One for lovers (and avoiders) of historial fiction.
A fantastic page turner, with believable characters illustrating that events in the great Henry the Eighth’s reign were not the dry theological and poltical posturigs they may have seemed at school.
Philippa Gregory’s latest novel may have attracted criticism on the ground of historical inaccuracies, but it does not claim to be a text book. Rather, as a novel it provides a cast of the soap opera stars of the period and indications as to their motives, which in turn allows the reader to develop an understanding of what prompted the twists and turns of the court factions and of the king at its helm. This in turn underlines the signifiance of his power and his decisions, and their impact on the people living in the lands he ruled and in the wider European arena.
For once, choosing a book by its cover proved a good decision!
A great collection of short stories, themed around the scientific explorations flowing from the Enlightenment, and set against the backdrop of daily life – ordinary, and, in Ship Fever (the novella which closes the collection) extraordinary.
Ideas crop up in different guises throughout the collection – the most memorable being the part played by amateurs and women in piecing together the small discoveries and theories into the patchwork of the sciences we are taught today.
One woman, three journeys, many perspectives.
A chance find in one of Hay-on-Wye’s many bookshops, this has turned out to be one of my favourite books of the year so far.
Part historical novel, part mystery with a romantic hue, this slight novel demanded to be read in one sitting. A rare book, combining history and travel, together with astute observations on the emerging desire of and support for women to be able to share in the freedoms and the intellectual and educational becoming opportunities available in the closing decades of the 19th century.
An excellent read for anyone who enjoys history (in particular women’s history) and travel. And not as heavy as I might have made it sound!