Archive for the ‘amnesia’ Category

Marrying the Mistress (book #87)

7 November 2010

Juliet Landon, 2008.

I can’t remember anything at all about this book. But I did make some notes so will see if I can make sense of them. I seem to have marked some sentences that didn’t fit the time, 1802:

“I don’t do lists” – Safire suggests that this form originated sometime between the 1970s (when apparently “I don’t do windows” was a catchphrase) and the 1990s.
“Jamie’s birth certificate cannot be altered” – no, it can’t, given that there were none; it would have been an entry in a parish register.
“it’s the problem of my brother’s lifestyle that concerns me most” – “lifestyle” dates to 1929.

I was interested in the mention of “ikat-dyed muslin” (Landon is a textile writer under her own name, Jan Messent – see this review and terrible Knitted Madame de Pompadour) and found this great picture of a dress of the right period in ikat muslin.

The Covent Garden Ladies (book #12 updated)

7 November 2010

Hallie Rubenhold, 2006.

Took me a while to get round to updating my previous entry, and I now can’t interpret most of my notes.

The book focusses on the writing and publication of “Harris’s List of Covent Garden Ladies,” 1757. Here’s an extract from the description of Mrs Cuyler, Craven Street:

She was brought up under the Wing of the celebrated Bird of Paradise, who taught her the rudiments of knowledge by which she soon, by the strength of her own natural genius, became a complete mistress of the science, in which she has cut a conspicious figure. … She lately behaves with a great deal of reserve in public, but in private, when she likes her company; there is not a more agreeable, good-natured convivial soul in the universe. At such times she is very fond of singing ‘King David on a certain day, &c.’ which she performs with a good deal of humour.”

Google is not finding anything for the song, sadly.

Satisfyingly, the author compiles a list of men using Covent Garden prostitutes – to parallel the women’s names that were published.

Rubenhold on Women’s Hour discussing the book. The grandly titled Assistant Content Producer advised me that this recording pre-dates BBC iplayer, so to listen to it you need Real Player – see here.

Remember When (book #76)

18 July 2010

Nora Roberts, 2003.

This was the first book I borrowed from the library after re-activating my membership. I had wanted to read it because it’s two novels in one; the first a standard Nora suspense/thriller, set round about now, and in the second Eve (who is fifty years in the future) investigates the mystery of the first book.

I kept renewing it because there were bits I wanted to blog about – I listed six page numbers but looking at them now I have no idea why. Except for this quot:

The everydayers, as her father had dubbed normal people with normal lives, were about their business.

(The narrator’s father is a conman.)

I’ll read it again, or at least the Eve part, and get back to you.