Category Archives: Book Reviews

Review: Sweet Alice by Leelou Cervant

Being as I’m reading absolutely anything set in the seventeenth century at the moment, it’s no surprise that includes a bit of erotica, as Sweet Alice by Leelou Cervant is. I don’t mind erotica, it’s not totally my cup of tea, but neither am I against it. If you find explicit sex scenes unpleasant or offensive, this book… Read on

Scribed on |240 views thus far|Comment

Review: Spain: The Centre of the World 1519-1682 by Robert Goodwin

Being as I don’t know as much as I’d like about the history of early modern Spain, I’m currently trying to rectify this at present. Enter Robert Goodwin’s book, Spain: The Centre of the World, 1519-1682, which I listened to in audiobook format with a duration of some 21 hours. This is, in my opinion, an excellent overview… Read on

Scribed on |251 views thus far|Comment

Review: Lady on the Coin by Margaret Campbell Barnes

Lady on the Coin, written by Margaret Campbell Barnes and first published in the early 1960s, follows the life of Frances Stuart, the woman who was the model for Britannia. Frances Stuart was related to the Royal House of Stuart and this story begins during the Stuarts’ exile in France following the English Civil Wars and ends during… Read on

Scribed on |308 views thus far|Comment

Review: Viper Wine by Hermione Eyre

A few years ago, I went to a classical violin concert at the Wigmore Hall in London. The music selected was the kind you tend to get on Radio 3, slightly weird, postmodern, and lacking any discernible melody. I was absolutely bored out of my mind until the end when the violinist played Massenet’s Meditation from Thais. Given… Read on

Scribed on |616 views thus far|7 thoughts

Review: The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton

As I’m no longer bound by deadlines for my own work, I’ve been making progress on my list of books to read for fun. One of these was The Miniaturist, which was published in 2015 and widely acclaimed. This book was, largely, unputdownable and I looked forward to the few minutes of reading time I have at the… Read on

Scribed on |672 views thus far|1 thought

Review: Tulip Fever by Deborah Moggach

Sophia is the beautiful and much-younger wife of Cornelius, a wealthy merchant in Amsterdam. Her husband is quite likeable and rather amusing, and she is content enough with the life she leads with him. Everything gets turned upside down when Cornelius decides he wants to get their joint portraits painted by painter Jan van Loos. Van Loos and Sophia… Read on

Scribed on |1,212 views thus far|1 thought

Review: Silence by Shūsaku Endō

Shūsaku Endō (1923-1996) was a Japanese writer famed for incorporating his Roman Catholicism as a theme into his work. Silence, originally published in 1966 is a novel set in the 1630s and which centres around the young Portuguese Catholic priest, Rodrigues, who sets off from Portugal with his fellow priest and missionary, Garupe. The two have heard rumours concerning… Read on

Scribed on |971 views thus far|Comment

Review: House of Shadows by Nicola Cornick

4.5 stars – I really liked this book, which is historical fiction, time-slip, fantasy, historical and contemporary romance, and even has a bit of murder mystery. There are three different storylines, one in the seventeenth century, the early nineteenth century, and present day. It should be no surprise that my favourite story was the one set in the… Read on

Scribed on |1,851 views thus far|Comment

Review: The Age of Genius by A.C. Grayling

3/5 – This book left me with mixed feelings – especially as Grayling is one of the most respected modern philosophers and I had been excited to read the book (which I would suggest is good for those who already have knowledge about the time period). I agree with Grayling that the seventeenth century was an amazing time in… Read on

Scribed on |2,040 views thus far|1 thought

Review: In the Footsteps of the Six Wives of Henry VIII

Our latest review is of the new release In the Footsteps of the Six Wives of Henry VIII by Sarah Morris and Natalie Grueninger. Although this is not a book about the seventeenth-century, one mustn’t overlook the importance of the Tudors upon the Stuart period, and so I was happy to review it here on The Seventeenth Century… Read on

Scribed on |2,693 views thus far|Comment

Review: The Royal Way of Death by Olivia Bland

I really wanted to like this, I really did, but I had some issues with this book. I have to take into consideration that it was written in the 80s, but that really can’t be an excuse for some of the mistakes I found. I’ve based this review on the Stuart section of the book since that is… Read on

Scribed on |2,658 views thus far|Comment

Review: Spirit of the Highway by Deborah Swift

I received this copy of Deborah Swift’s new book in exchange for an honest review. I first came across Swift’s work (The Lady’s Slipper) when I was browsing in Victoria Station, London, a few years ago. I was happily surprised to find a traditionally published book set in the seventeenth century. Deborah is now the author of five… Read on

Scribed on |2,985 views thus far|Comment

Review: Restoration by Rose Tremain

Rose Tremain’s Restoration is probably one of the most popular novels set in the seventeenth century, and with good reason: it’s a great book. Originally published back in 1989, I was but four years old and obviously far too young to read it. That being said, it is lamentable that it took until 2015 for me to get… Read on

Scribed on |2,829 views thus far|1 thought

Frenchman’s Creek by Daphne du Maurier

When I finished listening to the audiobook version of Frenchman’s Creek by Daphne du Maurier, I was left sitting at my kitchen table in floods of tears. What a moving story! The first thing I thought after I finished was that this was rather like The Bridges of Madison County – a woman is married to someone and has children… Read on

Scribed on |3,801 views thus far|3 thoughts

The Great Courses: The Birth of the Modern Mind: the Intellectual History of the 17th and 18th Centuries

Once again, Audible delivered the goods. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this excellent lecture series by Professor Alan Charles Kors. For those of you who study philosophy, the content may not bring anything new to the table, but for the rest of us I found it immensely enlightening. Some other reviewers have been overly harsh about Professor Kors’s delivery and… Read on

Scribed on |3,184 views thus far|1 thought

Blenheim: The Battle for Europe by Charles Spencer

Although the Battle of Blenheim took place in the 18th Century, the historical persons involved were extremely important in Late 17th-century European history. This book, published in 2005, was the second work by historian Charles Spencer that I have read, the first being his Killers of the King: The Men Who Dared to Kill Charles I, published last year… Read on

Scribed on |4,503 views thus far|3 thoughts

Review: By the Sword by Alison Stuart

By the Sword is Alison Stuart’s first novel and is set for a re-release in March of this year. Although I have known Alison for some time (Hoydens and Firebrands), I had never before read any of her books until now. England 1650. In the aftermath of the execution of the King, England totters once more on the brink… Read on

Scribed on |1,923 views thus far|Comment

Review: Life in a 17th Century Coffeehouse

I just read Life in a 17th Century Coffeehouse by David Brandon and, by and large, I enjoyed it. This is a quick read as it is short (8 chapters and 90 pages long), but it is jam-packed with information and written in a very readable, entertaining style. The chapter on “The Everyday Life of a Coffee Shop” was… Read on

Scribed on |3,111 views thus far|Comment

Roxana by Daniel Defoe

After many years of wanting to read Daniel Defoe’s Roxana: The Fortunate Mistress, I have just finished listening to the unabridged Audible audiobook recording of this classic. Daniel Defoe who lived from 1660 – 1731, was a fascinating historical figure: he was a rebel in Monmouth’s Rebellion in 1685, to his work as a spy, and his books A Journal of the Plague… Read on

Scribed on |4,449 views thus far|2 thoughts

Christianity at the Crossroads (16th-and-17th-centuries)

Hi folks! Some of you know how poor my eyesight is, and as a result of this problem, I’ve taken to listening to audiobooks through Audible. Now, when I’m doing the washing-up, the laundry, and all the other housework, I can continue soaking up information. A week before Christmas, I finished Gustave Flaubert’s Sentimental Education (read by the talented… Read on

Scribed on |3,040 views thus far|3 thoughts

Review: Darling of Kings by P.J. Womack

The Darling of Kings is a brilliant historical novel which charts the meteoric rise and fall of one of the most legendary personages in British history. I was intrigued and excited when I was offered the chance to read this novel about George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham and his relationships, first with King James I and then King Charles I. The Duke of Buckingham has been a source… Read on

Scribed on |3,379 views thus far|Comment

Review: “Killers of the King” by Charles Spencer

A few months ago, I found out about this upcoming release from Charles Spencer. Naturally, given its subject matter, I was excited. I was jumping up and down when I received an advanced copy of “Killers of the King – the Men Who Dared to Execute Charles I”. I’ll be frank, this was the first history book I’ve read by… Read on

Scribed on |10,214 views thus far|10 thoughts