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the lady elizabeth by alison weir

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xiaotien
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the lady elizabeth by alison weir

Post by xiaotien » Sun January 4th, 2009, 1:13 am

i picked this book up in england this past
x'mas. i had read many of her non-fiction books,
but didn't know she had made the foray into fiction.

i thought that this book was very engrossing and
well-written. i recommend highly. i feel she does
this period better than p gregory--and i've read quite
a few of gregory's books (which i find to be hit and
miss at times).
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diamondlil
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Post by diamondlil » Sun January 4th, 2009, 1:28 am

I've read it and quite liked it. I thought it was a better read than her first ficton book, Innocent Traitor.
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Divia
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Post by Divia » Sun January 4th, 2009, 5:19 am

I read it and liked it. And I didnt think I would! So I was pleasantly surprised. :)
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EC2
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Post by EC2 » Sun January 4th, 2009, 11:36 am

[quote=""xiaotien""]
Les proz e les vassals
Souvent entre piez de chevals
Kar ja li coard n’I chasront

'The Brave and the valiant
Are always to be found between the hooves of horses
For never will cowards fall down there.'

Histoire de Guillaume le Mareschal

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Cerridwen
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Post by Cerridwen » Sun January 4th, 2009, 12:09 pm

I loved both her fiction books and agree think she is better th an Philippa.

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Susan
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Post by Susan » Sun January 4th, 2009, 12:17 pm

[quote=""EC2""]I am uneasy that an author would write something like this that they believed not to be true just for the heck of it. Whatever happened to historical integrity and respecting the people about whom you write? I understand that writers have to fill in the gaps and interpret the history. That they have to juggle to marry the facts of the past with the requirements of the modern novel, but to write something you believe isn't true just for the hell of it? That crosses the line IMO. It is so true and so sad that the dead have no rights.[/quote]

I very much agree! I have read many nonfiction books of both Alison Weir and Carrolly Erickson and feel that they are writing historical fiction not because they love the genre, but because they are trying to make money. I guess there is nothing wrong with that, but they, of all people, should be accurate.
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Post by boswellbaxter » Sun January 4th, 2009, 3:09 pm

[quote=""Susan""]I very much agree! I have read many nonfiction books of both Alison Weir and Carrolly Erickson and feel that they are writing historical fiction not because they love the genre, but because they are trying to make money. I guess there is nothing wrong with that, but they, of all people, should be accurate.[/quote]

I don't mind such liberties so much when an author "comes clean" about having taken them. I do, however, wonder how convincingly an HF author can write about something if, having done her research, she doesn't believe it happened or even could have happened. Seems to me that writing about what she believes did happen would make for a much better novel.
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xiaotien
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Post by xiaotien » Sun January 4th, 2009, 4:09 pm

thanks for the comments, everyone!

ec2, to be honest, i didn't know how i felt
about the pregnancy thing--other than it rose
my eyebrows significantly. and i was VERY glad
when she talked about it in the author's note.
in fact, i read the note before i finished the book.

it's def NOT as bad as the film "the other boleyn girl"
where they had the older sister of anne
be with child from king henry 8. wt? or had her be
there when anne was killed. we all know mary (?)
can't remember older sister's name--was hiding out
in the country thanking her lucky stars henry had
somehow forgotten about her.

with the pregnancy, we know that something
"odd" did happen between elizabeth and thomas
seymour (what with the morning visits, tickling,
cutting up of dress with scissors) and she wrote the
pregnancy into an actual event where elizabeth retreated
and was not seen for months to someone else's home.

so yes, it's speculation, but i guess it could be
grounded speculation at least. as for why weir
decided to do it, as an author of fiction, i guess she
wanted to explore that angle? since it *could* have
happened maybe?

i think she def stays more true to her own vision
and research with her non-fiction work.

as for writing for money, well, as long as it's
done well. writing is so hard, period. i can't imagine
having enough passion to do it just for money.
but i'm sure some folk do!
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Susan
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Post by Susan » Sun January 4th, 2009, 5:02 pm

[quote=""boswellbaxter""]I don't mind such liberties so much when an author "comes clean" about having taken them. I do, however, wonder how convincingly an HF author can write about something if, having done her research, she doesn't believe it happened or even could have happened. Seems to me that writing about what she believes did happen would make for a much better novel.[/quote]

I can well understand historical fiction authors taking liberties and I especially appreciate when there is an explanation about the purpose of the liberties.

Just three weeks ago a friend gave me her copy of The Lady Elizabeth and said I could keep it. I put it on a shelf without giving it a look, not even sure that I would read it. I did not like Weir's Innocent Traitor. I chalked it up to being too familiar with the story of Lady Jane Grey and we did have discussions here about wishing HF authors would write about something other than the Tudors who are so well known. I just realized that I read Innocent Traitor during a not so good time. I remember reading it while I was in the waiting room during my husband's prostate cancer surgery. Perhaps reading it during a very stressful period colored my feelings about the book. However, I still would rather read about a lesser known royal such Eleanor de Clare, the niece of Edward II, in our Boswellbaxter's The Traitor's Wife or Margaret of York, the sister of Edward IV and Richard III in Daughter of York by Anne Easter Smith.

I just pulled out The Lady Elizabeth and read the author's note. I am stunned what Weir wrote about believing in the Virgin Queen (and even giving lectures and interviews about this belief) and then overlooking her historical convictions and writing in her novel that Elizabeth was pregnant because "it could have happened". Because Weir is an historian, I think this is worse than any historical liberties an author such as Philippa Gregory has taken. I don't think I will be reading this book. Although Weir's early historical works were criticized for the lack of footnotes and references, I will always credit her for helping me understand the intricacies of the Wars of the Roses.
~Susan~
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Susan
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Post by Susan » Sun January 4th, 2009, 5:11 pm

[quote=""xiaotien""]it's def NOT as bad as the film "the other boleyn girl"
where they had the older sister of anne
be with child from king henry 8. wt? or had her be
there when anne was killed. we all know mary (?)
can't remember older sister's name--was hiding out
in the country thanking her lucky stars henry had
somehow forgotten about her. [/quote]

Anne Boleyn had two siblings Mary and George. There is still some doubt as to the birth order, but Mary is believed to be older. Mary Boleyn was a mistress of Henry VIII and there is speculation that her children Catherine and Henry Carey were the children of Henry VIII. The film did differ from the book in a number of ways. I can't recall if the novel had Mary at Anne's execution. I thought it had Mary's daughter Catherine at the execution and in fact she did witness her aunt's execution. Anyone remember? I'll pull out the novel later.
Last edited by Susan on Sun January 4th, 2009, 5:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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