There may not have been a whole lot of sewing going on in my neck of the woods over the last month but I think I eased the reading drought.
Here are a couple novels I can add to my Shelfari bookcase as read
During May I read UNEASY LIES THE HEAD by Jean Plaidy. This book follows the life of Henry VII and his Plantaganet Queen, Elizabeth. I had watched the TV Mini Series, The White Queen, adapted from Phillipa Gregory's novels so reading this book seemed like the next step in the saga.
I had already half read this book but soon realised that I needed to start again, thinking I would be able to skip bits and quickly catch up to where it was bookmarked but found I remembered very little so reread it all. The book also follows the young King Henry VIII as he grew up in the Royal Nursery. I really enjoyed this book and was really keen to get my hands on another Jean Plaidy novel.
This time I picked up a novel about the life of King John Plantaganet. THE PRINCE OF DARKNESS by Jean Plaidy. What a thouroughly nasty, vindictive king he was. Self indulgent and taking pleasure in other people's misery made him an extremely unpopular king. He ditched his first wife to marry a 12 year old girl whom he abducted from the home of her betrothed. He was so besotted with the girl, spending all day in bed, he neglected his Kingdom and King Philip II of France took advantage of this and reclaimed French land belonging to the English Throne. Philip was poised to invade England as well but the Pope stepped in and John was able to hang on to his crown.
This was the first time I had read about this earlier family of Plantaganets and I really want to get my hands on the other novels in this series that follow John's brother, Richard Lionheart and his father, Henry II.
I can never read these historical novels without getting waylaid by people or events in history and usually have a pile of historical refererence books on my bedside table as well just so I can relate to the true facts surrounding them.
And believe it or not, a map of London to find the areas that I am reading about. My trusty little travel map is very helpful. Of course it has all changed so much since those days but many areas have names relating to the old sites like Moorgate [Tube station], for example, which was the name of one of the gates of the walls once surrounding the City of London.
For now I think I have satisfied my thirst for historical knowledge of my homeland and my next book will take me on a very different journey.