(What the heck)
I am currently in love with IN SEARCH OF SHAKESPEARE, by Michael Wood, which I had to order from the UK because the US edition ("SHAKESPEARE"--we Yanks can't handle all those extra words) won't be out until the fall.
It has maps! It has large-scale maps with little outlines of buildings and little arrows that point to street corners and say things like "site of Christopher Marlowe & Thomas Watson's killing of William Bradley, 18 Sept. 1598" and "Shakespeare's lodgings 1592-1596 somewhere around here."
And photographs! *g* Oh, I am the happiest girl in the world.
This is the book! The perfect book! The most wonderfullest book ever!
Why yes. I am working on a historical fantasy and I have no frelling *clue* how Tudor London was laid out. Why do you ask?
Oh, and there's a narrative, too, but really this is the book I have been crawling through biographies and histories and websites and old maps and primary sources wishing I had in my hands to write this damned historical
novel, and here it is, all in one place.
Now I just need one like this on Kit. C'mon, Michael. Get the lead out!
Heh. Okay, other recent reading: AFTER YOU'D GONE, Maggie O'Farrell; DEAD MAN IN DEPTFORD, Anthony Burgess; MAELSTROM, Peter Watts; HOMOSEXUALITY IN RENAISSANCE ENGLAND, Peter Bray; SHAKESPEARE, Anthony Burgess; THE RECKONING, Charles Nicholl; FAITH & TREASON, Antonia Fraser; THE FAMILY, SEX, AND MARRIAGE IN ENGLAND 1500-1800, Lawrence Stone; GUNPOWDER, TREASON & PLOT, C. Northcote Parkinson; SAMURAI CAT GOES TO HELL, Mark E. Rogers;
FAERIES, Brian Froud and Alan Lee;
Heh. Guess what I'm writing about.
I highly recommend the O'Farrell, the first of the two Burgess books (although his theorizing is on crack) (both of those were recommended to me by OWWers.), and the Rogers book. Yay! Samurai Kat! Although I have not yet finished that one or the Watts, they are both so far cruising along very nicely.
Oh, I'm also reading OMBRIA IN SHADOW, Patricia McKillip, but it isn't grabbing me yet. I keep losing the thread of the narrative in what seems somewhat overblown language, even for McKillip.
I may have to come back when I have less of a head full of Tudor London and am ready for some second-world fantasy.
But let me reiterate.
Michael Wood. IN SEARCH OF SHAKESPEARE. (My DVD's of the BBC series won't be here until after Worldcon, sadly. Darn BBC. Darn it to heck.)
Ooo look a panoramic view of London in 1588. Showing The Theatre.....