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Mad Richard by Lesley Krueger

Mad Richard by Lesley Krueger

In keeping with my Victoriana obsession, when I saw this historical fiction title from Lesley Krueger, I couldn’t wait to dive in. Based on the life of Richard Dadd, a Victorian artist and celebrity as his life and influences juxtapose against those of Charlotte Brontë, herself in the midst of her own questions and tumult. Please read on for my review of Read more of this post

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

The Private Lives of the Tudors by Tracy Borman

The Private Lives of the Tudors by Tracy Borman

Like many, I find the Tudors fascinating, and the machinations around the court are worthy of master strategists. Having heard about this title from the BBC’s History Extra podcast,  I knew that Tracy Borman would have exhaustively researched the bits, provided plenty of ledger and cost breakdowns, even detailing menus.  What I didn’t expect were the unexpected gems.  Please read on for my review of

The Private Lives of the Tudors

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

Victoria by Daisy Goodwin

Victoria by Daisy Goodwin

I’m so excited for the Masterpiece airing of Victoria starring Jemma Coleman (of Dr. Who) as the Queen herself. But, there is also a new release about those early years of the little Queen that is so familiar in her widow’s weeds, looking rather stern, round, and joyless.   Written by Daisy Goodwin, please read on for my review of

Victoria

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Les Parisiennes by Anne Sebba

Les Parisiennes by Anne Sebba

With an uncle who was involved in the La Résistance during much of the war, my interest was piqued with this book’s description. With Paris being one of those cities that, unlike many others, has a personality often larger and more tangible than events around it, the fate of those left to carry on during the occupation is explored in

Les Parisiennes

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Heroines of Mercy Street by Pamela D. Toler ~AudioBook Review

Heroines of Mercy Street by Pamela D. Toler ~AudioBook Review

Most of my time with the television is spent with PBS when I’m not immersing myself in the latest cable-produced drama. I’m a fan of history, and particularly intrigued when the lesser-known major players in that history are shown.  Moving away from my fictional reads, I have a book today that looks at the real nurses and nursing that is the backbone of the PBS drama Mercy Street.  Please read on for

Heroines of Mercy Street

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Mademoiselle: Coco Chanel and the Pulse of History by Rhonda K. Garelick

Book Review:

A riveting and engaging biography of one of the 20th century’s preeminent fashion icons, Rhonda K. Garelick brings us the biography of Coco Chanel, a rags-to-riches story about one of the most carefully contrived personas ever.

Born into the lowest class, with few to no options for climbing the social ladder, her image reworking started very young. Her struggles for legitimacy, her discounting or paying off relatives who may discount her new ‘background’ and her rather prickly personality all would have failed with someone less talented and skilled.  But the young Gabrielle, soon to blossom as Coco Chanel, would use her single-minded determination and her eye for the avant garde style that would become the hallmark of her clothing designs, she was soon the toast of the young and fashionable Parisiennes, then later became a name to covet and aspire to. Read more of this post

Dangled Carat by Hilary Grossman with Excerpt and Giveaway

Dangled Carat by Hilary Grossman with Excerpt and Giveaway

Welcome to my stop for Dangled Carat a memoir from Hilary Grossman. Please be sure to check out the other tour stops, read the exclusive excerpt, and don’t forget to enter the tour-wide giveaway where one US winner will get a Set of Five Name Brand Perfumes

 

Book Review:

A bold and daring move, Hilary Grossman brings her memoir to life in a read that feels like fiction: you alternate between completely understanding Hilary’s issues with her long-term love Marc and then waning to get her to stop working SO hard just to get him to change. Because, changing someone else’s behavior is difficult, if not impossible, and often a futile act.
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AudioBook Review: Marmee and Louisa: The Untold Story of Louisa May Alcott and Her Mother by Eve LaPlante

Who didn’t dream along with Jo and cry over Meg: worry when the girls were struggling with their father’s absence, and want to create plays, newspapers and playtimes like the March girls?  Today I have a beautiful AudioBook that tells much about Louisa May Alcott and the relationship she had with her staunchest supporter, her mother, the “Marmee” of Little Women.  

AudioBook Review:

One element that always struck me when I read Little Women was the lack, or adjunct roles that the men play in the story. Sure, there is Lorrie, and the oft-absent father, but the sense that the men were little more than window dressing and diversions held with me throughout every reading.  For it was Marmee who kept the story moving, the touchstone and steady forward moving element that the girls all looked to for comfort, approval and security.  Read more of this post

AudioBook Review: Graven with diamonds: the many lives of Thomas Wyatt by Nicola Shulman

AudioBook Review:

I had the opportunity to review this title before it was released in print last year. I jumped at the chance to review the book in AudioBook form, while the 389 pages of text are layered with references, poetry and fact, I wanted the chance to see if hearing the words would be easier or more difficult to affix references and information than the easy flip-back a page or two which can be done with the book in written form.

As with my first review, the book starts with a bang using poetry as it was used in the time of the Tudor court: information sharing, poking fun, setting alliances, all used very much in concert and context with the affairs of the court and courtiers of the day.  Narration provided by Paul Fleschner is both mellifluous and crisp, providing nuanced recitations of the poetry that enhances the phrasing and provides structure and emphasis to lines that are further used to elucidate the author’s points as she puts the information into a context. Read more of this post