Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Sweatin' to the Plaidy, and a Question

It being a holiday today, I spent the afternoon at the gym. This time I had the foresight to bring a book along--Jean Plaidy's The Lady in the Tower. I read it several years ago, but I thought it'd be interesting to re-read it to see how its portrayal of Anne Boleyn stacked up to later novels about her.

Usually I stop after about 10 minutes on the treadmill, not because I get tired but because I get bored. This time, however, with Plaidy for company, I managed over 20 minutes, and a full mile! (For the record, I can read about 28 pages of Plaidy per mile.) The moral here is that Jean Plaidy is not only a diverting read, but good for your health.

Anyway, I'm working on an article about the reissue of Jean Plaidy's novels. In conjunction with that, I have some questions to pose to you Plaidy fans out there: What appeals to you about Plaidy's novels? Which ones would you like to see reissued? Do you have a preference for Plaidy's novels over other historical fiction, and if so, why? Inquiring minds (or my mind, anyway) want to know!


Daphne said...

Well, I am definately a Plaidy fan. I have read about 20 of her books and have another 10 that are unread. So what appeals to me about them? For the most part I find them easy to read, easy to understand and they seem to based on pretty solid historical research (at least as it existed at the time the books were written). I also think they provide good, basic explanations of the story and people involved without getting bogged down with too many details. I think they are great reads for the first time you read about a particular person.

I of course would love to see them all re-issued. They seem to be reissuing more of them in the UK than they are here and I have bought a few of the UK released and may buy more (I will admit to liking some of the new covers in the UK). I do wish that she was able to revise a few of her books that I thought were hastily written and certainly not her best work.

Plaidy is certainly one of my favorite HF authors and there are several authors I have read that aren't nearly as good. But there are a few that I consider as good as Plaidy if not better, like Sharon Kay Penman.

Alianore said...

I read the majority of Plaidy's novels when I was a teenager. Although I often found them rather stilted, the novels were a great way to learn history, for the reasons that Daphne stated.

I'd especially love to see some of her Plantagenet ones reissued - The Battle of the Queens and the Edward I one, whose name escapes me (Hammer of the Scots?) which are two of the few I've never read, because I've never found them (I haven't looked that hard, to be honest.) And the Ed II and Ed III ones, of course! :)

Arleigh said...

The most appealing aspect of Jean Plaidy's writing to me is the historical accuracy. While other authors can make a story entertaining, I'm more of a history buff than some who read the genre, and I do not enjoy seeing historical figures given personalities or attributes they do not deserve, based on rumor or conspiracy theories (unless it not too out there). I'd love to see all of her novels reissued in the beautiful The Rivers Press covers. A couple that come to mind are St. Thomas's Eve and Uneasy Lies the Head of which I have very abused ex-library copies.

Susan Higginbotham said...

Thanks, ladies!