Mailbox Monday!


Another Monday, Another Mailbox!! This is a feature where we all share with each other the yummy books that showed up at our doors! WARNING: Mailbox Mondays can lead to extreme envy and GINORMOUS wishlists!!

Mailbox Monday is hosted by Marcia at The Printed Page.
 
I had absolutely NO mailbox love this week, so I assuaged my grief with a few goodies at B&N and a local used book store.  I didn't have much time to look around the used book store so I just kinda grabbed a few and when I got home I was pleasantly surprised to see that both copies were brand new!  I'm totally going back there soon ;-)

From B&N I grabbed two non-fiction books that have been on my wishlist for a while.  

 
SYNOPSIS:  A time machine has just transported you back to the fourteenth century. What do you see? How do you dress? How do you earn a living and how much are you paid? What sort of food will you be offered by a peasant or a monk or a lord? And more important, where will you stay?
The Time Traveler's Guide to Medieval England is not your typical look at a historical period. This radical new approach shows us that the past is not just something to be studied; it is also something to be lived. All facets of everyday life in this fascinating period are revealed, from the horrors of the plague and war to the ridiculous excesses of roasted larks and medieval haute couture.

Through the use of daily chronicles, letters, household accounts, and poems of the day, Morti-mer transports you back in time, providing answers to questions typically ignored by traditional historians. You will learn how to greet people on the street, what to use as toilet paper, why a physician might want to taste your blood, and how to know whether you are coming down with leprosy.

From the first step on the road to the medieval city of Exeter, through meals of roast beaver and puffin, Mortimer re-creates this strange and complex period of history. Here, the lives of serf, merchant, and aristocrat are illuminated with re-markable detail in this engaging literary journey. The result is the most astonishing social history book you're ever likely to read: revolutionary in its concept, informative and entertaining in its detail, and startling for its portrayal of humanity in an age of violence, exuberance, and fear.


SYNOPSIS:  It was the most influential marriage of the nineteenth century--and one of history’s most enduring love stories. Traditional biographies tell us that Queen Victoria inherited the throne as a naïve teenager, when the British Empire was at the height of its power, and seemed doomed to find failure as a monarch and misery as a woman until she married her German cousin Albert and accepted him as her lord and master. Now renowned chronicler Gillian Gill turns this familiar story on its head, revealing a strong, feisty queen and a brilliant, fragile prince working together to build a family based on support, trust, and fidelity, qualities neither had seen much of as children. The love affair that emerges is far more captivating, complex, and relevant than that depicted in any previous account.

The epic relationship began poorly. The cousins first met as teenagers for a few brief, awkward, chaperoned weeks in 1836. At seventeen, charming rather than beautiful, Victoria already “showed signs of wanting her own way.” Albert, the boy who had been groomed for her since birth, was chubby, self-absorbed, and showed no interest in girls, let alone this princess. So when they met again in 1839 as queen and presumed prince-consort-to-be, neither had particularly high hopes. But the queen was delighted to discover a grown man, refined, accomplished, and whiskered. “Albert is beautiful!” Victoria wrote, and she proposed just three days later.

As Gill reveals, Victoria and Albert entered their marriage longing for intimate companionship, yet each was determined to be the ruler. This dynamic would continue through the years--each spouse, headstrong and impassioned, eager to lead the marriage on his or her own terms. For two decades, Victoria and Albert engaged in a very public contest for dominance. Against all odds, the marriage succeeded, but it was always a work in progress. And in the end, it was Albert’s early death that set the Queen free to create the myth of her marriage as a peaceful idyll and her husband as Galahad, pure and perfect.

As Gill shows, the marriage of Victoria and Albert was great not because it was perfect but because it was passionate and complicated. Wonderfully nuanced, surprising, often acerbic--and informed by revealing excerpts from the pair’s journals and letters--We Two is a revolutionary portrait of a queen and her prince, a fascinating modern perspective on a couple who have become a legend.

And from the used book store I got...



SYNOPSIS:  France’s beleaguered queen, Marie Antoinette, wrongly accused of uttering the infamous “Let them eat cake,” was the subject of ridicule and curiosity even before her death; she has since been the object of debate and speculation and the fascination so often accorded tragic figures in history. Married in mere girlhood, this essentially lighthearted, privileged, but otherwise unremarkable child was thrust into an unparalleled time and place, and was commanded by circumstance to play a significant role in history. Antonia Fraser’s lavish and engaging portrait of Marie Antoinette, one of the most recognizable women in European history, excites compassion and regard for all aspects of her subject, immersing the reader not only in the coming-of-age of a graceful woman, but also in the unraveling of an era. 


 
SYNOPSIS:   In 1891, young Léonie Vernier and her brother arrive at the home of their widowed aunt in Rennes-le-Bains, in southwest France. But nothing is as Léonie had imagined. Their aunt is young, willowy, and beautiful, and the estate is a subject of local superstition. Villagers claim that Léonie's late uncle died after summoning a demon from the old Visigoth sepulchre on its grounds...

More than a century later, Meredith Martin, an American graduate student, arrives in Rennes-le- Bains while researching the life of Claude Debussy. Haunted by a Tarot reading she had in Paris-and possessing the mysterious deck of cards-she checks into a grand old hotel built on the site of a famous mountain estate destroyed by fire in 1896. There, the pack of Tarot cards and a piece of 19th-century music known as Sepulchre 1891 hold the key to her fate-just as they did to the fate of Léonie Vernier.


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11 comments:

  1. As usual your pile of books is incomparable!

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  2. I read the Marie Antoinette book a few years ago. It is very good!

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  3. "Time Traveler's Guide" is great, enjoy!

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  4. These sound great. I hope you enjoy them. Check out my loot here:

    http://bookventuresbookclub.blogspot.com/2010/04/mailbox-monday.html

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  5. We Two sounds really good. Enjoy your new books!

    --Anna
    Diary of an Eccentric

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  6. I am so excited about The Time Travelers Guide to Medieval England and can't wait to see what you think of it!

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  7. The Time Traveler's Guide looks very interesting. My mailbox was empty too but that is okay. I need to do some catching up.

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  8. WOW, most of these look really good to me; ENJOY

    Here is my mailbox:

    http://bibliophilebythesea.blogspot.com/2010/04/mailbox-monday.html

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  9. What a wonderful line-up of books. Of them all, I'd really like THE TIME TRAVELER'S GUIDE TO MEDIEVAL ENGLAND. I'll be looking for that one.

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  10. Wow! What a great selection of books.
    Time Traveler's Guide to Medieval England looks incredibly interesting. I think that I will have to look into purchasing that one.

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  11. Oh man, I want that Time Traveler's Guide!! That book looks so cool. I got Sepulchre a couple of weeks ago off the bargain rack but I haven't read it yet. Enjoy!

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