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

Thursday, September 30, 2010

This Day in History...

September 30, 1399 - Henry IV is proclaimed King of England after deposing his cousin.

September 30, 1630 - John Billington, one of the original pilgrims, was the first man executed in the colonies. He was hanged for shooting another man in a quarrel.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

This Day in History...

September 29, 1328 – Joan of Kent, wife of Edward, the Black Prince, and mother of Richard II was born. She would be called the "Fair Maid of Kent" during her life.

September 29, 1399 - Richard II was the first English monarch to abdicate. He was replaced by his cousin Henry Bolingbroke, who became Henry IV.

September 29, 1938 - England, France, Germany and Italy signed the Munich Pact in which the Sudetenland was given to Nazi Germany. In return, Hitler promised not to make any further territorial demands in Europe.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

This Day in History...

September 28, 1066 - William, Duke of Normandy began his invasion of England, landing at Pevensey in East Sussex after claiming his right to the English throne.

September 28, 1663 - Henry FitzRoy, 1st Duke of Grafton, was born. He was the illegitimate son of Charles II and Barbara Villiers, Countess of Castlemaine.

Monday, September 27, 2010

This Day in History...

Really couldn't find much of interest today!

September 27, 1722 - One of the leaders of the American Revolution, Samuel Adams, was born in Boston.

September 27, 1888 - The name 'Jack the Ripper' is used for the first time in an anonymous letter to the Central News Agency. This anonymous man killed five women and is suspected in the deaths of four more. His identity has never been discovered.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

This Day in History...

September 25, 1066 - England's Harold II defeated the King of Norway at the Battle of Stamford Bridge.

September 25, 1506 – Philip the Handsome, husband of Juana I (Katherine of Aragon's sister), died in Castile.

Friday, September 24, 2010

The Alphabet in Historical Fiction Challenge: S

Each fortnight the ladies at Historical Tapestry 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 next letter of this challenge: S

The Sunne in Splendour, Sharon Kay Penman

From the back cover: In this beautifully rendered modern classic, Sharon Kay Penman redeems Richard III - vilified as the bitter, twisted, scheming hunchback who murdered his nephews, the princes in the Tower - from his maligned place in history with a dazzling combination of research and story telling.

Born into the treacherous courts of fifteenth-century England, in the midst of what history has called the War of the Roses, Richard was raised in the shadow of his charismatic brother, King Edward IV. Loyal to his friends and passionately in love with the one woman who was denied him, Richard emerges as a gifted man far more sinned against than sinning.

I honestly don't know where to start with this one! I can say that it is probably the best book I have ever read. The story begins when Richard is about seven years old and witnesses the Lancastrian sacking of Ludlow and ends a few years after his death with Elizabeth of York reminiscing. Ms. Penman does an absolutely fantastic job of refuting the generally accepted version (from Shakespeare's play) of Richard's life and personality. She gives us a human Richard, one who had fears and doubts but was unfailingly honorable and loyal. One of the things that stand out in this novel is the way Ms. Penman shows how events and people around him while he was growing up really helped shape the man Richard would ultimately become. As in all her books, her impeccable research is beyond compare and her knowledge of her subject really shows; you can tell she did her homework before writing her novel. She blends history with her storytelling so beautifully that the reader is transported to another time and place effortlessly. All of the characters in the story are wonderfully written and developed, making it seem like you are old acquaintances and could reach out and touch them. While full of detail and description, the narrative does not get weighed down or feel like you're plowing through an encyclopedia; everything is relevant, helping the story move along and giving the reader a deeper insight to not only Richard's life and personality but to the world around him which helped make him who he was. She also (thankfully) does not twist the history completely out of shape simply to fit the story she is trying to tell or include all manner of rumors just because they are sensational. She will mention in her author's note the places where she did make some changes to help the story along as well as how she developed her theories on Richard. There just is no one else who can write like Ms. Penman and tell such a remarkable story.

This is a large book but don't let that keep you from it; you will not regret the time you spend between its covers! Once you begin reading I promise you will not want to put it down. Every time I immerse myself in Penman's world I find it very difficult to pull myself away. Please look for a more in depth review on my blog in the next week.

This Day in History...

September 24, 1645 - The Parliamentarian army was victorious over the Royalist army led by Charles I at the Battle of Rowton Heath.

September 24, 1842 - Bramwell Bronte, the Bronte sisters' brother, died of drugs and drink. His sister used him as the model for the drunkard Hindley Earnshaw in Wuthering Heights.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

This Day in History...

September 23, 1158 - Geoffrey, Duke of Brittany and third son of Henry II, was born.

September 23, 1459 - The Battle of Blore Heath, the first major battle in the 'Wars of the Roses,' results in a Yorkist victory over the Lancastrians.

September 23, 1909 - French writer Gaston Leroux published The Phantom of the Opera.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

This Day in History...

September 22, 1515 - Anne of Cleves, Henry VIII's fourth wife, was born.

September 22, 1761 - George III and his wife Charlotte of Mecklenburg were crowned King and Queen of Great Britain.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

This Day in History...

September 21, 1327 - The deposed Edward II was murdered in Berkeley Castle, some say by order of his wife, to ensure the succession of his son Edward III.

September 21, 1411 – Richard Plantagenet, 3rd Duke of York, was born. The Duke was a claimant to the English throne and father of Edward IV and Richard III.

September 21, 1937 - J.R.R. Tolkien publishes The Hobbit.

Monday, September 20, 2010

This Day in History...

September 20, 1258 - Salisbury Cathedral is consecrated.

September 20,1486 - Arthur, Prince of Wales, son of Henry VII, was born in Winchester.

Friday, September 17, 2010

This Day in History...

September 17, 480 BC - Leonidas and his 300 Spartans begin the Battle of Thermopylae.

September 17, 1701 - James II died while in exile in France.

September 17, 1745 - The Jacobite supporters of Bonnie Prince Charlie occupied Edinburgh.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

This Day in History...

September 16, 1387 - The future Henry V was born at Monmouth.

September 16, 1400 - Owen Glynd┼Ár was declared Prince of Wales by his supporters.

September 16, 1485 - The Yeoman of the Guard, the bodyguard of the English Crown (or the 'Beefeaters') - was established by Henry VII.

September 16, 1620 - The Mayflower began her journey to America from Southampton.

September 16, 1701 - James Stuart, the "Old Pretender," becomes the Jacobite claimant to the English throne.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

This Day in History...

September 15, 1500 - John Morton, Archbishop of Canterbury, died at his home in Kent. He was a strong opponent of Richard III and some believe he may be the originator of Thomas More's History of King Richard III (which Shakespeare's play is based on).

September 15, 1789 - James Fenimore Cooper, popular American novelist, is born.

September 15, 1890 - World famous English detective novelist Agatha Christie was born.

September 15, 1984 - Prince Harry, 3rd in succession to the throne, was born to Princess Diana and Prince Charles.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

This Day in History...

Can't find too much today!

September 14, 1435 - John, Duke of Bedford, younger brother of Henry V and at one point Regent of England for his nephew Henry VI, died in Normandy.

September 14, 1752 - The 3rd of September became the 14th when the Gregorian Calendar was introduced into Britain.

September 14, 1851 - American author, James Fenimore Cooper, died. He is best known for his Leatherstocking Tales featuring Natty Bumppo (Last of the Mohicans).

September 14, 1852 - The Duke of Wellington, victor of Waterloo, died at age 83.

Monday, September 13, 2010

This Day in History...

September 13, 122 - Work begins on Hadrian's Wall.

September 13, 1410 – Isabella of Valois, second wife of Richard II, died in France.

September 13, 1475 - Cesare Borgia is born.

September 13, 1520 - William Cecil, Elizabeth I's closest and dearest adviser, was born.

September 13, 1940 - A German bomb fell on Buckingham Palace while George VI is in residence.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Where Were You?

Where were you on September 11, 2001? Do you remember? Is it still so clear in your mind it could have been yesterday? I certainly hope so. What happened MUST be remembered. The innocent victims MUST never be forgotten. If we forget, we give those cowards a victory.

I was in Kalispell, Montana. My cousin had been married on the 8th. My mom and I arrived at the tiny airport early in the morning on September 11. Our flight was to leave at 8ish mountain time. I had talked to Johnny the night before - the flight was wide open, we'd have no problem getting on (we were flying standby). We got to the gate ... and the flight was suddenly full. This was a bit of a problem as the next flight out of this tiny airport to Salt Lake City wasn't until after 1pm. Sigh.

We went back to the main area of the terminal. Mom walked to the windows on the opposite side to contact our family to see if we could get a ride back to their house. I sat down at a table in the small "cafe" to wait and see what we'd be doing. I remember an airport worker coming up to the lady in the cafe and telling her that there had been a plane crash and to turn on the news. The first thing that popped in my head was "Oh my stars! The plane we were just supposed to be on has crashed!" So the cafe lady turned the little TV mounted on the wall on and flipped through the channels; I recall it went past a station and there was a picture of the Twin Towers there, smoking, but we didn't notice it, we were looking for plane crash coverage. The first worker told her," No, no. Go back. That was it!" Horrible reality set in.

I sat there in my little chair staring at those building with smoke pouring out of them. The two ladies stood there staring. I kept trying to get my mom's attention across the room. Slowly, people in the airport gathered around in silence. My mom came back to the table. This airport is really small (REALLY small) and its not going to be noisy like Hartsfield here in Atlanta but it was dead silent. Dead silent. I remember glancing around at the people gathered around us, maybe a dozen or so, and everyone had the same expression: shock, horror, sadness.

Then there came the report that another plane had been flown into the Pentagon in DC (and I think I remember there was a mention of a fire or explosion on The Mall). I looked at my mom and said, feeling like I was 5 and not 22, "Mom, what in the world is going on?" She just looked at me, tears in her eyes, and shook her head. I have never felt so young or helpless or confused or scared in my life. This was America. Things like this didn't happen here! We hadn't been attacked since 1941 and even then there was a war going on (even if we weren't in it then).

Suddenly, there was more smoke pouring from one of the Towers and a gentleman to my left said there had been another explosion. I stared at what was on the screen and knew that was no explosion and cried, "No! The building is collapsing!!" They didn't want to believe me. Nerd that I am, I have watched those shows where they show building demolition and I recognized the sight of a building collapsing. It was soon apparent I had been right. I remember glancing kind of behind me and to my left. There was an elderly couple standing there, the gentleman had a cowboy hat on, and I can still see the expression on his face. We probably all looked like that. There was no sound; we all watched in silence as the second Tower fell.

We heard the flights had been canceled. We went to the Delta desk to ask what we should do? When would there be another flight? I'll never forget the poor girl behind the counter in tears just shaking her head and saying over and over "I don't know, I don't know."

I have never been so glad to see someone as I was when my cousin walked in to pick us up and take us back to their house in town. We would be stuck there for another week as there were no open seats once flights resumed (standby remember?); there weren't even any rental cars left in town. I am just glad that we were with family.

When we were finally able to get on a plane home a week later, the flight from Salt Lake City to Atlanta was....interesting. After dinner, while they were serving us ice cream sundaes we hit some turbulence. Not really bad but enough to bounce the plane around pretty good for a couple minutes. Needless to say, everyone on the plane was pretty freaked out. We had been lucky enough to get seats in first class for that trip and I remember the stewardess looking pretty freaked out herself.

We can never forget what happened to this country. There are people out there that just want to wipe us off this planet. They will try again.

Never Forget...

It seems like only yesterday that I was stuck in an airport in Kalispell, Montana, watching the cowardly attacks on our country.

Make sure you NEVER forget what was done to our country.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Friday Funny

I hope everyone can read the print on this! I can't figure out how to make it any bigger!

This Day in History...

September 10, 1167 - Empress Maud, daughter of Henry I and mother of Henry II, died at the Abbey of Notre Dame in France.

September 10, 1547 - The English defeated the Scots at the Battle of Pinkie Cleugh. The battle was sparked by demands that Edward VI, aged 10, should marry 5 year-old Mary, Queen of Scots.

September 10, 1608 - John Smith is elected council president in Jamestown, Virginia.

September 10, 1669 – Henrietta Maria, wife of Charles I, died in Paris, France.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

This Day in History...

September 9, 1087 - William the Conqueror died in France from injuries he sustained in a fall from his horse. His son Robert became Duke of Normandy and his son William (Rufus) became King of England.

September 9, 1513 - The Scots were defeated by the English at the Battle of Flodden Field. James IV was killed along with all his nobles.

September 9, 1543 - Mary Stuart is crowned Queen of Scots at the age of nine months.

This Day in History...

September 8, 1157 - The future Richard I was born in Oxford, England.

September 8, 1397 - Thomas of Woodstock, Duke of Gloucester and son of Edward III died in France.

September 8, 1560 - Amy Robsart, wife of Robert Dudley, is found dead at the bottom of a staircase. Her death is considered highly suspicious.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Book Review: George Knightley, Esquire

George Knightley, Esquire, Barbara Cornthwaite
5 roses

I am not totally against the recent trend of writing sequels and Austen spin-offs (the weird monster mash trend is the exception there...shudder) and some of them are fairly good and enjoyable though of course there are some that fall short of the brilliance that was Jane Austen, never quite hitting on that Austen feeling. However, Barbara Cornthwaite's retelling of Emma from Mr. Knightley's view point is absolutely brilliant. I am so glad I came across this one!

As this is a re-telling of Emma there is no need to go through a brief summary of the story. This is book one of a two part series in which we see the events from the original novel through the eyes of the hero, George Knightley. The narrative picks up as Knightley is walking to Hartfield after Miss. Taylor's wedding and ends after Frank Churchill leaves Highbury (which postpones the ball). Something I like about these re-tellings is the fact that you will sometimes get a glimpse of what "could have been" happening off screen, so to speak, and you get that with this novel. Besides the original scenes where Mr. Knightley appears, you get a glimpse of his life beyond what Austen wrote and Ms. Cornthwaite does a fantastic job of creating a voice and distinctive personality for Mr. Knightley that is in no way contradictory to how Austen created him. I have no problem envisioning him engaged in the conversations and activities that Ms. Cornthwaite creates for him; his personality here is entirely believable and really a joy to read. He is still the true Regency English Gentleman. Something the author does here that I feel even goes beyond Austen's wonderful portrayal is the humor she gives to Mr. Knightley. There are some priceless moments in this story: the scenes with Mr. Knightley and "the cat" are wonderful and if those don't give you a laugh the letters between Knightley and his younger brother John will certainly have you laughing out loud. I thought these letters between the brothers one of the highlights of Ms. Cornthwaite's narrative. The way in which Knightley comes to realize his true feelings for Emma is very well written and very believable (you're not going to find the annoying "for some reason" phrase used over and over here). There are some very sweet scenes between the two. As the author had to find some way for Knightley to fill his time in those moments when he wasn't "on stage" in the original, we see him at Donwell performing his duties as local magistrate and top landowner in the parish and I found it fascinating the things that were required of these gentlemen. There are some wonderful descriptions of more everyday things like clothing, homes, taxes, etc, that Austen did not include in her novels (but of course she had no need to include these things as her readers did not need this information!) and it is a fascinating look into the Regency world. Ms. Cornthwaite also creates a few new characters to help fill Knightley's time and I especially enjoyed the addition of Mr. Spencer.

I heartily recommend this book to any Austen fan. It is a wonderfully written and thought out novel, furthering our knowledge of the delightful Mr. Knightley. Some might enjoy reading it along side the original just to see how they compare. It is in no way a tedious read and you will fly through it in no time! I couldn't put it down once I started! My only negative comment is the fact that the second book has not been published yet and I am absolutely on pins and needles to see what Ms. Cornthwaite does with the second half of the story. Give this one a try; I do not think you will be disappointed in any way! Jane Austen would be proud!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Why Do I Read...What I Read?

I get asked that question quite frequently. People see all my books and wonder why I read them (or how I manage to read so many). Personal preference is my answer and I think most avid readers of a specific genre(s) will give you the same response. We read what interests us, what stimulates our mind, what makes us want to know more (in some cases anyway). That is certainly why I pretty much stick to my preferred genres. It also helps that I truely love to read; I always have. There is nothing better than curling up under a soft blanket with a yummy drink near by and loosing yourself in a totally different time.

I read historical fiction. I can be more specific than that even: I read mainly medieval British historical fiction (with some stories from earlier times and of course Tudor material as well). I also dearly love Jane Austen (and even some of the numerous sequels that have become all the rage). That is not to say that I don't occasionally read something from another time period (or even another genre) from time to time - though you will never see me with any of that vampire nonsense in my hands. I just prefer historical fiction and the information it brings me. I love to learn and some authors have a wonderful way of teaching me new facts and details; I can't gobble it up quick enough sometimes. There is just something magical in feeling like you're being transported to a time very distant and strange from your own and reading about people who lived, loved, laughed, hundreds of years ago. As I dearly love British history, these novels help in my constant quest for more knowledge. Yes, yes, I know they are technically fiction but my favorite authors (Sharon Kay Penman, Elizabeth Chadwick, Susan Higginbotham, to name three) are very meticulous and detailed in their research; I know they are not going to lead me astray by filling their pages with junk merely to appeal to the masses and to sell their book. I think it takes a very talented writer to be able to take a person who has been dead for hundreds of years and create a life for them out of the small bits of historical fact that has survived ... and to make that story not only believable but very enjoyable to read. Historical fiction can also give you many different sides to known history. History is, after all, written by the victors and we are not likely to get a very truthful look at the losers. That is such a fascinating aspect to historical fiction - it can really show you the "could have beens." Some authors do an absolutely brilliant job of bringing these distant times to life for their readers and make it incredibly easy to envision the landscape, the food, the clothes, the daily lives, the weather, etc. What is equally wonderful about these books is after finishing them I usually want to know more about the people, events, and time period, leading me to do research on my own and discover more interesting facts. In many instances I have come across another historical figure or event while researching on my own which in turn makes me want to find some historical fiction about that person. It is a never ending cycle...thankfully! Historical fiction has also opened up a whole new world to me - the blogging world! I have really enjoyed getting to know other HF bloggers, authors, and blogging on my favorite topics!

As I stated at the beginning I also love Jane Austen. There is something so peaceful about reading her novels. I find the Regency period fascinating with their strict codes of etiquette, elegance, and beautiful clothing. Her wit and sarcasm is wonderful and I love the fact that in many cases she is poking fun at the very class she writes about. She obviously went about the world with her eyes open and saw things for what they really were. I think what really attracts me to Austen's novels - besides the fact that they are brilliantly written with some fantastic story lines and very memorable characters - is the respect and honor and dignity that guided every aspect of their lives. We are sadly lacking in anything near respect and honor in today's society and it is refreshing to loose myself in a time when people had manners, respected and honored each other, and had morals. How can you not adore a period of such elegance? When men respected ladies? I am glad that a new era of readers is being introduced to Austen's writings and her world via the new fad of publishing Austen sequels and prequels and spins offs.

I do read other things from time to time - a non-fiction book on a topic that has captured my interest, random chick lit (I do enjoy Danielle Steele and Nora Roberts for instance), the occasional bodice ripper type romance (when I feel like indulging myself in something that doesn't require a ton of thinking!), and I still will pick up my copies of the Anne of Green Gables series or the Little House on the Prairie books if the mood hits me. Like I said, I LOVE to read and in a pinch I will read almost (almost) anything. My books of choice, though, will remain historical fiction and Jane Austen.

Why do you read what you do?

This Day in History...

September 7, 1151 – Geoffrey V (the Handsome), Count of Anjou, died.

September 7, 1533 - Elizabeth I, daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, is born at Greenwich Palace.

September 7, 1534 - Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk, married his ward Lady Catherine Willoughby.She was 35 years his junior and the marriage created a bit of a scandal.

Book Review: The King's Mistress

The King's Mistress, Emma Campion
3 roses

I had been eying this one for a while, waiting for it to be released in the US. Once I finally got a copy I dove right in, eager to read about this enigma of a woman. While the novel was well written and fairly interesting, I wasn't overly impressed with it. For me, there just seemed to be something missing.

Alice Perrers was a tradesman's daughter and married a tradesman. However, after only a couple of years of wedded bliss, Alice's world is turned upside down when her husband disappears and she is forced to live at the court of Edward III as a handmaiden to Queen Philippa. She catches the king's eye and ends up in his bed and from that moment on she is a target for the royal family and commoners. After the king dies and she looses his protection, Alice must struggle to regain her life.

The novel had great potential. The catalyst that drives the action early in the story is the fact that Alice's husband and his family have a secret agreement with the king's mother, Isabella, and are being pursued by someone who wants their information. There really is a mystery here and I feel if this story line had persisted the novel would have been much better. However, that mystery soon gets lost in the world of silks and dresses and fashion once Alice is forced to Court. We never find out who "they" are (the people that are after the Perrers family) and it is really frustrating not to have a conclusion to that mystery. To be honest, that really was the only interesting thing throughout the story. While the author has obviously made a very good attempt to redefine Alice, to me the story was just ... boring. In history Alice has been portrayed as nothing but a harlot and a scheming gold-digger and Campion has attempted to give her story new life. She was apparently reviled in her own time and the author has tried to rehabilitate that reputation but the product of her labor is really a weak, very naive, almost goody-goody Alice who seems only concerned with fabrics. While I am doubtful that the real Alice was as horrible as history has portrayed her (history is, after all, written by the powerful and the powerful at this time hated her) I do not think she was as goody-goody as she comes across here. I think that is probably my biggest beef with the novel - the protagonist is not all that believable, thus making her hard to like and follow. The line that seems to drive Campion's narrative is Alice's "When had I a choice to be other than I was?" I can see the author's attempt to show the reader that perhaps Alice had no choice in what happened to her (which is entirely possible; royal ladies rarely had much say in their own lives and a commoner would have even less) but it really didn't come across as all that believable. I think it would have worked better for me if she wasn't constantly saying, after asking and receiving good, sound advice from various people, that she would take their advice to heart but then never attempting to change and just saying "well, I have no choice!" As the novel headed towards it conclusion and Alice was forced into an undesirable marriage and attempted to regain her property, I could feel some sympathy for her. She really was dealt a bad hand and was powerless to receive justice and you could almost feel the helplessness of her situation.

All in all the story was not badly written and it had great potential. The other characters in the book really did not grab my attention or make me care what happened to them; they just seemed to be there in order to move the story along. The relationship between Alice and Edward wasn't all that interesting either which was a disappointment. The descriptions of fabrics and fashions of the time were amazing and obviously well researched but they seemed to take up way too much space in the story. I thought this story did do a wonderful job of showing how a person's reputation can be completely twisted by history one way or another and how a commoner really was at the mercy of the royal family. I am certainly not sorry I read this book as it showed me that Alice might not have been the gold-digger she has always appeared to be but I thought the author could have done much more with certain aspects of the story. I think most readers will not have a problem with it but those who crave a bit more substance to a plot might come away disappointed.

Monday, September 6, 2010

This Day in History...

September 6, 1620 - 149 Pilgrims set sail from England in the Mayflower bound for America.

September 6, 1666 - The Great Fire of London was finally put out after burning for four days. It destroyed more than 13,000 houses and almost 100 churches - including St Paul's Cathedral.

September 6, 1847 - Henry David Thoreau leaves Walden Pond and moves in with Emerson.

September 6, 1997 - The funeral for Diana, Princess of Wales, was held at Westminister Abbey.

Mailbox Monday

Mailbox Monday is a weekly meme created by Marcia at The Printed Page. It is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house last week. Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists.

Mailbox Monday is on a blog tour! The popular meme is being hosted for the month of September by Bermudaonion Weblog.

Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen

I finally decided to buy another copy of this novel as the one I had started reading quite a long time ago has disappeared. Once I finish this one perhaps I'll venture into the plethora of sequels and the like.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

This Day in History...

September 5, 1174 - Canterbury Cathedral was destroyed by fire.

September 5, 1548 – Catherine Parr, sixth (and last) wife of Henry VIII, died in childbirth with her fourth husband's (Thomas Seymour) child.

Friday, September 3, 2010

This Day in History...

September 3, 1189 - Following the death of his father Henry II in July, Richard the Lionheart was crowned king at Westminster Abbey in London.

September 3, 1783 - Britain finally recognised the USA, signing the Treaty of Paris officially ending the American War of Independence.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Giveaway Winner!

Thanks to those of you who entered my drawing for the beautiful hardcover copy of Philippa Gregory's first novel in the Cousins' War series The White Queen!

The winner is comment (generated by ...

#9 - Amy!!!!

Please email me your mailing address so I can get this out to you!

This Day in History...

September 2, 31 BC - Octavius Caesar, the future Emperor Augustus, defeated Mark Antony at the Battle of Actium.

September 2, 1348 - Joan, daughter of Edward III, died of the plague on her way to marry the Infante Pedro of Castile. She was buried in France.

September 2, 1666 - The Great Fire of London began in a baker's shop in Pudding Lane. It rapidly ended up destroying most of London's buildings and houses. This was the end of medieval London (and the end of thatch covered roofs in the city).

September 2, 1752 - The Julian calendar was used in Britain and the Colonies 'officially' for the last time. The following day became 14th September in the Gregorian calendar.

September 2, 1945 - World War II officially ended with the Japanese surrender aboard the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

This Day in History...

September 1, 1159 - The only Englishman to ever hold the position, Pope Adrian IV (Nicholas Breakspeare) died.

September 1, 1939 - At dawn on Germany invaded Poland and bombed Warsaw, beginning World War II.