London Historical Fiction Book Group - Help choose our book for December

From: Justin
Sent on: Tuesday, September 24, 2013 1:39 PM

Hi everyone.

Firstly, welcome to all those who've joined the group recently. Very much looking forward to seeing you at one of our meetups soon.

Our next meetup is on Monday 21 October to discuss "Death and the Devil” by Frank Schätzing. Please RSVP when you get a chance if you haven't done so yet. Details here:
http://www.meetup.com/London-Historical-Fiction-Book-Group/events/131148512/

After that, we will meet on Monday 2 December and it's time to choose the book for that.

I've created a poll for everyone to vote on the December book from the shortlist detailed below.
Please go to the Polls section to vote. This is also accesible from the "More" tab on our homepage.
http://www.meetup.com/London-Historical-Fiction-Book-Group/polls/

Below are details of each of the shortlisted books. Please score each book out of 10, indicating your interest in it.
The most popular one will be our December read.
I will close the poll in about a week’s time.

Thanks and happy reading
Justin

--------------------------------

The Marlowe Papers by Ros Barber (2012)
Pages: 464
http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Marlowe-Papers-Ros-Barber/dp/144473024X/



Description
On May 30th, 1593, a celebrated young playwright was killed in a tavern brawl in London. That, at least, was the official version. Now Christopher Marlowe reveals the truth: that his 'death' was an elaborate ruse to avoid being convicted of heresy; that he was spirited across the Channel to live on in lonely exile; that he continued to write plays and poetry, hiding behind the name of a colourless man from Stratford - one William Shakespeare.

With the grip of a thriller and the emotional force of a sonnet, this remarkable novel in verse gives voice to a man who was brilliant, passionate and mercurial. A cobbler's son who counted nobles among his friends, a spy in the Queen's service, a fickle lover and a declared religious sceptic, he was always courting trouble.

Memoir, love letter, confession, settling of accounts and a cry for recognition as the creator of some of the most sublime works in the English language, The Marlowe Papers brings Christopher Marlowe and his era to vivid life. Written by a poet and scholar, it is a work of exceptional art, erudition and imagination.



The Teleportation Accident by Ned Beauman (2012)
Pages: 368
http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Teleportation-Accident-Ned-Beauman/dp/034099844X/



Description
In the declining Weimar Republic, Egon Loeser works as a stage designer for New Expressionist theatre. His hero is the greatest set designer of the seventeenth century, Adriano Lavicini, who devised the so-called Teleportation Device for the whisking of actors from one scene to another - a miracle, until the thing malfunctioned, causing numerous deaths and perhaps summoning the devil himself.

Following his breath-taking debut, Boxer, Beetle, Ned Beauman ups the ante, creating in The Teleportation Accident a marvellous mash-up of historical fiction, L.A. noir, science fiction, and satire, and proving himself a star on the rise.



The Garden of Evening Mists by Tan Twan Eng (2011)
Pages: 352
http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Garden-Evening-Mists-Twan/dp/1782110186/



Description
Winner of the Man Asian Literary Prize 2012. Winner of the Walter Scott Prize for historical fiction 2013. Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2012

It's Malaya, 1949. In the highlands of Malaya, a woman sets out to build a memorial to her sister, killed at the hands of the Japanese during the brutal Occupation of their country. Yun Ling's quest leads her to The Garden of Evening Mists, and to Aritomo, a man of extraordinary skill and reputation, once the gardener of the Emperor of Japan. When she accepts his offer to become his apprentice, she begins a journey into her past, inextricably linked with the secrets of her troubled country's history.



The Killing of Richard III by Robert Farrington (1971; 2013 reissue)
Pages: 416
http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Killing-Richard-III-Roses/dp/075155278X/



Description
Kidnap, murder, slander and a legend unearthed. 1483: King Edward IV dies, leaving two innocent young princes in line to the throne. But when scandal and conspiracy explodes around their claim, Richard of Gloucester is proclaimed king. Shortly after, the princes vanish, and storm clouds begin to gather around the newly crowned King Richard III.

Fighter, philanderer and royal spy Henry Morane is tasked with investigating the princes' disappearance, the attempted kidnap of the exiled Lancastrian leader Henry Tudor and the hunting out of traitors amid Richard's supporters.

And at the bloody battle of Bosworth Field, King Richard and Henry Morane will face a fatal trial that will dictate the path of history. With the mystery of C.J. Sansom and the epic adventure of Bernard Cornwell, Robert Farrington's thrilling novel brings to life King Richard III as we now know him.



John Saturnall's Feast by Lawrence Norfolk (2012)
Pages: 416
http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Killing-Richard-III-Roses/dp/075155278X/



Description
A beautiful, rich and sensuous historical novel, John Saturnall's Feast tells the story of a young orphan who becomes a kitchen boy at a manor house in 1625, and rises through the ranks to become the greatest cook of his generation. It is a story of food, star-crossed lovers, ancient myths and one boy's rise from outcast to hero.

Orphaned when his mother dies of starvation, having been cast out of her village as a witch, John is taken in at the kitchens at Buckland Manor, where he quickly rises from kitchen-boy to cook, and is known for his uniquely keen palate and natural cooking ability. However, he quickly gets on the wrong side of Lady Lucretia, the aristocratic daughter of the Lord of the Manor. In order to inherit the estate, Lucretia must wed, but her fiancé is an arrogant buffoon. When Lucretia takes on a vow of hunger until her father calls off her engagement to her insipid husband-to-be, it falls to John to try to cook her delicious foods that might tempt her to break her fast.

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