Upstairs/Downstairs

I have two books on the go right now, one on my night table--No god but God, by Reza Aslan, and The Plantagenets, The Kings Who Made England, by Dan Jones, downstairs by the fireplace. Of course they are very different, but they both involve the development of elites, warring for power and the quest … Continue reading Upstairs/Downstairs

Sticky pictures

For a few years now I've thought about writing a biography or historical fiction. I consider who I might research, who I might write about or develop a story about, and eventually set it aside. Next book, I think. But who? I recently read Penelope Fitzgerald's The Blue Flower, a novelĀ about the poet Novalis--or rather … Continue reading Sticky pictures

The Queen with shock and awe

I recently finished Victoria, A Life, by A.N. Wilson. The first biography of Queen Victoria I'd read, I found it full of jaw-dropping surprises. She was not at all what I expected--only her taste in interior decoration fit the stereotype. More than a long-serving monarch and the Widow of Windsor, she was a fascinating personality … Continue reading The Queen with shock and awe