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The King's Grey Mare by Rosemary Hawley Jarman

Posts: 1667
Joined: April 2009
Location: New York

Post by Chatterbox » Sun October 25th, 2009, 7:33 pm

I'm with EC on this one. Perhaps because I read it for the first time when I was about 12 or 13, and re-read it after that, it's an enduring favorite. The stylistic quirks don't bother me any more than they do with any other authors who have their own patterns. Jean Plaidy, for instance, has a rather staccato style, SKP overdoses on exposition in dialogue and Margaret Campbell Barnes views everyone through extremely rose-tinted specs (even Henry VIII). (I can just see her IRL knitting garments in fuzzy wool and clucking over babies...)

I thought King's Grey Mare was the first book to really go behind the scenes on this era, and she made people like Sandra Worth, etc. look like pulp fiction writers. What struck me in the early parts of PG's White Queen is how eerily it is like that segment of King's Grey Mare -- but not as good. I know there's the bloody Melusine angle yet again, and also the big error re Elizabeth's role re Desmond, which is presented as a major turning point in the book and a number of relationships, but overall this remains a sentimental favorite despite that, and not a bad book.

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