Archives for posts with tag: historical

Hi all:

My break away from the blog is coming to an end, but as today I was travelling back to internet land, I decided to share a review of one of the books I’ve managed to read while I was away (I’ve done a fair amount of reading so I’ll keep sharing some of the reviews for the books I’ve read regularly). And hopefully the regular features and other things should be coming up soon.

You might remember I shared the review for the book The Eagle in Splendour about Napoleon’s court not very long ago and I told you I was hoping to read more books by the same publishing company I.B. Tauris. When I saw the book The Georgian Menagerie and read the description, I knew I had to read it. And I was right. Here I leave you the review and my heartfelt recommendation.

The Georgian Menagerie by Christopher Plumb

The Georgian Menagerie by Christopher Plumb

My thanks to I.B. Tauris & Co. and Net Galley for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

This is a fascinating book. I’m one of those people who find the history of the good and great all very well but I’m more interested in what everybody else and society at large was up to while the battles and big political debates took place. And the more curious the topic and the angle used to shine a light on an era, the better.

Christopher Plumb’s choice of topic works well on many levels. Most of us have been fascinated by animals when we were children (and into adult life, whether we admit it or not), and the more exotic to us, the better. Imagining a period in history when many westerners would have never seen a parrot, a kangaroo, or a lion, might be difficult now, but it wasn’t all that long ago. The circumstances of the exhibition and sale of many of these animals provide a fascinating insight into human curiosity, enterprise, and society. And it goes from the Royals to the people who would manage to get a few shillings to pay for a ticket to see the latest attraction. If not everybody could afford their own aviary or menagerie at home, towards the end of the era canaries were affordable by many. The topic is well-researched, with beautiful illustrations of the period, references and footnotes for those interested in further enquiry, but it never becomes arid or tedious. This is not a list of sources and data. The era, the personalities of the merchants, anatomists, and even the animals are brought to life through anecdotes, fragments of poems, songs, newspaper articles, letters…Although readers might not share the point of view and feelings of the people of the period, it’s easy to imagine being there and looking on.

We learn about the uses of bear grease, civet as perfume, turtle feasts as symbols of power, eels and sexuality, parrots and jokes about women, Queen Charlotte’s zebras and the jokes to follow, the prices of animals and tickets in relation to salaries, the opinions of the general population about their monarchs, sexual mores and allusions, famous elephants, sickly giraffes, lions roaring in London’s Strand, the Tower of London menagerie, and how all changed with the arrival of the Zoological Garden at Regent’s Park. Christopher Plumb draws interesting conclusions (or rather guides the reader to notice certain things) that emphasise how the external manifestations of human nature might change, but at heart, perhaps we aren’t that different from our ancestors and we’re not as enlightened and modern as we’d like to think.

This book can be enjoyed by all readers, even if they don’t know much about the Georgian period of English history (also referred in the book as the long eighteenth century), but I think it will be an invaluable resource to anybody studying or researching the era, as it provides vast amounts of background and information (without seemingly doing so) from an unexpected angle, and many of the anecdotes could become full stories in themselves. Vividly described, each chapter can be read individually for specific research purposes, but I feel the whole is much more than the sum of its parts.

A book that will keep me thinking for a long time.

Although I read an e-book version, the links are to the hardback edition, as the final e-book version is not available yet.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/1784530840/

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1784530840/

Thanks so much to Christopher Plumb for his book, to I.B. Tauris and Net Galley for providing me an advance copy, thanks to all of you for reading, and if you’ve enjoyed it, like, share, comment, and CLICK! And thanks for your patience!

Hi all:

I’ve known Hunter S Jones for quite  a while. She’s one of the authors who belongs to ASMSG and I met her very early on my journey into indie publishing. I read one of her novels at the time and was thoroughly impressed, by her imagination, her mastery of language and her beautifully rendered historical details. I have a few of her novels in my TBR list, that I keep looking longingly at but so far haven’t managed to get through.

But very recently I saw she’s published a novel that has been receiving a lot of attention, and I had to bring it here.

Author Hunter S. Jones

Author Hunter S. Jones

Hunter S. Jones is the author of many award winning books including “September Ends” which won awards for Best Independently Published Novel, based on it’s unique blending of poetry and prose. Her short story “Fortune Calling” received best selling status on Amazon in the Cultural Heritage category and Historical Fiction category. She has been published by H3O Eco mag, LuxeCrush, Chattanooga Times-Free Press, and is now a freelance contributor for the Atlanta Journal Constitution. She has two undergraduate degrees, one in English Literature, the other in History with an emphasis on the English Renaissance and Reformation. Hunter has written “Phoenix Rising”, a historical novel about the final hours of Anne Boleyn’s life. Come on a historical journey through some dark hours…

http://www.amazon.com/Hunter-S.-Jones/e/B009SLNLKS/

And her novel:

Phoenix Rising by Hunter S. Jones

Phoenix Rising by Hunter S. Jones

Phoenix Rising

The last hour of Anne Boleyn’s life…

Court intrigue, revenge and all the secrets of the last hour are revealed as one queen falls and another rises to take her place on destiny’s stage.

A young Anne Boleyn arrives at the court of King Henry VIII. She is to be presented at the Shrovetide pageant, le Château Vert. The young and ambitious Anne has no idea that a chance encounter before the pageant will lead to her capturing the heart of the king. What begins as a distraction becomes his obsession and leads to her destruction.

Love, hate, loyalty and betrayal come together in a single dramatic moment… the execution of a queen. The history of England will be changed for ever.

Reviews

“Compelling, captivating and moving.” 

-Claire Ridgway, The Anne Boleyn Files

~~~

“Historically accurate yet suspenseful – although we know the ending, this page-turner has many surprises.” 

-Dr. Beth Lynne, Editor

~~~

“An interesting look at the events of May 19, 1536 from an unexpected angle!”

-Cyndi Williamson, blogger, QueenAnneBoleyn.com

~~~

Anne Boleyn is unarguably one of history’s most fascinating and controversial women. Temptress, opportunist, witch, adulteress, or martyr? Generations after her death, we’re still intrigued by her rise and fall. In Phoenix Rising, Hunter Jones transforms the legend into flesh and blood. You don’t want to miss this clever and marvelously entertaining account of Anne Boleyn’s last hour.”

-OCMD, Amazon Vine Reviewer

~~~

“Thought provoking, esoteric and heart wrenching.” – 

-R.J.Askew, blogger, reviewer, author and journalist.

And I copy one of the reviews in full:

5.0 out of 5 stars Phoenix Rising! May 19, 2015

By Brenda

Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase

“Surely our love is beyond misunderstandings and whispered innuendo.”

Phoenix Rising by Hunter S. Jones is historical fiction but in the most enjoyable, unique way. I love how the author has fun with her stories and gives her characters such unexpected quirks. She has a way of making what could be a rather dry story into something fresh, contemporary and spellbinding.

This tale contemplates the last hour of Anne Boleyn and the rise of Lady Jane Seymour as predicted by an astrologer to the King of England, Henry VIII.

Phoenix Rising shares more than one viewpoint which makes it even more compelling. I relished in discovering the different opinions, outlooks and of course the gossip. Drama-filled and fast-paced this is an easy escape to an earlier time and an extraordinary place.

Quote ~

A tear tumbles down his left cheek. I look into his eyes and see pain. He must be shocked from the resent events. How can he have his wife executed? The mother of his daughter, Elizabeth? But, mine is to do as I am told. I am not to judge a man with ancient and noble blood. A king deemed as divine by his birth and chosen by the hand of God to lead our nation.”

http://www.amazon.com/Phoenix-Rising-novel-Anne-Boleyn-ebook/dp/B00X806742/

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Phoenix-Rising-novel-Anne-Boleyn-ebook/dp/B00X806742/

Thanks so much Hunter for your new novel, thanks to all of you for reading, and if you know, like, share, comment, and CLICK!

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