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What are you reading? February 2013

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.
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sweetpotatoboy
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Posts: 1641
Joined: August 2008
Location: London, UK

Post by sweetpotatoboy » Fri February 22nd, 2013, 11:05 am

Have just started The King's Diamond by Will Whitaker.

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boswellbaxter
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Joined: August 2008
Location: North Carolina
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Post by boswellbaxter » Fri February 22nd, 2013, 2:04 pm

[quote=""rebecca""]Let me know too and if it is any good I'll order it once I have saved enough for another mega Amazon buying spree! :D

Bec :) [/quote]

I enjoyed it (Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker), but it does "tell" a lot more than it "shows."
Susan Higginbotham
Coming in October: The Woodvilles


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

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fljustice
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Location: Brooklyn, NY
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Post by fljustice » Fri February 22nd, 2013, 4:58 pm

Finished EC's The Scarlet Lion. A great read! Started the non-fiction A Team of Rivals: the Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln. Only 50 pages into the over 1000, but already captivated.
Faith L. Justice, Author Website
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princess garnet
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Joined: August 2008
Location: Maryland

Post by princess garnet » Fri February 22nd, 2013, 5:05 pm

Death in the Floating City by Tasha Alexander
#7 Lady Emily mysteries
Last edited by princess garnet on Sun February 24th, 2013, 12:45 am, edited 1 time in total.

annis
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Post by annis » Fri February 22nd, 2013, 9:48 pm

Finished Vita Sackville-West's novel The Edwardians, another one on my New Year's resolution list of unread literary classics to catch up with in 2013. Anyone infected with Downton Abbey fever would find this story of an aristocratic English family well worth reading. V S-W writes beautifully, with an ironic wit comparable to Austen, and captures all that was beautiful and reprehensible about a way of life just about to be swept away by history in the form of WWI.

The Edwardians can't be seen as a historical novel, though, as it was based on S-W's personal experiences growing up at her grand, ancestral family home, Knole House. Sackville-West was in the same position as DA's Lady Mary - the law of inheritance meant that it went to the nearest male relative when her father died, rather than to her as his oldest child. She adored Knole and always felt this loss bitterly.

Currently reading Sackville-West's All Passion Spent, another witty story about an elderly aristocratic lady, just widowed, who has subsumed her life to her husband and family. Gently but firmly refusing to be bullied into the sort of retirement her overbearing children have arranged for her, she makes a life of her own where she can reflect on the past and make sense of it before she dies. Brilliant- hard to believe S-W was only in her thirties when she wrote this - she portrays the concerns of old age so faithfully.
Last edited by annis on Sat February 23rd, 2013, 4:10 am, edited 15 times in total.

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Mello
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Location: Melbourne, Australia

Post by Mello » Sat February 23rd, 2013, 12:53 am

[quote=""annis""]Finished Vita Sackville-West's novel The Edwardians, another one on my New Year's resolution list of unread literary classics to catch up with in 2013. Anyone infected with Downton Abbey fever would find this story of an aristocratic English family well worth reading. V S-W writes beautifully, with an ironic wit comparable to Austen, and captures all that was beautiful and reprehensible about a way of life just about to be swept away by history in the form of WWI. [/quote]

Thanks Annis, you have motivated me to do something I vowed to do a long time ago and didn’t. I read Portrait of a Marriage years ago and was fascinated by Vita. I wanted to read her novels straightaway, but alas something always got in the way…. Off now to look for The Edwardians!

annis
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Post by annis » Sat February 23rd, 2013, 2:46 am

Hope you enjoy it, Mello. Vita Sackville-West's novels are beautifully crafted, layered and reflective in style. Not surprisingly given S-W's views (pretty radical for the times), there tends to be a feminist message but it's quite subtle- she doesn't bang the reader over the head with it. The Edwardians is something of a roman à clef - S-W is quoted as saying about it that "no character is wholly fictitious", and I imagine when it was first published a lot of the fun for readers was trying to work out which fictional character matched what real-life nob :)
Last edited by annis on Sat February 23rd, 2013, 3:05 am, edited 3 times in total.

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Vanessa
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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 » Sat February 23rd, 2013, 1:28 pm

I'm about to start The Red Tent by Anita Diamant.
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

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Lisa
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Favourite HF book: Here Be Dragons by Sharon Kay Penman
Preferred HF: Any time period/location. Timeslip, usually prefer female POV. Also love Gothic melodrama.
Location: Northeast Scotland

Post by Lisa » Sat February 23rd, 2013, 5:23 pm

Hugh and Bess by Susan Higginbotham.

annis
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Post by annis » Sun February 24th, 2013, 4:16 am

Just finished Evelyn Waugh's Helena, what you might loosely "call a divine comedy" based on the life of St Helena, the mother of Roman Emperor Constantine I who was purported to have discovered the whereabouts of the True Cross upon which Christ was crucified. Waugh's Helena is a great creation, she just wants to get to the truth of religion without all the airy-fairy veils of esoteric and metaphilosophical argument - "bosh" and "rubbish" are among her favourite sayings :)

Two frustrations, though, with my Loyola Classics edition- firstly, annoyed to find it has been rewritten in American English instead of the British English Waugh actually used. US editions of books written by British authors are routinely "Americanised" for the US market. Why do US publishers think American readers can't cope with British spelling, for goodness sake? Those of us who use British English don't have any problems with the reverse! Secondly, a crucial piece was left out of the last sentence - I could tell it didn't make sense and had to hunt down the original quote.
Last edited by annis on Sun February 24th, 2013, 4:51 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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