Elevate Difference

Reviews tagged England

Pens and Needles: Women's Textualities in Early Modern England

Pens and Needles takes a new approach to the study of how women expressed themselves in Early Modern England (roughly 1500-1700). It has long been assumed that the gender roles we know today have been consistent over time. Pens, writing, communication, are the realm of men; needles, sewing, the home, are the realm of women. Frye disagrees; she gives extensive examples of women writing in the Early Modern era, from poetry to household accounts.

Mary Tudor: Princess, Bastard, Queen

Pay cable offers us a whole new realm of addictions and one of the most recent was Showtime's production of The Tudors. The program, now ended with the inevitable death of King Henry (no spoilers in history), portrayed the complicated realm of the Tudor Dynasty, which included two notable queens—sisters Mary and Elizabeth. This historic era, because of Queen Elizabeth, offers us a space to enter and critique how women were used for political gain, often not their own.

The Red Queen

Philippa Gregory’s most recent work of historical fiction, The Red Queen, describes the bloody War of the Roses from the perspective of Margaret Beaufort, a member of the house of Lancaster and, perhaps most famously, grandmother to Henry VIII. Gregory’s second book in the Cousins’ War series, The Red Queen serves as a foil to The White Queen, which presented the war from the perspective of the York Queen Elizabeth Woodville.

The King’s Mistress

I’ve always had a special affinity for historical fiction, more specifically, historical fiction about the English courts of medieval times. As someone who has never excelled in the complex maneuverings of office politics, I find the level of intrigue and skulduggery that existed then alternately fascinating and mind boggling.

Captive Queen: A Novel of Eleanor of Aquitaine

Alison Weir is first a historian, and it shows in Captive Queen. She studied Eleanor of Aquitaine in the 1970s and 1990s and realized one day that “the nature of medieval biography, particularly of women, is the piecing together of fragments of information and making sense of them.

Lady of the Butterflies

One reason I gravitate towards historical fiction is that I enjoy discovering individuals in history whom I normally wouldn’t learn about on my own. Eleanor Glanville was a seventeenth century English entomologist from Somerset. Her specialty was butterflies and some of her collections still live in the Natural History Museum today.

Robin Hood

Being the rabid Ridley Scott fan that I am, last week I went to go see his new movie, Robin Hood, at the theatre.

The Lute Player: A Novel of Richard the Lionhearted

Like an exquisite medieval tapestry, The Lute Player, a novel of Richard the Lionhearted, has a bit of historical truth and a good measure of romantic fiction. There is historical evidence of the existence of Richard, Berengaria, Henry II, Eleanor of Aquitaine, and the leading power figures of the day. However, the lute player, Blondel, is mentioned only in legends.

The Lady in the Tower: The Fall of Anne Boleyn

Having been drawn to the history of midwifery and peasants/working classes, I’ve always shied away from studying aristocrats. When I first picked up The Lady in the Tower, I was a bit apprehensive. Over 350 pages in length (not including the bibliography, source notes, or illustrations), it appeared to be a daunting reading task.

Another Life Altogether

Elaine Beale crafts the engrossing coming-of-age and coming out story of Jesse Bennet in Another Life Altogether. Jesse lives on the northeast coast of England, one of the world’s fastest eroding coastlines. The constant threat of the breakdown of the cliffs is mirrored by Jesse’s mother’s constant threat of mental collapse.

The Children's Book

When I think of the works of author A. S. Byatt, I think of layers built upon layers and stories within stories. The first novel I read by Byatt was Possession, and I found the story of two modern day English professors solving a love mystery enjoyable. With that said, however, I also found the book to be overly detailed, thinking at the time that 100 pages could easily have been edited out.

For the Love Of Animals: The Rise of the Animal Protection Movement

Most people seem to agree that on some level, animal abuse is wrong. Whether this judgment is applied equally across species, however, is another matter. One hardly has to look further for modern examples of animal rights cognitive dissonance than the public outcry against Michael Vick’s dogfighting ring.

Neither Fugitive nor Free: Atlantic Slavery, Freedom Suits, and the Legal Culture of Travel

In this superb book, Edlie Wong analyzes the territorialization of freedom and slavery in the antebellum Atlantic.


From what I hear, Sheffield England is not a bumping metropolis.

The White Queen

Philippa Gregory’s latest novel, The White Queen, opens her series on the War of the Roses with a tale of blood and lust shrouded in historic mythology.

Personal Moments in the Lives of Victorian Women: Selections from Their Autobiographies (Book 1)

I have to admit that when I received my copy of Personal Moments in the Lives of Victorian Women, I wasn't exactly excited to snuggle up and read it from start to finish. The cover art is not particularly appealing, as it depicts an antique black and white photo of a rather serious and unhappy looking woman, and makes the book look about as inviting as a textbook.

Edward Carpenter: A Life of Liberty and Love

Writing a biography is tricky terrain, particularly on a subject whose name is generally unknown. The author likely has reams and reams of information gathered from years of research and has the thankless task of deciding what can go into the book and what should be left out. For this reason, many biographies suffer from too much or insufficient information.

The Temptation of the Night Jasmine

Lacking familiarity with Lauren Willig’s Pink Carnation series did not detract from my enjoyment of The Temptation of the Night Jasmine, the fifth installment in the series.

Cafe Eterno

Airline travel is always uncomfortable for me; practically the minute I'm off the plane, regardless of how long (or short) the flight, I go hunting for espresso. When my husband and I visited London in April, I wandered the local coffee shops near our Covent Garden hotel in search of an iced mocha. No one, short of Starbucks (and I didn't want to go there), seemed to know what I wanted. Was it a milkshake?

Foreign Exposure: The Social Climber Abroad

Lauren Mechling and Laura Moser’s third book in the Social Climber series finds the 10th grade heroine, Miriam “Mimi” Schulman, spending a summer in Europe, continuing her high school journalistic exploits. The popularity of the series is evident in the relatable characters.

The Ravenscar Dynasty

In 1904 a fire in a hotel in Carrarra, Italy takes the lives of brothers Richard and Rick Deravenel and one teenage offspring of each. A family relative, Neville Watkins, informs Richard's wife, Cecily, and their eighteen-year-old son, Edward, of the tragic deaths of their loved ones. He also uniforms his cousin that he believes the four men, who were in Carrarra on business, were murdered to hide questionable problems involving marble quarries.