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Having reviewed over 1200 books on this blog, I have now written two myself. Motherdarling is a story about a search for a missing Will which reveals long-hidden family secrets. The Kids of God is a thriller set in a dystopia ruled by fascist paramilitaries. Both are available as paperbacks and on Kindle through Amazon. I live in Canterbury, England. I lived for more than thirty years in Bedford. Having retired from teaching; I became a research student at the University of Bedfordshire researching into Liminality. I achieved my PhD in 2019. I am now properly retired. I love reading! I enjoy in particular fiction (mostly great and classic fiction although I also enjoy whodunnits), biography, history and smart thinking. Follow me on twitter: @daja57

Sunday, 7 October 2018

"Fools and Mortals" by Bernard Cornwell

Will Shakespeare and his company are rehearsing A Midsummer Night's Dream but someone is trying to steal the script and that of Will's new play Romeo and Juliet. Will's brother Richard, narrator and jobbing actor, desperate to stop playing women and to earn more money, is the first suspect.

This is a brilliant tale of Elizabethan London with all the squalor and violence, the sex and the protocol, the colour and the politics. Like the Dream, the tale itself takes a back seat to the telling, which is joyous. But it is beautifully written. I was torn between turning the pages as fast as I could and reading slowly to revel in the world Cornwell has created.

Cornwell is the author of the Sharpe novels and many more. I have only ever read one of his before: Death of Kings from the Last Kingdom series. I enjoyed it but wasn't hooked. This book has changed my mind. I need to read more of this author.

Some great lines:

  • "Simon Willoughby needs praise like a whore needs silver." (p 10)
  • "We are mere players and as far beneath the palace audience as hells' goblins are beneath heaven's bright angels." (p 14)
  • "He's smearing the sheets of some lordly bed." (p 17)
  • "Mothers are like that, boy. They think you mustn't rise too high in case you fall too far." (p 93)
  • "the box office, so called because the boxes that took the playgoers' pennies was emptied on the table inside." (p 224)
October 2018; 403 pages

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