Posted in February 2013

The Path of the King by John Buchan (1921)

Review by Helen C: An ingenious and unusual book by a master storyteller, based on the suggestion, made to the author in a discussion with friends, that great leaders or creative geniuses may seem to arise from humble backgrounds, but who knows whether they have descended from great men or rulers in the distant past, … Continue reading

The Forrest Lovers by Maurice Hewlett (1898)

Review by Daniel Grieve: “My story will take you into times and spaces alike rude and uncivil. Blood will be spilt, virgins suffer distresses; the horn will sound through woodland glades; dogs, wolves, deer, and men, Beauty and the Beasts, will tumble each other, seeking life or death with their proper tools.” (The Forrest Lovers … Continue reading

The Yellow Poppy by D. K. Broster (1920)

Review by Jane V: I first discovered this book as a teenager in the school library (where Broster’s books had then come to rest) in the mid-fifties. D.K. Broster’s better known Flight of the Heron was also there and these books made a lasting impression on me. The Yellow Poppy tells the story of the … Continue reading

The Morning Will Come by Naomi Jacob (1953)

Review by Sylvia D: At the age of six Isaac Noller is taken to Berlin by his uncle when his parents are killed in the pogroms in Poland in 1873. Isaac grows up to become a partner in his uncle’s merchandising business.  He marries an English girl, Rose, and they have five children: Max who … Continue reading

Mary Anne by Daphne Du Maurier (1954)

Mary Anne is a novelisation of the life of Daphne Du Maurier’s great-great-grandmother, Mary Anne Clarke (1776?-1852). It is easy to see why Du Maurier chose to write about  Mary Anne; the bare facts of her life are full of novelistic potential. Mary Anne was born in Chancery Lane in 1776, of uncertain parentage; her father or step-father was a ‘compositor’ or … Continue reading

An Infamous Army by Georgette Heyer (1937)

Review by George Simmers (see his Great War Fiction blog here) ‘No one could foretell what the future held; but everyone knew that these weeks might be the last of happiness. Except when news crept through of movement on the frontier, war was not much talked of. Talking of it could not stop its coming; it … Continue reading

The Chronicles of the Imp by Jeffery Farnol (1915)

Another Jeffery Farnol novel, another exasperated reader! Poor Jeffery. His books sound dreadful, but dreadful in a way not found nowadays. (See the review of The Geste of Duke Jocelyn here.) I am getting the impression that they were read as being charmingly whimsical in their day, and we have no patience with this kind of whimsy … Continue reading