Tag Archives: book reviews

The Hist Fic Chickie is moving!

Official announcement – the Hist Fic Chickie blog is moving to our new website base and the domain http://www.histficchickie.com will be redirected to our new blog base at http://www.thehistoricalfictionpress.com/hist-fic-chickie-blog

I’d love for all the followers here on WordPress to come subscribe to the blog there so you can continue to keep us with the book reviews, podcast episodes, and my own ramblings about historical fiction.

Over at the new website, you will find incredible pages packed with EVERYTHING for historical readers and authors – a bookshop, book awards, editorial reviews, writer research resources, author services, and even a cute little gift shop with unique gifts for readers and writers, alike. Plus, this blog.

Just one more week and when you click on http://www.histficchickie.com you will end up at the new website. I appreciate all the support here on WordPress but the time has come to expand and offer MORE to fans of historical fiction. Everything you loved about this place is still there, plus more. Come check it out!

https://www.thehistoricalfictionpress.com

How People Viewed Shakespeare in His Day Versus Today

I am finding as I post more and more thoughts on Shakespeare, and as a rule in general, people are very skeptical when it comes to reading or talking about Shakespeare. This, in truth, is a shame, and I find myself scratching my head and wondering if I am just bashing my head against a wall in wanting people to stretch into his plays and words. What am I missing? Or is it that people are doing themselves an injustice in reading the first ‘thou’ or ‘whence’, shaking their head in intimidation and shutting the book?

Curiouser and curiouser, I find.

I started doing some research on what people of Shakespeare’s generation thought about him, and while I do acknowledge that his generation already used (to a certain extent) his wordage and they were familiar with the Elizabethan stage, I started wondering about the ordinary person; or what about later generations who read his plays? What did they think?

Here is what I came across in Craig’s editorial: “A powerful impulse came to the study and appreciation of Shakespeare with the generation who lived during the epoch of the French Revolution. A new Shakespeare criticism was part of that revival of art and letters which we ordinarily call the Romantic Movement. The thinkers of that day were interested in a wider variety of ideas about life than were the pseudo-classicists. They found in Shakespeare such a marvelously significant and consistent picture of life that they came to think of him as endowed with the insight of a seer and the power of a poet, as greater and more significant than life itself. Each of his plays became a microcosm capable of yielding to the student, if he came with love and admiration in his heart, finer truth than science could yield. Science, they argued, bounds itself by fact; poetry has no such limits, but is a mode of revelation of the philosophy of life, presenting in concrete and constructive form what life means and what life might be. Shakespeare, the poet, was thus metamorphosed into a philosopher and teacher so that his works became a hunting ground where one might find the greatest thoughts about existence.”

Wow! What a boost into immortality for this small town actor and writer from Stratford-upon-Avon!!

But what about today? Where is this thinking on Shakespeare in the ordinary modern world of today? Will a movie need to be made, will a game for the new gaming system need to be created, will an app for our cell phones have to be developed to reach the millions of modern tech seekers in this generation for Shakespeare to find a voice in this world of microchip and internet flood? Will his ancient words and his creation of the 17th-century human even make a ripple in this ocean?

My hopeful heart says yes, that somehow his plays still matter and his works will continue to be a hunting ground where one might find the greatest thoughts about existence. Craig continues later saying, “Human nature remains the same from age to age,” so we must continue to see Shakespeare, the poet, as that philosopher and teacher for this modern generation for when we read his plays, we see ourselves. We are Hamlet in his cowardice, in his pain; We are Iago in our jealousy and hate; We are Juliet in our teenage rebelliousness and first love; We are Prince Harry in his stirring ambition and victory, and on and on and on…

These are my thoughts for today about the man, the genius and the poet. I would love to hear your thoughts on how his works influence you or how one might encourage this modern generation to delve into his words…. please comment below!

Thanks for reading!

D. K. Marley

The Dignity of Rebecca Duvall Scott

Welcome to The Hist Fic Chickie! Today I am featuring the artistic and dignified stylings of Christian Historical Fiction author, Rebecca Duvall Scott.

Rebecca is an accomplished author and the recipient of numerous awards. Her first published work and best-selling memoir, Sensational Kids, Sensational Families: Hope for Sensory Processing Differences, chronicles the research, interventions, and mindset shifts that successfully brought her family through her son’s SPD diagnosis. While she values her special needs initiative, her heart has always been with Christian historical fiction. Her best-selling and #2 Amazon Hot New Release novel, When Dignity Came to Harlan, is based on her great-grandmother’s childhood. Rebecca lives with her husband and their two children in Kentucky and plans to write more in both the Dignity and Sensational Kids series.

Skillfully written and sure to draw you in to its pages, When Dignity Came to Harlan is set in the early 1900s and follows twelve-year-old Anna Beth Atwood as she leaves Missouri with her family dreaming of a better life in the coal-rich mountains of Harlan County, Kentucky. Anna Beth’s parents lose everything on the trip, however, and upon asking strangers to take their girls in until they get on their feet, Anna Beth and her baby sister are dropped into the home of Jack and Grace Grainger – who have plenty of problems of their own. Anna Beth suffers several hardships during her time in Harlan, and if it wasn’t for her humble and wise old friend who peddles his wisdom along with his wares, all would be lost. Based on a true family history, this is a story of heartbreak and hope, challenges and perseverance, good and evil, justice and merciful redemption. It exemplifies the human experience in all its many facets and shows what it means to have real grit. Take the journey with us and see how, with the unseen hand of God, one girl changed the heart and soul of an entire town.

Book link

Author website link & Facebook fan page link

www.RebeccaDuvallScott.com

www.facebook.com/groups/whendignitycametoharlan/

REVIEW

“A reminder of our forebears’ sacrifices and strength, this exquisitely-told story proves that no amount of poverty or pain are a match for fierce faith.” Lizbeth Meredith, award-winning author of Pieces of Me: Rescuing My Kidnapped Daughters

WHEN DIGNITY CAME TO HARLAN (pageturners.blog)

Rebecca Duvall Scott

Author­ ­| Speaker | SPD Intervention Strategist

Author of Sensational Kids, Sensational Families: Hope for Sensory Processing Differences & When Dignity Came to Harlan

I’d like to thank Rebecca for her amazing author takeover at The Historical Fiction Club last Monday, and if you haven’t had the chance to check out her postings, they are still there and you can read more about her book and her life at the Club. Join here: The Historical Fiction Club

More featured spotlights coming soon.

Thank for reading!

D. K. Marley – The Hist Fic Chickie

BOOK REVIEW – HISTORICAL STORIES OF BETRAYAL

First and foremost, I must say I am privileged to know many of these phenomenal historical fiction authors and have shared and re-shared Twitter and FB posts for many years now. But knowing someone through social media and reading their words is quite a different experience.

In reading “Historical Stories of Betrayal” and noting the different aspects in style and voice, I truly hear their passion and soul in the stories.

This is a book not to be missed! Here you are given a sampling of short stories and excerpts spanning the globe from ancient Rome to the Tower of London; and through the eras from the 5th-century to the 19th-century – all with one basic premise known throughout time: BETRAYAL.

I do have my favourites among the twelve stories, all having to do with my own insatiable appetite for particular eras and locales, but for the sake of this review, I must say – each and every story is a pearl in this luscious historical jewelled necklace. You will not be disappointed and I highly recommend not only reading the short stories and excerpts of these authors, but grabbing up their novels, as well.

Here is the link to buy:

Curious Opinion about Writing Historical Fiction – What Do You Think?

I just discovered this YouTube posting about “What Not to do When Writing Historical Fiction” and I have some thoughts.

I agree on some points and disagree on others. Tons of writers use real people as their main character in writing historical fiction, so does that mean that she has never read books by Margaret George or Alison Weir or Phillipa Gregory? She said she NEVER reads historical fiction books with real people as the main character, and after taking a chance by reading “Mrs Poe” she NEVER will again.

In one of my favourite books about a real person – “I, Elizabeth” by Rosalind Miles – uses Queen Elizabeth the First as the main character and fictionalizes the relationship and conversations between her and Robert Dudley. We weren’t there, so how do we know?

I agree with the notion that you have to be careful in not crossing the line into slander or out-right lies when pertaining to real people in history; but, for the most part, fiction is FICTION, and since none of us were ‘flies on the wall’ of said history and their lives, can we not fictionalized some of the parts of their lives while remaining true to what we do know?

I do not mean changing our historical knowledge of, let’s say, the moral uprightness of Abraham Lincoln, his manner and speech, into one of depravity and weakness (which we know to be untrue), but a conversation betwixt he and his wife about the grief they shared (of which none of us were privy to) might be considered an aspect of fictionalizing the details of a real person. For one, I don’t see anything wrong with that. Anything beyond that is delving into alternate historical fantasy (i.e. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Slayer)

I do think, however, it is a dangerous thing for reviewers to be so dogmatic in their opinions about a genre. Taking that sort of stance is rather polarizing, if you ask me. Either you are going to have a huge number of supporters or you are not which, maybe that is what this particular reviewer is going for. I mean, in the world we live in, you can draw a line in the sand and people are going to take sides, for or against.

I am not that sort. I adore historical fiction and the authors who write in the genre. I know their struggle since it is my own-the endless days of research, the time travelling in your brain to another era, and pounding the keys to develop a world where readers can escape from the ordinary day-to-day monotony of today. Who wouldn’t want to leave the Covid-19 world of today to walk down the Bubonic plague-infested streets of London of long ago?

I give authors a hundred years from now permission to fictionalize my life in 2020 in whatever way that is going to provide a measure of escapism for the readers of the 22nd century. This is art, and art is in the eye of the beholder. I’m not going to scrutinize Monet’s Hay Stacks painting and question if there really was more than two haystacks in the landscape. I’m going to accept it for what it is: an incredible work of art built on the passion of the artist. And isn’t that what we are, artists of the written word?

Here is the link to the video if you choose to watch, and please, comment below and let me know what you think on the subject!!

D. K. Marley