First, as the owner of three cats and a dog, I know well that my chief duty in life is to keep the pantry stocked with food, and Brandy Purdy (who shares an agent with me) has similar responsibilities. So make her very ample cat happy and pick up a copy of her novel, The Boleyn Wife! It's a lively read about a perennially fascinating subject, Henry VIII and his wives, told from the perspective of Jane Boleyn.
Speaking of the Boleyns, I recently finished reading Alison Weir's The Lady in the Tower, a nonfictional account of the last days of Anne Boleyn. (Thanks, Sarah, for passing the ARC onto me!) I enjoyed this one thoroughly, although I did think that Weir relied too heavily on accounts by George Boleyn's enemies in concluding that he might have been sexually promiscuous or even sexually predatory. Historian John Guy has taken issue with Weir's use of certain sources, but her use of them didn't seem to me to be so extensive as to damage the book as a whole. For me as a general reader with an adequate but not exhaustive knowledge of the period, the book was a gripping read.
I also made one of my rare excursions to the movies the other day to see The Young Victoria, about Victoria and Albert's courtship and early married life. I enjoyed it thoroughly, though there were a couple of scenes where I would have been quite lost as to what was going on if I hadn't read Jean Plaidy's novel, Victoria Victorious. (Thank you, Jean Plaidy.) The acting is good and the costumes and scenery are sumptuous; I'll have to get the DVD when it appears.
If you'll be in the Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina area on Tuesday, March 23, please note I'll be signing The Stolen Crown at the Barnes and Noble in Cary at 7:00 p.m. I'll be doing a blog tour for my new book also. It'll be in stores just a little over a month from now!
Finally, I was browsing through the Calendar of Patent Rolls yesterday and enjoyed reading this job description in an entry dated April 25, 1458:
Commission to Robert Whityngham, keeper of the great wardrobe of queen Margaret, appointing him and his deputies to purvey linen and woollen clothes, silk, cloth of gold, peluries (pelluras) and furs and all other necessary stuffs concerning the said wardrobe and the queen's use in London and the suburbs and port thereof and all other ports, cities, boroughs, towns, and places in the realm, and to arrest broiderers, tailors, skinners, goldsmiths, saddlers, painters, linen-drapers, tapicers, stonemasons, carpenters, masons and other workmen, artificers and labourers, horses, carts and carriage necessary for the works of the wardrobe, and to commit to prison all contrary herein, in London and the suburbs thereof and elsewhere.
This fills me with happy visions of walking into my favorite clothing store and ordering the arrests of all the clerks if they can't find anything I want in my size.