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.

Book Shopping Today (2012 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.
User avatar
sweetpotatoboy
Bibliophile
Posts: 1641
Joined: August 2008
Location: London, UK

Post by sweetpotatoboy » Sat April 21st, 2012, 6:56 pm

Raided a couple of secondhand bookshops on Charing Cross Road while up in town:

The King David Report by Stefan Heym (a member of our chapter meetings is always quoting from this novel)

Family Favourites & Lord Geoffrey's Fancy by Alfred Duggan (two very attractive 1970s editions in excellent condition for next to nothing)

Electra by Henry Treece (haven't read him since I was a boy and don't remember this one)

Kristin Lavransdatter by Sigrid Undset (a huge all-in-one volume)

The Flowers of Evil by Simon Acland (a modern Grail-related novel; it's the second in a series and I don't have the first yet but it was less than a pound)

The Brothers Boswell by Philip Baruth (a novel that came out last year that I've been meaning to read)

Iberia by James A. Michener (a very attractive two-volume illustrated edition that I had never seen; this is not a novel but a 'travels and reflections' book)

annis
Bibliomaniac
Posts: 4585
Joined: August 2008

Post by annis » Sat April 21st, 2012, 7:06 pm

@ SPB: I enjoyed Simon Acland's Waste Land very much- review here, but somehow haven't quite managed to get into Flowers of Evil. I will sit down and give it a better shot sometime, though - I'm a bit distracted at the moment.
Last edited by annis on Sat April 21st, 2012, 7:13 pm, edited 3 times in total.

annis
Bibliomaniac
Posts: 4585
Joined: August 2008

Post by annis » Sat April 21st, 2012, 7:10 pm

,@emr: Seek and ye shall find - have tracked down a bit of info about the elusive Elizabeth Byrd. Turns out she was an American, though obviously obssessed with all things Scottish.

INFORMATION:

Family: Born December 8, 1912, in St. Louis, MO; died May 11, 1989, in Tucson, AZ; daughter of Joseph Hunter (a mining promoter) and Emma (Howard) Byrd; married Don Phares. Education: Attended New York University, 1932-33.

CAREER:
Columbia Broadcasting System, radio news writer, 1939-45; Station WMCA, script writer and actress on "What's News," 1942-43; associate editor for New York literary agencies, 1944-50; Betty Byrd Associates (literary agency), owner and operator, 1951-53; A. L. Fierst Literary Agency, critic, 1952-53; Julian Messner, Inc., writer of jacket copy, 1952-60; freelance writer.

WORKS:

WRITINGS BY THE AUTHOR:
• Immortal Queen, Ballantine, 1956.
• The Flowers of the Forest, Constable, 1962.
• The Ghost in My Life, Ballantine, 1968.
• A Strange and Seeing Time, R. Hale, 1971.
• The Famished Land: A Novel of the Irish Potato Famine, Lippincott, 1972.
• The Long Echantment: A Novel of Queen Victoria and John Brown, Macmillan, 1973.
• Rest Without Peace, Macmillan, 1974.
• I'll Get By: An Autobiographical Novel, Macmillan, 1975, reprinted as I'll Get by: A Novel, Viking Press, 1981.
• The Lady of Monkton, Macmillan, 1975.
• The Search for Maggie Hare, Macmillan, 1976.
• Maid of Honour: The Court of Mary Queen of Scots, Macmillan (London), 1978, published as Maid of Honour: A Novel Set in the Court of Mary Queen of Scots, St. Martin's, 1979.
• The Diamond, Macmillan, 1979.
• It Had to Be You (novel), Viking (New York), 1982.

Contributor of articles and stories to Venture[/I,] Reader's Digest, McCall's, and Scottish Field.

Sidelights

Elizabeth Byrd has this advice for young writers: "I know of no better preparation than working as critic in a literary agency." She adds that "every writer should keep a journal--the most valuable text for his craft, a future gold mine of plot, atmosphere, and characterization." Immortal Queen has been translated into seven languages and is being filmed.*

Source Citation
"Elizabeth Byrd." Contemporary Authors Online. Detroit: Gale, 2002. Literature Resource Center. Web. 21 Apr. 2012.

Will add to this that she divorced Don Phares and married secondly her editor Barry Gaunt, and that she spent some time living at Leith Hall, reputed to be haunted, and wrote a book about her paranormal experiences there .

I don't know if the movie of Immortal Queen ever happened- can't see anything about it.
Last edited by annis on Sat April 21st, 2012, 7:26 pm, edited 3 times in total.

User avatar
emr
Compulsive Reader
Posts: 840
Joined: January 2009
Location: Castilla

Post by emr » Sat April 21st, 2012, 7:56 pm

[quote=""annis""],@emr: Seek and ye shall find - have tracked down a bit of info about the elusive Elizabeth Byrd.[/quote]

You are good! :D
"So many books, so little time."
— Frank Zappa

annis
Bibliomaniac
Posts: 4585
Joined: August 2008

Post by annis » Sat April 21st, 2012, 9:25 pm

I was tickled by EB's advice for young writers- how many people get the chance to be a critic for a literary agency? Does such a position even exist now? In fact, I imagine that literary agencies as such are much reduced from what they would have been in her time.

User avatar
Madeleine
Bibliomaniac
Posts: 5710
Joined: August 2008
Currently reading: "Fear on the Phantom Special" by Edward Marston
Preferred HF: Plantagenets, Victorian, crime
Location: Essex/London

Post by Madeleine » Sun April 22nd, 2012, 5:42 pm

Oscar Wilde and the Vatican Murders by Gyles Brandreth.
Currently reading: "Fear on the Phantom Special" by Edward Marston.

annis
Bibliomaniac
Posts: 4585
Joined: August 2008

Post by annis » Tue April 24th, 2012, 3:48 am

Oh, the frustration! I've just finished the second in Robin Hobb's Rain Wild Chronicles and dashed to Amazon to pick up the third, but darn it - it's not available as a Kindle option :( Guess I've become spoiled by too much instant gratification :) (A Kindle version of City of Dragons is available from Amazon UK, but no use to me as it can't be accessed by anyone living outside the UK). Oh well, will just have to be patient and go on the library reservations waiting list as I did in the old days ...

User avatar
Vanessa
Bibliomaniac
Posts: 4231
Joined: August 2008
Currently reading: The Farm at the Edge of the World by Sarah Vaughan
Interest in HF: The first historical novel I read was Katherine by Anya Seton and this sparked off my interest in this genre.
Favourite HF book: Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell!
Preferred HF: Any
Location: North Yorkshire, UK

Post by Vanessa » Tue April 24th, 2012, 8:48 am

What are they like, Annis? I've looked at those on Amazon before. I've got more interested in the fantasy genre since reading Game of Thrones! :rolleyes: :D
currently reading: My Books on Goodreads

Books are mirrors, you only see in them what you already have inside you ~ The Shadow of the Wind

User avatar
Madeleine
Bibliomaniac
Posts: 5710
Joined: August 2008
Currently reading: "Fear on the Phantom Special" by Edward Marston
Preferred HF: Plantagenets, Victorian, crime
Location: Essex/London

Post by Madeleine » Wed April 25th, 2012, 12:40 pm

Riddle of the River by Catherine Shaw - historical crime set in late-Victorian Cambridge. It's actually the 4th in a series, but it looks like the others are being re-issued later this year - either August or November, depending which site you look at - so I'll try this one first.
Currently reading: "Fear on the Phantom Special" by Edward Marston.

User avatar
Ludmilla
Bibliophile
Posts: 1346
Joined: September 2008
Location: Georgia USA

Post by Ludmilla » Wed April 25th, 2012, 2:04 pm

[quote=""annis""]Oh, the frustration! I've just finished the second in Robin Hobb's Rain Wild Chronicles and dashed to Amazon to pick up the third, but darn it - it's not available as a Kindle option :( Guess I've become spoiled by too much instant gratification :) (A Kindle version of City of Dragons is available from Amazon UK, but no use to me as it can't be accessed by anyone living outside the UK). Oh well, will just have to be patient and go on the library reservations waiting list as I did in the old days ...[/quote]

I understand the frustration. The 3rd in this series is available as a Kindle in the US, but it's one of those agency-priced new releases, selling for $14.99 which is too high for an ebook IMO. I usually wait for the prices to go down for these kind of series books before I pursue them. I've given up on my library having books I want to read. It's only once in a blue moon that they do.

I read Hobb's Farseer and Tawny Man, so eventually I'm sure I'll want to read The Rain Wilds (but not until I read Liveship Traders, first). I may be in the minority for liking Tawny Man a little more than Farseer. I have a soft spot for the Fool and several other characters in that series.

Post Reply

Return to “General Discussion”