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CarpeLibrum

Carpe Librum

Reviews and bookish conversation with author Samantha Wilcoxson.

If I am lost, you will find me in medieval England.

You can also find me - and my books - on my blog.

Historical Novel Society

Currently reading

America's First Daughter: A Novel
Stephanie Dray, Laura Croghan Kamoie
Burr
Gore Vidal
7 Lessons from Heaven: How Dying Taught Me to Live a Joy-Filled Life
Mary C. Neal, M.D.
The Naked Public Square: Religion and Democracy in America
Richard John Neuhaus
A Year with Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Carla Barnhill, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Jim Wallis

Will the real Thomas Jefferson please stand up?

Burr - Gore Vidal America's First Daughter: A Novel - Stephanie Dray, Laura Croghan Kamoie

Jefferson according to Burr. Jefferson according to his daughter. These are fun to read at the same time!

The Last Hours by Minette Walters

The Last Hours - Minette Walters

I selected this book based on an online recommendation. The cover and description were appealing, so I decided to give it a shot. The author is new to me, but the era of history is not. Fourteenth century history does, however, seem to be unfamiliar to the author.

Very little of the attitudes, speech, and beliefs of the characters in this book felt 14th century to me. Besides being flat, one-dimensional characters, many of them sounded like modern people thrown into a novel about the plague. Faith and church, which were an important part of life to most people, rich or poor, at this time, are treated with disdain and mockery by almost every character. Medical knowledge of the 21st century is injected throughout the novel to create an island of survivors while everyone around them is dying.

The only character I had any sympathy for was one the author tries very hard to paint as a villain. But I had pity for the neglected and abused fourteen-year-old daughter whose mother had long ago decided that insults were her favored parenting tool. We are supposed to believe that at some point Lady Anne had tried her best with Eleanor, but her treatment of the girl is horrifying, and it is not shocking that the girl has turned into a brat doing whatever it takes to get some attention. That's what neglected kids do.

As for Thaddeus and his boring ramble through the countryside abusing his own crew of teenagers.....I don't even know what the point of that was. There is a murder that is solved along the way, but no one seems too concerned about it.

The book ends with 'to be continued' but I will not be looking for more of these selfish, anachronistic characters' stories. 

This book was received from NetGalley in return for an honest review.

Thomas Wyatt: Poet & Assassin

https://samanthawilcoxson.blogspot.com/2018/03/thomas-wyatt-poet-assassin.html

 

Source: http://samanthawilcoxson.blogspot.com/2018/03/thomas-wyatt-poet-assassin.html

Why Elizabeth Woodville?

The lovely Stephanie Churchill has invited me to her blog to talk about why I decided to write about Elizabeth Woodville in Once a Queen.

 

Source: http://www.stephaniechurchillauthor.com/788-2

Tudor Summit

I'm excited to be involved in this year's Tudor Summit! I'll be speaking with Heather Teysko about Tudor women. To listen to my presentation, along with a bunch of other interesting talks about all things Tudor, sign up here at http://www.tudorsummit.com .

 

New Release! Once a Queen

myBook.to/OnceAQueen

Source: http://myBook.to/OnceAQueen

Tudor Persecution of Carthusian Monks

'On February 1, 1535, King Henry VIII's Act of Supremacy came into force, and one of the first groups he proceeded against were the Carthusian monks. Although this order had long been a respected and peaceful group, Henry labeling himself 'Supreme Head on Earth of the Church of England' made it possible for him to charge them with treason for their failure to accept his self-proclaimed level of spiritual power. His retribution was fierce and intended to be an example of any who considered refusing to take the Oath of Supremacy.'

 

(Continue Reading)

 

Source: http://samanthawilcoxson.blogspot.com/2018/02/tudor-persecution-of-carthusian-monks.html

The Husbands of Margaret Beaufort

A big THANK YOU to Tudor Times for inviting me to talk about Margaret Beaufort and her four husbands!

 

http://tudortimes.co.uk/guest-articles/the-husbands-of-margaret-beaufort

 

Source: http://tudortimes.co.uk/guest-articles/the-husbands-of-margaret-beaufort

As Bright as Heaven by Susan Meissner

As Bright as Heaven - Susan Meissner

As Bright as Heaven is a novel that feels like a friend by the time one finishes it. The storytellers, a mother and her three daughters, each add their own perspective and emotion to the events of 1918: World War I and the Spanish flu on a global level, love and loss on a personal level. I was captivated from the beginning and sad when it ended.

The method of telling each chapter from the perspective of one of the women/girls of the Bright family reminded me of The Poisonwood Bible. Both books include families moved from all that is familiar with faith and expectations packed in their luggage. This book is not as academically written and does not make such an obvious political statement, but it also feels more real. The faith of the Bright family is ever-present but not overbearing. They struggle, make mistakes, love, forgive, and lose precious loved ones in the flu epidemic that stole more from the world than the war did.

If some of the plot twist in this novel was predictable, I think the author can be forgiven. The development of the Bright girls' characters as they grew up and the emotions elicited throughout the novel more than make up for the lack of mystery. The spotlight on the impact of the flu in Philadelphia and the setting of an undertaker business are brilliant choices that make this an original and inspirational story.

I received this book through NetGalley. Opinions are my own.

Not exactly a review

Conspirata - Robert Harris Imperium - Robert Harris

I loved listening to these two books! Therefore, I am incredibly disappointed to see that Hoopla does not have the third in audio. I will definitely have to check other sources - and get them all in paper format to read again. Great stuff! 

 

Funny thing, I only started reading these because I am writing about Reginald Pole and he made his own annotated book of the writings of Cicero, so I thought I should get an idea of what Cicero was like. If these novels are any indication, I like him just as much as good old Reggie did.

Life of Reginald Pole - Martin Haile
"Believe as firmly as if your salvation depended on faith alone; act as if good works were all sufficient."

Anne Boleyn's apology to Princess Mary

Yes, really!

 

https://samanthawilcoxson.blogspot.com/2018/01/anne-boleyns-apology-to-princess-mary.html

 

Source: http://samanthawilcoxson.blogspot.com/2018/01/anne-boleyns-apology-to-princess-mary.html

Life in the time of Mary I

I am a guest of Mary Anne Yarde today with a look at life during the mid-16th century. Mary's day was much different than that of those she reigned over!

 

Source: http://maryanneyarde.blogspot.co.uk/2018/01/life-in-time-of-queen-mary-i-by.html

Reginald Pole and the Papal Conclave of 1550

Did you know that Reginald almost became pope?

 

https://samanthawilcoxson.blogspot.com/2018/01/reginald-pole-and-papal-conclave-of-1550.html

 

Source: http://samanthawilcoxson.blogspot.com/2018/01/reginald-pole-and-papal-conclave-of-1550.html

Tudor Book of Days by Tudor Times

Tudor Book of Days - Tudor Times

The Tudor Book of Days is a more lovely and useful book than I had anticipated. Set up as a perpetual calendar, it can be used for multiple years with notes about special days accumulating through time. It comes fully stocked with Feast and Saints days that would have been an important component in the Tudor era Books of Hours that were prized possessions of their day. Each day also includes a notable event of the Tudor era, providing one with a link to the past to begin every day.

 

Besides all of this, an index is included which provides a summary of each person mentioned in the daily facts. Therefore it is easy to learn more if the notable person or event of the day is one that is unfamiliar to the user, and the book becomes much more than a simple daily diary.

 

This book is an example of the high quality standard I would expect of Tudor Times. A sturdy yet beautiful hardcover and thick pages make this a perpetual diary that will last for years to come. It is so lovely that I was at first hesitant to write in it!

 

I look forward to making use of this book to track important historic dates and organize my blogging schedule with relevant information. I have attempted to develop something like this diary on my own with mediocre results, so I am especially thrilled to have the Tudor Book of Days as an addition to my desk that is both useful and attractive.

A Hobbit, a Wardrobe, and a Great War

This looks like something to look forward to!