The idea is to share your bookshelves. Any aspect you like, as long as you are entertained, including:
2. Books in the home.
3. Touring books in the home.
4. Books organized or not organized on shelves, in bookcases, in stacks, or heaped in a helter-skelter fashion on any surface, including the floor, the top of the piano, etc.
5. Talking about books and reading experiences from the past, present, or future.
Wintercombe by Pamela Belle. Set during the English Civil War in the 17th century, this is the story of Silence, Lady St. Barbe, and her family, Puritans besieged by Cavaliers (I am for King and Country myself but these particular Cavaliers are not very appealing, with one obvious exception). When Charles I’s debauched soldiers insist on moving into the estate, with no regard for the family, they bring chaos to Silence’s well-managed home and one of them breaches her heart. Silence is a wonderful heroine: brave, capable, kind, and possessing a sense of humor she needs to keep hidden. The book is full of memorable characters, many of whom appear later in the series. I am happy to report it’s available as an eBook and a careful reader could make it last until her state reopens, depending on where she lives and how fast she reads! It seems to be on sale.
Belle also wrote two books under the name Alice Marlow (one appears to be AWOL from its shelf - don't you hate those wandering books?) which are contemporaries and has also set books "during the reigns of Richard III, Elizabeth I, Charles II, James II, the England of Alfred the Great, and London in the early 18th century." They are all well worth reading. And isn't it amazing that despite having read Wintercombe several times, once I started thinking about it I had to take it upstairs with me last night and read until nearly 2 am?
Trust and Treason by Margaret Birkhead, who wrote only one book, and Till the Day Goes Down by the prolific Judith Lennox Smith. I recommend both. Lennox dropped the Smith after this book, which is my favorite of her books (most are hard to find in the US, unfortunately). And, finally, Malcolm MacDonald who also writes historical fiction; some resemble more literary versions of Catherine Cookson sagas (not that there is anything wrong with that). He has a funny bit on his website explaining his various pseudonyms. His book is waiting to be read.
|Great Chalfield Manor, the inspiration for Wintercombe (photo credit to Vince Hawthorn)|
Still, we have had a lot of rainy days lately and I have a favorite Benjamin Franklin quote:
“The person who deserves most pity is a lonesome one
on a rainy day who doesn't know how to read.”
Photo Credit: I don't know Vince Hawthorn but his lovely pictures of Great Chalfield Manor, which is in Wiltshire, made me go get the book down from its shelf (so much for Dept. of Speculation which I was planning to read tonight but found tedious). My mother and I long to visit this manor and perhaps to coax author Pamela Belle to tea on our next trip to England.