Category Archives: Jean Plaidy

The Demon Lover by Victoria Holt

bodice ripper material? or gothic romance? or psycho madness? or all?

The Demon Lover by Victoria Holt
First published 1982
Personal reading copy
Burton Book Review Rating: 3 to 3.5 stars

When Kate Collison, to help her ailing father, completes his portrait of the powerful Baron de Centeville, her only thought is to be a dutiful daughter. But when the Baron presents her to Parisian society as the painter, Kate finds herself basking in the recognition . . . until she discovers that the Baron has plans for her — shocking plans that will change her life unless she can fight the Baron with his own weapons . . .

I was reading this for a group read when I found that I wasn’t really reading this fast enough, which means perhaps it wasn’t that great. Or I’m being a finicky/picky/bored/tired reader or any combo thereof. Who knows, but I do know I am tired of being disappointed by Jean Plaidy/Victoria Holt/Phillippa Carr whoever she is pretending to be at the moment of the publication of whatever zillionth book she was writing.

It’s a strange story — gothicky in a way, but mostly, cringe-worthy. Not cringe-worthy in a good way where you are on the edge of the seat wondering what is lurking around the corner, but more like wow what a creepy thing that is sorta sick/mental and perhaps I need to distance myself from the weirdness. The Baron is a strange man, and Kate is seduced in a way even while she knows he is so cringe-worthy. But there were other characters too that were a little odd and added depth to the story. Being told in first person by Kate did get tiresome halfway through, and while her character didn’t change too much by the end I was able to put up with her wearisome traits.

I don’t want to get too much into the plot line since there is one dramatic event that the whole book revolves around; the same event that other reviewers had given away (& thus spoiled the story for me as well). The last three chapters made the whole thing worthwhile, as it tidied up most of the plot lines but still kinda weirded me out. Which stays in tune with the rest of the book at least. I did say “oh, my God!” in an amazed sort of way as I turned the last page.

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Filed under 2013 Review, Jean Plaidy, Jean Plaidy Review

The Lion of Justice by Jean Plaidy

(Snooooozzer!)

The Lion of Justice by Jean Plaidy

Published circa 1975
Norman Trilogy series, book 2
Summary:
The death of the Conqueror left three sons to inherit his power and his wealth. Normandy for Robert, England for Rufus and for Henry, the youngest, five thousand pounds of silver…..The three were natural rivals. The feckless Robert lost his Norman dukedom in an orgy of impulsive extravagance. Red-haired Rufus scandalized the court with his perverse sexuality and contempt for the church…And Henry – cleverest of all – awaited his chance to fulfill his father’s prophecy and assume the mantle of The Lion of Justice.”
I loved the first book in this Norman series (The Bastard King) so I was naturally totally looking forward to this group read of the next installment. I was disappointed from beginning to end, sad to say. 
Did I have high expectations? Perhaps. Somehow this book should have been at least as good as the first, as this one deals with Matilda (once known as Edith) and her husband King Henry I. Set against such an intriguing backdrop of England’s struggle for power against Normandy, France and the Pope, there was a lot going on. The King’s arrival at the throne in itself was a wonder.
I was bored throughout specifically because I felt Jean Plaidy, historical fiction extraordinaire, should have been able to do better. But what she presented was amateurish, childlike, and totally subpar writing, that I wouldn’t ever recommend this one. The Bastard King was good, this one was a waste of almost two weeks of my free time, do I dare attempt book three?
But, I am in the minority I think .. Except for my read along participants.. Check out other reviews: http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/0449243184


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Filed under Jean Plaidy, William The Conqueror

The Bastard King (Norman Series #1) by Jean Plaidy

By God’s Splendour, this was a great intro to William The Conqueror!

The Bastard King by Jean Plaidy

May’s Group Read for the Gooodreads Plaidy/Holt/Carr group
My personal copy is PAN 1977 edition, 333 pages
Burton Book Review Rating:4.5 stars
From my back cover:

Princess Matilda at last found the man she would marry- William, the fierce bastard of Normandy. Proud and fearless, the Duke had ridden into the stronghold of his enemies, dragged her by her thick golden hair into the gutter, and left with her heart. It was a love story that would change the face of history.
Battles, triumphs, revenge and jealousy crowd the dramatic years leading to William’s fateful conflict with Harold of England and its bitter aftermath as Queen Matilda’s love for her children threatens her loyalty to William, Bastard, Conqueror and King.

The Bastard King focuses on William the Bastard (William the Conqueror) and as a history lover, I recognize the date of the year of 1066 as having significance for England, but I had not read anything specific to that historic event having been mostly stuck somewhere betwixt Henry II and Henry VIII. Enter Jean Plaidy: Mistress of good old fashioned historical fiction. With a dose of quiet poisons, traitors, romances, revenge and melodramatics we are treated to an education of William the Bastard that begins with his parents: Robert the Magnificent and Arlette (the tanner’s daughter!).
Being the son of a tanner’s daughter William was ridiculed and teased but he was also portrayed as being a favored son of the Duke in spite of the taint of the low birth. His father loved him and geared him to be the next Duke of Normandy even though the aristocracy had a tough time swallowing that. Meanwhile, England was going through their typical upheavals of who should rule and William’s cousins from England stayed in Normandy for safety during the rule of the Danes. Eventually one of these cousins became King Edward the Confessor who seemed to have a soft spot for William and vice versa. Years later at King Edward’s death it is William who wants to have the English crown and it’s two-thirds of the way into the book that William decides to assert his claim.
As typical of Plaidy, she expertly weaves us through the factions and the turmoil of the times which includes battles, political alliances made and broken and with a keen eye for historical detail we get a peek into the lives of famous figures. While the focus remains on William and his ultimate reach for England, there are subplots concerning his family and the informative fleshing out of the side characters that make Plaidy’s writing style a favorite among the genre. His wife Matilda is of course the flaxen-haired beauty to rival all others yet she shows a sinister streak as she embroiders; King Harold is portrayed as a shrewd but sensitive man and that’s the guy that William has to beat in order to win the throne of England, making for an interesting climax. 
There are things that can get repetitive (the fair blue eyed extremely gorgeous English cousins/my temper will destroy you/By God’s Splendour!/Robert has short legs) or over the top (people conveniently poisoned and dispensed with) and the heavy use of foreshadowing and omens (throughout the novel) but this story is still very entertaining and worth the read for those learning of the era. This first installment of the Norman series begins with Robert the Magnificent circa 1028 and continues with his son William all the way past 1066 and his eventual earning of the moniker ‘Conqueror’ and finally ending with his death in 1087 – an ending so very well done, Ms. Plaidy. I was certainly ready to take up a battle cry.
Further reading:
Patricia Bracewell’s Shadow on The Crown (my review) precedes this novel time-wise, I am glad I read that first and would recommend it.
The Bastard King
Lion of Justice
The Passionate Enemies

This novel was part of my 2013 To-Be-Read-Pile Reading Challenge hosted by Roof Beam Reader

I read along with the Goodreads Plaidy group, my second with that group. I wonder what we’ll read next!

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Filed under #histnov, 11th Century, 2013 Reading Challenge, 2013 Review, Emma of Normandy, Jean Plaidy, Jean Plaidy Review, William The Conqueror

The Miracle at St. Bruno’s by Philippa Carr (aka Jean Plaidy/Victoria Holt)

The Miracle at St. Bruno’s (Daughters of England #1) by Philippa Carr
Gothic Historical Romance of the 70’s
Book from my personal collection
Burton Book Review Rating::Enjoyed it, had minor quirks

Available on Kindle now!

“I was born in the September of 1523, nine months after the monks had discovered the child in the crib on that Christmas morning. My birth was, my father used to say, another miracle: He was not young at the time being forty years of age . . . My mother, whose great pleasure was tending her gardens, called me Damask, after the rose which Dr. Linacre, the King’s physician, had brought into England that year.”

Thus begins the story narrated by Damask Farland, daughter of a well-to-do lawyer whose considerable lands adjoin those of St. Bruno’s Abbey. It is a story of a life inextricably enmeshed with that of Bruno, the mysterious child found on the abbey altar that Christmas morning and raised by the monks to become a man at once handsome and saintly, but also brooding and ominous, tortured by the secret of his origin which looms ever more menacingly over the huge abbey he comes to dominate.

This is also the story of an engaging family, the Farlands. Of a father wise enough to understand “the happier our King is, the happier I as a true subject must be,” a wife twenty years his junior, and a daughter whose intelligence is constantly to war with the strange hold Bruno has upon her destiny. What happens to the Farlands against the background of what is happening to King Henry and his court during this robust period provides a novel in which suspense and the highlights of history are wonderfully balanced.

I was fortunate to be able to participate in the read along for this first book of the gothic series that prolific author Eleanor Hibbert/Jean Plaidy wrote under her pen-name of Philippa Carr. It is the story of a family in England struggling to stay out of trouble during the tyrannical reign of Henry VIII and eventually his daughter Queen Mary.

The main characters are three .. “we three as one”: Damask, the daughter of the household, Kate, her distant cousin, and Bruno, the miracle child that was brought up next door to Damask in the Abbey. Religious turmoil permeates the land, as persecution reaches its wicked tentacles out to the innocents, and Damask and Kate attempt to live their lives after tragedies occur.

Damask is introduced to us as a young girl, and by the end of the story we pretty much see what would be the end of her life as well. She was a narrator that could easily get on your nerves though, she is supposed to be so uber smart, yet it seems she doesn’t see the reality in front of her face and that got tedious after awhile. The other characters were all well done with bad guys and good guys; the plus was that in the background  we also had Henry VIII and his wives.  The writing had small lulls – as we knew that the proverbial shoe was going to drop and we kept waiting for it. Full of tension and the gothic style of melodramatics, this was a fun read that definitely has me intrigued enough to at least see what happens with the next generation in book two. I had been suspecting what was to be the “climatic moment” when it hit by page 357, but it was still awesome.

I haven’t read a series in a very long time that features a particular family through a long period of time, though the Morland series comes to mind (Cynthia Harrod Eagles). These two series have completely different tones, as I would not hesitate to recommend this first book of the Daughters of England to the Young Adult reader who is intrigued by the tumultuous reign of the Tudors and their effects on the families of England.

This novel was part of my 2013 To-Be-Read-Pile Reading Challenge hosted by Roof Beam Reader

Checking in for April here

The next novel I’m reading for the challenge will be another by the same author (different pen-name) The Bastard King by Plaidy. You are welcome to join the group and read along with us, starting May 1.

I read along with the Goodreads Plaidy group for The Miracle at St. Bruno’s and we had great discussions there about the book, but here are some of the status updates from the book as I was reading (you may have to be my friend there in order to see since I’m pasting):

Marie Burton is on page 291 of 376

A slightly tortuous journey at this point. Kill them all already.

— Apr 11, 2013 03:14pm

The Miracle at St. Bruno's (Daughters of England, #1)


Marie’s Previous Updates

Marie Burton

Marie Burton is finished

It is done. The Miracle persists.

— Apr 12, 2013 11:45am

The Miracle at St. Bruno's (Daughters of England, #1)


Marie Burton

Marie Burton is on page 357 of 376

HOLY HELL AND TARNATION BATMAN

— Apr 12, 2013 11:13am

The Miracle at St. Bruno's (Daughters of England, #1)


Marie Burton

Marie Burton is on page 355 of 376

Reading the last chapter… I wonder how I’ll fell about this title when it’s done.

— Apr 12, 2013 10:28am

The Miracle at St. Bruno's (Daughters of England, #1)


Marie Burton

Marie Burton is on page 267 of 376

Enjoying this first Philippa Carr novel (pseudonym of Jean Plaidy).

— Apr 06, 2013 07:27pm

The Miracle at St. Bruno's (Daughters of England, #1)


Marie Burton

Marie Burton is on page 249 of 376

Lots of uh-oh moments!!

— Apr 06, 2013 07:01am

The Miracle at St. Bruno's (Daughters of England, #1)


Marie Burton

Marie Burton is on page 185 of 376

The story is full of twists and turns, I am enjoying its gothic feel.

— Apr 04, 2013 07:50pm

The Miracle at St. Bruno's (Daughters of England, #1)


Marie Burton

Marie Burton is on page 156 of 376

Poignant!

— Apr 02, 2013 01:56pm

The Miracle at St. Bruno's (Daughters of England, #1)


Marie Burton

Marie Burton is on page 123 of 376

This chapter is titled the shadow of the ax.. And the king is Henry VIII.. Makes me wanna scream “run girl, run !!!

5 Comments

Filed under #histnov, 16th Century, 2013 Reading Challenge, 2013 Review, Jean Plaidy, Philippa Carr, Tudor

Sunday Monday Bookish News

The Sunday Salon.com   
Visit Svea’s blog at The Muse in The Fog Book Review to start linking up your Sunday posts; Suddenly Sunday is a weekly event hosted by Svea whose purpose is to share all the exciting events that have occurred on your blog throughout the week.


Mailbox Monday is a meme originally from Marcia’s Mailbox and is being hosted by Caitlin @ chaotic compendiums. The Story Siren also hosts IMM, so we can find some cool YA titles there as well.


In the Mail: Lots of book twos!!!!!!!

AMAZING 1973 cover, lol

Henry of the High Rock (Henry I book 2, Of The Ring of Earls was first) by Juliet Dymoke
When Rufus is murdered after William the Conqueror dies, Genry wins the throne, acts contrite, and wins love as well.

Lucky me I got the first book in time for this post:

Another fabulous 1973 cover!

Of the Ring of Earls by Juliet Dymoke
In the darkness rain had begun to fall…He was drained, exhausted, could hear nothing, see nothing but Telham ridge and the silent dead lying in the darkness-Leofwine staring sightless at the sky, Harold sprawled among the broken axes and smashed shields, and somewhere the dragon banner trampled into the bloodied ground by Norman hooves’. William of Normandy had come, had triumphed. Many of the English nobility lay dead, and for the survivors, including Waltheof of Huntingdon, the future could hold no certainties.

Shattered (book 2 Alaskan Courage) by Dani Pettrey
A Thrilling New Romantic Suspense from the Genre’s Newest Star Piper McKenna couldn’t be more thrilled that her prodigal brother, Reef, has returned to Yancey, Alaska, after five years. But her happiness is short-lived when Reef appears at her house covered in blood. A fellow snowboarder has been killed–but despite the evidence, Reef swears he’s innocent. And Piper believes him. Deputy Landon Grainger loves the McKennas like family, but he’s also sworn to find the truth. Piper is frustrated with his need for facts over faith, but he knows those closest to you have the power to deceive you the most. With his sheriff pushing for a quick conviction, some unexpected leads complicate the investigation, and pursuing the truth may mean risking Landon’s career. With Piper waging her own search, the two head deep into Canada’s rugged backcountry–and unexpected complications. Not only does their long friendship seem to be turning into something more, but this dangerous case is becoming deadlier with each step.
(I actually have book 1, which I want to read first).

A Bloom In Winter (Summerset Abbey book 2) by T.J. Brown
The highly anticipated second installment in the Summerset Abbey series, which picks up just after the climatic conclusion of book one. After Prudence’s desperate marriage and move to Devonshire, sisters Rowena and Victoria fear they have lost their beloved friend forever. Guilt-ridden and remorseful, Rowena seeks comfort from a daring flyboy and embraces the most dangerous activity the world has ever seen, and Victoria defies her family and her illness to make her own dream occupation as a botanist come true. As England and the world step closer to conflict, the two young women flout their family, their upbringing, and their heritage to seize a modern future of their own making. 
(now I need book 1, I think this was from Shelf Awareness and of course I didn’t realize there was a book 1).

Another fun oldie but goodie::


Lilith by Jean Plaidy/Victoria Holt
Mistress and servant, they shared a grandfather, friendship, adventures, and a surprising destiny. There’s actually a lot more on the backflap.. If I remember I’ll try to post some of it here..


The Scarlet Cloak by Jean Plaidy
In the years 1572-1578, when the faith and fanaticism of one man – King Philip II of Spain – trouble the whole of Europe, His Most Catholic Majesty’s plans against accused heretics meet with stubborn, angry resistance. Dashing Blasco Carramadino and his devout older brother, Domingo, live in the quiet province of Andalusia, where the king’s fanaticism is rarely felt. But soon they will be caught in a web of intrigue, as Philip plots the overthrow of England and its return to the one true faith. It is a period when the clash of ideals breeds great courage and stoutly adventurous spirits, a time that will test the mettle of the two brothers, and of the Protestant women they have come to love.

Love in the Balance by Regina Jennings (I absolutely LOVED Sixty Acres and A Bride, but somehow the reviews on GR are already dipping below the favored four star mark. I am concerned.)
Molly Lovelace dreams of a life without cares in Lockhart, Texas. She also dreams of handsome wrangler Bailey Garner, her ardent but inconsistent beau. The problem is, with Bailey’s poor prospects, she just can’t fit the two dreams together. 
Then mysterious stranger Edward Pierrepont sweeps into town–and her life–and for the first time Molly wonders if she’s met the man who can give her everything. But he won’t be in Lockhart long and while he talks about their glorious future together, she can’t quite get Bailey out of her mind. What’s a girl to do with all these decisions when love is in the balance?

Currently Reading:

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?
The What Are You Reading meme is hosted by Sheila at Book Journey where we keep track of what we are currently reading and plan to read.

I have slowed the pace down with the reading of the novels as I am reading devotional type titles during lent. After finishing Forsaken Dreams (Escape to Paradise) (I reviewed it here, loved it!) I started to read The End of the Point: A Novel by Elizabeth Graver. It is somewhere in between literary and historical as a family deals with the war effort that is going on basically on the front porch of their summer home. I am not sure I am cut out to appreciate the depressive nuances of literary novels, and this narrative is just weird with basically giving out the ending as the narrator is explaining a person. I am so ready to be done with it and move on. Definitely not as fun as Forsaken Dreams was, which you should read if you like Christian Historicals at all.
 I also completed my review for Draw the Circle: The 40 Day Prayer Challenge even though I haven’t finished it yet since it’s a passage a day type of thing. (I had to post something by a certain date so it’s there in a nutshell). A very good inspirational tool to use as a daily mini-devotional, it is a keeper and I bring it back and forth to work with me. All of these titles are available now.

Coming Up…

This week my review of the newest Tudor novel, The Queen’s Gambit by Elizabeth Fremantle, will post. It’s got lots of lovely reviews on Goodreads thus far, you can see if I agree or not.

The review pile is actually creeping up on me again. And today starts the Read Along of Snare of Serpents over at the Victoria Holt Goodreads group so I think I may not be able to participate. If I was at my normal reading pace I probably would have been fine, but I just feel like I’ve been so busy lately plus the newest crud factor in my head that is making me want to sleep forever. Love in the Balance (pictured above in my mailbox feature) is going to be read next for review, and I wanted to try and sneak in both of Dani Pettrey’s books. But I can say that I am keeping up with the daily Bible Study, as that is my first priority. I am about halfway through the Prophetic books as I type (I never would have thought that Jonah and my husband were similar in nature!). And then it’s on to the New Testament!!! Very excited. I can’t say enough about the study bible that I am using, I love it and highly recommend it, and this informative book is why I haven’t been reading a lot of other stuff lately =)

Big kudos to the Goodreads group who keeps me on top of my bible plan.

Speaking of Goodreads, I just noticed that there is a challenge of Christian Historical Books for 2013 that I joined. No hoops or posts required, you just create a shelf for your 2013 CHF titles, and those will be counted towards the challenge. Here is the link to challenge, where you can set the challenge up with the number of books you want to try and read. As you read a title on the 2013 CHF shelf, your tally will get updated.

There are two Bookish Photo Challenges going on for March via Instagram right now. #estellagram and #bsmphotoaday and you can find my entries under @BurtonReview. If you are participating, leave me your handle!

OH, also a shout out the History Channel with the two new progams, The Bible and the Vikings! Loved them both! A nice change of pace for them, since every time I turn that channel on it’s all about The Pawn Stars.

Over on my other blog I am running a giveaway for Elizabeth Chadwick’s Shadows and Strongholds. This is a book I read in January and I loved it, it’s my favorite of the seven of hers that I’ve read thus far. Elizabeth Chadwick has been kind enough to answer questions on the giveaway guest post also, so go check that out here!

Edit to add.. since I just finished The End of The Point, goodreads says I’ve read 5,142 pages in 2013! This doesn’t included currently reading, such as the Bible.. and I’ve now made it to Matthew!! I am so excited to have reached this milestone!!! SQUEEE!!

18 Comments

Filed under #IMWAYR, Jean Plaidy, Mailbox Monday, The Sunday Salon

Mailbox Monday

Welcome to Mailbox Monday, the weekly meme created by Marcia from A girl and her books (formerly The Printed Page) where book lovers share the titles they received for review, purchased, or otherwise obtained over the past week. Mailbox Monday is now on tour, and for July, your host is Mrs. Q Book Addict



courtesy Ganshert Adoption
HF Bundle!

I bid on and won this bundle (in efforts to support author Katie Ganshert, and her quest to adopt a child from the Congo):
*autographed!*
In a time before history, in a harsh and beautiful land near the top of the world, womanhood comes cruelly and suddenly to beautiful, young Chagak. Surviving the brutal massacre of her tribe, she sets out across the icy waters off Ameria’s northwest coast on an astonishing odyssey that will reveal to Chagak powerful secrets of the earth and sky… and the mysteries of love and loss.
The Preacher’s Bride by Jody Hedlund
In 1650s England, a young Puritan maiden is on a mission to save the baby of her newly widowed preacher–whether her assistance is wanted or not. Always ready to help those in need, Elizabeth ignores John’s protests of her aid. She’s even willing to risk her lone marriage prospect to help the little family.
Yet Elizabeth’s new role as nanny takes a dangerous turn when John’s boldness from the pulpit makes him a target of political and religious leaders. As the preacher’s enemies become desperate to silence him, they draw Elizabeth into a deadly web of deception. Finding herself in more danger than she ever bargained for, she’s more determined than ever to save the child–and man–she’s come to love.

The Doctor’s Lady by Jody Hedlund
Priscilla White knows she’ll never be a wife or mother and feels God’s call to the mission field in India. Dr. Eli Ernest is back from Oregon Country only long enough to raise awareness of missions to the natives before heading out West once more. But then Priscilla and Eli both receive news from the mission board: No longer will they send unmarried men and women into the field.
Left scrambling for options, the two realize the other might be the answer to their needs. Priscilla and Eli agree to a partnership, a marriage in name only that will allow them to follow God’s leading into the mission field. But as they journey west, this decision will be tested by the hardships of the trip and by the unexpected turnings of their hearts.

Fairer than Morning (Saddler’s Legacy #1) by Rosslyn Elliott

Ann dreams of a marriage proposal from her poetic suitor, Eli-until Will Hanby shows her that nobility is more than fine words.
On a small farm in 19th-century Ohio, young Ann Miller is pursued by the gallant Eli Bowen, son of a prominent family. Eli is the suitor of Ann’s dreams. Like her, he enjoys poetry and beautiful things and soon, he will move to the city to become a doctor.
Ann travels to Pittsburgh, accompanying her father on business. There she meets Will Hanby, a saddle-maker’s apprentice. Will has spent years eking out an existence under a cruel master and his spirit is nearly broken. But Ann’s compassion lights a long-dark part of his soul. Through his encounters with Ann’s father, a master saddler, Will discovers new hope and courage in the midst of tremendous adversity.
When the Millers must return to Ohio and their ministry there, Will resolves to find them, at any cost. If Will can make it back to Ann, will she be waiting?

Sweeter than Birdsong by Rosslyn Elliott
“Music offers Kate sweet refuge from her troubles…but real freedom is sweeter.”
In Westerville, Ohio, 1855, ” “Kate Winter’s dreams are almost within reach. As the first woman to graduate from Otterbein College, she’ll be guaranteed her deepest wish: escape from the dark secret haunting her family. But with her mother determined to marry her off to a wealthy man, Kate must face reality. She has to run. Now. And she has the perfect plan. Join the upcoming musical performance–and use it to mask her flight.
Ben Hanby, Otterbein College’s musical genius, sees Kate Winter as an enigmatic creature, notable for her beauty, yet painfully shy. Then he hears her sing-and the glory of her voice moves him as never before. He determines to cast her in his musical and uncover the mystery that is Kate. Still, he must keep his own secret to himself. Not even this intriguing woman can know that his passionate faith is driving him to aid fugitives on the Underground Railroad.
A terrifying accident brings Kate and Ben together, but threatens to shatter both their secrets and their dreams. Kate can no longer deny the need to find her courage-and her voice-if she is to sing a new song for their future.
“Sweeter than Birdsong” is a stirring novel of hope and faith inspired by real historical people and events.

Maggie’s Journey by Lena Nelson Dooley
A girl who’s been lied to her whole life…Near her eighteenth birthday, Margaret Lenora Caine finds a chest hidden in the attic containing proof that she was adopted. The daughter of wealthy merchants in Seattle, she feels betrayed both by her real parents and by the ones who raised her.
Maggie desires a place where she belongs. But her mother’s constant criticism and reminders that she doesn’t fit the mold of a young woman of their social standing have already created tension in their home. With the discovery of the family secret, all sense of her identity is lost.
When Maggie asks to visit her grandmother in Arkansas, her father agrees on the condition that she take her Aunt Georgia as a chaperone and his young partner, Charles Stanton, as protection on the journey. Will she discover who she really is and, more importantly, what truly matters most in life?


Chadwick UK cover
2007 Sphere edition

Chadwick 2012 USA cover
September 2012 Sourcebooks edition

For review, I received Elizabeth Chadwick’s newest USA release via Sourcebooks, it’s been on my wish list forever! Just in case you have read the earlier version, I didn’t want Chadwick lovers to get excited about a new book so I posted the two covers. (At least they didn’t change the title!!)

The early twelfth century is a time for ambitious men to prosper, and royal servant John FitzGilbert Marshal is one of them. Raised high as the kin of the deceased King Henry battle each other for England’s throne, John reaps rich rewards but pays a terrible price for the choices he makes – as do his family. His wife, fragile, naïve Aline is hopelessly unequipped to cope with the demands of a life lived on the edge and, when John is seriously injured in battle, her worst nightmare is realised. Sybilla, bright, forthright sister to the Earl of Salisbury, finds herself used as a bargaining counter when her brother seeks to seal a truce with his troublesome neighbour, John FitzGilbert. And then there is Sybilla’s small son, William, seized hostage by the King for John’s word of honour. But sometimes keeping your honour means breaking your word…
For Review:
The Shadow Queen
This is a heavy book! Physically I mean. It’s going to give me carpal tunnel, and yes it’s only 448 pages.
Two lovers. Two very different lives. One future together that will change history.

When debutante Wallis Simpson is growing up, she devotes her teenage daydreams to one man, the future King of England, Prince Edward. But it’s Pamela Holtby, Wallis’s aristocratic best friend, who mixes within the palace circle. Wallis’s first marriage to a dashing young naval pilot is not what she dreamt of; he turns out to be a dominating bully of a man, who punishes her relentlessly. But her fated marriage does open a suprising door, to the world of Navy couriers – where navy wives are being used to transport messages around the world. This interesting turn of fate takes Wallis from the exuberant social scene in Washington to a China that is just emerging from civil war. Edward in the meantime is busy fulfilling his royal duties – and some extra-curricular ones involving married women. Until the day, just before he ascends the throne as Edward VIII, he is introduced to a very special married woman, Wallis Simpson.

Was Wallis Simpson really the monster the royal family perported her to be? Or was she an extraordinary woman who led an unimaginable life? A dramatic novel, that crosses continents and provides a unique insight into one of history’s most charismatic and multi-faceted women.

For Review:

A Sound Among The Trees
Gorgeous cover!!!!
A house shrouded in time.
A line of women with a heritage of loss.
As a young bride, Susannah Page was rumored to be a Civil War spy for the North, a traitor to her Virginian roots. Her great-granddaughter Adelaide, the current matriarch of Holly Oak, doesn’t believe that Susannah’s ghost haunts the antebellum mansion looking for a pardon, but rather the house itself bears a grudge toward its tragic past.When Marielle Bishop marries into the family and is transplanted from the arid west to her husband’s home, it isn’t long before she is led to believe that the house she just settled into brings misfortune to the women who live there.With Adelaide’s richly peppered superstitions and deep family roots at stake, Marielle must sort out the truth about Susannah Page and Holly Oak— and make peace with the sacrifices she has made for love.
And, finally, from Paperbackswap:
Remembered by T Alexander
 (Christy Award Winner for 2008!)
Fountain Creek Chronicles #3 Now I just need book 2 and I’m set with all eight of Alexander’s titles!
Though loss is often marked in a single moment, letting go of someone you love can take a lifetime.

The threat of war—and a final request—send Véronique Girard from France to a distant and uninviting country. In the Colorado Territory, she searches for the man who has held her heart since childhood—her father. Pierre Girard left Paris for the Americas to seek his fortune in fur trading, vowing to send for his wife and daughter. But twenty-five years have passed and his vow remains unfulfilled. Sifting through shards of broken promises, Véronique embarks on a dangerous search for a man she scarcely remembers.

His grief finally healed, Jack Brennan is moving on with life. After years of guiding families west, he is now working as a freighter to the mining towns surrounding Willow Springs. What he doesn’t count on is an unexpected traveling companion on his trips up into the mountains, and how one woman’s search will cause havoc with his plans… and his life.

A nice surprise from Simon & Schuster was the reprint of Jean Plaidy’s novel on Catherine de Medici, which was originally published in 1951. I already have the 1971 Pan Edition of this, but a new one is nice to read from:

Madame Serpent
2012 reprint
As a fourteen-year-old Catherine de Medici rode into France. Behind her and before her rode the nobility of Italy. She was to marry Henry of Orleans, second son of the King.
Amid the glittering fetes, masques, jousts and banquets of the immoral court in 16th century Europe, the reluctant bride became a passionate but unwanted wife.
Angry, humiliated and tortured by jealousy as she secretly spied on Henry’s lovemaking, Catherine began to plan her revenge…

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Filed under 2012 Releases, Christian Fiction, Jean Plaidy, Jody Hedlund, Mailbox Monday, Rosslyn Elliott, William Marshal

>Mailbox Monday Treasures

>Please don't steal my images!Mailbox Monday is a weekly meme that is hosted by Marcia at The Printed Page. We share what books that we found in our mailboxes last week. And I am adding what I purchased, swapped, etc.

Warning:
 Exploring Mailbox Mondays across the blogosphere will lead to toppling wishlists and to-be-read-piles! But it’s the thrill of the chase that counts!

This is a little long because I didn’t do a Mailbox Monday last weekm instead I read close to three books!

And it always helps to have a friend who likes to give away books. She is entirely truely generously awesome. Thank you! She sent me books that have been languishing on my wishlist and almost forgotten about:

Jane Boleyn by Julia Fox (PERFECT for the Tudor Mania Challenge!)
In a life of extraordinary drama, Jane Boleyn was catapulted from the obscurity of the Essex countryside to the forefront of Henry VIII’s spectacular court. Born Jane Rochford in about 1505, this daughter of an aristocratic family became lady in waiting to not just one, but five of Henry’s wives. Always at the center of court life and intrigue, Jane attended the parties, the masque balls, and the jousts, and participated in the royal births, the weddings, funerals and personal drama that swirled around the King, his wives and courtiers. What makes Jane Boleyn so unique is that she was a survivor. As Henry’s wives rose and then fell, taking so many down with them, Jane stayed on. Her story gives readers an amazing on-going view of the personal toll that Henry’s long and ruthlessly violent reign took on the people closest to him.

Doomed Queens by Kris Waldherr
Marie Antoinette, Anne Boleyn, and Mary, Queen of Scots. What did they have in common? For a while they were crowned in gold, cosseted in silk, and flattered by courtiers. But in the end, they spent long nights in dark prison towers and were marched to the scaffold where they surrendered their heads to the executioner. And they are hardly alone in their undignified demises. Throughout history, royal women have had a distressing way of meeting bad ends–dying of starvation, being burned at the stake, or expiring in childbirth while trying desperately to produce an heir. They always had to be on their toes and all too often even devious plotting, miraculous pregnancies, and selling out their sisters was not enough to keep them from forcible consignment to religious orders. From Cleopatra (suicide by asp), to Princess Caroline (suspiciously poisoned on her coronation day), there’s a gory downside to being blue-blooded when you lack a Y chromosome. Kris Waldherr’s elegant little book is a chronicle of the trials and tribulations of queens across the ages, a quirky, funny, utterly macabre tribute to the dark side of female empowerment. Over the course of fifty irresistibly illustrated and too-brief lives, Doomed Queens charts centuries of regal backstabbing and intrigue. We meet well-known figures like Catherine of Aragon, whose happy marriage to Henry VIII ended prematurely when it became clear that she was a starter wife–the first of six. And we meet forgotten queens like Amalasuntha, the notoriously literate Ostrogoth princess who overreached politically and was strangled in her bath.While their ends were bleak, these queens did not die without purpose. Their unfortunate lives are colorful cautionary tales for today’s would-be power brokers–a legacy of worldly and womanly wisdom gathered one spectacular regal ruin at a time.

The Sisters of Henry VIII by Maria Perry
A highly detailed history of intricate dynastic political tangles among England, Scotland, and their European neighbors during the 16th century. English actress, journalist, and historian Perry transports readers to a far-off time as she acquaints us with Henry VIII’s lesser-known relatives. The author delves deeply into contemporary sources from an age when royal marriages played a dominant role in the art of politics. She captures the pageantry of power politics in a time when nobility competed with lavish displays of great wealth and conspicuous consumption that in itself suggested power and prestige among the royal houses of Europe. Margaret Tudor, Henry’s elder sister, was widowed when James IV of Scotland died attacking the English at Flodden Field, a Scottish disaster. She later married a Douglas, Lord Angus, an enemy of the volatile Scottish ruling clans, causing herself much angst while fleeing danger with her two sons, potential heirs to the English throne. After a life of turmoil in near-anarchic Scotland, she is remembered as the grandmother of Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots, and great-grandmother of James VI of Scotland, who became James I of England. Mary Tudor, Henry’s younger sister, married the aged Louis XII of France, became a widow shortly thereafter, then wed the duke of Suffolk, producing more pretenders to the throne. Henry’s marriage to Anne Boleyn divided the country as many admired the devout, rejected Katharine of Aragon. Thankfully, the book includes a “House of Tudor” chart that will help general readers sort out the crowded cast of characters who shaped many of the leading events of the age. Perry’s insightful account of the king’s sisters and their timesmight well provide currently Tudor-infatuated Hollywood with a good source for future movies and miniseries.~Kirkus Reviews

The First Princess of Wales by Karen Harper
The daughter of a disgraced earl, she matched wits with a prince.

It is the fourteenth century, the height of the Medieval Age, and at the court of King Edward III of England, chivalry is loudly praised while treachery runs rampant. When the lovely and high-spirited Joan of Kent is sent to this politically charged court, she is woefully unprepared for the underhanded maneuverings of her peers.


Determined to increase the breadth of his rule, the king will use any means necessary to gain control of France—including manipulating his own son, Edward, Prince of Wales. Joan plots to become involved with the prince to scandalize the royal family, for she has learned they engineered her father’s downfall and death. But what begins as a calculated strategy soon—to Joan’s surprise—grows into love. When Joan learns that Edward returns her feelings, she is soon fighting her own, for how can she love the man that ruined her family? And, if she does, what will be the cost?
Filled with scandal, court intrigue, and prominent figures of the Medieval Age, The First Princess of Wales has at its center a wonderful love story, which is all the more remarkable because it is true. Karen Harper’s compelling, fast-paced novel tells the riveting tale of an innocent girl who marries a prince and gives birth to a king.

The Perfect Royal Mistress by Diane Haeger
Born into poverty and raised in a brothel, Nell Gwynne sells oranges in the pit at London’s King’s Theater, newly reopened after the plague and the Great Fire devastated the city. Soon, her quick sense of humor and natural charm get her noticed by those who have the means to make her life easier. But the street-smart Nell knows a woman doesn’t get ahead by selling her body. Through talent, charm, intelligence, and sheer determination—as well as a keen understanding of how the world operates—Nell works her way out of the pit and onto the stage to become the leading comedic actress of the day. Her skills and beauty quickly win the attention of all of London—eventually even catching the eye of King Charles II. Their attraction is as real as it is unlikely, and the scrappy orange girl with the pretty face and the quick wit soon finds herself plunged into the confusing and dangerous world of the court, where she learns there are few she can trust—and many whom she cannot turn her back on.
From the gritty streets of seventeenth-century London, to the backstage glamour of its theaters, to the glittering court of Charles II, The Perfect Royal Mistress is a love story for the ages, the rags-to-riches tale of a truly remarkable heroine.

And a goodie, a memoir by a faved childhood author Beverly Cleary: A Girl from Yamhill (Bev is 94 years young! Generations of children have grown up with Henry Huggins, Ramona Quimby, and all of their friends, families, and assorted pets. For everyone who has enjoyed the pranks and schemes, embarrassing moments, and all of the other poignant and colorful images of childhood brought to life in Beverly Cleary books, here is the fascinating true story of the remarkable woman who created them.
I ordered myself some goodies from The Book Depository in the UK, which was just in time since they are now out of the stock of them:

The Sun in Splendour by Jean Plaidy
Reckoned by those about him to be the most handsome man in the country, Edward the fourth has risen to the throne with the help of Warwick, the kingmaker. But even Warwick’s trusted advice cannot convince the King to ignore his passion for the beautiful widow, Elizabeth Woodville – and when she refuses to become his mistress the two are married.

Lords of the White Castle by Elizabeth Chadwick
Based on a remarkable true story of honour, treachery and love spanning the turbulent reigns of four great Mediaeval kings. Award-winning author Elizabeth Chadwick brings the thirteenth century vividly to life in the tale of Fulke FitzWarin. From inexperienced young courtier to powerful Marcher lord, from loyal knight to dangerous outlaw, from lover of many women to faithful husband, Fulke’s life story bursts across the page in authentic detail. A violent quarrel with Prince John, later King John, disrupts Fulke’s life ambition to become ‘Lord of the White Castle’ and leads him to rebel. There are perils for John at every turn. No less dramatic is the dangerous love that Fulke harbours for Maude Walter, a wealthy widow whom John wants for himself. Negotiating a maze of deceit, treachery and shifting political alliances Fulke’s striving is rewarded, but success is precarious. Personal tragedy follows the turbulence of the Magna Carta rebellion, culminating in the destruction of everything for which Fulke has fought. Yet even among the ashes he finds a reason to begin anew.

Paperbackswap:

The Last Days of Henry VIII by Robert Hutchinson
blazing narrative history that boldly captures the end of England’s most despotic ruler and his court — a time of murderous conspiracies, terrifying betrayals, and sordid intrigue Henry VIII’s crimes against his wives are well documented and have become historical lore. But much less attention has been paid to his monarchy, especially the closing years of his reign. Rich with information including details from new archival material and written with the nail-biting suspense of a modern thriller, “The Last Days of Henry VIII” offers a superb fresh look at this fascinating figure and new insight into an intriguing chapter in history. Robert Hutchinson paints a brilliant portrait of this egotistical tyrant who governed with a ruthlessness that rivals that of modern dictators; a monarch who had “no respect or fear of anyone in this world,” according to the Spanish ambassador to his court. Henry VIII pioneered the modern “show trial”: cynical propaganda exercises in which the victims were condemned before the proceedings even opened, proving the most powerful men in the land could be brought down overnight. After thirty-five years in power, Henry was a bloated, hideously obese, black-humored old recluse. And despite his having had six wives, the Tudor dynasty rested on the slight shoulders of his only male heir, the nine-year-old Prince Edward — a situation that spurred rival factions into a deadly conflict to control the throne. “The Last Days of Henry VIII” is a gripping and compelling history as fascinating and remarkable as its subject.

For review:
Eleanor the Queen by Norah Lofts (a reissue)
Eleanor is young, high-spirited, supremely intelligent, heiress to the vast Duchy of Aquitaine – at a time when a woman’s value was measured in terms of wealth. This is the story of a medieval figure – of a princess who led her own knights to the Crusades, who was bride to two kings and mother of Richard the Lion Heart.

For The King by Catherine Delors (for the June Historical Fiction Bloggers Round Table event!)
The Reign of Terror has ended, and Napoléon Bonaparte has seized power, but shifting political loyalties still tear apart families and lovers. On Christmas Eve 1800, a bomb explodes along Bonaparte’s route, narrowly missing him but striking dozens of bystanders. Chief Inspector Roch Miquel, a young policeman with a bright future and a beautiful mistress, must arrest the assassins before they attack again. Complicating Miquel’s investigation are the maneuverings of his superior, the redoubtable Fouché, the indiscretions of his own father, a former Jacobin, and two intriguing women.


Based on real events and characters and rich with historical detail, For the King takes readers through the dark alleys and glittering salons of post-revolutionary Paris and is a timeless epic of love, betrayal, and redemption.

And a giveaway win:
Lady Susan, The Watsons and Sanditon by Jane Austen (the same Sanditon that Ic ouldn’t finish because there were zero paragraph breaks or punctuation in my edition! This one will read just fine, thank you!)Penguin Classics edition

And the book that I have wanted forever but never could find it below $55.. so my husband bought it for me =)
Historical Fiction II: A Guide to the Genre (Genreflecting Advisory Series) ~ Sarah L. Johnson (Editor), a fellow blogger at Reading the Past

Johnson has updated her outstanding Historical Fiction: A Guide to the Genre (2005) by covering historical fiction from 2004 through mid-2008 and adding such new features as ISBNs for each book and keyword descriptors after each annotation. Chapter introductions have been updated to reflect changes, and a section on historical-fiction blogs has been added to the chapter on resources. This volume continues rather than replaces the earlier work, adding more than 2,700 new titles. . . . Historical Fiction was an essential purchase for public and school libraries, and Historical Fiction II will also be a must purchase since it covers the latest books in this very popular genre.” ~Booklist

I love how Sarah has the Chapters separated out.. I tried to take a pic with the iPhone but they came out yucky, I still wanted to show you though!

 Click the pics to enlarge them.

19 Comments

Filed under Austen, Diane Haeger, Elizabeth Chadwick, Jean Plaidy, Mailbox Monday, Tudor

>Mailbox Monday

>Please don't steal my images!Mailbox Monday is a weekly meme that is hosted by Marcia at The Printed Page. We share what books that we found in our mailboxes last week. And I am adding what I purchased, swapped, etc.

Warning:
 Exploring Mailbox Mondays across the blogosphere will lead to toppling wishlists and to-be-read-piles! But it’s the thrill of the chase that counts!

Books that found there way to my house included:

The Spanish Inquisition (non-fiction trilogy) by Jean Plaidy
1994 special issue by Barnes & Nobles, a hardcover in Brand new shape! The binding is beautiful and the book looks hardly touched, which is awesome for buying it cheap ($7 total with the shipping!) from an unknown used bookstore online.

The complete story of one of history’s most appalling tyrannies, begun in 1232 and destined to survive in one form or another into the 19th century. Vivid portraits of the fanatical Inquisitors and their hapless victims.”

Also for my Plaidy/Carr/Holt library:

The Song of the Siren “As England erupts in violent Jacobite upheaval, two half-sisters-one of surprising beauty and untamed spirit; the other plain, shy and dutiful-vie for the love of a man and the life of a child…”

Midsummer’s Eve “Annora Cadorson lived in Cornwell–on the Eversleigh estate right next to Rolf Hanson. Even after she sees him lead villagers in tormenting a suspected witch, she is still attracted to him. Then on a trip to Australia, Annora loses her father in an accident, and her heart to a former convict. But Rolf takes her back to Eversleigh to protect her estate from plunder.”

The ChangelingLavishly entwined narrative of the families connected to Benedict Lansdon, now a recently bereaved widower, absentee father and wealthy seeker of a Parliament seat. Narrated by Benedict’s aggrieved stepdaughter, Rebecca, this complex tale of love and betrayal concerns a three-cornered sibling relationship involving Rebecca, her half-sister, Belinda and Lucie, a country waif informally adopted by Benedict. Aware that her father blames her for her mother’s death in childbirth, Belinda takes refuge in mischievous behavior. Placid Lucie, however, fits in well with the family, though her lineage is suspect and clouded with mysterious events at St. Branok’s pool. Although Belinda seems the most obvious “changeling,” Carr sustains an air of doubt and intrigue. The ambiance of the Cornish countryside and of Victorian London permeate this piquantly Gothic family saga.”

Voices in a Haunted RoomRaised in the grand chateau of Tourville, lovely young Claudine, with her widowed mother, had fled the solitude of the French countryside as revolution torched it, sparking flames that would forever alter the landscape, their destiny, and the face of history itself.

Warmly ensconced and safe from harm in her mother’s ancestral English home, Claudine discovers a new kind of danger; turning ripe and sensuous overnight, she is torn between the love of her new stepbrothers — David, steady, scholarly, the perfect husband . . . if not the lover of her dreams; and Jonathon, so passionate, so willing to dare, far from the perfect husband, but as her first and foremost love, unsurpassed. Theirs is an amorous triangle that will burn bright through the years when England and all Europe struggle in a tyrant’s grasp, till a moment on a rocky beach when one of the two men Claudine adores falls victim to a power beyond destiny.”

Also from Paperbackswap:
Signora Da Vinci (2009) by Robin Maxwell, (a fantastic person as well as author..now I own all 8 of her books)
“Following the “absolutely superb” Mademoiselle Boleyn, novelist Robin Maxwell delves into the life of Caterina-the adventurer, alchemist, and mother of Leonardo da Vinci. Caterina was fifteen years old in 1452 when she bore an illegitimate child in the tiny village of Vinci. His name was Leonardo, and he was destined to change the world forever. Caterina suffered much cruelty as an unmarried mother and had no recourse when her boy was taken away from her. But no one knew the secrets of her own childhood, nor could ever have imagined the dangerous and heretical scheme she would devise to protect and watch over her remarkable son. This is her story.”

 

For Review from Sourcebooks, another great reissue:

Georgette Heyer’s Regency World by Jennifer Kloester
To enhance my education on all things Regency and Austen-like, and to get me ready for Mesmered’s Ball:
Georgette Heyer fans will delight in Jennifer Kloester’s definitive guide to her Regency world: the people, the shops, clubs and towns they frequented, the parties and seasons they celebrated, how they ate, drank, dressed, socialized, voted, shopped and drove. A fun read for any Heyer fan.”

And I purchased online a fantastic edition to go with last week’s Collectors Library Purchase:
Lady Chatterly’s Lover by D.H. Lawrence (1928) “The story concerns a young married woman, Constance (Lady Chatterley), whose upper-class husband, Clifford Chatterley, has been paralyzed and rendered impotent. Her sexual frustration leads her into an affair with the gamekeeper, Oliver Mellors. This novel is about Constance’s realization that she cannot live with the mind alone; she must also be alive physically.”

The Forsyte Saga by John Galsworthy (c. 1961)orsyte family tree on endpapers; Comprises three complete novels The Man of Property (1906), In Chancery (1920) and To Let (1921) “A social satire of epic proportions, convincing in its fidelity to life and a work of art. Advances the theme of beauty trapped in a world of material complacency. To read this is to glimpse a picture of an unforgettable family in a brilliant era. 715 pp. and includes a matching ribbon marker.”
THE TREASURY OF AMERICAN SHORT STORIES edited by Nancy Sullivan
Since the time of Washington Irving, the short story has been the vehicle for many of America’s best prose writers, eventually evolving into a distinct form of American expression and storytelling. Sixty-three classic works by 63 American masters of the short story are included in this diverse collection (some of the selections rarely included in an anthology). Writers include Mark Twain, Edgar Allan Poe, Washington Irving, Herman Melville, Henry James, William Faulkner, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Joyce Carol Oates, John Updike, John Cheever, Dorothy Parker, LeRoi Jones, Ann Beattie, Nancy Potter, James Baldwin, O. Henry, and many more. All the selections deliver to the reader a sense of the richness and variety of the short story in American literature.”

Elizabeth the Great by Elizabeth Jenkins “This landmark biography gives an intimate portrait of the enigmatic Virgin Queen”

I snagged some London/UK travel books at a garage sale for dirt cheap. I love seeing the photos and reading about the history and renovations of the castles that frequent my HF reads!  Books I found were In & Around London; Windsor Castle, Balmoral Castle, Glasgow, Robert Burns: Scotland

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Filed under Georgette Heyer, Jean Plaidy, Mailbox Monday

>Mailbox Monday!

>Mailbox MondayMailbox Monday is a weekly meme that is hosted by Marcia at The Printed Page. We share what books that we found in our mailboxes last week. And I am adding what I purchased, swapped, etc.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my littlest one!

Warning: Exploring Mailbox Mondays across the blogosphere will lead to toppling wishlists and to-be-read-piles! But it’s the thrill of the chase that counts!

Did you hear about my Tudor Mania Challenge coming up for May, June and July? Do you have Tudor Themed reads? I have these now to add to my list to read for the challenge:

HENRY VIII: The Tudor Tyrant by Richard Rex (Feb 2010)
“The future Henry VIII was born on 29 June 1491, the second son of Henry VII and Elizabeth of York. This talented, athletic and temperamental man might have proved something of a handful to his elder brother, Prince Arthur, the firstborn, had he survived to wear the crown. But Henry’s life was changed forever when Arthur died in 1502 and the course of English history took a very unexpected turn… “

THE EARLY LOVES OF ANNE BOLEYN by Josephine Wilkinson (Feb. 2010)
http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?lt1=_blank&bc1=000000&IS2=1&bg1=FFFFFF&fc1=000000&lc1=0000FF&t=theburrev-20&o=1&p=8&l=as1&m=amazon&f=ifr&md=10FE9736YVPPT7A0FBG2&asins=1848684304“Anne Boleyn is perhaps the most engaging of Henry VIII’s Queens. For her he would divorce his wife of some twenty years standing, he would take on the might of the Roman Church and the Holy Roman Empire; he would even alienate his own people in order to win her favor and, eventually, her hand.
But before Henry came into her life Anne Boleyn had already wandered down love’s winding path. She had learned its twists and turns during her youth spent at the courts of the Low Countries and France, where she had been sent as a result of her scandalous behavior with her father’s butler and chaplain. Here her education had been directed by two of the strongest women of the age – and one of the weakest.
Returning to England she was courted by three different suitors in three very different circumstances. The first was James Butler, with whom an arranged marriage was designed to settle a family dispute over the earldom of Ormond. Anne then captured the heart of Henry Percy, whose genuine love for her was reciprocated and would have lead to Anne becoming countess of Northumberland had the couple not been cruelly torn apart in the interests of politics and worldly ambition. Lastly, Thomas Wyatt, the dreamy young poet and ambassador who was captivated by Anne but who stepped aside when he saw that he had a rival: none other than the great King Henry VIII himself.”

CATHERINE PARR by Elizabeth Norton (Feb. 2010)
http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?lt1=_blank&bc1=000000&IS2=1&bg1=FFFFFF&fc1=000000&lc1=0000FF&t=theburrev-20&o=1&p=8&l=as1&m=amazon&f=ifr&md=10FE9736YVPPT7A0FBG2&asins=1848685823
Wife, widow, mother, survivor, the story of the last queen of Henry VIII.

The sixth wife of Henry VIII was also the most married queen of England, outliving three husbands before finally marrying for love. Catherine Parr was enjoying her freedom after her first two arranged marriages when she caught the attention of the elderly Henry VIII. She was the most reluctant of all Henry’s wives, offering to become his mistress rather than submit herself to the dangers of becoming Henry’s queen. This only served to increase Henry’s enthusiasm for the young widow and Catherine was forced to abandon her lover for the decrepit king.

Whilst Catherine was reluctant to be a queen she quickly made the role a success, providing Henry VIII with a domestic tranquillity that he had not known since the early days of his first marriage. For Henry, Catherine was a satisfactory choice but he never stopped considering a new marriage, to Catherine’s terror. Catherine is remembered as the wife who survived but, without her strength of character it could have been very different. When informed that the king had ordered her arrest for heresy, she took decisive action, defusing the king’s anger and once again becoming his ‘own sweetheart’. It was a relief for Catherine when Henry finally died and she secretly married the man she had been forced to abandon for Henry, Thomas Seymour. During her retirement, Catherine’s heart was broken by her discovery of a love affair between her stepdaughter, Princess Elizabeth, and her husband. She never recovered from the birth of her only child and, in her fever accused her husband of plotting her death.

Catherine Parr is often portrayed as a matronly and dutiful figure. Her life was indeed one of duty but, throughout, she attempted to escape her destiny and find happiness for herself. Ultimately, Catherine was betrayed and her great love affair with Thomas Seymour turned sour.”

Purchased from Half Price Books (save me, I can’t stop!):
The Gilded Chamber: A Novel of Queen Esther by Rebecca Kohn
(2004)
I love this cover, even though there is a boo*ie on there! I already had the Paperback so that’s going to Paperbackswap.

“In the bestselling tradition of The Red Tent, a dazzling novel of the extraordinary biblical heroine who ascended to the position of queen and sacrificed love in exchange for the lives of her people.The story of Esther-whose mesmerizing beauty was matched only by her clear-eyed wisdom-has inspired women for centuries. Now her suspenseful tale comes to life through the eyes of a contemporary woman, debut novelist Rebecca Kohn. Capturing the passionate longings and political danger that have made Esther’s legacy so timeless, The Gilded Chamber blends meticulous research with gripping storytelling to transport us to an ancient time in the far-flung Persian Empire.

Orphaned and terrified, Esther journeys across the River Tigris to start a new life with her cousin-a man well positioned in the court, and to whom she is betrothed. Her transformation from girl to woman unfolds against a lavish backdrop of the royal court and harem, rife with intrigue and daring alliances. Esther wins much of what she seeks: the heart of a king, and the deliverance of her people. But her rise to the role of queen is not without a price; she must turn her back on all that she ever wanted, and give her body to a man she can never love.
In a haunting, unflinching voice, The Gilded Chamber illuminates an epic dilemma between the yearnings of a woman’s heart and the obligations imposed on her by fate. In Esther’s case, choice makes history-and unforgettable reading.”

The Unruly Queen: The Life of Queen Caroline by Flora Fraser (1996, biography)
There are two types of British queens,” says Columbia University historian David Cannadine.
“Those who hold the position strictly as wife of the king, and those (few) who have ruled as sovereign in absence of a male heir.” Queen Caroline, who briefly held title when King George IV was crowned in 1820 is numbered among the former. Vulgar, selfish, and undisciplined, she fled from the husband she hated and became nearly as well known for her promiscuity as King George IV himself. Viewed by the public as a wronged woman, she survived George’s attempts to dissolve the marriage, but opinion turned against her and she died in 1821.”

King’s Fool: A Notorious King, His Six Wives, and the One Man Who Knew All Their Secrets by Margaret Campbell Barnes (2009 reissue)

First published in 1959 by world-renowned historical novelist Margaret Campbell Barnes, King’s Fool is a remarkable insider tale of the intrigue, ruthlessness, and majesty of the Tudor court. When country lad Will Somers lands himself the plum position of jester to the mercurial King Henry VIII, he has no idea that he’s just been handed a front-row seat to history.
With a seat near the throne and an ear to the floor, Somers witnesses firsthand the dizzying power struggles and sly scheming that marked the reign of the fiery Tudor king. Somers watches the rise and fall of some of the most enigmatic women in history, including the tragic Katherine of Aragon, the doomed Anne Boleyn, and Mary Tudor, who confided in the jester as she made the best of the fragile life of a princess whom everyone wished was a prince.
Based on the life of the real Will Somers, King’s Fool is infused with Margaret Campbell Barnes’ trademark rich detail and historical accuracy. This intimate peek into the royal chambers gives readers a unique view on one of the most tumultuous periods in English history.”

Catherine de Medici: A Biography by Leonie Frieda (2003)
Color plate illustrations, map, genealogy chart, beautiful color flyleaf, London import, 440 pages.. woo hoo
Catherine de Medici was half French, half Italian. Orphaned in infancy, she was the sole legitimate heiress to the Medici family fortune. Married at fourteen to the future Henri II of France, she was constantly humiliated by his influential mistress Diane de Poitiers. When her husband died as a result of a duelling accident in Paris – Leonie Frieda’s magnificient, throat-grabbing opening chapter – Catherine was made queen regent during the short reign of her eldest son (married to Mary Queen of Scots and like many of her children he died young). When her second son became king she was the power behind the throne.
She nursed dynastic ambitions, but was continually drawn into political and religious intrigues between catholics and protestants that plagued France for much of the later part of her life.. It had always been said that she was implicated in the notorious Saint Barthlomew’s Day Massacre, together with the king and her third son who succeeded to the throne in 1574, but was murdered – he was left standing with his assassin’s dagger in one hand, and his own entrails in the other. Her political influence waned, but she survived long enough to ensure the succession of her son-in-law who had married her daughter Margaret.
Leonie Frieda has returned to original sources and re-read the thousands of letters left by Catherine. There has not been a biography in English of Catherine for many years and she believes that the time has come to show her – like Queen Elizabeth I of England – as one of the most influential women in sixteenth-century Europe.”

The Rose of Martinique: A Life of Napoleon’s Josephine by Andrea Stuart

Josephine Bonaparte was one of the most remarkable women of the modern era. In this acclaimed biography, Andrea Stuart brings her so utterly to life that we finally understand why Napoleon’s last word before dying was the name he had given her, Josephine. Using diaries and letters, Stuart expertly re-creates Josephine’s whirlwind of a life that began with an isolated Caribbean childhood and led to a marriage that would usher her onto the world stage and crown her empress of France. Josephine’s life gives us a picture of the terrible vicissitudes of the times. She managed to be in the forefront of every important episode of her era’s turbulent history. After the Terror in Paris, the brilliant corrupt director Paul Barras rescued her from near-starvation. She epitomized post revolutionary Paris with its wild decadence and love of all things exotic, and it was there as its star that she first caught the eye of a young Corsican general who was to become the colossus of the age, Napoleon Bonaparte. A true partner to Napoleon, she was a political adviser, hostess par excellence, his confidante, and passionate lover.”
The Rebels of Ireland (The Dublin Saga, #2) by Edward Rutherfurd

The Princes of Ireland, the first volume of Edward Rutherfurd’s magisterial epic of Irish history, ended with the disastrous Irish revolt of 1534 and the disappearance of the sacred Staff of Saint Patrick. The Rebels of Ireland opens with an Ireland transformed; plantation, the final step in the centuries-long English conquest of Ireland, is the order of the day, and the subjugation of the native Irish Catholic population has begun in earnest.

Edward Rutherfurd brings history to life through the tales of families whose fates rise and fall in each generation: Brothers who must choose between fidelity to their ancient faith or the security of their families; a wife whose passion for a charismatic Irish chieftain threatens her comfortable marriage to a prosperous merchant; a young scholar whose secret rebel sympathies are put to the test; men who risk their lives and their children’s fortunes in the tragic pursuit of freedom, and those determined to root them out forever. Rutherfurd spins the saga of Ireland’s 400-year path to independence in all its drama, tragedy, and glory through the stories of people from all strata of society–Protestant and Catholic, rich and poor, conniving and heroic.

His richly detailed narrative brings to life watershed moments and events, from the time of plantation settlements to the “Flight of the Earls,” when the native aristocracy fled the island, to Cromwell’s suppression of the population and the imposition of the harsh anti-Catholic penal laws. He describes the hardships of ordinary people and the romantic, doomed attempt to overthrow the Protestant oppressors, which ended in defeat at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690, and the departure of the “Wild Geese.” In vivid tones Rutherfurd re-creates Grattan’s Parliament, Wolfe Tone’s attempted French invasion of 1798, the tragic rising of Robert Emmet, the Catholic campaign of Daniel O’Connell, the catastrophic famine, the mass migration to America, and the glorious Irish Renaissance of Yeats and Joyce. And through the eyes of his characters, he captures the rise of Charles Stewart Parnell and the great Irish nationalists and the birth of an Ireland free of all ties to England. A tale of fierce battles, hot-blooded romances, and family and political intrigues, The Rebels of Ireland brings the story begun in The Princes of Ireland to a stunning conclusion.” *I need to buy the first one.

And the next series that I’ll need to buy the first one for is the Pendragon trilogy. Ms. Lucy, of Enchanted by Josephine is a doll and sent me books two and three by Helen Hollick:
Pendragon’s Banner (Pendragon’s Banner Trilogy, #2)

“At age twenty-four, King Arthur has the kingdom he fought so hard for and a new young family. But keeping the throne of Britain—and keeping his wife and three sons safe—proves far from easy. Two enemies in particular threaten everything that is dear to him: Winifred, Arthur’s vindictive first wife, and Morgause, priestess of the Mother and malevolent Queen of the North. Both have royal ambitions of their own.
In this story of harsh battles, secret treasonous plots, and the life-threatening politics of early Britain’s dark ages, author Helen Hollick boldly reintroduces King Arthur as you’ve never seen him before.”

Shadow of the King (Pendragon’s Banner Trilogy, #3)

Arthur is dead. His widow, Gwenhwyfar, left at Caer Cadan with their small daughter, faces overthrow by the powerful council headed by Arthur’s uncle. But, unknown to her, events in France and Germany mean that a far mightier battle lies ahead. This is the third volume in the “Pendragon’s Banner” trilogy.”

From Paperbackswap, thanks to Arleigh for some credits, I received:
Lament for a Lost Lover by Philippa Carr (Jean Plaidy) “Against the turbulent background of Cromwellian England is set this sweeping tale of a beautiful young woman’s journey from innocence to wisdom–from love to treachery. Lovely, naive Arabella Tolworthy had grown accustomed to her innocence –until the colorful, charismatic actress, Harriet Main, and the dashing Edwin Eversleigh burst into her life. Arabella did pot know it, but these two people would completely change her future. Harriet, for one, would return again and again to influence Arabella’s happiness. As for Edwin, Arabella fell deliriously in love with him and married him. But soon after the wedding she found herself a widow. She returned to England with the new reign of Charles II, ready to devote the rest of her life to memories of the past. Only one person had the power to free Arabella from her chaste and wealthy prison. That was Carleton Eversleigh, Edwin’s cousin. But was he doing this for Arabella’s sake… or his own?”

Knave of Hearts by Philippa Carr Daughters of England (book 10) Also known as Zipporah’s Daughter: “Lottie, child of the passionate liaison between Zipporah and Gerard d’ Aubigne, had loved her ambitious cousin Dickon since childhood. But when Dickon marries an heiress she is forced to begin a new life with her aristocratic father’s family in France.”

The Judas Kiss by Victoria Holt (Jean Plaidy) “Pippa Ewell had left behind the dark and forbidding Greystone Manor – also the memories of Conrad, the handsome stranger who had swept her breathlessly into his arms and heart. But Pippa returned to find the truth behind her sister’s mysterious death. And suddenly the fairy-tale kindgom glittered with evil and danger…”

The Love Child by Philippa Carr “Priscilla Eversleigh hides Jocelyn Frinton, a young man who is traitor to the government and wanted alive. They fall in love, but tragically Jocelyn is captured and executed. Priscilla later finds out that she’s going to have his baby.
Harriet Main, a friend of the family, helps to keep Priscilla’s pregnancy a secret by inviting Priscilla on a vacation to Venice; upon arriving, Harriet will discover that she’s “pregnant” and decide to have the child there.
In Venice, Priscilla is able to hide her pregnancy by wearing long, concealing clothes. She is pursued by Beaumont Granville, who tries to kidnap her. Fortunately, Harriet’s son, Leigh, who was raised as Priscilla’s brother, rescues her.
Priscilla gives birth to a lovely baby girl, whom everyone thinks is Harriet’s, and they return home to England. But at home there is cival unrest among the royal family. King Charles has died, and two men are struggling for the throne. Priscilla’s father gets involved, and is arrested. Desperate to save her father from execution, Priscilla agrees to let Beaumont help free her father, but for a price: Priscilla must spend the night with him.”

Good King Harry by Denise Giardina (A Novel)
“Set against the sweeping backdrop of medieval England, Good King Harry brilliantly brings to life one of the most fascinating, conflicted monarchs in history: Henry V. Evoking the sights and sounds of fifteenth-century London, acclaimed author Denise Giardina artfully illuminates the double-edged sword of power–and the momentous events that unfold in the making of a king. . . .
A contemplative soul imbued with a compassion and mental agility beyond his years, young Harry, Prince of Wales–the future King Henry V–is marked early as the object of his father’s scorn. For in the eyes of Lord Bolingbroke, his son is but a weak link in the House of Lancaster with a dangerous loyalty to the rebellious Welsh that must be broken.
As Harry reaches maturity, the battle within his heart grows fierce. Torn between the sensitivities of his soul and the uncompromising king he must become, Harry embarks on an odyssey rife with political agendas, sexual intrigue, and military combat–ultimately transforming into the accomplished monarch a volatile England so urgently demands.”

A Secret Alchemy by Emma Darwin
something about 15th century, 21st century, royalty, England, history, historical fiction, Edward IV, Edward V, fiction, Henry VI, princes in the tower, Richard III, time-slip, Wars of the Roses, Elizabeth Woodville

In a fabulous win from Amy, the Still Too Cool for School Blogger over at Passages to The Past:
Drood by Dan Simmons .. I scoped out and entered for this book over at least 5 blogs, I wanted this win for my mama. Woo hoo! I also wanted Black Hills (I was born there!) but I was not that lucky.

“On June 9, 1865, while traveling by train to London with his secret mistress, 53-year-old Charles Dickens–at the height of his powers and popularity, the most famous and successful novelist in the world and perhaps in the history of the world–hurtled into a disaster that changed his life forever.
Did Dickens begin living a dark double life after the accident? Were his nightly forays into the worst slums of London and his deepening obsession with corpses, crypts, murder, opium dens, the use of lime pits to dissolve bodies, and a hidden subterranean London mere research . . . or something more terrifying?
Just as he did in The Terror, Dan Simmons draws impeccably from history to create a gloriously engaging and terrifying narrative. Based on the historical details of Charles Dickens’s life and narrated by Wilkie Collins (Dickens’s friend, frequent collaborator, and Salieri-style secret rival), DROOD explores the still-unsolved mysteries of the famous author’s last years and may provide the key to Dickens’s final, unfinished work: The Mystery of Edwin Drood. Chilling, haunting, and utterly original, DROOD is Dan Simmons at his powerful best.”

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>Mailbox Monday Time

>Mailbox MondayMailbox Monday is a weekly meme that is hosted by Marcia at The Printed Page. We share what books that we found in our mailboxes last week. And I am adding what I purchased, swapped, etc.
Warning: Exploring Mailbox Mondays across the blogosphere will lead to toppling wishlists and to-be-read-piles! But it’s the thrill of the chase that counts!

There was no Mailbox Monday at The Burton Review last week because I only recieved two books on Saturday and I actually don’t get on the computer much during the weekend. SO those two are added to this lot. The slow week of last week was completely redemptive this week.

The too cool for school blogger, Amy at Passages to the Past, sent this one my way. I missed out last year so I am looking forward to this one.

Ice Land by Betsy Tobin
Iceland, AD 1000

Freya knows that her people are doomed. Warned by the Fates of an impending disaster, she must embark on a journey to find a magnificent gold necklace, one said to possess the power to alter the course of history. But even as Freya travels deep into the mountains of Iceland, the country is on the brink of war. The new world order of Christianity is threatening the old ways of Iceland’s people, and tangled amidst it all are two star-crossed lovers who destiny draws them together-even as their families are determined to tear them apart.
Infused with the rich history and mythology of Iceland, Betsy Tobin’s sweeping novel is an epic adventure of forbidden love, lust, jealousy, faith and magical wonder set under the shadow of a smoldering volcano.”

From Swaptree:

Secret for A Nightingale by Victoria Holt aka Jean Plaidy
As a young girl in India, beautiful, high-spirited Susanna Pleydell had first became aware of her special gifts to soothe the sick. But she had sacrificed that calling when she married the dashing and sophisticated Aubrey St. Clare. When they return home to London, however, Aubrey has changed. Susanna discovers she has married a man with a weakness for opium and the occult. And even more menacing, Aubrey has met the sinister Dr. Damien Adar, whose hold over him is fierce and frightening….”

Also from Swaptree:
Penhallow by Georgette Heyer (1942)
The death of menacing old man Adam Penhallow, on the eve of his birthday, seems at first to be by natural causes. But Penhallow had ruled his Cornish roost with an iron will and a sharp tongue, playing one relative against another and giving both servants and kin cause to hate him, so that when it emerges that he was poisoned, there are more than a dozen prime suspects.”

In celebration of all things William Marshal, of The Greatest Knight fame by Elizabeth Chadwick, I just could not resist these bodice rippers:
both of the following books by Mary Pershall from Paperbackswap (I received another one of this series a few weeks ago):

A Shield of Roses

“Lady Eve MacMurrough, fairest of Erin’s fair flowers, her flashing emerald eyes held secrets no man could resist. Defiant daughter of one king and willful ward of another, she would bring the purity of true love to her marriage bed.
Sir Richard FiztGilbert deClare, sitting astride his great black war horse Taran, no English knight was bolder. To the tempestous Lady Eve he had pledged his troth, but he longed to posses in timeless ecstasy her wild, resisting heart.
Born in a fierce, feudal world as cruel as it was courtly, theirs was the rapturous love destined to change the face of the Irish nation forever.”

 Dawn of the White Rose
“Isabel de Clare. Her tawny beauty was a King’s prize, to be locked within a brooding castle until she exchanged its gray walls for a husband’s tyranny…

William Marshal. The towering knight armed with a will of steel, he conquered Isabel’s senses in a single blazing night.

Lovers bound by destiny. His power matched her pride. Their passion was a battlefield with no quarter given – and none asked. And with every battle they gambled what they held most dear…the tenderest of loves, in the heat of ceaseless challenge so dearly gained, and so easily lost… “

And a fabulous swap from Paperbackswap, woohoo:

Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel, which every one else talked about when it won the Booker Prize last year. (560 pages! 10/13/2009)
In the ruthless arena of King Henry VIII’s court, only one man dares to gamble his life to win the king’s favor and ascend to the heights of political power.
England in the 1520s is a heartbeat from disaster. If the king dies without a male heir, the country could be destroyed by civil war. Henry VIII wants to annul his marriage of twenty years, and marry Anne Boleyn. The pope and most of Europe opposes him. The quest for the king’s freedom destroys his adviser, the brilliant Cardinal Wolsey, and leaves a power vacuum.
Into this impasse steps Thomas Cromwell. Cromwell is a wholly original man, a charmer and a bully, both idealist and opportunist, astute in reading people and a demon of energy: he is also a consummate politician, hardened by his personal losses, implacable in his ambition. But Henry is volatile: one day tender, one day murderous. Cromwell helps him break the opposition, but what will be the price of his triumph?
In inimitable style, Hilary Mantel presents a picture of a half-made society on the cusp of change, where individuals fight or embrace their fate with passion and courage. With a vast array of characters, overflowing with incident, the novel re-creates an era when the personal and political are separated by a hairbreadth, where success brings unlimited power but a single failure means death.”
For a future review:

No Will But His: A Novel of Kathryn Howard by Sarah A. Hoyt (April 6, 2010) (she also wrote under a penname Plain Jane, and I LOVED THAT ONE!)

As the bereft, orphaned cousin to the ill-fated Anne Boleyn, Katherine Howard knows better than many the danger of being favored by the King. But she is a Howard, and therefore ambitious, so she assumes the role Henry VIII has assigned her-his untouched child bride, his adored fifth wife. But her innocence is imagined, the first of many lies she will have to tell to gain the throne. And the path that she will tread to do so is one fraught with the same dangers that cost Queen Anne her head.”

Writing Jane Austen by Elizabeth Aston (April 13, 2010)

Jane Austen for the twenty-first century! Mayhem ensues when a struggling young writer is chosen to complete an unfinished manuscript by a certain famous novelist… Critically acclaimed and award-winning — but hardly bestselling — author Georgina Jackson can’t get past the first chapter of her second book. When she receives an urgent email from her agent, Georgina is certain it’s bad news. Shockingly, she’s offered a commission to complete a newly discovered manuscript by a major nineteenth-century author. Skeptical at first about her ability to complete the manuscript, Georgina is horrified to know that the author in question is Jane Austen.
Torn between pushing through or fleeing home to America, Georgina relies on the support of her banker-turned-science student roommate, Henry, and his quirky teenage sister, Maud — a serious Janeite. With a sudden financial crisis looming, the only way Georgina can get by is to sign the hugely lucrative contract and finish the book. But first she has to admit she’s never actually read Jane Austen!”

And check out this win! I won this from Wonders And Marvels site, which is such fun with odd historical details galore.
For The Soul of France: Culture Wars in the Age of Dreyfus (Jan. 2010) by Frederick Brown (perfect for the French Historicals Reading Challenge hosted by Enchanted by Josephine!)

Brown shows us how Paris’s most iconic monuments that rose up during those years bear witness to the passionate decades-long quarrel. At one end of Paris was Gustave Eiffel’s tower, built in iron and more than a thousand feet tall, the beacon of a forward-looking nation; at Paris’ other end, at the highest point in the city, the basilica of the Sacre-Coeur, atonement for the country’s sins and moral laxity whose punishment was France’s defeat in the war . . .

Brown makes clear that the Dreyfus Affair — the cannonade of the 1890s — can only be understood in light of these converging forces. The Affair shaped the character of public debate and informed private life. At stake was the fate of a Republic born during the Franco-Prussian War and reared against bitter opposition.

The losses that abounded during this time — the financial loss suffered by thousands in the crash of the Union Generale, a bank founded in 1875 to promote Catholic interests with Catholic capital outside the Rothschilds’ sphere of influence, along with the failure of the Panama Canal Company — spurred the partisan press, which blamed both disasters on Jewry.
The author writes how the roiling conflicts that began thirty years before Dreyfus did not end with his exoneration in 1900. Instead they became the festering point that led to France’s surrender to Hitler’s armies in 1940, when the Third Republic fell and the Vichy government replaced it, with Marshal Petain heralded as the latest incarnation of Joan of Arc, France’s savior . . .”

BIG NEWS!
My new Half-Price bookstore finally opened.. about a mile away.. so that’s where many lunch breaks will be spent. French Fries to go and Books!
My first purchases, with promises of a loving relationship to come with many more future purchases:
Click the linked titles to go to the Goodreads page with a description and reviews.

Mary Queen of Scots: A Novel by Margaret George (Arleigh says there’s some strange s*x scene in this one)..880 pages
The Autobiography of Henry VIII with Notes by His Fool, Will Somers by Margaret George (has anyone finished this one?) ..944 pages
The Memoirs of Cleopatra by Margaret George ..976 pages
The Crimson Petal and the White by Michael Faber .. 944 pages
London: The Novel by Edward Rutherfurd .. 829 pages
Mary Stewart’s Merlin Trilogy by Mary Stewart ..928 pages
The Last Boleyn: A Novel by Karen Harper ..a measly 592 pages

What are your thoughts on these selections? Have you read any of these? I am really looking forward to the Margaret George books, but they are HUGE! HUGE! If there was a chunkster challenge, these would suffice. I’ll need to swear off review requests in order to read one of these, they would probably take me two weeks, three weeks if it’s a snoozer.
And I did buy some at Half Price Books over the weekend but I’m saving them for next week.
What books did you receive this week?

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Filed under Jean Plaidy, Mailbox Monday, Mary Pershall, Tudor