Archive for the ‘Books & Films’ Category

Sweeney Todd

Sweeney Todd, by Tim Burton

Was Benjamin Barker, alias Sweeny Todd, alias the Demon Barber of Fleet Street, a historical character, or is this grim story an urban legend? After seeing this film, I could not care less. First I want to say that I admire much of Tim Burton’s work. TheNightmare Before Christmas is one of my favorite movies, […]

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Spring Outing of the Tang Court

The Judge Dee Mysteries, and Robert van Gulik

Robert Hans van Gulik (1910-1967), orientalist, diplomat and expert gukin player, was also a historical novelist. A native Dutchman, he had been raised in Indonesia and schooled as a child in the Mandarin language. He completed his studies in the Netherlands, where he obtained a doctorate in Asian studies. He joined the Dutch foreign service […]

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Mistress of the Sun Sandra Gulland

An interview of Sandra Gulland, author of Mistress of the Sun

Sandra also wrote the best-selling Josephine B. trilogy. It is aprivilege to have her answer a few questions for the readers of Versailles and more. Enjoy! ************************************* – We had a few great discussions about book covers on this blog, and I couldn’t help noticing the differences between the US and Canadian covers of Mistress […]

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Salammbo Alphonse Mucha

Is it necessary for an author to have visited the settings of her novels?

It was at Megara, a suburb of Carthage, in the gardens of Hamilcar… The story has it that Flaubert, as soon as he had written the opening words to his historical novel Salammbô, threw down his pen in frustration and exclaimed “I have to go there!” What is sure is that he traveled to Carthage, […]

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An interview of Louis Bayard, author of The Black Tower

Louis Bayard is the author of Mr. Timothy, a New York Times Notable Book, and the national best-seller The Pale Blue Eye. Now his third novel, The Black Tower, also a historical thriller, has just been released to great critical acclaim. Louis was kind enough to stop by toanswer a few questions. – Vidocq, the […]

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The Other Boleyn Girl

Historical fiction in film: The Other Boleyn Girl

I did not see this film at the time of its theatrical release. I was content to watch it last week during a transatlantic flight. Granted, these were not ideal viewing conditions, but this kind of cramped setting has never prevented me from discovering, and appreciating great movies. Unfortunately, The Other Boleyn Girl did not […]

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Goyas ghosts

Goya’s Ghosts, by Miloš Forman

The theme is the great painter Goya, the director is Academy Award winner Miloš Forman (Amadeus, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest), the stars are Natalie Portman and Javier Bardem, the film was shot on location in Spain. I had read middling reviews, but my expectations were high when I saw it last summer in […]

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La Princesse de Cleves 1678

La Princesse de Clèves, by Madame de Lafayette

One of the finest literary works ever written in French is a historical novel, La Princesse de Clèves, published in 1678. I first read it in high school, because it was part of the curriculum. Truth be told, I found the Princesse rather dry and uninspiring at the time. And then one night, many years […]

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The Marquis de Sade unmasked!

Bravo to Suzanne for recognizing the Marquis de Sade under the guise of the ci-devant Marquis de Lacoste in Mistress of the Revolution! In this little exchange, Lacoste-Sade expresses his opinions to my heroine Gabrielle, who, in the midst of the Revolution, now prudently goes by the name of Citizen Labro. “You have no idea, […]

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Gerard Madame Recamier

For The King: the search for the cover is on!

I am in the process of revising For The King based on the notes of my editor, Julie Doughty. And even though my publication date is ten months away, the team at Dutton is already thinking of the cover design. As I did for the cover of Mistress of the Revolution, I sent in several […]

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