Autumn Recommendations: Historical Fiction

As an historian, it is no surprise that I love historical fiction. I love how easy it is to learn about the past and the life it gives to well known characters of our past. I particularly enjoy reading about periods I know little about as once I have finished I will go and look up the actual events and learn more. It is safe to say I’m happiest when reading stories set in the past, even when reading fantasy I prefer it to be set in some feudal land. I love Kings and Queens, and battles with swords/axes/arrows, not guns and cannons. Here are a three I have really enjoyed in the past year. Continue reading “Autumn Recommendations: Historical Fiction”

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The Winter Crown by Elizabeth Chadwick – A Review

 

Published in 2014, 483 pp, Sphere 

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆

The second installment of Elizabeth Chadwick’s Eleanor of Aquitaine trilogy, The Winter Crown opens in the winter of 1154. Eleanor is married to the young Henry FitzEmpress, son of Geoffrey of Anjou, the father of the Plantagenet dynasty, and Empress Matilda, heiress of the English throne, and is playing the part of child bearer well. Whilst Chadwick’s first novel, The Summer Queen,  focuses on young Eleanor, this one portrays Eleanor the woman. We have seen her overcome many hardships and flee from an unhappy marriage for the love of a young, feisty suitor. However, not long after the honeymoon period wears off, we see that young Henry is a force to be reckoned with. He has the Plantagenet temper and refuses to share power. He is desperate to claim his birth right; the English throne, and will do whatever it takes to get it. This leaves Eleanor alone to raise the children she bears him and to stew over the fact she is no longer in her homeland the Duchy of Aquitaine.

Continue reading “The Winter Crown by Elizabeth Chadwick – A Review”

The Summer Queen – A Review

The Summer Queen is the first novel in Elizabeth Chadwick’s trilogy on Eleanor of Aquitaine. Beginning in 1137, Chadwick introduces Eleanor just before the loss of her father and the realisation that she was the sole heiress to the duchy of Aquitaine, and thus extremely desirable to noble families.
Continue reading “The Summer Queen – A Review”

What I’m Reading…

Hello!

Just thought I’d touch base and show you what I’m reading.  As you can see, I have my hands full at the moment. It’s so nice to have such a great selection of books to dig into. I’ve just finished reading G. R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series (which is amazing by the way, and it’s amazing how many references to the English Wars of the Roses there are. Cannot wait until the next instalment!) so now I’m 100% focussed on this pile!

After finishing my degree in Early Modern History, I have decided to start reading more into Medieval history. I’m not too sure what made me do this, perhaps it was my love of Martin’s Game of Thrones, but I’m so glad I have. I started with Alison Weir’s novel of Eleanor of Aquitaine, The Captive Queen, and it just opened up a whole new world for me. I have always loved the Tudors since my secondary school history teacher taught me about Wolsey and Henry VIII with such passion. My dissertation about Anne Boleyn’s role in Wolsey’s downfall and her love affair with the king has given me some interesting ideas and theories that I’m hoping to explore in a MPhil (if i ever save up enough), but if I can’t go down that path hopefully I can detail them in a book (wishful thinking perhaps but I’m going to try!). These are tied up with certain Medieval Queens and the more I read the greedier I am about buying books that help illuminate the dark ages of English (and European) history.

Continue reading “What I’m Reading…”