Mailbox Monday #1

*Mailbox Monday was created by Marcia of A girl and her books and is now a traveling meme where bloggers share the books that came into their house last week.

Wentworth Hall by Abby Grahame

I was offered a copy of this upcoming YA historical release and though it isn’t necessarily my genre of choice, my curiosity got the best of me. I have a hunch that this is the first book in what I predict to be a wave of Downton Abbey-inspired fiction. In tone and plot, this mixes Gossip Girl (or Anna Godberson’s The Luxe series, to be more precise) with Downton Abbey, and I know teenagers newly-obsessed with the Edwardian era will gobble it up. There will be a giveaway for this title later today!

Raymond Asquith: Life and Letters

Raymond Asquith is considered one of the brightest stars doused in the carnage of WWI and I admit his fascination endures. When I discovered there was a book of the letters he wrote from 1897 to 1916, the year of his death, I had to obtain a copy. The section devoted to WWI is invaluable! It isn’t an easy read–Asquith was definitely a scholar raised on a classical diet–but his letters make it easy to get into the mind of a brilliant Edwardian gentleman. Amazon

Mr Churchill's Secretary by Susan Elia Macneal

I’d been excited to read this book for months, and it did not disappoint. There were a few coincidences that strained my credibility, but Mr. Churchill’s Secretary perfectly captures the early years of WWII Britain. Maggie Hope is also a pretty plucky protagonist (bet you can’t say that three times fast), and I look forward to the sequel, Princess Elizabeth’s Spy. Amazon

Ettie by Richard Davenport-Hines

You may or may recall that I blogged about this book upon its release back in 2009 (!). I finally got around to purchasing it, and it’s a nice and meaty, but very readable biography of Ettie Desborough, a leading lady of The Souls and the mother of Julian Grenfell, the famous war poet killed in action in 1915. She’s also the wife of the Lord Desborough I blogged about last week! I’ve been dipping in and out of the text because it’s such a large book, but it is an excellent companion to the book about Almina Carnarvon. Amazon

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About Evangeline Holland

Author of Edwardian/WWI historicals. Likes cooking, the smell and collecting of old books, various artsy hobbies, travel, classic cinema, period dramas, the fusty areas of history, and all things French (though is terrible with maintaining fluency in the language). Read more about her novels and non-fiction here

  • Hels

    I don’t think I know the name Raymond Asquith but world war one letters are fascinating. Allowing for military censorship and nationalist hype, they should provide a true version of the mind of a clever, creative man…. under nightmare conditions.

    Your timing is perfect. I am currently trying to understand the mind of German and Austrian artists who volunteered to fight in 1914 and 1915.

  • Maili

    Hey, someone’s recently optioned Geoffrey Wolff’s “Black Sun: The Brief Transit and Violent Eclipse of Harry Crosby” to adapt for film. It’ll chart the life of poet Harry from his childhood days as a son of New England’s gilded era to his murder-suicide during the 1920s.

    • Evangeline Holland

      @Maili: Thanks for the head’s up. Interesting how the 20s are slowly making their way to the forefront of pop culture.

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