Tagged: Historical favorites
Author: Brunonia Barry
When I first started reading this book I’ll admit to being a little bit confused. It was group read, for HistoricalFavorites, where was the history aspect. I kept waiting for flashbacks to old Salem and witch hunts. But instead I got the story of Towner Whitney and her family, and how the past is always around, especially when you try to ignore it.
Many of the Whitney family have the gift of reading lace, they can tell a lot about a person and their future, but ever since her sister committed suicide Towner has tried to escape that life. She herself suffered so much from the trauma of that experience that she felt she needed electro-shock therapy in order to overcome her anxieties. But that treatment ripped away many of her memories; now, back in Salem after her aunt’s disappearance Towner is forced to reconnect with people; friends and enemies from her past.
Author: Elizabeth Chadwick
William Marshall was a real person; born in relative obscurity he rose through the ranks to become “the greatest knight that ever lived” as well as Earl of Pembroke. He served under four kings of England, although this book only covers his exploits under two, Henry II and Richard I. He married Isabel de Clare, who was the daughter of Strongbow. And through her gained the rights to Leinster.
The Katherine of the title starts out this book as an orphan, raised by nuns, but heading off to the royal court at the whim of the queen. There she becomes betrothed to Hugh Swynford; she also meets the Duke of Lancaster, John of Gaunt. And it is John that she falls in love with, although at first he seems to dislike her.
Richard did not become frightened until darkness began to settle over the woods. In the fading light, the trees began to take on unfamiliar and menacing shapes.
We all know the myth of the “princes in the tower” and their evil uncle, Richard, who murdered them. Mainly because of Shakespeare’s play. This novel attempts to recreate the life of Richard of Gloucester, and the times in which he lived and died. And it does a great job of bringing the era to life. It also does an excellent job in dispelling many of the rumours about Richard and his rule. But more importantly than that Penman creates real characters that are entertaining and believable. The one huge problem with historical fiction, especially those novels written about real people is that you know how it the story is going to end.
23 March 1875
Today is my birthday, and I have received the greatest gift of all – freedom! I make these first poor scribblings aboard the westbound Union Pacific train with departed Union Station Chicago at 6.35 a.m. this morning, bound for Nebraska Territory.
In 1854 a Cheyenne chief asked the United States government for one thousand white brides to marry into the people. Cheyenne society was a matrilineal society the resulting children, to their minds, would belong to white society. Yet they would also have an understanding of Cheyenne ways, and so it seemed a good way of joining white man’s society. Of course this didn’t go down to well in the white man’s world, and the offer was refused.
In this novel Fergus imagines what would have happened had the US govt decided to go along with this Cheyenne idea. In secret, of course.
Based on the true story of Grace Marks, an infamous murderer in Canada in the 1840’s, Atwood’s book uses different narrators to tell the story, as well as interspersing the story with extracts from other works. From poems, fiction, newspapers of the time, and other sources. Although this is based on the real story, Atwood has, of course, fictionalised a great deal of the novel.
The two narrators are Grace herself, who tells her story in the first person, past tense, and Simon Jordan, the doctor investigating her claims of insanity or innocence. His parts are told by a third person narrator, and are in the present tense.