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What Are We All Reading?
June 5, 2010
2:41 pm
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Bella44
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The only ones of those that I've read are the Alison Weir ones.  'Innocent Traitor' was the better of the two, for some reason I just couldn't warm to her Elizabeth!  I don't think Weir is that great a novelist, maybe it's because she writes in the first person which I tend not to like so much and its a pity but there seems to be a fashion for that in historical fiction at the moment!

I've never heard of Mary M. Luke before but 'The Nonsuch Lure' sounds really interesting and mysterious.  Might have to try and get a copy sometime  Laugh

June 6, 2010
10:49 am
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TinaII2None
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Bella44 said:

The only ones of those that I've read are the Alison Weir ones.  'Innocent Traitor' was the better of the two, for some reason I just couldn't warm to her Elizabeth!  I don't think Weir is that great a novelist, maybe it's because she writes in the first person which I tend not to like so much and its a pity but there seems to be a fashion for that in historical fiction at the moment!

I've never heard of Mary M. Luke before but 'The Nonsuch Lure' sounds really interesting and mysterious.  Might have to try and get a copy sometime  Laugh


I'm tired of first person, but Smile that's my personal preference. Seems I've been reading first person since Jane Eyre and that's a while back LOL When I read historical fiction, I'd much prefer third person because it gives one a chance to “hear” what each character is thinking. The other way always felt so limiting (and I always get such a kick out of the heroine trying to describe herself without sounding too full of it if she's attractive). Anyway…

Mary Luke was the first historian I ever read when it came to the Tudors, but if you do read any of her histories, remember that she was writing in the 1960's and into the early 1970's and many of her sources are from the 19th century, so we've learned a good deal since her research. But even after reading Plowden and Weir and Erickson and Starkey and others, I have a soft spot for Ms. Luke. Her Prologue alone to A Crown for Elizabeth said what it often takes some Tudor historians chapters to express: that the children of Henry VIII were unique in their own way, and held the throne and their Crowns in great esteem. She was the first to make the Tudors fully alive for me, so I still admire her writing.

Do try to find The Nonsuch Lure if you can — I think Amazon.com had it not long ago. Not giving anything away, but one of my favorite scenes is when Henry — who has already decided to raze her home for his new palace — meets the silver-haired heroine (in the 16th century part), Chloe Cuddington as she pleads for her family's estate, their little villlage and the monastery. You can almost “see” Henry's gears turning: wife or mistress? Mistress or wife? Wink 

Henry: Mistress Anne, will you teach the king of England how they dance in the French court?
Anne: There is nothing that France can teach England, your majesty.
King Henry VIII: Well said. Well said.
– Anne of the Thousand Days (1969)

June 6, 2010
11:09 am
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Sharon
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Has anyone found a book written about Henry's sister Mary?  I don't believe I have read anything strictly about her life. Nor have I found a book dealing with Margaret. Any ideas?

June 6, 2010
11:30 am
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TinaII2None
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Sharon said:

Has anyone found a book written about Henry's sister Mary?  I don't believe I have read anything strictly about her life. Nor have I found a book dealing with Margaret. Any ideas?


Amazon has something called The Sisters of Henry VIII but it gets mixed reviews. I thought I remembered hearing about another book on them from years back, but drawing a blank right now. Frown

Henry: Mistress Anne, will you teach the king of England how they dance in the French court?
Anne: There is nothing that France can teach England, your majesty.
King Henry VIII: Well said. Well said.
– Anne of the Thousand Days (1969)

June 9, 2010
4:22 am
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wreckmasterjay
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Just started reading House of Treason, a book about the Howards. So far only read the first ten pages about the Battle of Bosworth Field and it seems a pretty good one so far. A friend of mine saw my sudden Tudor obsession and bought me it when I was in hospital.

Anyone else read it? Just how bad were the Howards then????

Everyone remembers a hero.

June 9, 2010
10:11 am
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HannahL
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I haven't read these but I want to.  I have to say, though, that I no longer even pay attention to the reviews on Amazon.  There are so many different strong opinions and I just never know if I can rely on them. 

June 10, 2010
11:07 am
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DuchessofBrittany
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Sharon said:

Has anyone found a book written about Henry's sister Mary?  I don't believe I have read anything strictly about her life. Nor have I found a book dealing with Margaret. Any ideas?


Sharon,

  I bought a book when I was in England titled “Sisters to the King: The tumultuous lives of Henry VIII's sisters— Margaret of Scotland and Mary of France” by Maria Perry. I was quite good, a lot of detail about both Margarte and Mary, who I knew little about. It may be published under another name in America, but if you are looking to know more about Henry's sisters, it is probably a good choice. The book was given good reviews by both David Starkey and Antonia Fraser. I hope this helps!

"By daily proof you shall find me to be to you both loving and kind" Anne Boleyn

June 10, 2010
11:45 am
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Bella44
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I was given 'Sisters to the King' a while ago but I still haven't got round to reading it yet!!!!!

I've just picked up 'The Confession of Katherine Howard' by Suzannah Dunn which i plan on getting stuck into after I've finished my Agatha Christie bender!  Anyone else here a fan of Agatha Christie or murder mysteries in general?

Oh, and I caught a 'Miss Marple' on TV the other night and Natalie Dormer was in it!  Unfortunately we had a power cut for about fifteen minutes as it was a really stormy night so I missed the end!  Still don't know 'whodunnit'… Yell

June 10, 2010
12:20 pm
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Sharon
Binghamton, NY
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DuchessofBrittany, thanks for the Referral.  I have just ordered “Sisters To The King” on Amazon.  The book is coming from England and won't be here until next month, but that is ok.  It should be here in time for me to take it on vacation with me.  In the meantime I hve plenty of books sitting here begging to be read. 

June 27, 2010
5:27 pm
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Impish_Impulse
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I'm currently reading Antonia Fraser's bio of Marie Antoinette. I'm up to the point of her marriage, and it seems quite even-handed to me. It's sympathetic, but acknowledges her flaws.

                        survivor ribbon                             

               "Don't knock at death's door. 

          Ring the bell and run. He hates that."    

June 28, 2010
8:12 am
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Sharon
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I am in the middle of Virgin and the Crab, By Robert Parry, and I am loving it.

July 9, 2010
6:00 am
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SarahD
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I have two books on the go at the moment. “Elizabeth's Women” by Tracey Borman (who is a graduate and former lecturer at my former university!) and Elizabeth I by David Starkey.  I have read loads on Anne Boleyn but knew very little of her daughter, Elizabeth, so I picked up these two books from the library and I can't put them down. Laugh What an amazing life she led, full of uncertainty, terror, sadness, and ultimately triumph.

Sarah

July 9, 2010
7:09 am
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TinaII2None
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Just read the reviews of Elizabeth's Women over on Amazon UK and am happy to see that it will be available in the States in September! Thanks for the recommendation.

Henry: Mistress Anne, will you teach the king of England how they dance in the French court?
Anne: There is nothing that France can teach England, your majesty.
King Henry VIII: Well said. Well said.
– Anne of the Thousand Days (1969)

August 3, 2010
6:12 pm
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Noelle7
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Captive Queen by Alison Weir. I attened her signing and talk last week in Cambridge, MA. She was wonderful! If you ever get the chance to listen to her speak, go. You will not be disappointed.

August 3, 2010
7:04 pm
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Gentillylace
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I just finished reading Speaking for Myself, Cherie Blair's autobiography.  (We share a birthday, 12 years apart.) The first half or so of the book is quite interesting: the second half tends to go in for a lot of name-dropping and self-exculpatatory explanations. Mrs. Blair reminds me a bit of Margot Asquith, another controversial wife of a British Prime Minister during wartime.

I am also reading a biography of Frank Duff, the Irish founder of the Legion of Mary (a Catholic organization for laity of which I am a member), by Robert Bradshaw. This book deliberately tends towards the hagiographic, as Mr. Duff (who died in 1980) is being considered for beatification.

Yours as long as lyffe endures, Katheryn

August 3, 2010
11:47 pm
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Lady K
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Im a total book nerd and have a big addiction to buying books.

Im reading The Queens Fool – Philippa Gregory. I was annoyed at how it started out, referring to Elizabeth as a whore.

I try to keep in mind that historical fiction are fun reads and a good escape and not to take some of the inaccuracies too seriously.

For the rest of the year i plan to read The Lady in the Tower, the Auto Bio of Henry VIII (Margaret George) , Children Of Henry VIII (Alison Weir) and The Sunne in Splendour (Sharon K Penman) plus the one Claire recommended His Last Letter plus more i  guess.

August 4, 2010
6:54 am
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TinaII2None
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I'm still reading The Lady in the Tower but took a break due to work. I'll be starting it back again soon though. A teacher gave me a copy of Children of Henry VIII about 10 years ago; now I just have to find where it is (probably in one of the chest drawers which is brimming over with everything Tudor and Patrick O'Brien!). I'm definitely going to look for His Last Letter (I wonder if it's in the States yet), but I am torn on reading Philippa Gregory's novel about Margaret Beaufort. I have hated everything I've read by her in the past, but I'm wondering if this will be any different — or will she jump the shark yet again? (If anyone reads it and you also have mixed feelings about her, let me know what you thought of it. I value the opinions of everyone on here enough that I'd take a chance if enough of you recommended it).

PS Lady K — just spent the last few minutes reading an excerpt from the first chapter of The Queen's Fool. Interesting intro but you're right about feeling annoyed. I only read about 5 or 6 pages and I can't say I care for her declarations of Elizabeth not only being a whore, but a practiced liar who was the daughter of liars. I know the woman wasn't perfect, but good grief LOL

Henry: Mistress Anne, will you teach the king of England how they dance in the French court?
Anne: There is nothing that France can teach England, your majesty.
King Henry VIII: Well said. Well said.
– Anne of the Thousand Days (1969)

August 4, 2010
7:34 pm
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Lady K
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Hi TinaII2None,

It was so funny, the very first page of the Queens Fool mentioned the word sex (not that im a prude)

I wasnt a fan of the White Queen, mainly due to all the silly witchcraft. Have you seen this future release on Margaret ?  “Margaret Beaufort the Mother of the Tudor Dynasty” – Ellizabeth Norton. I think it comes out in September.  

A few of my friends rave about Children of Henry VIII, so im curious to see what that one is like too.

🙂

 

 

 

August 4, 2010
9:46 pm
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Bella44
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Hi Lady K,

I wasn't impressed by Philippa Gregorys' 'White Queen' either.  The witchcraft stuff was okay, but I swear her writing gets worse with each book so I'm not going to bother with 'The Red Queen'!  I can't say I have a lot of sympathy for Margaret Beaufort anyway.

Having said that I'm still kind of curious about it, so if anyone's read it, tell us what you think!

Oh and Alison Weir's 'Children of Henry Vlll' is a very good overview of the Edward/Jane/Mary years.  I totally recommend it Laugh

August 5, 2010
1:08 am
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Sabrina
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I'm reading I, Elizabeth by Roslind Miles again. I like it. I know it's fiction and all, but it's nice to see a side of her that not even her ladies got to see. I read everything I can on Elizabeth, as she is one of my heroes. Through reading about Elizabeth, I got a bigger interest in Anne. I wish they could've had happier lives…

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