Queen Victoria’s Mysterious Daughter; A Biography of Princess Louise: by Lucinda Hawksley

queen vic mysterious daughter

Queen Victoria: the maternal dragon who gave name to the Victorian era had eight children and was none too fond of any particular one. In fact to one degree or another she managed to emotionally cripple each one well into adulthood. The child who may have given her the most … Continue reading

The Angry Tide: A novel of Cornwall 7: by Winston Graham

angry tide

I’m going to keep this one short. As evidenced by the title, results are starting to pour in from all corners of the novel as sins of the characters’ past catch up with them. Despite, or because of Demelza’s brief interlude with another man, she and Ross continue to dance … Continue reading

The Four Swans: A Novel of Cornwall 6: by Winston Graham

four swans

‘The Four Swans’ is the SIXTH Poldark novel taking place in Cornwall, England just before the year 1800. At this point in the saga, everything could be going better. This novel is strange and dark, dealing with themes of adultery, despair, suspicion and jealousy. [Skip to the end if you’re … Continue reading

The Black Moon: A Novel of Cornwall 5: by Winston Graham

black moon

I know I said I was ‘over’ these books, but I’d already ordered this one in the mail and I had nothing else to read…and who am I kidding these are addicting like a soap opera. Winston Graham took a cruel twenty year break in the writing of the Poldark … Continue reading

Empress of Fashion: A Life of Diana Vreeland by Amanda Mackenzie Stuart

This picture really says it all. The most iconic picture of Diana, and the hardest to find.

Diana Vreeland: the original Dragon Lady, fashion trendsetter, jet-setting socialite and notorious eccentric. Once called ‘a beacon of fashion for the twentieth century’, Diana Vreeland set her own boundaries on life, and lived it to the full. Born in 1903, she was a curious creature who helmed Harper’s Bazaar for … Continue reading

Grace: by Grace Coddington

I’m sorry to say I only first heard of Grace Coddington while watching ‘The September Issue’, the fast-paced 2009 documentary behind Vogue magazine’s annual September issue- the biggest of the year. Who was this lady stomping about the place, red frizzy hair flying, growling at Anna (quelle horreur!!) who was … Continue reading

Warleggan: A Novel of Cornwall 4: by Winston Graham

warleggan

Well, the Poldark honeymoon is over for me, and ‘Warleggan’ is mostly to blame. From an early and earnest enjoyment of the books and show on BBC/PBS, the saga has become rather strained at this point. I find myself hoping that if the show ever makes it this far that … Continue reading

Jeremy Poldark: A Novel of Cornwall 3: by Winston Graham

jeremy

“There are no permanent things, ony fleeting moments of warmth and companionship, precious stationary seconds in a flicker of troubled days.” A typical poignant piece of prose from ‘Jeremy’ the third Poldark book. ‘Jeremy’ Poldark picks up where the tumultuous and sad ending of ‘Demelza’ and season two of BBC/PBS … Continue reading

Demelza Poldark: A Novel of Cornwall 2: by Winston Graham

demelza ross main

  Book two of the Poldark series continues the story of Ross Poldark: war veteran, county gentleman, mine owner, and all around moody main character. The year is now 1788, five years have passed since Ross Poldark came home from war in America to find his inheritance in ruins and … Continue reading

Ross Poldark; a Novel of Cornwall: by Winston Graham

poldark main

The year is 1783 and the wild winds sweep majestically over the Cornish cliffs of southern England. A mysterious dark man stares out to sea brooding, then whips his majestic horse into gear and gallops off into the sunset. I jest, but it’s true. This is the overall impression of … Continue reading

Ten Five things I hate about modern fiction.

I’ve never thought of myself as picky or overly difficult to please, although my nearest and dearest might laugh at this. I love to read. Like I LOVE to read, it’s like breathing. The problem here of course is running out of material. Like the apostle Paul (might have) said … Continue reading

Brideshead Revisited: by Evelyn Waugh

waugh_brideshead

  Those aren’t my stars at the bottom of that picture, I have KITTENS. I’ve used this tiny image because it was the ONLY one I could find of the cover that I had. There have apparently been six hundred and ninety seven permutations of this book (exaggerations may be … Continue reading