Posts Tagged ‘1910s’

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Kingsmead

April 13, 2015

I’m so resentful of Bettina von Hutten right now, and it’s ridiculous, because I knew what I was letting myself in for.

Tommy Kingsmead, though. All I wanted was for nice things to happen to him. But at this point, I’m surprised von Hutten even let Pam be happy.

Tommy, the Earl of Kingsmead, first appeared in The Halo as a precocious nine year old who is interested in everyone and everything. He’s absolutely recognizable as the same person when he reappears in Kingsmead as a young man of 23, benevolent, romantic, and honest. In the intervening years, Tommy’s mother has died, his sister Brigit has married, and Tommy has been forced to sell his ancestral home. He’s living fairly happily in a ruined castle in Italy, but he’s suddenly seized with a desire to see Kingsmead again, so he writes to the purchasers–his college friend Teddy Lansing’s family–and invites himself to stay. Read the rest of this entry ?

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The Professional Aunt

April 8, 2015

Sometimes looking through Project Gutenberg for good titles works out pretty well. The Professional Aunt is definitely a fun title, and the book comes close enough to living up to it that I can’t say for sure whether or not it does. The title character is Betty Lisle, who has:

  • 1 Unmarried brother,
  • 2 Married brothers,
  • 2 Sisters-in-law,
  • 7 Nieces and nephews, and
  • A whole host of aunts and uncles and cousins.

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The Golden Silence

February 27, 2015

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The title page: so lovely. The book: so racist.

My top three most appallingly racist things about The Golden Silence — another travel adventure from A.M. and C.N. Williamson — not counting that thing where all the Arabs are kind of evil, are as follows:

  1. Liberal use of the n-word, always in reference to someone whose skin is “hardly darker than old ivory.”
  2. Referring to drums used by various North Africans as tom toms.
  3. The obsessive cataloging of everyone’s complexions.

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Winnie Childs, the Shop Girl

February 23, 2015

Blog update: I’ve been pretty depressed, I guess? I’ve been having trouble finishing books since November, I think. And work is pretty stressful, and even though I can get pretty vehement about mental health problems being legitimate health problems, it’s really difficult to say, “hey, I spend much of my day wanting to cry, and sometimes I skip lunch because I don’t want to have to choose what to eat, so I’m going to take a sick day.” Especially if it’s unlikely a sick day will help.

Anyway. The Williamsons maybe sort of do help.

Williamsons update: It’s official. My favorite Williamsons book is Set in Silver. Sorry, Secret History Revealed by Lady Peggy O’Malley. You’re still the book that made me love the Williamsons, but Set in Silver is better.

Anyway, I reread Set in Silver, and finished it, which was encouraging. And then I read another Williamsons: Winnie Childs, the Shop Girl. Read the rest of this entry ?

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The Imprudence of Prue

January 23, 2015

The Imprudence of Prue is sort of proto-Georgette Heyer — all historical high society and everyone in debt — but set much earlier, at the beginning of the 18th century, and — I don’t know, I thought it felt pretty convincingly historical. It’s by Sophie Fisher, and I can’t find out anything about her, or any other books by her, and I’m kind of disappointed.
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You’re Only Young Once

November 30, 2014

I’ve been in a sort of Margaret Widdemer, sheltered girl finally getting the adventure she’s been wanting mood, so I keep picking up her books, but You’re Only Young Once isn’t in that mold. Instead of a lone, lonely heroine, you have a family of them, plus some brothers, with loving parents in the background. Angela Goldsborough is the eldest, a doll-like singing teacher, one of two daughters who are contributing to the family income. Then Janetta is tall, dark and business-minded, Deborah is dreamy and beautiful, Annice is quiet and quaint, and Isabella is lively and spoiled. All of them are pretty, and none of them lacks male attention — the older sisters draw lots for the parlor in the evening, because all of them are always expecting callers. Each of them gets a romance over the course of the book, and so do two of their three brothers — warm-hearted John and steady, bespectacled Worrel. Read the rest of this entry ?

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Cleek: The Man of the Forty Faces

November 11, 2014

I really enjoy terrible mysteries, but only a certain kind of terrible mystery. The episodic, gimmicky, pulpy kind that always feel like they were written between 1896 and 1906, whether or not they actually were.

Cleek: The Man of The Forty Faces is pretty much exactly that. It also makes no sense, and is clumsy in ways that mostly make it more interesting.
Hamilton Cleek (not his real name) is the titular character, and the gimmick. He’s a safecracker when the book starts, but that lasts only long enough to qualify as setup. He has a change of heart re: criminal activity after falling in love at first sight, and for the rest of the book he’s a detective working with Scotland Yard.

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