July 31st, 2011

children of dune - leto 1

books: here be dragons by sharon kay penman

This was--and still is, actually--one of my favorite books, but it's also one of the ones that irritate me weirdly, and a lot of this is because the author was very, very historically accurate on both events and attitudes of the time period of King John, and very, very good at drawing sympathetic characters and personal relationships.

This basically was the reason for me, the base conflict of Joanna's life made no sense, at least in how I view it, and I'm not altogether convinced at the time it was all that problematic (God I hate using that word for this); I suspect it later became A Huge Goddamn deal due to John's conflict with the Church and the invasion of Louis into England where people needed excuses to go to what they saw was the winning side.

Here Be Dragons is a novelization of the life of Joanna, daughter of King John and wife of Llewelyn the Great of Wales, along with a well-drawn tapestry of various other figures.

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I was having a moment there. I still love the book, but knowing so much more about the time period now, it just irritates me how she got so much right and exact but smoothed over the difference between what was preached and what was practiced.

Thoughts? I need to pull my nonfiction and bios from storage and start looking for kindle versions; the paperbacks are tattered and possibly moldy, but I'm pretty sure some of them are in the public domain if I can track down the titles. *sighs*

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