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2017 50 Book Challenge

Discussion in 'Entertainment, Culture, and Sports' started by edinatlanta, Dec 23, 2010.

  1. LonerMatt

    LonerMatt Senior member

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    I haven't - only read Monkey's Grip and now this recent one.

    Might check out a few more though!
     


  2. LonerMatt

    LonerMatt Senior member

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    I haven't - only read Monkey's Grip and now this recent one.

    Might check out a few more though!
     


  3. California Dreamer

    California Dreamer Senior member

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    I like her long-form journalism more than her novels. The First Stone and This House of Grief are both worth a look, too.
     


  4. California Dreamer

    California Dreamer Senior member

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    60. Queens of the Conquest, by Alison Weir

    *** I would like to thank NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity to review this book ***

    Alison Weir reaches back to the Norman Conquest to write of the queens that ruled England and Normandy in that time. In that time it was common for queens to share power with their husbands, and the subjects of this history were women of great power and consequence.

    Of necessity, Weir's account is derived from very limited sources, much of which could be said to have a distinct bias. She manages to thread her way through this and present a well-rounded portrait of her principal subjects: Matilda of Flanders, Matilda of Scotland, the Empress Maud and Matilda of Boulogne.

    It is, of course, not Weir's fault, but the fact that all of her subjects were named Matilda is a bit confusing, and I at times wished that she had a clearer way of distinguishing one from the other. I could also have done with a little less of the fawning letters that dominate the early part of the book; a more succinct precis would have been better than swathes of oily flattery from supplicants. I was also a bit surprised when the book ended so quickly; fully 25% of it is given over to footnotes, sources and the index. That seemed a bit excessive, and I could have done with more history and less notes.

    That said, this was still a good book with a view on the Norman era that is not often seen. I particularly enjoyed Weir's account of the civil war between Stephen and Maud, a chapter in English history that I had not read much of before. That alone made this book very worthwhile.
     


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