Self rode around Dublin on the Hop On-Hop Off double-decker bus today (the weather was gorgeous!). Self met two fellow Americans who, it turns out, hail from Daly City, California! She stayed on that bus for about two hours. Her thoughts began to revolve around UK-centric historical fiction she has read and enjoyed.
Naturally, she loves Catherine Dunne (especially Another Kind of Life) and Sarah Waters (especially Fingersmith and The Night Watch), but here are some others that sprang to mind:
Ivanhoe, by Sir Walter Scott: Set at the time of the Norman Conquest (plus self remembers it was made into a pretty fab BBC mini-series, with Ciaran Hinds playing villain)
The Scarlet Pimpernel, by Baroness Orczy (Surely that’s a pseudonym? This was the novel self voraciously read and re-read, summers in Bacolod)
The Eagle of the Ninth, by Rosemary Sutcliff (Did anyone see Channing in the film adaptation? So gorgeous, even when wearing Roman toga)
From Hell, by Alan Moore (The first book self bought on this trip; she spent a gorgeous April afternoon reading it in Russell Square, and then had to mail it home because it was too heavy to lug to Ireland)
One of self’s all-time favorites is Sebastian Barry’s anguished novel of World War I, A Long, Long Way.
And she knows a writer who is addicted to Nora Roberts.
Today self bought a wee pocketbook from the National Gallery of Art: The Happy Prince & Other Stories by Oscar Wilde. Oh, she cried already after reading the title story. It was just so — poignant. The swallow and the Prince, each dying of neglect, but united by generosity of spirit (Clearly, self adores angst!)
Now to read the next story, “The Nightingale and the Rose.”
Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.