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The Red Queen

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MLE (Emily Cotton)
Bibliomaniac
Interest in HF: started in childhood with the classics, which, IMHO are HF even if they were contemporary when written.
Favorite HF book: Prince of Foxes, by Samuel Shellabarger
Preferred HF: Currently prefer 1600 and earlier, but I'll read anything that keeps me turning the page.
Location: California Bay Area

Postby MLE (Emily Cotton) » Mon August 9th, 2010, 2:17 am

[Question for the period experts: PG keeps mentioning "jackets." At one point, Margaret even takes Jaspar by the "lapel" of his "jacket." What exactly does a Middle Ages jacket look like?]

CW, They didn't have jackets in the fifteenth century. On a middle or lower-class man, the garment worn over his shirt was a JERKIN, which was generally sleeveless and pulled over the head. A jerkin worn over armor was a surcoat. The garment a more genteel person wore would be called a DOUBLET, which could also be sleeveless, although a doublet usually had fancy sleeves. A century later this would be called a waistcoat, as in a coat that stopped at the waist. the outer garment that went over a jerkin or doublet was a cloak.

A round of period re-enactment would do PG's writing a world of good.

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cw gortner
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Location: San Francisco,CA
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Postby cw gortner » Mon August 9th, 2010, 2:42 am

Thanks, MLE. That's pretty much what I suspected. I just double-checked my costume book, because I'm working within the era, although in Spain - using Anderson's marvelous "Hispanic Costume" - and I've not come across the term "jacket" anywhere. I do see "jerkin" and "doublet" for men's upper-clothing, as well as "tunic." I'm relieved, because I kept stumbling over the "jacket" and wondering if I'd missed something somewhere.

Perhaps PG decided to modernize the term. This book does have somewhat of a literary/modern flair, as if she's eschewing standard hf styling for a more loose, interior-monologue type style.
Last edited by cw gortner on Mon August 9th, 2010, 2:46 am, edited 1 time in total.
THE QUEEN'S VOW available on June 12, 2012!
THE TUDOR SECRET, Book I in the Elizabeth I Spymaster Chronicles
[B]THE CONFESSIONS OF CATHERINE DE MEDICI
THE LAST QUEEN
[/B]

www.cwgortner.com

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EC2
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Location: Nottingham UK
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Postby EC2 » Mon August 9th, 2010, 10:12 am

"Divia" wrote: :D

I'm only on page 100...so I might feel the same way when I finish.

I think I've outgrown PG. She was great when I was anewbie, but now I want something more to my HF.


I think too that the writing has changed - perhaps down to pressures of fame and fortune and lack of time. She has written some really excellent material in the past and she had a strong fanbase of readers long before she wrote The Other Boleyn Girl, set the whole Tudor gravy train rolling and became very high profile indeed - 3 million dollars for the contracts she is working on at the moment. I thought The White Queen was sketchily written and appeared to have been dumbed down - perhaps to appeal to a wider reader base. To me it read like 'The cat sat on the mat. The cat was black. Hello cat, said Tom.' Edward constantly saying 'Bed wife' to Elizabeth Woodville was unbelievable. It was as if she had dictated the novel from a phone box rather than having written it. Thinking about this and seeing the difference, it made me think that with all the book tours and general faffing about, along with finding time to actually have a life, perhaps she doesn't have time to write any more, or she's lost her mojo, or she is trying to simplify to appeal to a wider audience base. It's a lot of dollars to have to earn out. But along the way, some readers are bound to think that it's not good enough, or that they have outgrown her, even while new fans come on board.
I do find the dynamics interesting. Divia, do you think the style has changed since The Other Boleyn Girl?
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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Divia
Bibliomaniac
Location: Always Cloudy, Central New York

Postby Divia » Mon August 9th, 2010, 10:47 am

"EC2" wrote:I do find the dynamics interesting. Divia, do you think the style has changed since The Other Boleyn Girl?


I read TOBG so long ago, way back when I was in graduate school. But from what I remember I thought(Or maybe I'm wrong) that there wrere more details of the period. That there were more clothes, food descriptions.

Now her books have fallen into that category where its HF because of the time period, but you wouldn't know it by the lack of details.

I think you're right about her fame getting in the way of her writing. It has to be hard being asked to always do appearances, and talking to papers etc. I'm not sure when she has time to write, and it seems that her writing is suffering for it.

I really do think she just cranks them out now without thinking about it. She isn't giving the stories the little details that HF needs so badly.
News, views, and reviews on books and graphic novels for young adult.
http://yabookmarks.blogspot.com/

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Misfit
Bibliomaniac
Location: Seattle, WA

Postby Misfit » Mon August 9th, 2010, 12:39 pm

I'm the same with Divia, it has been too long since I've read it to really compare but it doesn't seem the same as those books at all. Perhaps I've changed as a reader (I know my du Maurier binge last year affected it), but still this is just so average.

Has anyone seen her doing any interviews or promotional things at all connected with this? Or is she just flying on her laurels now?

PS, just checked the Amazon page. Harriet's is still the only five star review :o :p
At home with a good book and the cat...
...is the only place I want to be

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Ariadne
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Location: At the foothills of Mt. Level

Postby Ariadne » Mon August 9th, 2010, 1:54 pm

Even though I enjoyed Red Queen, it seemed obvious to me that it was written (along with the others that have appeared since Virgin's Lover) in a much simpler style than her earlier books. In fact there was a 3rd-person section toward the end of RQ that struck me because it seemed a lot closer to how she used to write.

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boswellbaxter
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Location: North Carolina
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Postby boswellbaxter » Mon August 9th, 2010, 4:39 pm

"Misfit" wrote:
Has anyone seen her doing any interviews or promotional things at all connected with this? Or is she just flying on her laurels now?



She's doing a blog tour. She stopped here:

http://historicallyobsessed.blogspot.com/2010/08/red-queen-blog-tour-guest-post-history.html
Susan Higginbotham
Coming in October: The Woodvilles


http://www.susanhigginbotham.com/
http://www.susanhigginbotham.com/blog/

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cw gortner
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Location: San Francisco,CA
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Postby cw gortner » Mon August 9th, 2010, 5:04 pm

So, I'm at page 193, about halfway through, and the book's still lacking sufficient detail. Plus, Margaret is a bore. Her husband (who seems like a nice enough chap, given that he has to put up with her) goes off to war reluctantly and because he chooses to fight for York, she turns on him. She doesn't even wish him well, though there's a good chance he'll be killed. Even when he's wounded and she goes to visit him, she thinks of him as "a coward and traitor" and plots to undermine the York cause. Ugh.

She's also not interested in anything, evidently, besides her divinely anointed cause, which so far is taking quite a beating. A smarter woman would pause to reflect on God's true intentions, but, no, she's like a dog with a bone - which makes her unpleasant and superficial. I keep hoping she'll show some maturity soon but I'm thinking she probably won't.
Last edited by cw gortner on Mon August 9th, 2010, 5:28 pm, edited 3 times in total.
THE QUEEN'S VOW available on June 12, 2012!

THE TUDOR SECRET, Book I in the Elizabeth I Spymaster Chronicles
[B]THE CONFESSIONS OF CATHERINE DE MEDICI
THE LAST QUEEN
[/B]



www.cwgortner.com

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EC2
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Location: Nottingham UK
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Postby EC2 » Mon August 9th, 2010, 5:07 pm

"boswellbaxter" wrote:She's doing a blog tour. She stopped here:

http://historicallyobsessed.blogspot.com/2010/08/red-queen-blog-tour-guest-post-history.html


Thanks for that Boswell. I would disagree with her on not knowing the armour and weaponry. I think the author DOES have to know it, even if it doesn't appear in the novel because ultimately it will affect how someone feels or reacts in the thick of a battle. Not all research should go into a novel - heaven forbid! It would glaze readers eyes, but in order to use your imagination to its full extent, you need to know the nitty gritty. IMO.
Interesting that it seems there will be 2 books about Jaquetta. A fact and a fiction, or have I read it wrong?
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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Divia
Bibliomaniac
Location: Always Cloudy, Central New York

Postby Divia » Mon August 9th, 2010, 5:18 pm

"EC2" wrote:Interesting that it seems there will be 2 books about Jaquetta. A fact and a fiction, or have I read it wrong?


That's what I read too, so unless we are both reading it wrong we are right :)
News, views, and reviews on books and graphic novels for young adult.

http://yabookmarks.blogspot.com/


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