Blogging 18th Century Style: the Salon

I was rereading Benedetta Craveri‘s  biography,  Madame du Deffand and her World, and when I hit the chapter about her St. Joseph’s convent salon, the parallels between the eighteenth century French salons and the evolving blogosphere gave me this mental image of one … Continue reading

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BRIDGERTON and Regency Romance

  Regency romances have been a “thing” since the Silver Fork novels of the 1830s, which I suspect Georgette Heyer grew up reading. I started reading Heyer as a teen, which taste combined with my love of the Hornblower series by C.S. Forester and … Continue reading

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Pin Money, Romance, and Silver Fork Novels

In my own particular mental map of the modern novel’s river, the watershed is Jane Austen. Her books were romantic, but she was not writing romance as it later came to be understood. Romance in the early sense could be … Continue reading

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Hip new narrative strategies are . . . not so new

These days there has been a lot of talk about daring narrative voices and experimental playing with fiction and truth (as in real life experience, to skirt around the gigantic elephant of what constitutes “truth”), and it’s great that more … Continue reading

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CAFÉ READS: A POSSE OF PRINCESSES, by Sherwood Smith

Sherwood Smith specializes in fantasy, especially for young adults. She manages to tell rip-roaring adventures about young people while still tucking a few good lessons gracefully into the narrative of her stories. Whether her heroine has become a figurehead for … Continue reading

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Why are kings the default government in many SF and fantasy novels?

    Two words, power and privilege. What’s not to like? What’s not to hate? Whatever those words power and privilege evoke to us, it’s usually not boredom. It’s tough to get away from the fact that human beings tend … Continue reading

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CAFE READS: FIRES OF NUALA, by CAT KIMBRIEL

This space opera/mystery, the first in the Chronicles of Nuala series, is just as much fun to read as it was when it first came out. Kimbriel has created a fascinatingly complex culture in the Nualans, who have adapted to a … Continue reading

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