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Friday, August 23, 2013

Recently Downloaded Books

I get these cravings. With stacks of unread books, I feel like rereading. I've recently reread Josephine Tey's Daughter Of Time, which put me in the mood for Richard III fiction. At one stage, I was reading a whole pile of Richard novels. Of course, I stopped after a while, because when it's history, you know how it's going to end and the ending of that story is just too sad. I wish I could get hold of the fabulous The Dragon Waiting (John M Ford) on ebook, because in his universe it ends differently, but all I can find in iBooks are some of his Star Trek novels, and I prefer iBooks, as I can simply buy an iTunes card without giving my personal card details online.

So, after a reread of the Tey novel, I couldn't resist buying the ebook versions of Rosemary Hawley Jarman's classics, The King's Grey Mare and We Speak No Treason. Personally, I think her first novel, We Speak No Treason, is her masterpiece, but I quite like her other Richard novel. I remember my first discovery of Treason, with its simple red and purple covers(it was in two volumes and oddly, the ebook is also two-volume). I was blown away by it. The feel of fifteenth century England was all there - the music, the banners, the clothes, the food, Maydays,  the smell of the streets... I've just read the section devoted to a character called only the Maiden, Richard's first girl, the mother of his daughter Katherine - the daughter was real, we just don't know who her mother was, and the author creates a possible one. On a reread, I was thinking, "Aargh! You idiot! Don't spill your guts to the smiling lady in waiting!"

The King's Grey Mare starts as a sort of historical romance and goes on into history. Elizabeth Woodville can't live happily ever after with her John Grey, and after she does what it takes to become Queen of England, knowing what she knows about something really stupid Edward did to get into another woman's pants, Elizabeth can no longer be the heroine of a romance and the book has to be seen from other people's viewpoint. Which may be a flaw, and why it isn't quite as good as the first novel. But it's very readable anyway and I bought that ebook first.

While rereading that one, I went to Project Gutenberg for Sabine Baring-Gould's Curious Myths Of The Middle Ages. I do have that somewhere on my overloaded shelves, but couldn't find it and I wanted to read his version of the story of Melusine, rumoured ancestor of Elizabeth's family. I know it's in there, but can't find it in the ebook! Rats! PG is wonderful, but doesn't always have complete texts.

Still, I also downloaded some of his other books, including what seems to be a collection of short stories about ghosts. There's one amusing one about a ghostly waiter who turns up to collect tips.

I now have Tara Moss's Blood Countess, which I hadn't read, but thought I might enjoy, as I did the sequel. It's sort of Buffy meets The Addams Family. I also have a keynote speech from a Harry Potter conference, The Great Gatsby, Prickle Moon, Longbourn(Pride And Prejudice seen from the viewpoint of the servants) and Shakespeare's Cymbeline.

Review copies to finish and review - stand by.

Meanwhile, I have a lot of reading to do.

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