This tale was published in 1931. Willa Cather's Shadows on the Rock tells the tale of a young girl, her widower father, and their friends, all of them working to make a life for themselves in Quebec in 1697.
“Shadows on the Rock” is a historical novel which takes place between 1697 and 1713 in Quebec. For a number of years after the French first settled Quebec, it was an isolated, rocky settlement where many of the inhabitants struggled to survive in the harsh climate.
The people tightly clung to the Catholic Church’s interpretation of events and distrusted anyone who differed in this world-view. Frequent prayer and church services were the rule.
One afternoon late in October of the year 1697, Euclide Auclair, the philosopher apothecary of Quebec, stood on the top of Cap Diamant gazing down the broad, empty river far beneath him. Empty, because an hour ago the flash of retreating sails had disappeared behind the green island that splits the St. Lawrence below Quebec, and the last of the summer ships from France had started on her long voyage home.
As long as La Bonne Espérance was still in sight, many of Auclair's friends and neighbours had kept him company on the hill-top; but when the last tip of white slid behind the curving shore, they went back to their shops and their kitchens to face the stern realities of life. Now for eight months the French colony on this rock in the North would be entirely cut off from Europe, from the world. This was October; not a sail would come up that wide waterway before next July. No supplies; not a cask of wine or a sack of flour, no gunpowder, or leather, or cloth, or iron tools. Not a letter, even—no news of what went on at home. There might be new wars, floods, conflagrations, epidemics, but the colonists would never know of them until next summer. People sometimes said that if King Louis died, the Minister would send word by the English ships that came to New York all winter, and the Dutch traders at Fort Orange would dispatch couriers to Montreal.
Borman’s latest book, The Private Lives of the Tudors, was a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice and published in hardcover to strong sales and favorable reviews, cited as an “authoritative work” (New York Times Book Review) and “riveting history” (O, The Oprah Magazine). The book was the basis for a multi-part documentary series, hosted by Borman, which aired on British television in June 2016.
Americans continue to be fascinated by the Tudors, from the Showtime dramatic series to Philippa Gregory and Hilary Mantel’s novels (and their TV and stage adaptations). The King’s Witch will appeal to readers of Mantel’s Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies, Alison Weir’s Six Tudor Queens series, and Gregory’s The Last Tudor.
HBO is producing a three-part mini-series entitled Gunpowder that focuses on the Gunpowder Plot of 1605, which is also the culmination of Borman’s novel. The adaptation is premiering in December 2017 in the U.S. and includes many of the real-life characters also seen in The King’s Witch, such as Robert Catesby, King James I, and Guy Fawkes.
Borman is the joint Chief Curator of Historic Royal Palaces in the UK, working daily in the palaces that formed the private world of the Tudors.
Great Expectations is Charles Dickens’s beloved, autobiographical tale of a poor boy haunted by a dark secret and harboring grand hopes for his future as a gentleman. When young Pip accidentally meets a convict out in the marsh one Christmas Eve, he has no idea that his life is about to change forever. The amazing events following that encounter, and the strange tale of Miss Havisham and her adopted daughter Estella, have made Great Expectations a must-read since it was first serialized in 1860.
In the vein of Wicked, The Woodcutter, and Boy, Snow, Bird, a luminous reimagining of a classic tale, told from the perspective of Agnes, Cinderella’s "evil" stepmother.
We all know the story of Cinderella. Or do we?
As rumors about the cruel upbringing of beautiful newlywed Princess Cinderella roil the kingdom, her stepmother, Agnes, who knows all too well about hardship, privately records the true story. . . .
A peasant born into serfdom, Agnes is separated from her family and forced into servitude as a laundress’s apprentice when she is only ten years old. Using her wits and ingenuity, she escapes her tyrannical matron and makes her way toward a hopeful future. When teenaged Agnes is seduced by an older man and becomes pregnant, she is transformed by love for her child. Once again left penniless, Agnes has no choice but to return to servitude at the manor she thought she had left behind. Her new position is nursemaid to Ella, an otherworldly infant. She struggles to love the child who in time becomes her stepdaughter and, eventually, the celebrated princess who embodies everyone’s unattainable fantasies. The story of their relationship reveals that nothing is what it seems, that beauty is not always desirable, and that love can take on many guises.
Lyrically told, emotionally evocative, and brilliantly perceptive, All the Ever Afters explores the hidden complexities that lie beneath classic tales of good and evil, all the while showing us that how we confront adversity reveals a more profound, and ultimately more important, truth than the ideal of "happily ever after."
York, 1371. The Bishop of Winchester, William of Wykeham, is tasked with bringing home the remains of the powerful patriarch of the Pagnell family. But Wykeham’s arrival is fraught with tension. The Pagnells are reeling from their father’s death and they suspect Wykeham of having a hand in it. Days after his arrival, his townhouse burns to the ground—a terrible accident, or a threat.
When the charred body of a woman is found in the remains, Wykeham fears for his reputation and his life. The Archbishop of York, John Thoresby, turns to the one-eyed spy, Owen Archer, for help.
Archer, preoccupied by his wife’s tragic miscarriage, reluctantly agrees to investigate the case. But the attempt on Wykeham’s life runs deeper than anyone suspects. This tangled web includes knights, bishops, and even kings. When Archer discovers that the dead woman is a midwife known to all of York, including his wife, this dangerous plot is brought to his very home.
The year is 1820. Rider Sandman, a hero of Waterloo, returns to London to wed his fiancée. But instead of settling down to fame and glory, he finds himself penniless in a country where high unemployment and social unrest rage, and where men—innocent or guilty—are hanged for the merest of crimes.
When he's offered a job as private investigator to re-open the case of a painter due to be hanged for a murder he didn't commit, Sandman readily accepts—as much for the money as for a chance to see justice done in a country gone to ruins.
Soon, however, he's mired in a grisly murder plot that keeps thickening. Sandman makes his way through gentlemen's clubs and shady taverns, aristocratic mansions, and fashionable painters' studios determined to rescue the innocent young man from the rope. But someone doesn't want the truth revealed.
'Heart-pounding action' THE TIMES.
Ten years ago, the greatest army in Christendom was slaughtered at Crécy. Archer Thomas Blackstone stood his ground and left that squalid field a knight. He has since carved out a small fiefdom in northern France, but the wounds of war still bleed and a traitor has given the King of France the means to destroy the English knight and his family. As the traitor's net tightens, so the French King's army draws in.
Blackstone will stand and fight. He will defy his friends, his family and his king. He may yet defy death, but he can't defy his destiny: MASTER OF WAR.
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