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Book Shopping Today (2011 edition)

For discussions of historical fiction. Threads that do not relate to historical fiction should be started in the Chat forum or elsewhere on the forum, depending on the topic.
SGM
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Post by SGM » Sun December 11th, 2011, 3:37 pm

[quote=""Misfit""]
Pride's Castle, The Golden Hawk and A Woman Called Fancy by Frank Yerby
[/quote]

My Dad was a reader Frank Yerby and had most of them so I read them in my early teens but not absolutely all of them. I can't remember anything about Pride's Castle. But I am pretty sure I read the other two. However, without using the "P" my Dad was always pretty convinced that a couple of them were very similar to some of Sabatini's and the Golden Hawk might well be one of those. It is too long ago for me to remember and I didn't read Sabatini myself until some years later. Without going and looking up the synopsis wjocj O cam't be bothered to do, I can really only remember the plot and setting of The Saracen Blade and the one set in the Athens of Socrates' time which I can't remember the name of (and hopefully no-one will remind me) but for me was slightly reminiscent of MR's Last of the Wine but was nowhere near as good.
Currently reading - Emergence of a Nation State by Alan Smith

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MLE (Emily Cotton)
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Posts: 3564
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Interest in HF: started in childhood with the classics, which, IMHO are HF even if they were contemporary when written.
Favourite 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

Post by MLE (Emily Cotton) » Sun December 11th, 2011, 3:38 pm

[quote=""Misfit""]
Son of a Hundred Kings and Ride with Me by Thomas Costain
Pride's Castle, The Golden Hawk and A Woman Called Fancy by Frank Yerby
The two Costains are very tempting. One is about a young boy come in search of his father, I think it ends in Canada. The other is set during the Napoleonic wars.[/quote]

Those are two of my favorite Costains. At least, they were three decades ago. I read several Yerbys, too, when my parents weren't looking (they were 'red marked books' at the library, i.e. books kids weren't allowed to check out). Tried to re-read one recently and gagged on the gawdawful purple prose. The second mention of 'ruby lips and heaving bosoms' :eek: got the thing wallbanged.

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Misfit
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Post by Misfit » Sun December 11th, 2011, 4:07 pm

[quote=""MLE""]Those are two of my favorite Costains. At least, they were three decades ago. I read several Yerbys, too, when my parents weren't looking (they were 'red marked books' at the library, i.e. books kids weren't allowed to check out). Tried to re-read one recently and gagged on the gawdawful purple prose. The second mention of 'ruby lips and heaving bosoms' :eek: got the thing wallbanged.[/quote]

Both of those Costains are really calling me at the moment. I want to give Yerby a whirl, a friend at Goodreads just finished off The Girl from Storyville and that sounds awfully dark and victorian.
At home with a good book and the cat...
...is the only place I want to be

annis
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Post by annis » Sun December 11th, 2011, 4:44 pm

Posted by MLE
Tried to re-read one recently and gagged on the gawdawful purple prose. The second mention of 'ruby lips and heaving bosoms' got the thing wallbanged.
Some months ago I thought I'd try a Yerby and settled on The Odor of Sanctity because I thought the setting (9th century Moorish Spain) an interesting one. Oh dear! It's the ironic story of a sinner who becomes revered as a saint and is full of sexploits rendered in purple prose and written in an infuriatingly "forsoothly" style. I did think at one point that if I came across the phrase "God wot" one more time I wouldn't be responsible for myself :)

Here's a sample from OOS

"What boots is that ‘tis not the same as the pale fairness of my race, my tribe? ‘Tis beauty, still. Take in your hand a violet, and a rose. The violet’s swart, the rose is fair. Wouldst say then that only roses are pleasing to the sight and toss all violets out to wither on the ground?”

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Madeleine
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Currently reading: "The Dead of Winter" by Nicola Upson
Preferred HF: Plantagenets, Victorian, crime, dual time-frame
Location: Essex/London

Post by Madeleine » Sun December 11th, 2011, 6:09 pm

Just ordered the first 2 books in the Flavia de Luce series by Alan Bradly - crime set in 1950s England:

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie
The Weed that Strings the Hangman's Bag
Currently reading: The Dead of Winter by Nicola Upson

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LoobyG
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Location: Derbyshire, UK

Post by LoobyG » Mon December 12th, 2011, 9:38 am

[quote=""annis""]
Here's a sample from OOS

"What boots is that ‘tis not the same as the pale fairness of my race, my tribe? ‘Tis beauty, still. Take in your hand a violet, and a rose. The violet’s swart, the rose is fair. Wouldst say then that only roses are pleasing to the sight and toss all violets out to wither on the ground?”[/quote]

:eek: I have several Yerbys on Mt Tbr...

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EC2
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Post by EC2 » Mon December 12th, 2011, 5:32 pm

It sounds like cod Shakespeare! As I recall, Georgette Heyer wrote a couple of non Regencies that went in for just this kind of purple prose!
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

annis
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Post by annis » Mon December 12th, 2011, 7:07 pm

Posted by EC
It sounds like cod Shakespeare! As I recall, Georgette Heyer wrote a couple of non Regencies that went in for just this kind of purple prose!
According to Rosemary Sutcliff, this style was known in the trade as "gadzookery" :) ( I think it was Josephine Tey who described it as writing in the "forsoothly" manner). It seems to have been a bit of a hangover from the Victorian authors with their quasi-medieval heroic stodge. Georgette Heyer's Elizabethan romantic adventure Beauvallet definitely goes for this dialogue style - one of the few of Heyer's novels I couldn't bring myself to finish - would'st had I followed the same policy with Yerby's Odor of Sanctity!

Historical novelists now would be laughed out of hand if they came up with this stuff, though sometimes i wonder if we've gone a bit far in the other direction with dialogue often full of rather jarringly modern vernacular.
Last edited by annis on Mon December 12th, 2011, 9:15 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Misfit
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Post by Misfit » Wed December 14th, 2011, 7:17 pm

Just zapped the latest India Black book onto the Kindle via library loan. That is so danged easy to do. Don't even have to park and go in and get the book off of the hold shelf.
At home with a good book and the cat...
...is the only place I want to be

SGM
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Joined: March 2010

Post by SGM » Wed December 14th, 2011, 8:23 pm

[quote=""Misfit""]Just zapped the latest India Black book onto the Kindle via library loan. That is so danged easy to do. Don't even have to park and go in and get the book off of the hold shelf.[/quote]

Instant gratification: I see, I pay, I have....It's great when you are stuck somewhere and have run out and there are no decent bookshops around. That is where the Kindle scores over the iPad for me (my iPad isn't 3g and if it was, the 3g would not be free). I can even buy English language books with ease whilst abroad. Real books good, e-books quick, easy and an awful lot less heavy.
Currently reading - Emergence of a Nation State by Alan Smith

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