Sunday, November 02, 2008

Open thread - Suggestions for future book discussions

After the success of Foose's "live blogging" of Starkey's new book on Henry VIII, I've had a couple of folks suggest we do some more. If you have a suggestion for another book that we can do as a group discussion, please post it in the comments and I'll work out a proposed schedule. To start with, I'd like to stick to NON-fiction books, although if this is successful and we continue it for a while we can certainly branch into fiction.

[I'm going to cross-post this with the general blog,but the discussions will actually take place on this blog]


Blogger Mike Fan said...

I'd LOVE a discussion on anything by Phillipa Gregory. Myself and friends included hate it with a burning passion for its historic inaccuracies. However, I'd love to hear any other [wrong:P] opinions.

November 02, 2008 1:18 PM  
Blogger Lara said...

Like I said, I'd like to start with non-fiction, but we can probably tackle some fiction later. I personally haven't read any of P.G.'s books so I might have to take the plunge one of these days...

November 02, 2008 1:32 PM  
Anonymous PhD Historian said...

Lara, I really support the idea of sticking with non-fiction. And of course the first book that comes to my mind is Leanda de Lisle's forthcoming The Sisters Who Would Be Queen, on the three Grey sisters. It is due in the UK on January 10, I believe, though it will not be available in US bookstores until 2010. But I believe those of us anxious to read it can nonetheless order it from Amazon or one of the other online booksellers with UK connections. I would be happy to take the Foose-ian role and contribute a thread on de Lisle's book.

November 02, 2008 1:39 PM  
Blogger Lara said...

PhDH - that was one of the first ones I was thinking of as well, and I'd love to have you blog that one since I know you're very familiar with the topic!

November 02, 2008 1:52 PM  
Anonymous Tracey said...

Made my suggestions..but under the 'blog' heading. Should have checked here first. Oh, well :)

November 02, 2008 2:14 PM  
Blogger Lara said...

Tracey - That's fine, I'll be collecting from both blogs and I'm sure there will be some duplicates. In hindsight I should have just closed comments over there and told everyone to post here, but it doesn't really matter.

November 02, 2008 2:37 PM  
Blogger Bearded Lady said...

Tracey already mentioned Elizabeth and Mary by Jane Dunn. Love that one.

I could go for some Grey sisters - once it is released.

I am also going to throw some votes in for some oldies - John Guy's Mary Queen of Scots. Antonia Fraser's The Wives of Henry VIII. Alison Weir's The Children of Henry VIII

November 02, 2008 7:24 PM  
Anonymous Tracey said...

Let me add another title...

"Six Wives" by David Starkey.

It might be interesting to have a person read Alison Weir's book, while another deals with Starkey's. Folks could have a choice as to which they wanted to read and the discussion goes from there. Debate would then follow.

The same could be done with John Guy's Mary and Antonia Fraser's biography.

November 03, 2008 5:09 AM  
Anonymous Kathy said...

I'll add my vote for The Sisters Who Would Be Queen. I have it on order from, so it should be here shortly after it's released.

November 03, 2008 11:10 AM  
Anonymous Nasim said...

Interesting idea!

How about Lucy Wooding’s biography of Henry VIII (published as part of the Routledge Historical Biographies series)? It was published recently.

November 03, 2008 11:10 AM  
Blogger Foose said...

Nasim, I'm reading Wooding's bio and it would be very good for a discussion but it's ridiculously expensive at $79 for the hardback (the paperback isn't out in the United States, although you can get it from the U.K., but you're still going to be paying transatlantic shipping). I think Denise in the blog post on this same topic had a good point -- some books, particularly academic ones, are enormously expensive and this might be a barrier to a participation.

That said, Routledge has been publishing a number of interesting Tudor-related bios besides Wooding's - one on Edward IV, and I really liked Judith Richards' book on Mary I. I've never seen any discussion or reviews of them, and have wondered why. But yikes, they can be pricey!

November 03, 2008 12:11 PM  
Anonymous Tracey said...

Yes, the price of some books can be awfully expensive. Even some paperbacks nowadays are beginning to be too rich for my pocketbook and I never thought that would happen.

Unfortunately, the library here in our small town isn't well stocked with historical material, unless it relates to the town. The budget doesn't extend to pricier volumes as well as having to stay within the perameters as to what the library users want to read/request. I don't think there are a lot of Tudorphiles roaming around :(

The only other difficulty I can see is for those of us who aren't educated in the historical doctorates or special degrees in Tudor history. I can read a biography, and give my opinions and impressions, but those would definitely have to be on a non-scholarly basis.

November 03, 2008 2:07 PM  
Blogger Brynhild said...

What about Alison Weir's upcoming, The Lady in the Tower: The Fall of Anne Boleyn?

November 03, 2008 5:35 PM  
Anonymous Creed said...

Great suggestions! I think that Antonia Fraser is truly remarkable. The Wives of Henry VIII is one of my favorites. Phd historian's suggestion would be great seeing as how he is very knowledgeable in that area. That would make for an interesting discussion. The Lady in the Tower: The Fall of Anne Boleyn is also of interest.
I've just ordered two books last week; however, I don't know if they would be up for discussion.
Eric Ives's The Life and Death of Anne Boleyn and
The Princes in the Tower by Alison Weir

November 03, 2008 7:52 PM  
Blogger Foose said...

I have a certain avid and perhaps shameful interest in Kelly Hart's "The Mistresses of Henry VIII," supposed to come out next year. But I don't know how scholarly this will be.

November 07, 2008 3:17 PM  
Anonymous Nasim said...

Re: Foose – OMG, it costs that much?!?! I purchased mine for £5 (ah, the wonders of Ebay!).

I really recommend checking out the UK version of Ebay for cheap deals on numerous books. Increasingly sellers are prepared to ship abroad and I imagine that whilst p+p won’t exactly be cheap, it will still come to a reasonable price. Or at least much more reasonable than $79!

And I agree – Richards work on Mary was very interesting, particularly the perspective on the strength of Mary’s religious conservatism. There is also another Tudor related biography from the series (Sean Cunningham’s work on Henry VII and Retha Warnicke’s, “Mary Queen of Scots”). Fortunately my university library decided to purchase those so I don’t have to spend a fortune trying to access them!

November 09, 2008 8:21 AM  
Anonymous Olivia said...

this may be a little late, SORRY but i just wanted to suggest for the future, a book by alison weir or jean plaidy (mostly weir because i think all of plaidy's books are fiction!) like the six wives of king henry viii (!!!!) lol

November 11, 2008 4:03 PM  
Blogger Foose said...

Maybe a suggestion for fiction down the road would be Hilary Mantel's "Wolf Hall," due to be published in 2009. It sounds like it might be about Jane Seymour (Wolf Hall was her paternal home), but the description on Amazon says:

Wolf Hall is told mainly through the eyes of Thomas Cromwell, a self-made man who rose from a blacksmith's son in Putney to be the most powerful man in England after the king. The cast also includes Cardinal Wolsey, Thomas More, Anne Boleyn and Henry's other wives - and, of course, King Henry himself. It was a time when a half-made society was making itself with great passion and suffering and courage; a time when those involved in the art of the possible were servants to masters only interested in glorious gestures; a time when the very idea of social progress, and of a better world, was fresh, alien and threatening. It was a time of men who weren't like us, but who were creating us.

I like Mantel's style and she's a serious writer - I don't think this will be a Tudor romance novel or minor fiction (although I enjoy these too!).

November 14, 2008 10:23 PM  

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