Welcome to the Historical Fiction Online forums: a friendly place to discuss, review and discover historical fiction.
If this is your first visit, please be sure to check out the FAQ by clicking the link above.
You will have to register before you can post: click the register link above to proceed.
To start viewing posts, select the forum that you want to visit from the selection below.

Great Maria by Cecelia Holland

User avatar
Beau Castlebard
Scribbler
Location: Springfield MO

Postby Beau Castlebard » Sat December 11th, 2010, 8:06 am

I'm so glad to have found a site where this book is appreciated. I read Th Great Maria in 1987 for the first time and loved it. I never thought it was lacking plot. it was so beyond my ken of what I knew of the world. I read The Earl next also by Cecilia Holland and noticed that it wasn't quite as exciting as The Great Maria. i loved all the characters from the scheming ambitious eunuch who made Maria's life a merry hell to the handsome and Leoine Roger who seemed like a medieval playboy who wanted to be on top but wasn't willing to do the work like Richard was...

I need to read The Great Maria again. Her sons were also interesting characters as they should be with such parents but like many children of able parents they seemed to lack their parent's ability.
Last edited by Beau Castlebard on Fri December 17th, 2010, 4:26 am, edited 2 times in total.

annis
Bibliomaniac

Postby annis » Wed December 15th, 2010, 6:57 am

I think on the old HFO forum we discussed the probablity that the d'Alenes were inspired by the ambitious Hautevilles - 11th century Norman mercenaries who decided they'd rather put their energies and fighting abilities into amassing wealth and power for themselves. Maria's husband Richard d'Alene is generally considered to be closest in character to Robert d'Hauteville, known as "Guiscard" (translates as something like "weasel").

User avatar
Beau Castlebard
Scribbler
Location: Springfield MO

Postby Beau Castlebard » Fri December 17th, 2010, 4:27 am

Interesting... I think Ms Holland based Maria's weaselly father on Monsieur d' Hauteville as well.

annis
Bibliomaniac

Postby annis » Fri December 17th, 2010, 9:45 pm

I've seen it said that Maria's father, Old Robert, is based on William de Hauteville, known as "Bras-de-fer" (Iron Arm), but don't know where this information came from originally.

User avatar
Beau Castlebard
Scribbler
Location: Springfield MO

Postby Beau Castlebard » Tue December 28th, 2010, 6:48 am

"annis" wrote:I've seen it said that Maria's father, Old Robert, is based on William de Hauteville, known as "Bras-de-fer" (Iron Arm), but don't know where this information came from originally.


Wow that is interesting. I'm reading The Great Maria now and is is flowing fast as it ever did. I've heard that the name Maria or Mary wasn't used much in the 10 and 11 centuries as it was the name of the Virgin Mary and considered sacred. I went and looked up historical woman from this time period 11 and 12th centuries and the first Mary I came across was Eleanor Of Aquitaine and Louis Capet's daughter Marie who was born in about 1145.

Although if someone was going to name their daughter Maria it would be Robert Strongarm. Ms Hollands other characters from the Great Maria regard him as plum nuts and crazy.

User avatar
EC2
Bibliomaniac
Location: Nottingham UK
Contact:

Postby EC2 » Wed December 29th, 2010, 11:02 pm

The earliest known e.g. of the use of the name Mary in the UK comes from Mary, 2nd daughter of Malcolm III of Scotland and his wife St. Margaret, born c.1082. It apparently gained in popularity as the cult of the Virgin grew but didn't get going until the late 12thC - although not unknown earlier - Oxford Dict of English Xtian names.
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

User avatar
Susan
Bibliomaniac
Location: New Jersey, USA

Postby Susan » Thu December 30th, 2010, 1:48 am

I just looked at The Great Maria on Amazon. The Kindle version is $1.70! I'm getting it!
~Susan~
~Unofficial Royalty~
Royal news updated daily, information and discussion about royalty past and present
http://www.unofficialroyalty.com/

User avatar
Ludmilla
Bibliophile
Location: Georgia USA

Postby Ludmilla » Tue January 4th, 2011, 3:25 pm

Dang! The Kindle price is a steal. It wasn't available as a Kindle last I looked at Cecelia Holland's ebooks (back in Sept or Oct). You have to check frequently to catch some of those promotional prices (or the temporary freebies). I wonder if it's priced permanently that low or just a promotion? Hmm...

User avatar
Ludmilla
Bibliophile
Location: Georgia USA

Postby Ludmilla » Fri January 21st, 2011, 2:14 pm

The $1.70 price must have been a promotion, because I see today that the Kindle price is back up to $9.99. I own the paperback, but took advantage of that low Kindle price as well because it's such a good book, I knew I would want to read it again someday.

Sharz
Reader
Location: Chicago

Postby Sharz » Fri January 21st, 2011, 3:47 pm

I read Great Maria last December and LOVED it. This was the fourth Holland I've read, all in wildly different times, places, and cultures. It astonishes me how she can create her characters so vividly of so many different cultures. Many HF authors do very well with that when they are writing in one general place and era in which they've specialized, so to speak. I don't know how Holland handles so many different ones, and they all FEEL like she really knows the culture and conveys it. She doesn't really attempt to explain it; simply presents it. And it grabs you and holds on.


Return to “By Author's Last Name G-L”