Author Topic: Reading/Book Pet Peeves  (Read 201257 times)

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lady_disdain

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1860 on: March 18, 2014, 08:29:50 PM »
I agree with wanting to throw authors who don't do even basic research across the room. 

Wilbur Smith is one.  I eagerly tried one of his books and put it down after a page or two.  He talked about an obelisk with four sides.  Each side referred to a different season of the year. 

Sorry, Will. The Pharaonic Egyptians didn't have four seasons of three months each.  They had three seasons of four months each. After that, I couldn't read anything more.     

Oh, Wilbur Smith. Dear Deity. I read one of his books. I wish I hadn't.

cabbageweevil

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1861 on: March 18, 2014, 10:47:40 PM »
I agree with wanting to throw authors who don't do even basic research across the room. 

Wilbur Smith is one.  I eagerly tried one of his books and put it down after a page or two.  He talked about an obelisk with four sides.  Each side referred to a different season of the year. 

Sorry, Will. The Pharaonic Egyptians didn't have four seasons of three months each.  They had three seasons of four months each. After that, I couldn't read anything more.     

Oh, Wilbur Smith. Dear Deity. I read one of his books. I wish I hadn't.

Poor or suspect researching can indeed be maddening. Have just been reading a recently-published historical novel, by an American lady, set in England and continental Europe in the era of the English Civil War.  Found the book overall, not quite bad enough to stop reading it, but it was a close thing !  Various errors / improbabilities, on various scales -- the worst for me, involving the Royalist heroine's having to flee England to avoid arrest by the Cromwellian authorities, to do which she takes an in my perception unlikely and counter-intuitive route.  Her escape involves -- to get to a seaport -- crossing the county of Norfolk (the bit of England which "bulges" into the North Sea, a little under 100 miles north of London).

The author claims in her foreword, to have visited the parts of England in which the story is set, including Norfolk; but from the content of the book, I have to wonder... she depicts Norfolk in the 1650s as a savage, almost unpopulated wilderness, beset with appropriate perils.  By all that I've ever understood, that region in those times was a deeply rural and rather backward part of England; but there were plenty of people there, living more or less the same kind of lives as English folk elsewhere in the land.  I concluded that in this particular matter, the author was writing alternative history without meaning to...

Piratelvr1121

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1862 on: March 19, 2014, 08:15:58 AM »
A friend of mine stopped reading a book set in Ireland during the Cromwell area because a young woman from a poor family had been out riding her own horse that the family had bought just for her to ride.  Nevermind the family were Irish Catholics and if they had any money to be buying horses it would be a work horse, not one just for recreational riding.   

My theory was whoever wrote the book (it was a free one) must have seen the movie "Brave" and liked the idea of a girl with curly red hair riding a horse for fun.
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars.  You have a right to be here. Be cheerful, strive to be happy. -Desiderata

cabbageweevil

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1863 on: March 19, 2014, 12:26:32 PM »
Never let boring historical fact get in the way of a fun idea !  I have the impression that if Oliver had had anything to say about it, no Irish Catholic would have been allowed to own a horse of any kind...

There seems to be something about the British Isles in the 17th century, which occasions would-be historical novelists committing "howlers" in abundance.

Piratelvr1121

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1864 on: March 19, 2014, 06:24:59 PM »
Well this was a book called "Spirited Away" that was about the Irish being sold off as slaves during that time and they'd usually be snatched and shipped off, leaving the family to wonder where they were. 

I did finish it and honestly wish I hadn't as it had several other problems with it.  Thankfully it was free so all I spent on it was my time.
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars.  You have a right to be here. Be cheerful, strive to be happy. -Desiderata

cabbageweevil

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1865 on: March 20, 2014, 11:46:59 AM »
Given one's perhaps fancying oneself as a historical novelist -- there comes to mind the idea of a (well-researched, of course) "Romeo-and-Juliet" job set in that milieu, with the leading characters an Irish girl, and one of Cromwell's soldiery.  The feeling is inescapable, that this is a matter which Would Not End Well...

Piratelvr1121

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1866 on: March 20, 2014, 11:57:31 AM »
I'd have to agree with that one, I can't see that romance working out terribly well and could possibly be just as tragic as the original R&J.
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars.  You have a right to be here. Be cheerful, strive to be happy. -Desiderata

cabbageweevil

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1867 on: March 20, 2014, 12:49:17 PM »
One feels that at best, they'd both end up as slaves in Barbados -- which could have more, or less, dire outcomes of its own...

Piratelvr1121

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1868 on: March 20, 2014, 01:10:16 PM »
Well in the book, this one girl and her sister did end up as slaves. One was bought by a sugar plantation owner in Jamaica and I think the other one ended up on another island.   
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars.  You have a right to be here. Be cheerful, strive to be happy. -Desiderata

cabbageweevil

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1869 on: March 20, 2014, 01:46:46 PM »
Picture is got, that -- slave-and-free, aside -- going to the Caribbean a few centuries ago was bad news for Europeans, because of the health factor. In Bernard Cornwell's "Sharpe" novels, troops are terrified of being posted to the West Indies, because the majority of Caucasians who went there died -- usually fairly soon -- from assorted tropical diseases.  I gather that in that general situation, Barbados was somewhat preferable -- it's set some way out into the Atlantic, "well-ventilated" and out of the worst disease zone.

Piratelvr1121

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1870 on: March 20, 2014, 01:51:46 PM »
I didn't know that, though I do imagine that for the fair skinned Irish (and others who lived in those islands), to move to a place full of heat and sun year round would be quite an  unpleasant shock.

That is if they survive the journey across the sea. I do know that later, around the time of the famine, I believe, there was a time when ships bringing people to America were called "Coffin Ships".
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars.  You have a right to be here. Be cheerful, strive to be happy. -Desiderata

cabbageweevil

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1871 on: March 20, 2014, 02:22:32 PM »
I didn't know that, though I do imagine that for the fair skinned Irish (and others who lived in those islands), to move to a place full of heat and sun year round would be quite an  unpleasant shock.

And now people in the British Isles pay to go "from here to there", for brief spells in the unremitting heat and sun.  Our 17th-century ancestors would, for sure, reckon us barking mad.

pierrotlunaire0

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1872 on: March 20, 2014, 03:06:13 PM »
Mad dogs and Englishmen......(goes off humming).
I have enough lithium in my medicine cabinet to power three cars across a sizeable desert.  Which makes me officially...Three Cars Crazy

Katana_Geldar

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1873 on: March 20, 2014, 08:38:19 PM »
That's one of the reasons the transatlantic slave trade started in the middle passage, Africans were more resilient to disease than say Irish indentured servants. Did a whole semester on it in my uni degree, it was fascinating.

cabbageweevil

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Re: Reading/Book Pet Peeves
« Reply #1874 on: March 21, 2014, 04:10:46 AM »
And the Native Americans who'd been there on the islands, simply wouldn't play: they just lay down and died, and / or mounted repeated hopeless rebellions which got them exterminated.  Altogether, not an edifying episode in human history.