Not to deflect from the seriousness of the political situation unfolding daily in the United States or the ongoing health crisis with COVID-19 still raging, I want to start pulling a book (or a series of books) from my library & talk about how this book & the author of the book influenced my thinking & my writing. In many cases, it was quite political without me even knowing it until I was much older!
Only a few of my books.
This is something I’ve been thinking about for quite a while – before I moved to this new place – but I was so depressed, I couldn’t get my shit together to start it. & I couldn’t decide what day to post it. Or what to call it. Ya know – all the ways you procrastinate when you’re feeling down.
I used to own many more books. Once I had over 2500 books. Years of moving – sometimes every two or three months – putting books in storage & then not being able to retrieve them – giving books away to library book sales – & of course, loaning books to people & never getting them back – I have lost over three-quarters of my collection. Many of the books I lost are now “collectibles” & very expensive.
This is also very depressing but I try to tell myself that “they’re only books”.
In the past few years, I have dedicated myself to rebuilding my collection as best I can. In addition to regaining books I formerly owned, I am also collecting books that used to be in public libraries but are no longer on the shelves. This includes books by authors like Eleanor Hibbert, better known by her nom de plumes, Jean Plaidy, Victoria Holt & Philippa Carr.
My Jean Plaidy/Victoria Holt novels
Right now, I am reading the Plantagenet Series by Jean Plaidy. I grew up reading Jean Plaidy novels. I’ve been reading them since the early 1970’s. The I don’t remember reading the Plantagenet Series when they came out, because they were published in the later 1970’s into the 1980’s & by then I was into erotic novels & I wanted more bang for my buck, so to speak. But I am quite enjoying them now.
I am currently reading the seventh novel in the series, The Hammer of the Scots, which is about Edward I. If you have seen the movie “Braveheart”, then you know who this king is. He’s the good guy in this version of the story.
Don’t you love this pulp fiction cover?
There are fifteen novels in this series, ending with the marriage of Henry Tudor & Margaret, Princess of York, thus the series seamlessly moves into Plaidy’s Tudor series. In fact, this fifteenth novel of the Plantagenet series, “Uneasy Lies the Head” was renamed “To Hold the Crown” & marketed as the first novel of the Tudor series. This happens all the time with Jean Plaidy novels & it’s easy to buy the same book with a different title.
Unlike other historical novelists, Plaidy sticks fairly close to the facts so reading her novels are a good way to learn as you are entertained. & while she speaks of the erotic & the sensual, she’s never in bed with her characters. She’s no prude but she’s no puritan, either.
With that, welcome to Bookworm Wednesday!
all photographs © polly macdavid