Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Needle in the blood

At last I have got hold of this historical novel, having read about it on various book blogs, notably dovegreyreader scribbles and Random jottings of a book and opera lover ,both of whom rhapsodised over it. I requested it through my local library, who did not have it in stock - but they do now. I must admit that I thought it very good and have enjoyed the story of the production of the Bayeux Tapestry, the characters who were involved in its making and what happened to them. The story is that of Odo, Bishop of Bayeux, half-brother to William the Conquerer, his involvement in the invasion of England and the battle of Hastings and its aftermath, and also about his relationship with Gytha, a Saxonwoman, serving maid to Edith Swan-Neck. The research that has gone into this story is prodigious, but only adds to the reality of the story and is not intrusive.

There is a letter about reading historical novels, one of my favourite novel categories, in the latest edition of New Books magazine, a magazine for reading groups, saying that we read them in times of economic downturn, and that this time we are reading them "as a grim backdrop to a grimmer reality" what with global warming and the current economic climate. If and when the world situation improves, then historical fiction will fade away again, the letter writer concludes. Lets hope for more really absorbing historical reads in the near future, and that this time the trend is bucked, so to speak, as the economic situation doesn't get any worse.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

SO glad you enjoyed this after my lunatic ravings. I loved it so much but have to realise that not everyone can feel the same. Looking forward to her next one due out soon

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