by Emma Darwin | Literature & Fiction | This book has not been rated.
ISBN: 9780755330676 Global Overview for this book
Registered by Dorothyredboots of York, North Yorkshire United Kingdom on 1/29/2010
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3 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by Dorothyredboots from York, North Yorkshire United Kingdom on Friday, January 29, 2010
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Synopsis from Amazon:-
'Two murdered princes; a powerful queen betrayed; a nobleman riding towards his certain death...

The story of the Princes in the Tower has been one of the most fascinating - and most brutal - murder mysteries in history for more than five hundred years.

In a brilliant feat of historical daring, Emma Darwin has recreated the terrible, exhilarating world of the two youngest victims of the War of the Roses: the power struggles and passion that lay behind their birth, the danger into which they fell, the profoundly moving days before their imprisonment, and the ultimate betrayal of their innocence.

In A Secret Alchemy, three voices speak: that of Elizabeth Woodville, the beautiful widow of King Edward IV; of her brother Anthony, surrogate father to the doomed Prince Edward and his brother Dickon; and that of present-day historian Una Pryor. Orphaned, and herself brought up in a family where secrets and rivalries threaten her world, Una's experience of tragedy, betrayal and lost love help her unlock the long-buried secrets that led to the princes' deaths.

Weaving their stories together, Emma Darwin brilliantly evokes how the violence and glamour of past ages live on within our present.'

This has been on the shelf for ages. As I have just read The White Queen by Pilippa Gregory, which is about the same historical period , I thought this should be my next read.

Journal Entry 2 by Dorothyredboots from York, North Yorkshire United Kingdom on Wednesday, February 3, 2010
Hmmmm....I thought this was rather disappointing in comparison to Emma Darwin's first book (The Mathematics of Love). Some things I think she does very well: establishing the three different voices in particular. I could not get very interested in the parts of the narrative that concerned Anthony, somehow it just didn't work for me. The structure of the book is similar in may ways to M of L in that there are two time periods and the story flips between them. In this story she deals with printing and in M of L it was photography. Darwin has a gentle style and things sort of meander along. For me this lacked the immediacy of The White Queen by Philippa Gregory which deals with the same historical period and I prefer that novel, despite its faults! This was just OK for me.

Released 14 yrs ago (2/23/2010 UTC) at Monthly BookCrossing Meet Up in York in York, North Yorkshire United Kingdom



Bit of history anyone?

Journal Entry 4 by wingNu-Kneeswing from Knaresborough, North Yorkshire United Kingdom on Wednesday, February 24, 2010
I love historical novels, especially set in Medieval and Tudor times, this is set as they turn, so I was more than happy to take this one from Dorothyredboots at Meet Up last night.

This is quite a familiar theme for me at present. Last year I read Alison Weir's brilliant history/non-fiction, The Princes in the Tower, in which she looks closely at all the evidence, old and new, and demonstrates quite clearly to my mind that their Wicked Uncle done it! Last month I read the White Queen by Philippa Gregory who apparently takes the revisionist view and blames Henry VII. Of course, the classic pro-revisionist novel is Josephine Tey's The Daughter of Time which I read, and was reasonably convinced by, in my youth - but I'm older and wiser now (LOL!). I wonder where Emma Darwin stands.... When I've read it, I'll report whether she gets it right or wrong!

Journal Entry 5 by wingNu-Kneeswing from Knaresborough, North Yorkshire United Kingdom on Wednesday, February 24, 2010
On loan to a non-BookCrossing friend (JR) who never writes Journal Entries but sometimes gives me comments I can key in myself! It'll go back onto my ToBeRead piles on its return....

Journal Entry 6 by wingNu-Kneeswing from Knaresborough, North Yorkshire United Kingdom on Monday, March 8, 2010
Returned by JR who thought it was very good, historically accurate and accused the right side of The Crime. She also liked the modern sections with the printing press.

Journal Entry 7 by wingNu-Kneeswing from Knaresborough, North Yorkshire United Kingdom on Sunday, March 28, 2010
And the verdict? Well, the author's not a revisionist but she does hedge her bets! She has the princes murdered during the reign of Richard III but suggests that messages were sent from Henry Tudor's camp hinting it would also be to their advantage if the princes 'were not known to be alive' (p464)! Personally, I still say their Wicked Uncle had it done!

Overall, I think this book is a strange mixture which doesn't really mix! The stories from the past and the present run parallel without coming together to make a realistic whole. Either storyline would make sense and a decent-length novel in its own right. Together they're rather long and unwieldy.

To my mind there are a few too many characters to get to know them all well. In some ways I felt closer to the ones from the 15th century, as I was already familiar with many of them from my previous reading, both fiction and non-fiction, although I probably ought to have more in common with the 20th century narrator's friends and relations.

It was an interesting read - but not a great one!

Journal Entry 8 by wingNu-Kneeswing at Knaresborough, North Yorkshire United Kingdom on Monday, March 29, 2010

Released 14 yrs ago (3/29/2010 UTC) at Knaresborough, North Yorkshire United Kingdom


Giving this to jacquiemary42 as I encourage her to become more active on BookCrossing

Journal Entry 9 by jacquiemary42 from Knaresborough, North Yorkshire United Kingdom on Monday, March 29, 2010
Thank you nu knees

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