Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Christmas books

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Happy New Year!

I love the start of the year and the feeling of new beginnings. I also love the fact that it comes just after Christmas, so I have plenty of new reading material to inspire me.

This year amongst my Christmas booty were these:



The Epicure's Almanack is a reprint of the original 'good food guide' from 1815, and will be invaluable when I want to take my characters out to dine in London. It contains such gems as a description of Dolly's Chop House in Queen's Head Passage where is kept "a plentiful and very well assorted larder. The hours of dining are from two until evening; a bill of fare, distinctly and even legibly written, lies on the table, and orders are sometimes executed with commendable promptitude." It is the word 'sometimes' that amuses me. Says it all, doesn't it?

The other book is The London Square, by Todd Longstaffe-Gowan, which was a present to myself after I attended a talk by him hosted by the Georgian Society. The book is beautifully illustrated, enormously heavy, and took him 18 years to write. It traces the development of the London squares since the early 17th century. I'll share some of these developments next month.

Which were your best books this Christmas?

Jan Jones

13 comments:

Lesley Cookman said...

Didn't get any:-(

Jan Jones said...

Oh, Lesley, you haven't trained your family at all well!

I will admit that mine were very slightly 'directed'...

Nic Ford said...

Well I think it's interesting...
"Flint: Its Origin, Properties and Uses - Walter Shepherd" :D

Jan Jones said...

Actually, Nic, I do think that sounds fascinating!

Nic Ford said...

I also got 'English Medieval Tiles by E Eames'. I thought your two books sounded fascinating as well - we were lucky this Christmas! :)

Jan Jones said...

Such a good excuse to get good books :)

Michelle W said...

As your books have been published by Robert Hale, I wondered if you know whether the firm has decided to give up publishing Regency fiction?

Jan Jones said...

Hi Michelle, my understanding is that for a while they were only publishing Regencies by authors who were already on their list. I don't have any recent information.

Nicola Cornick said...

Lucky you, Jan! Both of those have gone onto my list. They sounds wonderful.

I got Mrs Robinson's Disgrace: The Private Diary of a Victorian Lady, which was fascinating, and Ghost Knight. The latter is a children's book (yes, I had asked for it!) and it was a really good ghost story based on William Longespee, half-brother of Richard the Lionheart.

Jan Jones said...

Ghost Knight sounds interesting, Nicola. And I'm already worried about Mrs Robinson!

The London Square book isn't just Regency - it traces the development from 1700s to the present day(ish)

Elizabeth Hawksley said...

I, too, like Nicola, enjoyed Ghost Knight by Cornelia Funke - a terrific author, in my view. I recently reviewed it for The Historical Novel Society. William Longespee seems to be having a lively posthumous existence: he features in several Elizabeth Chadwick's books, too!

Jan Jones said...

Oh, I ddn't realise Ghost Knight was Cornelia Funke. I have been enjoying her books for years. Will definitely look for it now.

Christina said...

I deliberately tried NOT to ask for any books this Christmas as my TBR pile is becoming dangerously high! Both yours sound wonderful though - look forward to hearing more about them.