Saturday, 29 June 2013

On the Verge

These wildflowers line the verge around Forty Hall Country Park.  Purposefully sown by volunteers, they look like they have been there for centuries.  Talking of being 'on the verge'  I feel as though I am on the verge of something right now.  I am not sure what it is or where I am going but life has just got interesting again.

I have recently discovered historical fiction.  I never thought I would enjoy this genre (apart from Thomas Hardy's Tess of the D'urberville's, oh and The Grape's of Wrath by John Steinbeck), until I read 'the Apothecary's Daughter' by Charlotte Betts.  Set in London in the 17th Century,  I was transported to the time of the plague and the Great Fire of London.  I could almost smell the stench of the plague pit and of London burning.  A wonderful page turner of a book that I didn't want to end.  The author read Samuel Pepys diary which allowed her a peep into restoration London and an understanding of life at that time.  I must now seek out Pepys diary to read myself.

As of 1st July I am going to be extra busy so I may not get around to commenting on blogs so much but I will still be reading them as and when I can.  In the meantime, can you recommend some good historical fiction for me to 'get my teeth' into?


  1. Hi Simone,

    Philipa Gregory seems to be very popular at my local library, I do have a book by her from the library to read but haven't started yet. Have you watched The White Queen on Sundays? That's by Philipa Gregory.

  2. Lovely picture, I just love wild poppies, in fact I'm planning a trip to find a field I saw last year that was covered with poppies gone to seed. I hope I'm not too late this year. As to historical fiction, I'm not very much into it, but have enjoyed Tracy Chevallier's books.

  3. I enjoy tracy chevalier books, you might like them.

  4. I'm not a great reader Simone but I am a great lover of flowers and those little wild ones are beautiful !
    Happy weekend, so good to feel your positivity,
    V xxx

  5. Nice photo of the poppies- I have just read the Apothecary's Daughter too and really enjoyed it. For a bit of a slant on Historical Fiction I have loved all of Diana Gabledon's Cross stich series. (It's called Outlander in the States) I was just hooked on them. Lady of Hay (Barbara Erskine) has also a bit of twist but a great book and also Katherine (Anya Seton)which is about John of Gaunt. Brill books.

  6. The wild flowers are lovely, so good to know that people care enough to sow them.

    As for historical novels, in the 70s I used to read Jean Plaidy,Victoria Holt and Phillipa Carr (all the same person!). Very readable they were too. I concur with Amanda's suggestion of Anya Seaton.

    Radio 4 occasionally does a week of dramatisation of Pepys Diary, he was quite the rake, you know!

    1. I am intrigued to know more about him now Toffeeapple!!!

    2. You can find out some facts on this website:

      I thought of another author whom I used, regularly, to read and that is Norah Lofts.

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  8. Beautiful flowers Simone. I, too, like reading historical novels, although I'd rather take up other hobbies than reading. I think you should know that I can't always write comments, as the comments button isn't always visible.Could you do somethong about it?

  9. Like ToffeeApple when I was younger I read Jean Plaidy and Anya Seaton also Margaret Irwin, Georgette Heyer and Juliet Dymoke, after that probably Sharon Penman. Lately I have enjoyed books by Tracy Chevalier and Phillipa Gregory and also Peter Ackroyd:)

  10. So glad to see that you've been having a good summer!

    Those flowers are gorgeous!!

    I don't read a lot of historical fiction, but one of my favorite historical novels is The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Schaffer and Annie Barrows. I also really enjoyed Barbara Kingsolver's The Lacuna (all of hers are good, but that's probably my favorite). Michael Ondaatje's Divisadero was wonderful.

  11. Hi Simone! There's a surprise for you on my latest posting
    I hope you'll like it!

  12. another vote for Barbara Erskine. gripping historical ficvtion, often woven around real historical figures, and often with a supernatural element, start wotyh lady of hay and work backwards up the list in the order written as there are often links between books, characters.

    Leanne x


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