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Castles, Customs, and Kings: True Tales by English Historical Fiction Authors (Volume 2) Paperback – July 30, 2015
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Top Customer Reviews
I admit to having not read all of them yet ~ I'd read loads, then had a quick look and discovered I was only at 28%, so after that I dipped in and out, depending on the subject of the article. There's so much to choose from: tales of conquests, information about the life of the common person of the time (I loved the mediaeval ones), to discussion ~ who was the most evil, Richard III or Henry Tudor? Some have more information than others, some are of speciality interest and others more general; if you're a history addict like me, it's a must-buy!
As with all anthologies the quality of the articles varied, but every single one was well put together and worthy of inclusion. I liked those by Rosanne Lortz, Judith Arnopp, Debra Brown, Katherine Ashe and one of my favourite authors, Deborah Swift (click link for my reviews of her books), best, along with a few others; they were the names that sprang immediately to mind.
I read the first part on a long train journey, and noted down pieces I'd particularly liked: one about Athelstan, another on William Wallace by Rosanne Lortz, the Monarchy series by Debra Brown, Judith Arnopp's William II and Stephen and Matilda, all of Katherine Ashe's (trying to read my scribble here!), and I also loved the foreward, 'Falling in love with England and its history', by Stephanie Cowell.
There was only one aspect on which I was not so keen, which was the plugging of the authors' books in some of the articles. I think an Amazon link to the relevant book at the end of the article would have been a better idea, less intrusive and possibly more effective. There is a list of novels by each author at the front, too, for reference.
This is really a terrific book to keep for reference, or just to dip into now and again when you fancy reading something short; I know I will be reading more of it in days to come, and probably looking at my favourite articles over again. I liked that some of the articles named their sources, too, as this is so useful for anyone who is doing research.
One of the things I liked about how the ebook was set up was the listing under each author's name for their websites, Twitter, Facebook and any other social media they contribute to. I think that gives the reader an insight into who their favorite authors are, all in one book. After the list of authors, about 50 of them, there is a section on the list of novels each author has written. Wow, that is one long list of books to read. I went through the list and there are quite a few that I have read, but there are so many more to get to.
The book starts off with Pre-Roman to Early Medieval Britain (pre-55 B.C.-A.D. 1000 to Victorian Era and the Twentieth Century), now that is a lot of history covered. Within each section, the articles range from a glimpse inside a Roman home, The London Tornado of 1091, the Making of a Medieval Queen and The Lady's Monthly Museum. Once you get through all that there is another section called Historical Tidbits across the Ages. We learn about some castles such as Leeds and the Palace of Holyroodhouse, Witches, Midwives and Childbirth to Beds and Bugs through the Centuries.
All of the articles within the covers of Customs, Castles and Kings Volume 2 come from the English Historical Authors blog. All impeccably researched and fun to read. If you love British History like I do, then this book needs to be in your library.
I received an ebook for review and was not monetarily compensated for said review, I also plan on getting the print copy of this great book.