Wednesday, January 24, 2007

In response to Lelia's question regarding this doll which featured in the picture that I put in a previous post about the book "The Other Boleyn Girl" that I was reading....

This is a doll that I brought back with me from one of my trips to
England. I found her in a shop in Stratford, where I'd been staying.
She is meant to represent Catherine Howard, the 5th wife of
Henry VIII. She was a cousin of Anne Boleyn's, and just like her
cousin she had the misfortune of not pleasing her husband, and
loosing her head because of it.

The doll stands about 15 inches tall, and her head, hands and legs
are made of a sculpting clay or bisque like material. The artist who
made her is Brenda Price and the card attached to the doll has the
artist's signature and the date 1982 on it. Her gown is a purple
velvet, and she is trimmed out in lace and silver brocade. I
especially love her head dress, which is trimmed in little beads and

A friend of mine went to England about 11 years ago and she also
brought back a doll of this sort. But hers is a more finer piece. I don't
know who made her doll, but it is suppose to be Anne Boleyn, I think.

I remember standing in the store, looking at all the dolls by Brenda
Price that they had for sale, which included all of Henry's wives,
Henry and his daughter Elizabeth. I had a terrible time trying to
decide which one to bring home, when I really, really wanted to pack
them all up and bring them all home. So why did I chose this
Catherine? I don't honestly remember. I do remember the Henry
doll, hands on hips, legs spread wide apart, looking every inch the
tyrant. And Elizabeth, the regal Queen - Gloriana incarnate. Sigh.

I should add that each trip to England I also came home with a bag

full of books. I topped up my collection of Jean Plaidy books, which
I was wild for at that time. And I still have all my tour books, which
fills one of those big, plastic bins. I brought a porcelain doll home
from one trip too, and delicate pieces of glass ware. I don't know how
I managed it all really. And a ton of film. I took a picture with every
other step that I made.

Lelia, could you post pictures of your dolls, and tell me about them
too please?

Friday, January 12, 2007

I love historical fiction. And so I've read many, many books
about that lovable (!!?) olde rascal Henry VIII over the years.
and almost as many about Anne Boleyn, and his numerous
other wives. Well, here's a slight departure from the norm.
This book is about Anne's sister Mary, who was Henry's
mistress before he took up with Anne.

Philippa Gregory has been writing for a number of years and
I've got about five books of hers which are not historical fiction.
But now she's got a series going about the Tudor clan, and
spouses, which is getting excellent reviews. So I've started to
collect them.

I finished reading "The Thirteenth Tale" yesterday so started
the above book "The Other Boleyn Girl" today. So far, it's an
easy read and quite good.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

I started reading "The Thirteenth Tale" by Diane Setterfield on Monday.
I am really, really enjoying this one. I'd had my eye on it for awhile after
it came out last year, and I read a few good reviews about it from other
bloggers. So when my godson Ian gave me a gift card from Coles for
Christmas I knew that this would be the book that I'd get.

The best way to describe this story is to say that it's a little bit gothic,
a little bit mystery and a small touch of Bronte-ness. It's a rich, colourful
read with an assortment of colourful and sometimes weird characters.

I'm going to use my new camera to take pictures of the books that I'm
reading, and posting them here. My crystal ball didn't turn out too well
in the above picture (too much flash I think) but it was the picture that
showed off the book cover the best.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Barbara Delinsky ~ For My Daughters ~ Fiction
Betty Smith ~ A Tree Grows In Brooklyn ~ Fiction
Sheridan Morley ~ The Authorized Biography of John Gielgud ~Biography
L.E. Modesitt Jr. ~ The Shadow Sorceress ~ Fantasy
Yann Martel ~ Life of Pi ~ Fiction
New Year - 2007 ****************
Laurell K Hamilton ~ MaryJanice Davidson ~ Eileen WIlks ~ Rebecca York
Cravings ~ Short Stories - Supernatural Romance

Catching up on my book reading list. As you can see I've started my
list for 2007. I can't believe that I've been keeping this list running
since the year 2000. It's fun going back and seeing what books I read
6 or 7 years ago.

Of the above listed books, the one that I enjoyed most is an old
favourite that I have read many, many times over since I was a teenager.
That would be A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith. What a
wonderful story. I originally read my mother's copy of the book, from
when she belonged to the Book of the Month Club back in the '50s.
When that copy disappeared during one of her cleaning purges I was
most upset. But then Book of the Month Club offered the book again
while I was a member back in the 90's, in hardcover and with the dust
cover art on the cover the same as on the old book from my Mom's time
with the club. I cherish this book, and I will most certainly be reading
it again, and again.

Yann Martel's book Life of Pi was very good too. Quite an interesting
premise. A teenage boy adrift in a lifeboat with an adult Bengal Tiger.
Quite a fascinating read. It got rave reviews when it first came out a few
years ago and it won some awards. I picked up my copy second hand at
a Humane Society book sale last summer. I'd been curious about it since
reading the reviews. I'm very glad that I read it.

I talked a bit about the book Cravings on my other blog, and also about
the John Gielgud biography. L.E. Modesitt Jr writes light fantasy which
provides entertainment, but I don't find myself getting emotionally
involved with his stories or his characters, as I do with say Jacqueline
Carey, or Diana Gabaldon's writing. But it's a series that I've been
following for 5 books now, so I keep at it. I enjoy Barbara Delinsky's books
although I've only been reading her for a few years, and mostly I pick up
her books on sale. Light reads as well but I do get more involved with her
characters, which I prefer.