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James I

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Perdita
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Post by Perdita » Wed February 2nd, 2011, 9:56 pm

Lots of interesting recommendations here, thanks everyone.

Carla, I had a look at your review of Conscience of the King and I'm tempted to buy it. James I with the added bonus of Shakespeare has swung it for me :)

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cw gortner
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Post by cw gortner » Wed February 2nd, 2011, 10:31 pm

How cool. I'd never heard of Martin Stephen's books, Carla. Your review has inspired me to give one a try. He published a very moving account in The Mail, too, about his battle to recover from a devastating stroke.
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Post by annis » Thu February 3rd, 2011, 1:25 am

Gresham reminds me of Bernard Cornwell's Richard Sharpe :) The first one in the Henry Gresham series, Desperate Remedy, deals with the Gunpowder Plot and has some features in common with another Christie Dickason novel, The Firemaster's Mistress.

Just had the thought that you might find George Garrett's trilogy interesting if you haven't already read them. Succession, Entered from the Sun and Death of the Fox
Last edited by annis on Thu February 3rd, 2011, 1:44 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Carla » Thu February 3rd, 2011, 7:19 pm

Gresham is much more urbane than Sharpe :-) I think it's partly his effortless superiority that reminds me of James Bond; the song 'Nobody Does It Better' could have been written for him.

What's the Geroge Garrett trilogy like? I haven't heard of those.

CW, I had no idea about Martin Stephen's stroke. Poor man. I hope he made a good recovery.
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Post by annis » Fri February 4th, 2011, 1:08 am

I still see a dark and ruthless Sharpe-like character, but you're right, Gresham is more polished than Sharpe. James Bond in his Sean Connery incarnation I could see :)

Garrett's trilogy is very good. It's set in the late Elizabethan /early Jabobean periods. Succession is a snapshot of life in England as Elizabeth's reign comes to an end and James prepares to move in; Enter the Sun follows two mismatched "detectives" as they search for the truth about Christopher Marlowe's death some years after the event; and Death of the Fox is possibly the best, the story of the fall of Sir Walter Raleigh.

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Perdita
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Post by Perdita » Fri February 4th, 2011, 7:18 pm

There are more books about him than I'd realised! It would also be really nice to find more novels written about the women of his court, like Anne of Denmark, Arbella Stuart and Anne Somerset

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Post by BrianPK » Fri March 11th, 2011, 1:24 am

[quote=""Perdita""]Are there any novels about the court of James I? I've read The King's Daughter by Christie Dickason which was really good and got me wanting more from that era.[/quote]

Read Nigel Tranter's thoroughly enjoyable "The Wisest Fool". Actually do yourself a favour and start with The "Master of Gray" trilogy which tells of the final days of Elizabeth 1's reign and the scheming to get James on the throne...outstanding read. Then follow up with "The Wisest Fool". I have to respectfully but totally disagree with posters who failed to appreciate Tranter's marvellous output. The highlight of each day for me is a few hours spent reading a Tranter novel.Simply brilliant. :)

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Perdita
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Post by Perdita » Sun March 13th, 2011, 1:03 am

[quote=""BrianPK""]Read Nigel Tranter's thoroughly enjoyable "The Wisest Fool". Actually do yourself a favour and start with The "Master of Gray" trilogy which tells of the final days of Elizabeth 1's reign and the scheming to get James on the throne...outstanding read. Then follow up with "The Wisest Fool". I have to respectfully but totally disagree with posters who failed to appreciate Tranter's marvellous output. The highlight of each day for me is a few hours spent reading a Tranter novel.Simply brilliant. :) [/quote]

Thanks Brian, I'll give it a go. The changeover from Elizabeth to James is a really good story. I remember a few years back reading Leanda de Lisle's book, The Last Days of Elizabeth - I think that was the title (?)- and she really caught the tense atmosphere at court. A fictional take on it would be interesting.

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Post by BrianPK » Mon March 14th, 2011, 12:25 am

The Master of Gray is the principal character (incredibly ambitious ,confident courtier who is involved in all kinds of plots and skulduggery) in the trilogy which covers the period from when a teenage James, at first, attempts to break free from his advisers to rule on his own.It describes in detail the attempts to have his mother Mary Queen of Scots freed from Elizabeth's clutches, and finally concentrates on the efforts to have James succeed Elizabeth and ends with James crossing into England. So you may not be particularly interested in the first half of the trilogy. But N.Tranter paints a splendid portrait of Mary,Elizabeth but especially of James and really brings them alive.
An incredible picture of the Scottish witch trials under James is also depicted. I thought that Tranter was surely exaggerating in order to create extra interest for his readers but I did a little research when I had finished the trilogy and was surprised to see that everything was historically accurate ...an amazing period.James who was a very intelligent,well educated but crafty individual, regarded himself as an authority on witches and wrote a very learned tome on the subject.He was convinced that Satan had it in for him personally as he was" Christ's vice- regent" on earth :)
N. Tranter wrote The Wisest Fool approx.ten years later (early 70s) and picks up exactly where he left off, at the crossing into England. This time the principal character is James's jeweller/banker, with life in the London court as background.
I found the trilogy especially a fascinating read .Some people have found Tranter old fashioned and dry to say the least but to me he's incredibly detailed and rich but one mans meat ... so I hope you enjoy if you go ahead.
Last edited by BrianPK on Tue March 15th, 2011, 4:19 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Jemidar » Tue March 15th, 2011, 10:38 am

[quote=""boswellbaxter""]Jean Plaidy's The Murder in the Tower is set in his court (I'm reading it now as my treadmill reading, but as I haven't been on the treadmill lately, I can't comment much on it).[/quote]

Loved this one! Much better than your average Plaidy. And the murder/scandal element certainly adds to it especially when you realize it's a true story!

I've not read anything much set in James' time before, so this glimpse into one of the greatest scandals of his court, with implications even for the crown, was most enlightening. It's certainly sparked my interest to read further about both the scandal and James :) .
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