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October 2008: The Devil's Brood by Sharon Kay Penman

A monthly discussion on varying themes guided by our members. (Book of the Month discussions through December 2011 can be found in this section too.)
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Misfit
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Post by Misfit » Mon October 13th, 2008, 4:42 pm

That insight into Henry at Thomas Becket's tomb when he goes to do penance -- that was a stroke of brilliance there. And Eleanor coping with isolation for the first time in her life.
Was that just not amazing? I was just cringing going into the whole thing -- lord not another Becket saga -- but she had me hook line and sinker.

Of all the boys, I think Geoffrey was the most grounded -- possibly due to his marriage to Constance which turned out better than either of them expected it to.

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Telynor
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Post by Telynor » Mon October 13th, 2008, 4:49 pm

[quote=""Misfit""]Was that just not amazing? I was just cringing going into the whole thing -- lord not another Becket saga -- but she had me hook line and sinker.

Of all the boys, I think Geoffrey was the most grounded -- possibly due to his marriage to Constance which turned out better than either of them expected it to.[/quote]

And that wedding night sequence for the two of them. That was another wonderfully written bit. Say what you will about Geoffrey, I always thought that he got short shrift from the history books.

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Misfit
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Post by Misfit » Mon October 13th, 2008, 4:59 pm

[quote=""Telynor""]And that wedding night sequence for the two of them. That was another wonderfully written bit. Say what you will about Geoffrey, I always thought that he got short shrift from the history books.[/quote]

I loved the wedding night scene as well. Don't know if you've gotten to that part yet but there's a cute little comment about one of their bed sport games that just had me chuckling. I should have written it down (will one of you do that when you get there please?). Something about the nun and the priest :) :p :D

Constance matured quite well and had quite a mine field to tread after Geoffrey's accident. Loved the scene with Henry when he came to visit his grandchildren.

I really like how no one is just black and white, there really isn't a evil bad guy (well maybe the Louis and Phillippe :o )

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Tanzanite
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Post by Tanzanite » Mon October 13th, 2008, 7:10 pm

[quote=""Telynor""]And that wedding night sequence for the two of them. That was another wonderfully written bit. Say what you will about Geoffrey, I always thought that he got short shrift from the history books.[/quote]

I always thought so too. It was nice to see their relationship grow and mature - I wonder how accurate Penman's portrayal of the nature of their relationship is. Anyone know? For some reason the scene where Constance is in bed with her second husband (after Geoffrey's death) really stuck in my mind. The thoughts that were going through her head and how she was missing him make me feel so bad for her.

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LCW
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Post by LCW » Mon October 13th, 2008, 7:38 pm

[quote=""Telynor""]And that wedding night sequence for the two of them. That was another wonderfully written bit. Say what you will about Geoffrey, I always thought that he got short shrift from the history books.[/quote]

I loved that scene too! All the scenes between Geoffery and Constance were some of my favorite in the whole book!
Books to the ceiling,
Books to the sky,
My pile of books is a mile high.
How I love them! How I need them!
I'll have a long beard by the time I read them. --Arnold Lobel

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Post by EC2 » Mon October 13th, 2008, 9:13 pm

Constance and Ranulf of Chester hated each other's guts so it seems in history and eventually had their marriage anulled (but not before Ranulf had imprisoned her) - I don't know if that shows up in the novel.
Ranulf then married Clemence de Fougeres and he and his second wife had their hearts buried together at Dieulacres abbey when they died.
Constance married Guy de Thouars and died shortly after giving birth to twin daughters.
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

Ash
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Post by Ash » Tue October 14th, 2008, 4:53 am

Reading about the life of Geoffrey and Constance made me think of Henry and Eleanor; I could almost imagine the first few years of their life together as happy and content.

I'm bogged down a bit, since Geoffrey's death - getting a bit tired of this family. Does anyone else think this could have been edited more? The blow by blow of every fight is starting to get tiresome. Or maybe I am tired, I have been reading this since Wednesday, so it might be good to take a break....

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Misfit
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Post by Misfit » Tue October 14th, 2008, 1:46 pm

I don't know, I loved every minute of it. It never hurts to take a break from a book and then get back into it later. I've done it enough times.

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Tanzanite
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Post by Tanzanite » Tue October 14th, 2008, 4:00 pm

[quote=""Ash""]Reading about the life of Geoffrey and Constance made me think of Henry and Eleanor; I could almost imagine the first few years of their life together as happy and content.

I'm bogged down a bit, since Geoffrey's death - getting a bit tired of this family. Does anyone else think this could have been edited more? The blow by blow of every fight is starting to get tiresome. Or maybe I am tired, I have been reading this since Wednesday, so it might be good to take a break....[/quote]

I agree that all of the family feuding got a little old, but at the same time, I think it's an integral part of trying to understand what happened.

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LCW
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Post by LCW » Tue October 14th, 2008, 4:26 pm

[quote=""EC2""]Constance and Ranulf of Chester hated each other's guts so it seems in history and eventually had their marriage anulled (but not before Ranulf had imprisoned her) - I don't know if that shows up in the novel.
Ranulf then married Clemence de Fougeres and he and his second wife had their hearts buried together at Dieulacres abbey when they died.
Constance married Guy de Thouars and died shortly after giving birth to twin daughters.[/quote]

Oh no!! The book didn't get to that point but SKP says in the authors note that Constance will be continued in her next book! That makes me sad as I didn't know that piece of History and now I know that Constance, one of my favorite characters, has a tough road ahead of her! :(
Books to the ceiling,
Books to the sky,
My pile of books is a mile high.
How I love them! How I need them!
I'll have a long beard by the time I read them. --Arnold Lobel

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