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Godiva by Nerys Jones

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Ludmilla
Bibliophile
Location: Georgia USA

Postby Ludmilla » Tue November 18th, 2008, 2:54 pm

I actually have that book in my library, but the dust jacket was fairly rotted when we acquired it. I'll have to take a look at it and make sure that is the cover. For some reason, I don't remember it being quite that bad. I haven't read it, though. It belonged to my husband's grandmother, and we grabbed several boxes of her books after she died. I've been meaning to slowly start reading some of them.

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Perdita
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Location: London
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Postby Perdita » Tue November 18th, 2008, 3:16 pm

"LCW" wrote:Wouldn't this be considered a serious flaw in the writing or editing? As a reader I'd be awfully confused if the story suddently skipped years and years without alerting the reader somehow with a chapter break, a date, or something. The story sounds interesting but this makes me hesitant to read it!


The way I read it, the events in the story happened over just one summer. I didn't notice any jumps to a different year.. Now I'm confused. :confused: It was a really enjoyable read though and I'd recommend it to anyone.

I love those old book covers btw!

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SonjaMarie
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Location: Vashon, WA
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Postby SonjaMarie » Wed February 18th, 2009, 7:08 pm

Has anyone else read this book? I'm thinking of requesting it as my "ship now" at BF because it's labelled "low" but if others didn't enjoy it, I won't bother.

SM
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Full List Here: http://www.historicalfictiononline.com/forums/showthread.php?p=114965

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Nefret
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Favorite HF book: Welsh Princes trilogy
Preferred HF: The Middle Ages (England), New Kingdom Egypt, Medieval France
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Postby Nefret » Thu February 19th, 2009, 2:42 am

Thats something I ordered recently. Should be getting my copy soon. :)

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Misfit
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Location: Seattle, WA

Postby Misfit » Thu February 19th, 2009, 2:47 am

"SonjaMarie" wrote:Has anyone else read this book? I'm thinking of requesting it as my "ship now" at BF because it's labelled "low" but if others didn't enjoy it, I won't bother.

SM


I put in a purchase request at King County (I believe that's your jurisdiction as well), but I still don't see them as having ordered any. Patiently waiting.

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SonjaMarie
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Location: Vashon, WA
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Postby SonjaMarie » Thu February 19th, 2009, 2:53 am

"Misfit" wrote:I put in a purchase request at King County (I believe that's your jurisdiction as well), but I still don't see them as having ordered any. Patiently waiting.


Yeah, I'm King County, but I don't use the library system here. Not sure why it's Low at BF, it came out Jan 1st, newer books usually become "medium" and then "high".

SM
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Misfit
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Location: Seattle, WA

Postby Misfit » Thu February 19th, 2009, 2:49 pm

"SonjaMarie" wrote:Yeah, I'm King County, but I don't use the library system here. Not sure why it's Low at BF, it came out Jan 1st, newer books usually become "medium" and then "high".

SM


You should give them a try, it saves a ton of money. You place your holds online and all you have to do is walk in and scan it and you're out the door.

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SonjaMarie
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Postby SonjaMarie » Thu February 19th, 2009, 7:31 pm

"Misfit" wrote:You should give them a try, it saves a ton of money. You place your holds online and all you have to do is walk in and scan it and you're out the door.


Unfortunately I owe them money from books I lost years ago, and also where the library is on our island mom would have to walk too far from it to the store (we're always together when we go uptown) and it's just not worth it, so I'll stick with BF.

SM
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annis
Bibliomaniac

Postby annis » Sat April 18th, 2009, 4:47 am

I just recently read Nerys Jones' "Godiva" and I have to admit that I was in two minds about it. Godiva herself is well-drawn as a character- she's a strong person in her own right under traditional Anglo-Saxon custom, and runs her own lands and affairs, though she often clashes with her husband Leofric, Earl of Mercia, (here spelt as it's pronounced, Lovric), who would prefer her to be rather more complaisant.

A large part of the story focuses on the loss of a whole way of life and tradition, already being whittled away before the invasion of William the Conqueror by Edward the Confessor. Edward , although by line of descent the rightful king of England, was brought up in Normandy and has little understanding or sympathy for the customs and rights of his English subjects.

Godiva, (Godgifu in Anglo-Saxon) though famously beautiful and a likeable person, is reaching middle-age and at odds with her husband, who plots with Earl Godwin of Wessex to overthrow the hated Norman influence taking precedence in England.. She falls for the charms of a devious hunstman- this seduction is part of a wider plot put in place by King Edward to create dissension, discredit Leofric and lessen the Earl's influence. This affair seems a little unlikely in someone of Godiva's strength of character, someone who places a high value on personal honour, but I'm being charitable and remembering that menopause can make the strongest person feel depressed and act bizarrely! Her actions lead to her being forced as a form of blackmail to undertake the legendary naked horse ride as a penance, for the sake of her family and people.

My main complaint with "Godiva" was that Edward was presented as such a total villain. Although we can accept that Edward's childhood probably left him a damaged person, he really was painted too black to ring true and to some extent this compromised the story for me. Edward seems almost to take on the role of the Trickster (Lokiin Norse mythology) His pleasure is to create discord through malice and he delights in watching others struggling to untangle themselves from the snares he's set for them. There is a general, rather simplistic "Anglo-Saxons good, Normans bad" scenario depicted throughout.
An unmistakable air of sadness and melancholic nostalgia permeates this tale set at an end-of-an-era period.

A page or two of historical notes at the back makes an interesting and useful addition. One thing the author mentions is the recent discovery of medieval glass at Coventry which depicts a beautiful fair-haired woman, thought to be a representation of Godiva.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1338227/Archaeologists-take-the-wraps-off-Lady-Godiva.html


The Historical Godiva, an article by Octavia Randolph
All things Godiva
Last edited by annis on Sun April 19th, 2009, 7:06 pm, edited 17 times in total.

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EC2
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Location: Nottingham UK
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Postby EC2 » Sat April 18th, 2009, 11:08 am

"annis" wrote:I just recently read Nerys Jones' "Godiva" and I have to admit that I was in two minds about it.


Thanks for the report Annis. I think this is one I will read if it turns up at the library and then decide if I want to buy.
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

www.elizabethchadwick.com


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