Oyez! Oyez! It being the first of April, I declare Read of England 2020 to be officially begun! I was concerned that the ongoing pandemic would disrupt my planning, but between stuff I bought well in advance, ebooks, and the library, I’ve got a solid set lined up. Our starting course is history, naturally, and literature will follow. No English biscuits this year, unfortunately, but I do have plenty of Earl Grey.
So, what shall we look forward to?
The White Horse King: The Life of Alfred the Great. Lars Brownworth’s book on the Vikings got me really interested in Alfred, far more than Cornwell’s fictional depiction of him in the Saxon Stories.
The Warrior Queen: The Life and Legend of Aethelflaed, Daughter of Alfred the Great. Bernard Cornwell introduced me to Aethelflaed, of course, and to my amusement the author (Joanne Arman) cites Cornwell as being responsible for stirring up modern interest in her.
Any Approaching Enemy, a new-to-me naval novel set during the Napoleonic Wars. Other titles in the series have similarly evocative titles.
The True Soldier, a Jack Lark novel. This time Jack’s found himself involved in the American Civil War. But he’s English, so….good enough! This one I read early.
A Brief History of Life in the Middle Ages: Scenes from the Town and Countryside of Medieval England. This may prove to be a little too much Ian Mortimer’s travel guide to medieval England, but social histories are always my favorites.
Tommy: The British Soldier on the Western Front, Richard Holmes. I previously read Holmes’ Redcoats, on the life of British soldiers in the days of horses and muskets.
There will be a few others, too: expect Wodehouse to leg in at some point (wouldn’t be April without Bertie), I’d still like to try one of Dorothy Sayer’s mysteries, and I’ve been meaning to read a Tennyson poem for years.