She can be caught napping on Twitter @SoniaDogra16 or slightly proactive at https://soniadogra.com(A Hundred Quills).