Historicals I grew up with…

Valchloesmall Anne here, with my dog, Chloe supervising. That's a red feather boa she's wearing, by the way. She's a kelpie, a working dog, but strangely she likes feathers.

It's books and reading that incline a child toward writing, they say, and for me, at least, it's true.Though I was an outdoors active kid during the day, in the evenings I was a total book worm. I pretty much read everything I could get my hands on, but since this is a historical blog, I thought I'd share a few of the fabulous historical writers I grew up with.

Guy of Warwick012 The very first historical I recall was a little book called Guy of Warwick (and yes, I suspect I was the one who colored in those letters on the cover.) It was special because I got it when we were away from home and I had nothing to read. It was about a brave knight (Guy) who committed great acts of bravery (usually by wiping out the last of some endangered species) in order to win the heart of the cold Lady Phyllis. I was a picky romance reader even at eight, for I thought Guy deserved someone a whole lot nicer than Phyllis. But I still read it over and over.

Eagle9th Rosemary Sutcliff was the next historical writer I remember reading as a child. She swept me away into Roman Britain and to this day I love The Eagle of the Ninth (a story of Roman Britain and a young man's quest to retrieve the lost Eagle of his Father's Legion, the Ninth)

But the writer who truly thrilled and haunted me with his historical settings was a man called Henry Treece.

His books were called 'children's books' and certainly, in the libraries where I found them, they were shelved in the children's section, but they were bold, dark, confronting, fascinating books. They took me to places and times I'd never known, and brought Romans, Britons, bronze age tribesmen, Vikings, Ancient Greeks and more to life for me.

Rereading them, I can't believe they were called children's books. He didn't hold back, didn't soften or sanitize his books for the sake of young readers —there was blood sacrifice, sex, politics, and violence, all taken completely in context — not written to shock, just to evoke the times—he was a schoolmaster and a passionate historian. And evoke the times they surely did.

Here's a piece I read when I was 11 or 12 and never forgot. It's from The Dark Island — when Romans first come to pagan Britain. I'd visited Stonehenge some years before, when we lived in Scotland and were tourists every weekend, but it was this book—this scene— that truly brought the place to life for me.Treece-dark

The tribes have gathered and some Romans are there as guests of the chiefs. A group of boys —chieftains' sons—have sneaked up to watch a forbidden ceremony.

Suddenly an old woman began to call out and whine, "O King, it is my son on the stone before you. He did no evil. He loved the gods. Why must you take him, lord?"

The boys heard her start to cry and then scream; then she was silent and Beddyr looked with his wide black eyes at a gaunt soldier he knew and said, "What has happened, Pedair? Why is the old woman crying , then?"

The soldier, his eyes still fixed on the blood-stone, said, "It is nothing, Prince, only an old cockle woman selling her wares."

And before the boy could ask again, a group of black-haired Picts began the long, low, rhythmic moaning that is the prelude to their death-dances and a party of soldiers had to break ranks to quieten them down.

So the boys got onto their knees and tried to look between the legs of the chiefs, but they could see little.

"He's got red hair," whispered Morag excitedly.

"They always have," said his brother.

Then they shrank back, blinded for a moment by the sun's first long ray that struck inch by inch along the eastern avenue. And when they could see again, Caradoc said to his friend Gwyndoc, "I can see Father's feet. He's dressed like a druid."

"What's he doing?"

"He's pushing a stick into the red-haired one! No, it isn't a stick, it's a mistletoe stake! He's having to push very hard, the red one is wriggling so much!"

Then they became aware that they were enveloped by a great silence, that no-one, the length or the breadth of the plain, was speaking or moving, and they fell silent, too. And a strange sound came to their ears; it was quite like a hare when you tried to wring its neck and couldn't quite. Then there was sobbing and gurgling, and all over the plain people were gasping and moving and talking again.

[Henry Treece, The Dark Island]

Powerful stuff, eh? No wonder I devoured his books, even though I'm sure they gave me nightmares at times.

But shortly after I'd worked my way through all of Henry Treece, I discovered an author who affected me even more powerfully, though in a very different way. I wasn't haunted by her, her books weren't frighteningly real — they were pure, delicious fun!TOScover

Of course, I'm talking about Georgette Heyer. I borrowed These Old Shades from the adult section of the library on a dare. My friend Merryn and I were sure I'd be told off for such impudence, but to our amazement the librarian didn't turn a hair. We never looked back.

These Old Shades plunged me into a world of Georgian fabulousness, where men wore red high heels and jewels and powder, and yet were still thrillingly masculine—and a little bit sinister.  I was hooked. I practically inhaled all the Heyers in the library, giggling madly at Pel and Pom in The Convenient Marriage, and at Ferdy and his Nemesis in Friday's Child, loving the gallantry of The Mountain as he guarded his Prudence's sleep… and swooning at Damerel and his rose petal scattering habits… and I guess that stamped me as a romance reader forever more.Ladyquality

We moved to the city when I was fifteen, and I found a wonderful old second hand store, Berry's Antiques, that had tables full of books for 20 cents. I spent all my pocket money on those books and I gathered an almost complete collection of Heyers. I have them still, and reread them often; my favorite comfort reads.

I'm sure, if I hadn't read and fallen in love with Heyer's books and Heyer's world, I wouldn't be a romance writer today. Who knows, perhaps I might be writing dark historical novels…

What about you? What books did you love as a child? Were there books that confronted, and maybe haunted you? What were your first, beloved historicals?

220 thoughts on “Historicals I grew up with…”

  1. I remember reading “Jane Eyre” when I was a kid. I loved Jane. She stood up for herself, made the hard choices and was rewarded for it in the end. I didn’t care for Mr. Rochester.
    Then I read “Wuthering Heights”. I hated it. I hated Heathcliff and I couldn’t see why anyone thought the book was so great. I still don’t.
    I read Georgette Heyer’s “The Nonesuch” when I was in high school. I don’t know what attracted me to the book. It was a library book in a plain unadorned cover, I had no idea what a “nonesuch” was and I had trouble understanding the language. But I liked the book.

    Reply
  2. I remember reading “Jane Eyre” when I was a kid. I loved Jane. She stood up for herself, made the hard choices and was rewarded for it in the end. I didn’t care for Mr. Rochester.
    Then I read “Wuthering Heights”. I hated it. I hated Heathcliff and I couldn’t see why anyone thought the book was so great. I still don’t.
    I read Georgette Heyer’s “The Nonesuch” when I was in high school. I don’t know what attracted me to the book. It was a library book in a plain unadorned cover, I had no idea what a “nonesuch” was and I had trouble understanding the language. But I liked the book.

    Reply
  3. I remember reading “Jane Eyre” when I was a kid. I loved Jane. She stood up for herself, made the hard choices and was rewarded for it in the end. I didn’t care for Mr. Rochester.
    Then I read “Wuthering Heights”. I hated it. I hated Heathcliff and I couldn’t see why anyone thought the book was so great. I still don’t.
    I read Georgette Heyer’s “The Nonesuch” when I was in high school. I don’t know what attracted me to the book. It was a library book in a plain unadorned cover, I had no idea what a “nonesuch” was and I had trouble understanding the language. But I liked the book.

    Reply
  4. I remember reading “Jane Eyre” when I was a kid. I loved Jane. She stood up for herself, made the hard choices and was rewarded for it in the end. I didn’t care for Mr. Rochester.
    Then I read “Wuthering Heights”. I hated it. I hated Heathcliff and I couldn’t see why anyone thought the book was so great. I still don’t.
    I read Georgette Heyer’s “The Nonesuch” when I was in high school. I don’t know what attracted me to the book. It was a library book in a plain unadorned cover, I had no idea what a “nonesuch” was and I had trouble understanding the language. But I liked the book.

    Reply
  5. I remember reading “Jane Eyre” when I was a kid. I loved Jane. She stood up for herself, made the hard choices and was rewarded for it in the end. I didn’t care for Mr. Rochester.
    Then I read “Wuthering Heights”. I hated it. I hated Heathcliff and I couldn’t see why anyone thought the book was so great. I still don’t.
    I read Georgette Heyer’s “The Nonesuch” when I was in high school. I don’t know what attracted me to the book. It was a library book in a plain unadorned cover, I had no idea what a “nonesuch” was and I had trouble understanding the language. But I liked the book.

    Reply
  6. I remember reading what I now consider gothic novels. Jamaica Inn, Rebecca, My Cousin Rachel. And, romance books like Forever Amber, a great old series The Whiteoaks of Jalna. I also realize that Georgette Heyer is the queen of the Regency, but the author that really started me down the road to Romanceville was, the hardly ever mentioned Barbara Cartland. Some of her really early books weren’t yet filled with saccharin virgins, for instance: A Hazard of Hearts.

    Reply
  7. I remember reading what I now consider gothic novels. Jamaica Inn, Rebecca, My Cousin Rachel. And, romance books like Forever Amber, a great old series The Whiteoaks of Jalna. I also realize that Georgette Heyer is the queen of the Regency, but the author that really started me down the road to Romanceville was, the hardly ever mentioned Barbara Cartland. Some of her really early books weren’t yet filled with saccharin virgins, for instance: A Hazard of Hearts.

    Reply
  8. I remember reading what I now consider gothic novels. Jamaica Inn, Rebecca, My Cousin Rachel. And, romance books like Forever Amber, a great old series The Whiteoaks of Jalna. I also realize that Georgette Heyer is the queen of the Regency, but the author that really started me down the road to Romanceville was, the hardly ever mentioned Barbara Cartland. Some of her really early books weren’t yet filled with saccharin virgins, for instance: A Hazard of Hearts.

    Reply
  9. I remember reading what I now consider gothic novels. Jamaica Inn, Rebecca, My Cousin Rachel. And, romance books like Forever Amber, a great old series The Whiteoaks of Jalna. I also realize that Georgette Heyer is the queen of the Regency, but the author that really started me down the road to Romanceville was, the hardly ever mentioned Barbara Cartland. Some of her really early books weren’t yet filled with saccharin virgins, for instance: A Hazard of Hearts.

    Reply
  10. I remember reading what I now consider gothic novels. Jamaica Inn, Rebecca, My Cousin Rachel. And, romance books like Forever Amber, a great old series The Whiteoaks of Jalna. I also realize that Georgette Heyer is the queen of the Regency, but the author that really started me down the road to Romanceville was, the hardly ever mentioned Barbara Cartland. Some of her really early books weren’t yet filled with saccharin virgins, for instance: A Hazard of Hearts.

    Reply
  11. Oh, Chloe looks so stunning in her red feather boa! To the manner born, she is.
    My first introduction to romance was through the Gothics of the 1960s and 1970s–Mary Stewart, Victoria Holt, Phyllis A. Whitney, Catherine Cookson. I loved the book covers. They always featured a dark and forbidding house or castle on a hill, with one light in an upper window. In the foreground is the heroine, fleeing into the night, and sometimes looking back over her shoulder at the castle.
    Anne, like you, my sister and I were always checking out books from the adult section, having outgrown the children’s section of the library long ago.

    Reply
  12. Oh, Chloe looks so stunning in her red feather boa! To the manner born, she is.
    My first introduction to romance was through the Gothics of the 1960s and 1970s–Mary Stewart, Victoria Holt, Phyllis A. Whitney, Catherine Cookson. I loved the book covers. They always featured a dark and forbidding house or castle on a hill, with one light in an upper window. In the foreground is the heroine, fleeing into the night, and sometimes looking back over her shoulder at the castle.
    Anne, like you, my sister and I were always checking out books from the adult section, having outgrown the children’s section of the library long ago.

    Reply
  13. Oh, Chloe looks so stunning in her red feather boa! To the manner born, she is.
    My first introduction to romance was through the Gothics of the 1960s and 1970s–Mary Stewart, Victoria Holt, Phyllis A. Whitney, Catherine Cookson. I loved the book covers. They always featured a dark and forbidding house or castle on a hill, with one light in an upper window. In the foreground is the heroine, fleeing into the night, and sometimes looking back over her shoulder at the castle.
    Anne, like you, my sister and I were always checking out books from the adult section, having outgrown the children’s section of the library long ago.

    Reply
  14. Oh, Chloe looks so stunning in her red feather boa! To the manner born, she is.
    My first introduction to romance was through the Gothics of the 1960s and 1970s–Mary Stewart, Victoria Holt, Phyllis A. Whitney, Catherine Cookson. I loved the book covers. They always featured a dark and forbidding house or castle on a hill, with one light in an upper window. In the foreground is the heroine, fleeing into the night, and sometimes looking back over her shoulder at the castle.
    Anne, like you, my sister and I were always checking out books from the adult section, having outgrown the children’s section of the library long ago.

    Reply
  15. Oh, Chloe looks so stunning in her red feather boa! To the manner born, she is.
    My first introduction to romance was through the Gothics of the 1960s and 1970s–Mary Stewart, Victoria Holt, Phyllis A. Whitney, Catherine Cookson. I loved the book covers. They always featured a dark and forbidding house or castle on a hill, with one light in an upper window. In the foreground is the heroine, fleeing into the night, and sometimes looking back over her shoulder at the castle.
    Anne, like you, my sister and I were always checking out books from the adult section, having outgrown the children’s section of the library long ago.

    Reply
  16. Linda, oh, yes, I loved Jane Eyre, too. And Heathcliffe really was a nasty piece of work, wasn’t he? When I was young I thought he was tragic and ascribed all his problems to the way he was treated as a child, and the way Cathy behaved, blowing hot and cold…
    Kay, I discovered Barbara Cartland when I was in my late teens and was sent in school holidays to help my oldest sister with her babies. They lived 2 days train travel away, and by the time I got there I’d finished all my books. But she had these magazines which serialized Barbara Cartland in them, and I devoured the lot.

    Reply
  17. Linda, oh, yes, I loved Jane Eyre, too. And Heathcliffe really was a nasty piece of work, wasn’t he? When I was young I thought he was tragic and ascribed all his problems to the way he was treated as a child, and the way Cathy behaved, blowing hot and cold…
    Kay, I discovered Barbara Cartland when I was in my late teens and was sent in school holidays to help my oldest sister with her babies. They lived 2 days train travel away, and by the time I got there I’d finished all my books. But she had these magazines which serialized Barbara Cartland in them, and I devoured the lot.

    Reply
  18. Linda, oh, yes, I loved Jane Eyre, too. And Heathcliffe really was a nasty piece of work, wasn’t he? When I was young I thought he was tragic and ascribed all his problems to the way he was treated as a child, and the way Cathy behaved, blowing hot and cold…
    Kay, I discovered Barbara Cartland when I was in my late teens and was sent in school holidays to help my oldest sister with her babies. They lived 2 days train travel away, and by the time I got there I’d finished all my books. But she had these magazines which serialized Barbara Cartland in them, and I devoured the lot.

    Reply
  19. Linda, oh, yes, I loved Jane Eyre, too. And Heathcliffe really was a nasty piece of work, wasn’t he? When I was young I thought he was tragic and ascribed all his problems to the way he was treated as a child, and the way Cathy behaved, blowing hot and cold…
    Kay, I discovered Barbara Cartland when I was in my late teens and was sent in school holidays to help my oldest sister with her babies. They lived 2 days train travel away, and by the time I got there I’d finished all my books. But she had these magazines which serialized Barbara Cartland in them, and I devoured the lot.

    Reply
  20. Linda, oh, yes, I loved Jane Eyre, too. And Heathcliffe really was a nasty piece of work, wasn’t he? When I was young I thought he was tragic and ascribed all his problems to the way he was treated as a child, and the way Cathy behaved, blowing hot and cold…
    Kay, I discovered Barbara Cartland when I was in my late teens and was sent in school holidays to help my oldest sister with her babies. They lived 2 days train travel away, and by the time I got there I’d finished all my books. But she had these magazines which serialized Barbara Cartland in them, and I devoured the lot.

    Reply
  21. Maureen, I remember my mother reading Little House in the Big Woods. She loved it and passed it on to me — I was an adult by then–and I loved it too. But neither of us realized it was part of a series until the TV show came on. To this day, I’ve never read any of the others.
    For us in Australia, the equivalent books were probably the Billabong books, children’s adventures on a big sheep or cattle station. They’re now long out of print.
    Sherrie I loved Mary Stewart’s books. I think they’re classics of romantic fiction. My favorites are Madam Will you Talk and Nine Coaches Waiting. Every time I see a romance with a hero called Raoul, I think mmm, I think I wonder if that author read Nine Coaches Waiting.

    Reply
  22. Maureen, I remember my mother reading Little House in the Big Woods. She loved it and passed it on to me — I was an adult by then–and I loved it too. But neither of us realized it was part of a series until the TV show came on. To this day, I’ve never read any of the others.
    For us in Australia, the equivalent books were probably the Billabong books, children’s adventures on a big sheep or cattle station. They’re now long out of print.
    Sherrie I loved Mary Stewart’s books. I think they’re classics of romantic fiction. My favorites are Madam Will you Talk and Nine Coaches Waiting. Every time I see a romance with a hero called Raoul, I think mmm, I think I wonder if that author read Nine Coaches Waiting.

    Reply
  23. Maureen, I remember my mother reading Little House in the Big Woods. She loved it and passed it on to me — I was an adult by then–and I loved it too. But neither of us realized it was part of a series until the TV show came on. To this day, I’ve never read any of the others.
    For us in Australia, the equivalent books were probably the Billabong books, children’s adventures on a big sheep or cattle station. They’re now long out of print.
    Sherrie I loved Mary Stewart’s books. I think they’re classics of romantic fiction. My favorites are Madam Will you Talk and Nine Coaches Waiting. Every time I see a romance with a hero called Raoul, I think mmm, I think I wonder if that author read Nine Coaches Waiting.

    Reply
  24. Maureen, I remember my mother reading Little House in the Big Woods. She loved it and passed it on to me — I was an adult by then–and I loved it too. But neither of us realized it was part of a series until the TV show came on. To this day, I’ve never read any of the others.
    For us in Australia, the equivalent books were probably the Billabong books, children’s adventures on a big sheep or cattle station. They’re now long out of print.
    Sherrie I loved Mary Stewart’s books. I think they’re classics of romantic fiction. My favorites are Madam Will you Talk and Nine Coaches Waiting. Every time I see a romance with a hero called Raoul, I think mmm, I think I wonder if that author read Nine Coaches Waiting.

    Reply
  25. Maureen, I remember my mother reading Little House in the Big Woods. She loved it and passed it on to me — I was an adult by then–and I loved it too. But neither of us realized it was part of a series until the TV show came on. To this day, I’ve never read any of the others.
    For us in Australia, the equivalent books were probably the Billabong books, children’s adventures on a big sheep or cattle station. They’re now long out of print.
    Sherrie I loved Mary Stewart’s books. I think they’re classics of romantic fiction. My favorites are Madam Will you Talk and Nine Coaches Waiting. Every time I see a romance with a hero called Raoul, I think mmm, I think I wonder if that author read Nine Coaches Waiting.

    Reply
  26. Like Maureen, I loved the Little House books (and am reading them with my kids now–it’s fun!) I also really enjoyed The Little Princess and The Secret Garden, but I’m not sure whether those are truly historical 🙂 I also really liked stories that were just a little bit earlier in history than when we were, like the Moffats and Noel Streatfield’s books.

    Reply
  27. Like Maureen, I loved the Little House books (and am reading them with my kids now–it’s fun!) I also really enjoyed The Little Princess and The Secret Garden, but I’m not sure whether those are truly historical 🙂 I also really liked stories that were just a little bit earlier in history than when we were, like the Moffats and Noel Streatfield’s books.

    Reply
  28. Like Maureen, I loved the Little House books (and am reading them with my kids now–it’s fun!) I also really enjoyed The Little Princess and The Secret Garden, but I’m not sure whether those are truly historical 🙂 I also really liked stories that were just a little bit earlier in history than when we were, like the Moffats and Noel Streatfield’s books.

    Reply
  29. Like Maureen, I loved the Little House books (and am reading them with my kids now–it’s fun!) I also really enjoyed The Little Princess and The Secret Garden, but I’m not sure whether those are truly historical 🙂 I also really liked stories that were just a little bit earlier in history than when we were, like the Moffats and Noel Streatfield’s books.

    Reply
  30. Like Maureen, I loved the Little House books (and am reading them with my kids now–it’s fun!) I also really enjoyed The Little Princess and The Secret Garden, but I’m not sure whether those are truly historical 🙂 I also really liked stories that were just a little bit earlier in history than when we were, like the Moffats and Noel Streatfield’s books.

    Reply
  31. So many of those author names are familiar. Also L.M. Montgomery – especially the “Anne” and “Emily” books. Lots of others are just a whisper of memory. When I’d only been reading a year or two – must have been about six or seven – I read a book called The Money Cat, my first mystery novel, quite short with big print, no idea of the author. There are only a few phrases and images still in my head from that book – the china cat getting broken, the secret room in the old house, the expression “behind the green baize door” (i.e. where the servants were) but they still bring a sense of absolute magic. I think that must have been the book that “hooked” me as a reader. There’s a long-forgotten children’s author somewhere who has my undying gratitude and would be amazed at the effect her little book had on me.

    Reply
  32. So many of those author names are familiar. Also L.M. Montgomery – especially the “Anne” and “Emily” books. Lots of others are just a whisper of memory. When I’d only been reading a year or two – must have been about six or seven – I read a book called The Money Cat, my first mystery novel, quite short with big print, no idea of the author. There are only a few phrases and images still in my head from that book – the china cat getting broken, the secret room in the old house, the expression “behind the green baize door” (i.e. where the servants were) but they still bring a sense of absolute magic. I think that must have been the book that “hooked” me as a reader. There’s a long-forgotten children’s author somewhere who has my undying gratitude and would be amazed at the effect her little book had on me.

    Reply
  33. So many of those author names are familiar. Also L.M. Montgomery – especially the “Anne” and “Emily” books. Lots of others are just a whisper of memory. When I’d only been reading a year or two – must have been about six or seven – I read a book called The Money Cat, my first mystery novel, quite short with big print, no idea of the author. There are only a few phrases and images still in my head from that book – the china cat getting broken, the secret room in the old house, the expression “behind the green baize door” (i.e. where the servants were) but they still bring a sense of absolute magic. I think that must have been the book that “hooked” me as a reader. There’s a long-forgotten children’s author somewhere who has my undying gratitude and would be amazed at the effect her little book had on me.

    Reply
  34. So many of those author names are familiar. Also L.M. Montgomery – especially the “Anne” and “Emily” books. Lots of others are just a whisper of memory. When I’d only been reading a year or two – must have been about six or seven – I read a book called The Money Cat, my first mystery novel, quite short with big print, no idea of the author. There are only a few phrases and images still in my head from that book – the china cat getting broken, the secret room in the old house, the expression “behind the green baize door” (i.e. where the servants were) but they still bring a sense of absolute magic. I think that must have been the book that “hooked” me as a reader. There’s a long-forgotten children’s author somewhere who has my undying gratitude and would be amazed at the effect her little book had on me.

    Reply
  35. So many of those author names are familiar. Also L.M. Montgomery – especially the “Anne” and “Emily” books. Lots of others are just a whisper of memory. When I’d only been reading a year or two – must have been about six or seven – I read a book called The Money Cat, my first mystery novel, quite short with big print, no idea of the author. There are only a few phrases and images still in my head from that book – the china cat getting broken, the secret room in the old house, the expression “behind the green baize door” (i.e. where the servants were) but they still bring a sense of absolute magic. I think that must have been the book that “hooked” me as a reader. There’s a long-forgotten children’s author somewhere who has my undying gratitude and would be amazed at the effect her little book had on me.

    Reply
  36. I don’t recall reading many historicals as a child. I was an Enid Blyton Kid, graduating to Trixie Belden and Nancy Drew, then Agatha Christie and the like. My mother despaired. Birthdays were full of hardcover copies of Tom Sawyer, Little Women, Great Expectations (ha!). Poetry (huh?). But she persisted and eventually we reached an accord. Anne of Green Gables found favour. The Silver Sword by Ian Serrallier was grim but gripping. During the teen years Heyer was a win for my mother (and for me). Loved Mary Stuart. Loved hating Heathcliffe. Became a Jane Austin fan. Then I picked up a paperback romance – and then another – and no amount of Booker prizewinning birthday books (my mother never gives up, bless her) have ever managed to woo me away from my happy endings for more than a moment.

    Reply
  37. I don’t recall reading many historicals as a child. I was an Enid Blyton Kid, graduating to Trixie Belden and Nancy Drew, then Agatha Christie and the like. My mother despaired. Birthdays were full of hardcover copies of Tom Sawyer, Little Women, Great Expectations (ha!). Poetry (huh?). But she persisted and eventually we reached an accord. Anne of Green Gables found favour. The Silver Sword by Ian Serrallier was grim but gripping. During the teen years Heyer was a win for my mother (and for me). Loved Mary Stuart. Loved hating Heathcliffe. Became a Jane Austin fan. Then I picked up a paperback romance – and then another – and no amount of Booker prizewinning birthday books (my mother never gives up, bless her) have ever managed to woo me away from my happy endings for more than a moment.

    Reply
  38. I don’t recall reading many historicals as a child. I was an Enid Blyton Kid, graduating to Trixie Belden and Nancy Drew, then Agatha Christie and the like. My mother despaired. Birthdays were full of hardcover copies of Tom Sawyer, Little Women, Great Expectations (ha!). Poetry (huh?). But she persisted and eventually we reached an accord. Anne of Green Gables found favour. The Silver Sword by Ian Serrallier was grim but gripping. During the teen years Heyer was a win for my mother (and for me). Loved Mary Stuart. Loved hating Heathcliffe. Became a Jane Austin fan. Then I picked up a paperback romance – and then another – and no amount of Booker prizewinning birthday books (my mother never gives up, bless her) have ever managed to woo me away from my happy endings for more than a moment.

    Reply
  39. I don’t recall reading many historicals as a child. I was an Enid Blyton Kid, graduating to Trixie Belden and Nancy Drew, then Agatha Christie and the like. My mother despaired. Birthdays were full of hardcover copies of Tom Sawyer, Little Women, Great Expectations (ha!). Poetry (huh?). But she persisted and eventually we reached an accord. Anne of Green Gables found favour. The Silver Sword by Ian Serrallier was grim but gripping. During the teen years Heyer was a win for my mother (and for me). Loved Mary Stuart. Loved hating Heathcliffe. Became a Jane Austin fan. Then I picked up a paperback romance – and then another – and no amount of Booker prizewinning birthday books (my mother never gives up, bless her) have ever managed to woo me away from my happy endings for more than a moment.

    Reply
  40. I don’t recall reading many historicals as a child. I was an Enid Blyton Kid, graduating to Trixie Belden and Nancy Drew, then Agatha Christie and the like. My mother despaired. Birthdays were full of hardcover copies of Tom Sawyer, Little Women, Great Expectations (ha!). Poetry (huh?). But she persisted and eventually we reached an accord. Anne of Green Gables found favour. The Silver Sword by Ian Serrallier was grim but gripping. During the teen years Heyer was a win for my mother (and for me). Loved Mary Stuart. Loved hating Heathcliffe. Became a Jane Austin fan. Then I picked up a paperback romance – and then another – and no amount of Booker prizewinning birthday books (my mother never gives up, bless her) have ever managed to woo me away from my happy endings for more than a moment.

    Reply
  41. I loved all the classic girl books – particularly if they took place in the past – and biographies of women when I was a child. I never could make it past page 50 of Withering Heights. Everyone seemes so whacked, and I hated them all.
    The first book I remember that really freaked me out was Margaret Atwood’s A Handmaid’s Tale.

    Reply
  42. I loved all the classic girl books – particularly if they took place in the past – and biographies of women when I was a child. I never could make it past page 50 of Withering Heights. Everyone seemes so whacked, and I hated them all.
    The first book I remember that really freaked me out was Margaret Atwood’s A Handmaid’s Tale.

    Reply
  43. I loved all the classic girl books – particularly if they took place in the past – and biographies of women when I was a child. I never could make it past page 50 of Withering Heights. Everyone seemes so whacked, and I hated them all.
    The first book I remember that really freaked me out was Margaret Atwood’s A Handmaid’s Tale.

    Reply
  44. I loved all the classic girl books – particularly if they took place in the past – and biographies of women when I was a child. I never could make it past page 50 of Withering Heights. Everyone seemes so whacked, and I hated them all.
    The first book I remember that really freaked me out was Margaret Atwood’s A Handmaid’s Tale.

    Reply
  45. I loved all the classic girl books – particularly if they took place in the past – and biographies of women when I was a child. I never could make it past page 50 of Withering Heights. Everyone seemes so whacked, and I hated them all.
    The first book I remember that really freaked me out was Margaret Atwood’s A Handmaid’s Tale.

    Reply
  46. >>It was about a brave knight (Guy) who committed great acts of bravery (usually by wiping out the last of some endangered species) in order to win the heart of the cold Lady Phyllis.<< LOL! So true--a real romantic wants the couple matched well. And now I know why there are no dragons left. I never read Treece--I might have been too much a wimp even then--but I certainly read all the stuff in sight. Much of what has already been mentioned, plus all the Sff and boys' sports books and anything historical. And I still have a great fondness for SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. Mary Jo

    Reply
  47. >>It was about a brave knight (Guy) who committed great acts of bravery (usually by wiping out the last of some endangered species) in order to win the heart of the cold Lady Phyllis.<< LOL! So true--a real romantic wants the couple matched well. And now I know why there are no dragons left. I never read Treece--I might have been too much a wimp even then--but I certainly read all the stuff in sight. Much of what has already been mentioned, plus all the Sff and boys' sports books and anything historical. And I still have a great fondness for SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. Mary Jo

    Reply
  48. >>It was about a brave knight (Guy) who committed great acts of bravery (usually by wiping out the last of some endangered species) in order to win the heart of the cold Lady Phyllis.<< LOL! So true--a real romantic wants the couple matched well. And now I know why there are no dragons left. I never read Treece--I might have been too much a wimp even then--but I certainly read all the stuff in sight. Much of what has already been mentioned, plus all the Sff and boys' sports books and anything historical. And I still have a great fondness for SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. Mary Jo

    Reply
  49. >>It was about a brave knight (Guy) who committed great acts of bravery (usually by wiping out the last of some endangered species) in order to win the heart of the cold Lady Phyllis.<< LOL! So true--a real romantic wants the couple matched well. And now I know why there are no dragons left. I never read Treece--I might have been too much a wimp even then--but I certainly read all the stuff in sight. Much of what has already been mentioned, plus all the Sff and boys' sports books and anything historical. And I still have a great fondness for SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. Mary Jo

    Reply
  50. >>It was about a brave knight (Guy) who committed great acts of bravery (usually by wiping out the last of some endangered species) in order to win the heart of the cold Lady Phyllis.<< LOL! So true--a real romantic wants the couple matched well. And now I know why there are no dragons left. I never read Treece--I might have been too much a wimp even then--but I certainly read all the stuff in sight. Much of what has already been mentioned, plus all the Sff and boys' sports books and anything historical. And I still have a great fondness for SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON. Mary Jo

    Reply
  51. Fedora, the Secret Garden and the Little Princess were favorites of mine, too. And yes, I’d fefinitely count them as historicals. They were set in late Victorian times, weren’t they? I shouldn’t have left them off the list — I still have them on my bookshelves here.
    When we went to live in Scotland when I was 8, it was mid winter when we arrived, and the house we were living in had a big walled garden–all hard snow and dead sticks, as I thought. (We don’t get winters like that in Australia.) I’ll never forget the wonder of seeing those dead sticks turn into living plants, and the amazement of seeing the desolate place slowly turn into a riot of green and flowers — my very own secret garden experience.

    Reply
  52. Fedora, the Secret Garden and the Little Princess were favorites of mine, too. And yes, I’d fefinitely count them as historicals. They were set in late Victorian times, weren’t they? I shouldn’t have left them off the list — I still have them on my bookshelves here.
    When we went to live in Scotland when I was 8, it was mid winter when we arrived, and the house we were living in had a big walled garden–all hard snow and dead sticks, as I thought. (We don’t get winters like that in Australia.) I’ll never forget the wonder of seeing those dead sticks turn into living plants, and the amazement of seeing the desolate place slowly turn into a riot of green and flowers — my very own secret garden experience.

    Reply
  53. Fedora, the Secret Garden and the Little Princess were favorites of mine, too. And yes, I’d fefinitely count them as historicals. They were set in late Victorian times, weren’t they? I shouldn’t have left them off the list — I still have them on my bookshelves here.
    When we went to live in Scotland when I was 8, it was mid winter when we arrived, and the house we were living in had a big walled garden–all hard snow and dead sticks, as I thought. (We don’t get winters like that in Australia.) I’ll never forget the wonder of seeing those dead sticks turn into living plants, and the amazement of seeing the desolate place slowly turn into a riot of green and flowers — my very own secret garden experience.

    Reply
  54. Fedora, the Secret Garden and the Little Princess were favorites of mine, too. And yes, I’d fefinitely count them as historicals. They were set in late Victorian times, weren’t they? I shouldn’t have left them off the list — I still have them on my bookshelves here.
    When we went to live in Scotland when I was 8, it was mid winter when we arrived, and the house we were living in had a big walled garden–all hard snow and dead sticks, as I thought. (We don’t get winters like that in Australia.) I’ll never forget the wonder of seeing those dead sticks turn into living plants, and the amazement of seeing the desolate place slowly turn into a riot of green and flowers — my very own secret garden experience.

    Reply
  55. Fedora, the Secret Garden and the Little Princess were favorites of mine, too. And yes, I’d fefinitely count them as historicals. They were set in late Victorian times, weren’t they? I shouldn’t have left them off the list — I still have them on my bookshelves here.
    When we went to live in Scotland when I was 8, it was mid winter when we arrived, and the house we were living in had a big walled garden–all hard snow and dead sticks, as I thought. (We don’t get winters like that in Australia.) I’ll never forget the wonder of seeing those dead sticks turn into living plants, and the amazement of seeing the desolate place slowly turn into a riot of green and flowers — my very own secret garden experience.

    Reply
  56. Kelly, me too for Enid Blyton. I recently bought the Faraway Tree books for a friend of mine’s granddaughter who was sick with glandular fever (mono.) I was a bit worried that it might be too young for her — she’s 8, but has read Harry Potter and the Hobbit, etc.
    But she started reading the first one and by the end of the week had read and reread all three books and done a book report for school on them. So the magic still works on sophisticated contemporary kids.
    And Anne of Green Gables was also a favorite. My favorite line? “But I haven’t got any long black dresses.” (I think that was in that particular Anne)

    Reply
  57. Kelly, me too for Enid Blyton. I recently bought the Faraway Tree books for a friend of mine’s granddaughter who was sick with glandular fever (mono.) I was a bit worried that it might be too young for her — she’s 8, but has read Harry Potter and the Hobbit, etc.
    But she started reading the first one and by the end of the week had read and reread all three books and done a book report for school on them. So the magic still works on sophisticated contemporary kids.
    And Anne of Green Gables was also a favorite. My favorite line? “But I haven’t got any long black dresses.” (I think that was in that particular Anne)

    Reply
  58. Kelly, me too for Enid Blyton. I recently bought the Faraway Tree books for a friend of mine’s granddaughter who was sick with glandular fever (mono.) I was a bit worried that it might be too young for her — she’s 8, but has read Harry Potter and the Hobbit, etc.
    But she started reading the first one and by the end of the week had read and reread all three books and done a book report for school on them. So the magic still works on sophisticated contemporary kids.
    And Anne of Green Gables was also a favorite. My favorite line? “But I haven’t got any long black dresses.” (I think that was in that particular Anne)

    Reply
  59. Kelly, me too for Enid Blyton. I recently bought the Faraway Tree books for a friend of mine’s granddaughter who was sick with glandular fever (mono.) I was a bit worried that it might be too young for her — she’s 8, but has read Harry Potter and the Hobbit, etc.
    But she started reading the first one and by the end of the week had read and reread all three books and done a book report for school on them. So the magic still works on sophisticated contemporary kids.
    And Anne of Green Gables was also a favorite. My favorite line? “But I haven’t got any long black dresses.” (I think that was in that particular Anne)

    Reply
  60. Kelly, me too for Enid Blyton. I recently bought the Faraway Tree books for a friend of mine’s granddaughter who was sick with glandular fever (mono.) I was a bit worried that it might be too young for her — she’s 8, but has read Harry Potter and the Hobbit, etc.
    But she started reading the first one and by the end of the week had read and reread all three books and done a book report for school on them. So the magic still works on sophisticated contemporary kids.
    And Anne of Green Gables was also a favorite. My favorite line? “But I haven’t got any long black dresses.” (I think that was in that particular Anne)

    Reply
  61. Lilian, that’s such an evocative phrase, ‘behind the green baize door’ isn’t it? Wonderful that you still remember that book — my first thought was that you should track it down, but sometimes I think those things — golden memories — are best left undisturbed.
    Mary Jo, I read all my brother’s books, too. They were so much more adventurous and exciting than so many of the books for girls of the same age. My brother was a lot older than me, so I could plunder his collection with impunity.
    Another kind of book I loved dealt with the adventures of animals. Finn the Wolfhound, The Call of the Wild, The Silver Brumby books, Wild Brother and many others.

    Reply
  62. Lilian, that’s such an evocative phrase, ‘behind the green baize door’ isn’t it? Wonderful that you still remember that book — my first thought was that you should track it down, but sometimes I think those things — golden memories — are best left undisturbed.
    Mary Jo, I read all my brother’s books, too. They were so much more adventurous and exciting than so many of the books for girls of the same age. My brother was a lot older than me, so I could plunder his collection with impunity.
    Another kind of book I loved dealt with the adventures of animals. Finn the Wolfhound, The Call of the Wild, The Silver Brumby books, Wild Brother and many others.

    Reply
  63. Lilian, that’s such an evocative phrase, ‘behind the green baize door’ isn’t it? Wonderful that you still remember that book — my first thought was that you should track it down, but sometimes I think those things — golden memories — are best left undisturbed.
    Mary Jo, I read all my brother’s books, too. They were so much more adventurous and exciting than so many of the books for girls of the same age. My brother was a lot older than me, so I could plunder his collection with impunity.
    Another kind of book I loved dealt with the adventures of animals. Finn the Wolfhound, The Call of the Wild, The Silver Brumby books, Wild Brother and many others.

    Reply
  64. Lilian, that’s such an evocative phrase, ‘behind the green baize door’ isn’t it? Wonderful that you still remember that book — my first thought was that you should track it down, but sometimes I think those things — golden memories — are best left undisturbed.
    Mary Jo, I read all my brother’s books, too. They were so much more adventurous and exciting than so many of the books for girls of the same age. My brother was a lot older than me, so I could plunder his collection with impunity.
    Another kind of book I loved dealt with the adventures of animals. Finn the Wolfhound, The Call of the Wild, The Silver Brumby books, Wild Brother and many others.

    Reply
  65. Lilian, that’s such an evocative phrase, ‘behind the green baize door’ isn’t it? Wonderful that you still remember that book — my first thought was that you should track it down, but sometimes I think those things — golden memories — are best left undisturbed.
    Mary Jo, I read all my brother’s books, too. They were so much more adventurous and exciting than so many of the books for girls of the same age. My brother was a lot older than me, so I could plunder his collection with impunity.
    Another kind of book I loved dealt with the adventures of animals. Finn the Wolfhound, The Call of the Wild, The Silver Brumby books, Wild Brother and many others.

    Reply
  66. Michelle, I never realized how dull the first 60 pages of Wutherine Heights is until I read with a view to teaching it to a group of girls who had difficulty with English, but who wanted to study “a hard, famous book.”
    I think these days if that book was submitted, the editor would say “chop the first 60 pages — the book starts then.” LOL.
    BTW, my group of girls ended up studying Pride and Prejudice and they adored it. They felt an enormous kinship with the Bennett girls– despite the time difference, it reflected their own lives. They too were expected to marry well, were subject to the tyranny of gossip etc.

    Reply
  67. Michelle, I never realized how dull the first 60 pages of Wutherine Heights is until I read with a view to teaching it to a group of girls who had difficulty with English, but who wanted to study “a hard, famous book.”
    I think these days if that book was submitted, the editor would say “chop the first 60 pages — the book starts then.” LOL.
    BTW, my group of girls ended up studying Pride and Prejudice and they adored it. They felt an enormous kinship with the Bennett girls– despite the time difference, it reflected their own lives. They too were expected to marry well, were subject to the tyranny of gossip etc.

    Reply
  68. Michelle, I never realized how dull the first 60 pages of Wutherine Heights is until I read with a view to teaching it to a group of girls who had difficulty with English, but who wanted to study “a hard, famous book.”
    I think these days if that book was submitted, the editor would say “chop the first 60 pages — the book starts then.” LOL.
    BTW, my group of girls ended up studying Pride and Prejudice and they adored it. They felt an enormous kinship with the Bennett girls– despite the time difference, it reflected their own lives. They too were expected to marry well, were subject to the tyranny of gossip etc.

    Reply
  69. Michelle, I never realized how dull the first 60 pages of Wutherine Heights is until I read with a view to teaching it to a group of girls who had difficulty with English, but who wanted to study “a hard, famous book.”
    I think these days if that book was submitted, the editor would say “chop the first 60 pages — the book starts then.” LOL.
    BTW, my group of girls ended up studying Pride and Prejudice and they adored it. They felt an enormous kinship with the Bennett girls– despite the time difference, it reflected their own lives. They too were expected to marry well, were subject to the tyranny of gossip etc.

    Reply
  70. Michelle, I never realized how dull the first 60 pages of Wutherine Heights is until I read with a view to teaching it to a group of girls who had difficulty with English, but who wanted to study “a hard, famous book.”
    I think these days if that book was submitted, the editor would say “chop the first 60 pages — the book starts then.” LOL.
    BTW, my group of girls ended up studying Pride and Prejudice and they adored it. They felt an enormous kinship with the Bennett girls– despite the time difference, it reflected their own lives. They too were expected to marry well, were subject to the tyranny of gossip etc.

    Reply
  71. Anne, you’ve brought back so many memories.
    I don’t have the book any more, but I do remember falling in love with my very first knight, Cedric.
    But although I read all the classic children’s books and others not so highly regarded, the stand out one for me was Seven Little Australians by Ethel Turner. I’ll never forget the Sunday morning I read the scene where Judy died.
    I was only seven – and Judy was the most engaging and naughtiest of the seven children – and I was devastated.
    It was my first and possibly most memorable lesson in the power of ’emotional punch’.

    Reply
  72. Anne, you’ve brought back so many memories.
    I don’t have the book any more, but I do remember falling in love with my very first knight, Cedric.
    But although I read all the classic children’s books and others not so highly regarded, the stand out one for me was Seven Little Australians by Ethel Turner. I’ll never forget the Sunday morning I read the scene where Judy died.
    I was only seven – and Judy was the most engaging and naughtiest of the seven children – and I was devastated.
    It was my first and possibly most memorable lesson in the power of ’emotional punch’.

    Reply
  73. Anne, you’ve brought back so many memories.
    I don’t have the book any more, but I do remember falling in love with my very first knight, Cedric.
    But although I read all the classic children’s books and others not so highly regarded, the stand out one for me was Seven Little Australians by Ethel Turner. I’ll never forget the Sunday morning I read the scene where Judy died.
    I was only seven – and Judy was the most engaging and naughtiest of the seven children – and I was devastated.
    It was my first and possibly most memorable lesson in the power of ’emotional punch’.

    Reply
  74. Anne, you’ve brought back so many memories.
    I don’t have the book any more, but I do remember falling in love with my very first knight, Cedric.
    But although I read all the classic children’s books and others not so highly regarded, the stand out one for me was Seven Little Australians by Ethel Turner. I’ll never forget the Sunday morning I read the scene where Judy died.
    I was only seven – and Judy was the most engaging and naughtiest of the seven children – and I was devastated.
    It was my first and possibly most memorable lesson in the power of ’emotional punch’.

    Reply
  75. Anne, you’ve brought back so many memories.
    I don’t have the book any more, but I do remember falling in love with my very first knight, Cedric.
    But although I read all the classic children’s books and others not so highly regarded, the stand out one for me was Seven Little Australians by Ethel Turner. I’ll never forget the Sunday morning I read the scene where Judy died.
    I was only seven – and Judy was the most engaging and naughtiest of the seven children – and I was devastated.
    It was my first and possibly most memorable lesson in the power of ’emotional punch’.

    Reply
  76. My love affair with books started very early. At 7 I could walk to the local library where they had an entire section of biographies of famous people as children. I devoured each and every one of the women/girl biographies: Juliette Low, Julia Ward Howe and Maria Mitchell, Girl Astronomer to name a few. In junior high I discovered the Angelique books by Sergeanne Golon and was entranced. Today they read like Barbie does Versailles, but back then I thought they were marvelous. My first Heyer was also These Old Shades, but I was many years past my youth when I discovered her. I fell in love with history and historical fiction as a child and never looked back.

    Reply
  77. My love affair with books started very early. At 7 I could walk to the local library where they had an entire section of biographies of famous people as children. I devoured each and every one of the women/girl biographies: Juliette Low, Julia Ward Howe and Maria Mitchell, Girl Astronomer to name a few. In junior high I discovered the Angelique books by Sergeanne Golon and was entranced. Today they read like Barbie does Versailles, but back then I thought they were marvelous. My first Heyer was also These Old Shades, but I was many years past my youth when I discovered her. I fell in love with history and historical fiction as a child and never looked back.

    Reply
  78. My love affair with books started very early. At 7 I could walk to the local library where they had an entire section of biographies of famous people as children. I devoured each and every one of the women/girl biographies: Juliette Low, Julia Ward Howe and Maria Mitchell, Girl Astronomer to name a few. In junior high I discovered the Angelique books by Sergeanne Golon and was entranced. Today they read like Barbie does Versailles, but back then I thought they were marvelous. My first Heyer was also These Old Shades, but I was many years past my youth when I discovered her. I fell in love with history and historical fiction as a child and never looked back.

    Reply
  79. My love affair with books started very early. At 7 I could walk to the local library where they had an entire section of biographies of famous people as children. I devoured each and every one of the women/girl biographies: Juliette Low, Julia Ward Howe and Maria Mitchell, Girl Astronomer to name a few. In junior high I discovered the Angelique books by Sergeanne Golon and was entranced. Today they read like Barbie does Versailles, but back then I thought they were marvelous. My first Heyer was also These Old Shades, but I was many years past my youth when I discovered her. I fell in love with history and historical fiction as a child and never looked back.

    Reply
  80. My love affair with books started very early. At 7 I could walk to the local library where they had an entire section of biographies of famous people as children. I devoured each and every one of the women/girl biographies: Juliette Low, Julia Ward Howe and Maria Mitchell, Girl Astronomer to name a few. In junior high I discovered the Angelique books by Sergeanne Golon and was entranced. Today they read like Barbie does Versailles, but back then I thought they were marvelous. My first Heyer was also These Old Shades, but I was many years past my youth when I discovered her. I fell in love with history and historical fiction as a child and never looked back.

    Reply
  81. Oh Anne, where has Henry Treece been all my life? Where have I been? What sensational reading. Thank you for the links. They sound like my cup of tea.
    I remember one Christmas being given Little Women. My very own book! Until then I don’t think I realised you could actually *own* books, they were always borrowed. Am making up for lost time now:-))

    Reply
  82. Oh Anne, where has Henry Treece been all my life? Where have I been? What sensational reading. Thank you for the links. They sound like my cup of tea.
    I remember one Christmas being given Little Women. My very own book! Until then I don’t think I realised you could actually *own* books, they were always borrowed. Am making up for lost time now:-))

    Reply
  83. Oh Anne, where has Henry Treece been all my life? Where have I been? What sensational reading. Thank you for the links. They sound like my cup of tea.
    I remember one Christmas being given Little Women. My very own book! Until then I don’t think I realised you could actually *own* books, they were always borrowed. Am making up for lost time now:-))

    Reply
  84. Oh Anne, where has Henry Treece been all my life? Where have I been? What sensational reading. Thank you for the links. They sound like my cup of tea.
    I remember one Christmas being given Little Women. My very own book! Until then I don’t think I realised you could actually *own* books, they were always borrowed. Am making up for lost time now:-))

    Reply
  85. Oh Anne, where has Henry Treece been all my life? Where have I been? What sensational reading. Thank you for the links. They sound like my cup of tea.
    I remember one Christmas being given Little Women. My very own book! Until then I don’t think I realised you could actually *own* books, they were always borrowed. Am making up for lost time now:-))

    Reply
  86. Barbara, I never read the Seven Little Australians, but having a beloved character die would be a shock, I agree. I didn’t much care for that part of Little Women.
    Funny isn’t it, that I could read gory bits of Henry Treece but not a sweet and gentle girl fading away? I remember this book he wrote called the Children’s Crusade, based on a real event, I think, where children all across Europe jined a crusade to the holy land. The idea was that their sweet innocence would stop the fighting. Instead in the end, all the kids were enslaved…
    Fedora, my favorite Noel Streatfields were Ballet Shoes and White Boots, the ice skating one.

    Reply
  87. Barbara, I never read the Seven Little Australians, but having a beloved character die would be a shock, I agree. I didn’t much care for that part of Little Women.
    Funny isn’t it, that I could read gory bits of Henry Treece but not a sweet and gentle girl fading away? I remember this book he wrote called the Children’s Crusade, based on a real event, I think, where children all across Europe jined a crusade to the holy land. The idea was that their sweet innocence would stop the fighting. Instead in the end, all the kids were enslaved…
    Fedora, my favorite Noel Streatfields were Ballet Shoes and White Boots, the ice skating one.

    Reply
  88. Barbara, I never read the Seven Little Australians, but having a beloved character die would be a shock, I agree. I didn’t much care for that part of Little Women.
    Funny isn’t it, that I could read gory bits of Henry Treece but not a sweet and gentle girl fading away? I remember this book he wrote called the Children’s Crusade, based on a real event, I think, where children all across Europe jined a crusade to the holy land. The idea was that their sweet innocence would stop the fighting. Instead in the end, all the kids were enslaved…
    Fedora, my favorite Noel Streatfields were Ballet Shoes and White Boots, the ice skating one.

    Reply
  89. Barbara, I never read the Seven Little Australians, but having a beloved character die would be a shock, I agree. I didn’t much care for that part of Little Women.
    Funny isn’t it, that I could read gory bits of Henry Treece but not a sweet and gentle girl fading away? I remember this book he wrote called the Children’s Crusade, based on a real event, I think, where children all across Europe jined a crusade to the holy land. The idea was that their sweet innocence would stop the fighting. Instead in the end, all the kids were enslaved…
    Fedora, my favorite Noel Streatfields were Ballet Shoes and White Boots, the ice skating one.

    Reply
  90. Barbara, I never read the Seven Little Australians, but having a beloved character die would be a shock, I agree. I didn’t much care for that part of Little Women.
    Funny isn’t it, that I could read gory bits of Henry Treece but not a sweet and gentle girl fading away? I remember this book he wrote called the Children’s Crusade, based on a real event, I think, where children all across Europe jined a crusade to the holy land. The idea was that their sweet innocence would stop the fighting. Instead in the end, all the kids were enslaved…
    Fedora, my favorite Noel Streatfields were Ballet Shoes and White Boots, the ice skating one.

    Reply
  91. ValerieL, I’ve never read the Angelique books, though I remember seeing them in used bookstores and being a bit put off by the amount of cleavage. Barbie does Versailles — love that description.
    Trish, you’d love Henry Treece, but he’s hard to find now. Maybe in libraries.

    Reply
  92. ValerieL, I’ve never read the Angelique books, though I remember seeing them in used bookstores and being a bit put off by the amount of cleavage. Barbie does Versailles — love that description.
    Trish, you’d love Henry Treece, but he’s hard to find now. Maybe in libraries.

    Reply
  93. ValerieL, I’ve never read the Angelique books, though I remember seeing them in used bookstores and being a bit put off by the amount of cleavage. Barbie does Versailles — love that description.
    Trish, you’d love Henry Treece, but he’s hard to find now. Maybe in libraries.

    Reply
  94. ValerieL, I’ve never read the Angelique books, though I remember seeing them in used bookstores and being a bit put off by the amount of cleavage. Barbie does Versailles — love that description.
    Trish, you’d love Henry Treece, but he’s hard to find now. Maybe in libraries.

    Reply
  95. ValerieL, I’ve never read the Angelique books, though I remember seeing them in used bookstores and being a bit put off by the amount of cleavage. Barbie does Versailles — love that description.
    Trish, you’d love Henry Treece, but he’s hard to find now. Maybe in libraries.

    Reply
  96. There was no sweet, gentle girl fading away in Seven Little Australians. Judy was naughty and a ring leader and fall of life – and then WHACK! – a falling gum tree crushed her.
    Looking back, I think it was a cruel decision on the author’s part, but the book was incredibly popular.

    Reply
  97. There was no sweet, gentle girl fading away in Seven Little Australians. Judy was naughty and a ring leader and fall of life – and then WHACK! – a falling gum tree crushed her.
    Looking back, I think it was a cruel decision on the author’s part, but the book was incredibly popular.

    Reply
  98. There was no sweet, gentle girl fading away in Seven Little Australians. Judy was naughty and a ring leader and fall of life – and then WHACK! – a falling gum tree crushed her.
    Looking back, I think it was a cruel decision on the author’s part, but the book was incredibly popular.

    Reply
  99. There was no sweet, gentle girl fading away in Seven Little Australians. Judy was naughty and a ring leader and fall of life – and then WHACK! – a falling gum tree crushed her.
    Looking back, I think it was a cruel decision on the author’s part, but the book was incredibly popular.

    Reply
  100. There was no sweet, gentle girl fading away in Seven Little Australians. Judy was naughty and a ring leader and fall of life – and then WHACK! – a falling gum tree crushed her.
    Looking back, I think it was a cruel decision on the author’s part, but the book was incredibly popular.

    Reply
  101. When I was about 12ish my sister moved across the country to go to University. I was allowed to move into her bedroom (at last a room of my own, if only temporarily). She had left all of her books behind. I fell in love with “Mrs. Mike” by Benedict and Nancy Freedman. A story about a young woman who moved to Canada from Boston for her health, around the turn of the century, and eventually married a Mountie and moved into the wilderness. Very touching, sad stuff. I cried every time I read it. Then there was the Secret Garden, the Little Princess. I stumbled upon Mary Stewart, Georgette Heyer and Elizabeth Cadell all on my own. There was also an author from Australia (her name escapes me) who wrote all sorts of romances set in the Outback. I’m still convinced I want to go there….
    My mom lent me her copy of “Jane Eyre”, I loved it. I hated Wuthering Heights. Dad lent me “The Just So Stories”. Dad and my oldest sister still cringe at my reading of romances, but I’m not about to stop.

    Reply
  102. When I was about 12ish my sister moved across the country to go to University. I was allowed to move into her bedroom (at last a room of my own, if only temporarily). She had left all of her books behind. I fell in love with “Mrs. Mike” by Benedict and Nancy Freedman. A story about a young woman who moved to Canada from Boston for her health, around the turn of the century, and eventually married a Mountie and moved into the wilderness. Very touching, sad stuff. I cried every time I read it. Then there was the Secret Garden, the Little Princess. I stumbled upon Mary Stewart, Georgette Heyer and Elizabeth Cadell all on my own. There was also an author from Australia (her name escapes me) who wrote all sorts of romances set in the Outback. I’m still convinced I want to go there….
    My mom lent me her copy of “Jane Eyre”, I loved it. I hated Wuthering Heights. Dad lent me “The Just So Stories”. Dad and my oldest sister still cringe at my reading of romances, but I’m not about to stop.

    Reply
  103. When I was about 12ish my sister moved across the country to go to University. I was allowed to move into her bedroom (at last a room of my own, if only temporarily). She had left all of her books behind. I fell in love with “Mrs. Mike” by Benedict and Nancy Freedman. A story about a young woman who moved to Canada from Boston for her health, around the turn of the century, and eventually married a Mountie and moved into the wilderness. Very touching, sad stuff. I cried every time I read it. Then there was the Secret Garden, the Little Princess. I stumbled upon Mary Stewart, Georgette Heyer and Elizabeth Cadell all on my own. There was also an author from Australia (her name escapes me) who wrote all sorts of romances set in the Outback. I’m still convinced I want to go there….
    My mom lent me her copy of “Jane Eyre”, I loved it. I hated Wuthering Heights. Dad lent me “The Just So Stories”. Dad and my oldest sister still cringe at my reading of romances, but I’m not about to stop.

    Reply
  104. When I was about 12ish my sister moved across the country to go to University. I was allowed to move into her bedroom (at last a room of my own, if only temporarily). She had left all of her books behind. I fell in love with “Mrs. Mike” by Benedict and Nancy Freedman. A story about a young woman who moved to Canada from Boston for her health, around the turn of the century, and eventually married a Mountie and moved into the wilderness. Very touching, sad stuff. I cried every time I read it. Then there was the Secret Garden, the Little Princess. I stumbled upon Mary Stewart, Georgette Heyer and Elizabeth Cadell all on my own. There was also an author from Australia (her name escapes me) who wrote all sorts of romances set in the Outback. I’m still convinced I want to go there….
    My mom lent me her copy of “Jane Eyre”, I loved it. I hated Wuthering Heights. Dad lent me “The Just So Stories”. Dad and my oldest sister still cringe at my reading of romances, but I’m not about to stop.

    Reply
  105. When I was about 12ish my sister moved across the country to go to University. I was allowed to move into her bedroom (at last a room of my own, if only temporarily). She had left all of her books behind. I fell in love with “Mrs. Mike” by Benedict and Nancy Freedman. A story about a young woman who moved to Canada from Boston for her health, around the turn of the century, and eventually married a Mountie and moved into the wilderness. Very touching, sad stuff. I cried every time I read it. Then there was the Secret Garden, the Little Princess. I stumbled upon Mary Stewart, Georgette Heyer and Elizabeth Cadell all on my own. There was also an author from Australia (her name escapes me) who wrote all sorts of romances set in the Outback. I’m still convinced I want to go there….
    My mom lent me her copy of “Jane Eyre”, I loved it. I hated Wuthering Heights. Dad lent me “The Just So Stories”. Dad and my oldest sister still cringe at my reading of romances, but I’m not about to stop.

    Reply
  106. ” WHACK! – a falling gum tree crushed her.
    Looking back, I think it was a cruel decision on the author’s part,”
    Ouch indeed, Barbara. And yes, a cruel decision. I think they tend not to do that so much these days, so we’re used to the characters we love surviving. I wonder if she thought it was a “good dose of reality,” teach kids about life notion. Or was it autobiographical at all? Not having read the books, I don’t know…

    Reply
  107. ” WHACK! – a falling gum tree crushed her.
    Looking back, I think it was a cruel decision on the author’s part,”
    Ouch indeed, Barbara. And yes, a cruel decision. I think they tend not to do that so much these days, so we’re used to the characters we love surviving. I wonder if she thought it was a “good dose of reality,” teach kids about life notion. Or was it autobiographical at all? Not having read the books, I don’t know…

    Reply
  108. ” WHACK! – a falling gum tree crushed her.
    Looking back, I think it was a cruel decision on the author’s part,”
    Ouch indeed, Barbara. And yes, a cruel decision. I think they tend not to do that so much these days, so we’re used to the characters we love surviving. I wonder if she thought it was a “good dose of reality,” teach kids about life notion. Or was it autobiographical at all? Not having read the books, I don’t know…

    Reply
  109. ” WHACK! – a falling gum tree crushed her.
    Looking back, I think it was a cruel decision on the author’s part,”
    Ouch indeed, Barbara. And yes, a cruel decision. I think they tend not to do that so much these days, so we’re used to the characters we love surviving. I wonder if she thought it was a “good dose of reality,” teach kids about life notion. Or was it autobiographical at all? Not having read the books, I don’t know…

    Reply
  110. ” WHACK! – a falling gum tree crushed her.
    Looking back, I think it was a cruel decision on the author’s part,”
    Ouch indeed, Barbara. And yes, a cruel decision. I think they tend not to do that so much these days, so we’re used to the characters we love surviving. I wonder if she thought it was a “good dose of reality,” teach kids about life notion. Or was it autobiographical at all? Not having read the books, I don’t know…

    Reply
  111. Piper I remember Elizabeth Cadell. My local library had a heap of her books and whenever I see a lot of books by an author i try one to see why they’re so popular, and I really glommed onto Elizabeth cadell.
    ” There was also an author from Australia (her name escapes me) who wrote all sorts of romances set in the Outback. I’m still convinced I want to go there….”
    Piper, I bet you’re thinking of Lucy Walker. Lovely stories. My sister introduced me to her in those babysitting holidays I was sent on; she had lots of Lucy Walker books. I read them all lying on her cool tiled floor in the Queensland heat. The Moonshiner was a favorite.

    Reply
  112. Piper I remember Elizabeth Cadell. My local library had a heap of her books and whenever I see a lot of books by an author i try one to see why they’re so popular, and I really glommed onto Elizabeth cadell.
    ” There was also an author from Australia (her name escapes me) who wrote all sorts of romances set in the Outback. I’m still convinced I want to go there….”
    Piper, I bet you’re thinking of Lucy Walker. Lovely stories. My sister introduced me to her in those babysitting holidays I was sent on; she had lots of Lucy Walker books. I read them all lying on her cool tiled floor in the Queensland heat. The Moonshiner was a favorite.

    Reply
  113. Piper I remember Elizabeth Cadell. My local library had a heap of her books and whenever I see a lot of books by an author i try one to see why they’re so popular, and I really glommed onto Elizabeth cadell.
    ” There was also an author from Australia (her name escapes me) who wrote all sorts of romances set in the Outback. I’m still convinced I want to go there….”
    Piper, I bet you’re thinking of Lucy Walker. Lovely stories. My sister introduced me to her in those babysitting holidays I was sent on; she had lots of Lucy Walker books. I read them all lying on her cool tiled floor in the Queensland heat. The Moonshiner was a favorite.

    Reply
  114. Piper I remember Elizabeth Cadell. My local library had a heap of her books and whenever I see a lot of books by an author i try one to see why they’re so popular, and I really glommed onto Elizabeth cadell.
    ” There was also an author from Australia (her name escapes me) who wrote all sorts of romances set in the Outback. I’m still convinced I want to go there….”
    Piper, I bet you’re thinking of Lucy Walker. Lovely stories. My sister introduced me to her in those babysitting holidays I was sent on; she had lots of Lucy Walker books. I read them all lying on her cool tiled floor in the Queensland heat. The Moonshiner was a favorite.

    Reply
  115. Piper I remember Elizabeth Cadell. My local library had a heap of her books and whenever I see a lot of books by an author i try one to see why they’re so popular, and I really glommed onto Elizabeth cadell.
    ” There was also an author from Australia (her name escapes me) who wrote all sorts of romances set in the Outback. I’m still convinced I want to go there….”
    Piper, I bet you’re thinking of Lucy Walker. Lovely stories. My sister introduced me to her in those babysitting holidays I was sent on; she had lots of Lucy Walker books. I read them all lying on her cool tiled floor in the Queensland heat. The Moonshiner was a favorite.

    Reply
  116. Mary Jo, I forgot to say, I think that tree house and all the ingenious inventions of the Swiss Family Robinson utterly entranced me.
    And when I saw the Disney movie I so wanted a ride on their water slide…

    Reply
  117. Mary Jo, I forgot to say, I think that tree house and all the ingenious inventions of the Swiss Family Robinson utterly entranced me.
    And when I saw the Disney movie I so wanted a ride on their water slide…

    Reply
  118. Mary Jo, I forgot to say, I think that tree house and all the ingenious inventions of the Swiss Family Robinson utterly entranced me.
    And when I saw the Disney movie I so wanted a ride on their water slide…

    Reply
  119. Mary Jo, I forgot to say, I think that tree house and all the ingenious inventions of the Swiss Family Robinson utterly entranced me.
    And when I saw the Disney movie I so wanted a ride on their water slide…

    Reply
  120. Mary Jo, I forgot to say, I think that tree house and all the ingenious inventions of the Swiss Family Robinson utterly entranced me.
    And when I saw the Disney movie I so wanted a ride on their water slide…

    Reply
  121. Ditto for all those wonderful books. But I have to disagree about Wuthering Heights.I read it at 13, over a long rainy Melbourne winter weekend. My incredibly indulgent mother allowed me to lie on the couch all weekend while I devoured it. It had everything – sex, revenge, jealousy. Wow. I was a kid when I started it, but when I got off that couch I was a woman. Really opened my eyes.
    Oh, and I have to add one of my top 10 of all time – Kidnapped. Love, love love that book.

    Reply
  122. Ditto for all those wonderful books. But I have to disagree about Wuthering Heights.I read it at 13, over a long rainy Melbourne winter weekend. My incredibly indulgent mother allowed me to lie on the couch all weekend while I devoured it. It had everything – sex, revenge, jealousy. Wow. I was a kid when I started it, but when I got off that couch I was a woman. Really opened my eyes.
    Oh, and I have to add one of my top 10 of all time – Kidnapped. Love, love love that book.

    Reply
  123. Ditto for all those wonderful books. But I have to disagree about Wuthering Heights.I read it at 13, over a long rainy Melbourne winter weekend. My incredibly indulgent mother allowed me to lie on the couch all weekend while I devoured it. It had everything – sex, revenge, jealousy. Wow. I was a kid when I started it, but when I got off that couch I was a woman. Really opened my eyes.
    Oh, and I have to add one of my top 10 of all time – Kidnapped. Love, love love that book.

    Reply
  124. Ditto for all those wonderful books. But I have to disagree about Wuthering Heights.I read it at 13, over a long rainy Melbourne winter weekend. My incredibly indulgent mother allowed me to lie on the couch all weekend while I devoured it. It had everything – sex, revenge, jealousy. Wow. I was a kid when I started it, but when I got off that couch I was a woman. Really opened my eyes.
    Oh, and I have to add one of my top 10 of all time – Kidnapped. Love, love love that book.

    Reply
  125. Ditto for all those wonderful books. But I have to disagree about Wuthering Heights.I read it at 13, over a long rainy Melbourne winter weekend. My incredibly indulgent mother allowed me to lie on the couch all weekend while I devoured it. It had everything – sex, revenge, jealousy. Wow. I was a kid when I started it, but when I got off that couch I was a woman. Really opened my eyes.
    Oh, and I have to add one of my top 10 of all time – Kidnapped. Love, love love that book.

    Reply
  126. I, too, loved Jane Eyre. I also struggled through Lorna Doone when I was a pre-teen and loved it, although much of the history was incomprehensible for an American child. Nearly every book mentioned above was a favorite- I was a voracious reader- but I always hated sad books, and still do. Romance should be happy!

    Reply
  127. I, too, loved Jane Eyre. I also struggled through Lorna Doone when I was a pre-teen and loved it, although much of the history was incomprehensible for an American child. Nearly every book mentioned above was a favorite- I was a voracious reader- but I always hated sad books, and still do. Romance should be happy!

    Reply
  128. I, too, loved Jane Eyre. I also struggled through Lorna Doone when I was a pre-teen and loved it, although much of the history was incomprehensible for an American child. Nearly every book mentioned above was a favorite- I was a voracious reader- but I always hated sad books, and still do. Romance should be happy!

    Reply
  129. I, too, loved Jane Eyre. I also struggled through Lorna Doone when I was a pre-teen and loved it, although much of the history was incomprehensible for an American child. Nearly every book mentioned above was a favorite- I was a voracious reader- but I always hated sad books, and still do. Romance should be happy!

    Reply
  130. I, too, loved Jane Eyre. I also struggled through Lorna Doone when I was a pre-teen and loved it, although much of the history was incomprehensible for an American child. Nearly every book mentioned above was a favorite- I was a voracious reader- but I always hated sad books, and still do. Romance should be happy!

    Reply
  131. I didn’t learn to read until the 1st grade but my parents were very conscientious about reading to us. When I finally learned to read my Mom took me to the library and we checked out at least 6 books every week. I loved the “Secret Garden”, “Cherry Ames, Student Nurse” and the rest of the series, anything about horses and dancers and anything about science and scientists. I was a geek from early on. I started Sci-Fi in about 7th grade but didn’t get into romance fanatically until I had children of my own, probably in the 1980s. La Grand Dame Georgette was my first straight romance author. I read her books until the words rubbed off the pages. If you separate historical from romance, I loved “Gone with the Wind” and read it in 3 days during 8th grade. Also I liked Frank Yerby and Anya Seton. There was a series of early American historicals with a romance in them that I read at about 13. I don’t recall the author, but I believe the first one was “Dawn’s Early Light.” I fell in love with fantasy and “The Lord of the Ring” in high school. I think the main thing is to read to the children, show them how wonderful it is to explore other places and times, to encourage their curiosity and hunger for learning.

    Reply
  132. I didn’t learn to read until the 1st grade but my parents were very conscientious about reading to us. When I finally learned to read my Mom took me to the library and we checked out at least 6 books every week. I loved the “Secret Garden”, “Cherry Ames, Student Nurse” and the rest of the series, anything about horses and dancers and anything about science and scientists. I was a geek from early on. I started Sci-Fi in about 7th grade but didn’t get into romance fanatically until I had children of my own, probably in the 1980s. La Grand Dame Georgette was my first straight romance author. I read her books until the words rubbed off the pages. If you separate historical from romance, I loved “Gone with the Wind” and read it in 3 days during 8th grade. Also I liked Frank Yerby and Anya Seton. There was a series of early American historicals with a romance in them that I read at about 13. I don’t recall the author, but I believe the first one was “Dawn’s Early Light.” I fell in love with fantasy and “The Lord of the Ring” in high school. I think the main thing is to read to the children, show them how wonderful it is to explore other places and times, to encourage their curiosity and hunger for learning.

    Reply
  133. I didn’t learn to read until the 1st grade but my parents were very conscientious about reading to us. When I finally learned to read my Mom took me to the library and we checked out at least 6 books every week. I loved the “Secret Garden”, “Cherry Ames, Student Nurse” and the rest of the series, anything about horses and dancers and anything about science and scientists. I was a geek from early on. I started Sci-Fi in about 7th grade but didn’t get into romance fanatically until I had children of my own, probably in the 1980s. La Grand Dame Georgette was my first straight romance author. I read her books until the words rubbed off the pages. If you separate historical from romance, I loved “Gone with the Wind” and read it in 3 days during 8th grade. Also I liked Frank Yerby and Anya Seton. There was a series of early American historicals with a romance in them that I read at about 13. I don’t recall the author, but I believe the first one was “Dawn’s Early Light.” I fell in love with fantasy and “The Lord of the Ring” in high school. I think the main thing is to read to the children, show them how wonderful it is to explore other places and times, to encourage their curiosity and hunger for learning.

    Reply
  134. I didn’t learn to read until the 1st grade but my parents were very conscientious about reading to us. When I finally learned to read my Mom took me to the library and we checked out at least 6 books every week. I loved the “Secret Garden”, “Cherry Ames, Student Nurse” and the rest of the series, anything about horses and dancers and anything about science and scientists. I was a geek from early on. I started Sci-Fi in about 7th grade but didn’t get into romance fanatically until I had children of my own, probably in the 1980s. La Grand Dame Georgette was my first straight romance author. I read her books until the words rubbed off the pages. If you separate historical from romance, I loved “Gone with the Wind” and read it in 3 days during 8th grade. Also I liked Frank Yerby and Anya Seton. There was a series of early American historicals with a romance in them that I read at about 13. I don’t recall the author, but I believe the first one was “Dawn’s Early Light.” I fell in love with fantasy and “The Lord of the Ring” in high school. I think the main thing is to read to the children, show them how wonderful it is to explore other places and times, to encourage their curiosity and hunger for learning.

    Reply
  135. I didn’t learn to read until the 1st grade but my parents were very conscientious about reading to us. When I finally learned to read my Mom took me to the library and we checked out at least 6 books every week. I loved the “Secret Garden”, “Cherry Ames, Student Nurse” and the rest of the series, anything about horses and dancers and anything about science and scientists. I was a geek from early on. I started Sci-Fi in about 7th grade but didn’t get into romance fanatically until I had children of my own, probably in the 1980s. La Grand Dame Georgette was my first straight romance author. I read her books until the words rubbed off the pages. If you separate historical from romance, I loved “Gone with the Wind” and read it in 3 days during 8th grade. Also I liked Frank Yerby and Anya Seton. There was a series of early American historicals with a romance in them that I read at about 13. I don’t recall the author, but I believe the first one was “Dawn’s Early Light.” I fell in love with fantasy and “The Lord of the Ring” in high school. I think the main thing is to read to the children, show them how wonderful it is to explore other places and times, to encourage their curiosity and hunger for learning.

    Reply
  136. Oh, me too! I know Streatfield had others besides Ballet and Skating, but those two topped my list! And how magical to have had your own Secret Garden experience! Lucky you! 😉

    Reply
  137. Oh, me too! I know Streatfield had others besides Ballet and Skating, but those two topped my list! And how magical to have had your own Secret Garden experience! Lucky you! 😉

    Reply
  138. Oh, me too! I know Streatfield had others besides Ballet and Skating, but those two topped my list! And how magical to have had your own Secret Garden experience! Lucky you! 😉

    Reply
  139. Oh, me too! I know Streatfield had others besides Ballet and Skating, but those two topped my list! And how magical to have had your own Secret Garden experience! Lucky you! 😉

    Reply
  140. Oh, me too! I know Streatfield had others besides Ballet and Skating, but those two topped my list! And how magical to have had your own Secret Garden experience! Lucky you! 😉

    Reply
  141. I have to defend Wuthering Heights too. I read it as a senior in high school as an assignment. My teacher was brilliant along the lines of Robin Williams in Dead Poets Society, and he also gave us insight into the sex, revenge, jealousy threads. He declared the marriage of Cathy and Edgar Linton the greatest mistake in English literature. I loved it! And, as much as I see the Angelique books as shallow, the history in them was impecable and they created a brooding, genuinely tortured hero in Joffrey de Petrac who is to die for.

    Reply
  142. I have to defend Wuthering Heights too. I read it as a senior in high school as an assignment. My teacher was brilliant along the lines of Robin Williams in Dead Poets Society, and he also gave us insight into the sex, revenge, jealousy threads. He declared the marriage of Cathy and Edgar Linton the greatest mistake in English literature. I loved it! And, as much as I see the Angelique books as shallow, the history in them was impecable and they created a brooding, genuinely tortured hero in Joffrey de Petrac who is to die for.

    Reply
  143. I have to defend Wuthering Heights too. I read it as a senior in high school as an assignment. My teacher was brilliant along the lines of Robin Williams in Dead Poets Society, and he also gave us insight into the sex, revenge, jealousy threads. He declared the marriage of Cathy and Edgar Linton the greatest mistake in English literature. I loved it! And, as much as I see the Angelique books as shallow, the history in them was impecable and they created a brooding, genuinely tortured hero in Joffrey de Petrac who is to die for.

    Reply
  144. I have to defend Wuthering Heights too. I read it as a senior in high school as an assignment. My teacher was brilliant along the lines of Robin Williams in Dead Poets Society, and he also gave us insight into the sex, revenge, jealousy threads. He declared the marriage of Cathy and Edgar Linton the greatest mistake in English literature. I loved it! And, as much as I see the Angelique books as shallow, the history in them was impecable and they created a brooding, genuinely tortured hero in Joffrey de Petrac who is to die for.

    Reply
  145. I have to defend Wuthering Heights too. I read it as a senior in high school as an assignment. My teacher was brilliant along the lines of Robin Williams in Dead Poets Society, and he also gave us insight into the sex, revenge, jealousy threads. He declared the marriage of Cathy and Edgar Linton the greatest mistake in English literature. I loved it! And, as much as I see the Angelique books as shallow, the history in them was impecable and they created a brooding, genuinely tortured hero in Joffrey de Petrac who is to die for.

    Reply
  146. When very young I loved books with animals as main characters: Kenneth Graham, A.A. Milne, Thornton Burgess et al. Then I graduated to Louisa May Alcott; “Little Women” was the first book I reread numerous times. I always cried when for Beth the needle became “too heavy”, and her speech to Jo about how she was content to stay home when the other sisters traveled, but now she was the one who was going the farthest away to be incredibly poignant. Sigh.
    In my mid-teens my mother discovered Georgette Heyer and shared them. I couldn’t wait for our weekly visits to the library to check another one out. I think it says something about me that even then I preferred the ones with older heroines, such as “Black Sheep” and “The Talisman Ring” (I know there are two sets of H/H in that, but I much prefer the older pair), so it’s not surprising that today I still prefer heroines in their 20s or 30s to teenagers.
    As for Rosemary Sutcliffe, I didn’t discover her until I had sons of my own. Her books are one of the benefits of having children, as I may not have known about her otherwise (I view “The Eagle of the Ninth” and its sequels and “Song for a Dark Queen” as rewards for the weeks of morning sickness and 2 AM feedings).

    Reply
  147. When very young I loved books with animals as main characters: Kenneth Graham, A.A. Milne, Thornton Burgess et al. Then I graduated to Louisa May Alcott; “Little Women” was the first book I reread numerous times. I always cried when for Beth the needle became “too heavy”, and her speech to Jo about how she was content to stay home when the other sisters traveled, but now she was the one who was going the farthest away to be incredibly poignant. Sigh.
    In my mid-teens my mother discovered Georgette Heyer and shared them. I couldn’t wait for our weekly visits to the library to check another one out. I think it says something about me that even then I preferred the ones with older heroines, such as “Black Sheep” and “The Talisman Ring” (I know there are two sets of H/H in that, but I much prefer the older pair), so it’s not surprising that today I still prefer heroines in their 20s or 30s to teenagers.
    As for Rosemary Sutcliffe, I didn’t discover her until I had sons of my own. Her books are one of the benefits of having children, as I may not have known about her otherwise (I view “The Eagle of the Ninth” and its sequels and “Song for a Dark Queen” as rewards for the weeks of morning sickness and 2 AM feedings).

    Reply
  148. When very young I loved books with animals as main characters: Kenneth Graham, A.A. Milne, Thornton Burgess et al. Then I graduated to Louisa May Alcott; “Little Women” was the first book I reread numerous times. I always cried when for Beth the needle became “too heavy”, and her speech to Jo about how she was content to stay home when the other sisters traveled, but now she was the one who was going the farthest away to be incredibly poignant. Sigh.
    In my mid-teens my mother discovered Georgette Heyer and shared them. I couldn’t wait for our weekly visits to the library to check another one out. I think it says something about me that even then I preferred the ones with older heroines, such as “Black Sheep” and “The Talisman Ring” (I know there are two sets of H/H in that, but I much prefer the older pair), so it’s not surprising that today I still prefer heroines in their 20s or 30s to teenagers.
    As for Rosemary Sutcliffe, I didn’t discover her until I had sons of my own. Her books are one of the benefits of having children, as I may not have known about her otherwise (I view “The Eagle of the Ninth” and its sequels and “Song for a Dark Queen” as rewards for the weeks of morning sickness and 2 AM feedings).

    Reply
  149. When very young I loved books with animals as main characters: Kenneth Graham, A.A. Milne, Thornton Burgess et al. Then I graduated to Louisa May Alcott; “Little Women” was the first book I reread numerous times. I always cried when for Beth the needle became “too heavy”, and her speech to Jo about how she was content to stay home when the other sisters traveled, but now she was the one who was going the farthest away to be incredibly poignant. Sigh.
    In my mid-teens my mother discovered Georgette Heyer and shared them. I couldn’t wait for our weekly visits to the library to check another one out. I think it says something about me that even then I preferred the ones with older heroines, such as “Black Sheep” and “The Talisman Ring” (I know there are two sets of H/H in that, but I much prefer the older pair), so it’s not surprising that today I still prefer heroines in their 20s or 30s to teenagers.
    As for Rosemary Sutcliffe, I didn’t discover her until I had sons of my own. Her books are one of the benefits of having children, as I may not have known about her otherwise (I view “The Eagle of the Ninth” and its sequels and “Song for a Dark Queen” as rewards for the weeks of morning sickness and 2 AM feedings).

    Reply
  150. When very young I loved books with animals as main characters: Kenneth Graham, A.A. Milne, Thornton Burgess et al. Then I graduated to Louisa May Alcott; “Little Women” was the first book I reread numerous times. I always cried when for Beth the needle became “too heavy”, and her speech to Jo about how she was content to stay home when the other sisters traveled, but now she was the one who was going the farthest away to be incredibly poignant. Sigh.
    In my mid-teens my mother discovered Georgette Heyer and shared them. I couldn’t wait for our weekly visits to the library to check another one out. I think it says something about me that even then I preferred the ones with older heroines, such as “Black Sheep” and “The Talisman Ring” (I know there are two sets of H/H in that, but I much prefer the older pair), so it’s not surprising that today I still prefer heroines in their 20s or 30s to teenagers.
    As for Rosemary Sutcliffe, I didn’t discover her until I had sons of my own. Her books are one of the benefits of having children, as I may not have known about her otherwise (I view “The Eagle of the Ninth” and its sequels and “Song for a Dark Queen” as rewards for the weeks of morning sickness and 2 AM feedings).

    Reply
  151. Louise, Valerie and others, re Wuthering Heights, I think it’s a marvellous book — hugely romantic, though not a happy-ever-after romance.
    But the first few chapters, about Mr Lockwood arriving, and the housekeeper teling him bits and pieces about the neighbours who’ve intrigued him, is not really necessary IMO. For me, the story really begins a long way in. Mind you, I suppose it lets us know in advance how it ends.
    Valerie, your brilliant teacher sounds wonderful. A good teacher can be so inspiring. That disastrous marriage was the key to Heathcliff’s turning nasty in the end. But if Heathcliff and Cathy had married, would we have had such a great book? Those images of Heathcliff leaning across broken glass to Cathy’s ghost, and storming and grieving over her grave are so powerful…

    Reply
  152. Louise, Valerie and others, re Wuthering Heights, I think it’s a marvellous book — hugely romantic, though not a happy-ever-after romance.
    But the first few chapters, about Mr Lockwood arriving, and the housekeeper teling him bits and pieces about the neighbours who’ve intrigued him, is not really necessary IMO. For me, the story really begins a long way in. Mind you, I suppose it lets us know in advance how it ends.
    Valerie, your brilliant teacher sounds wonderful. A good teacher can be so inspiring. That disastrous marriage was the key to Heathcliff’s turning nasty in the end. But if Heathcliff and Cathy had married, would we have had such a great book? Those images of Heathcliff leaning across broken glass to Cathy’s ghost, and storming and grieving over her grave are so powerful…

    Reply
  153. Louise, Valerie and others, re Wuthering Heights, I think it’s a marvellous book — hugely romantic, though not a happy-ever-after romance.
    But the first few chapters, about Mr Lockwood arriving, and the housekeeper teling him bits and pieces about the neighbours who’ve intrigued him, is not really necessary IMO. For me, the story really begins a long way in. Mind you, I suppose it lets us know in advance how it ends.
    Valerie, your brilliant teacher sounds wonderful. A good teacher can be so inspiring. That disastrous marriage was the key to Heathcliff’s turning nasty in the end. But if Heathcliff and Cathy had married, would we have had such a great book? Those images of Heathcliff leaning across broken glass to Cathy’s ghost, and storming and grieving over her grave are so powerful…

    Reply
  154. Louise, Valerie and others, re Wuthering Heights, I think it’s a marvellous book — hugely romantic, though not a happy-ever-after romance.
    But the first few chapters, about Mr Lockwood arriving, and the housekeeper teling him bits and pieces about the neighbours who’ve intrigued him, is not really necessary IMO. For me, the story really begins a long way in. Mind you, I suppose it lets us know in advance how it ends.
    Valerie, your brilliant teacher sounds wonderful. A good teacher can be so inspiring. That disastrous marriage was the key to Heathcliff’s turning nasty in the end. But if Heathcliff and Cathy had married, would we have had such a great book? Those images of Heathcliff leaning across broken glass to Cathy’s ghost, and storming and grieving over her grave are so powerful…

    Reply
  155. Louise, Valerie and others, re Wuthering Heights, I think it’s a marvellous book — hugely romantic, though not a happy-ever-after romance.
    But the first few chapters, about Mr Lockwood arriving, and the housekeeper teling him bits and pieces about the neighbours who’ve intrigued him, is not really necessary IMO. For me, the story really begins a long way in. Mind you, I suppose it lets us know in advance how it ends.
    Valerie, your brilliant teacher sounds wonderful. A good teacher can be so inspiring. That disastrous marriage was the key to Heathcliff’s turning nasty in the end. But if Heathcliff and Cathy had married, would we have had such a great book? Those images of Heathcliff leaning across broken glass to Cathy’s ghost, and storming and grieving over her grave are so powerful…

    Reply
  156. Kathy, I agree with you that reading to children is vital. I was lucky, being the baby of the family in that as well as adults, there were teenage children who could read to me. Bliss.I know big chunks of AA Milne because of being read to.
    But I know some non-reading parents who are disappointed that the children they read to so diligently now don’t read. I wonder if it’s because they don’t read. It’s not a clear cut thing, because I also know people from non-reading families who devour books…

    Reply
  157. Kathy, I agree with you that reading to children is vital. I was lucky, being the baby of the family in that as well as adults, there were teenage children who could read to me. Bliss.I know big chunks of AA Milne because of being read to.
    But I know some non-reading parents who are disappointed that the children they read to so diligently now don’t read. I wonder if it’s because they don’t read. It’s not a clear cut thing, because I also know people from non-reading families who devour books…

    Reply
  158. Kathy, I agree with you that reading to children is vital. I was lucky, being the baby of the family in that as well as adults, there were teenage children who could read to me. Bliss.I know big chunks of AA Milne because of being read to.
    But I know some non-reading parents who are disappointed that the children they read to so diligently now don’t read. I wonder if it’s because they don’t read. It’s not a clear cut thing, because I also know people from non-reading families who devour books…

    Reply
  159. Kathy, I agree with you that reading to children is vital. I was lucky, being the baby of the family in that as well as adults, there were teenage children who could read to me. Bliss.I know big chunks of AA Milne because of being read to.
    But I know some non-reading parents who are disappointed that the children they read to so diligently now don’t read. I wonder if it’s because they don’t read. It’s not a clear cut thing, because I also know people from non-reading families who devour books…

    Reply
  160. Kathy, I agree with you that reading to children is vital. I was lucky, being the baby of the family in that as well as adults, there were teenage children who could read to me. Bliss.I know big chunks of AA Milne because of being read to.
    But I know some non-reading parents who are disappointed that the children they read to so diligently now don’t read. I wonder if it’s because they don’t read. It’s not a clear cut thing, because I also know people from non-reading families who devour books…

    Reply
  161. Anne
    Some wonderful books there I have always loved reading the first historical romance I read way back was Rosemary Rogers Sweet Savage Love and I have never stopped reading historicals I love them can’t get enough of them as the TBR pile shows I really just need to retire so as I have more time to read. LOL
    Have Fun
    Helen

    Reply
  162. Anne
    Some wonderful books there I have always loved reading the first historical romance I read way back was Rosemary Rogers Sweet Savage Love and I have never stopped reading historicals I love them can’t get enough of them as the TBR pile shows I really just need to retire so as I have more time to read. LOL
    Have Fun
    Helen

    Reply
  163. Anne
    Some wonderful books there I have always loved reading the first historical romance I read way back was Rosemary Rogers Sweet Savage Love and I have never stopped reading historicals I love them can’t get enough of them as the TBR pile shows I really just need to retire so as I have more time to read. LOL
    Have Fun
    Helen

    Reply
  164. Anne
    Some wonderful books there I have always loved reading the first historical romance I read way back was Rosemary Rogers Sweet Savage Love and I have never stopped reading historicals I love them can’t get enough of them as the TBR pile shows I really just need to retire so as I have more time to read. LOL
    Have Fun
    Helen

    Reply
  165. Anne
    Some wonderful books there I have always loved reading the first historical romance I read way back was Rosemary Rogers Sweet Savage Love and I have never stopped reading historicals I love them can’t get enough of them as the TBR pile shows I really just need to retire so as I have more time to read. LOL
    Have Fun
    Helen

    Reply
  166. So many memories from this post and thread comments. I remember “Mrs. Mike” and remember loving it. I had a complete set of Cherry Ames. Rosemary Sutcliff’s Sword at Sunset is still one of my favorites. And, does anybody know what the tweenie one about a girl with a sailboat with red sails was?
    I discovered historical/romance fiction at 14 through a summer reading assignment- Elswyth Thane’s Dawn’s Early Light- the first of her Williamsburg novels. Those are my most treasured historical books. I was HOOKED. My other favorite writer is Patricia Veryan.

    Reply
  167. So many memories from this post and thread comments. I remember “Mrs. Mike” and remember loving it. I had a complete set of Cherry Ames. Rosemary Sutcliff’s Sword at Sunset is still one of my favorites. And, does anybody know what the tweenie one about a girl with a sailboat with red sails was?
    I discovered historical/romance fiction at 14 through a summer reading assignment- Elswyth Thane’s Dawn’s Early Light- the first of her Williamsburg novels. Those are my most treasured historical books. I was HOOKED. My other favorite writer is Patricia Veryan.

    Reply
  168. So many memories from this post and thread comments. I remember “Mrs. Mike” and remember loving it. I had a complete set of Cherry Ames. Rosemary Sutcliff’s Sword at Sunset is still one of my favorites. And, does anybody know what the tweenie one about a girl with a sailboat with red sails was?
    I discovered historical/romance fiction at 14 through a summer reading assignment- Elswyth Thane’s Dawn’s Early Light- the first of her Williamsburg novels. Those are my most treasured historical books. I was HOOKED. My other favorite writer is Patricia Veryan.

    Reply
  169. So many memories from this post and thread comments. I remember “Mrs. Mike” and remember loving it. I had a complete set of Cherry Ames. Rosemary Sutcliff’s Sword at Sunset is still one of my favorites. And, does anybody know what the tweenie one about a girl with a sailboat with red sails was?
    I discovered historical/romance fiction at 14 through a summer reading assignment- Elswyth Thane’s Dawn’s Early Light- the first of her Williamsburg novels. Those are my most treasured historical books. I was HOOKED. My other favorite writer is Patricia Veryan.

    Reply
  170. So many memories from this post and thread comments. I remember “Mrs. Mike” and remember loving it. I had a complete set of Cherry Ames. Rosemary Sutcliff’s Sword at Sunset is still one of my favorites. And, does anybody know what the tweenie one about a girl with a sailboat with red sails was?
    I discovered historical/romance fiction at 14 through a summer reading assignment- Elswyth Thane’s Dawn’s Early Light- the first of her Williamsburg novels. Those are my most treasured historical books. I was HOOKED. My other favorite writer is Patricia Veryan.

    Reply
  171. Helen, I’ve heard people mention Sweet Savage Love so often, but I’ve read it. I must dig out a copy.
    And LadyDoc, I’ve never heard of Elswyth Thane. Patricia Veryan is another author I’ve heard wonderful things about but never read. They’re both now definitely on the to fnd-and-read list.
    It’s been wonderful sharing beloved books with everyone. I have a lovely list of new-to-me authors to chase, and that’s always a good thing. Thank you.

    Reply
  172. Helen, I’ve heard people mention Sweet Savage Love so often, but I’ve read it. I must dig out a copy.
    And LadyDoc, I’ve never heard of Elswyth Thane. Patricia Veryan is another author I’ve heard wonderful things about but never read. They’re both now definitely on the to fnd-and-read list.
    It’s been wonderful sharing beloved books with everyone. I have a lovely list of new-to-me authors to chase, and that’s always a good thing. Thank you.

    Reply
  173. Helen, I’ve heard people mention Sweet Savage Love so often, but I’ve read it. I must dig out a copy.
    And LadyDoc, I’ve never heard of Elswyth Thane. Patricia Veryan is another author I’ve heard wonderful things about but never read. They’re both now definitely on the to fnd-and-read list.
    It’s been wonderful sharing beloved books with everyone. I have a lovely list of new-to-me authors to chase, and that’s always a good thing. Thank you.

    Reply
  174. Helen, I’ve heard people mention Sweet Savage Love so often, but I’ve read it. I must dig out a copy.
    And LadyDoc, I’ve never heard of Elswyth Thane. Patricia Veryan is another author I’ve heard wonderful things about but never read. They’re both now definitely on the to fnd-and-read list.
    It’s been wonderful sharing beloved books with everyone. I have a lovely list of new-to-me authors to chase, and that’s always a good thing. Thank you.

    Reply
  175. Helen, I’ve heard people mention Sweet Savage Love so often, but I’ve read it. I must dig out a copy.
    And LadyDoc, I’ve never heard of Elswyth Thane. Patricia Veryan is another author I’ve heard wonderful things about but never read. They’re both now definitely on the to fnd-and-read list.
    It’s been wonderful sharing beloved books with everyone. I have a lovely list of new-to-me authors to chase, and that’s always a good thing. Thank you.

    Reply
  176. The first historical series I remember reading is Elswyth Thane’s Williamsburg books (from Dawn’s Early Light through Homing). Earlier, I’d read historicals that were on my grandparents’ bookshelves — Lorna Doone, Ivanhoe, and other 19th century titles. IIRC, they didn’t have either Jane Eyre or Wuthering Heights–I didn’t encounter those titles until I was a freshman in high school and bought a paperback called Good Reading off the rack at Woolworth’s. I started reading my way right through it.

    Reply
  177. The first historical series I remember reading is Elswyth Thane’s Williamsburg books (from Dawn’s Early Light through Homing). Earlier, I’d read historicals that were on my grandparents’ bookshelves — Lorna Doone, Ivanhoe, and other 19th century titles. IIRC, they didn’t have either Jane Eyre or Wuthering Heights–I didn’t encounter those titles until I was a freshman in high school and bought a paperback called Good Reading off the rack at Woolworth’s. I started reading my way right through it.

    Reply
  178. The first historical series I remember reading is Elswyth Thane’s Williamsburg books (from Dawn’s Early Light through Homing). Earlier, I’d read historicals that were on my grandparents’ bookshelves — Lorna Doone, Ivanhoe, and other 19th century titles. IIRC, they didn’t have either Jane Eyre or Wuthering Heights–I didn’t encounter those titles until I was a freshman in high school and bought a paperback called Good Reading off the rack at Woolworth’s. I started reading my way right through it.

    Reply
  179. The first historical series I remember reading is Elswyth Thane’s Williamsburg books (from Dawn’s Early Light through Homing). Earlier, I’d read historicals that were on my grandparents’ bookshelves — Lorna Doone, Ivanhoe, and other 19th century titles. IIRC, they didn’t have either Jane Eyre or Wuthering Heights–I didn’t encounter those titles until I was a freshman in high school and bought a paperback called Good Reading off the rack at Woolworth’s. I started reading my way right through it.

    Reply
  180. The first historical series I remember reading is Elswyth Thane’s Williamsburg books (from Dawn’s Early Light through Homing). Earlier, I’d read historicals that were on my grandparents’ bookshelves — Lorna Doone, Ivanhoe, and other 19th century titles. IIRC, they didn’t have either Jane Eyre or Wuthering Heights–I didn’t encounter those titles until I was a freshman in high school and bought a paperback called Good Reading off the rack at Woolworth’s. I started reading my way right through it.

    Reply
  181. Gee, you guys were all so literate at such an early age 🙂 When I was a kid in grammar school, I read mostly fairy tales (all those Andrew Lang collections), Oz books (all of which I still have or have replaced), animal stories (Walter Farley and CW Anderson) — and then I discovered science fiction with Robert Heinlein’s juvies. After that I read mostly science fiction – the only girl in the universe (so far as I knew) who did. When there was no new sf to be had, I’d read things that were like science fiction, in that they were set in worlds that could have been fictional – Mara Daughter of the Nile, for example. And Andre Norton. I didn’t begin reading romances until I was an adult and ran across Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer – and then I didn’t really think of them as romances because the writing was at such a high level and the paperback romances I had sampled were just dreadful. A lot of very good historical romance writers have surfaced in the past 20 years, and a lot of sf is mere repetitious action adventure stuff – so I read mostly romances now – but I still like my imaginary world, so those romances are likely to be regencies or Georgians.

    Reply
  182. Gee, you guys were all so literate at such an early age 🙂 When I was a kid in grammar school, I read mostly fairy tales (all those Andrew Lang collections), Oz books (all of which I still have or have replaced), animal stories (Walter Farley and CW Anderson) — and then I discovered science fiction with Robert Heinlein’s juvies. After that I read mostly science fiction – the only girl in the universe (so far as I knew) who did. When there was no new sf to be had, I’d read things that were like science fiction, in that they were set in worlds that could have been fictional – Mara Daughter of the Nile, for example. And Andre Norton. I didn’t begin reading romances until I was an adult and ran across Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer – and then I didn’t really think of them as romances because the writing was at such a high level and the paperback romances I had sampled were just dreadful. A lot of very good historical romance writers have surfaced in the past 20 years, and a lot of sf is mere repetitious action adventure stuff – so I read mostly romances now – but I still like my imaginary world, so those romances are likely to be regencies or Georgians.

    Reply
  183. Gee, you guys were all so literate at such an early age 🙂 When I was a kid in grammar school, I read mostly fairy tales (all those Andrew Lang collections), Oz books (all of which I still have or have replaced), animal stories (Walter Farley and CW Anderson) — and then I discovered science fiction with Robert Heinlein’s juvies. After that I read mostly science fiction – the only girl in the universe (so far as I knew) who did. When there was no new sf to be had, I’d read things that were like science fiction, in that they were set in worlds that could have been fictional – Mara Daughter of the Nile, for example. And Andre Norton. I didn’t begin reading romances until I was an adult and ran across Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer – and then I didn’t really think of them as romances because the writing was at such a high level and the paperback romances I had sampled were just dreadful. A lot of very good historical romance writers have surfaced in the past 20 years, and a lot of sf is mere repetitious action adventure stuff – so I read mostly romances now – but I still like my imaginary world, so those romances are likely to be regencies or Georgians.

    Reply
  184. Gee, you guys were all so literate at such an early age 🙂 When I was a kid in grammar school, I read mostly fairy tales (all those Andrew Lang collections), Oz books (all of which I still have or have replaced), animal stories (Walter Farley and CW Anderson) — and then I discovered science fiction with Robert Heinlein’s juvies. After that I read mostly science fiction – the only girl in the universe (so far as I knew) who did. When there was no new sf to be had, I’d read things that were like science fiction, in that they were set in worlds that could have been fictional – Mara Daughter of the Nile, for example. And Andre Norton. I didn’t begin reading romances until I was an adult and ran across Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer – and then I didn’t really think of them as romances because the writing was at such a high level and the paperback romances I had sampled were just dreadful. A lot of very good historical romance writers have surfaced in the past 20 years, and a lot of sf is mere repetitious action adventure stuff – so I read mostly romances now – but I still like my imaginary world, so those romances are likely to be regencies or Georgians.

    Reply
  185. Gee, you guys were all so literate at such an early age 🙂 When I was a kid in grammar school, I read mostly fairy tales (all those Andrew Lang collections), Oz books (all of which I still have or have replaced), animal stories (Walter Farley and CW Anderson) — and then I discovered science fiction with Robert Heinlein’s juvies. After that I read mostly science fiction – the only girl in the universe (so far as I knew) who did. When there was no new sf to be had, I’d read things that were like science fiction, in that they were set in worlds that could have been fictional – Mara Daughter of the Nile, for example. And Andre Norton. I didn’t begin reading romances until I was an adult and ran across Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer – and then I didn’t really think of them as romances because the writing was at such a high level and the paperback romances I had sampled were just dreadful. A lot of very good historical romance writers have surfaced in the past 20 years, and a lot of sf is mere repetitious action adventure stuff – so I read mostly romances now – but I still like my imaginary world, so those romances are likely to be regencies or Georgians.

    Reply
  186. Janice, I read sci fi as a kid, too — Asimov and John Wyndham and others–I also read crime by the bucketfull.
    A friend who writes romance but is and always has been a huge reader of sci fi, said to me recently that some writer (forgotten who) had said that good sci fi mostly falls into one of 3 categories — milieu (where the world created is the important thing), an idea (a ‘what if’ scenario) or it’s about characters, the latter being the least common. I thought that was interesting. It was too many books that paid too much attention to gadgets or alien creatures and not enough to characters that eventually made me read less sci fi.

    Reply
  187. Janice, I read sci fi as a kid, too — Asimov and John Wyndham and others–I also read crime by the bucketfull.
    A friend who writes romance but is and always has been a huge reader of sci fi, said to me recently that some writer (forgotten who) had said that good sci fi mostly falls into one of 3 categories — milieu (where the world created is the important thing), an idea (a ‘what if’ scenario) or it’s about characters, the latter being the least common. I thought that was interesting. It was too many books that paid too much attention to gadgets or alien creatures and not enough to characters that eventually made me read less sci fi.

    Reply
  188. Janice, I read sci fi as a kid, too — Asimov and John Wyndham and others–I also read crime by the bucketfull.
    A friend who writes romance but is and always has been a huge reader of sci fi, said to me recently that some writer (forgotten who) had said that good sci fi mostly falls into one of 3 categories — milieu (where the world created is the important thing), an idea (a ‘what if’ scenario) or it’s about characters, the latter being the least common. I thought that was interesting. It was too many books that paid too much attention to gadgets or alien creatures and not enough to characters that eventually made me read less sci fi.

    Reply
  189. Janice, I read sci fi as a kid, too — Asimov and John Wyndham and others–I also read crime by the bucketfull.
    A friend who writes romance but is and always has been a huge reader of sci fi, said to me recently that some writer (forgotten who) had said that good sci fi mostly falls into one of 3 categories — milieu (where the world created is the important thing), an idea (a ‘what if’ scenario) or it’s about characters, the latter being the least common. I thought that was interesting. It was too many books that paid too much attention to gadgets or alien creatures and not enough to characters that eventually made me read less sci fi.

    Reply
  190. Janice, I read sci fi as a kid, too — Asimov and John Wyndham and others–I also read crime by the bucketfull.
    A friend who writes romance but is and always has been a huge reader of sci fi, said to me recently that some writer (forgotten who) had said that good sci fi mostly falls into one of 3 categories — milieu (where the world created is the important thing), an idea (a ‘what if’ scenario) or it’s about characters, the latter being the least common. I thought that was interesting. It was too many books that paid too much attention to gadgets or alien creatures and not enough to characters that eventually made me read less sci fi.

    Reply
  191. Really good sci fi has all those elements; without a not-here-and-now world and a triggering condition or event of some kind (your what-if scenario) for the characters to bounce off of, you don’t have a story. Characters can’t really exist without a context, and described worlds or events without characters become essays, not fiction.
    Which is probably why a lot of males gravitate so strongly to nonfiction and bad sf 🙂 I see this often in commentary from males on the new Doctor Who, which is loaded with human drama and aching personal decisions; they call it “soap opera” and want to go back to “real” sci fi 🙂

    Reply
  192. Really good sci fi has all those elements; without a not-here-and-now world and a triggering condition or event of some kind (your what-if scenario) for the characters to bounce off of, you don’t have a story. Characters can’t really exist without a context, and described worlds or events without characters become essays, not fiction.
    Which is probably why a lot of males gravitate so strongly to nonfiction and bad sf 🙂 I see this often in commentary from males on the new Doctor Who, which is loaded with human drama and aching personal decisions; they call it “soap opera” and want to go back to “real” sci fi 🙂

    Reply
  193. Really good sci fi has all those elements; without a not-here-and-now world and a triggering condition or event of some kind (your what-if scenario) for the characters to bounce off of, you don’t have a story. Characters can’t really exist without a context, and described worlds or events without characters become essays, not fiction.
    Which is probably why a lot of males gravitate so strongly to nonfiction and bad sf 🙂 I see this often in commentary from males on the new Doctor Who, which is loaded with human drama and aching personal decisions; they call it “soap opera” and want to go back to “real” sci fi 🙂

    Reply
  194. Really good sci fi has all those elements; without a not-here-and-now world and a triggering condition or event of some kind (your what-if scenario) for the characters to bounce off of, you don’t have a story. Characters can’t really exist without a context, and described worlds or events without characters become essays, not fiction.
    Which is probably why a lot of males gravitate so strongly to nonfiction and bad sf 🙂 I see this often in commentary from males on the new Doctor Who, which is loaded with human drama and aching personal decisions; they call it “soap opera” and want to go back to “real” sci fi 🙂

    Reply
  195. Really good sci fi has all those elements; without a not-here-and-now world and a triggering condition or event of some kind (your what-if scenario) for the characters to bounce off of, you don’t have a story. Characters can’t really exist without a context, and described worlds or events without characters become essays, not fiction.
    Which is probably why a lot of males gravitate so strongly to nonfiction and bad sf 🙂 I see this often in commentary from males on the new Doctor Who, which is loaded with human drama and aching personal decisions; they call it “soap opera” and want to go back to “real” sci fi 🙂

    Reply
  196. Yes, you’re right, Janice. Actually I think that was what the point of what my friend’s author was saying — the best has all three, but various writers have a tendency to gravitate toward one of those three areas. (I’m better at retaining info through reading and this was a phone conversation)
    I do think a lot of males prefer the world/idea/action sort of story without the emotion — I think possibly because they’re uncomfortable with emotions other than anger.
    Me, I adore the new Doctor Who. I wonder if they’ll say the same about the new James Bond. I adored Sean Connery, but this Daniel Craig bond is the first human Bond I’ve seen. I love his version.

    Reply
  197. Yes, you’re right, Janice. Actually I think that was what the point of what my friend’s author was saying — the best has all three, but various writers have a tendency to gravitate toward one of those three areas. (I’m better at retaining info through reading and this was a phone conversation)
    I do think a lot of males prefer the world/idea/action sort of story without the emotion — I think possibly because they’re uncomfortable with emotions other than anger.
    Me, I adore the new Doctor Who. I wonder if they’ll say the same about the new James Bond. I adored Sean Connery, but this Daniel Craig bond is the first human Bond I’ve seen. I love his version.

    Reply
  198. Yes, you’re right, Janice. Actually I think that was what the point of what my friend’s author was saying — the best has all three, but various writers have a tendency to gravitate toward one of those three areas. (I’m better at retaining info through reading and this was a phone conversation)
    I do think a lot of males prefer the world/idea/action sort of story without the emotion — I think possibly because they’re uncomfortable with emotions other than anger.
    Me, I adore the new Doctor Who. I wonder if they’ll say the same about the new James Bond. I adored Sean Connery, but this Daniel Craig bond is the first human Bond I’ve seen. I love his version.

    Reply
  199. Yes, you’re right, Janice. Actually I think that was what the point of what my friend’s author was saying — the best has all three, but various writers have a tendency to gravitate toward one of those three areas. (I’m better at retaining info through reading and this was a phone conversation)
    I do think a lot of males prefer the world/idea/action sort of story without the emotion — I think possibly because they’re uncomfortable with emotions other than anger.
    Me, I adore the new Doctor Who. I wonder if they’ll say the same about the new James Bond. I adored Sean Connery, but this Daniel Craig bond is the first human Bond I’ve seen. I love his version.

    Reply
  200. Yes, you’re right, Janice. Actually I think that was what the point of what my friend’s author was saying — the best has all three, but various writers have a tendency to gravitate toward one of those three areas. (I’m better at retaining info through reading and this was a phone conversation)
    I do think a lot of males prefer the world/idea/action sort of story without the emotion — I think possibly because they’re uncomfortable with emotions other than anger.
    Me, I adore the new Doctor Who. I wonder if they’ll say the same about the new James Bond. I adored Sean Connery, but this Daniel Craig bond is the first human Bond I’ve seen. I love his version.

    Reply
  201. My love affair with historicals began with Laura Ingalls Wilder. I was in second grade… Imagine my delight when I realized she was a real person! However, the real draw, the one that to this day I can’t resist, was the clothes! Big dresses that swish when you walk, oh how I wanted one for myself! From Laura I discovered Anne of Green Gables. I adored Anne, and from her I jumped to Little Women and Jane Eyre. There were so many stories, my only criteria was that the characters must wear swishy dresses! One that stands out in particular was called “The Wolves of Willoughby Chase” by Joan Aiken. She invented an alternate history of England (didn’t know that at the time) and her stories were deliciously melodramatic! Wolves attacking the poor, beautifully dressed, extra clever little girls who out-wit all the villains and live happily ever after. I discovered romance in the covers of Barbara Cartland… I read them now and howl! Her heroines couldn’t seem to complete a sentence without gasping every second word. All told there were too many books that influenced me as a girl and a young woman. Each of them became part of me and has influenced who I am, what I read and even what I studied in University!

    Reply
  202. My love affair with historicals began with Laura Ingalls Wilder. I was in second grade… Imagine my delight when I realized she was a real person! However, the real draw, the one that to this day I can’t resist, was the clothes! Big dresses that swish when you walk, oh how I wanted one for myself! From Laura I discovered Anne of Green Gables. I adored Anne, and from her I jumped to Little Women and Jane Eyre. There were so many stories, my only criteria was that the characters must wear swishy dresses! One that stands out in particular was called “The Wolves of Willoughby Chase” by Joan Aiken. She invented an alternate history of England (didn’t know that at the time) and her stories were deliciously melodramatic! Wolves attacking the poor, beautifully dressed, extra clever little girls who out-wit all the villains and live happily ever after. I discovered romance in the covers of Barbara Cartland… I read them now and howl! Her heroines couldn’t seem to complete a sentence without gasping every second word. All told there were too many books that influenced me as a girl and a young woman. Each of them became part of me and has influenced who I am, what I read and even what I studied in University!

    Reply
  203. My love affair with historicals began with Laura Ingalls Wilder. I was in second grade… Imagine my delight when I realized she was a real person! However, the real draw, the one that to this day I can’t resist, was the clothes! Big dresses that swish when you walk, oh how I wanted one for myself! From Laura I discovered Anne of Green Gables. I adored Anne, and from her I jumped to Little Women and Jane Eyre. There were so many stories, my only criteria was that the characters must wear swishy dresses! One that stands out in particular was called “The Wolves of Willoughby Chase” by Joan Aiken. She invented an alternate history of England (didn’t know that at the time) and her stories were deliciously melodramatic! Wolves attacking the poor, beautifully dressed, extra clever little girls who out-wit all the villains and live happily ever after. I discovered romance in the covers of Barbara Cartland… I read them now and howl! Her heroines couldn’t seem to complete a sentence without gasping every second word. All told there were too many books that influenced me as a girl and a young woman. Each of them became part of me and has influenced who I am, what I read and even what I studied in University!

    Reply
  204. My love affair with historicals began with Laura Ingalls Wilder. I was in second grade… Imagine my delight when I realized she was a real person! However, the real draw, the one that to this day I can’t resist, was the clothes! Big dresses that swish when you walk, oh how I wanted one for myself! From Laura I discovered Anne of Green Gables. I adored Anne, and from her I jumped to Little Women and Jane Eyre. There were so many stories, my only criteria was that the characters must wear swishy dresses! One that stands out in particular was called “The Wolves of Willoughby Chase” by Joan Aiken. She invented an alternate history of England (didn’t know that at the time) and her stories were deliciously melodramatic! Wolves attacking the poor, beautifully dressed, extra clever little girls who out-wit all the villains and live happily ever after. I discovered romance in the covers of Barbara Cartland… I read them now and howl! Her heroines couldn’t seem to complete a sentence without gasping every second word. All told there were too many books that influenced me as a girl and a young woman. Each of them became part of me and has influenced who I am, what I read and even what I studied in University!

    Reply
  205. My love affair with historicals began with Laura Ingalls Wilder. I was in second grade… Imagine my delight when I realized she was a real person! However, the real draw, the one that to this day I can’t resist, was the clothes! Big dresses that swish when you walk, oh how I wanted one for myself! From Laura I discovered Anne of Green Gables. I adored Anne, and from her I jumped to Little Women and Jane Eyre. There were so many stories, my only criteria was that the characters must wear swishy dresses! One that stands out in particular was called “The Wolves of Willoughby Chase” by Joan Aiken. She invented an alternate history of England (didn’t know that at the time) and her stories were deliciously melodramatic! Wolves attacking the poor, beautifully dressed, extra clever little girls who out-wit all the villains and live happily ever after. I discovered romance in the covers of Barbara Cartland… I read them now and howl! Her heroines couldn’t seem to complete a sentence without gasping every second word. All told there were too many books that influenced me as a girl and a young woman. Each of them became part of me and has influenced who I am, what I read and even what I studied in University!

    Reply
  206. Jana, I remember Joan Aiken, though I don’t know that book. Adds to list of books to chase up…
    And some of Barbara Cartland’s earier books were very good — it’s her later books, where she took to churning them out, dictating them to a secretary and producing one every two weeks where she became most repetitive, recycling her own cliches. A pity, I think.
    So you might be reading her later books now, rather than the earlier ones you loved.

    Reply
  207. Jana, I remember Joan Aiken, though I don’t know that book. Adds to list of books to chase up…
    And some of Barbara Cartland’s earier books were very good — it’s her later books, where she took to churning them out, dictating them to a secretary and producing one every two weeks where she became most repetitive, recycling her own cliches. A pity, I think.
    So you might be reading her later books now, rather than the earlier ones you loved.

    Reply
  208. Jana, I remember Joan Aiken, though I don’t know that book. Adds to list of books to chase up…
    And some of Barbara Cartland’s earier books were very good — it’s her later books, where she took to churning them out, dictating them to a secretary and producing one every two weeks where she became most repetitive, recycling her own cliches. A pity, I think.
    So you might be reading her later books now, rather than the earlier ones you loved.

    Reply
  209. Jana, I remember Joan Aiken, though I don’t know that book. Adds to list of books to chase up…
    And some of Barbara Cartland’s earier books were very good — it’s her later books, where she took to churning them out, dictating them to a secretary and producing one every two weeks where she became most repetitive, recycling her own cliches. A pity, I think.
    So you might be reading her later books now, rather than the earlier ones you loved.

    Reply
  210. Jana, I remember Joan Aiken, though I don’t know that book. Adds to list of books to chase up…
    And some of Barbara Cartland’s earier books were very good — it’s her later books, where she took to churning them out, dictating them to a secretary and producing one every two weeks where she became most repetitive, recycling her own cliches. A pity, I think.
    So you might be reading her later books now, rather than the earlier ones you loved.

    Reply

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