• Kate Wolford

Kate's Picks: A Bit of British Reading

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This week's pick: A Bit of British Reading

I’ve always liked Queen Elizabeth II and have found the royal family interesting historically and quite the reality show in the present day. So I was sad when the Queen died, and the events surrounding her death brought me back to reading—as most things do.


I love reading actual history but especially love historical novels. I first discovered them in the book Katherine, by Anya Seton, and I’ve never looked back.


Jean Plaidy was also responsible for my obsession with historical fiction as a tween. She wrote dozens of historical novels, usually containing tales of royalty (almost always women), written in the first person. To find her books, just check out her Goodreads page. Plaidy wrote series about the Plantagenets, the Tudors, the Stuarts, etc. They are intimate portraits of the thoughts and feelings of women as imagined by Plaidy, and they never fail to drag me into them. They are entertaining comfort food and feel strangely cozy for stories that often end in sadness and/or beheading. My particular favorite is Victoria Victorious, about my favorite interfering queen. (It’s also on Kindle.)


Plaidy is only one of the pseudonyms used by Eleanor Burton Hibbert, for whom the word “prolific” feels inadequate. She also wrote as Phillipa Carr. For those of us of a certain age, those names will be familiar. The age issue is something to bring up here. Plaidy was a woman very much of her time. Her attitudes towards gender roles, for example, reflect that. So if you’re interested in reading her books, bear in mind that Eleanor Hibbert was born in 1906.


I hope you’ll find this recommendation useful in this time of historical change in the UK.


Have an enchanted week!


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