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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

The Master and the Maid (Heaven's Ponds, #1)
Laura Libricz
Four Princes: Henry VIII, Francis I, Charles V, Suleiman the Magnificent and the Obsessions that Forged Modern Europe
John Julius Norwich
Reginald Pole: Prince and Prophet
Thomas F. Mayer
The Cost of Discipleship
Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Last day to enter!

I have two Goodreads giveaways ending today and would love for any of my BookLikes friends to win!





Of Virtue Rare: Margaret Beaufort, Matriarch of the House of Tudor - Linda Simon

DNF @ 38%


I've encountered too many errors to continue with this.

Reginald Pole's Reaction to his Mother's Execution

Why examine this little snippet of history? We know that Margaret Pole was horridly executed on Henry VIII's orders, and we know that Reginald Pole was safely away from England at the time. I think it is important to look at how Reginald took this news because I have read some opinions that Reginald was bitter toward his mother for his dedication to the church. Based on studying both of these historical figures, I have not found evidence of that. Yet even Hilary Mantel states it as fact.


Continue reading on my blog.


Source: http://samanthawilcoxson.blogspot.com/2017/02/reginald-pole-learns-of-his-mothers.html

The Fifth Knight by EM Powell

The Fifth Knight - E.M. Powell

This was a fun adventure to listen to that poses the question: What if that fateful day in Canterbury was not just about a quarrel between Henry II and Thomas Becket? What if there was much more to it? What if, in fact, Thomas was not even the primary target?


Obviously, this novel has to work outside of what we think we know about the murder of Thomas Becket, so one has to be prepared for that. If you are open to the what-ifs in history, this book is right up your alley. It is a fast paced adventure, unlikely romance, and mystery. At one point it seems that everyone is on the same side, leaving the reader to wonder why they are fighting then. And that's when the next bomb drops.


I can't say too much more without giving away one of the twists and turns of the plot, but if you are drawn to the story of the four knights who secured their place in history on December 29, 1170, this book gives you a peek at what it could have been.


This was great as an audiobook that I was happy to find available through Kindle Unlimited.

Happy birthday, Queen Mary!

The girl who would become England's first Queen Regnant was born on this day 501 years ago. To celebrate, I am at EHFA with a fresh look at who Queen Mary really was. Maybe, just for her birthday, we can stop calling her 'Bloody Mary'.


Source: http://englishhistoryauthors.blogspot.com/2017/02/the-unpopular-tudor.html

Hope in the Midst of War

Suzy Henderson is a guest on my blog today with a wonderful post about the disfigured soldiers of WWII and the doctors who worked tirelessly to give them new lives.


Source: http://samanthawilcoxson.blogspot.com/2017/02/hope-in-midst-of-war.html

Proofs have arrived!

The Fine Line Between Bastard and Princess

I am a guest at History Rocks! We are taking a look at a few bastardized princesses who had their revenge by becoming queen. Can't hold these ladies down!


There are also several book giveaway opportunities!


Source: http://historyrocks.us/2016/11/20/fine-line-blog

Book Giveaways!

Take advantage of several new opportunities to win free books!

Goodreads giveaway for Plantagenet Princess, Tudor Queen

Goodreads giveaway for Faithful Traitor

Chance to win multiple novels and the upcoming In Bed with the British on History Rocks!


Source: http://samanthawilcoxson.blogspot.com/2017/02/book-giveaways.html

From the Scriptorium: February 2017

Bookish news for the month on my blog.


Source: http://samanthawilcoxson.blogspot.com/2017/02/from-scriptorium-february-2017.html

Private Lives of the Tudors by Tracy Borman

The Private Lives of the Tudors: Uncovering the Secrets of Britain's Greatest Dynasty - Tracy Borman

This book takes a different approach to the history of the Tudors. Instead of focusing on the complicated politics of the era, it takes more of a summary approach to each monarch. Along the way, tidbits of daily life are described, so that you end up with a better idea of what Henry VIII's wardrobe looked like that how he ruled.

For those who have already read plenty about how these monarchs ruled, this might be a fun read. However, if you have already learned a fair amount about them, there is not much new here. The question really comes down to what you are looking for. If you wish to learn some fun Tudor trivia without reading a dozen biographies, this is right up your alley. If you have already read those dozen biographies, this is not going to enlighten you.

As with most Tudor studies, Mary is almost completely overlooked in favor of her sister. She always seems to be lumped in with Edward, despite the fact that she lived more than twice as long as he did and has a spectacular story. Ah well, most are eager to get to Elizabeth, so they will be happy to discover that approximately 1/3 of the book is dedicated to her.

I received this book through NetGalley.

Another Henry in Trouble over Becket

'Who shall rid me of this meddlesome priest?'

Whether Henry II truly uttered these words in 1170 or not, by 1538, the trouble with Thomas Becket had not been concluded. Lacking patience with his subjects looking to anyone but himself as a higher power, Henry VIII, a distant grandson of Becket's antagonist, destroyed the shrine of Saint Becket to put an end to prayers directed toward the king-defying martyr.


Continue Reading


Source: http://samanthawilcoxson.blogspot.com/2017/01/another-henry-in-trouble-over-becket.html

Voyage of Innocence by Elizabeth Edmondson

Voyage of Innocence - Elizabeth Edmondson

DNF @ 45%


This book makes me angry. 

The Revolt by Douglas Bond

The Revolt: A Novel in Wycliffe's England - Douglas Bond

This book covers a rich era of British history through the rather different perspectives of a young Oxford scholar and a peasant. Events first bring the two together on the battlefield of Crecy where both are forced to grow up quickly.


Once they return home, each man encounters the injustice of the age in a different manner. Hugh is at school with John Wycliffe, a man whose legacy requires no explanation. Willard's life in contrast is a struggle. When the plague arrives, status protects no one.


While Hugh assists Wycliffe in translating the Bible, Willard lives in anger at the position he is born to. When the men next come together, it is to join again in another type of battle against the corrupt friars and priests of their day.


This book does an admirable job of portraying those who took advantage of the church for their own benefit while balancing it with those who truly wished to share the gospel. Including several verses of scripture in Old English made it real. This was the work they were doing that continues to benefit us to this day.


Life in the 14th century was vividly brought to life through these characters. I only wish that the book had not ended so abruptly. Received from NetGalley.

The Colour of Gold by Toni Mount

The Colour of Gold: A Sebastian Foxley Medieval Short Story (Sebastian Foxley Medieval Mystery Book 2) - Toni Mount

This is a wonderful little short story to whet the appetite of anyone who is desperately waiting for the next installment in Toni Mount's Sebastian Foxley Medieval Mysteries. Sebastian is as lovable, awkward, and clever as ever as he marries the love of his life, a fact he can scarcely believe until she is there at the altar. And she is not the only special person at the celebrations. Ricardians will appreciate the presence of a fun-loving Richard, Duke of Gloucester. Even with his wedding day nerves, Sebastian manages to handily solve the mystery of a stolen gold livery collar. With the author's expert descriptions of clothes, food, and the London surroundings, it is easy to become completely captivated and read the entire story in one sitting.


I eagerly await more of this series!



Reading Update: 27%

Voyage of Innocence - Elizabeth Edmondson

I went to turn on my audiobook & then remembered this was what I had going and changed my mind. This may be my first DNF of 2017.  :-/