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Topic: Question about curiosity of HF readers

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Subject: Question about curiosity of HF readers
Date Posted: 11/13/2010 6:04 AM ET
Member Since: 10/20/2007
Posts: 1,680
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I'm currently reading "My Theodosia" by Anya Seton.   Its about the relationship of Aaron Burr and his daughter.  I'm halfway through the book and am so tempted to google the life of Theodosia, but I'm forcing myself not to do it so I can find out the answer to my questions in the book.

When I've previously read about the Plantagenets or Tudors, I went to google halfway through the book and the info I got kinda ruined the ending of the books for me.

Does anyone else try to find out more about the characters in HF books before finishing?  Or, is it just my curiosity getting the best of me?

Alice J. (ASJ) - ,
Date Posted: 11/13/2010 7:04 AM ET
Member Since: 5/13/2009
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PE  I really try not to do that but I can't help myself sometimes. I have been known to read the end of the book half way through too. Very bad girl

Glad you are an Anya Seton fan too. I love her books The Winthrop Woman and Avalon. I have Theodosia on my bookshelf, haven't read it yet.

Alice

Date Posted: 11/13/2010 7:35 AM ET
Member Since: 5/19/2007
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Hey Philly!

Funny, I was just thinking about this the other day, and decided I was willing to wager that most of the HF readers here do go find historical facts about the time period/people we read about.  Now, whether they do that after finishing the book, or midway through...can't say.  I've been in your position, though, just dying to find out what's happening, not willing to ruin the end of the book.  I still have my college textbooks to refer to for anything from Ancient Egypt, Greece or Rome, so that's good.  But it's fun to check Wikipedia for updates.  

I usually try to wait until I"m finished..  angel

Date Posted: 11/13/2010 7:37 AM ET
Member Since: 7/15/2008
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PE, I too have done that on occasion, and I know how tempting it is, but you have to be prepared to spoil yourself. I.e. when reading Penman's Welsh trilogy I did that and I found out things I'd rather have waiting until I reached them in the book to know about.

Hope that makes sense.

PS, I've read My Theodosia and I recommend you wait to Google until afterwards.

Date Posted: 11/13/2010 7:47 AM ET
Member Since: 12/10/2005
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I'm a researcher, so searching for answers is a job hazard. LOL! It's the mark of an intriguing book that makes me what to know what's fiction and what's not before the book ends.

Date Posted: 11/13/2010 7:53 AM ET
Member Since: 10/20/2007
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Hi Vicky,  Always enjoy your posts - been in "lurk mode" for awhile.

Alice,   I wish Anya Seton was still with us.  What a great writer!!!  I gave up getting her books from PBS so I went to Amazon and got most every one she wrote.  I started with "The Winthrop Woman".  

I don't stick with HF all the time.  I try to switch genres so I don't get characters mixed up.  But when I pick up a Seton I know its like opening a jewel.

I will take everyone's advice, and read the book in its entirety before googling everything I can find out about her.  Fortunately, its not a 1000 page epic.  LOL

 

 



Last Edited on: 11/13/10 8:21 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 11/13/2010 9:07 AM ET
Member Since: 10/29/2005
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I always google, just can't help myself! I actually have packs of those little sticky place markers all over my house and by the time I'm finished with some books, they look like very colorful porcupines.

What do you call those little sticky things? The things you find near the spots you need to sign on legal paperwork... Oh, I can't remember!

 

I adore Anya Seton.

Date Posted: 11/13/2010 10:29 AM ET
Member Since: 7/15/2008
Posts: 4,035
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I agree about Seton being a favorite. When you do finish, do Google Theo as there's a delightful legend about....

 

(of course I can't tell)

Date Posted: 11/13/2010 10:54 AM ET
Member Since: 3/8/2009
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Valli....Flags...I love those things!

My daughter was struggling in her first semester in college.  She was an honors student in high school who never learned to study and it really caught up with her when she got to college.  We did some research and discovered that she is a kinesthetic learner...she has to interact with what she is learning, move around while she does it...basically engage her whole body in the studying process. She can't just sit in a quiet room and study from a book or notes and retain anything.  So we went to Office Depot and bought stuff for her "study" kit...including several of those flags, colored note cards and sticky notes, a big pad of paper and an easel.  Now she flags important things in her text and notes when she is reading them, puts things on note cards and reads them while walking on the treadmill, puts things on sticky notes and sticks them on the wall, rearranging them in sequence or whatever.  It's crazy but it works for her!  She's a junior in college now with a 3.6 GPA.

Date Posted: 11/13/2010 11:34 AM ET
Member Since: 3/14/2009
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I am a searcher too!   But It rarely ruins the story for me.    Before computers I  had an encyclopedia Britannica, that I purchased from a garage sale in the 70's for 40 bucks!!  I still have them. 

I look up maps, read about the history of the towns mentioned. For me that is the sign of a good book.

I am a history nerd and proud of it!smiley

Date Posted: 11/13/2010 2:34 PM ET
Member Since: 2/27/2008
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Thanks for calling it curiosity, and not nosiness! Debbie

Date Posted: 11/13/2010 5:28 PM ET
Member Since: 10/20/2007
Posts: 1,680
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Jerilyn,

I wish I had the room for a full set of Encyclopedia Britannica.  I realize that the world map keeps changing - I asked my daughter for a globe one year for Christmas/Hanukah.  She said mom,  that's why you have a computer.  Its just not the same.  She came over to visit me with her phone, computer, game thingy - I forget is it the ipod?  Every time we had a lapse in the conversation when I was trying to think of something, she looked it up on her fancy, smancy, machine.  BUT, when she went to the bathroom, I picked it up and was fascinated.  LOL

I'd still love to have the encyclopedia.  But, I probably would find it too cumbersome to use.  Technology has spoiled me a bit.

Date Posted: 11/13/2010 5:45 PM ET
Member Since: 3/14/2009
Posts: 9,174
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Philly,   They are leather bound and look great on the shelves.   What can I say.smiley

Date Posted: 11/13/2010 6:52 PM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2008
Posts: 10,209
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I usually Google after I've read the book to see if the author was spot on or .........

Date Posted: 11/13/2010 7:09 PM ET
Member Since: 7/15/2008
Posts: 4,035
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All that said, I will admit to googling when a word pops up in the wrong period, i.e. influenza in the 16C or numbskulls in the 12C devil

Date Posted: 11/14/2010 7:33 AM ET
Member Since: 6/16/2008
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I know it irritates me when an author has a book set in France and they're all speaking English. Authenticity, people! Authenticity!

Date Posted: 11/14/2010 7:59 AM ET
Member Since: 5/27/2005
Posts: 2,390
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"I asked my daughter for a globe one year for Christmas/Hanukah.  She said mom,  that's why you have a computer.  Its just not the same."

No doubt! I'm particularly fond of maps - and sometimes only a globe will do to properly orient a story or event or locale!

I, too, adore research, adore the "back story" and will often start my research fairly early on in a book. Sometimes that may spoil things a little, but I try not to read too carefully if I'm concerned about a "spoiler alert." Other times, I'll wait until the end of the book.

And, Alice, I understand !! I used to be a chronic last page first kind of gal; now, as the result of intensive therapy and a worthwhile 12 step program, I'm just an "occasional" offender. And that, really, has to do with the author's writing style and the subject matter.

When reading Nefertiti, I read the last couple of pages half-way through the book, looked up scads of information on Nefertiti, looked at whatever pictures I could find throughout the internet, etc. ... all because I thought the author was agonizingly slow in advancing the story! Any additional research I did only helped me get through the book, so I counted that as "all good" even though there were a few minor spoilers.

To me access to research is one of the compelling aspects of historical fiction. It enhances the book, helps my understanding, makes me a little more knowledgeable and is just an all-round more worthwhile experience.

Kelly



Last Edited on: 11/14/10 8:02 AM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 11/14/2010 9:16 AM ET
Member Since: 3/8/2009
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I usually wait until the end of the book to research.  Especially if the author doesn't include any end notes.

Date Posted: 11/14/2010 2:23 PM ET
Member Since: 10/20/2007
Posts: 1,680
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Wow, Just finished "My Theodosia" and am really glad I didn't google.  It would have really spoiled it for me.   Just started googling about her - but not that much out there.  Have to dig a little deeper - but Aaron Burr is an intriguing figure, if I must say so.    I'm a nerd when it comes to American History - what can I say?

Date Posted: 11/14/2010 3:14 PM ET
Member Since: 7/15/2008
Posts: 4,035
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Philly, did you find the legend of her ghost yet? If not I'll hunt it down when I get a chance.

Amazing stuff though isn't it? All I ever knew about Aaron Burr was the infamous duel, but he was quite a busy boy wasn't he? Gore Vidal has written a book on Burr (I believe called Burr) that I hear is very good.

Date Posted: 11/14/2010 3:44 PM ET
Member Since: 10/20/2007
Posts: 1,680
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Cathy,

Come to think of it, I recall coming across "Burr" by Gore Vidal but at the time it wasn't of interest.   I'll check it out.   Thanks.

 

And - yes - he was quite a busy guy.    I knew some things about Hamilton after reading "The Whiskey Rebels" by David Liss.  Not a very likeable dude.



Last Edited on: 11/14/10 3:45 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 11/14/2010 6:27 PM ET
Member Since: 12/10/2005
Posts: 2,851
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 Gore Vidal has written a book on Burr (I believe called Burr) that I hear is very good.

It's his best IMO. I loved it.

Date Posted: 11/15/2010 11:43 AM ET
Member Since: 7/13/2005
Posts: 5,201
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"I know it irritates me when an author has a book set in France and they're all speaking English. Authenticity, people! Authenticity!"

True, but if they were speaking French, us readers would not be able to understand it!

Date Posted: 11/15/2010 1:22 PM ET
Member Since: 8/17/2009
Posts: 1,588
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If I want to research the real history, I do it  whenever the urge arises.  I wouldn't even consider waiting for the end of the book.  I've read the endings of books (including end notes) before I officially "start" the book, ever since I was little. Needless to say "spoiling" is totally NOT an issue with me.   In fact, it might be critical to my enjoyment of the book.  I've always been the type to survey the broad outline of the forest first, before settling down to examine the trees, whether studying for an exam, or driving to the other side of the state, or reading a novel. 

Date Posted: 11/15/2010 1:44 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2005
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Last Edited on: 1/26/15 5:22 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
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