Posts Tagged ‘review’

Black Swan: odd bird

For the longest time I couldn’t visit the New York Times website without an ad for Black Swan popping up to the right of the article I was reading. Irritating, but it worked. I was intrigued by all the hooplah and finally saw the film. Thanks for the publicity barrage, everyone must have heard the story, […]



Martine Carol as Lola Montes

Lola Montes, by Max Ophüls (restored 1955 version)

I saw this film the other night on French television. Oh, I had watched it before, but now I was discovering the recently (2008) restored version, which conforms closely to the vision of director Max Ophüls. This film has a tortured history. It was an complete commercial flop upon its release, and was then mangled, […]



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CSI: Ile de la Cité, mysteries, thrillers, torture and 1800 forensics

There is no denying that I got lost in Jane Austen’s world during and after the week-end, but this does not mean that I have forgotten For the King. First I would like to call your attention to the review penned by Gerald Everett Jones at Boychik Lit. Every author loves good reviews, and I […]



Fouche-French-school

The perfect villain: Joseph Fouché, Napoléon’s Minister of Police

All thrillers, and indeed most novels, require a good villain to balance the protagonist and add tension to the plot. Historicals are no exception. When I began writing For the King, which recounts an attempt to assassinate Napoléon Bonaparte in 1800, I imagined that the perpetrators would be the obvious choice. Their crime was heinous […]



For-the-king-catherine-delors

Publishers Weekly calls FOR THE KING “a gripping historical”

The Publishers Weekly review, released a month or two before publication, is a milestone in every book’s journey. PW is, of course, a major trade magazine targeted at publishing professionals, librarians and booksellers. People whose opinion is crucial to the success of a book.



The Reader poster

Film review: The Reader (2008)

Be warned: I am in the minority here. This film was well received, and in particular it earned Kate Winslet an Academy Award, a Golden Globe and a BAFTA for Best Actress. So when I saw it on the movie menu of my flight to the HNS Conference last June, I decided to go for […]



Inglourious Basterds Quentin Tarentino

Film review: Inglourious Basterds

The stated goal of Mr. Tarentino, the director, was to make a spaghetti western. I know too little about that subgenre to assess the success of this film in this regard. Inglourious Basterds could certainly be called many other things. A war thriller, for instance, though it does not really work as such because it is […]



The Red Violin

The Red Violin (1998)

I wrote this review last year for a music-themed issue of Historical Novels Review, the magazine of the Historical Novel Society. Many thanks to the editors for allowing me to reproduce this piece here. When I heard that the editors of Historical Novels Review wanted a review of a music-themed historical film, The Red Violin immediately […]



Georges Danton

Danton, by David Lawday: a review by Hilary Mantel

Thanks to Ellen of Eighteenth Century Worlds for the link to this interesting review by Hilary Mantel at the London Review of Books. The subtitle of the book, the Gentle Giant of Terror, strikes me as rather odd. Danton, gentle? He was one of the driving forces behind the creation of the Revolutionary Tribunal, and […]



Marie Therese of Spain Queen of France

Versailles: The Dream of a King (BBC version)

Here is a link to this program (available only from the UK.) I just watched it and found it very different from the French original. First the emphasis here is not on the palace itself, but on the character of Louis XIV. Also the dramatization is constantly interrupted by various popular British historians. The result […]