Showing posts from March, 2012

My Review of The Magus of Mortlake or The Arch-Conjuror of England John Dee by Glyn Parry

• Hardcover: 384 pages
• Publisher: Yale University Press (3 Jan 2012)
• Language English
• ISBN-10: 0300117191
• ISBN-13: 978-0300117196

Product Description
Outlandish alchemist and magician, political intelligencer, apocalyptic prophet, and converser with angels, John Dee (1527-1609) was one of the most colourful and controversial figures of the Tudor world. In this fascinating book - the first full-length biography of Dee based on primary historical sources - Glyn Parry explores Dee's vast array of political, magical, and scientific writings and finds that they cast significant new light on policy struggles in the Elizabethan court, conservative attacks on magic, and Europe's religious wars. John Dee was more than just a fringe magus, Parry shows: he was a major figure of the Reformation and Renaissance.

About the Author
Glyn Parry is a senior lecturer in history, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, and a fellow of the Royal Historical Society. He gradua…

The Lantern by Deborah Lawrenson A Review

Title: The Lantern
Author: Deborah Lawrenson
Pages: 383
Genre: Fiction
Publisher: Harper (Harper Collins)
Pub. Date: August 9, 2011 (hardcover); February 28, 2012 (paperback)

When Eve falls for the secretive, charming Dom, their whirlwind relationship leads them to Les Genevriers, an abandoned house set among the fragrant lavender fields of the south of France. Deeply in love and surrounded by music, books, and the heady summer scents of the French countryside, Eve has never felt more alive. But as verdant summer fades to golden autumn, the grand house's strange and troubling mysteries begin to unfold—and Eve now must uncover its every secret . . . before dark history can repeat itself.

The first chapter of The Lantern begins...
The rocks glow red above the sea, embers of the day’s heat below our balcony at the Hotel Marie.
Down here, on the southern rim of the country, out of the mistral’s slipstream, the evening drops like viscous liquid: slow and heavy and silent. When we first a…

My Review of When Maidens Mourn by C.S. Harris

About the Author C.S. Harris
C.S. Harris is a historian who lives in New Orleans. Writing as Candice Proctor, she is the author of seven award winning historical romances. Under the name C.S. Graham, she authors contemporary thrillers with her husband, former intelligence officer Steven Harris. She has two daughters.

Description of When Maidens Mourn
Tales of King Arthur and the Lady of Shalott provide inspiration for this latest gripping installment in the Sebastian St. Cyr mystery series when, just four days wed, the aristocratic investigator and his fiercely independent bride, Hero Jarvis, find themselves caught up in a twisted intrigue of ancient legends and a deadly family curse.

Regency England, August 1812: Sebastian’s plans to escape the heat of London for a honeymoon are shattered when the murdered body of Hero’s good friend, Gabrielle Tennyson, is discovered drifting in a battered boat at the site of a long-vanished castle known as Camlet Moat. A beautiful young antiquarian, M…

A Review of The Meaning of Night A Confession by Michael Cox

BOOK DESCRIPTION The atmosphere ofBleak House, the sensuous thrill ofPerfume, and the mystery ofJonathan Strange & Mr. Norrellall combine in a story of murder, deceit, love, and revenge in Victorian England...
So begins the story of Edward Glyver, booklover, scholar, and murderer. As a young boy, Glyver always believed he was destined for greatness. A chance discovery convinces him that he was right: greatness does await him, along with immense wealth and influence. Overwhelmed by his discovery, he will stop at nothing to win back a prize that he knows is rightfully his.
Glyver's path to reclaim his prize leads him from the depths of Victorian London, with its foggy streets, brothels, and opium dens, to Evenwood, one of England's most beautiful and enchanting country houses, and finally to a consuming love for the beautiful but enigmatic Emily Carteret. His is a story of betrayal and treachery, of death and delusion, of ruthless obsession and ambition. And at every turn, driv…

A City Dweller Reviews: In the Garden with Jane Austen by Kim Wilson

Author, Kim Wilson
Kim Wilson is a writer, editor, and gardener who lives in Waukesha, Wisconsin, and is a longtime member of the Jane Austen Society of North America. She is the author of Tea with Jane Austen.

Forward by Celia Simpson
Celia Simpson is Head Gardener at Jane Austen’s House Museum in Chawton, Hampshire.

“Jane Austen loved a garden. She took a keen interest in flower gardening and kitchen gardening alike. The Austens grew their own food whenever they could and had flower gardens wherever they lived, at their parsonage at Steventon in Hampshire, their town gardens at Bath and Southampton, and when they returned to Hampshire, at their cottage garden at Chawton. In Jane’s letters to her sister Cassandra, we see her planning the details of these family gardens, discussing the planting of fruit, flowers, and trees with enthusiasm. In the course of her life, she also had the opportunity to visit many of the grander gardens of England: her brother’s two estates at Chawton a…

A Review of The Crimson Bed by Loretta Proctor

Author, Loretta Proctor explains the inspiration behind, ‘The Crimson Bed:’ ‘The Crimson Bed’ was inspired long ago by an unusual pencil drawing by D.G. Rossetti called ‘How They Met Themselves’. It shows an idealized couple (himself and Lizzie Siddal) meeting their ‘doppelganger’ in a dark wood. Rossetti drew this on their honeymoon, a strange foreboding of Lizzie’s eventual suicide'.

D.G. Rossetti's How They Met Themselves, 1864 (The Rossetti Archive)

This picture has always held great fascination for Loretta. She doesn’t read it as a sinister ‘doppelganger’ but rather in the Jungian sense of the meeting within of the male and female, spiritual and carnal sides of human nature, often reflected in real life by two couples who become friends then are contrasted with one another. In ‘The Crimson Bed,' she seeks to show how her characters ‘met themselves’ through the contrasting relationships of Fred and Ellie and Henry and Tippy’.

Carl Jung called sexual secrets and feelin…

Happy Birthday Elizabeth Barrett Browning

I just wanted to commemorate the birthday of Elizabeth Barrett Browning in my own way! 

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. I love thee to the depth and breadth and height My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight For the ends of Being and ideal Grace. I love thee to the level of everyday's Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light. I love thee freely, as men strive for Right; I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise. I love thee with the passion put to use In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith. I love thee with a love I seemed to lose With my lost saints, -I love thee with the breath, Smiles, tears, of all my life! - and, if God choose, I shall but love thee better after death.
 Here is just a sample of a letter from Robert Browning to Elizabeth Barrett,
January 10th, 1845
New Cross, Hatcham, Surrey
I love your verses with all my heart, dear Miss Barrett, -- and this is no off-hand complimentary letter that I shall write, --whatever else, no prompt matter-of…