Thursday, October 27, 2005

47: Buckingham? Bummingham, more like

I know, I know I said I wasn't going to read any more Philippa Gregory after the awfulness of The Wise Woman, but I couldn't resist Earthly Joys, which is the first of her two books about John Tradescant, the great British gardener, and his rise to fortune during the fun and frolics of the reign and death of James I (except for viewers in Scotland, who were watching the reign of James VI) and the beginnings of rumblings of Mighty War.

Alert readers may notice that I read the second of these books earlier in the year and loved it, and that it was, in fact, the book that got me hooked on Gregory's own brand of research 'n' rumpo,. They are the ideal in historical fiction. The characters are more than just vehicles for her research, the stories are interesting, the historical backdrop is fascinating, and you can polish them off with amazing speed and feel you've learned a little something at the end of it all. Of course I now have to go and read some proper history books about the period in order to confirm some details. Did the Duke of Buckingham really sleep his way to the top by shagging not one, but two kings of England? Did the Duke's mother really poison James? I don't know. But I suspect C.V. Wedgwood probably does. I shall ask her.

Posted Oct. 27 2005, at 10:36 AM
Comments (2)
On Buckingham: I think so, but unfortunately CV Wedgwood kicks in after he leaves the scene so she can't help you. If you can track down the Pelican history of 17th-century Britain that'd be a good place to look.
Posted by wwhyte on Oct. 27 2005, at 2:21 PM Delete
We have a copy somehwere at home (if none of the animals has eaten it) but i can't remember it covering that.
Posted by Keith on Oct. 28 2005, at 3:59 AM Delete

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