Discussion Forums - Historical Fiction

Topic: Carolly Erickson: The Secret Life of Josephine

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Subject: Carolly Erickson: The Secret Life of Josephine
Date Posted: 10/2/2007 12:40 PM ET
Member Since: 4/15/2005
Posts: 456
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I know there's several of you who are waiting for this book (wishlist is already 20 deep).   Not sure if this will spur others to add it to or drop it off their respective wishlist.

I got my copy from the library on Saturday and started it - and have stopped.  I liked Erickson's book about Catherine Parr well enough, haven't tried Secret Diary of Marie Antoinette yet, but after this book, I'm having some misgivings.

Here's my review - after 77 pages: http://www.paperbackswap.com/book/details/9780312367350-The+Secret+Life+of+Josephine+Napoleons+Bird+of+Paradise



Last Edited on: 10/3/07 9:03 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/3/2007 11:06 AM ET
Member Since: 7/30/2005
Posts: 1,080
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Thanks Marci I think I will still keep my place in line or get it from the library.After your review.I would not take a chance and buy it. I thought the secret diary of Marie Antoinette was good.
Date Posted: 10/3/2007 2:09 PM ET
Member Since: 6/5/2007
Posts: 2,507
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I've never read her before, but just picked up her book about Anne Boelyn (Mistress Anne I believe it's called?) I hope this was just an off book of hers.

Date Posted: 10/3/2007 6:47 PM ET
Member Since: 9/19/2006
Posts: 2,940
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I moved it to my reminder list.  I have such a backlog as it is, I hate to just have it sitting around if it isn't that good...

Date Posted: 10/4/2007 1:59 PM ET
Member Since: 8/12/2005
Posts: 809
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I wonder what's been going on with Carrolly Erickson. Her biographies are great, but she's also been churning out these "historical entertainments" which stray far from historical fact. I haven't been able to bring myself to try reading her Catherine Parr book because of some reviews I've read about the historical liberties she takes.

Date Posted: 10/4/2007 3:44 PM ET
Member Since: 10/29/2005
Posts: 3,823
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I'm not getting it either Felicia. The people she writes about had incredible, exciting real lives, why does she feel the need to add to it? When I heard she was trying her hand at fiction, I thought it would be great because she does incredible research for her bio's and she'd write great fiction that was still factual, but I guess I was wrong.

Date Posted: 10/4/2007 8:33 PM ET
Member Since: 6/24/2007
Posts: 112
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I agree with you two.  The historical fictions I've read have been mediocre at best.  Very light with no substance, all breezy conversation.

Date Posted: 10/5/2007 2:06 PM ET
Member Since: 8/12/2005
Posts: 809
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Alison Weir is one historian/biographer who stuck to historical fact in her first foray into fiction with Innocent Traitor (about Lady Jane Grey). The fictional suppositions she made fit the personalities of the characters. I loved Innocent Traitor and I'm sure it will be on my list of the best books I've read this year.

Date Posted: 10/5/2007 7:41 PM ET
Member Since: 6/5/2007
Posts: 2,507
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The historical fiction I hated, hated, hated was The Book of Eleanor by Pamela Kaufman. What a bunch of made up, ahistorical hooey.