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The Countess and the King: A Novel of the Countess
Pity the fate of the plain woman in the Restoration Court of Charles II. Fortunately for Katherine Sedley, only child of a wealthy family, such worries are premature. Attended by "Romish" priests, Katherine's …
The Rebellion of Jane Clarke: A Novel
Gunning captures the rebellious and chaotic days prior to the Boston Massacre and the American Revolution, Boston seething with political activism against British occupation, the battle lines between …
reviewed Wolf Hall: A Novel. August 31, 2010
Wolf Hall: A Novel
In her latest novel, Mantel has captured the spirit of the rebellion against the Church and a pope who will not bow to pressure and annul the marriage of Henry VII and Katherine of Aragon. It is only …
Original Sins: A Novel of Slavery & Freedom
There is a lot of history in Kingman's rather weighty 1840s novel, a tale that moves between Philadelphia and Virginia. Grace MacDonald Pollocke, originally from Scotland, paints miniature of ladies while …
reviewed The King's Mistress: A Novel. June 28, 2010
The King's Mistress: A Novel
The book jacket suggests Campion seeks to put a more human face on the reviled commoner, Alice Perrers, mistress to Edward III and lady-in-waiting to Philippa of Hainault. Although the author makes a …
The Confessions of Catherine de Medici: A Novel
Gortner's portrait of Catherine de Medici is rich in historical detail, a view inside the world of a woman touched by the hand of fate, France awash in religious wars in the late 16th century. In spite …
reviewed The Captive Queen. April 21, 2010
The Captive Queen
In 1202 the eighty-two-year old Eleanor of Aquitaine is at last ready to meet her Maker, nine of her eleven children dead before her, Henry II long in the grave after a brilliant reign, tumultuous marriage …
reviewed The Queen's Pawn. April 06, 2010
The Queen's Pawn
In this fascinating tale of kings, queens and power, English draws an intimate portrait of love and passion, between Henry II, his queen, Eleanor of Aquitaine, Richard Plantagenet and French Princess …
reviewed Walking to Gatlinburg: A Novel. February 27, 2010
Walking to Gatlinburg: A Novel
A beautiful runaway slave girl. Her small brother, tortured for his secrets. A young man searching for his older brother through the chaos of war. And a band of psychopathic killers terrorizing the land …
reviewed Savage Lands. December 27, 2009
Savage Lands
In 1703, twenty-three girls of marriageable age embark on a perilous voyage from Paris to the French colony of Louisiana. Called "casket girls", these young women are destined for marriage to the colonists. …
reviewed New York: The Novel. November 11, 2009
New York: The Novel
New York is ambitious, but then all of Rutherfurd's novels are broad in scope, the history of a place through time via the intimate details of individual lives. As in Sarum, London, The Princes of Ireland, …
reviewed The White Queen: A Novel. September 09, 2009
The White Queen: A Novel
      Philippa Gregory has brought a depth of perspective to some of the iconic female figures of English history, with impeccable research and an eye for the particular challenges …
reviewed The Frightened Man. May 02, 2009
The Frightened Man
    In a historical thriller that is both compelling and compassionate, Cameron unveils a London in 1900 whose racket expands exponentially with its buildings: "London was like monster …
reviewed The Constant Princess. March 30, 2009
The Constant Princess
(4.5 rating) It is 1491 and Catalina is Infanta of Spain and Princess of Wales, her parents Ferdinand and Isabella. In the Spanish court, religion reigns alongside the regents, Christianity engaged in …
reviewed World Without End. March 29, 2009
World Without End
    When four children meet in the forest to practice shooting the arrows made by one of them, Merthin, none can imagine the way their lives will intersect over the years. After a …
reviewed The Pale Blue Eye: A Novel. March 18, 2009
The Pale Blue Eye: A Novel
    When Gus Landor, a retired constable, is called to West Point to investigate a gruesome crime, he has no idea how his life will be affected by those he meets and the strange turn …
reviewed The Meaning of Night: A Confession. March 18, 2009
Meaning of Night
    Position and education are everything in Victorian London, a world defined by the refinements of class; a man's fortune can be made by the right association or destroyed by unsavory …
reviewed The Crimson Portrait: A Novel. February 27, 2009
Jody Shields Crimson Portrait
    Shields is a significant writer who has bravely tackled a difficult subject, the destructive nature of war and the emotional complexities of trauma. Both off-putting and riveting, …
reviewed The Boleyn Inheritance. February 27, 2009
Gregory The Boleyn Inheritance
  Anne of Cleves. Katherine Howard. Jane Rochford. These three women share an inheritance born of deceit and political ambition, cast upon a stage with monarch Henry VIII, a man who has deluded …
reviewed Heretic: A Novel. February 27, 2009
Lewis Weinstein Heretic: A Novel
    The pages of history turn inexorably toward the Spanish Inquisition, as the "conversos" are tormented by angry mobs of "old Christians", who believe the reformed Jews are secretly …
reviewed The Ice Soldier: A Novel. February 27, 2009
Paul Watkins Ice Soldier
    In 1950, William Bromley is still haunted by his tour as an army mountaineer during World War II, but does his best to create a new life teaching history at a London boarding school …
reviewed The Ruby in Her Navel: A Novel of Lov.... February 27, 2009
Barry Unsworth Ruby in Her Navel: A Novel of Love
    Twelfth century Sicily is a multicultural society, Christians, Muslims, Jews, Latins and Greeks living in apparent harmony under a Christian king. Cooperation in affairs of a state …
reviewed Mary, Queen of France: The Tudor Prin.... February 27, 2009
Mary, Queen of France: The Tudor Princesses
    Long before Henry VIII succumbs to the heady power of his long and turbulent reign, he is a virile, handsome young man on the cusp of claiming the throne from an ailing father, …
reviewed The First Princess of Wales: A Novel. February 27, 2009
Karen Harper First Princess of Wales
    Formerly published as "Sweet Passion's Pain", this historical novel takes place in the mid-fourteenth century, as Joan of Kent meets her destiny in the court of Edward III. Learning …
reviewed A Respectable Trade. February 27, 2009
Philippa Gregory Respectable Trade
    Historical fiction guru Philippa Gregory tackles an important subject in this novel, treating the slave trade in Greta Briton with compassion and an eye to its historical implications. …
reviewed The Water Devil: A Margaret of Ashbur.... February 27, 2009
Judith Merkle Riley Water Devil
    The latest Lady Margaret of Ashford novel is painted on a smaller canvas, the story set in the household of her father-in-law, Brokesford Manor in 1362. The Sieur de Vilers, not …
reviewed Sleep, Pale Sister. February 27, 2009
Joanne Harris Sleep, Pale Sister
    What seems at first a man's Svengali-like obsession with a pure young woman and another man's seduction that female proves to be but a part of a clever plot that twists and turns …
reviewed Innocent Traitor: A Novel of Lady Jan.... February 27, 2009
Innocent Traitor: A Novel of Lady Jane Grey
    Lady Jane Grey is but a footnote in one of the most fascinating periods of English history, but her short life is both shocking and appalling, the pawn of her parents' overweening …
reviewed Honolulu. February 25, 2009
    The author's larger-than-life treatment of Hawaii in the early 20th century focuses on the momentous decision of a Korean woman. Rather than face the limitations of a future in …
reviewed Hangman Blind. February 25, 2009
Hangman Blind
    The first of Clark's planned medieval mystery series begins at a time of considerable political unrest, November 1382. After her husband's death in battle, Hildegard has spent …
reviewed The Rose of York: Fall from Grace. February 20, 2009
The Rose of York: Fall from Grace, Sandra Worth
The third in Worth's Rose of York trilogy, Fall from Grace addresses the kingship of Richard III, the most challenging and harrowing years of his tumultuous life. The young Richard, married to Anne Neville, …
reviewed The Rose of York: Love and War. February 20, 2009
The Rose of York: Love and War, Sandra Worth
Set against the interminable and harrowing War of the Roses, Love and War introduces the Richard III, a somber and idealistic young man who defines himself, even from his earliest days, by his loyalty …
reviewed The Rose of York: Crown of Destiny. February 20, 2009
The Rose of York: Crown of Destiny, Sandra Worth
The second novel of Worth's Rose of York trilogy, Crown of Destiny covers a critical period of the life of Richard, Duke of Gloucester. Brother of Edward IV, Richard has remained in the background by …
reviewed The Perfect Royal Mistress: A Novel. February 20, 2009
The Perfect Royal Mistress, Diane Haeger
In Restoration England, Nell Gwynne lives in poverty-riddled London, an orange girl at the King's Theater who has so far avoided the taint of prostitution that has claimed her mother and sister. With …
reviewed Mistress of the Art of Death. February 20, 2009
Mistress of the Art of Death, Ariana Franklin
In 1171, Cambridge is beset by a series of brutal child murders, so inflaming the citizens that they turn on the local Jews as scapegoats, reinforcing the common belief that these baby killers routinely …
reviewed The Sovereign: A Matthew Shardlake My.... February 20, 2009
The Sovereign: A Matthew Shardlake Mystery, CJ Sansom
The final years of the reign of Henry VIII are beset by plots against the throne and a restive north, chaffing against the king's penchant for taxation, the religious conflict between papists and reformers …
reviewed Portrait of an Unknown Woman. February 20, 2009
Portrait of an Unknown Woman, Vanora Bennett
Sweeping into the history of the explosive reign of Henry VIII and his Great Matter, a divorce from Katherine of Aragon and marriage to Anne Boleyn, this tale is relayed from the perspective of a highly …
reviewed Hangman Blind. February 20, 2009
Hangman Blind, Cassandra Clark
4.5 The first of Clark's planned medieval mystery series begins at a time of considerable political unrest, November 1382. After her husband's death in battle, Hildegard has spent seven years in a Cistercian …
reviewed Revelation: A Matthew Shardlake Mystery. February 09, 2009
Revelation: A Matthew Shardlake Mystery, CJ Sansom
Matthew Shardlake is a solicitor in 1544 London who has deliberately chosen to avoid politics, dedicating himself to the betterment of the poor who fill the streets of London. Acting on behalf of those …
reviewed The SeĢance. February 02, 2009
The Seance, John Harwood
(3.5) Harwood's novel suffers from the realities of the era in which the drama takes place, late 19th century England. While scientific discoveries accelerate, so does the public obsession with mesmerism …
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