Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Wednesdays with Words: In Former Times


More from CS Harris's Sebastian St. Cyr novels.  She has an impressive ability to select words from the period to introduce the novel.  While the series has  those not-so-subtle anti-religion themes which are annoying (and only vaguely plot-necessary), the character development and mysteries are both quite good.

As the series has developed, I like how historically sensitive Harris has been - including a discussion of the choices she's made and the true history she's included. She doesn't change the outcomes of history, but has her characters being involved and influences. The maturation of the series is something I find fascinating.  There are only two more books (and one expected early next year) and maybe I'll start reading something else for you all :)

Book 7 in the series, When Maidens Mourn, brings to the forefront the Regency Period's burgeoning interest in archaeology and the ever-present interest in all things Arthur.  Harris's epigraphs here include The Lady of Shalott (3 year old Alfred is a character in the book, his author-created cousin is the victim who was found dead in a boat) and from Sir Walter Scott, The Fortunes of Nigel:

The place at which he stopped was no more than a mound, partly surrounded by a ditch, from which it derived the name of Camel Moat.  A few hewn stones there were, which had escaped the fate of many others ... vestiges, just sufficient to show that "here in former times the hand of man had been."
Reminds me of Ozymandias, in a way, which M-girl had to memorize in grammar this year.  

What are you reading this week?





2 comments:

  1. Sorry to miss out this week, Dawn. My week has been crazy and reading (and blogging) have taken a backseat.

    My second daughter is memorizing Ozymandias this year. She read it through the first few times and looked at me and said, "Well, that's kind of sad."

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    1. Sometimes, that's how it goes. Hope the reading and blogging get back on track. M-girl is very sensitive to sad (Matthew in Anne of Green Gables was emotional) and Ozymandias was far from her favorite.

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