Posts Tagged ‘Lymond Chronicles’

Interesting

Friday, 15 April 2011

As longer term readers of this blog may know, Dorothy Dunnett has been my favourite author since I was thirteen and first read the Lymond Chronicles during, on the way home from and after a family holiday to Turkey, so when my mother just emailed me the link to the video of an interview with her I had to watch. (Unfortunately embedding is disabled on this video, apparently.)

It being Friday afternoon, this has taken all my blogging time before Shabbat, so I hope some of you at least will enjoy the interview too.

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Playing favourites

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

I’m nearly finished reading through a book I’m actually looking forward to telling you about, so I suppose I should try to get a bit further through the rest of the list… (It’s not even a reread, as the vast majority of the rest are.) The next one most definitely is, however. Once again it’s

14. The Game of Kings by Dorothy Dunnett

Hm, apparently I’ve only previously reread this book once since beginning the blog, and that over two years ago, so I wasn’t pushing my luck this time after all. We still don’t have local copies of volumes 2, 3, or 4 of the Lymond Chronicle, so I might just skip over to 5 and 6 (it’s not like I don’t know the story…) for now. As my mother said when she was here, we appear to have a volume of Dunnett on every bookshelf (we’ve just started trying to organise the shelves after the move…), although it’s not like we have a complete set of Niccolos either. The rest of her books are on my “To buy when we have the disposable income” list, of course, presuming I don’t find them in any of the second-hand bookshops. Dunnett’s good enough that people don’t appear to dispose of her books, however.

Once we do have them all I’m looking forward to my DH reading them, as this is one series I refuse to spoil, and I really want to talk them over with him and get his opinions.

I’m sorry; this has to be about the most useless book post I’ve done yet (and that’s saying something). Dunnett’s erudition has evidently not rubbed off on me…

Beginning Again

Sunday, 27 July 2008

I’ve just reread the first chapter of Niccolo Rising by Dorothy Dunnett, and since most of my ‘reviews’ of books here are my reactions rather than real explanatory reviews, I am wondering about interspersing those with more of a read-along (even if it is on my own) with points worth noting every chapter or so. I would try to avoid the blatant spoilers, but it might be hard sometimes.

Now you’re going to say, what kind of spoilers can there be in a discussion of the very first chapter of a book, series, double-series? Well, it’s more because this is a reread, and Dunnett is an absolute mistress of foreshadowing, unseen hints, and historical reference, and my thoughts tend to go off to points that won’t seem relevant for those who don’t know the books yet. (Which is all my way of saying to go warily if you don’t, and dislike spoilers. There is one of my normal reviews of another book below.) I amn’t convinced I can actually read it slow enough to do this, so you may hear no more until the end of the book, but we shall see.

Anyway, Venice, Cathay, Seville and the Gold Coast of Africa. The series definitely goes to the first and last of those, and although I don’t recall precisely I’m sure gets close to Seville, but I don’t think it goes to Cathay. I do love Dunnett’s opening lines, however, and could probably identify most of them.

We get introduced to Julius, Felix, Claes, Bishop Kennedy, Katelina, a Florentine, Anselm Adorne, and Simon, and to my amusement, amongst all the action, I noticed for the first time that Claes allows/encourages a dog to do its business all over Simon’s crest.

I got to thinking about just how many characters in the Niccolo and Lymond books have questions raised, for readers, themselves, other characters, or a combination, about their parentage. Mothers, fathers and children very often do not all know each other for certain, or acknowledge each other if they do. Siblings too. Off the top of my head the questioned children are/include: Claes, Lymond, Eloise, Marthe, Kuzum, Khareddin, Henry, Jordan, Anna, Bonne, Julius. I haven’t forgotten the one that is brought into question (question then answered, of course) right at the end of Checkmate, but that really might be a spoiler. As soon as it’s relevant we generally learn that there is a question over the others. Have I missed any?

219. The Bamboo Cradle by Avraham Schwartzbaum

A much quicker reread, this, but also worth getting back to, for its interest and inspirational value. Dr Schwartzbaum writes honestly and interestingly, allowing for the changes in his own opinions and beliefs through the course of his family’s story; this is the deservedly one of the classics of modern Jewish biographies.

Simply put, an American academic couple on a visiting placement to universities in Taiwan, find themselves sudden parents to an abandoned baby, and once back in America find their desire to bring her into their own religion of Judaism brings them fully into it themselves.

What’s going on?

Sunday, 23 March 2008

I’m off for a short break for the next two days, so I want to catch up with some stuff now. I am aiming to bring the laptop, and definitely the new camera, but in any case I could probably get online each day even if I don’t manage to.

85. The Game of Kings by Dorothy Dunnett

This has been one of my favourite novels (along with its sequels certainly my favourite series, by my favourite author) since I was about 14, and I was overdue on a reread (I have no idea how many times I’ve been through the series). Looking back, the most empathetic characters in this book don’t tend to recur in the further Lymond Chronicles (the two most compassionate, Christian Stewart – a real person, if I recall correctly (although I can’t find any evidence for this, and may well be incorrect) – and Gideon Somerville – certainly fictional – will be dead by the opening of Queen’s Play), but the intriguing ones all do, and tend to become more intriguing too.

I’ve probably had a very minor crush on Francis Crawford since I was fourteen, but with maturity, or even just a careful reading of the text, comes a realisation that he would be a very very difficult person to deal with day to day for most people. Unless you’re in a Catherine D’Albon role, perhaps. But that’s not until book 6 (Checkmate), and I really shouldn’t be referring to it here, just in case people only have read Game of Kings, as you really need the character development of the next five books for his love life to make sense. I’m wittering. Which is something Francis would certainly never do. (Except maybe near the end of this book when he’s with his brother.)

86. The Will by Chaim Greenbaum

Another of the multi-period Jewish novels (seriously, for a good while there are FIVE time periods being told – two during WWII, one in the 1960s and 70s, and two in different months of 2002) but it isn’t a bad thriller, and the morals make sense, mostly.

And now to my crochet, even though I haven’t done any over Purim or Shabbos.

The blanket is coming on. (And is pink, as my nice new camera recognises.)

The February mat is now into March, although not very far as I simply haven’t been keeping up with it. I was in a hurry to take this picture, so it isn’t lying flat at all. The shape of at least two of the sides is rather good.

The NatCroMo game is going well for everyone whose photos I’ve seen. Most of those are on Ravelry, but one person who isn’t on there yet has sent me some of her pictures, which I’m going to put in a separate post. Really beautiful.
I did take a very quick photo of the Seraphina’s Shawl, but the picture came out horrible, so you’ll have to wait until I can take a better one! Perhaps in daylight. I’ll be taking it to show my mother what I’m doing with the alpaca yarn she gave me.