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What Are We All Reading?
August 15, 2010
12:47 pm
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TinaII2None
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Claire said:

I know that PG's “The White Queen” caused a real stir because of the whole Melusina angle and also because PG made a comment in an interview about how Jacquetta Woodville was tried for and found guilty of witchcraft and would have been executed if it hadn't been for the intervention of Margaret of Anjou. Jacquetta was actually cleared of all the charges against her and Margaret of Anjou was in exile at the time. Hmm…

I actually thoroughly enjoyed The White Queen but I hate the way that PG claims in interviews and book notes that her books are factual. That's why I have such a problem with TOBG because of PG's notes where she accuses AB of being prepared to commit incest and also being guilty of at least one murder – what???

Tina, your review had me splitting my sides, so funny! I'm not sure I can cope with The Red Queen, think I'll buy Elizabeth Norton's bio instead.

Anyway, I've just finished “The Confession of Catherine Howard” by Suzannah Dunn, which I'll review soon, and I'm in the middle of Christy English's “The Queen's Pawn” which is a fabulous read so far. When I'm not reading history I love Joanne Fluke's murder mysteries, e.g. The Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder, they are so light hearted and are a great wind-down for me.


Claire — I know that fiction writers and Hollywood are very imaginative and sometimes, reality isn't good enough (although I always figured the Tudors were so bigger than life, who needed to make adjustments). I guess I've been a movie buff even longer than I've been a history buff, and I thank movies like The Sea Hawk, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, Wuthering Heights, Mrs. Miniver, The Private (LLife of Henry VIII, The Lion in Winter, A Man For All Seasons, The Adventures of Robin Hood, and TV series like The Six Wives of Henry VIII, Elizabeth R, and The First Churchills for making me an Anglophile. But reworking Henry's sisters or making Henry a non-redhead on The Tudors is one thing; accusing people of murder (like PG did with Anne) or witchcraft when you have no facts to back it up, or making up your own facts just to make an interview exciting — you don't throw that kind of crap around and have folks take it as fact because you claim you're a historian. YellI'm afraid that's where I draw the line. Sorry for the rant.

Claire — glad you enjoyed my review! It was my pleasure and my “public service announcement”! Smile 

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 15, 2010
12:49 pm
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TinaII2None
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DuchessofBrittany said:

I just finished reading 1536: The Year That Changed Henry VIII  by Suzannah Lipscomb. It was an interesting read where Dr. Lipscomb argues 1536 is the year where Henry VIII changed from the Virtuous Prince (a la Dr. Starkey) to a feared tyrant that popular culture likes to represent today. Lipscomb argues that the events leading up to and around 1536, such as the accusations against Anne, her execution, the Pilgrimage of Grace, etc. brought out the worst in Henry's personality.


I'm going to have to add that one to my reading list! Thanks Duchess!

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 15, 2010
1:08 pm
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Claire
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1536 is a brilliant book, I'd recommend it too. I found it really useful for the series I did on Henry VIII and what made him turn into a tyrant.

Debunking the myths about Anne Boleyn

August 15, 2010
1:11 pm
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Claire
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TinaII2None said:


Claire — I know that fiction writers and Hollywood are very imaginative and sometimes, reality isn't good enough (although I always figured the Tudors were so bigger than life, who needed to make adjustments). I guess I've been a movie buff even longer than I've been a history buff, and I thank movies like The Sea Hawk, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, Wuthering Heights, Mrs. Miniver, The Private (LLife of Henry VIII, The Lion in Winter, A Man For All Seasons, The Adventures of Robin Hood, and TV series like The Six Wives of Henry VIII, Elizabeth R, and The First Churchills for making me an Anglophile. But reworking Henry's sisters or making Henry a non-redhead on The Tudors is one thing; accusing people of murder (like PG did with Anne) or witchcraft when you have no facts to back it up, or making up your own facts just to make an interview exciting — you don't throw that kind of crap around and have folks take it as fact because you claim you're a historian. YellI'm afraid that's where I draw the line. Sorry for the rant.

Claire — glad you enjoyed my review! It was my pleasure and my “public service announcement”! Smile 


I completely agree with you about PG. There is a huge difference to making a series or writing a book which is inspired by true events and not claiming that it is factual and actually claiming that the book you have written is based on real history and your research.

Debunking the myths about Anne Boleyn

August 15, 2010
6:45 pm
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Brett
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Glad to find many other book geeks! Wink

I just started reading 'The King's Daughter' by Sandra Worth about Elizabeth of York, wife to Henry VII and mother to Henry VIII

I just finished 'The White Queen', about Elizabeth's mother, Elizabeth Woodville, wife to Edward IV, great read. 

"En ma Fin gît mon Commencement…" "In my End is my Beginning…"

August 16, 2010
12:47 pm
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TinaII2None said:


Claire — I know that fiction writers and Hollywood are very imaginative and sometimes, reality isn't good enough (although I always figured the Tudors were so bigger than life, who needed to make adjustments). I guess I've been a movie buff even longer than I've been a history buff, and I thank movies like The Sea Hawk, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, Wuthering Heights, Mrs. Miniver, The Private (LLife of Henry VIII, The Lion in Winter, A Man For All Seasons, The Adventures of Robin Hood, and TV series like The Six Wives of Henry VIII, Elizabeth R, and The First Churchills for making me an Anglophile. But reworking Henry's sisters or making Henry a non-redhead on The Tudors is one thing; accusing people of murder (like PG did with Anne) or witchcraft when you have no facts to back it up, or making up your own facts just to make an interview exciting — you don't throw that kind of crap around and have folks take it as fact because you claim you're a historian. YellI'm afraid that's where I draw the line. Sorry for the rant.

Claire — glad you enjoyed my review! It was my pleasure and my “public service announcement”! Smile 


I agree with you too: it makes me angry as well. I forget where, but either here or in another thread, someone said they found a book claiming Anne was a vampire!! I mean, come on. Like you, I understand tweaks and even a little more than a tweak, but conjuring murders, witches, and vampires? Please.

On another note, a question: What is your favorite Tudor novel, everyone? I love Robin Maxwell's two and I, Elizabeth by Rosalind Miles.

"Grumble all you like, this is how it's going to be"

August 16, 2010
2:59 pm
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TinaII2None
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Boleynfan said:


I agree with you too: it makes me angry as well. I forget where, but either here or in another thread, someone said they found a book claiming Anne was a vampire!! I mean, come on. Like you, I understand tweaks and even a little more than a tweak, but conjuring murders, witches, and vampires? Please.

On another note, a question: What is your favorite Tudor novel, everyone? I love Robin Maxwell's two and I, Elizabeth by Rosalind Miles.


I read that thread too. Can't remember which subject  it was under but the title of the thread was something like “Anne Boleyn Vampire.” Yes someone has written a fiction book in which Anne along with Mark Smeaton (and maybe George Boleyn — not sure why the other men who were executed got left out *rolls eyes*) sell their souls at the end and return as vampires, I'm guessing to seek bloody revenge on the Tudor court. (The Tudors Meet Twilight Meet Bram Stoker's Dracula.) I'm sure by the time it's all over with, half the court will be cursed, the other half will be dead, and someone like a Dr. Dee will become the Van Helsing of the tale and bring it all to an end, but not until utter carnage has occurred. (Okay — I won't even give them THAT much credit for creativity). Now for me, this is — again — going over the line. You are not creating some fictional character to make a vampire, or even using tradition (Dracula or that evil Elizabeth in Hungary who was a known mass murderer). You are taking real individuals, two of the mentioned dying in the Christian Faith (I'm basing this on their last words on the scaffold, and I'm afraid I don't know if Mark Smeaton was given that opportuniy), and then debasing them for yet another story in what is fast becoming a tiresome genre.

At least a ghostly Anne makes more sense. I read once that Britain had more ghosts per square mile (or was that square foot) than any nation on Earth, so Anne returning from the grave as a spirit is more sensible — and you've at least had people claiming to have seen her. (As well as numerous others from the Tudor era). If the author had written about Ghost Anne in the same manner of say that book that came out a few years ago and Peter Jackson made the movie version (the little girl who is murdered and is watching her family from Heaven), I might take it a little better. That was why I thought the Hauntings in the final episode of The Tudors was so powerful — Anne returning to see her daughter, the child we know would become the greatest of all the Tudors; Anne realizing that Henry did believe her guilty. Made more sense to me than some Vampire Anne Boleyn creeping around Hampton Court, sucking the life out of her enemies. Yell Okay — rant done (it's your fault Boleynfan for getting me going again WinkLaugh).

On a nicer note: my favorite Tudor novels? I have a fondness for I, Elizabeth but it's been years since I've read it. I enjoyed The Poyson Garden and The Tidal Poole, the first two entries in Karen Harper's Elizabeth Mysteries, only because it was nice to see a young Elizabeth featured in them. (The Poyson Garden also had her meeting an aged Mary Boleyn, her aunt, whom she knew little to nothing about; and in one, can't remember which, when she is at the Tower before her coronation, Elizabeth slips into St. Peter-ad-Vincula to secretly visit her mother's grave. I know that there's a moment when she whispers 'Mother — it's your Bess' that just went through me and had me in tears Cry). Didn't like book 3, The Twylight Tower and quit reading the series after that. I did like The Autobiography of Henry VIII, although I had to continually remind myself that it was all from Henry's POV, so him thinking Anne really was a witch drove me nuts. I remember liking The Secret Diary of Anne Boleyn by Maxwell, and a friend gave me Virgin: Prelude to the Throne; I don't remember what I thought of it now LOL I have mixed feelings towards Alison Weir's Elizabeth fic. But my first venture into Tudor fic was ages ago — and I can't remember the title!!! Yell It started when Elizabeth was very young and ended with her death; was written in third person; Elizabeth and Dudley finally made love when they were both middle-aged, and in one revealing moment, she angrily tells Cecil that she conceived a child by Seymour but it died. Sorry — brain fart.

And all of this makes me think of a topic that I need to see whether it's been covered before I became a member. Laugh If not, I'd like to start a thread. Maybe some of you can tell me — have you all done one on your favorite (and least favorite) Tudor movie or TV portrayals?? Not the program or movie itself as much as the actor or actress. And I'm not just talking The Tudors themselves but the rest of the courtiers too.

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 16, 2010
3:08 pm
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TinaII2None
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Or I'll call this one — OMG! THEY'RE RUNNING OUT OF IDEAS!

Not only do we now have Vampire Anne Boleyn but THIS:

ie=UTF8&qid=1281995571&sr=1-4.

So now we've got Elizabeth the First Meets Buffy the Vampire Slayer! I guess this is similar to the current best seller about Abraham Lincoln as vampire killer.

Here's the quote Amazon uses regarding the author of the Elizabeth Vampire Slayer novel:  “Susan Cooper is one of the few contemporary writers who has the vivid imagination, the narrative power, and the moral vision that permit her tocreate the kind of sweeping conflict between good and evil that lies at the heart of all great fantasy. Tolkien had it. So did C. S. Lewis. And Cooper writes in the same tradition.” — Psychology Today

 
I can't comment on that one way or the other, but she'd best be DARN good to be ranked with Tolkien and Lewis!

And if that wasn't enough, pan down the page about halfway to see some suggested offerings (which also include Boleyn: Tudor Vampire). Why oh why oh WHY am I not shocked to see the title Henry VIII: Wolfman. SurprisedSurprisedSurprised

Good Lord — just shoot me now.Laugh

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 16, 2010
4:26 pm
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Boleynfan
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Your post about those Amazon books made me literally speechless for five minutes, Tina112None. Oh my gosh. That is so completely crazy. Crazy. Crazy!! Don't worry about the rant–I'm really angry too. I just can't believe this! It is so infuriating. Those authors need to go and pick on someone else, not good people who were unfairly executed, may I add, as devout Christians with faithful speeches. I'm going to stop now, because if I don't, I will be ranting for pages!

I did read The Poyson Garden a few years ago, but can't remember much except it was a mystery–and didn't Elizabeth meet Mary Boleyn in a graveyard or something? Perhaps not, it could be my imagination since I've read so many Tudor novels since then. I liked the book a lot, but didn't realize it was part of a series! I think I'll re-read that and then read the rest of them. I haven't read Virgin: Prelude to the Throne–it's on my list though–but I have read Innocent Traitor, also by Alison Weir. Not my favorite; it was okay, not great. Still, I liked the character Jane Grey overall, so that was a plus. Thanks for replying so heartfeltedly, Tina112None!! I agree with everything you said.

"Grumble all you like, this is how it's going to be"

August 16, 2010
4:52 pm
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TinaII2None
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Hey again Boleynfan:

I'll kind of blame this new genre of “horror” books on lack of imagination…or something to that effect. (Like the unending sequels Hollywood pumps out). Monsters seem to be the in-thing right now — vampires more than most, but I'm getting a tad bored with the whole thing. But color me a Universal Horror movie fan, someone who appreciates The Bride of Frankenstein or Karloff's Mummy. I have mixed feelings about taking President Abraham Lincoln and transforming him into a vampire hunter, but having not read the book, I can't comment further, but it does seem to be out of hand. We now have Elizabeth Bennet (one of my favorite fictional heroines) battling zombies, Lincoln killing vampires and now Elizabeth Tudor joins their ranks. What's next — Winston Churchill: Nazi Vampire Killer? I'm just exhausted by it all.

But back to nicer things. I remember Elizabeth meeting Mary Boleyn, but I can't remember where they met. I think the girl was astonished to learn that she even had an aunt. But yes, Ms. Harper has written an entire series around Elizabeth as an amateur sleuth. As I said, I did like the first 2 books, but the third (which has a subplot involving the death of Amy Dudley) was a tad lacking, which is why I never read the others. I think Amazon lists about 9 books in the series now, so Ms. Harper's still pumping them out! Ironically, I first heard of Karen Harper when I read a very un-Tudor romance novel of hers called (you'll LOL at this) The Viscount Vampire, a Regency story of a cursed viscount who is trying to find a cure to his vampirism. I enjoyed the story so much, I actually wrote her to tell her how much I had liked the character of the Viscount, who was a tragic hero type who is redeemed by a charming heroine. (And she was kind enough to write back to thank me).

By the way — has anyone read the book adaptations of The Tudor TV series? I was wondering if those are any good.

Reading Right Now — bouncing between War and Peace and The Lady in the Tower.

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 16, 2010
8:29 pm
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Bella44
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Vampires should be put back in the coffin where they belong.  They were far more interesting when they were alternative and not part of the mainstream!  I was in my favourite bookstore this morning and I saw the Abraham Lincoln vampire hunter one.  Sheesh, is no historical figure sacred?!  Though your suggestion Tina about Winston Churchill has a certain ring to it….Wink  But as for comparing someone who turns Elizabeth 1 into a vampire slayer with the likes of Tolkein and C S Lewis – wow, where does one begin?!

Tina – was the book about Elizabeth you mentioned called 'Legacy'?  Because it sounds an awful lot like it and it just so happens that that's my favourite fictional Tudor book.  If its not then I thoroughly recommend it – it's written by Susan Kay.  And no, I haven't read any of the book adaptations of 'The Tudors' but would like to know more too if someone has.

Has anyone read the Flavia De Luce series by Alan Bradley?  There's two of them so far, 'The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie' and 'The Weed That Strings the Hangmans Bag' and they're hilarious!  They're about an 11-year old girl living in the quintessential English village who solve murders, a sort of homage to classic murder-mysteries.

August 17, 2010
10:21 am
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Tina112None-Thanks for the info about Karen Harper's series. I think I'll buy the first two, and then maybe rent the next from the library so if I don't like it, I don't have to keep it. LOL, The Viscount Vampire??!! I'm laughing right now. But you say it was good, so I think I'll put it on my list of books to read (which, by the way, is much expanded!). As long as it doesn't touch notable, good figures in history–or wonderful Jane Austen heroines, for that matter–I'm okay with vampires. I haven't heard of the book verson of The Tudors. Wonder if it's good: I've read a few TV-to-book adaptations, and as much as I adore books and reading, sometimes they don't work for me, for some reason. But maybe I'll try them out. By the way, is The Lady in the Tower good? I bought it a few days ago from the bookstore and can't wait to read it.

Bella44-Yes, Bella44, vampires should be back in a coffin in my opinion! I mean, Elizabeth Bennet? That wrenches my heart–I love her and Pride and Prejudice. But while I can perhaps stomach that, touching Elizabeth Tudor??!!…hey now, that's off-limits Wink! I put Legacy on my reading list. I haven't read the Flavia De Luce series either, but it too is on my list…wow, my list is long!

"Grumble all you like, this is how it's going to be"

August 17, 2010
10:27 am
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Tina, I finally got to read, The Nonsuch Lure.  Thanks for the suggestion.  I enjoyed it very much.  I was going to order Crown in Candlelight if I could find it, but before I checked to see if it was available, I happened to be cleaning out some old books at my Mom's when I found a copy in the old bookcase.  It had to be mine since my Mom was not a reader.  I couldn't remember reading it , however, so I took it home and finally got around to it.  I loved it.  I do so enjoy reading that there were women around during that time period who actually married the men they loved. 

Another book about Catherine Valois which I enjoyed was, The Queen's Lover, by Vanora.  She had a tough childhood for a princess.

Speaking of old books, has anyone ever read, Fortune Made His Sword, by Martha Rofhart.  I don't know if you can even find it these days, but it is a fictional novel about Henry V.  I re-read this one at least every couple of years. Another really good one is Katherine, by Anya Seton. It is the story of Katherine Swynford, John of Gaunt's mistress and later his wife.  It too is fiction.  I have had a soft spot for her since I read these books in the early 70's. I just bought a newer edition, because my old one was falling apart from use.

August 17, 2010
11:38 am
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I thought I would list some historical biographies I own, read, and enjoyed. I know most of you are book addicts, so here we go.

Queen of Scots by John Guy. One of the best bios on Mary, Queen of Scots. I rather liked some aspects of Mary Stuart.

Elizabeth and Mary by Jane Dunn. Compares and contrasts there two queens: their lives, reigns, and power struggles.

Arabella: England's Lost Queen by Sarah Gristwood. Arabella Stuart a fascinating life of a women I never heard about.

Sisters to the King by Maria Perry. A bio about Henry VIII's sisters, Mary and Margaret.

The Last Days of Henry VIII by Robert Hutchinson.

Sisters who Would be Queen by Leanda De Lisle. A bio about the Gray sisters.

Children of England by Alison Weir. A bio about the heirs of Henry VIII (including Lady Jane).

Henry by David Starkey. Also published in UK as Virturous Prince. One word: Brillant!

Elizabeth: Struggle for the Throne by David Starkey. My favourite Elizabeth book.

Katherine Swynford by Alison Weir. One of the least known women of history. She is the maternal founder of every English monarch since Edward IV. A great supplemental (fictiona) read is Katherine by Anya Seton.

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

August 17, 2010
2:15 pm
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Bella44 said:

Vampires should be put back in the coffin where they belong.  They were far more interesting when they were alternative and not part of the mainstream!  I was in my favourite bookstore this morning and I saw the Abraham Lincoln vampire hunter one.  Sheesh, is no historical figure sacred?!  Though your suggestion Tina about Winston Churchill has a certain ring to it….Wink  But as for comparing someone who turns Elizabeth 1 into a vampire slayer with the likes of Tolkein and C S Lewis – wow, where does one begin?!

Tina – was the book about Elizabeth you mentioned called 'Legacy'?  Because it sounds an awful lot like it and it just so happens that that's my favourite fictional Tudor book.  If its not then I thoroughly recommend it – it's written by Susan Kay.  And no, I haven't read any of the book adaptations of 'The Tudors' but would like o know more too if someone has.

Has anyone read the Flavia De Luce series by Alan Bradley?  There's two of them so far, 'The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie' and 'The Weed That Strings the Hangmans Bag' and they're hilarious!  They're about an 11-year old girl living in the quintessential English village who solve murders, a sort of homage to classic murder-mysteries.


Legacy! That's it. Thank you so much Bella! I owned a hard copy of it when it was released; I have NO idea where it is now — I moved into my current apartment about 10 years ago, and regrettably, things (even my beloved books) got misplaced in transit. But that is most definitely it.  

I also owned a fictional book on Elizabeth that started not long after Mary became queen — found that one at a book sale and I definitely don't remember the title now. I didn't like it in the end as Elizabeth came across as coarse and in some instances, a deceiver. The one scene that rubbed me the wrong way was her telling Kat Ashley — during a “stomach bout” to get out of attending Mass — how much she disliked Mary, but most of all, pretending to like Anne of Cleves and most of all, Katherine Parr. She complains about translating some work for Katherine when she was a child, and having been tired of trying to please her stepmothers. I don't remember much else except that the book contained an image of Elizabeth as the goddess Diana — not sure if it was based on an actual portrait or not because I've never seen that one other than in that book. 

I was almost tempted to get the Abraham Lincoln one, but my better instincts kicked in. He's not only one of my favorite Presidents, but he was born in my home state (Kentucky), and I guess I just figure he deserves better than this. But like you, for Psychology Today to equate an author of a vampire slaying Elizabeth Tudor to the likes of Tolkien  — talk about putting your money where your mouth is!!!

I'd better watch it about Winston Churchill kicking major Nazi vampire butt. Someone might be listeningWink (I've got dibs LOL).

You know, one of my favorite moments in a book about Elizabeth was not in fiction, but in one of my favorite Elizabeth biographies, and if you can find a copy of her Tudor trilogy, I highly recommend them (although so much more has been learned since her books were written in the Sixties and early Seventies). I'm talking about A Crown For Elizabeth by Mary M.  Luke, the middle book (Catherine, The Queen about Catherine of Aragon came first, and Glorianna was the last of the three). I'm pretty sure the scene makes an appearance in I, Elizabeth as well so it might have been inspired by that author reading A Crown For Elizabeth.

Ms. Luke writes of one of the few times when the Tudors seemed to be a real, functional family: it is a summer in Chelsea; Henry is married to Katherine Parr and in this last year or so of his life, he is surrounded by his children and his great-niece, Jane Grey. There are picnics and dancing; riding and childlike pursuits like dangling your feet in a lake or learning how to fish. And in the evenings, Henry regales the family with tales of his dashing youth. Ms. Luke speculates that in one of these moments, when the children are feeling very close to their father and overly relaxed, Elizabeth feels so comfortable with the King that she dares to innocently ask something about her mother. And is promptly sent away! (Ms. Luke says that there was some unknown incident in which the princess was shipped off and at the time, no one knew why. Ms. Luke gives some idea as to why it happened, and for me, it seemed somewhat reasonable). But the time away gives Elizabeth a chance to weigh what has happened, and how cautious she must be, especially as a royal daughter, and the mistake simply helps her to grow. Of course it was a historian's guess as to the circumstances, but she told it all so vividly that even now, that scene is almost more alive to me than any work of fiction. Laugh

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 17, 2010
3:07 pm
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Boleynfan said:

Tina112None-Thanks for the info about Karen Harper's series. I think I'll buy the first two, and then maybe rent the next from the library so if I don't like it, I don't have to keep it. LOL, The Viscount Vampire??!! I'm laughing right now. But you say it was good, so I think I'll put it on my list of books to read (which, by the way, is much expanded!). As long as it doesn't touch notable, good figures in history–or wonderful Jane Austen heroines, for that matter–I'm okay with vampires. I haven't heard of the book verson of The Tudors. Wonder if it's good: I've read a few TV-to-book adaptations, and as much as I adore books and reading, sometimes they don't work for me, for some reason. But maybe I'll try them out. By the way, is The Lady in the Tower good? I bought it a few days ago from the bookstore and can't wait to read it.

Bella44-Yes, Bella44, vampires should be back in a coffin in my opinion! I mean, Elizabeth Bennet? That wrenches my heart–I love her and Pride and Prejudice. But while I can perhaps stomach that, touching Elizabeth Tudor??!!…hey now, that's off-limits Wink! I put Legacy on my reading list. I haven't read the Flavia De Luce series either, but it too is on my list…wow, my list is long!


I hope you enjoy the first two Harper books! I definitely did. Seems like many on Amazon disliked book 3, and opinions are mixed on books 4 through 8 or 9. I had hoped to get some new insight about the death of Amy Dudley, but I don't recall being excited about any of it — although the Amy subplot in The Virgin's Lover by the notorious PG left me wanting to ram my head through drywall! LOL (And I haven't disliked Robert Dudley that much since Joseph Fiennes' portrayal in Elizabeth LOL).

Yep, The Viscount Vampire — I chuckled when I first saw the title years ago, but then really enjoyed it. If you like Regency fiction and the genre to which it belongs, you'll probably enjoy it. No real life people appear in it as far as I remember, and if they did, it was as their real selves and not some vampire incarnation!!! Bella44 and Boleynfan — I read an excerpt from Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and *sigh* I just don't know about Elizabeth being a martial arts expert and performing moves in an exercise with Ninjas belonging to Lady Catherine deBourgh! I love Elizabeth Bennet. She's probably my favorite fictional heroine (not even fellow Southerner Scarlett O'Hara ranks that high with me), and I hate sounding snobby, but I don't know. Some characters deserve more.

I've been enjoying The Lady in the Tower. I guess what is aggravating to me is that you read these things — already knowing the outcome — but you keep hoping (and thinking boy am I stupid) things will change. It is probably the first time I have seen another side of Anne's downfall, and that being her disagreements with Cromwell; the whole “either I bring her down, or she brings me down” idea. We've been told for years that Henry just wanted rid of her so he could marry Jane Seymour and the lies were weaved to make that possible. That there may have been even more to it just gives it all more depth (and no, I still haven't forgiven Henry, no matter how deep his involvement in the fiction that led to Anne's death and that of the others).

Haven't read the Flavia De Luce series but sounds pretty good!

Have any of you read Blaze Wyndham? That one came out over 20 years ago and is about a young woman who marries quite young and though all sorts of circumstances, ends up becoming Henry VIII's mistress during his days of trying to get a divorce to marry Anne — hey, nobody said Henry was celibate while waiting around! LOL I had mixed feelings about this book and I read it when it first came out (because it had Tudors in it LOL). I'm still not sure calling the heroine Blaze works…well, that's not exactly a Tudor England name. Sure you don't have to name her Mary, but Blaze is so bodice-ripper genre! LOL Henry can be both gentle with Blaze or monstrous — I won't go into detail as I don't know the ages on our forum, but there was one scene that left me with my jaw on the floor. Henry demands that Blaze perform a certain act which she declares is not Christian, but he forces her (and I believe even took her by force at one point). When a reluctant Blaze protests, possibly in the same scene, Henry threatens to marry her young daughter off to Charles Brandon, smugly telling her that if she thinks Henry is perverted, wait until she meets Brandon. There was also some anti-heroine (no, not Anne Boleyn) who makes a pronouncement to the heroes in our story that again left me with my jaw on the floor LOL So not a great book — not a bad one. Amazon reviews are all over the place too. It may also be one of the few times where a woman goes from Henry's mistress to “just a good friend”!Laugh

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 17, 2010
3:23 pm
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TinaII2None
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Sharon said:

Tina, I finally got to read, The Nonsuch Lure.  Thanks for the suggestion.  I enjoyed it very much.  I was going to order Crown in Candlelight if I could find it, but before I checked to see if it was available, I happened to be cleaning out some old books at my Mom's when I found a copy in the old bookcase.  It had to be mine since my Mom was not a reader.  I couldn't remember reading it , however, so I took it home and finally got around to it.  I loved it.  I do so enjoy reading that there were women around during that time period who actually married the men they loved. 

Another book about Catherine Valois which I enjoyed was, The Queen's Lover, by Vanora.  She had a tough childhood for a princess.

Speaking of old books, has anyone ever read, Fortune Made His Sword, by Martha Rofhart.  I don't know if you can even find it these days, but it is a fictional novel about Henry V.  I re-read this one at least every couple of years. Another really good one is Katherine, by Anya Seton. It is the story of Katherine Swynford, John of Gaunt's mistress and later his wife.  It too is fiction.  I have had a soft spot for her since I read these books in the early 70's. I just bought a newer edition, because my old one was falling apart from use.


Sharon (hey — my best friend's name is also Sharon Laugh) — I am SO glad you found The Nonsuch Lure and Crown in Candlelight and most of all, that you enjoyed them! I haven't read the latter in years, but that was what helped me to fall in love with Wales and the Welsh side of the Tudors. And it's been about 4 years since I've read The Nonsuch Lure so it's probably time again (I usually read it every few years). I might have to check out The Queen's Lover. I have such a soft spot for Catherine and Owen. I have seen the Seton novel pop up as a recommendation on Amazon, so this is another I may have to check on. Thanks!

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 17, 2010
3:34 pm
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TinaII2None
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DuchessofBrittany said:

I thought I would list some historical biographies I own, read, and enjoyed. I know most of you are book addicts, so here we go.

Queen of Scots by John Guy. One of the best bios on Mary, Queen of Scots. I rather liked some aspects of Mary Stuart.

Elizabeth and Mary by Jane Dunn. Compares and contrasts there two queens: their lives, reigns, and power struggles.

Arabella: England's Lost Queen by Sarah Gristwood. Arabella Stuart a fascinating life of a women I never heard about.

Sisters to the King by Maria Perry. A bio about Henry VIII's sisters, Mary and Margaret.

The Last Days of Henry VIII by Robert Hutchinson.

Sisters who Would be Queen by Leanda De Lisle. A bio about the Gray sisters.

Children of England by Alison Weir. A bio about the heirs of Henry VIII (including Lady Jane).

Henry by David Starkey. Also published in UK as Virturous Prince. One word: Brillant!

Elizabeth: Struggle for the Throne by David Starkey. My favourite Elizabeth book.

Katherine Swynford by Alison Weir. One of the least known women of history. She is the maternal founder of every English monarch since Edward IV. A great supplemental (fictiona) read is Katherine by Anya Seton.


I've read Children of England, Elizabeth: Struggle for the Throne and The Last Days of Henry VIII. Enjoyed all of them! SmileSmileSmile

One non-fiction book I'll mention that I read a few years back — Her Majesty's Spymaster: Elizabeth I, Sir Francis Walsingham, and the Birth of Modern Espionage. I remember enjoying it and it was an interesting take on another aspect of Elizabeth's court.

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 18, 2010
9:46 am
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Sharon
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Tina, OMG…Blaze Wyndham?  Author is Bertrice Small.  All of her books are a racy, very sexually explicit, but they are really interesting stories.  Historical/Romance. Not for everybody.  She did a series called, The Skye O'Malley Series.  They start out with Skye who becomes an Irish merchant turned pirate.  She raids English ships and runs afoul of Elizabeth many times.  The adventures this woman had are definitely jaw dropping.  The series is about Skye and her family.  

I'm not going to go into detail, but Ms. Small deals pretty much in fact when she writes about Elizabeth and other monarchs. I mean the historical stuff, not the sexual stuff.  I enjoyed all of her books.  In one of the books, Elizabeth's final days are accounted for by the author.  It was such a poignant chapter that I was compelled to look it up.  This was in my early days of falling in love with British historical figures.  Sure enough, the way she wrote it was exactly how most biographers say it happened. They were fun novels. 

Speaking of Pirates and O'Malleys, The Pirate Queen, by Alan Gold is an excellent story about Grace O'Malley, a real Irish Pirate, and Queen Elizabeth.  I have read a few books about Grace, but cannot recall the titles right now.  This  is one of the best.

I found Fortune Made His Sword on Amazon and bought myself a new copy.

Also found this if anyone is interested in Jacquetta and Elizabeth Wydville. http://www.susanhigginbotham.c…..  Jacquetta died in 1472.  Richard brought up the old charges in 1484.  She had been dead for 12 years.  I know there is a joke in there some where. 

August 18, 2010
2:00 pm
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Bella44
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I read the Katherine of Valois book by Vanora Bennett.  Out here in New Zealand it was published as 'Blood Royal'.  I was a bit disappointed in it to be honest as I had high hopes after reading another of her books, 'Portrait of Unknown Woman', which is a fictional account of Thomas More's adopted daughter, Margaret Giggs.

Oh and if anyone is thinking of getting one of those historical figure as monster/demon/vampire-slayer books, go for 'Queen Victoria – Demon Hunter' by A E Moorat.  It does have the advantage of being well written and quite witty!  A E Moorat is also responsible for 'Henry Vlll: Wolfman'.  Has anyone read that?

I've been looking at 'The Nonsuch Lure' on various websites and am seriously considering getting a copy…. Laugh 

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