Another in my popular series of mini reviews in which I grumble about books on a scale from furious bitterness to indifference. You can read more of these, and find links to others, here. Today I clear out the books on the meh end. Susan Schwartz, Byzantium's Crown I enjoyed the premise for this fantasy … Continue reading To the recycling!
The Flint Anchor was published in 1954, six years after The Corner That Held Them. Both novels are the fruits of Sylvia Townsend Warner's cultivation of a dispassionate attention to the passing of time, and a refusal to show a narrative attachment to any one character. This was not conducive to my teenage reading, so I'm … Continue reading Sylvia Townsend Warner, The Flint Anchor
I pre-ordered Madeline Miller's Circe on learning its publication date, and then couldn't bear to read it for months in case it turned out to be not as good as I wanted it to be. I loved loved loved her The Song of Achilles, so I was hoping for great things of this second novel, more … Continue reading Madeline Miller’s Circe
The latest in a series of unexpectedly popular posts in which I complain about books I haven’t enjoyed, and why. Links to earlier editions are at the end. Penelope Lively, Moon Tiger I’ve had a copy of Lively's Booker-winning Moon Tiger for ages, and had to steel myself to read it, with some reluctance. I don’t usually … Continue reading Three small duds
Lady Baltimore, by Owen Wister, is an extraordinary novel. It wasn’t written as a historical novel, but it certainly is one now: a 1905 depiction of the American South at the turn of the twentieth century, on how life would have been so much better if the South hadn’t lost the Civil War. I had to … Continue reading Fantasies of the undefeated South: Owen Wister’s Lady Baltimore
Rebellion, or Uprising? In this Really Like This Book podcast scripts catch-up I’m in the middle of the British eighteenth century, looking at the '1745', otherwise known as the Jacobite Rebellion, or Uprising, depending on which side you were on. This was the second attempt by the exiled Roman Catholic monarchy of Britain to reclaim … Continue reading John Buchan’s Jacobites
This week's Really Like This Book's podcast script catch-up is on Geoffrey Trease's The Crown of Violet (1952), which is set in Ancient Greece, in about 400 BC. Trease should not be confused with Henry Treece, the other English historical novelist of his period filed near him on the shelf. Trease wrote for what we now call … Continue reading Selective history in Geoffrey Trease’s The Crown of Violet