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Thursday, 12 September 2019
Sunday, 1 September 2019
Historically, King Louis' revengeful streak knew no bounds, for Huguenots were on the run where able, all fleeing from persecution and seeking peace in other countries. The revocation of the Edict of Nantes proved to be a disaster for Louis, but all that is revealed within the book.
Wednesday, 21 August 2019
David Wilkin: Romance Worth Reading*****
Francine Howarth again shows a slice of the Regency that imparts more understanding of the era. At first, one sees the adage that edit out the prestory is taken to extremes for I feel we learn of the Duke and Duchess of Malchester much as we uncover the secrets in Du Maurier's Rebecca. Much of where we are when we enter the story is based on many prior events we discover as the tale unfolds.
Even a key path of the plot is based on events that our heroine is told in part as we witness the telling, but also off the page. These events that we see and that we later find out impact the romance between our principals.
The question for a perspective reader is does Ms. Howarth make this all work, and indeed she does. This starts with a great deal of steam and mellows into a warm fire of love interests. The book has notes and tells how Ms Howarth thought of the plight of the infamous Georgiana (Perhaps the greatest beauty of the Regency Era) and her husband William Cavendish, the 5th Duke of Devonshire. The Devonshires were the fast set, and as the years continued the Duke housed his mistress in their house as part of their party always, and after Georgiana died, married the lady.
We do see similarities there, and for those who want to see exposure to that power couple, here is a place to find a glimpse of such a lifestyle. In other mores of the time, we can see thoughts about mounts, coaching Inns, households, friendships, charity, villainy and even a glimpse of the world war (The Napoleonic Wars were a world war).
All in all another delight from Ms. Howarth
There are, of course, the usual *
nasty snipes amidst more ***** reviews!
One horrid long-winded diatribe Vine Reviewer used dialogue as references to bad grammar - What?
And a few one-liners:
Badly written and padded out with gratuitous sex.
Not to be recommended.
or simply TOSH
After all spreading a little LUV makes everyone feel good!
Wednesday, 14 August 2019
Unlike Monmouth, Defoe evaded capture (contrary to many Wiki accounts of Defoe’s life and supposed Kingly pardon) and made safe escape first to the Scilly Isles and secondary escape to the Low Countries. There Defoe lived in exile for several months and made many friends in Flanders (family ties/origin Flanders) and with Hollanders, as had Monmouth. But, when William of Orange ousted his father-in-law from the English throne, the invasion thus notably referred to as The Glorious Revolution, Defoe had prior returned as a spy, his travels abroad bringing him home after the terrors inflicted by Judge Jeffrey upon Hampshire, Dorset, and Somerset.
In self accounts of his own life, Defoe is sparing on detail to do with the Monmouth rebellion, though did say: whilst hiding in a churchyard from royalist soldiers who were hunting runaways from the Battle of Sedgemoor, he read the inscription on a tombstone: "Robinson Crusoe" which later became the novel, apparently inspired as much by his escape from English shores to the Scilly Isles and shipwreck off the island. Was this poetic licence and showmanship on his part, perhaps not, given the seriousness of those who fled the battlefield at Sedgemoor.
Extra: Many of Monmouth’s supporters who evaded capture were known to the authorities but never found despite intense searches of houses by brutal means against existing occupants. Of those who escaped to the Scilly Isles and other island retreats and thought of themselves as safe and out of reach of the King’s hounds, were soon to learn the awful truth that the king’s vengeance had far from dissipated, even with the brutal finale of Monmouth’s decapitation.
As naval ships were sighted on approach or anchored off-shore on those outlying islands so escapees were again forced into hiding or smuggled away in fishing boats to foreign shores. Defoe was in their number and with steel grit and determination he made it to the shores of Spain, took ship to Oostende in Flanders (family ties/roots/origin) which was under Spanish rule, and slowly made his way to the Dutch held territories of the Low Countries.
He returned to English shores as a spy for William Orange, and come the Glorious Revolution, Defoe rode to greet William ashore. He led a colourful life thereafter with literary merits, and as did so many more of his ilk he lived well, spent well, and died as near a pauper as man can when things go awry in financial matters.
The most dreadful account of Judge Jeffreys enacting a despicable remit, was the sending of privates parts of notables "to the wives/mothers" of those who were hung drawn and quartered. A list of prisoners and their respective fates can be viewed here.
Sunday, 30 June 2019
Marie Émilie Thérèse de Joly, 'Mademoiselle de Choin'