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Victoria Holt

(including the other many pseudonyms of Eleanor Hibbert)
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Misfit
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Victoria Holt

Post by Misfit » Mon June 8th, 2009, 12:00 am

I just got a four-books-in-one of Holt's out from the library and I'm on the second one and enjoying it very much. Interesting to read a romantic suspense style when you realize she also wrote al Jean Plaidy - an author I haven't had the best of luck with so far. The first I read was Bride of Pendorric, review here and I'm now well into Shadow of the Lynx. Not five star reads, but excellent rainy Sunday afternoon comfort books.
At home with a good book and the cat...
...is the only place I want to be

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MLE (Emily Cotton)
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Interest in HF: started in childhood with the classics, which, IMHO are HF even if they were contemporary when written.
Favourite HF book: Prince of Foxes, by Samuel Shellabarger
Preferred HF: Currently prefer 1600 and earlier, but I'll read anything that keeps me turning the page.
Location: California Bay Area

Post by MLE (Emily Cotton) » Mon June 8th, 2009, 1:09 am

I cut my teeth on Victoria Holt. And Mary Stewart's romantic mysteries. I confess I hadn't read her as Jean Plaidy until a couple of years ago, altho I had read a few things under her Philippa Carr pseudonym. My, that lady could churn 'em out.

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Ariadne
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Post by Ariadne » Mon June 8th, 2009, 1:16 am

I've always enjoyed her Victoria Holt and Philippa Carr books more than her Plaidys. I gobbled up all of the Holts when I was in high school. Her Carr books are also romantic suspense, but mixed in with a family saga - they're my favorites of hers.

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princess garnet
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Post by princess garnet » Mon June 8th, 2009, 1:24 am

My first intro to Eleanor Hibbert was her pseudonym Victoria Holt novel The Queen's Confession, a first person narrative by Marie-Antoinette

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Misfit
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Post by Misfit » Mon June 8th, 2009, 1:31 am

[quote=""MLE""]I cut my teeth on Victoria Holt. And Mary Stewart's romantic mysteries. I confess I hadn't read her as Jean Plaidy until a couple of years ago, altho I had read a few things under her Philippa Carr pseudonym. My, that lady could churn 'em out.[/quote]

She sure can churn out the books. It's rather scary. Funny about Stewart, an Amazon friend of mine is working her way through her books (and Holt's as well as Du Maurier's) as am I. It's been a lot of fun comparing reviews/opinions.
At home with a good book and the cat...
...is the only place I want to be

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MLE (Emily Cotton)
Bibliomaniac
Posts: 3560
Joined: August 2008
Interest in HF: started in childhood with the classics, which, IMHO are HF even if they were contemporary when written.
Favourite HF book: Prince of Foxes, by Samuel Shellabarger
Preferred HF: Currently prefer 1600 and earlier, but I'll read anything that keeps me turning the page.
Location: California Bay Area

Post by MLE (Emily Cotton) » Mon June 8th, 2009, 1:45 am

Misfit, you should give Samuel Shellabarger a try. He only wrote four before he died suddenly (not counting two NF history titles) but they were all bestsellers.
I keep meaning to write up reviews and post them. How did you do with the Costain?

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Misfit
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Post by Misfit » Mon June 8th, 2009, 1:53 am

MLE, thanks for the rec's. Costain, I am enjoying it I have about 30/40 pages left. It's been what I call my "gym book", it stays in the car and gets read whilst doing the cardio. Review coming in a few days.
At home with a good book and the cat...
...is the only place I want to be

Chatterbox
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Post by Chatterbox » Tue June 9th, 2009, 6:33 am

I loved all of Costain's books...

Of Plaidy, I would say I liked Victoria Holt versions the least. They were all these Gothic mysteries, which appealed to me immensely when I was in my early/mid teens, but lost some of their appeal once I'd discovered du Maurier, and in particular Rebecca, the House on the Strand and some others. I also continue to love Mary Stewart's books. She stands head and shoulders above so many current romance writers. In fact, I think I shall have to go back and re-read them all. Right NOW! :D :D :D My only confession re Stewart is that I've never been a fan of Camelot/Arthurian literature, thus never made it through that series. I adored her heroines, however; independent and lively and never caricatures.

Plaidy's later books felt pedestrian in writing tone; dunno if that was due to age, fatigue or just me changing my views. My favorites remain some of the first ones I read, like Murder Most Royal or the Thistle and the Rose (which is probably about to be renamed with something involving Queens and Crowns in the title!!) I remember enjoying the Philippa Carr novels & thinking they were an excellent 'bridge' between the straightforward historicals of Plaidy and the Gothic/mystery novels of Holt.

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Ludmilla
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Post by Ludmilla » Tue June 9th, 2009, 1:23 pm

[quote=""Misfit""]Not five star reads, but excellent rainy Sunday afternoon comfort books.[/quote]

That's how I regard them, too. Like so many others here, I cut my teeth on Holt's books before moving on to more complex, demanding reads. The only Plaidy books I read were the ones that occurred during the Restoration. I remember enjoying them, but don't know how I'd feel about them if I went back and read them today. Also read some she wrote as Carr, but don't remember those as well. I think I finally stopped reading her books in the mid 80s. By then, they did begin to feel very formulaic (phoned in), but when you consider everything she wrote under all those other pen names the woman sure was cranking out a lot of books!

Mary Stewart was my absolute favorite for romantic suspense. I read everything she wrote up to the mid 80s (except the complete set of Arthur novels; I think I only read the first one, and have been meaning to buy the set and read them all).

I'm glad to see that some of these books are being reissued. I think the new reissue of Bride of Pendorric has just been released in the US. I also hope they continue to reissue some of Stewart's romantic suspense. I like to snatch those up when they come out.

MLE mentioned Shellabarger above. I loved Prince of Foxes. I now regard Andrea Orsini as a proto-Lymond, as they share some interesting qualities though Andrea isn't as intense.

Hmm... I've probably mentioned all of the above in other threads. I feel like I'm repeating myself.

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MLE (Emily Cotton)
Bibliomaniac
Posts: 3560
Joined: August 2008
Interest in HF: started in childhood with the classics, which, IMHO are HF even if they were contemporary when written.
Favourite HF book: Prince of Foxes, by Samuel Shellabarger
Preferred HF: Currently prefer 1600 and earlier, but I'll read anything that keeps me turning the page.
Location: California Bay Area

Post by MLE (Emily Cotton) » Tue June 9th, 2009, 2:06 pm

[quote=""Ludmilla""]

MLE mentioned Shellabarger above. I loved Prince of Foxes. I now regard Andrea Orsini as a proto-Lymond, as they share some interesting qualities though Andrea isn't as intense.
[/quote]

Okay, I'm going to write up a review and post it today. I got my whole reading group to do Prince of Foxes last year, and they all loved it, even the gripy one who hates everything. I noticed I'm not the only one who put it in my top 10 ever -- but too few have even heard of it. The book deserves a little more exposure.

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