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October 18, 2017, 12:44:37 AM
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Author Topic: Reading anything?  (Read 286675 times)
BoyScoutKevin
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« Reply #1905 on: July 08, 2017, 02:31:07 PM »

Men or women? Who writes the best historical novels? Men or women?

Here are the men who have at least 1 "good" historical novel under their belt. (Maybe more than 1, but at least 1.)

A. C. H. Smith
Alistair Maclean
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Benjamin Appell
C. Walter Hodges
Cy Endfield
Damian Hunter
Ernest Raymond
Evan H. Rhodes
Frank Yerby
Frederic Remington
Jack Higgins
Len Deighton
Marc Rascovich
Owen Parry
Robert E. Howard

And here are the women who have at least 1 "good" historical novel under their belt. (Maybe more than 1, but at least 1.)

Danielle Steele
Ellis Peters
Eve Bunting
Margaret Mullally
Rosemary Sutcliffe
Susan Higginbotham
Suzannah Dunn
and as they write as a trio
Hand, Ashton, Meadows

That means men are twice as likely to write a "good" historical novel compared to a woman. Of course, that's (IMHO.) As for the reasons . . .

Realistic
men: more
women: less

Romantic
men: less
women: more

Action
men: more and better
women: less

Perspective
as I prefer the male perspective in my historical novels,
men: write more  often from the male perspective (82%)
women: write more often from the female perspective (62.5%)

Of course, that means sometimes men write from the female perspective or 18%, and women sometimes write from the male perspective 37.5%.

Next time: Hand, Ashton, Meadows. My Lady Jane






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« Reply #1906 on: July 09, 2017, 04:25:26 PM »

Collected Works: Adventures Into The UNKNOWN! Volume Three.

A collection of ACG's early 50's horror comics. Somewhat corny, but well drawn and imaginative. I may try to write mini-reviews of some of the stories.

Story 1: Marriage of Death

An old woman tell a story of another woman she met, an ageless woman who couldn't die. (Spoiler: The other woman married Death by mistake, so he won't take her. She's actually dead, so she can't age.)

8 pages; fairly original. Death is portrayed as a suave young gentleman. Moral: "Death will call on me when he's good and ready, and not before!"
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BoyScoutKevin
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« Reply #1907 on: July 22, 2017, 12:43:18 PM »

Ye-es!

Hand, Ashton, Meadows
My Lady Jane
and between the 3 of them 13 more novels and 5 more novellas

In order to write a "better" novel, a number of historical errors, both big and small, were made. For example . . .

Jane
1 or 2 engagements instead of 4
Father living instead of deceased.
3 weddings that day instead of 1
No coronation instead of a coronation
Imprisonment in the Tower instead of a monastery
No braids instead of braids
Queen for 13 days instead of 9
Non-violent relationship with her mother instead of a violent relationship

That's 8 historical errors, and that is only the ones I know about.

Not G-rated
Violence. A surprising amount of violence. Both human and animal (non-human.)

To be continued . . .

Next time: the male half of our newlyweds.
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indianasmith
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« Reply #1908 on: July 22, 2017, 06:32:47 PM »

IN THE NAME OF ROME: The Men Who Won the Roman Empire by Adrian Goldsworthy

    Starting with the Punic Wars, this was a history of Rome's most celebrated Generals, from Marcellus and Scipio who defeated the Carthaginians, to Marius and Sulla who worked together to defeat the Germanic hordes and then went to war with each other, Caesar, Pompey, Germanicus, all the way down to Julian the Apostate and Belisarius, during the twilight of Roman power and influence (I kind of wish he had given a not to Basil the Bulgar Slayer, Byzantine Emperor and warrior extraordinaire, but by then the link between Rome and Constantinople had largely been severed.  Readable and entertaining, this is a worthy addition to any Romanophile's library.
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« Reply #1909 on: July 22, 2017, 08:34:59 PM »

I'm reading unpublished scripts for the film festival I'm judging. The first one is actually fairly interesting, it's a Western ghost story. I could see it getting made.
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« Reply #1910 on: July 23, 2017, 09:56:36 AM »

Just finished:

Growing Up With George: A Carlin Home Companion by Kelly Carlin
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« Reply #1911 on: July 24, 2017, 08:12:54 AM »

Reading the calendar to see how many working days left until my sabbatical: 40!
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BoyScoutKevin
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« Reply #1912 on: July 30, 2017, 02:33:18 PM »

Continuing . . .
from my previous post

Gifford or G
Guildford instead of Gifford

A good relationship with his father instead of a bad one.

5 brothers instead of 1

Henrys, John, Ambrose, Robert instead of Stan.

A good relationship with his brothers instead of a bad relationship with his brother.

2 sisters instead of 1.

Mary and Katherine instead of Temperance.
Oddly enough, or maybe not, he did have a sister called Temperance, who, like half of his brothers and sisters, died in infancy, so this could not be the Temperance seen in the book.

Mother called Jane instead of Gertrude.

15, 16, 17 instead of 19.
While we know when the historical character died, February, 1554, we do not know when he was born. Though, there is some thought that he was born March, 1537, which would make his 16 years, 11 months, when he died. His wife is just the opposite. We thought we knew when she was born, October, 1537. Now there is some thought that she was born earlier. Sometime between February, 1537, and November, 1536. Which would make her somewhere between 17 years, 3 months, and 17 years, when she died. It would also make her atypically older than her husband by 1 month to 4 months. Yet whoever was younger, they'd have the dubious distinction of being the youngest prisoner ever held in the Tower to be executed.

Wine instead of ale drunk at the wedding.

3 weddings that day instead of 1.

Iane instead of Jane carved on the wall of his cell at the Tower.
Because the letter J had yet to be invented. Which carving can still be see at the Tower even 460 years later.

No vest instead of a vest.

No ponytail instead of a ponytail.

A cold chop instead of a hot stake.
While burning was the penalty for heresy, because of his age, and that he was of the nobility, if he can been convicted of heresy, the sentence would have probably been reduced to the more merciful beheading. Actually, burning was also the penalty for women convicted of treason of which was then reduced to beheading for women convicted of treason, including his wife.

Only 1 wedding instead of 2 weddings.

And that is 16 historical errors made, and that is only the ones I know about.

This is not G-rated.
Teenage sex, and even more talk of teens having sex.

Next time: the 3rd in our trilogy of heroes.

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BoyScoutKevin
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« Reply #1913 on: August 09, 2017, 05:14:31 PM »

Continuing . . .

Not G-rated
Nudity. Underage nudity of both boys and girls.

Edward
Cocker spaniel instead of an afghan hound

Trunk hose instead of trousers or pants

Hose instead of tights

The right royal will and testament. His doing instead of John Dudley's.
We don't know which of them came up with the idea 1st. At 1st, we thought it was John Dudley's idea, now there is some thought that Edward originated the idea.

Not to kill him with poison instead to keep him alive.
As strange as it may sound, in actuality they were feeding him arsenic to prolong his life and not to shorten it.

John Dudley and Mary bitter foes instead of allies.

Grandmother dead instead of still alive

Mary sought her support against Jane in England and not on the continent.

No skunk instead of a skunk

No ponytail instead of a ponytail

Not resigning in favor of Elizabeth instead of resigning in favor of Elizabeth.
2 reasons. 1st if Mary was declared illegitimate then Elizabeth was illegitimate as well. 2nd Edward trusted Jane to carry out his religious reforms, where he did not trust Elizabeth.

That's . . .
8 + 16 + 11 or 35 historical errors. Thus, why would we read a book that was so historically inaccurate. At least VI good reasons, which we'll take up next time.

To be continued . . .
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indianasmith
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« Reply #1914 on: August 09, 2017, 10:35:51 PM »

Just finished re-reading Colleen McCullough's 1100 page historical epic, FIRST MAN IN ROME.  In about ten days!
Why do I love this book so much that I have read it three times now?
Purely and simply, this lady gets Roman culture and history RIGHT.  She fleshes out, adds personalities, and sometimes speculates, but her stories hew tightly to every thing we know about the era she writes about.
Gaius Marius is magnificently portrayed as a brilliant general and reformer who sees what needs to be done and how to do it, but fights entrenched opposition from the patrician establishment every step of the way.
Lucius Cornelius Sulla is brilliantly sketched as a completely amoral psychopath determined to overcome his dire poverty and rise to the station his patrician ancestry and incredible cunning entitle him to.
Set against the backdrop of Rome's wars with German invaders and Numidian rebels, this book is a refreshing bath in the ancient world that absolutely puts you there and makes you see the world as the Romans saw it!  Five stars, highly recommended for anyone who loves Roman history.
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« Reply #1915 on: August 19, 2017, 05:09:13 AM »

RE-reading Dee Brown's BURY MY HEART AT WOUNDED KNEE.
at the same time I been re-reading my old EC horror comics reprints.And the Psychotronic Video Guide. And old crappy ufo books. and Issac Assimov. I read a lot.oh-and WW2 History.
Beyond the news,Star Trek on BBC Fridays,and movies on Comet and TCM-thats the only TV I watch.
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« Reply #1916 on: August 19, 2017, 07:11:16 AM »

I'm just over 100 pages into Midnight Voice by John Saul.  It's got a creepy, mysterious vibe and it keeps you guessing.  I'm still not 100% sure what's going on, but I have some hunches.
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« Reply #1917 on: August 20, 2017, 11:15:41 AM »

Light reading:

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« Reply #1918 on: August 20, 2017, 01:42:48 PM »

started re-reading the RISE AND FALL OF THE THIRD REICH by William Shirer
It's an amazing book. A big book too! And very insightful.
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BoyScoutKevin
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« Reply #1919 on: August 21, 2017, 05:52:12 PM »

Continuing . . .

Why should one read a book with so many historical mistakes? (IMHO) Here are VI good reasons to read it.

I. 76 LOLs!
It really is quite funny.

II. For the films referenced.
Alice in Wonderland -- Jaws -- The Lion King -- Monty Python and the Holy Grail -- Princess Bride -- The Shaggy Dog -- Tangled.

III. It may become a film sometime in the future.

IV. The writers do make an effort to try to understand the male point of view, and I can't say that about every female writer.

V. While the relationship between newly wed husband and wife may be historically suspect, there are newly wed couples out there who relate to each other like that.

VI. What it feels like to . . .
a. have people come for you in the middle of the night. Not good.
b. know that one day one will rule, and there is nothing one can do about it.
c. rule.
d. know that one has ruled--badly.
e. know that one will die or may die the next morn, either by execution or in battle.
f. know love for someone, and that that person loves you, too.
Thus, it is surprisingly well written.

Though, near perfect it is not perfect. Thus, what is wrong with it.
1st. The 2 two halves are not equal. The 1st half, the more historical half, is much stronger than the 2nd half.
2nd. There is a scene in the book that does not fit, adds nil to the book, and just stops the story dead.
3rd. The familial relationships in the book are so historically inaccurate, they just grate.
4th. The villains are also historically inaccurate, so they grate, too.

As for what's next: a book where the villains do no grate, but are great.
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