This royal throne of kings, this sceptred isle, This earth of majesty, this seat of Mars, This other Eden, demi-paradise, This fortress built by Nature for herself Against infection and the hand of war, This happy breed of men, this little world, This precious stone set in the silver sea, Which serves it in the office of a wall Or as a moat defensive to a house, Against the envy of less happier lands,-- This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England. ~~William Shakespeare, Richard III

Monday, November 30, 2009

This Day in History...

November 30, 1874 - Sir Winston Leonard Churchill was born in Blenheim Palace. He was a strong Prime Minister and helped lead England through WWII.

Mailbox Mondays

Mailbox Mondays is hosted by Marcia over at The Printed Page. It is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house last week (checked out library books don’t count, eBooks & audio books do). Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists.

I haven't posted this feature in a couple weeks simply because I haven't bought or received any books. Sad, I know. Just don't have the money to spend on books for myself right now, especially with the holidays coming up. I'm hoping for some money or gift cards for Christmas that I can use to buy some!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!!

I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday!! I spent all day yesterday cooking pumpkin cheesecake, cornbread stuffing, pumpkin cranberry bread, and brocolli casserole. I can't wait to eat!!

The Lady Gwyn will be back with some book reviews (which I'm horribly behind on) and all the other usual weekly features after the shopping weekend!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

This Day in History...

November 25, 1120 - Henry I's only legitimate son and heir, William, drowned when the ship he was on sank off Barfleur, Normandy. This set up a conflict for the English crown between Henry's daughter, Empress Matilda, and Henry's nephew, Stephen. Stephen ended up with the crown but it was passed to Matilda's son who became Henry II (and married Eleanor of Aquitaine).

Monday, November 23, 2009

This Day in History...

November 23, 1499 - Perkin Warbeck, an impostor claiming to be Richard, Duke of York (son of Edward IV), and the rightful King of England, was hanged at Tyburn.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Looking for my winner!!

I still haven't heard from my winner (Wendy!) for the copy of Lauren Gardner's The Spanish Bride. If I haven't heard from her by Thanksgiving, I'll draw another winner from those entered!

Friday, November 20, 2009

This Day in History...

This one was just too crazy to pass up!

November 20, 868 - King Edmund (who became St. Edmund), a Saxon king of East Anglia, was killed by the Vikings, who tied him to a tree, shot at him with arrows, then beheaded him. He was considered a martyr. His bodied is enshrined at Bury St. Edmunds in Suffolk.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

This Day in History...

November 19, 1620 - The Mayflower arrived at Cape Cod. It contained 87 passengers.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

This Day in History...

Nothing much going on in history the last couple of days...maybe it will get better soon! Haha.

November 18, 1477 - Caxton’s publishes Sayengis of the Philosophres. It was the first book printed in England bearing a date.

November 18, 1852 - One of the biggest funerals ever held in London, the state funeral of the Duke of Wellington took place at St Paul’s Cathedral.

Winner of The Spanish Bride!!!

The entry period ended last night and the random winner of Lauren Gardner's The Spanish Bride is...


I will be sending you an email to get your mailing info today! Congratulations!!

Thanks to all who entered! Keep an eye out for another giveaway before the end of the year!!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Alphabet in Historical Fiction Challenge: A

Historical Tapestry is hosting a wonderful new challenge and I'm excited to participate! Each fortnight they will post a new letter of the alphabet and you do a blog post about a work of historical fiction that has that letter:
  • as the first letter in the title
  • as the first letter of the author's first or last name
  • the first letter of a character's first or last name
  • the first letter of a place where an historical event took place
So here is my post for the first letter of this challenge: A

The Reluctant Queen, Jean Plaidy

This is one of the novels in Plaidy's "Queens of England series" and tells the story of the life of Anne Neville, daughter of Warwick the Kingmaker and wife to King Richard III.

From the back cover:

In 1470, a reluctant Anne Neville is bethrothed by her father, the politically ambitious Earl of Warwick, to Edward, Prince of Wales. A gentle yet fiercely intelligent woman, Anne has already given her heart to the prince's younger brother, Richard, Duke of Gloucester. Unable to oppose her father's will, she finds herself in line for the throne of England - an obligation that she does not want. Yet fate intervenes when Edward is killed at the Battle of Tewksbury. Anne suddenly finds herself free to marry the man she loves - and who loves her in return. The ceremony is held at Westminster Abbey, and the duke and duchess make a happy home at Middleham Castle, where both spend much of their childhood. Their life is idyllic, until the reigning king dies and a whirlwind of dynastic maneuvering leads to his children being declared illegitimate. Richard inherits the throne as King Richard III, and Anne is crowned queen consort, a destiny she thought she had successfully avoided. Her husband's reign lasts two years, two months, and two days - and in that short time Anne witnesses the true toll that wearing the crown takes on Richard, the last king from the House of York.

Yes, I realize there is an error in all that. Richard of Gloucester was not the younger brother of Edward, Prince of Wales to whom Anne was engaged; he was the younger brother of Edward of York. That is not my error but merely what was printed on the back cover of the book.

Aside from that, this was a nice look into the life of Anne Neville. The excerpt on the back leaves out hints of all that Anne had to endure before she was able to marry Richard and the losses they suffered once he became king. Plaidy paints the relationship between Richard and Anne as very loving and affectionate, both having fallen for the other during their childhoods growing up together. While some believe this wasn't the case, it makes for a very sweet and touching storyline. This story really looks into Anne's thoughts and feelings about the events taking place in the world around her and how she is thrust into many of them against her will. Being a woman in that time period, she was schooled to not question the decisions of the men in her life but that certainly did not stop her from having her own opinions about them. I am not going to post a full review here as I plan on doing one in a separate post at a later date but I really enjoyed reading about Anne's life. It was well written and very interesting. Since reading Plaidy's version of the story I have read several others that portray Anne and Richard in many different lights, but most of them seem to gloss over Anne, merely mentioning her when she had to mentioned; it was nice to read something that was solely about her as I find her a very interesting person in all the mess surrounding the struggle for the throne. This was my first exposure to Richard III and was the beginning of my interest (obsession??) in finding out more about his life.

This Day in History...

November 17, 1558 - Mary I, England's first queen (Bloody Mary), died at St James's Palace. She was succeeded by her younger half-sister, Elizabeth I. Thus began one of the most glorious periods in English history.

Queen Mary

Queen Elizabeth

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! Make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

The Greatest Knight, Elizabeth Chadwick

"When he took away my freedom I swore that I would outlive him. On my knees I prayed to God to give me strength to live through each day I was caged. He didn't trust me. Every minute of every day I was watched, if not by his guards then by his spies."

"Isabelle de Clare is an heiress. Remember that the lands you rule are hers and that she might desire a say in what you do with them. Take her with you when you can. Use her as your captain and your deputy when you cannot, and never give her cause to resent you, because she will have the raising of your sons and daughters."

Monday, November 16, 2009

This Day in History...

Nothing too Earth shattering for today...

November 16, 1724 - Highwayman Jack Sheppard was hanged at Tyburn in front of 200,000 spectators.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

This Day in History...

November 14, 1582 - William Shakespeare, age 18, married Anne Hathaway, 26, (their first child was born six months later).

Friday, November 13, 2009

Best Theme Ever!!

I don't know how many of you reading this have Chick-fil-A restaurants in your area (if you don't, man are you missing out!) but they are selling their 2010 calendar in stores now. Each year, if you didn't already know, they put out a calendar featuring cows in various movies, songs, as superheroes, etc (along with great coupons). Anyway, the theme of this year's calendar is...

Great Works of Cow Literature!!!
The Pen is Mightier than the Spatula

I have to get my hands on this one! Porter Pan? Steerlock Holmes? The Three Brisketeers? And my favorite....Flankenstein!! I had to share this since it was so amusing!

This Day in History...

November 13, 1312 - Edward III, King of England from 1327 - 1377, was born. He started the Hundred Years War with France when he declared himself King of France in 1338 (by way of his mother's French blood).

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Author Interview: Brandy Purdy

After receiving an advanced reader's copy of her book The Boleyn Wife, Ms. Purdy was kind enough to answer a few questions about her book, which will be released in January 2010. You can read my review on her book here.

1. Why did you decide to write about Jane Rochford?

I always wondered about her, about what motivated her to do the things that she did. And what it would be like to live with that. Whether the incest charge was made out of genuine belief or pure malice, you don’t just do something like that and there’s an end to it, and you never think of it again. As a novelist, I wanted to explore that. I wanted to follow the twists and turns her mind might have traveled to reach that point, and then afterwards; guilt is a very powerful emotion, it has been known to drive people mad.

2. Was it difficult to find information about Jane while researching for this novel?

Yes it was. I actually wrote this novel about five years ago, around 2004 I think it was that I started it. There has since been a biography of Lady Rochford published; Julia Fox I believe is the author, but it was not published in time for me to use it as a source for the original edition of my novel, though I have since read it.

3. Did you base your portrayal of Jane's personality on any evidence or is this how you envisioned the real Jane as behaving?

My portrayal of Jane is basically a work of fiction. I started with what intrigued me most—the charge of incest she leveled against her husband and his sister—and I basically worked backwards and forwards from there, weaving it into the well known stories of Anne Boleyn and Katherine Howard as I went.

4. Do you believe she really loved George?

I honestly can’t answer that, so little is actually known, and it was an era of arranged marriages, but in a novel I think it works better to suppose she did.

5. The relationship between Jane and Cromwell was an interesting twist. Was there any evidence to suggest this possibly happened?

None at all, that was entirely my own invention.

6. Do you believe Jane really tried to warn Katherine about her behavior or do you think she was excited to be involved in something again?

I think she was a woman who lived vicariously through others, though I have no historical documented facts to base that on, it’s just my personal belief, and I think she got some sort of thrill out of being in the thick of things—intrigue, danger, and romance, but when it all went sour and the shadow of the axe loomed she tried to save herself. And in the pages of my novel one must remember that Jane is a rather unstable character, an unreliable narrator, and it is up to the reader to decide what to believe.

7. What are your feelings on Jane now that you have researched her and written about her life?

I still find her an intriguing personality. Part of me would like to blow the mists away and know the lost truths of history, but another part of me thinks that if we took Jane’s mystery away we would be robbing her of the mystique that has kept her name alive through the centuries; the reason we are still talking, wondering, and reading about her now is that we don’t know the answers. And it’s always a tad disappointing when the truth behind a mystery is revealed to be rather bland and humdrum.

Brandy Purdy has also published a novel about Piers Galveston, The Confessions of Piers Galveston, the favorite of England's King Edward II.

Book Review: The Boleyn Wife

The Boleyn Wife, Brandy Purdy
3 roses

I was honored (and lucky!) to get this ARC to review. The book will be out in stores after the first of the year and I have to say, this is a pretty interesting read for you Boleyn fans out there! I give it 3 roses as it was a very interesting, entertaining, and fast paced read but not up there with the best I've ever read.

This is the story of Jane Rochford, wife to George Boleyn, sister-in-law to Anne, and one of the people that helped send the two siblings to the block. Because of her actions her name is forever connected with jealousy, vindictiveness, viciousness, and disloyalty. It covers her life from about the time she first meets and falls in love with George up to her death with Henry's fifth queen, Katherine Howard. Once she sees George she is determined to have him, despite her father's misgivings on the match. She naively believes that once they are married George will fall in love with her and be the loving attentive husband she wants him to be. As the story moves along and she realizes that he wants absolutely nothing to do with her, she fluctuates between loving him and hating him. We see her throughout the novel spying on all the other players from behind a bush, through a keyhole, hiding in a cabinet, etc, hoping to see something that she can use against her sister-in-law. Jane focuses a lot of her anger and hatred on Anne, believing her to be the sole cause of George's lack of attention; this leads her to helping Cromwell in his attack on Anne as she thinks once Anne is out of the picture, George will give her the attention she craves. Jane's sworn testimony to Cromwell helped convict George and Anne of incest and treason. The author throws a very interesting twist into the story at this point concerning the relationship between Cromwell and Jane; this was something I never expected but rather creative and explains, in a way, why Jane was so eager to give testimony against Anne. Of course, Jane is wrong again and is further infuriated when she realizes that George would rather die with his sister than live with her. After their deaths, Jane becomes lady-in-waiting for the next three queens: Jane Seymour, Anne of Cleaves, and Katherine Howard. She especially takes to Katherine as she sees her as the child she was never able to have and hopes that Kat will come to love her. Jane is horrified to learn the kind of life Kat has lead and the type of person she has become and constantly warns her against her behavior with Thomas Culpepper (she is also quite horrified at her behavior with the former queen, Anne of Cleaves). Kat is eventually caught and she and Jane are both sent to the Tower and sentenced to death. Once in the Tower Jane apparently goes a bit mad, thinking she sees both George and Anne's ghosts lurking around to torment her. She was executed immediately after Kat.

It was very interesting to read a story solely from Jane's point of view. Most stories about the Boleyns only mention Jane in passing, as the jealous, hateful wife of George whose lies helped send her husband and sister-in-law to their deaths. In most cases where the story is told from the point of view of someone classified as a villain, a reader, at some point, will sympathize with the character. Her portrayal here will do nothing to incite sympathy from the reader. At the beginning of the novel she just comes across as a bit naive, very obsessive, and only slightly jealous. However, as the story moves along she really becomes nasty and vindictive and all the other horrible adjectives that have been used to describe her. Sometimes she is downright hysterical, going so far as to bite a servant on the heel in one of her rages. I absolutely hated her and found myself laughing each time one of her schemes backfired on her. I firmly believe she got her just desserts in the end. Outside of Jane's feeling, thoughts, and actions, there really isn't a whole lot of description about much of anything else. We see all the major players here, of course, but as this story is really focusing on Jane's life, there isn't much delving into their lives or personalities. The author doesn't show Anne as being such an ambitious, mean person as others have shown her; we actually see her in the beginning trying to be friendly with Jane, though Jane is set to dislike her from the start. Despite this, I thought the book was well written and there really was a deep probing into Jane's motivations and feelings, which was certainly new. We see that the harder she tries to gain George's attention, the more indifferent he becomes (and becomes more emotionally cruel), which leads her to become more jealous and hateful. Once she becomes involved in Katherine's situation she appears as if she is trying to help Kat, trying to warn her against the path she's headed down, but she never does anything to actually stop her. Her knowledge of the situation and her silence helps condemn her. I would caution readers that if you are uncomfortable with some sex scenes, I wouldn't recommend this book. Otherwise, I would certainly recommend this to those that are interested in the Tudors and would like to see another side to the soap opera. It is a much different perspective on a story with which we are so familiar.

This Day in History...

November 12, 1933 - The first photograph of the Loch Ness monster was captured by Hugh Gray. He managed to take five pictures but after they were developed, four of them were blank and the object in the fifth couldn't be confirmed as being Nessie.

Hmm....I dunno about that....

Booking Through Thursday - Bad Books

Booking through Thursday is hosted by Deb over at Wordpress.

Q: Do you read everything all the way through or do you feel life really is too short to read bad books?

If I have purchased a book I do try to finish it. A checked out book is more likely to end up unfinished if I just can't stand it; at least I didn't spend any money on it. While reading a "bad book," I do start flipping closer to the end to see if the story gets any better. I am very, very particular about books I choose to read so I don't come across too many that I absolutely can not finish.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

This Day in History...

November 11, 1918 - At the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, the Great War (World War I) ended. It had lasted for 4 years and 97 days. Germany finally signed an armistice agreement with the Allies when they realized they didn't have enough manpower, supplies, or food to sustain fighting.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

This Day in History...

November 10, 1683 - George II, who was King of England from 1727 to 1760, was born.

November 10, 1942 - After the desert victory at El Alamein, British PM Winston Churchill said: "This is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning."

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB over at Should be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers.
Willoughby's Return, Jane Odiwe

"I am sure there is no other young man so informed or cultivated as Henry," Marianne interjected. She was certain Lady Lawrence was trying to make the point that he was not ready to marry Margaret.

"Not all men make correct decisions at a tender age, Mrs. Brandon," Willoughby added, looking directly into her eyes. "An older, wiser gentleman with more qualification to understand the world might make more informed decisions."

And one more, just because I liked the book:

"Please God, Marianne, forgive me," Willoughby cried when she pulled away in some distress, "I could not help myself."

Monday, November 9, 2009

Mailbox Mondays

Mailbox Mondays is hosted by Marcia at the Printed Page and is the gathering place where we share the books that came into their house last week (checked out library books don’t count, eBooks & audio books do). Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists!!

The Boleyn Wife, Brandy Purdy

I was lucky and honored to received this ARC for reviewing. This is the story of Jane Rochford, the infamous wife of George Boleyn and sister-in-law to Anne, and who helped send them both to the block. A very interesting read and my review will be posted shortly.

Willoughby's Return, Jane Odiwe

I was really looking forward to this and bought it this week. It is a sequel to Austen's Sense and Sensibility that explores what happens when Willoughby and Marianne met again. It was a delightful read and my review will be up in a day or so (after the one above!).

This Day in History...

A few little historical tidbits that I thought were pretty interesting...

November 9, 1841 - The birth of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert's eldest son, the future King Edward VII.

November 9, 1888 - Early in the morning in Whitechapel, 25-year-old Mary Kelly became Jack the Ripper's last known victim.

November 9, 1907 - The Cullinan Diamond, the largest diamond yet found, was presented to King Edward VII. Parts of this diamond are found on several of the Crown Jewels.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Book Review: Gwenhwyfar

Gwenhwyfar, Mercedes Lackey
2 roses

I love all things Arthurian and when I saw this book was to be released I absolutely couldn't wait to get my hands on it. I always love reading different takes on the legend. Let me say that this book takes the story in a totally different direction; not bad, just very different. There is enough of the known Arthur story mixed in so you know what you are reading about and its not completely new, but there are many things that really differ from what most readers are used to when it comes to this story. In this book Gwenhwyfar is the 3rd daughter of a King in the West of England. Even though she seems to have the power of the "sight" (the magic part of this story) she trains to be a warrior and becomes one of her father's war chiefs. Her prowess earns her the nickname the "White Spirit," given to her by the Saxons. At one point she is even able to make friends with a monk close to Arthur, despite her pagan beliefs. She loves the life even though, once she meets Lancelin (Lancelot), she begins to think that maybe it would have been better to do something more womanly. Eventually the "Ladies" call on Gwen to wed King Arthur. She will be his third queen by that name (the first two having died). She is reluctant but realizes that this is something she has to do. Once married she is quite unhappy, hating loosing her freedom. The story really starts to pick up and hurry to its conclusion when she is abducted by Medraut (Mordred) and kept prisoner for several months while her evil younger sister Gwenhwyfach pretends to be Gwen. She is able to escape and hides out with Lancelin for several days until Medraut manages to arrange it so Arthur sees that she has been unfaithful. After being taken prisoner the battle between Arthur and his son begins, the two are both killed, and Gwen is left with the monks, having to decide what her future will hold now that she is truly free.

This book is unlike any other book about King Arthur that I've ever read before. I can't say that I didn't like it but it just fell flat for me. There were things briefly mentioned that could have been interesting if the author had expanded on them but for the most part, nothing important or interesting really seemed to happen. It almost seems as if the author tried to incorporate many known legends of Arthur while at the same time trying to change the story up completely. There is magic that is connected to the old, pagan ways mentioned throughout the story but there is never really that much detail given about what it really is or what they can really do. Gwenhwyfar and Arthur don't marry until almost the end of the story and she is not his true love and he really doesn't seem to want much to do with her once they're married. She is also his third queen and was raised as a warrior to boot! We don't really see much of Arthur throughout the novel and I never got a feel for what type of person the author wanted him to be. As for Gwen, I didn't dislike her, I just didn't find her that interesting. The idea that she was a warrior and his third queen was interesting but as a whole it wasn't written in a way that kept my attention. The Merlin is mentioned in the story and he shows up briefly but I am still confused as to his role in everything. There were lots of unanswered questions that really irritated me, especially when it came to Merlin: did he have anything to do with the death of Gwen's mother, what did he give the bratty little sister in that box, why did Morgause want to foster Gwenhwyfach so badly, etc, etc. If these ideas had been expanded it would have made for more interesting reading. Gwen's little sister, Gwenhwfach is such an annoying, irritating, selfish, evil little thing that I wanted to drown her within a few pages. I knew she would show up at the end, helping Medraut in his evil plans because she was so jealous of her older sister. The other characters in the story, even Medraut and Lancelin, are not very interesting and they almost didn't need to be in there, except for the fact that Medraut had to fight his father at the end. At the end of the story we are left with the usual characters dead, Gwen's sister has drowned herself, and Gwen herself is left with the monks to decide what she wants to do with the rest of her life. We are given the impression that she is going to try to help form a bridge between the old, pagan ways and the Christians.

Does this review seem a bit chaotic? Well, that is kind of how the book felt to me: lots of bits and pieces thrown in together, minimal details in places where more would have really helped the story, too much detail in areas where it wasn't needed, characters that weren't really that interesting. It had potential and there were parts that were interesting but as a whole, it just didn't do it for me. I am glad I checked it out of the library instead of purchasing it. I would recommend this to die hard lovers of anything Arthurian but just be warned that it is different. My favorite telling of the story is still Marion Zimmer Bradley's The Mists of Avalon, which is told from female perspectives as well.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

My Second Award!!

Oh my!! I am so excited! My second award! And this one is for my blog being all purdy-like. A big thanks to CelticLady at CelticLady's Ramblings for this award!

Here are the rules:

1. Post the award on your blog, with the name of the person who has granted the award, and his or her blog link.

2. Pass the award to 5 other blogs that you particularly like. Remember to contact the bloggers to let them know they have been chosen for this award.

I'm passing this on to:

1. Dar at Peeking Between the Pages
2. Marie at The Burton Review
3. Alaine at Queen of Happy Endings
4. The Royal Reviews
5. Allie at Hist-Fic Chick

Book Giveaway - The Spanish Bride

I'm excited! This will be the first book giveaway I've hosted here on my blog! I have an extra copy of Lauren Gardner's The Spanish Bride, about Catherine of Aragon, to giveaway to one lucky winner! This is the first book in a 3 part series that Gardner wrote about Henry VIII's first three queens (A Lady Raised High is about Anne Boleyn and Plain Jane is about Jane Seymour).

From the back cover:

Estrella de Montoya is maid of honor to Catherine of Aragon, the Spanish princess betrothed to Arthur, Prince of Wales. Traveling away from home for the first time, Estrella shares her mistress's vision of England as a land of chivalric knights and courtly love. Her heart flutters at the bright prospects before them, as the English rejoice at Catherine's arrival.

Decades later, Estrella has learned from bitter experience that poetic legends are not to be confused with real life. But Catherine, long married to Arthur's brother Henry, clings to her illusions - even when Henry, desperate for a male heir, seeks to set her aside for a younger woman. At great danger to herself, Estrella remains loyal to her lady, the true queen.

Through it all, Estrella remains uniquely positioned to witness Catherine's triumphs and tragedies, as they risk everything against a king to whom human life - let alone chivalry - is nothing compared to his own personal desires...

How to enter (leave a comment for each entry with your email):

1. Become a follower (if you already are, just say so in your comment!).
2. Post about the giveaway on your blog, Twitter, etc.
3. Leave a comment about why you'd like to read about Catherine of Aragon.

Contest ends on November 17 and a random winner will be posted on November 18!!

This Day in History...

November 7, 1783 - England's last public hanging took place when John Austin, a forger, was executed at Tyburn in London. Public executions and hangings had been entertainment for the masses throughout the Middle Ages.

Friday, November 6, 2009

This Day in History...

November 6, 1429 - Seven years after coming to the throne, aged eight months, upon the death of his father, Henry VI was crowned King of England. Two years later he was also crowned King of France in Paris.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

This Day in History...

November 5, 1605 - Guy Fawkes was arrested after around 30 barrels of gunpowder, camouflaged with coal, were discovered in the cellar under Parliament. The plan had been to blow up James I and Parliament. The 'Gunpowder Plot' is commemorated each year in Britain on this day, "Guy Fawkes' Night."

Booking Through Thursday - All About Me (Sorta!)

Booking Through Thursday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by Deb over at Wordpress.

Q: Which do you prefer? Biographies written about someone? Or Autobiographies written by the actual person (and or/ghost-writer)?

Each has its pros and cons. With an autobiography you will get more of what the person was actually thinking rather than "he/she might have," "he/she could have," "he/she probably," etc, etc. However a biography may be more factual since someone writing about themselves might leave things out that could make them look bad. I would probably go with a biography if I had to choose. That being said, I LOVE Rosalind Miles's I, Elizabeth which is an "autobiography" of the Queen.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Book Reviews and Such!

Yikes! I've gotten a bit behind in writing up some book reviews but I will get them up here. Expect my review on Mercedes Lackey's Gwenhwyfar to be up in a couple of days as well as The Boleyn Wife by Brandy Purdy. I will also try to get a review up of Manda Scott's Dreaming the Eagle as well. Wow...those three cover very different periods in British history! Arthurian to Tudor then back to Roman times! Keep checking back as I will have those up soon!

I also have a few fun things planned and a discussion on Anne Boleyn that I've been meaning to post and haven't gotten around to them either. Life just gets in the way sometimes!

Wordless Wednesday

A cabin in Cades Cove, Tennessee.

This Day in History...

November 4, 1922 - English explorers Lord Carnarvon and Howard Carter discovered the tomb of King Tutankhamen in the Valley of the Kings near Luxor, Egypt. The young pharaoh's tomb had been undisturbed since 1337 BC.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB over at Should be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers

Gwenhwyfar, Mercedes Lackey

"Would I be here if you were not?" Aeronwen shrugged. "At least the High King is not in love with you. He was in love with the last Gwenhwyfar, and that did not end well."

"The alternative is Medraut on the throne," replied the Lady, her voice showing that she very clearly cared no more for Medraut than Gwen did. "You know Medraut as well as any of us. You know your sister, who was trained by Anna Morgause, just as Morgana was. You know what will come of that."

This Day in History...

November 3, 1534 - Parliament met and passed an Act of Supremacy which made King Henry VIII head of the English church. This was one of the final steps Henry took in order to get rid of his first wife Catherine of Aragon and to marry Anne Boleyn.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Mailbox Mondays

Mailbox Monday is hosted by Marcia at The Printed Page. It is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house last week (checked out library books don’t count). Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists!!

Pendragon's Banner, Helen Hollick

I won this in a contest on Historical Obsessed. Thanks Lizzy!! This is the second book in Hollick's Arthurian trilogy (after The Kingmaking). Really looking forward to reading this one!

This Day in History...

November 2, 1942 - British General Montgomery breaks through German commander Rommel's defensive line at El Alamein, Egypt, forcing a retreat. This was the beginning of the end of the Axis occupation of North Africa.