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Ever Heard of This Book?

Ever run into a book that sounds intriguing, but you can't find a description about it anywhere? Ask your fellow members--maybe they've heard of it!
Sharz
Reader
Location: Chicago

Postby Sharz » Fri November 13th, 2009, 4:39 pm

I read all four of the Higgs books mentioned earlier this year. I really liked Grace in Thine Eyes, so I picked Thorn in My Heart on a clearance table, and liked it almost as much. I acquired the rest of the trilogy by means of my two free credits from PBS for listing 10 books. :) I didn't like as much. The Scottish setting was very well done, and most of her interpretation and adaptation of the Biblical story was good, but I just could not buy her solution to the bigamy portion of the adaption. I ended up keeping Grace in Thine Eyes but swapping out the other three.

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Margaret
Bibliomaniac
Interest in HF: I can't answer this in 100 characters. Sorry.
Favorite HF book: Checkmate, the final novel in the Lymond series
Preferred HF: Literary novels. Late medieval and Renaissance.
Location: Catskill, New York, USA
Contact:

Postby Margaret » Fri November 13th, 2009, 6:06 pm

Here's a Wikipedia article on Charles the Bold/Charles the Rash, Duke of Burgundy (in French, Charles le Téméraire): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles,_Duke_of_Burgundy. It seems he did, indeed, marry the French princess Isabella of Bourbon. His father was the Duke of Burgundy Philip the Good and his mother Isabella of Portugal (not Juana). Check out this remarkable portrait of Isabella: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Isabella_of_portugal.jpg. Now there's someone I'd like to read a novel about!

Interestingly, it was Philip's army that captured Joan of Arc, after which he handed her over to the English who arranged for her heresy trial and execution. Does A Kingdom for a Song mention Joan of Arc?
Last edited by Margaret on Fri November 13th, 2009, 6:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Browse over 5000 historical novel listings (probably well over 5000 by now, but I haven't re-counted lately) and over 700 reviews at www.HistoricalNovels.info

annis
Bibliomaniac

Postby annis » Fri November 13th, 2009, 6:20 pm

It looks like another case of the older book with no synopsis, Margaret - so frustrating :( You might need Ariadne here!

I did find an eBay page which gives a brief summary and a (rather strange) cover imagehere

Also spotted a mention of Ira Morris' "two haunting historical novels, "Kingdom for a Song" and its sequel "Witch's Son" "(Couldn't see a synopsis for that, either!)
Last edited by annis on Fri November 13th, 2009, 10:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Ariadne
Bibliophile
Location: At the foothills of Mt. Level

Postby Ariadne » Fri November 13th, 2009, 7:19 pm

"Margaret" wrote:Here's a Wikipedia article on Charles the Bold/Charles the Rash, Duke of Burgundy (in French, Charles le Téméraire): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles,_Duke_of_Burgundy. It seems he did, indeed, marry the French princess Isabella of Bourbon. His father was the Duke of Burgundy Philip the Good and his mother Isabella of Portugal (not Juana). Check out this remarkable portrait of Isabella: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Isabella_of_portugal.jpg. Now there's someone I'd like to read a novel about!

Interestingly, it was Philip's army that captured Joan of Arc, after which he handed her over to the English who arranged for her heresy trial and execution. Does A Kingdom for a Song mention Joan of Arc?


I've skimmed it and didn't see a mention of Joan of Arc, but there seems to be a lot going on in this novel and I may have missed it. The synopsis on the eBay page that Annis pointed out (thanks!) is correct - Morris's Isabel is supposed to be the sister of Philippe le Bel, that is, Philip IV of France. I'd been looking up info on Charles the Bold and his 2nd wife, Isabel de Bourbon, to see if they were a match for the characters, but Isabel wasn't the French king's sister. The historical Charles and Isabel didn't have a son, as they do in the novel; they only had Mary, the heiress of Burgundy.

Novels about lesser-known royal princesses intrigue me, but the history in this one seems convoluted, and if Morris made up a good part of the genealogy, reading it won't be high on the priority list -- it would just annoy me and make me even more confused!

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Ariadne
Bibliophile
Location: At the foothills of Mt. Level

Postby Ariadne » Fri November 13th, 2009, 7:21 pm

Hmm... I have Witch's Son somewhere around here, too, but it doesn't have a jacket -- which means researching it some more. I didn't know it was supposed to be a sequel. Interesting.

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Ariadne
Bibliophile
Location: At the foothills of Mt. Level

Postby Ariadne » Fri November 13th, 2009, 7:27 pm

"Margaret" wrote:Check out this remarkable portrait of Isabella: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Isabella_of_portugal.jpg. Now there's someone I'd like to read a novel about!


At the risk of becoming annoying myself, posting 3x in a row :) - I'll second that! There's a NF work about her, but I don't know of any novels.

annis
Bibliomaniac

Postby annis » Fri November 13th, 2009, 10:14 pm

Isabella of Portugal doesn't look like someone you'd want to cross. And that headdress! It wouldn't pay to get caught in a strong wind while wearing that -the "Flying Nun" comes to mind :)

Just spotted this rather funny but not very helpful comment about the "Witch's Son".
"Published 1966, Historical novel set in medieval France. Cover art of mounted knights and ladies in very unmedieval dresses."
Last edited by annis on Sat November 14th, 2009, 2:29 am, edited 1 time in total.

gyrehead
Reader

Postby gyrehead » Sat November 14th, 2009, 5:55 am

"Ariadne" wrote:I've skimmed it and didn't see a mention of Joan of Arc, but there seems to be a lot going on in this novel and I may have missed it. The synopsis on the eBay page that Annis pointed out (thanks!) is correct - Morris's Isabel is supposed to be the sister of Philippe le Bel, that is, Philip IV of France. (1)* I'd been looking up info on Charles the Bold and his 2nd wife, Isabel de Bourbon, to see if they were a match for the characters, but Isabel wasn't the French king's sister. The historical Charles and Isabel didn't have a son, as they do in the novel; they only had Mary, the heiress of Burgundy.

Novels about lesser-known royal princesses intrigue me, but the history in this one seems convoluted, and if Morris made up a good part of the genealogy, reading it won't be high on the priority list -- it would just annoy me and make me even more confused!


I've bolded my puzzlement.

(1). So Charles the Bold is supposed to have married the sister of Philippe VI?! Philippe VI King of France?! Charles the Bold's own paternal great-great-grandfather?! Now that is some literary license.

Charles did marry Catherine who was the daughter of Charles VII of France as his 1st wife (Isabelle de Bourbon his 2nd and of course Margaret of York as his 3rd). Catherine was twelve when married and eighteen when died and considering the political climate not sure if they ever lived as husband and wife as Charles VII tended to play fast and loose with his children's political marriages it seems.

I'm glad I did not stumble over this one since so much of Charles the Bold's actions and motivations focsed on the fact that he had only Marie as his heir. Looking neither Isenburg nor von Detlev Schwennicke show even stillborn or infant children for Isabelle and Charles other than Marie and between the two, most stillbirths are listed let alone any children that survived long enough to be named. I'm a stickler for genealogy as I'm helping a friend who just got a nice contract for an alternative steampunk historical fantasy as to who could marry who and still remain somewhat true to real world genealogies.
Last edited by gyrehead on Sat November 14th, 2009, 6:00 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Ariadne
Bibliophile
Location: At the foothills of Mt. Level

Postby Ariadne » Sat November 14th, 2009, 1:21 pm

Yes - it's a mess. Shame... it got excellent reviews from the TLS and another London paper when it came out in the '60s (they're on the book), and one review repeats the bad historical information about Charles as if it really happened.

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Margaret
Bibliomaniac
Interest in HF: I can't answer this in 100 characters. Sorry.
Favorite HF book: Checkmate, the final novel in the Lymond series
Preferred HF: Literary novels. Late medieval and Renaissance.
Location: Catskill, New York, USA
Contact:

Postby Margaret » Sat November 14th, 2009, 5:41 pm

What a mess! I'm on the forgiving side, I think, when it comes to historical inaccuracies, but when the central characters are portrayed as having married people they never married and having children who never existed, the whole premise of the novel is founded on a fantasy! Better to just go ahead and set the novel in a fantasy kingdom. But why write about people who never existed when the ones who did are so interesting!!?
Browse over 5000 historical novel listings (probably well over 5000 by now, but I haven't re-counted lately) and over 700 reviews at www.HistoricalNovels.info


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