Monday, November 14, 2011

Favorite Books

One of my favorite books, which I stumbled upon quite by accident, is a little-known book, a curious hybrid between a historical novel and a scholarly non-fiction. The title is Wise and Foolish Kings, and it covers the Valois dynasty, kings from 1328 to 1498. Anyone interested in this period would do well to secure a copy of this wonderful book.

Remarkably, I picked it up at a library sale for $2, but to me it's worth hundreds. It covers the reigns of Philip VI (the Fortunate), Charles the Dauphin, Louis XI, Charles VIII and others. The author includes interesting facts about the kings’ lives, their loves, their travels, and their foibles.

This book was translated to English in 1980, and was written by Anne Denieul-Cormier, a French historian.

Her narrative flows, her descriptions are unforgettable, making me sigh with envy. You may be lucky enough to find it in a used or antiquarian bookstore.

Do you have a favorite book, memorable because of the prose as much as the contents?


Jacqueline Seewald said...

Hi, Joyce,

Although I'm more of a fiction than nonfiction reader, I've always enjoyed biographies. Among my favorites is the two volume Eleanor Roosevelt biography by Joseph Lash. It's a very honest portrait of a great American woman.
I also appreciated the Harry Truman bio by David McCullough. I purchased it as a gift for my husband some years ago but ended up reading it myself as well.
A favorite fiction book would be Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.

Joyce Elson Moore said...

Gi Jacqueline: Actually I got started on historical novels by reading Bloody Mary, a bio. I thought how interesting the lives of historical figures were, and started devouring historical novels. Haven't quit since. Thanks for stopping by.