Author Archive > luckyarchers

Mona Lisa, Leonardo & Florence

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Painting Mona Lisa By Jeanne KalogridisPainting  Mona Lisa by Jeanne Kalogridis is a great Italian historical yarn with plenty of twists.

Background to the Plot

Lisa di Antonio Gherardini Gioconndo, who is known simply as Madonna Lisa, sets the scene for this novel in the prologue. (Of course, if you are of common class, you will know her as Mona Lisa.) In the Florence of 1490, she is just coming up to the celebration of her 18th birthday, and she requests what I think is an unusual present.

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Extended Family Humour

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 The Ex-wives by Deborah MoggachThe Ex-Wives by Deborah Moggach is one of the author’s many contemporary novels.  However, she is most well known for an historical novel called Tulip Fever, set in 17th century Amsterdam.

The Ex-Wives opens with the central character of Buffy (Russell Buffery), an actor, feeling old and sorry for himself.

He has ex-wives, as well as other partners he hasn’t married, children and step-children and now has to quite literally pay for his past “mistakes”.

As someone who has started to feel the aches and pains of getting old myself, I found the explanations of some of his “problems” comically entertaining.

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Girl Power in Tudor Times

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Bess of Hardwick: First Lady of Chatsworth, by Mary S LovellBess of Hardwick: First Lady of Chatsworth, by Mary S Lovell, is a biography of a powerful female entrepreneur in Tudor times.

Author

Mary S Lovell was an accountant for many years before writing her first book at the age of 40. Biographies she has written include Straight on Till Morning about the aviatrix Beryl Markham, Cast No Shadow about the World War II spy Betty Pack, and the sisters who are The Mitford Girls.

Her next book is due to be a family biography called The Churchills.

Peak District Connections

I love relaxing in the Peak District, and as a result of spending many happy times in this part of the country I have heard a lot about Bess of Hardwick, through visiting property once owned by her, and wanted to find out more.

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Medieval Comedy – Blackadder Style

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Having the Builders in By Reay TannahillHaving the Builders in by Reay Tannahill combines two of my favourite fiction categories – historical and humour.

Have you ever tried to live in a home where builders are undertaking major work? If so you will probably relate to a lot of the problems described in the book, even though it is set hundreds of years ago. Hopefully this hasn’t involved any sudden deaths though, or the threat of an invasion from across The Channel.

Most books by Reay Tannahill are serious looks at history, whether fact (including Sex in History and Food in History) or historical fiction (including The Seventh Son about Richard III and Fatal Majesty about Mary Queen of Scots). Then, towards the end of her life, she wrote two great humorous historical fiction books. Sadly, she died in 2007, aged 77.

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Oxford Don Studies Essex Girl

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Cupid's Dart (Paperback) By (author) David NobbsCupid’s Dart by David Nobbs contains Great British social humour, which I found very entertaining.

David Nobbs is also the creator of Reggie Perrin, along with many other comedy works in the form of novels, as well as TV and radio scriptwriting.

Before earning his living as a writer he was in the army, a journalist and an advertising executive. Born in Kent, and now living near Harrogate, he is adept at bringing eccentric British personalities sharply to life. He has obviously mastered the technique of “people-watching”.

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