sarkastic: (got - arya there are power lines)
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I'm cold-ed in. It's so cold outside they've basically shut down the city and closed all the roads. Right now it's -14F with a real feel of -41F. It's also snowed like two feet, but that's not as much of a problem as the temperature. So basically I haven't left my house in days, or worn a bra in that same time. I got caught up with two seasons of Pretty Little Liars, played a lot of Fruit Ninja. I've been reading Here Be Dragons by Susan Kay Penman, which I'm really enjoying. I've decided this will be the year of epic historical novels. I have a lot I've been meaning to read - other SKP novels (especially The Sunne in Splendour, which I started reading last fall but kind of forgot about), Hilary Mantel, Dorothy Dunnett, anything else you think I should read.

I have started to have some problems with reading a lot of historical fiction (and non-fiction): the historically accurate sexism and misogyny just gets a bit exhausting at times. Even the women who attain some level of power of their own, like Eleanor of Aquitane and Caterina Sforza, have to fight so hard and sacrifice so much to get even a tenth of the power noble men are just born with by virtue of having a goddamn penis. It's infuriating, how much a woman's lot in life (and still so many women's lots in life today) is wholly dependent on their luck of the draw with fathers, brothers, husbands, sons, etc. I know this is preaching to the choir, but sometimes it gets a bit rough, and as much as I want to respect the pain and suffering and amazing strength of the billions of women who've dealt with having this lot in life throughout history by witnessing their strories, sometimes I just want to read a book where women aren't treated as property to be traded between men, but there are still castles and mountains and noble steeds and things.

Of course, in Here Be Dragons, Llewellyn is about the best you could expect for a man from 13th century Britain, but I hope Joanna will continue to develop a backbone and be able to stand on her own. She's gotta make grandma Eleanor proud! Having come to this story after reading a biography of Caterina Sforza, who was basically a force of nature, I can't help but wish Eleanor of Aquitane didn't die so early on in the book, because I could really use a fearless Amazon of a lady right about now.

Also does anyone have any recs for non-British history related historical fiction? Especially Renaissance Italy. Or really anything. Not that I don't like British history, but it would be nice to broaden my horizons.

(no subject)

Date: 2014-01-07 04:47 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
There's Dorothy Dunnett's other historical fiction series, The House of Niccolo. I believe it's set in Renaissance Italy.

Happy reading!

(no subject)

Date: 2014-02-09 12:31 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I apologize for my terribly late response, but thank you for the recommendation!

(no subject)

Date: 2014-01-07 12:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Ooh, historical fiction is my love - and I've just been rambling about Dunnett (who has some great female characters!) a lot. Mantel wrote a long novel about the French Revolution in addition to her Cromwell books. Sarah Dunant has written several very good novels about Renaissance Italy most recently Blood and Beauty about the Borgias. Barry Unsworth is another fine writer of historical fiction (set in many different eras - a couple in Ottoman Turkey. I'm also a big fan of Edith pargeter who wrote the Brother Cadfael mysteries under the name of Ellis Peters but who also wrote straight-up historical fiction under her own name. I'm sure I can think of others given time so I'll let you know.
Edited Date: 2014-01-07 12:32 pm (UTC)

(no subject)

Date: 2014-02-09 12:32 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Agh, sorry for my egregiously late response! Thank you so much for these recs though.


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