Category Archives: 19th Century

review: Twelve Minutes to Midnight

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Twelve Minutes to Midnight First in a Triology Shadows of the Silver Screen, The Black Crow Conspiracy by Christopher Edge London, England 1899. Penelope Tredwell is the orphaned thirteen-year-old owner of the magazine The Penny Dreadful, in which she writes under the wildly popular pen name Montgomery Flinch. This story takes readers to Bedlam, London’s institution for the mentally ill,… Read more »

review: The Other Mr. Darcy

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The Other Mr. Darcy by Monica Fairview “I have spent such a long time trying to be a lady. But am I really one? Or is it only a mask that I wear, to cover up my awareness that I am not?” The character of Caroline Bingley has been redeemed in this highly readable, if somewhat fanciful, Austen continuation. The… Read more »

review: Charlotte Collins

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Charlotte Collins by Jennifer Becton Mr. Collins has suddenly passed away in an unfortunate riding accident, leaving Charlotte a widow in her mid-30’s. She invites her sister, Miss Maria Lucas, to live with her and use her as chaperone on outings within their group of acquaintances. Both Charlotte and Maria end up with two interested gentlemen—though Charlotte has made it… Read more »

review: The Princess of Nowhere

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The Princess of Nowhere by Prince Lorenzo Borghese Pauline Bonaparte Borghese, sister of Napoleon Bonaparte and wife of Prince Camillo Borghese, is introduced to us as a vain and frivolous creature who is free with her favors and unconcerned with the consequences of her actions. We see the royal Italian couple through the eyes of Sophie, a young ward placed… Read more »

author interview: Robert Stephen Parry on The Hours Before

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Author Interview: ROBERT STEPHEN PARRY The Hours Before begins with an interesting character perspective. Can you explain why you chose this path for the introduction? Perhaps one of the easiest mistakes we can make in life (and the more successful, wealthy or comfortable one becomes the easier it is to make it) is to assume that humility and modesty are… Read more »

review: The Queen’s Husband

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The Queen’s Husband by Jean Plaidy The third of the four-book Queen Victoria series (The Captive of Kensignton Palace, The Queen and Lord M, The Queen’s Husband, and The Widow of Windsor) The Queen’s Husband is a detailed account of Prince Albert’s childhood, youth in Coburg and marriage to the Queen of England. I chose to read this particular book… Read more »

author interview: Robert Stephen Parry on The Arrow Chest

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1. Many reviewers have called The Arrow Chest hauntingly beautiful–which is true–but the supernatural elements are so subtle that only those well-versed in Tudor history see the glaring similarities between Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, and Oliver Ramsey and Daphne. Firstly, I applaud you for not making it sickening obvious; my question is: did you begin writing with the idea… Read more »

review: The Hours Before

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The Hours Before By Robert Stephen Parry Set during the Belle Époque era, The Hours Before is the story of Deborah Peters, a once-celebrated clairvoyant turned dejected society matron, who is bent on revenge and readying herself for a final assignation with her adversary. Readers take a backward look at the events leading up to the protagonist’s current wretched state,… Read more »

Fact and Fiction: Emma, Lady Hamilton

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Emma Hamilton, celebrated mistress of British Naval hero, Horatio Nelson, is only a minor character in A Royal Likeness by Christine Trent, but made a positive impression on this reader. I could tell there were interesting reasons behind the differing opinions of the lady by characters in the book, and an intriguing untold story of her life. After speaking with… Read more »

review: Darcy and Fitzwilliam

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Darcy and Fitzwilliam A Tale of a Gentleman and an Officer by Karen V. Wasylowski This Austen continuation explores the first years of Darcy’s marriage, while Colonel Fitzwilliam searches for happiness after the horrors of Waterloo. Lady Catherine de Bourge plays a large part in this novel, though curiously not as the antagonist–that role is given over to Caroline Bingley,… Read more »

review: The Subject of a Portrait

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The Subject of a Portrait by John Harvey In the mid-nineteenth century, art critic John Ruskin and his wife, Euphemia (Effie), left their London home bound for a summer in Scotland. Their traveling companions were a set of brothers, one of which was the famous artist John Everette Millais who was to paint John’s portrait in the Highlands. During the… Read more »

review: Mrs. Hemingway

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Mrs. Hemingway by Naomi Wood This unreservedly honest portrayal of Ernest Hemingway and his four wives is written in a unique style—a section for each, beginning with the end of the relationship and skipping back to key points in their lives and also connecting the women in nontraditional ways. Hadley, the quiet and reserved first wife (and only one not… Read more »