I have been horribly silent on the post front for so long now that I thought I had better check that I remember how to put a post on.
It’s been fascinating to see that there are still people finding this book blog even if I have not been updating it regularly. As I have a month or three before the next essay is due in I hope to get some more free reading and therefore have material for posts.
I have recently noticed that our local library have removed all charges for reserving books. This does mean that I have come up with lots of ideas for all those books I have been looking out for, but could not justify buying, especially in hardback. I am therefore trying to get through, so as not to deprive anyone on the waiting list, the new Alison Weir book, A Dangerous Inheritance.
I really enjoyed her Captive Queen, another of her novels based on a well known historical character.
This novel is about two Katherines, or for ease of identification, Katherine and Kate. I have not finished this book, but am enjoying it very much. Kate is the daughter of Richard III, and records in the third person her experiences when her father comes to power. Katherine is the sister of the ill fated Lady Jane Grey, and her story is better known, but no less tragic and challenging.
Both girls become women as their fate is decided by their close proximity to the throne, and the ambitions of others in their families. Links between them appear and disappear as they fall in love and discover their royal links always prove problematic, to say the least. This book becomes dominated by their romantic lives, at least in the middle section, and I wonder if they had time or energy to see the bigger picture as Elizabeth among others is forced to by circumstance. This probably represents the fact that many women of aristocratic rank were defined by who they married, rather than who they were in themselves, but when the decline and death of Queen Mary is dealt with in a page, despite Katherine’s position in her court, I do wonder if the first person narration in this section really balances out events.
It is a bit unfair to write about this book when I have not finished it, and the overall balance of the book is possibly more even when seen as a whole. It is a novel, not a history book, and as half of it is in the first person maybe Weir is trying to point out that Katherine is a little selfish and far more worried about her own happiness rather than her family’s survival. It is an absorbing book, well written and of course, historically accurate. Not as ‘earthy’ as Elizabeth Chadwick’s books, and the characters perhaps consequently not quite as real, but a good read, and one that I can heartily recommend.