Sunday, November 10, 2013

Sunday Salon: Reading Our Island Story

Our Island Story. H.E. Marshall. 1905/? 512 pages. [Source: Bought]

Our Island Story blends fact and fiction. It is technically a history book, an introduction to British history. But included in this "history" book are legends and myths. Marshall definitely attributes motives to various historical figures and makes definite judgments. It is a subjective history book with an emphasis on story and personality. It isn't exactly scholarly and accu-rat. (In fact there were a few chapters here and there where I was singing right along with "It's Not True.") But it is almost thoroughly enjoyable all the way through. True, I didn't always agree with her conclusions, and she was very reliant on Shakespeare's history plays perhaps. But. Still I think this one offers an enjoyable overview of a large period of history--over a thousand years! It covers Romans, Anglo-Saxons, Vikings, Normans, and all the rest! Every monarch gets covered, some more than others. So even if you find yourself disagreeing with a fact or two in a couple of stories, chances are you'll find something to appreciate at least! The narrative style is "for children" in that it is simplified and written in a traditional story style. It is a tame presentation of history in a way. If you're familiar with some of the monarchs, you'll understand why that might be needed!

The edition I read went through World War I and discussed the founding of the League of Nations. I cannot find a date for a subsequent edition or reprinting.

© 2013 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


Cozy in Texas 8:48 AM  

Sounds like a good read even if some of the legends and facts get mingled.

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Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
  • dystopias
  • apocalyptic fiction
  • science fiction (especially if it involves time travel and alternate realities)
  • fantasy
  • multicultural books and international books

I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
  • horse books
  • dog books if the dog dies (same goes with most pets actually except maybe fish)
  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

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