Showing posts from March, 2011

The Life of Charlotte Bronte Remembered: Was She Jane Eyre?

Who would have ever thought a novel published in 1847 by a woman would be a most treasured novel and still be made into movies! I'm guessing not the authoress herself! The latest 2011 version of Jane Eyre to grace screens worldwide. I have seen it, it is fantastic, much more Gothic but don't worry the romance is still there!

Charlotte Bronte was born in Thornton, Yorkshire in 1816, the third of six children, to Maria (née Branwell) and her husband Patrick Brontë (formerly surnamed Brunty or Prunty), an Irish Anglican clergyman. In 1820, the family moved a few miles to Haworth, where Patrick had been appointed Perpetual Curate. Mrs. Brontë died of cancer on 15 September 1821, leaving five daughters and a son to be taken care of by her aunt Elizabeth Branwell. In August 1824, Charlotte was sent with three of her sisters, Emily, Maria, and Elizabeth, to the Clergy Daughters' School at Cowan Bridge in Lancashire (which she would describe as Lowood School in Jane Eyre). Its …

Virginia Woolf: A Life Remembered: 25 January 1882 – 28 March 1941

Virginia Woolf's real name was Adeline Virginia Stephen born in London in 1882. Her mother was a renowned beauty, Julia Prinsep Stephen (1846–1895), was born in India to Dr. John and Maria Pattle Jackson and later moved to England with her mother, where she served as a model for Pre-Raphaelite painter Sir Edward Burne-Jones.
Her father, Sir Leslie Stephen, was a notable historian, author, critic and mountaineer. He was the editor of the Dictionary of National Biography, a work which would influence Virginia Woolf's later biographies. The young Virginia was educated by her parents in their literate and well-connected household at 22 Hyde Park Gate, Kensington. Her parents had each been married previously and been widowed.Consequently, the household contained the children from three marriages.
There was a family history of mental illness, one daughter, Laura Makepeace Stephen, was declared mentally disabled and lived with the family until she was institutionalized in 1891.

In Remembrance of Elizabeth I (1533-1603)

On 24 March 1603, Four Hundred and Eight years ago today, Elizabeth I,Queen Regnant of England and Ireland, passed away quietly in her chambers at Richmond Palace between two and three in the morning. Elizabeth's coffin was carried downriver at night to Whitehall Palace, on a barge lit with torches. At her funeral on 28 April, the coffin was taken to Westminster Abbey on a hearse drawn by four horses hung with black velvet. In the words of the chronicler John Stow:
Westminster was surcharged with multitudes of all sorts of people in their streets, houses, windows, leads and gutters, that came out to see the obsequy, and when they beheld her statue lying upon the coffin, there was such a general sighing, groaning and weeping as the like hath not been seen or known in the memory of man

Back in 2009 I wrote an article for a blog contest that I would like to share in honor of a woman who I find inspirational and in my own words here is why...

The Legacy of Elizabeth I

“It would please m…

Death of a Chimney Sweep by MC Beaton

Hardcover: 256 pages
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (February 25, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 9780446547390
ISBN-13: 978-0446547390
ASIN: 0446547395
Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1 x 8.5 inches

I am an avid fan of author, MC Beaton. 'Death of a Chimney Sweep' is the twenty-sixth novel in her Hamish Macbeth series. I have read them all. So, with the recent publication of her latest novel, I couldn't wait to settle in on the sofa with my pot of tea and get reading!
What I discovered this time around, is that instead of one main character murdered off and Police Constable Hamish Macbeth running around the small sea faring highland town of Lochdubh to solve the murder; there are atleast four murders and just as many suspects!

So, if you are like me and love reading and trying to solve a good murder, pick up this novel and just try to follow along and keep score! MC Beaton throws in more twists and turns in almost every chapter. She sets the scene beautifully. If you e…

The Imprisonment of Princess Elizabeth

Princess Elizabeth Tudor miniature by Nicholas Hilliard
On 18 March 1554 Princess Elizabeth was imprisoned in The Bell Tower at The Tower of London by order of her half sister and ruling Queen of England, Mary I (Tudor) or (Bloody Mary) and as a result of The Wyatt Rebellion. Mary was determined to turn back the clock on twenty years of religious reform and make England a Catholic nation again. Elizabeth conformed outwardly to the Catholic faith. But she could not distance herself too much from her Protestant supporters. When Sir Thomas Wyatt led a rebellion in January 1554, matters came to an unpleasant impasse. Wyatt had written to Elizabeth that he intended to overthrow Mary but his letter was intercepted, as was a letter from de Noailles to the king of France. His letter implied that Elizabeth knew of the revolt in advance, and repeated rumors that she was off gathering armed supporters. The government was able to suppress the rebellion before it spread very far and Wyatt was arre…

Lady of Hay 25th Anniversary Edition By Barbara Erskine

Upon the UK publishing of the 25th Anniversary Edition of my favorite Barbara Erskine novel, Lady of Hay, I ordered it immediately. A week later, I opened my AmazonUK package and just held the large paperback novel in my hot little hands. Having read it previously, several years ago, I was extremely tempted to flip to the end of the book and just read the short synopsis to find out what happened to these beloved characters all these years later...However, I did not!
I resisted temptation and took my time re-reading Lady of Hay again. This experience was better than a high school or college reunion. Trust me, I got reacquainted with some old friends, sat down, said hello and just enjoyed the feeling of getting lost in the present day and much treasured medieval history storylines once again.

So I will not be providing my usual book review. Instead, I am sharing my thoughts on the novel,the author, as well as the setting. I believe that giving a thorough review for Lady of Hay will ru…

To Defy A King By Elizabeth Chadwick

Pub. Date: March 2011
Publisher: Sourcebooks, Incorporated
Format: Paperback , 544pp
Sales Rank: 39,354
ISBN-13: 9781402250897
ISBN: 1402250894


The privileged daughter of one of the most powerful men in England, Mahelt Marshal’s life changes dramatically when her father is suspected by King John. Her brothers become hostages and Mahelt is married to Hugh Bigod, heir to the earldom of Norfolk. Adapting to her new life is hard, but Mahelt comes to love Hugh deeply; however, defying her father in law brings disgrace and heartbreak. When King John sets out to subdue the Bigods, Mahelt faces her worst fears alone, knowing neither she, nor her marriage are likely to survive the outcome. A story of huge emotional power set against the road to Magna Carta and the fight to bring a tyrant king to heel.

Elizabeth Chadwick is one of my absolute favorite authors writing historical fiction of the Medieval Period. I have read all of her books. I usually order them when they are published in …