Servant of the Secret Fire

Random thoughts on books and life in the reality-based community

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Location: New York, United States

The name I've chosen comes from "Lord of the Rings," when Gandalf faces down the Balrog in the Mines of Moria. My Hebrew name is Esther (which is related to the word for "hidden" or "secret") Serafina (which means "burning"). This seems appropriate because although I don't usually put myself forward, I do care very passionately about a lot of things. Maybe through these blogs I can share some of these passions, as well as less weighty ideas and opinions, with others.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Georgette Heyer?

Let's see - I was actually down to two library books, but went Saturday (probably my last "big trip" of the year, with the price of gas - downtown) and then stopped at the Crane branch on the way home from Talmud study today.

And yes, I did get one by Georgette Heyer. I'm afraid I've been prejudiced against her all these years, probably because of the fact that the Hornell library probably had every book she'd ever written and I think I thought that anyone who was that prolific must be pretty lightweight. Now I hear that she actually did very careful historical research and is "the next best thing to Jane Austen" – a pretty distant second, from what I've read of False Colours, but not too bad. I've also got the new novel about Lady Macbeth, which someone on recommended very highly, as well as The Rough Guide to His Dark Materials, one of the few books about the trilogy that I don't own, Strange Matters, about recent discoveries in science (though from 2002 - probably obsolete),and a couple of mysteries.

Of my own books, I'm now working on The Secret Bride, about Henry VIII's sister Mary (not terribly impressed so far, especially with a couple of glaring historical errors), and The Dead Secret by Wilkie Collins, which reads surprisingly easily for a 19th century novel.

Another guilty pleasure - the Saga of the Phenwick Women, a gothic series from the 70s that I'm rereading, more from nostalgia than anything else - they're really not very well written! All of the titles are the name with an adjective, and they started out OK with Augusta the First, Jane the Courageous, etc., but eventually they just got downright absurd - you could almost see the author flailing around for new adjectives. Eventually he (even though the name on the cover is Katheryn Kimbrough the copyright is under John K.) ended up with titles like Nellie the Obvious and Alexandra the Ambivalent. I have to admit, though, that the concept was pretty cool, and he made it through #40, Belinda, the Impatient. I don't think I got much beyond #20, originally.


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