What I’ve Read: October 2018

Light Fiction

The Minstrel and the Dragon Pup. Children’s illustrated book by Rosemary Sutcliff. Cute story, but I thought the illustrations lacking.

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making. Cute but definitely trying to hard to be whimsical.

Simon. A Rosemary Sutcliff novel set in Civil War England. I enjoyed it, but I definitely prefer her more ancient settings (and those tend to be better written). This made me curious about the division of England, how and why? As far as I know my family was from the very far north. Puritanism was strongest in the lower east. But how much did actual Puritanism play as opposed to just plain anti-Catholic sentiment (and wasn’t the North more Catholic for a time or was that just more ancient? It wasn’t Catholics who emigrated in the particular wave from which I hail) or just plain anti-Charles I sentiment?

Literary Fiction

Frankenstein. I posted my review previously.

Taliesin. Quite unique in conception I think, I of course, LOVED the Roman-Celtic Britain setting.

An Episode of Sparrows. I got confused and posted about this for September, but I read it in October.


A book on a county in my state.




  • Catherine

    Ah my mum’s been trying to get me to read ‘Simon’ for years! I know nearly nothing about the Civil War (except that Cromwell banned Christmas) which I should probably fix. I always forget we even had a revolution.

    • Livia Rose

      Clearly I didn’t learn much more about the details in Simon, except a bit more about some of the fighting (I think I tend to forget about that section of England the book is set in). Also, I’ve heard it and felt it from the Puritan (I suppose everything American would see it that way, don’t know how its taught in England) and policy (again, Parliament policy) side, not the Catholics or Anglican (although the Royalists were really mostly Anglican, I would think), I recently read of Catholic perspectives of Cromwell that he was a mass killer, especially in Ireland, I don’t know much about that though.

      • Catherine

        Yeah, as far as I’m aware Cromwell was not a good guy. (My family background is Irish Catholic so you’d get a very different perspective!) I don’t think I learnt about the Civil War in school at all (weird!) but I’d say the perspective would definitely be more royalist over here. I never really thought about it but I suppose the American slant WOULD be pro Puritan as that’s your ‘Pilgrim fathers’ isn’t it? It’s so interesting how background does affect people’s loyalties when we read historical fiction!

        • Livia Rose

          Well, the Massachusetts Bay colony was Puritan, that’s one of two huge Northeastern socio-religious-cultural influence (the other was Quakers). Pilgrims were a different, much smaller group (technically Puritans, specifically Separatist). I think they have perhaps an outsize appearance in our history books compared to their actual historical significance (in part because of Thanksgiving).

          Yeah, I think perspectives in different countries change, so the different historical perspectives change; I guess I never really thought how significant this perspective was to the U.S., I mean I know our existence is based on it, but I hadn’t thought how England would view or teach it. Simon definitely reads more of a Parliamentary perspective (we see the story from Simon’s as opposed to his royalist friend’s point of view). In another book Scarlet Taffeta, Sufcliffe shows a bit about the Jacobite uprising.

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