Did everyone get their newsletter today? There is a great review of Bernard Cornwell's new book, Azincourt, and a few other books that sound like good reads. I am especially excited to hear about another new book about an explorer, and even more excited that this is an explorer I haven't already heard of or read about. Yay!
This is the explorer book, but there is no review. You know you are dying to read more books about explorers! ;-)
- 16th Century
Crossing the Continent 1527-1540: The Story of the First African-
American Explorer of the American South by Robert Goodwin, San
Francisco Chronicle, 2 November 2008, Jesse Berrett
This sounds awfully interesting too -
- Lady Worsley's Whim: An Eighteenth Century Tale of Sex, Scandal and
Divorce by Hallie Rubenhold, The Sunday Times, James Fergusson
Hallie Rubenhold bills this as "one of the first celebrity divorce
cases". It was certainly sensational. Sir Richard Worsley was
comptroller of the King's household, an MP and governor of the Isle
of Wight. His wife, co-heiress to the manor of Brompton (now site of
the Victoria and Albert museum), was said to have taken 27 lovers -
several of whom were called to court as witnesses.
Here's the review for Azincourt -
- Azincourt by Bernard Cornwell, The Telegraph, 6 November 2008, David
If Bernard Cornwell was born to write one book, this is it. No other
historical novelist has acquired such a mastery of the minutiae of
warfare in centuries past. No one else could hope to take
Shakespeare's Henry V, strip it of its rhetoric and tell the
unvarnished truth about the Battle of Agincourt, which saw slaughter
on a scale that shocked Christendom. Hook is an archetypal Cornwell
hero, a brave, blunt, plain-speaking man, without airs of any kind.
In an action-packed story, he kills a man, is outlawed, and rescues a
novice French nun from being raped - and that is before the English
army has even captured Harfleur. After that, the narrative proceeds
on broadly predictable lines, climaxing at Agincourt, where Hook and
his fellow archers - their skills with a longbow captured with
peerless skill - help overturn seemingly insuperable odds.
I wasn't all that sure I'd be interested in Azincourt, but the review makes it sound awfully good.
Here is the review for Toni Morrison's newest book. It sounds great!
- A Mercy by Toni Morrison, The Independent, 7 November 2008, Andrea
"To be given dominion over another is a hard thing; to wrest dominion
over another is a wrong thing; to give dominion of yourself to
another is a wicked thing". This is the message of Toni Morrison's
new novel; her ninth and one of her best. Set in the 1680s, the story
centres on the household of Jacob Vaark, an Anglo-Dutch trader who
has created a homestead in the harsh Northern territories. It is told
from the perspective of the young women who have washed up there from
other places: his mail-order bride Rebekka, who has endured the
fearsome Atlantic crossing from England; Lina, a native American
woman whose tribe was decimated by smallpox; Sorrow, the unhinged
daughter of a sea captain; and Florens, a wild young black woman who
Vaark, despite his distaste for dealing "in flesh", has taken on as
payment for a bad debt.
2009 is looking like it will be a great year for Historical Fiction and History!