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Topic: So, Who's Better?

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Subject: So, Who's Better?
Date Posted: 4/13/2010 3:49 PM ET
Member Since: 4/23/2008
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This is so nasty of me, but I just have to do it.  I have to ask, and I want you all to suck it up and commit to one or the other -

Who's better - Penman or Chadwick? 

Seriously, no answering "both" or "I can't choose."  Imagine you've been told for the rest of your life you can only read one of those two authors' books.  Who's it going to be?

Date Posted: 4/13/2010 3:52 PM ET
Member Since: 4/23/2008
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I'll answer my own question first to prove it can be done.  For me, Penman.

Okay, I'll admit this is easy for me for only one reason.  I've read two Penmans (well, almost two, I'm not quite done with the second), When Christ and His Saints Slept and The Sunne In Spendour. I was thoroughly in love with both.  I've only read one Chadwick, and from what I understand it's one of her earlier books and is more a historical romance than historical fiction (and I'm not a big romance fan).   It was The Conquest.  I liked it, but it was no Penman.  However, I have yet to read a Chadwick about a "real" historical figure, which is probably where she most compares to Penman.

I reserve the right to re-visit this after I've read a few more Chadwicks.  ;)

Date Posted: 4/13/2010 3:58 PM ET
Member Since: 6/5/2007
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I've never read Chadwick. I really enjoy Penman, but think that the third books of her trilogies tend to drag, and be repetitive (especially of the Welsh trilogy_)

Date Posted: 4/13/2010 4:05 PM ET
Member Since: 7/15/2008
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I look at it a different way. I love them both, but they each have completely different strengths in their writing. Penman has a knack for taking the most complex political situations and making them understandable for us mere mortals. With Chadwick, I love the effortless way she brings in the sights, sounds and smells of the medieval period and the mindset of the characters.

Date Posted: 4/13/2010 4:39 PM ET
Member Since: 8/17/2009
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I've read three Chadwick's (The Wild Hunt, The Greatest Knight, and The Scarlet Lion) and all of Penman's. 

I love them both, but if I had to choose, it's Penman.  Her scope is broader, her cast of characters and their playgrounds bigger, and yet she makes you feel as if she knows and understands them all, and she shows them to you with such skill.  She can make you pity someone she's taught you to hate, and bitterly resent someone you earlier loved.  I truly don't know how she manages the strands of so many plot and plot points at the same time, so that they all get the right amount of attention and development.  I'm never impatient with one line, tempted to scan ahead to get back to another.  it's all woven together perfectly.  I'm trying to think of anyone else who does it as well or better (in any genre) and no one comes to mind.



Last Edited on: 4/14/10 2:02 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 4/13/2010 4:46 PM ET
Member Since: 12/10/2005
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Chadwick because she deals with more subjects that I know little about. I love Penman, but I already know a fair amount when I start reading one of her books.

Date Posted: 4/13/2010 5:03 PM ET
Member Since: 3/14/2009
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I completely agree with Cathy, 100%. For the exact same reasons.

Date Posted: 4/13/2010 5:37 PM ET
Member Since: 1/15/2010
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I would have to choose Chadwick because the writing has a lighter feel to it and it is easier on my sleep deprived brain.  =)

Date Posted: 4/13/2010 5:50 PM ET
Member Since: 5/27/2005
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Well, Cathy & Letty ... I notice that you both adroitly & neatly sidestepped the question ... which one ???

I, too, agree with Cathy's comments as a comparison between the two & I also think Sharla quite nailed down Penman's skills.

For me, in direct answer to Shelley's statement/question:  Imagine you've been told for the rest of your life you can only read one of those two authors' books.  Who's it going to be?  I would have to say Elizabeth Chadwick for the simple reason that she has a greater catalog of books. If I'm stranded on a desert island with only one of these author's books, I want the most books I can get my hands on.

Kelly



Last Edited on: 4/13/10 5:51 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Alice J. (ASJ) - ,
Date Posted: 4/13/2010 6:09 PM ET
Member Since: 5/13/2009
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That is a nasty question. One up for Penman is she also has her historicay mystery series as well and regular historical fiction.

I love the way Elizabeth Chadwick tells a story. It is lovely

So I can't pick, I know I break the rules.

Alice

Date Posted: 4/13/2010 6:33 PM ET
Member Since: 10/29/2005
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If Penman wrote a book every year, I'd choose her, but since she doesn't, I'd have to go with Chadwick.

Now, if you told me I could only bring one book to the island, a Penman or a Chadwick, I'd choose Penman's "When Christ and His Saints Slept".

Date Posted: 4/13/2010 6:58 PM ET
Member Since: 3/14/2009
Posts: 9,174
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I still can't decide, Valli is right about the fact that Chadwick putting out a book a year or there abouts would be an odvious choice but I couldn't do with out Penman's Welsh Trilogy  they are with out question my favorite books of all time.  So if I had to choose one author it would be Penman.

Kat (polbio) -
Date Posted: 4/13/2010 7:24 PM ET
Member Since: 10/10/2008
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              i have never read either    * hangs head in shame*

Date Posted: 4/13/2010 7:37 PM ET
Member Since: 12/10/2005
Posts: 2,851
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Go get 'em, Kelly! Cathy stuck it to uh held me to an answer on another thread. Time to even the score.

Date Posted: 4/13/2010 7:48 PM ET
Member Since: 4/23/2008
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Ahhh, thank you, Kelly!  I didn't want to call the vacillators out directly but ummmmm . . . they were supposed to pick one.  I realize they have different styles, etc., so the question is, who's do you enjoy more?  LOL!  I realize it's a nasty, thought-provoking question. That's why I asked it.  Penman and Chadwick seem to be the Grande Dames of HF - at least around here. 

Now, I will embarrass myself and ask which of Penman's books are considered the "Welsh Trilogy?"

Date Posted: 4/13/2010 8:09 PM ET
Member Since: 7/22/2009
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Welsh trilogy:

Here Be Dragons

Falls the Shadow

The Reckoning

Date Posted: 4/13/2010 8:38 PM ET
Member Since: 7/15/2008
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Genie, lol and I needed a laugh today. Honestly I can't chose between the two, as far as medieval goes they're not to be beat. I have to agree with Letty though, at least EC gets them churned out faster although its been a longer wait this time around.

MAY IS ALMOST HERE. ABOUT DANG TIME.

Date Posted: 4/13/2010 9:21 PM ET
Member Since: 4/23/2008
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Thanks, Deb!  I thought that might be it.  LOL! I have two of the three of them on my bookshelf.

Date Posted: 4/13/2010 10:18 PM ET
Member Since: 5/27/2005
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Oh, oh, oh !!! To be reading the Welsh Trilogy for the 1st time !!!!

Knowing someone is about to read these wonderful books for the 1st time is kind of like watching your teen-ager take off on her first prom date - excited, anxious, nervous, a little scared, and also just a little nostalgic because you remember the first time you had such a wonderful, exciting experience!

Kelly

Date Posted: 4/14/2010 4:09 AM ET
Member Since: 3/14/2009
Posts: 9,174
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Very well put Kelly, we just have to live vicariously through others  polbio where are you?  We need Chadwick and Penman virgins to sacrifice.

Alice J. (ASJ) - ,
Date Posted: 4/14/2010 10:54 AM ET
Member Since: 5/13/2009
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So I leave for vacation on Friday. I will bring A Place Beyond Courage and one of Sharon Kay Penman's to do a fresh comparision.

I have Sunne in Splendor, Here be Dragons and When Christ and Saints Slept. So my historical Fiction friends which on of those 3 do you recommend. Actually I have only  read the first two of historical mystery series.?

I am going from Boston to Seattle, then Seattle to Austin and Austin to back home so I should have plenty of time to read.

Alice

Date Posted: 4/14/2010 10:57 AM ET
Member Since: 3/14/2009
Posts: 9,174
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Here Be Dragon's, oh heck take them all who needs shoes!:P

Alice J. (ASJ) - ,
Date Posted: 4/14/2010 11:11 AM ET
Member Since: 5/13/2009
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I thought of taking all of them but I want to finish up some of the reading challenge books too. Can't go over the 50 lb limit either. Will be visting Half Price Books too in Austin. We usually have to ship our books back from there.

Alice

Date Posted: 4/14/2010 12:54 PM ET
Member Since: 4/23/2008
Posts: 1,755
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Alice- Maybe you should suggest to DH that you DRIVE this trip.  More time to read, no weight limit to worry about, and you could really load up at Half Price Books, especially if you pull a little trailer or something with you.  ;)

Alice J. (ASJ) - ,
Date Posted: 4/14/2010 12:59 PM ET
Member Since: 5/13/2009
Posts: 40,085
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Yeah well it's school vacation week for us. I don't want to be in the car with the kids that long.....  Will enjoy reading anyways.

Alice

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