Beheld by TaraShea Nesbit

The popular perception of those who arrived on the shores of North America on the Mayflower is that they were all godly puritans and that the colony of Plymouth was an idyllic community where everyone worked equally hard and religious harmony prevailed.  This image may be idealized, if we are to believe the version of... Continue Reading →

A Place of Greater Safety by Hilary Mantel

Today's review is a bit of a throwback, especially given that Hilary Mantel recently published the last book in her historical Cromwell series, The MIrror and The Light. However, that book had rather mixed reviews, so to get my Mantel fix I reached for something else on my shelf, A Place of Greater Safety, published in 1992.  I have... Continue Reading →

Zoli by Collum McCann

Colum McGann's novel Zoli delves into the little known world of eastern European Roma, who for centuries were known as Gypsies. Although set mainly in Slovakia, it is loosely based on the life of Polish Roma poet Papusza.  Disaffected Irishman Stephen Swann arrives in Slovakia in the early postwar years, attracted by the revolutionary allure of the... Continue Reading →

Silent Water reviews

"Set in the depths of winter, during the Polish Golden Age at the time of the Jagiellonian dynasty, Silent Water is a deeply satisfying and engrossing historical mystery [...] richly executed, with penetrating human insights and unforgettable sets." - review by Laura Rahme, author of Julien's Terror  "In addition to the “whodunnit” aspect, this book stands out for... Continue Reading →

Silent Water is finally here!

It is Christmas 1519 and the royal court in Kraków is in the midst of celebrating the joyous season. Less than two years earlier, Italian noblewoman Bona Sforza arrived in Poland’s capital from Bari as King Zygmunt’s new bride. She came from Italy accompanied by a splendid entourage, including Contessa Caterina Sanseverino who oversees the... Continue Reading →

Bona Sforza, Poland’s Rebellious Queen

Medieval and early modern queenship is a fascinating area of historical research. In European history, it focuses on such famous queens as Eleanor of Aquitaine (of France and later of England), Catherine de' Medici of France, or Elizabeth I of England. Indeed, western European queens seemed to have enjoyed a degree of freedom (by the... Continue Reading →

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