Showing posts from April, 2011

A Review of Claude and Camille: A Novel of Monet by Stephanie Cowell

Paperback, 352 pages
Published April 5th 2011 by Crown Publishing Group (first published 2010)
ISBN 0307463222 (ISBN13: 9780307463227)
charactersClaude Monet, Camille Doncieux, Frédéric Bazille, Alice Hoschedé
settingGiverny, 1908 (France)

Sometimes he dreamt he held her; that he would turn in bed and she would be there. But she was gone and he was old. Nearly seventy. Only cool paint met his fingers. “Ma très chère . . .” Darkness started to fall, dimming the paintings. He felt the crumpled letter in his pocket. “I loved you so,” he said. “I never would have had it turn out as it did. You were with all of us when we began, you gave us courage. These gardens at Giverny are for you but I’m old and you’re forever young and will never see them. . . .”

Hardcover included because it's beautiful!
In the mid-nineteenth century, a young man named Claude Monet decided that he would rather endure a difficult life painting landscapes than take over his father’s nautical suppl…

Remembering Queen Elizabeth I On Her Funeral Day

Funeral of Queen Elizabeth I

Queen Elizabeth I was the daughter of King Henry VIII by Anne Boleyn and was born at Greenwich 7 September 1533 and died at Richmond 24 March 1603. She was crowned at Westminster Abbey on 15 January 1559 by Dr Oglethorpe, Bishop of Carlisle. The Archbishop of Canterbury usually performs this ceremony but the See (Bishop's Diocese) was vacant at that time and the Archbishop of York refused to take the service. The service was partly in Latin and partly in English. Queen Elizabeth was the Foundress of the present Collegiate Church in 1560 and her long reign was one of the most brilliant in English history.

Her death was an occasion of universal mourning. Thousands of people turned out to see her funeral procession to the Abbey on 28 April 1603. John Stow, who attended the funeral, wrote:
"Westminster was surcharged with multitudes of all sorts of people in their streets, houses, windows, leads and gutters, that came to see the obsequy, and when they…

The Lady of the Rivers by Philippa Gregory

Possible US Book Cover JW Waterhouse, Ophelia, 1864: Does anyone else see similarities to above cover?

UK Book Cover

Book Details
Published 15/09/2011
Publisher Simon & Schuster Ltd
ISBN 9781847374592
Jacquetta, daughter of the Count of Luxembourg and kinswoman to half the royalty of Europe, was married to the great Englishman John, Duke of Bedford, uncle to Henry VI. Widowed at the age of nineteen she took the extraordinary risk of marrying a gentleman of her house-hold for love, and then carved out a life for herself as Queen Margaret of Anjou's close friend and a Lancaster supporter - until the day that her daughter Elizabeth Woodville fell in love and married the rival king Edward IV. Of all the little-known but important women of the period, her dramatic story is the most neglected. With her links to Melusina, and to the founder of the house of Luxembourg, together with her reputation for making magic, she is the most haunting of heroines.

Opening Chapter


Knights of the Garter for Robert Dudley and Thomas Howard 4th Duke of Norfolk

"When first this order was ordain'd, my lords,
Knights of the garter were of noble birth,
Valiant and virtuous, full of haughty courage,
Such as were grown to credit by the wars;
Not fearing death, nor shrinking for distress,
But always resolute in most extremes.
He then that is not furnish'd in this sort
Doth but usurp the sacred name of knight,
Profaning this most honourable order,
And should, if I were worthy to be judge,
Be quite degraded, like a hedge-born swain
That doth presume to boast of gentle blood
." (Henry VI, Pt.I, 4.1 by William Shakespeare)

On April 23, 1559, Robert Dudley (not yet Earl of Leicester) and Thomas Howard, 4th Duke of Norfolk became Knights of the Garter during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I.

History of Order of the Garter
King Edward III founded the Order of the Garter as "a society, fellowship and college of knights." The foundation year is believed to be 1348. However, according to "The Founders of the Order of the Garter&q…

Unsealed: The Bess of Hardwick Exhibit

Unsealed – The Letters of Bess of Hardwick Exhibit at Hardwick Hall,Derbyshire, running currently - April - October 2011:

Dukes and spies; queens and servants; friends and lovers all of the Elizabethan world populates the letters of Bess of Hardwick. Bess herself wrote hundreds of letters throughout her life: they were her lifeline to her travelling children and husbands, to the court at London, and to news from the world at large. And when she moved to Hardwick Hall in the final years of her life, the old countess received current news and gossip into her house through her correspondence.

Unsealed presents the world of Bess of Hardwick’s letters to the public for the first time. This exhibition lets Bess and her correspondents tell their stories in their own words. See her life, her loves, intrigue and passions unfold – visit Unsealed at Hardwick Hall.

Since this is a UK exhibit, do not despair all fellow anglophiles or mere curiousitors, six mini podcasts have been made available at

A Review: Elizabeth I By Margaret George

Product Details
Pub. Date: April 2011
Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
Format: Hardcover , 671pp
Sales Rank: 161
ISBN-13: 9780670022533
ISBN: 0670022535

New York Times bestselling author Margaret George captures history's most enthralling queen-as she confronts rivals to her throne and to her heart.
One of today's premier historical novelists, Margaret George dazzles here as she tackles her most difficult subject yet: the legendary Elizabeth Tudor, queen of enigma-the Virgin Queen who had many suitors, the victor of the Armada who hated war; the gorgeously attired, jewel- bedecked woman who pinched pennies. England's greatest monarch has baffled and intrigued the world for centuries. But what was she really like?
In this novel, her flame-haired, lookalike cousin, Lettice Knollys, thinks she knows all too well. Elizabeth's rival for the love of Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, and mother to the Earl of Essex, the mercurial nobleman who challenged Eli…

Dante Gabriel Rossetti: Painter, Poet, PreRaphaelite 12 May 1828 – 9 April 1882

Dante Gabriel Rossetti was born on 12 May 1828 and died on 9 April 1882.
The son of émigré Italian scholar Gabriele Pasquale Giuseppe Rossetti and his wife Frances Polidori. Rossetti was born in London, England and originally named Gabriel Charles Dante Rossetti. His family and friends called him Gabriel, but in publications he put the name Dante first (in honor of Dante Alighieri). He was the brother of poet Christina Rossetti, the critic William Michael Rossetti, and author Maria Francesca Rossetti.

The young Rossetti's friends described him as "self-possessed, articulate, passionate and charismatic" but also "ardent, poetic and feckless". Like all his siblings, he aspired to be a poet and attended King's College School, Wimbledon. However, he also wished to be a painter, having shown a great interest in Medieval Italian art. He studied at Henry Sass's Drawing Academy from 1841 to 1845 when he enrolled at the Antique School of the Royal Academy, lea…