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Historical Fiction April 2014
"What is honour? A word. What is in that word 'honour'? What is that 'honour'? Air. A trim reckoning! Who hath it? He that died o' Wednesday. Doth he feel it? No. Doth he hear it? No. 'Tis insensible then? Yea, to the dead. But will it not live with the living? No. Why? Detraction will not suffer it. Therefore I’ll none of it. Honour is a mere scutcheon."
~ William Shakespeare (1564-1616), English playwright and poet, Henry IV, Part 1
New and Recently Released!
Frog Music: A Novel - by Emma Donoghue
Publisher: Little, Brown
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 04/01/2014
Share Frog Music%3a A Novel ISBN-13: 9780316324687
ISBN-10: 031632468X
Even by the standards of 1876 San Francisco, Jenny Bonnet is an oddity: a free-spirited cyclist who dresses in men's clothes and catches frogs for a living. Could this be the reason someone killed her with a shotgun blast to the chest? Or was the intended target Jenny's friend, French émigrée and burlesque dancer Blanche Beunon? Despite a raging smallpox epidemic, Blanche -- estranged from her "fancy man" and desperate to locate her missing infant son -- takes to the sweltering streets of Chinatown, seeking answers and justice. This compelling, lyrical novel by the author of Slammerkin sympathetically portrays women surviving on the margins of society while vividly depicting the time and place in which they live.
Long Man: A Novel - by Amy Greene
Publisher: Random House
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 02/25/2014
Share Long Man%3a A Novel ISBN-13: 9780307593436
ISBN-10: 0307593436
In 1936, the Tennessee Valley Authority constructs a dam on the river known as Long Man, a project that threatens to flood the tiny town of Yuneetah. Although most of the locals have moved away, Annie Clyde stays put, determined that her three-year-old daughter Grace will inherit the family farm. But when Grace goes missing during a storm, Annie Clyde must search for her child despite rising waters and mounting danger from a violent local drifter who's determined to destroy the dam and who may be responsible for the little girl's disappearance. Long Man, a compelling, suspenseful tale of family ties by the author of the acclaimed Bloodroot, evokes life in Depression-era Appalachia through authentic dialect and rich period detail.
Girl on the Golden Coin: A Novel of Frances Stuart - by Marci Jefferson
Publisher: St Martin's Press
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 02/11/2014
Share Girl on the Golden Coin%3a A Novel of Frances Stuart ISBN-13: 9781250037220
ISBN-10: 1250037220
When Frances Stuart rebuffs the amorous advances of Louis XIV, the spurned Sun King threatens to expose her family's secrets unless she agrees to help him establish diplomatic relations between France and England. How will she achieve this? Why, by seducing her distant cousin, King Charles II, recently recalled from exile after the restoration of England's monarchy in 1660. With no choice but to obey orders, Frances skillfully navigates the pitfalls of court, yet discovers that the dangers of love are more difficult to avoid. Don't miss this richly detailed, intricately plotted tale of royal intrigue in Restoration England.
Vienna Nocturne: A Novel - by Vivien Shotwell
Publisher: Random House
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 02/25/2014
Share Vienna Nocturne%3a A Novel ISBN-13: 9780345536372
ISBN-10: 0345536371
Based on the colorful career of real-life English soprano Anna Storace, Vienna Nocturne follows its heroine from her days as a child prodigy under the tutelage of famed castrato Venanzio Rauzzini to the height of her musical career on the continent. Although she enjoys several affaires de coeur, it's not until she arrives at the court of Emperor Joseph II of Austria that she meets the love of her life, brilliant (and married) composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. This evocative debut, written by a classically trained mezzo-soprano, is a "lyrical, youthful tale of love and loss" (Publishers Weekly) that may appeal to fans of Richard Harvell's The Bells, which also stars a talented opera singer in 18th-century Vienna.
Saint Monkey: A Novel - by Jacinda Townsend
Publisher: W.W. Norton
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 02/24/2014
Share Saint Monkey%3a A Novel ISBN-13: 9780393080049
ISBN-10: 0393080048
Growing up across the street from each other in the "colored" section of segregated Mt. Sterling, Kentucky, best friends Caroline and Audrey weather the storms of adolescence together -- until tragedy sends them in different directions. Audrey's musical talent provides an escape, and she soon ends up playing jazz in Harlem's famed Apollo Theater. Meanwhile, Caroline remains in their hometown, where she struggles to make a living and care for her surviving family members. This atmospheric, lyrical debut movingly explores a complicated relationship between women who follow different paths in life, while vividly depicting life in both mid-20th-century New York City and the Jim Crow South.
My Name is Resolute: A Novel - by Nancy E. Turner
Publisher: St Martin's Press
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 02/18/2014
Share My Name is Resolute%3a A Novel ISBN-13: 9781250036599
ISBN-10: 1250036593
Only nine years old when she's kidnapped from her family's home in 1729 Jamaica by pirates, aristocrat's daughter Resolute Talbot is sold into slavery in New England, then taken prisoner by Native Americans, and finally sent to a Catholic orphanage in Quebec, where she learns to spin and weave. Although she regains her freedom, Resolute discovers that -- for a penniless young woman alone in the world -- survival may prove even more difficult than captivity. Starring a resourceful, resilient heroine whose adventurous life encompasses, among other momentous events, the Seven Years' War and the American Revolution, My Name is Resolute takes readers on an engrossing journey through Colonial North America.
Brush Up Your Shakespeare
Agincourt - by Bernard Cornwell
Publisher: Harper
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 01/20/2009
Share Agincourt ISBN-13: 9780061578915
ISBN-10: 0061578916
One of the most stirring scenes in Shakespeare's Henry V is King Henry's St. Crispin's Day speech, delivered before the Battle of Agincourt. Addressing his greatly outnumbered forces as "we happy few, we band of brothers," Henry inspires his men to victory over the French. This novel by Bernard Cornwell focuses not on Henry but on one of his men, archer Nicholas Hook, an outlaw whose skill with a longbow leads to a career as a mercenary. If you enjoy action-packed historical fiction with plenty of combat, you'll want to read Agincourt. Cornwell is also the author of the Viking-themed Saxon Stories and the the Richard Sharpe books, which take place during the Napoleonic Wars.
Queen Hereafter: A Novel of Margaret of Scotland - by Susan King
Publisher: Crown
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 12/07/2010
Share Queen Hereafter%3a A Novel of Margaret of Scotland ISBN-13: 9780307452795
ISBN-10: 0307452794
Set in 11th-century Scotland, this sequel to author Susan King's Lady Macbeth focuses on Margaret, wife of the much-older Malcolm Canmore, who slew pretender to the throne Macbeth and became King of Scotland. When Lady Gruadh, Macbeth's widow, grudgingly sends her granddaughter Eva to Malcolm's court as a hostage, Margaret befriends the girl -- who has, unbeknownst to her captors, been instructed by her grandmother to serve as a spy. Dramatic and richly detailed, Queen Hereafter explores a lesser-known period of Scottish history.
Falstaff: Being the Acta Domini Johannis Fastolfe, or Life and Valiant Deeds of Sir John Faustoff, or the Hundred Days War, as told by Sir John Fastolf, K.G... - by Robert Nye
Publisher: Arcade
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 09/01/2012
Share Falstaff%3a Being the Acta Domini Johannis Fastolfe, or Life and Valiant Deeds of Sir John Faustoff, or the Hundred Days War, as told by Sir John Fastolf, K.G... ISBN-13: 9781611457001
ISBN-10: 1611457009
Best known for his role in Shakespeare's King Henry IV (parts one and two), octogenarian knight errant and bombastic bon vivant Sir John Fastolf -- a.k.a. "Falstaff" -- sets the record straight as he chronicles his relationship with Prince Hal while celebrating seventy-odd years of excess and debauchery. This "unabashedly bawdy and outrageously raunchy" (Publishers Weekly) novel, originally published in 1976, will delight readers who enjoy the earthier side of Shakespeare.
Iago: A Novel - by David Snodin
Publisher: Henry Holt
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 01/03/2012
Share Iago%3a A Novel ISBN-13: 9780805095975
ISBN-10: 0805095977
Accused of murdering the "the Moor" and his wife, Desdemona, Iago escapes from his prison cell on the island of Cyprus and heads for Venice. On his trail is the Venetian Chief Inquisitor Annibale Malipiero -- known as Il Terribile -- who is famed for his painful methods of extracting information. As Iago interacts with a diverse cast of characters from all walks of life, his background and motivations become clearer to the reader. For another interpretation of the villain of Shakespeare's Othello, try Nicole Galland's I, Iago.
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