Book Review: The Sewing Machine
Valerie Fergie, The Sewing Machine. Unbound Digital, London, 2017, ISBN13 9781911586043 (I read the Kindle version)
Singer sewing machine
I just finished reading The Sewing Machine, a delightful debut by Valerie Fergie. The central “character” is a Singer sewing machine which connects four generations of two families over a period of more than 100 years. The earliest is Jean, who works at the Singer factory in Clydebank in 1911. The last is Fred, who inherits the machine in 2016. Initially, he wants to get rid of it, but then starts growing attached to it. Continue reading
Book Review: Troubadour
A guest post by Julia Redlich
Isolde Martyn, Troubadour. Harlequin Mira, 2017, rrp $24.95. ISBN 9781489220370
We thank Julia Redlich for reviewing Isolde Martyn’s latest novel for us here on Dottie Tales.
Members of the New South Wales branch of the Richard III Society will have read and enjoyed our fellow member Isolde Martyn’s historical novels. Most of them have concerned real people from the period that interests us most: from Katherine Bonville to the Duke of Buckingham, and women who play a role in Edward IV’s life – Elysabeth Woodville and Elizabeth “Jane Shore” Lambard. Her presentation of real characters and the events of their time in English history is always combines romance with impeccable research. Continue reading
I just heard the fantastic news that the Book of Hours, which had belonged to Richard III, has been digitised and is now available in pdf format on-line. This was Richard’s personal prayer book, which was found in his tent after the battle of Bosworth.
So far, we could only see one page at a time, when the book was exhibited, for instance at its present home of Lambeth Palace Library, or when it played a part in the Reinterment events of Richard III at Leicester in 2015. Now we are able to see the entire book.
Anne F Sutton and Livia Visser-Fuchs wrote a book about Richard’s Book of Hours, The Hours of Richard III, which was originally published in 1990. This has been out-of-print for years and finding an affordable second-hand copy is virtually impossible. This book is also part of the digitisation and is now freely available.
The process was carried out by Leicester Cathedral, after Lambeth Palace Library gave its permission to this project. The digitisation of this manuscript was made possible with the financial support of the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Richard III Society and the University of Leicester. Thank you to all involved! This is fantastic news indeed.
You can find the digital version here: http://leicestercathedral.org/about-us/richard-iii/book-hours/
Book Review: How to Bury a King:
The Reinterment of King Richard III
Pete Hobson, How to Bury a King: The Reinterment of King Richard III. Zaccmedia, 2016
On 26 March 2016, the one year anniversary of Richard III’s reinterment in Leicester Cathedral, three books and a CD were launched in St Martin’s House adjacent to Leicester Cathedral.
The launch was held in the great hall of St Martin’s House, with the choir singing to publicise the release of the CD. He lieth under this Stone features much of the choral music performed at Leicester Cathedral during the reinterment week in March 2015. Of course, it also includes ‘Ghostly Grace’, composed especially for the occasion by Judith Bingham.
The three books were How to Bury a King by Rev Peter Hobson, acting canon missioner at Leicester Cathedral, Flowers for a King by Rosemary Hughes, who was responsible for the floral arrangements in the Cathedral, and Richard III – His Story, by Leicester artist Kirsteen Thomson. Continue reading
Musty smell of old books can be avoided – a personal experience
My home is full of books. Books of all kinds, fiction and non-fiction, new and not so new – and that’s where a musty smell can become an issue.
As I find history fascinating, it won’t come as a great surprise when I tell you that many of my non-fiction books deal with historical subjects. Not all the books I would like to read are easily available, be it online, at a library near-by or for sale at a high street shop. Sometimes the only way to get my fingers on the book I desperately need is to buy it second hand. Continue reading
Death of novelist and playwright Elizabeth MacKintosh
Many Ricardians and lovers of detective novels will remember today the death of Elizabeth MacKintosh on 13 February 1952 in London.
Elizabeth MacKintosh was born on 25 July 1896 in Inverness. Her first detective novel, The Man in the Queue, was published in 1929 under the pen name Gordon Daviot. She would write seven more novels under another pen name, Josephine Tey. Her 1951 novel The Daughter of Time was probably for many the starting point of an interest in Richard III and his time. Continue reading
The Consequence of Coincidences –
A guest post by Julia Redlich
We welcome Julia Redlich to Dottie Tales, who tells us in today’s guest post about finding Richard III as a Consequence of Coincidences.
This is not just a coincidence, but having written a recent contribution to the Richard III NSW Branch website called Not Looking for Richard, this is just a natural consequence. The first feature dealt with finding mention of King Richard in unexpected novels and the pleasure derived from discovering authors who viewed him as a human being, not necessarily a villain. Continue reading
Book Review: Memorial to the Duchess
Jocelyn Kettle, Memorial to the Duchess. Coronet Books, London, 1974 (first published 1968) (Pbk)
While we are on the topic of Alice Chaucer, here is a look at another novel on this fascinating historical character.
Alice Chaucer, Duchess of Suffolk, was a fascinating person, but I have yet to find any in-depth analysis of her life, preferably non-fiction.
However, you would think that she would also make the perfect protagonist for a work of fiction. As seen, she is frequently a minor character (not that there is anything minor about Alice!) in the Sister Frevisse novels by Margaret Frazer, like for instance in the short story The Stoneworker’s Tale. There is one full length novel about her, Memorial to the Duchess. I had been warned, but I was still prepared to give it a try. I should have headed the warning! Continue reading
Short Story Review:
The Stone-Worker’s Tale
Margaret Frazer, The Stone-Worker’s Tale, Kindle edition, Dream Machine Productions, 15 April 2011
The Stone-Worker’s Tale is a short story by Margaret Frazer, featuring her medieval sleuth Dame Frevisse. Gail Lynn Frazer, wrote a series of novels under the name Margaret Frazer. The majority feature Dame Frevisse, a medieval nun, while several books have Joliffe, member of a troupe of travelling players, as the protagonist. Unfortunately Ms Frazer passed away in 2013, so there will be no new encounters with either Dame Frevisse or Joliffe to look forward to. Therefore it is even more rewarding to return to the old favourites. Continue reading
Book Review: Catherine of Aragon
Giles Tremlett, Catherine of Aragon: Henry’s Spanish Queen. Faber and Faber Ltd, London, 2010 (Pbk)
Several years ago, I bought Catherine of Aragon at Heathrow looking for something to while some time away during a 24-hour flight. And I was hooked – compared to Catherine, the normal inflight entertainment didn’t stand a chance. Continue reading