I’ve been swamped the last few days, and will probably be for some time, but I couldn’t let Thanksgiving pass without some sort of post before I go and chow down with the family.
A while back, I read Brenda Honeyman’s Good Duke Humphrey, which is more about the early days of the Wars of the Roses generally than Humphrey, who dies halfway through the novel. It takes a while to get into it and to get acquainted with the large cast of characters (for a short novel), but it’s well worth reading. It was especially interesting to see Humphrey’s two bastard children, including the oddly named Antigone, in a novel. Cecily Neville and Jacquetta Woodville also play prominent parts.
Off the topic of historical fiction, I read P. D. James The Private Patient, about the murder of an investigative journalist following her plastic surgery, a couple of days ago. As usual with James, I enjoyed the read, but it wasn’t quite up to the standard of her usual work, I thought. The characters didn’t seem as vivid as in previous books, and the victim’s own personality and motivations seemed to get lost along the way. I also found it irritating that a very minor character was almost raped, solely, it appeared, to have Adam Dalgleish demonstrate his sensitivity and his new love, Emma, to demonstrate her perfection by their reactions. But even though I can’t say this was among James’s best, it was still pretty good.
Historical fiction and history books I’m looking forward to: Anne Easter Smith’s The King’s Grace, about Edward IV’s illegitimate daughter, Grace; Alison Weir’s biography of Katherine Swynford (finally coming here to the US); Emma Darwin’s A Secret Alchemy (featuring Elizabeth and Anthony Woodville), which I’m hoping will be under my Christmas tree; Susan James’s Catherine Parr: Henry VIII’s Last Love; and a novel by Emma Campion (aka Candace Robb) about Edward III’s mistress, Alice Perrers, called aptly, The King’s Mistress. With so many books to look forward to in the months to come, what’s not to be thankful for?
And it’s even more fun (and thanks-inspiring, from my point of view, anyway) to look at this catalog! Check out page 41.